Attractions in Pennsylvania


Pennsylvania is one of the United States’ most historically significant places. Located in the northeastern United States, its borders encompass 46,055 square miles of land, making it the nation’s 33rd largest state. Pennsylvania’s significant relationship with American history, as well as several other factors, draws in millions of tourists and generates more than 30-billion dollars for its economy every year.

Pennsylvania is most notable for its largest city: Philadelphia. This iconic city is home to the Independence National Historic Park; this monument to American freedom houses Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, and Congress Hall, and has stood to witness the adoption of the Declaration of Independence and the founding of the United States Constitution. Philadelphia is also the home of several museums, most notably the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Museum, the Benjamin Franklin Museum, Eastern State Penitentiary, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
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Running a Bed & Breakfast


People who spend more than a day on the road need food, water, and shelter from the elements. Some travelers equip themselves to deal with the ordeals of the journey, even bringing or building temporary shelter when the need arises. However, other travelers may find themselves without lodging, possibly from lack of preparation, or due to unexpected delays. In such scenarios, people often turn to lodging establishments.

Lodging establishments have been around since the early days of roads and long-distance travel, and have usually been profitable investments. These days, hotels are the royalty of lodging, offering top-notch luxury to travelers. However, most hotels are too expensive for the average pilgrim, and that leaves cheaper establishments – such as bed & breakfasts – more than enough demand for profit.

When starting a B&B, the first thing to consider is location; how far is it from competition or from the next rest stop? Is it close to any attractions that make it worthwhile to spend a night in the area? Ideally, any lodging establishment is remote enough to be the only choice for food and rest, but not too far away from civilization as to give travelers no real need to pass through. Also, when considering location, it is a good idea to get familiar with other local lodging businesses, taxes and laws governing both, as they will often dictate the rates needed to make a profit.

The next things to consider are the expenses. What will you invest in? Do you need to hire staff, or are you capable of handling it yourself? Is the food going to be provided for your guests, or are you planning to run a self-catering establishment? It is important to set a budget with which to work with. This will prevent expenses from going too high as to stop the establishment from bringing in income. Still, enough investments must be made to ensure that the B & B has the comfort to attract customers.

After the plans are all done, the next step is implementation. This is the process of turning all plans into reality. As a reminder, this includes not just the construction and renovation of necessary facilities, but the observance of systems to ensure the smooth run of the business as well. This includes the front desk, schedules for meals, and other services guests may require. Because the establishment is meant to service only overnight stays, it may not be a requirement to provide more meals than breakfast. That does not mean of course, that services should have standards below those of larger businesses.

Finally, the most important thing to ensure is maintenance. Anyone with enough money can have anything set up, but it takes much more skill and attention to keep everything in working order. For instance, if one purchases a prime location, puts up a large three-to-four-bedroom house, and has it furnished with exquisite décor and furniture, but is unable to maintain the condition of the property, then the investment is all for naught. If however, one simply makes use of an existing house, but keeps it in pleasant and functional condition with clean sheets and working plumbing and electricity, then the business is probably going to draw in more customers than the former example.

Neglected Spot


Lately, I only have time to tend to our dog, Spot during weekends as I always spend my weekdays at our bed and breakfast. I supervise our business as early as six in the morning and go home at around seven in the evening, so I always leave our dog some food and water during mornings before I leave and then I check up on him as soon as I get home in the evenings. My husband normally takes his noon naps in our house, so he sometimes bathe and plays with him if he has time.

As my husband was going to sleep, he heard Sport barking and howling outside. Jim went outside to check and he has not seen anyone besides the dog so he went back inside our bedroom, but as soon as he was going to lie in bed, Spot started to howl and bark again. He went outside and called Spot. He noticed that he has blood on his ears and he kept scratching them. He checked the insides of his ears and he saw lots of dirt in it. My husband called and told me about what happened to our dog, Spot. I told him that I could not afford to be absent today in our business because there are so many things that I have to deal with, so I asked him a favor to bring our dog to the veterinarian. I have a veterinarian friend and her name is Nancy. I gave my husband Nancy’s number, so he could call her right away.

Jim decided to bring our dog immediately because he is concerned about his condition. On his way to the clinic, he called Nancy and he told her about our dog’s condition. She told him that she has no appointments today, so he could drop by her clinic anytime. Nancy was surprised that Jim came fast. He told her that when he called her earlier that he was already on his way. She was wondering about why I was the one who brought the dog and I told her that my wife was busy and buried in paper works. She checked Spot’s both ears and she told me that his left ear has more yeast allergy than the right ear. She told me to always bathe him and clean his ears every day. She used a clean cloth to take most of the dirt inside the dog’s ears.

