Sunday, January 29, 2012

It's Thanksgiving again in Catasauqua

Well, it's Thanksgiving again at least at my house.  There is a turkey in the oven and there are potatoes boiling so I can make some PA Dutch Filling for dinner (Yes Annette, if you are reading this I will bring the leftovers to work).  We are even having Pillsbury Crescent rolls.  Why don't we make turkey more often?  I guess because it is such big bird, but that is the best part of Turkey -- the leftovers.  Monday we are having Turkey ala King and Tuesday a turkey pot pie.  Yum. If I still have left overs I might make some Turkey Orzo Soup for Saturday.   I bought the turkey the Friday after Thanksgiving.  They were still on sale at Giant and I just threw it in the freezer for a later date.  Today it that date, next Sunday it will be all party food for the Super Bowl so I thought this would be a good Sunday for a good old fashion Sunday Dinner.  Jaindl is having a turkey sale so if I make you hungry you might want to check their ad next weekend.

Also today is a good day because Parke found THROWBACK PEPSI at Lukoil in Catty.  Parke is a Pespi Throwback devotee and prefers to have it in the 20oz bottles, which are harder to find than the 12 pack of cans.  Wawa was the place to always go but as of late they no longer feature it in their soda case in Whitehall. (boo hiss)  We did find that Scheetz carries it also, but kudos to Catty for having a source close by.

Oh darn, I just thought about this, we were just over at Giant, I should of bought some cranberry sauce.  Oh well, that's another day in Catasauqua.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Digger, the dog.

I told him, he was in trouble now, he was going in my blog!
Digger is my 12 years old Border Collie Mix and he is on my nerves today.  Did you ever have the hiccups in the morning and then have them all day.  Well, if the oil man comes in the morning - Digger barks his head off and then barks at everything all day thinking it's the oil man.  Now if anyone should bark, growl or even hiss at the oil man it should be me.  I am the one who gets the bill.  But for some reason the oil man drives Digger nuts.   Why, I mean, he doesn't come in, he doesn't knock at the door?  Why the oil man?  He doesn't bark at the Jehovah Witnesses and perhaps he should. 

Anyway Digger, and by the way, yes he does dig, (I just found out he has been digging in the arborvitae again)   has Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome; which is Doggie Alzheimer's.  This is what the vet says, but he has Seasonal Affective Disorder, because it mostly happens in the winter months.    This winter has been good to Digger, not much snow.  Last weekend's snow sent him into CDS land for a brief time.  He limped, he stared into the corners of the room, he paced around.  Snow covers up smells which is the last sense Digger has that works well.  Parke told him last week, Digger snap out of it, the snow is going to melt tomorrow.   We had to put a rug down in the kitchen for him because he didn't want to slide on the kitchen floor and refused to come in.  When he was young, he got a static shock once from the carpet and wouldn't go into the kitchen for days.  I finally figured out that at one time he must of came from a home with an electric fence (he was adopted from the Northampton County SPCA by some other people, and I got him from them).  I finally took off his dog collar and he then went into the kitchen. 

Every morning you can catch Digger and I going for our morning walk around the block.  We do the same walk every day and we keep the same schedule everyday, that seems to help him the most.  I just got done yelling at him and brought him in a few minutes ago - he was barking at some people going by, it was the bezerk bark he uses on the oil man.  Today everyone is the oil man, included me.  He was barking at me when I went to take the garbage out because the garbage can is right by where the oil man delivers the oil.  But hey that's my digger.

and that's another day in Catasauqua

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Mystery of the Missing Mouse

This morning, at about 4:00 AM I was awaken by a sound, it was familiar but I couldn't place it at the time.  A series of squeaks or tweets - I reasoned it to be a bird, perhaps on my windowsill.  But later I woke again and this time to the rattling on my bedroom door.  Tipper, my cat, was trying to get in.  Oh no, I thought, that was the sound of a mouse, a dying mouse.   My thoughts raced, did Tipper catch the mouse, was it still around?  Tipper has a way of not killing them and playing with them for a long time.  Not like a cat I had along time ago when I lived in Whitehall. 

