Thursday, December 24, 2009

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Light Show in HD Fairview, PA

The North West Pennsylvania Geocachers group posted a gps Christmas Light Tour so my husband and I went on it last night.  We didn't finish all of it but this light show set to synchronized music was the best so far.  I hope you enjoy the video.  If you want to see it for yourself go to these coordinates.
N 42°03.2240′

Sunday, November 08, 2009

The Penguins Were Whooped

The San Jose Sharks gave the Penguins a good kick in the behind last night winning 5 to 0.  OK, we had 5 of some of our best players out with injuries but still....I had to stop watching after the first 2 goals.  It was quite obvious the Penguins weren't into this game.  I checked back and it was 4 to 0 and then again at the end it was 5 to 0.  I hang my head in shame. Crosby, as great as he is, can't do it all by himself.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

My Photo- Heading to California

I'm going through some of the photos of our trip last month. I like this one.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Our Farewell Video to California

I still am processing some of the videos we took while we were in California. I'm already homesick for California but it will still be there the next time we go back for a visit. I just love the Mammoth Lakes area and Inyo National Forest.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

I'm Actually Posting Again

I guess it has been a while since I blogged last. My house blog hasn't been updated as much as I want either, mainly because I haven't done much!

We spent our vacation in California and filled every minute. I had a great visit with one of my sons and my Dad while there. We went to Lake Tahoe, Jackson (it was over 100 degrees the days we were there!) Calaveras Big Trees, Yosemite, and Mammoth Lakes (it snowed on us there!) before driving back. We put more than 5000 miles on the car on that trip. I'll try to put up a slideshow in the near future.

My old cat is still doing well on that Wellness Core cat food. He has quite the pot belly but it is probably because he's old and looking like an old brood mare. I figure he is getting close to the 20 year mark, give or take a year or two.

I deleted my account with Facebook as I didn't find it very interesting. People weren't blogging on there much. Mostly it was things like, "having coffee", "going to the store" and it seemed very much like Twitter. I still have my acccount on Facebook for my family members but even that has become tired. I do still visit blogs that have posted updates. My RSS reader still carries everyone's blog.

I'm almost at 150 geocaches now. My husband and I really love getting out and looking for the caches. It beats wasting time on the computer and on TV news. I can't stand to turn the news on and hear about the direction our country is going.

The Pittsburgh Penguins are doing so great! There is still a long season ahead of them but they sure look good. I have only watched one Steelers game and they were good at least for that one game. (To view all of my geocaching videos you can go to youtube and look up my channel under the name of eriegeocacher1)

My gas dryer is still broken. It doesn't heat. I've been hanging my clothes on hangers on ropes in the basement and have a fan blowing on them. It may take all day to dry, but they do dry....wrinkled. Our iron just broke, too, wouldn't you know, so I had to buy a new one and it has a vertical steam function. Maybe I can steam some of the wrinkles out of the clothes without having to actually iron them. I'll try the iron out tomorrow. At least not having a dryer should save a few buck on the gas bill.

It snowed the other night and I'm covering myself with an electric blanket on the couch as we are trying to keep our house temperature at about 66. That's chilling when there is snow outside. The cats don't like it. They want warmth, I want warmth but it costs too much. It's going to be a long winter.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Funny Place for a Bees Nest

When out geocaching yesterday afternoon we stopped to look at one of the many memorials in an old cemetery. My husband called me over to look at the statue on this large civil war memorial. He saw the bees nest but I saw a knapsack. I thought it was part of the statue. The color was almost the same. I wonder why they are leaving it in place and not knocking it down. Perhaps they are waiting for winter to remove it when the bees are frozen (do they hibernate?) This nest is over 2 ft from top to bottom.

Friday, September 04, 2009

My Chuckle for the Day

I had a good laugh at this article:,2933,546540,00.html
It reminded me of that movie, I think it was called "Sweet Alabama."
Pennsylvania Man Accidentally Fires Cannonball Into Neighbor's House

Friday, September 04, 2009

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UNIONTOWN, Pa. — A Pennsylvania history buff who recreates firearms from old wars accidentally fired a 2-pound cannonball through the wall of his neighbor's home.