Spot was prescribed with steroid therapy to shut off his immune response and some antibiotic and anti fungal creams to apply over the affected area. Nancy reminded me to apply it twice a day. I have to first clean the affected area with a solution of water and alcohol and dry it before applying the ointments. She added that I have to keep applying it until the symptoms come off. Spot was also given allergy medicine for dogs to keep him from scratching himself that would lead him to have broken skin and lesions.

Not Our Usual Routine


My morning routine starts with me waking up at around 5 o’clock in the morning. I would usually jog around our compound and have breakfast with my husband after jogging. One morning, I woke up with a really bad itch under my armpits. So, I hurriedly went straight to the bathroom for a quick shower thinking that it will alleviate it. The level of the itchiness lessened, but it did not totally go away. I tried ignoring it for almost one week and it was itching constantly. I told my husband about it and he asked me to check for ingrown hairs. When I checked both my right and left armpits, I saw a few red bumps on each side with hairs that curled around and grew back on the skin. I googled up things that I can do to treat it. I have read that I need to exfoliate it and put warm compress on the affected area. These will help remove dead skin cells, dirt and oil and soften the skin. After following these instructions for about four days, the condition of my armpits significantly improved. I happily told my husband about it and he was also glad that the itchiness already went away as he knew it has been bugging me for some time now.

Ironically, he shared with me that he was having right arm pain since last week. He thought it was because of the heavy luggage bags he carried around when he helped our staff when there were a lot of guests checking in last week. We thought of other things that might have caused it, but we could not think of any. He shared with me that he already took pain reliever medications and iced his arm, but it did not help much. So, we decided to consult our doctor just to be sure that it’s nothing serious. We called Dr. Carrey’s secretary to book an appointment the next morning, but his schedule was full. The secretary told us that the next available appointment is still after three days, but she assured us that she would give us a call when one of his patients cancels their appointment. I could not get it off my mind so I called the secretary again to check with the doctor if I can give him a call to consult my husband’s condition. Fortunately, Dr. Carrey agreed for a phone consultation after his clinic hours.

During our conversation, I told him that I am scared that it might be a symptom of a serious illness such as hypertension and the likes. He told me that my husband would be fine as long as he takes the necessary precautions. The doctor advised my husband to lessen his alcohol intake and tobacco smoking until after the full blood work-up to determine his cholesterol level. He also added that he should start eating healthier food like veggies, fruits and white meat to improve his overall condition. I told my husband with the Dr. Carrey said and he told me that he would try his best to follow all the doctor’s orders.

Vanity requires Hard Work


My daughter Meg called me last week to tell me that she plans to undergo a treatment called salicylic acid peel. I asked her about it because I have no idea what it was. She explained that it is a treatment to clear her face of dirt and oil because she is currently experiencing acne breakouts on her face and in some instances, some scalp acne, which she hated so much. She asked me if it happened to me when I was younger and I told her that I did not have any breakouts in my day. I joked that they have to blame their father because he used to have breakouts on his whole body and we both laughed about it.

Meg continued to tell me about her plans. She added that she still could not decide if she was going to ask for a professional’s help or she would just do it herself. I suggested that since it is going to be her first time to experience it, it is much, much better for the professionals to do the job as skin of the face is very delicate and she could not afford to have nasty accidents and burns. She thanked me about my advice and she told me that she would update me about her treatment as soon as she finish it.

I told my husband, Jim that our daughter called and joked that she was blaming him for all her recent acne breakouts and he grinned. He asked me about the reason why she called and I told him that she is going to have herself have a salicylic peel by a dermatologist. He asked me about how it will be done and I told him that did not have any idea because I did not ask our daughter earlier.

Jim got curious, so he researched on the web and found many sites with interesting information about it. I asked him if he also wanted a peel and we got a crack out of it. He told me that the peel sounded invasive because they use salicylic and he knew that it burns through the skin because it is also used to cure warts. I told him that professionals will do it and I am pretty sure that they would not do anything bad on our daughter’s face. He kept reading he told me the whole procedure of the treatment. He told me that they have to clean the face first with mild cleansers and then they will paint a layer of acetone on the face to get rid of dirt and oil. After a few minutes, they will then add a layer of salicylic acid with a brush, which will sting a bit. They would also add a second layer on problem areas like the T zone, which consists of the skin on the forehead and the nose. Then, the patient will have to wait for almost a week for the peeling to be done.

