Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Schlegel: A memorable visit to St. Augustine, Florida breaks up snowy N.J. winter |

Sharon and Ralph Schlegel and their faithful canine companion Teddy Schlegel stayed with us at the St. Francis Inn for over a month (mid-January through February) this winter. We thoroughly enjoyed having them here! The day they left to go back home was a sad one for all the staff.

Sharon blogs regularly as "For the Times of Trenton" on  She has written a delightful article about St. Augustine (we're sharing a link to it below) and if you enjoy her writing as much as we do, you might want to subscribe to her blog.  We miss you, Sharon!  Hugs to you and Ralph and a pat on the head to Teddy Schlegel!  :)

Schlegel: A memorable visit to St. Augustine, Florida breaks up snowy N.J. winter |

Sunday, June 9, 2013

An EPIC Segway Accident

It happened April 24, 2013.  Leading up to this day I had been having a great April - I had studied a 50 page booklet, taken a difficult test, and passed it to obtain my City Tour Guide license.  I had led my first tour - Segway tour - of St. Augustine, and earned my first commission!  I had just returned from a wonderful weekend in Atlanta visiting my daughter and her family.  I might have even bragged to several people about my new license and how much fun I was going to have leading Segway tours.

It was a gorgeous spring evening and my Segway compatriots, Linda and Mary, and I decided to tour the town and go out to dinner.  Linda didn't want to lead, so I led them down the bumpy (uneven bricks!) Palm Row, a narrow alley fronted by Victorian homes.  Then we zipped across Cordova Street, through a couple of parking lots, until we faced Pot Belly's Theatre..
That's me on the left and Mary on the right.  Last picture of me standing on 2 legs as of April 24!

"You two pose in front of Pot Belly's and I'll take your picture!" Linda suggested.

So Mary zipped ahead, cruised easily up the short sidewalk ramp and turned around waiting for me.  I zipped across the street, turned and started up the ramp.  The next thing I knew my foot was in a vise, hurting like heck, and my head was bouncing off the sidewalk.  The Segway took off across the street pushing its own handlebars in front of it.  Linda took off to catch it and Mary appeared at my side.  I rolled up to a sitting position and tried to assess the damage.

I hoped it was a really bad, really painful sprain, but I thought my foot might be broken.  I called my daughter and told her I thought I had a really bad sprain.  She said when she saw my foot at the ER she knew better; my foot was swollen twice its size and pointed the wrong way.

Bottom line I had a dislocated foot/ankle, broken ankle, and broken fibula.  And I thought I heard the doctor use the word "shredded" at some point.  They gave me some wonderful drugs in the ER, and set my foot/ankle/leg so they all pointed in the correct direction.  The next day I had surgery and I know have metal plates and screws in my lower leg and ankle.  I had a cast for two weeks, then a boot for the next 4 weeks.  Hopefully, when I go to the doctor this Wednesday (Jun 12), I will be pronounced "HEALED" and be able to walk, drive (my manual VW), and move back home.

I've had many blessings:
Two strangers lifted me into Linda's car so I could get to the ER.
My two Segway friends got me to the ER.
My daughter took me into her home - never hesitated - and has taken wonderful care of me.
My sister and my wonderful nephew have driven me on all kinds of errands and even to the movies.
My brother and my delightful niece have driven me on errands, out for meals, and kept me company.
My granddaughter has told me she liked me living in her home and seeing me everyday.  And I've had some great quality time with her, plus I was able to attend her kindergarten awards day.
My two Segway friends have driven me here, there, and everywhere - and kept me entertained by phone and text.
My boss has allowed me to work from home so I could continue to have an income.
My doctor discovered through routine blood tests that I have diabetes 2 and I have now started on a program of healthful eating, glucose testing, and limited (for now!) exercise.  This could have gone undiagnosed for a while longer without this accident.

My surgeon said this was just a speedbump in the road.  A few weeks from now I will need to remind myself what it was like to be almost helpless and dependent on the kindness of others.  I won't forget the good things, though.

PS No more Segways for me.  I've also scratched skydiving and bungi-jumping off my bucket list.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

An Evening of Note

Last Thursday I was running behind.  I had picked up a few items at Big Lots then ran home to take the FLB* for a walk and feed him, then rushed out to my monthly Book Club meeting.  Rush Rush Rush.  When I got home from Book Club I was surprised because the FLB* didn't come to the door to greet me.  For one second I was concerned.

"Harley?"  I stood in the laundry room.  Silence.

I walked into the kitchen.  No Harley.  I walked into the dining room and saw the reason for the silence.  My Big Lots bag was torn open and a bag of spaghetti (yes, dried whole wheat spaghetti) was open and there was a pile of pasta on my dining room floor.  Really?  Harley was hunkered down in his crate staring at me.