Fifty-four-year-old William Maser fired a cannonball Wednesday evening outside his home in Georges Township that ricocheted and hit a house 400 yards away.

The cannonball, about two inches in diameter, smashed through a window and a wall before landing in a closet. Authorities say nobody was hurt.

State police charged Maser with reckless endangerment, criminal mischief and disorderly conduct.

No one answered the phone Friday at Maser's home. He tells WPXI-TV recreating 19th century cannons is a longtime hobby. He says he is sorry and he will stop shooting them on his property, about 35 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.

Only in Pennsylvania and then there is the dumb girl in Titusville that took a lit cigarette to try and burn the security camera at Walmart. What was she thinking? They were filming it. Like she wouldn't get caught? People are getting much dumber in the past couple of years.

Friday, August 28, 2009

This and That

I made it to 50 geocaches found. My next goal will be 100. That's going to take awhile. When winter sets in you can kiss geocaching goodbye around here.

I took a couple of the travel bugs out of some local geocaches and will drop them off near Yosemite when we get to California. I'll photograph the geo-travel bugs at the different tourist attractions along the way. It's kind of like Flat Stanley. When they get dropped off in California, someone there will take them on to other countries or other states and will document the travels it makes when they have it. When you pick them up or drop them off you log the transactions online on so the owner of the travel bug can see where it is and where it has been. Someday it will be returned to the owner with many thousands of documented miles on it. It's just for fun. There is no money involved.


My clown cat is totally well. The fever has not returned and he has been back to his old self for a few weeks now. We don't know why he got a kidney infection but it's gone now.

The oldest cat, bless his little old heart, hasn't gained any more weight but his intestinal tract is doing well on the Wellness Core food. It has no dairy, no grain and no soy. It has salmon, blueberries, yams and other stuff instead and he likes it so that's good. He has been constipated a few times but that is better than him having it the other way and not using the litter box. He has a second chance on life. How many more years he'll live, we dont' know and we don't know his exact age but he was middle aged when we got him 10 years ago.

The third cat has a charmed life with no health problems and so he doesn't get quite the attention the "sick" cats do.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Clown Cat

Today was the last day giving our "formerly" sick cat his antibiotic. Every morning we trick him into coming and with our promise of extra caressing he comes and right in the middle of his twirling around for more he gets swooped up into my husband's arms. My fingers pry open his mouth and I drop in the formed piece containing the crushed antibiotic mixed in some soft cat food. Our hands immediately clamp down on his snout to keep him from using his tongue to spit out the terrible substance. A couple of throat movements later we let him go and he runs and hides under the chair. He fell for it every day. He's so trusting and it pains us to do it but like my mom used to say, "it's for your own good." But today, our last day, he ran out of the room when he saw the scenario unfolding. But we got it done and now he can relax. He will trust us again tomorrow and tomorrow we'll deserve his trust as there will be no more trickery.

He's back to being his old self, making us laugh, begging for food, starting fights with the other 2 cats. We saw a cat hat at the store the other day that I thought would really fit his personality but we wouldn't do that to him (unless we are taking photos of our little clown.)

Now it is a waiting game. If he has kidney stones, the infection will probably reappear. He gave us a real scare and I hope that is the end of it.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Follow-up on My Sick Cat

Yesterday afternoon my cat felt a little better but in the evening he started acting sick again. He just didn't want to move his little head. I stayed up with him until 3 AM and he seemed the same. This morning he was walking around a little but we took his temperature and it was 104. That's better than it was but still too high. I broke the antibiotic pill in half like the vet told me and crushed it. I then mixed it in this liver-flavored soft treat that the vet gave me. He wanted no part of it. I divided it into 2 parts and we forced it down his throat and held his mouth shut until he swallowed. He didn't like us very much after that but it was for his own good.