My husband and I thought that the process is tedious and painful. Our daughter would also have to stay inside the house for a whole week. I hope our daughter could endure that, because we know that she is very outgoing.

Getting Older


Last weekend, Jim and I planned to jog around our neighborhood for an hour because we felt that we have been gaining weight fast. We used to do this when we were younger and we thought that we should do it again for health reasons. Our two girls noticed that we were gaining weight and I told Jim that we should at least try to get in a better shape because I still want us to spend more time with our kids and grandchildren and he agreed. We woke up at around four in the morning, as we would like to jog outside and breathe fresh, cold air that we miss. Unfortunately, after just ten minutes, Jim had a nasty left sprained foot. I helped him walk through it because we did not have a choice because there were no people around to help us because it was too early in the morning. While we were walking, he told me about his tingling feet or numbness in feet, so we rested for a while. It was a good thing that he was sprained when we were not far away as we could already see our home from the place that we were resting. He told me that he should have stretched for a bit before jogging and I laughed at him. I told him that I reminded him earlier, but he just ignored me.

After a few minutes, we got up and went to our home. Jim was shaking his head while I was getting him some ice for his feet. I asked him about what it was and he shared that he really is getting old, because when he was younger, he did not stretch before exercising and he did not get sprains or any other kind of injuries. I reminded him that we all got older, even our little girls, and we both laughed at the matter. I gave him an ice pack because his left foot it swelling. I told him to leave the ice pack on his feet for a few minutes to keep the swelling down. I also told him to rest his feet and elevate them to have better blood circulation in his legs and feet to prevent the tingling feeling.

As I was cooking our breakfast in the kitchen, Jim approached and asked me if he could take pain relievers because his foot hurts badly. I told him that he could, but he should eat first because he does not want to feel stomach aches because medicines like that need to be taken with a full stomach. He agreed as he got back to his seat. I made French toast with some bacon and eggs on the side and Jim told me that we could not eat that anymore, if we would be serious about the health thing and we both grinned. I told him that it is okay to eat it them once in a while. I joked that he should hurry up eating because we still need to train for a marathon next month and we got a crack out of it.

Don’t Keep Things Inside


Our daughter, Meg used to have a relationship anxiety before her marriage with her husband because she was having wedding jitters. She had a trauma because she was also engaged before with a loving man, but what we did not know that he was married to another girl and that devastated our daughter. It took her years to accept it and we are glad that she coped with what happened.

I was helping her with the planning of her wedding and I noticed that she was shaking, irritable and very moody. She often made a fuss over small things that could be easily solved. I also observed that she was not like herself, because she was sweating wildly and I know that there is something wrong because she do not panic about things easily. I asked her to come with me in a secluded room because we needed to talk about something private.

As soon as I closed the room, she started crying. I asked her about what was her problem and she told me that her past is haunting her. I told her that it would not happen again and we are pretty sure about that because Jim and I secretly hired a private investigator to snoop around his fiancée and the PI told us that he was clean. We did that because we don’t want to risk it happening to her again. She shared that she was having an anxiety chest pain for a few months since they have been planning her wedding. I asked her about why she did not tell me about it and she told me that, at first, she thought that it would just go away so she just ignored her symptoms. However, when it worsened, she tried to cope with it alone because she does not want to be a bother to us. I told her that she would not ever be a bother because she is my daughter and I love her so much. That made her cry and gave her another chest pain episode. I asked her if she already was undergoing a treatment and she told me that she is going to visit a psychologist this coming weekend. I told her that I would come with her whether she likes it or not and she thanked and she hugged me tightly.

The next day, we went to the psychologist to another town because my daughter wanted to make it a secret. She does not want other people knowing that she was having problems. The doctor asked what brought my daughter to her clinic and she told her about it. After a couple of hours of their session, the doctor told her that she should relax and she shouldn’t keep her problems inside her as she might just burst out with all her emotions without warning. The doctor suggested that she has a support group like her family and friends so she would have someone to confide with and he also reminded her that bad things happen, but do not wait for it to happen because she is just inviting all the bad vibes in her life.

Meg was glad about his visit and she told me that she plans to go again next week. I told her that I’m always available for her.

Newly Found Shop


My husband and I were so happy that our two girls and their families are coming over this weekend. It has been a while since we all gathered as a family. The last time was a year ago during my 67th birthday. They are no special occasions this weekend and we just thought that it is a good idea because its summer and our grandchildren have no school to deal with. My husband was so busy with grocery shopping while I attend to the bed and breakfast. I already appointed one of our staff to be the acting manager this weekend since my husband and I will be spending the whole weekend with our family. We have still not figured out what we would be doing this weekend, but my husband has an excellent idea of making backyard barbeque the way we used to when our kids were younger and we both know that our two girls will love it.