Jelly Bean was a mouser, a cat with knack of catching and killing mice, and lining them up to show me how proud she was.  We lived next to neighbors who never cut their grass which was like a "field of dreams" for a cat.   One night she came home and "knocked" at the door, I think she would rub up on the screen door which causes a knocking noise.  When I looked she was sitting there, just sitting with a stupid grin on her face.  I was like "what the heck JB what are you doing?"  Well, she showed me, she came and opened her mouth and out popped a live mouse, which she proceeded to chase all over the house.  My greatest fear was that while I slept she was going to kill and bring it into the bedroom and put it on the bed and I would wake up with a mouse head on the bed (shades of the Godfather but in a tiny way).  Well, she had it in the living room under the coffee table, that wasn't too bad. 

But  this mornings challenge was - is there a dead mouse somewhere.  Tipper and the attic Cat, better known as Cat, were both hyper this morning.  So I don't think it was either one who got the mouse.  But I believe it was perhaps outside of my bedroom window.  The neighbors Cat, Oakley and three other cats visit my front porch since my mom moved in and  feeds the cats.  But with that, last Saturday I saw a rather large mouse also partaking of the cat food, which scampered into my ivy upon me seeing him.  I said to Parke, that it was funny that it was out there with all the cats about.  My thought is that it is no longer a resident of Catasauqua. 

Well that's my morning here in rainy Catasauqua, hey at least it is not snow.  We are really having a mild winter.  I like it, and with's another day in Catasauqua.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

To everything there is a season

I use to say that God talked to me in the shower.  Maybe it's because it is the only place quiet enough for me to hear Him.  So, I just got out of the shower and wanted to share my ponderings.

I was pondering thoughts of life and eternal life.  On Friday I attended the funeral of a dear friend, Miriam.  I won't lie, it was hard one, and I cried and my heart ached.  Even though I knew that Miriam was now singing in the heavenly choir.  I knew she was now with her husband and her friends, that had gone on before,  but it was hard because I miss her so.  Today I received a call from my friend and co-worker, Barbara, and her mother is now very sick.  I am wondered what I would say to someone who ever asked me why?  Why does this have to happen.   Why suffering ? why death?

Well this morning was the first Sunday with our new Pastor, Pastor Michael Smith.  And he gave us homework of sorts, and that was to think what God meant to us and share it with someone.  What better place for me to share my faith but here with you, my readers.  All four of you.  Maybe five on good days.

Everything has a season.  Football has a season, and it will end soon with the Super Bowl.  Every sport has a season.  Our universe has a season, it had a beginning, and someday it will have end, although I think that is a long way off.  And sadly, our life has a season.  A beginning, as babies, helpless, but loved, taught along the way by many teachers that form our beliefs, our thinking, our very being.  I was lucky, I had a great Sunday School Teacher, Mrs. Horner, and I learned all about God and Jesus and how much He loved me and I formed a strong faith at a very young age.  So I know that like all good things, our life comes to an end.  That's why I am writing today.  To tell you that every day is a miracle, a gift.  Find the positive in at least one thing today and ever day.  See God in the sunshine or in a child's smile.  Feel God in the wind or a loved one's touch.  Life is precious and we should never waste a day of it.

Celebrate every day, not just the holidays or birthdays, but everyday, heck each day only comes once a year.  Talk to God, He listens and if you are really quiet He answers.  Maybe not in literal words, but in feelings, in your thoughts and in your heart. 

Share a smile with someone today.  Sit and listen to someone.  Help where you can. There are so many ways you can share the love inside you, you only have to open your eyes, ears and your heart to it. 

Love your family and tell them every chance you get, and say I love you to your friends, cause HEY you do, love them dontcha?   Kiss the dog and pet the cat. 

What I am trying to say is, we never know when our season is over, we usually don't get overtime or maybe we do, that's called a miracle. 

From Ecclesiastes 3 -

 For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven:
 2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
 3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
 4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
 5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
 6 a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
 7 a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
 8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

Well, it's now time for this blogger to go to bed, and with's another day in Catasauqua.
PS  I love you

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

In memory of Skeeter Heist

I took a long cold walk this morning without the ipod so I could talk to God.  Last night I learned of a former roomate/tenant/pain-in-the-ass of mine, Ralph "Skeeter" Heist, had passed away.  His Aunt told me last night, or well she asked if I had gone to his service, I was surprised, I had not known.  I googled his obit last night and was saddened to see only this.