About 4 hours later he was purring and wanted to be petted. He begged for a treat. He came when I rattled a toy mouse but he didn't want to play. Still, it was a big improvement. I called the vet with the update and as long as he continues to improve, we don't need to bring him back in. I'm so relieved he's doing better and can't wait until he's back to 100 percent. But even then it may not be over. We have to watch him and if he gets sick again, it could be that kidney stones are causing infections and we'd have to have X-rays. I'm pretty hopeful it isn't as he doesn't walk funny and doesn't seem to be in any pain. I'll be able to sleep a lot better tonight.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Emergency Visit to Vet

We had a terrible day today. This morning our most beloved cat was very sick. He was breathing very shallow and fast. He didn't want to move. I watched him closely for a couple of hours and determined this was an emergency and took him in to the vet.

He had an extremely high fever. They did blood tests and the HIV test came up negative but his white blood count was extremely high. He had good red blood count, though. Some tests showed that the kidneys were some how involved. I was distraught and didn't catch all the vet said, I just wanted our baby to get well. She gave him an antibiotic shot and gave him fluids under the skin. He seemed to feel a little better after that. At least he'd raise his head up and when he got home he climbed up on his favorite chair.

He looked better for a while but tonight he doesn't feel good again. If his temp isn't down tomorrow I have to bring him back in for Xrays and fluids to see if he has kidney stones causing the problem. The vet said the infection was bacterial not viral.

This is heart wrenching because we went through a similar episode with our first cat. After a week of tests and IVs and him staying at the vet hospital for a week with that tiny chance of survival we had to put him down. The vet bill was through the roof. We said we'd never do that again. I was so devastated and I cried for weeks over that cat and I still get teary eyed when I remember him. Of the three we have now, this one is the clown, the entertainer, the one I'd miss the most. He just has to get better.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Yard Sale

I had a yard sale on Saturday. It was a lot of work for very little money. Not many showed up. I wrote about it on my GoErie This Old Erie House blog.

I just finished looking through my Twitter account. I don't go there much. I found some spam people following me so I blocked them. I'm not really into Twitter. But I did learn one thing today when I read a post by ErieAlerts put out by the police department. This is what one of their Tweets on July 16th said:
Self defense Tip: Keep a can of Wasp & Hornet Spray handy. Can shoot a stream more than 20 ft. into a attackers eyes. More on

Maybe it would work long enough to be able to run away and get help. You better hope so or that attacker will be mad as a hornet.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Update on Cat

My cat seems much better today. He's back to eating and is walking around the house like normal. He has eaten less than normal today. He doesn't seem to like the food as much today as he did in the past couple of days. I gave him some hamburger with the dry food today and he ate that, too. I'm not sure Core grain-free, diary and soy-free makes a canned version of the same food. I'll have to check into that. I'm sure he'd eat more if it was canned food. He must have been raised on canned food because he goes crazy when he hears the can opener running.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Remember My Old Cat?

I wrote last year around November in my retired blog about my old cat that suddenly stopped using the the litter box. He used to throw up quite a bit, especially after eating or drinking. He had diarrhea but had no fever. For years he had a foul odor to his stools, even back when we got him from the humane society and even after being checked out and wormed. We figured every cat is different. His stools got looser over the years until he suddenly stopped using the litter box and went in dark corners, under things and even climbed up on things and went. Luckily, he did these things in the basement and not up in our living area (with only two exceptions.) Still, the cleanup was awful and I was at my wits end.

We bought him a playpen cage to keep him confined so he had to use the litter box and I'd let him out as long as I followed him around. When I couldn't watch him I put him in his playpen.

I thought maybe the cat food company had changed their recipe and something in the food bothered him. He's an indoor cat only and there was no plants he could have gotten into. We bought him different kinds of cat foods from Science Diet, Iams, Taste of the Wild and a bunch of organic brands. They were terribly expensive and still it didn't help. We decided to put him to sleep because he was obviously in discomfort with intestinal cramps all the time. But first I wanted to try just giving him meat and see how he did. I thought maybe there was something in the food he couldn't tolerate since he got old.