My husband came from the grocery and he told me that he forgot to buy some things. I asked him if he used the list that I gave him last night and he just smiled and told me that he lost it. He always misplaces our things. He also has a hard time multi-tasking that well that is why I am more in charge of the business operations. He told me that he is going back to the grocery to get mustard, mayonnaise and red and green bell peppers. I told him that he should just rest and let me get it for him and he thanked me for it.

On my way to the grocery, I saw an establishment with balloons outside and it looked like that it is their opening day. I got curious and made a side trip before going back for the items that my husband forgot to buy. I was surprised that a new pet shop opened in our neighborhood. I went inside the shop and a man greeted me. He introduced himself as Mr. Parker. He told me that he did not grow up in Milanville, but his parents used to. I remembered a Parker Family who lived a few blocks away from our home and I asked him if his dad is Carson Parker. He smiled and told me that it is his dad. I asked how he is doing because we used to be classmates in middle school. He shared that he is good and he is currently enjoying his retirement in Europe.

I told him that his business looks great. He thanked me and told me to browse around and maybe we can do business. I told him that my grandchildren are coming over this weekend and I am hoping to get something for them. He told me that bunny breeds such as Lionhead bunnies and Havanas are quite popular now among kids. I told him that I do not know anything about bunnies and he offered me a brochure about bunny facts. I find them very useful, as I have no clue on how to take care of bunnies. I thanked him and told him that I will get back to him in a couple of hours after I finish my grocery shopping.

Wandering Around


I really enjoy what I do now, even better than my work when I was not retired because this is my ultimate dream and we are so fortunate enough that we have been given a chance to have the opportunity to experience it. It is hard work, but I do not mind because I love what I do now.

I go on my usual day of tending to my staff and our business, a small bed and breakfast just beside our home. Every day, I double check the paper works that my receptionist and cashier did the prior day to ensure that our business is working properly and organized. My husband and I are really hands on with our business because we both have plans to expand soon and I see to it that I always know what is going around, so I can quickly make a fix if there are problems with visitors or staff.

As I was inspecting the works of my staff, I heard something purring and meowing outside near the bushes. I rushed outside and saw a black and gray, stray kitten. She looked cold as she was shivering. I have a really soft spot for animals, so I carefully got her and took her inside. I asked for my staff to get me an old blanket, a warm milk and a basket where she can sleep. After a few minutes, my staff came back with just a warm milk and they told me that there were no old blankets lying around our stock room. They added that my husband took them to our garage last week. I thanked them as I fed the stray kitten with milk and she liked it. I told my staff that I am going home in a bit because I need to take care of the kitten.

I went home and my husband was surprised as he saw me with a kitten. He asked me where I got it and I told him that it was wandering around outside our establishment. I asked him if he took the old blankets because they were gone in the stock room. He pointed me to the garage and he added that we also have old baskets lying in there somewhere. I noticed that she has mange in cats and I quickly thought of calling my friend, Nancy. She is a veterinarian and has a clinic nearby our home. She was surprised that I called because it has been a while since we talked because I was busy with our business. She told me that I could drop by anytime to her clinic. I told her that I could be there in thirty minutes.

I went inside her clinic with the kitten and she smiled and told me that I have never changed. She remembered that when we were young, I adopted a number of stray animals along the years. She examined the kitten’s skin and she told me that she really has mange so she gave me a shampoo to take care of it. She also added that I also should take precautions about pancreatitis in cats because it has been popular lately with her cat patients. She told me that strays could be contaminated with parasites that can cause such disease. She offered to ultrasound my kitten to be sure and I agreed with her. She reminded me to watch out for common symptoms of pancreatitis like loss of appetite and lethargy.

Early Intervention


kidney stonesMy best friend Nancy went to my office a while ago and asked me what do kidney stones feel like because it seems that her mom has one, I refer her to this site that explains it all. I was surprised with what she asked me because I thought that her mom is a health buff. She knew that my mother used to have one that is why she asked me. I told her that my mom used to have frequent urges to urinate, had some blood in the urine, but not detectable to the eyes and she often had late night chills due to infection. Nancy was alarmed by what I said because her mom has the same symptoms. I told her that she should be examined as soon as possible, so she could be treated during the early stages because she doesn’t want her mom to undergo surgery as it is an invasive procedure and pricey at the same time.