"Seriously, Harley?" I said.  "You ate dried pasta?  How did you even know it was a food item?  I left it on the dining room chair because I was in a hurry and you thought you could snack!?"

Harley stared at me from his crate.  He ALWAYS takes the 5th.

Later....about 9:30 or 10:00pm we went for a walk.  It was dark - I think it was a new moon because it was really dark.  We strolled down the driveway and up the street.  We stopped at poop island and Harley took care of business.  A car drove by and I flinched as something cold and wet seemed to splash on my leg.

Here's the conversation between my brain stem and the reasoning part of my brain:

Stem:  "Yikes, that car just splashed me - my pants are wet."
Reason:  "There was no sound of splashing and it hasn't rained in a week."
Stem:  "But my leg feels cold and wet here at my thigh....and here on my knee.  Like water dripping?"
Reason:  "But the car was 20 feet away and there was no splash and there are no puddles..."
Stem:  "But my leg has cold and wet spots...(and my hand is now patting my baggy capris frantically)...
Reason:  "uh...."
I grunt, scream and dance.....
Something leaps from near my foot into the grass at poop island....A FROG!!!!!

More grunting....dancing....and jerking....and patting my pants compulsively all the way home.

Now...the part that keeps me did he get all the way up to my thigh...without me knowing it?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Planning for September 2012!

One of my favorite authors is Edna Buchanan.  She is a former reporter for both the Miami News and the Miami Herald.  As a crime reporter she saw the ugly and the truly weird sides of my home town.  She first published nonfiction accounts of the Miami she saw, then started writing a series of novels about a crime reporter in Miami named Britt Montero.  I love detective books written by women with women as the lead characters.  Buchanan's novels fit the bill perfectly!  I enjoy Britt Montero, swilling the super-strong Cuban coffee, and going toe-to-toe with detectives, City Hall, and Miami criminals.

Edna Buchanan has been chosen for the 2012 Literary Legend Award by the Florida Heritage Book Festival.  She will receive her award in September at the 2012 Florida Heritage Book Festival in St. Augustine, Florida.  I am making plans now to attend!  Jeff Lindsay, author and creator of "Dexter" (the serial-killer-criminologist who also lives in Miami) will be a keynote speaker.  woo-hoo!  A cornucopia of mystery writers!  Well, we'll see...two probably doesn't make a cornucopia...but it's a start!

Here's the article from our local paper containing a telephone interview with Ms. Buchanan:

The Florida Heritage Book Festival is one of my favorite St. Augustine happenings all year.

(still walking - day 7)

Friday, April 6, 2012


Out of bed at 6.

Walked *FLB and me.

He had enough bathroom breaks.
No street pooping.

Observed that there are more cars at 6:15 than at 5:45.  Newspaper delivery car swerves back and forth like a drunken sailor and needs to be avoided at all cost.

Day 3.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Day Two

5:15am Alarm/clock radio turns on:  This morning I wake up and realize it's time to get up and walk.  I decide if I don't move then I might be able to ignore the music for a few more minutes.  (The radio is across the room so I can't hit snooze.)
5:20am My backup alarm on my cell phone starts chiming.  Since my cell phone is on the nightstand I simply hit it and it stops.
5:40am Guilt prompts me to get up.
5:42am Finally find the FLB* and tell him we're walking.
5:45am FLB* and I leave for walk (only 3 minutes later than yesterday...yippee for me)
-------- Stop so FLB* can relieve himself
-------- FLB* stops and drops a #2 on the street (REALLY?!  This was pure spite.)
-------- Stop so FLB* can relieve himself
-------- Stop so FLB* can relieve himself (just show-lifts now; he's empty)
-------- Stop so FLB* can relieve himself and he drops yet another #2 but this time in a designated area (yippee for me)
6:05am Back in the house again.  FLB runs and jumps on my unmade bed with his wet paws.  I chase him off.

*FLB Harley my love

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Day One

5:15 a.m.  Alarm clock/radio turns on:  my dreams start to include country music
5:25 a.m.  Finally wake up enough to realize I'm not in Nashville and I open my eyes, raise my head and check the time.  Close my eyes and snuggle back on my pillow.
5:35 a.m.  Drag myself out of bed.
5:40 a.m.  Wake up the FLB*.
5:42 a.m.  FLB* and I leave for walk.
---------   Stop so FLB* can relieve himself
---------   Stop so FLB* can relieve himself
---------   Stop so FLB* can relieve himself (by now he's lifting his leg and nothing's coming's all for show)
---------  FLB* stops and drops a #2 on the street
6:02 a.m. Back in the house again after morning walk.

*FLB (freakin' little bastard) is Harley the 24 lb terrier who needs to lose 4 lbs to get back to his handsome self.