He wouldn't eat people food. The only thing I could get him to eat was raw ground turkey. He loved it. The problem was I couldn't leave it out. In a couple of days he got better. He started using the litter box again and his stools were no longer loose. He doesn't throw up anymore.

Our other 2 cats eat their dry cat food up on a high ledge they have to jump up to because we couldn't put the food down or my old cat would eat it. If we forgot to put the other food up on the ledge and if the old cat ate some of their food, he got sick again.

It is hard for us to leave to go anywhere because we can't leave his food out for more than just a few minutes because it is raw.

Here was a cat that had gotten so skinny and sickly when eating normal and organic cat foods but eating nothing but ground turkey and cat vitamins, he gained weight, got shiny, was active again and started cleaning himself again and used the litter box. But after several months of just meat he started to look kind of pot-bellied and I knew he needed more than just meat.

I wondered if cats could get celiac disease like people do. Or maybe just didn't have the enzymes anymore to digest something that is in cat food in his old age. I read up on it and it seems some cats and dogs do have problems digesting gluten as well as soy and dairy. I printed out a list of brands that made foods free of soy, dairy, and grains. These are the most likely ingredients that may cause his reaction.

I bought a food named Core (made by Wellness) at Petco. I bought the formula that didn't have grain, soy or dairy. It uses potatoes and other vegetables. I mixed it in a little at a time with his ground turkey meals. So far so good. It's been two days and he is still doing good. This evening he had nothing but Core. In another day if all goes well, I'll finish switching him over to all Core dry food and no more ground turkey. I'll post an update if he has a reaction to it. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. This particular formula does have salmon in it which is also on my suspect list but so far it seems not to be a problem.

If this works out, we'll switch to Core grain-free for the other cats, too, so we don't have to feed them separate. It's so good to see him happy, satisfied and napping in the sunshine coming through the window again. He also wants to go out and sit on the sun porch like he used to and he watches the birds through the screen. I've got my fingers crossed.
update: This is the following night. My cat didn't want to leave his cage today. He hasn't eaten today no matter what I offer him. When he did leave his cage he appears to be constipated as he tried to go in his litter box but there was nothing. He doesn't look distressed and it's only been a day and a half since he went so I'm confident he's not terribly backed up. If he appears to be in distress tomorrow, we'll have to take him in to the vet. It could be he is crampy from the new food and just thinks he has to go. I should have introduced the new food more slowly.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Prairie Home Companion- The Hat Fiasco

We heard Garrison Keillor on NPR radio for the past year. Checked out his shows from the library in audio book form for our vacation and laughed heartily while listening. I'm from Minnesota originally so I find his Minnesota humor funny. He really can be funny. So I was looking forward to his performance at the Chautauqua Institute in New York, about an hour away.

We picked up my in-laws and headed to Chautauqua with the threat of thunderstorms overhead. We got there early and got a good seat. Just a couple of rows back from the roped off area and I was sitting second left from the end of the row. We were enjoying ourselves. I took a few photos of my in-laws and my husband and me and then put my camera away. No cameras were allowed during the performance.

It was still about 30 minutes from the starting time when a woman behind me grabbed my shoulder and told me to take my hat off. My hat had a small brim on it but was down on my head and didn't stick up higher than my hair would have. The brim on the side was pushed down so it didn't stick out any more than my hair would have before I had it cut short this past week. Other women wore much bigger hats, even some men had hats on that had brims. I wasn't blocking her view in the slightest as Garrison would be up on stage which is high enough and in the middle that everyone could see him and the seats are raised in stadium style so people behind are higher (check out the photo below) than the people in front. We were sitting on the end of the row to the left of the stage. I was horrified at her demand. I said, "No, my hat is part of my outfit plus my hair is smashed down under it and I'll have "hat head." I told her I didn't think it would block her view and I scooted over closer to my husband who was seated on the very end of the row to make sure she had a clear view. Then her husband said I was being just another a**.