Nancy told me that her mom still does not have a doctor so I offered my mom’s doctor. I told her that Dr. Smith is one of the best nephrologists in Pennsylvania and I am sure that she would treat Nancy’s mom well. I gave her the doctor’s number and I told her to call him as soon as possible, as he has many patients in line. She agreed and thanked me for all my help. I told her to say hi for us, as we were close back then.

When Nancy got home, she did not waste any time and called Dr. Smith’s office immediately. The doctor’s secretary told her that there are lots of slots tomorrow morning. She booked the 9am to 10am. The secretary asked her to come early as they always prioritize early patients. She told her mom about it and was so happy because she is worried about her health.

The next day, Nancy and her mom arrived at exactly 8:30am. She talked to the secretary and told her that she was the one who booked the 9am appointment. The secretary politely asked her to wait until their name is called. After just a few minutes, they went inside the doctor’s office. Dr. Smith asked her mom what brought her to the clinic. She told the doctor that he was referred by me. I am glad that he still remembers me. He told Nancy’s mom that she needs a full blood workup and a urinalysis and they will start from there. He also added that he might need to x-ray and ultrasound her abdomen to be accurate on his findings. He noticed that Nancy’s mom was panicking and he tried to pacify her by telling her that she should not worry so much because there are a number of cheap, yet effective home remedies for kidney stones. It includes eating many carrots for vitamin A for a healthy urinary tract, vitamin B6, which helps battle forming of oxalate that prevents forming of kidney stones and drinking enough milk, which would give her slimmer chances on getting stones. The information gave her mom more breathing room as they wait in the laboratory for her turn for her examinations.

Fish Tanks and Airplanes


Our daughter Maggie visited us last week. She told us that she is planning to give her kids an aquarium because she does not like them to be in front of the computer and using their game consoles for the whole day. She asked her dad if he has suggestions about what best breeds of fishes to get. He told her that he does not know anything about aquarium fishes, but he knows someone who fits the bill. He shared that his friend, John owns a pet shop downtown and he knows everything about fishes. He asked our daughter if she wanted him to accompany her when she goes to the shop and she told me that it would be wonderful.

That same day, the two of them went to the pet shop and Maggie was surprised and amazed about how many varieties of fishes that she could choose from, for her kids. She asked John about the most popular fishes that his customers buy from the shop and he told her that aquarium catfishes are so popular right now, especially the cory catsfish and the pictus catfish which everyone loves to put into their tanks because they are so playful and very active. He also mentioned that it is a good idea that I get a wide variety of fishes and colors so that my kids would love feeding watching and them for hours. He also suggested getting fishes with different personalities so it would be more exciting to watch. She asked for a quote about how much is a tank full of fishes and she thought that it was fairly priced. She told him that she would come back in a few days during his husband’s day off and then they would get their kids a big tank. John thanked Jim for visiting him at the shop and he told him to try to visit him as much as he could because he might be moving soon with his son in New Jersey. He was startled by the news, but our daughter had other things to do so they needed to go home. My husband told John to visit him later at our home so they could talk about it and he agreed.

After a few hours, Maggie dropped her dad off and bade us goodbye because she still had many errands to go. She told us that she would drop by again next time when she buys her kids a fish tank from John’s shop. Meanwhile, Jim told me about John moving to New Jersey and I was also surprised about it because I know that he does not like traveling that much and he loves our city. That was the same sentiment that my husband felt and he told me that he invited John to come over later. I asked him about what should I prepare for them. He told me that a couple bottles of ice-cold beers and chips would not hurt so bad as we both chuckled.

Warning: Smoking Kills


My husband has been a cigarette smoker even before we knew each other. He told me that he started smoking during college. I have tried to nag him to quit for years, but it did not work. He told me that smoking is like his way of de-stressing himself of all his problems every day. Like with every whiff off his smoke, all his problems gone astray. I told him that there are other better ways that could alleviate his stress like sports, watching TV or even hanging out with his buddies. He shared that he tried to quit a few times, but he could not. I told him that I did not know that and he said that he did not want me to know that he failed and I hugged him. I told him that if he really wanted to quit, I could always help him and who knows that; maybe, his third time is the charm.