Ralph Charles Heist, 55, of Catasaqua, died October 31, 2011, in Williamsburg, VA. He was the son of Ralph R. Heist and Mary Margaret Gallagher. Survivors: Daughter, Ashleigh King; sons, Michael, Ian, Bryan and Shaun Heist; brother, Mike Heist. Services: Memorial service will be Saturday, November 5, at 10 a.m., at St. Marys Church, Catasaqua, PA. 

Skeeter was more that four lines in the paper. 

Skeeter was married twice had 5 children.  I don't know if his children really knew how much he loved them.  But all he could do was talk about them.  Especially the three older ones.  I think he had more time with them and he really missed all of them. 

Skeeter worked construction.  He use to have the great picture in his room where he is on top of the beams in a very tall building and I was amazed of how fearless he looked.  He was a member of  Local 36.  He graduated from Central Catholic High School in 1973.  He told me he wrestled and from what he said - he was very good.  One night I wasn't paying attention to him, he was telling me about his wrestling moves.  He came over to me and I guess he was going to show me one of his winning holds, and he dislocated my arm.  He felt so bad and went to the hospital with me and was so worried, but it is fine now.

I know Skeeter was in a band that played around Catasauqua, he was  a drummer.
Skeeter had his problems.  I believe he suffered from manic depression, I even tried to get him to go to a doctor, but I could never convince him, I even tried saying it to one of his ex's but I don't think they believed me.   He would have these high periods where he would go on and on, sometimes cleaning the house.  He was so thorough that he would scrub down my front porch.  He wouldn't sleep.  One night I woke up to find him laying in bed next to me, on top of the covers, fully dressed, arms crossed and when I looked at him, he said, "Oh good your up" and preceded to talk to me as I was went in and out of sleep.  Skeeter could talk, he never stopped, he talk to me while I was in the shower, he talk to me while I was cooking, he talk to me even when I slept. 

He would sleep all over the house, sometimes he was in room, sometime on the sofa with his head resting on the dog's butt, and sometime, the dog's head was resting on Skeeters butt.  Him and Jack were close.  When Jack died, I called him, I could hear the sadness in his voice over the phone. 

When Skeeter had his low periods he slept, he drank and he was depressed.  I was blessed to know him when he wasn't drinking, he was generous man, a kind man, a fearless man, a good man and a good catholic boy who would alway say, "there but  for the Grace of God" everytime he felt he had it better than someone.  Even though he had lost so much.

He was truly a lost soul, who never really found himself.  I understand he died alone, but I like to think that the Grace of God was with him. 

He use to drunk dial me  a lot, especially at Christmas, which was also around his birthday, and I was wondering why he hadn't called this year.  Now I won't get anymore calls and that makes me a little sad. 

Yes Ralph "Skeeter" Heist was a crazy man, but he still deserves more than a four line obituary.  So if you knew him and you want to add more to this story, you can email me at and I will add it here or you can add your comments.  I only knew him for a short time.

Skeeter loved Catasauqua, he loved growing up here and he loved the people here.  He was my friend and it was a shame that booze took over his life and he couldn't fight the demons and problems that were inside him.  He will be missed.

...... and that's another day in Catasauqua.

Monday, January 2, 2012

In honor of Deb

Today I attended the funeral of a friend, Deb Spess.  Deb did my hair many years ago when she was at a shop in Whitehall.  I reconnected with her years later at our church, Salem.  Her son, Caleb gave a great eulogy.  I always say that you know how many lives you touch by how many attend your funeral.  It was standing room only for Deb.  One of the things that moved me the most was the song played at the end of service.  It was Forever Young by Bob Dylan.  I'm not a big Dylan fan, but tonight I downloaded the song to my ipod.  I want to share the lyrics with you, because they are words of great inspiration.  Deb was a courageous fighter, and she didn't lose the fight, the cancer didn't win, she just merely moved on.

May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
And may your song always be sung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

Deb is and will remain forever young in our memories and hearts.

and that's another day in Catasauqua