My husband put him in his place. The snooty woman's husband replied that he was saying it to his wife (but he wasn't.) I could have switched places with my husband and sat on the end but my husband is over a foot taller than me so then she would have her view blocked which in retrospect I wished I had done.

Any other time I'd have taken off my hat just because someone told me to. In fact, I don't really like wearing hats. But in the anticipation of the event I went out and got my hair cut. Short in the back, longer in the front and I gave the hair dresser a photo of what I wanted it to look like which I have below.

But this is what I got.

It was so chopped and is only a 1/2 inch long up at the top where it suddenly gets long. The one side is longer than the other. It is a mess but too short to do anything about unless I want to go short all over which I look terrible with. So I'll wear a hat for a few summer months and then see if it can be fixed. I almost was thinking of not going to the performance but decided I'd wear the hat. And the one time I wear a hat I get called an a**.

I tried to put that behind me to enjoy the performance. Garrison came out and sang some sing-a-long songs which I didn't care for much. He was solo, this wasn't a recorded radio show. It was kind of boring. He mostly made Lutheran jokes which is part of his thing. I don't know if Lutherans laugh about it or not but I just don't care for it. Then he had some risque and pee jokes which I think only little boys and old men and embarrassed little old ladies would snicker at and they were. I looked around and thought man, all these old geesers are laughing their fool heads off. They must be on medication. I knew then that I must not be shaking my bad mood off from the episode with the snooty lady.

Everyone was taking photos even though they weren't suppose to. Flashes were going off left and right. Not one to be left out and trying to get to enjoying myself again, I took out my little pocket-sized camera and took two flashless photos (that were totally out of focus and blurry)

and suddenly, out of nowhere, a woman "greeter" leaned over my husband and told me there is no photography. I looked at her, then looked at about 5 people in our immediate area taking flash photos at that very moment and then back at her. She said, "I know everyone is taking them but they aren't suppose to so put yours away." I put it away. I looked at my husband for support and he shrugged his shoulders with a smile and said, "You aren't suppose to take photos." Sigh. No one else all night was told to put their camera away. Everyone else with a camera except me was taking photographs. I was singled out from thousands of people. Must have been the hat, the hat made me stand out.

Then Garrison started on a story-telling marathon which he does well. But I had heard it before or a story almost the same (a few change-ups) that was told on the audio book we listened to while on vacation just last month. I still got a few chuckles out of it but the second time around just isn't as funny as the first time you hear something. I was hoping for new material.

The program was two plus hours and on those antique wooden benches my back and butt was hurting after one. That last hour was a killer. When it was finally over and we were walking, what seems like 1/2 mile, out to the parking lot in the dark, the lightning started, thunder, and a long, long downpour that drenched us all while we were herded like cattle through the gates. We were left to stand in the downpour waiting for the crossing guards to let us pass. What power they wield with those lighted red sticks. We were packed like sardines and the lady in front of me had her umbrella positioned so the run-off landed on my stomach and legs. At that point I stopped saying to myself, "what else could go wrong." And it has rained ever since, flooding our area.

I'm not whining (but maybe I am,) I'm just saying it was one of "those" days.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Geocaching Fun (photos)

What a weekend we had! Friday night the Penguins won the Stanley Cup. Saturday we got most of the garden work done and Sunday afternoon we went geocaching and fishing in Oil Creek State Park.

When we got near Titusville, I pulled out my GPSr and followed the route outside of Titusville to an old cemetery. The headstones dated back to at least 1845. We followed the arrow on my GPS until we were back in the woods. We looked and looked. I was just about ready to give up because there was so much growth that you couldn't see anything. I looked at a log. I wondered.

I took my walking stick and gave it a little push.

I was pretty proud of myself finding this one.