I asked him about the reason why he wanted to quit in the first place and he said that a buddy of him died months ago. He did not know about what was the exact condition that killed him, but it was a toss-up between bronchitis vs. pneumonia because he knew that he had problems with breathing and he was smoking a lot like two to three packs of Marlboros per day. He could barely remember, but he thought that he heard him mention bronchitis remedies one time, so maybe it was bronchitis. The last time that they have talked was a few days before his friend died. He visited him in the hospital and he felt so bad to look at him because he was wearing an oxygen mask just to breathe properly. The last words that his friend told my husband was that he needed to quit before something like that happens to him. His friend died because there was too much fluid in his lungs and the doctors were too late when they have tried to resuscitate him. He added that he did not attend the funeral because he was afraid to see the scenario that might happen to him. He added that he was the one who taught him how to smoke back when they were younger.

I researched on the web for steps on how to quit smoking for good. I have read many interesting articles that I am sure that Jim would love to read. I have read that since he has been smoking for more than fifteen years, he is a nicotine addict, so he needs some help from nicotine patches as these god sent patches will help him gradually lessen and quit smoking for good. There are also a number of things that could help his addiction like chewing gum or hard candy when he has urges to smoke. He could also use delaying tactics like diverting his attention to other things instead of giving in to his urges.

I know that quitting smoking would be very hard, but I will always be at my husband’s side through the good and bad times. I know that we could do it. I just need to motivate him each day and always remind him about the reason why he is trying to quit.

Constant Consultations


We again tried to jog last weekend. It was better as my husband, and I finished a whole hour without any problems or injuries whatsoever. We just did not bring enough water though, so my husband and I experienced some dehydration, so as soon as we went home, we rushed to hydrate ourselves. After a few minutes, Jim experienced some light-headedness and he vomited. I told him that he must have pushed himself too much, with our exercising and he agreed about what I said. I told him to rest for a while, as I will prepare our breakfast. He told me that after vomiting, he had a sweet taste in mouth, even after he brushed his teeth and gargled with a mouthwash. He asked me if I have experienced that kind of symptoms and I told him that I experienced another taste, which happened when I was pregnant with our daughter, Maggie. I had a constant metal taste in mouth back then, and my doctor told me that I should not worry as much, because it was because of my overactive hormones. The doctor added that once the first trimester is done, it would gradually fade away and I am glad that it did because it was annoying that I always had to brush my teeth and scrape my tongue every hour. It also gave me loss of appetite, as I could not properly taste my food.

I suggested Jim to have a consult with his doctor because it has been a while since his last one, which was a year ago. He agreed and asked me a favor to book it for him because he was still feeling beat up because of the hour of jogging that we have gone through. His doctor was happy that I called and I booked my husband’s appointment because it was really needed, as it could be serious.

We went to the hospital after lunch and saw his doctor. Jim told him what happened and the doctor told him that it could be serious, but he should not worry that much because he is in safe hands. That made my husband feel better. He has undergone a series of tests, which lasted for hours. His results told us that he had GERD or Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease. It is a disease wherein it occurs when stomach content flows back into your food pipe or esophagus because of too much acid. We asked the doctor if it was serious and he told us that it could easily be cured with medicines and proper precautions that my husband must follow. He was prescribed with proton pump inhibitors to counter too much acidity in stomach to be taken for a few days, until symptoms fade.

The doctor also reminded him to cut down his smoking, drinking beer and eating spicy foods. He applauded and told us that it is good that we are trying to jog every weekend, but he warned us about over exerting our effort, as are already old and we cannot do the things that we used to do back in the day. He asked us to come back next week to see if he is getting better.

Accidents Happen


I was having a great time bonding with the staff of my bed and breakfast as I was waiting for my husband, Jim to return. He was out for an errand too long. He normally takes just an hour when he goes to the grocery to restock our pantry but now, it was over two hours and I was worried about my dear husband. I tried calling him and he was not answering his phone. After a couple of minutes, a yellow cab pulled over in front of our establishment and I saw Jim with a sling on his left arm. I was shocked as I rushed outside to talk to him. I tried to gather my thoughts while breathing deeply and I was glad that I was able to compose myself that fast. I asked about what happened to him and I was wondering where our car was. He apologized to me, as he did not have a phone. I told him that he has one. He just smiled and told me that he left it in our bedroom. I was mad and I just stared at him. He pacified me while telling me what happened. He told me that he was finished with grocery shopping and was loading the bags at the back of our car and some guy just ran passed over him as policemen were chasing the guy and that made him slam to the trunk of his car and then to the ground.

Fortunately, a kind-hearted man saw what happened to Jim and he brought him to the hospital. Jim told me that he suffered a shoulder subluxation and the doctor told him that the pain in left shoulder is just normal. He added that his shoulder was not dislocated, but it is unstable. For now, he was instructed to take pain reliever pills and rest his shoulders for a week before he takes out the sling permanently. I hugged him and cried. He hugged me back and we went inside our home. I asked him if he was hungry and he told me that he wants a ham sandwich if it is okay. I smiled and told him that I will even make him a freshly squeezed orange juice just for him and we both laughed. He mentioned that our car was in the parking lot and he can get it later, but I told him that she should just rest inside the house. I will just ask someone from our staff to get it for us.

I just remembered that Jim had frozen meat and ice cream on our grocery list so I quickly went to the bed and breakfast next door to ask Andy, our custodian to get the car and he told me that he will take good care of our car as I thanked him. I also gave him extra money for gas and for his trouble.

I am just glad and thankful that nothing serious happened to Jim. From now on, I will just ask Andy to restock the shop’s pantry for us. I do not want that to happen again to Jim ever again.

Maggie’s First Love


One lovely Sunday morning at our bed and breakfast, I was having a cup of coffee while enjoying the great view. Up to this very moment, I still couldn’t believe that my husband and I are realizing our dreams of having our own business after we both retired. This is really a dream come true for the both of us. If only our two daughters with their families could be with us here all the time.

Unfortunately, they have to live in the city for their bread and butter. So, they only visit us on summer breaks. I grabbed my phone and called my eldest daughter, Meg to check on them. However, she wasn’t picking up her phone. So, I tried calling my youngest daughter, Maggie and she was quick to answer the phone. Apparently, she is working from home today because she needs to take care of her son who is currently having recurrent high fever.

During our phone conversation, she inquired about how I managed to get rid of my stretch marks on my butt area as she still has stretch marks on breasts and her upper thighs. I told her to religiously put cocoa butter cream and rose hip oil on the affected area, which are most effective in the treatment of stubborn stretch marks. I also added that it would take months of putting the cream and oil twice a day before she sees an improvement on her stretch marks. I asked her why she was all of a sudden, so conscious about it.

She then told me her plan of putting a tattoo over stretch marks, but the tattoo artist was honest about the disadvantages of putting one over stretch marks. According to him, deep or dark stretch lines are not a good spot for tattoos as the ink might appear lighter on it as compared to the ink on a clear skin. So, he advised her to try to lighten her stretch marks first before putting a tattoo. After about 6 months, Maggie was ecstatic when she called to inform me that she finally got a tattoo. She thanked me for my piece of advice as it worked wonders on her stretch marks. She finally decided to put a wave tattoo on her upper right thigh, which symbolizes her first love, which is surfing.

When she told me about this, I couldn’t help but reminisce about the times when they were still young and were just starting to learn to ride the waves. Maggie was so scared when she first tried surfing and vowed never to try it again. However, after she rode her first wave she got addicted to it and her love for the sport started from there. Before we hang up, we agreed to head to a surfing site together with her family and her sister’s family for a get together. Both of us were very excited about this trip, as this will be something that we can look forward to whenever we are swamped with our own workload.

A Season of Dry Scalps


My husband and I hate the summer season because we are both prone to having dry scalps. Last year, we ended up having scabs on scalp because dry scalps are very itchy and very tempting to scratch. We both ended with a head full of lesions and it really looked gross. We really did not want to come for a consult to a doctor because we were trying to save up money for an international vacation next year, but it looked like we had no other choice. I searched on the web about the best dermatologist we have here in town and we often saw a Dr. Navarro as their frequent referral.

I told Jim about the doctor and we both decided to postpone our vacation for a few more months. We went to Dr. Navarro to consult our condition and the doctor told us that dry scalps are often caused by dehydration, excessive shampooing, intense heat or the harsh chemicals from many hair products and the last, but not the least, environmental factors. The latter reason affected us greatly and the doctor told us not worry so much, because there is always a solution to dry scalp.

The doctor asked us if we always use hot showers for a longer period of time than usual and we told her yes because it relaxes us. She warned us against it as it also causes dry scalp. She added that it could damage our scalp in the long run if we keep doing that. Instead, we could use lukewarm water for showers. She also asked us if we like eating products like bread, baked foods and cheese. I told her that Jim loves them so much. She advised him to do not overdo it as it could cause him more problems because yeast thrives on them. She also told us about the importance of eating properly and healthy foods to maintain better hair and scalp. She mentioned as Vit E and C as the most important vitamins for skin and we just nodded.

honeyThe doctor also cited a number of dry scalp remedies like using honey, olive oil, lemon or even tea tree oil. We just need to make a solution out of it and heat them a little bit and apply and massage it onto our scalps and cover it with a towel and let the oil incorporate themselves in the scalps. After thirty minutes, we have to rinse it with lukewarm water and then use a mild, baby shampoo to remove excess oil from the scalp. She also reminded us to read the labels of the shampoo often, that we are planning to buy. She cited to be wary of ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate, betaine and phthalates as they could dry out our scalps.