I logged in on the logbook and hid it back the way it was for the next geocacher. Then we headed to the next geocache and it, too, happened to be a cemetery one. These old cemeteries are way out in the woods. This next one had weird GPS readings. The arrow kept changing one way or another. The geocacher that hid the cache warned about this problem in that particular location. We were so fascinated with the fence and cemetery flowers and headstones that it wouldn't have mattered if we found it or not.

The gate was so pretty

The caches are usually hidden outside the cemeteries not right in them. After we came out of the cemetery we did a once around one more time where the GPSr was pointing and it gave me 0 feet left. I knew it had to be there. And it was!

This one happened to be in an ammo box. I like those caches the best. They are easier to find than the micro caches. Inside are lots of little trinkets. Families that geocache love these because the kids get to pick something to take out of the box.

If you take something, you are suppose to add something of equal or greater value. We haven't taken anything yet in our geocaching. We need to go buy a few little things so we can add to the boxes.

The next geocache was at a spring along the side of the road and hidden somewhere nearby was the cache. We couldn't find it. We found the spring, though and it was pretty neat but I wasn't going to go hiking up a slippery cliff looking for it with traffic whizzing by at 55 mph so we went to the next one.

Another cemetery. I didn't realize I was going to be going to 3 cemeteries today. We just were taking them in order of "the nearest to our present position." The next one was a lost cemetery in the state park. The trail was just about non-existent and we literally had to bushwack through the underbrush and growth, much which was thorny berry bushes to get to it. My husband had shorts on. :-o

We were suppose to use a certain headstone as a clue to replace a letter in the coordinates to the actual cache. Well, that didn't go too well because the coordinates were in a different format than what I had on my GPSr and I didn't know how to change it. We scouted around a bit to see if we could spot the actual cache but there was so much brush it was impossible. We came across this nearby.

When I saw the yellow pipe I knew what it meant. I had just read last week that Oil Creek State Park people were going to comb the park in grids looking for old gas and oil wells and dangerous holes from such and mark them with the yellow pipes. This old oil well (or gas) had what looked like a deep hole all around it. Without the right coordinates, we didn't know how far the cache could be from the headstone or in which direction. We left without finding the cache. It was too dangerous to just scout outside the trails until the park marks all the hazards.

It was time anyway to get decked-out in our waders and hit the creek flyfishing for trout and small-mouth bass. The weather and temperature were perfect. The hatch was good. My husband caught lots of fish. I caught 2 bass. The flute of the wood thrush was sounding for quite some time at dusk, it was beautiful. A raccoon appear near us and was hunting crayfish and two Great Blue Herons were down stream in silhouette. Several ducks flew overhead in the failing light. It was totally dark with fireflies blinking away and a light chill in the air when we slowly made our way out of the creek. It was all so much fun!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

How I've Changed!

I just gave up my personal blog with a host site. I refused to pay $107 for something that I could do for free. Plus the time factor just isn't there anymore to maintain a blog regularly. I have my GoErie blog This Old Erie House that will take up my time as well as Facebook. Twitter not so much but I still check it out to try and catch up.

So, I'm back to my old blog here. I checked out my blogging posts from back in June 2005. (My old posts can be seen on the side bar by month and year.)

I read some of my first entries and thought, wow, I was much more happy-go-lucky and not so negative back then. I had high hopes for Erie and my house. Now I'm a realist. My house is sooooo much work it drags me down sometimes. Erie will always stay the same no matter who is in office.

That may be why lately I took up bird watching. Watching birds give you a sense of freedom. The challenge of getting that perfect photo or video keeps you coming back. Birds are beautiful to watch. Then there is my new love. Geocaching. I'm only into my 5th successful find but it was fun. I don't like the city hides as I feel like I'm a suspect, trying not to be seen finding the geocache. I like the state park geocaches that you have to hike into the woods to find. You see all kinds of wildlife which is the "real" treasure, I think.

My old posts didn't stay in boundaries of any particular subject. I think I'll return to my roots on that.