I thanked the good doctor about her advices because we really appreciated them dearly. I hope that my husband and I would try our best to practice and follow what she said because our dry scalp is really bothering us both.

Old Maids No More


I am glad that my two girls are very happy with their own families right now. They already have kids and I advised them that they should always do what is best for their families. I used to think that they would be old maids because both of them had a difficult time dealing with their relationship problems. Meg used to be in a three-year-old relationship with a controlling boyfriend who used to ask her every minute of the day about where she was and what she was doing at the moment. I asked her what was that about and she told me that she did not know why he was acting like that because he used to be sweet and very gentle. She tried to endure most of the time, but she came to a point that she was at her limit. To make it short, she had a bad breakup with him because she felt suffocated with what he was treating her and I fully supported her with her decision. I told her that a relationship should not be like that.

On the other hand, Maggie was supposed to get married to her then boyfriend, but something bad happened to him. He is an executive for an advertising company and he often goes overseas to expand their business. Sadly, when he was coming back to US, his plane went into flames and crashed in the desert of Nevada. Authorities investigated what happened and they told the public that it was the maintenance crew’s fault. Many were injured and unfortunately, her fiancée died in the tragic accident. She grieved for months, as she did not know how to get over someone as precious as him. She spent months locked inside her room weeping all day and all night. We all felt sorry for her, but we did not know what to tell her so her dad and I just listened to what she had to say. We offered to take her to counseling, but she told us that she wants to vent and rant to family, rather than to a total stranger. In a few weeks, she had been better, but she was still bitter with what happened.

A few years passed and both of our daughters moved on gradually. They met their soon to be husbands in college and I am glad that they did as they really love and cherish our daughters. I remember during their respective weddings, I really cried my heart out because it was a bittersweet feeling, that they are finally moving on with their lives for the better, but then, it wasn’t going to be the same again because they would be busy with their own families. Jim, on the other hand, was so happy for our beloved daughters because he thought that they would never love again and just stay with us for the rest of their lives at home. I am glad that our daughters never forget about us because they still try to visit us as much as they could every month and I love them for that. I miss our kids.

Home Service


My husband and I have been stuck for two days in front of our tables, finishing the accounting of our bed and breakfast business because we have to beat the deadline for filing the taxes this week and we could not afford to get a penalty. Our backs hurt so bad. I have a middle back pain, while Jim has a right side back pain. Our only break was when we have to urinate and eat. I really hated cramming because I am not good at it. On the other hand, Jim loves the pressure and he always beats deadlines. Back when he was younger, he used to work as a public accountant and he is really good at dealing with numbers. He told me that he could stand to sit all day because he used to have an ergonomic chair in his office with excellent lumbar support to boot.

right side back pain

I asked him about the chair that he used to use in his office when he was still an accountant and he asked me what about it. I told him that we needed to buy that kind of chair so our backs will not hurt as much. He said that it was a really fine chair, but it comes with a very steep price. I asked him about the price and I almost dropped my glass when he told me that the chair costs for almost a thousand dollars and Jim laughed at me and he said that it was really that comfortable that their bosses bought them for their offices. I told him that I would just spend our money for a nice massage every day.

Jim was thrilled about it as he asked me if I was serious about it because he told me that his back really hurts. I told him that we could arrange a home service massage later after our dinner and we both agreed. I called their office and availed their service. The lady that I spoke to, told me that they would arrive within an hour, she just asked for our address and landmarks of our home, so they could easily pinpoint our location. I told Jim that I already called the massage services and we should get ready. I told him to take a bath first and I would follow suit.

After dinner, it was just in time that someone pressed our doorbell and it was the masseuse. We were both thrilled because it has been a while since we got a good back massage. We both had an hour of massage and it felt heavenly. We gave the masseuse a generous tip for a job well done. She thanked us and asked us if we always experience back pain because they also have a chiropractic service and maybe, we need our backs adjusted. I told her that from time to time that we experience back pain, but nothing really serious. She added that they will have a promo next week, 20% off on their chiropractic services and maybe, that might interest us. I thanked and told her that we would think about it.