Find a Feeder

Sunday, April 29, 2012


Source: via Abby on Pinterest
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You got the look. AND YOU KNOW WHAT IT WAS FOR! Moms, grandmoms and even OPMs(Other People's Moms) are well known for several things. Noting when you are too loud is one of the biggies, noticing when you manners aren't quite what they should be, (remember that BBQ where you didn't put a napkin in your lap and you got the GLARE? Heck, you thought it was a BBQ, so relaxed rules right? NOT!) Oh yeah... Moms around the world are all the same.  Even when we are aggravated by our moms doing the exact same thing, we find ourselves doing it to our sons and daughter. Correcting grammar, silently, or in some cases, not so silently is a big mom-ism. So while I don't have this cross stitch sampler hanging on my wall, my kids see it there anyway...they know I'm always silently (and occasionally not so silently) correcting their grammar!

It's not my fault! I'm not sure if I blame it on Sister Theophane Marie (my first grade teacher) and Mrs. O'Neill (my second grade teacher) when I learned the bulk of my grammar skills at Christ The King School in Haddonfield, New Jersey, or if it's my mom's fault (hi Mom!), but I am guilty of acting like the grammar police! Whether silently or out loud, I find myself automatically correcting grammar. So now that my kids have read this and have become paranoid to even open their mouths around me ....  Ah! Peace and quiet! (I wish!) Like that will EVER happen at my house! Well it was a nice delusion for a few minutes! Remember, watch those contractions! No dangling participles!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Solutions For Squirrels In Your Attic

Sometimes you find your house has been invaded.  Not by aliens. No by mice. Not by bugs. SQUIRRELS!  And are they ever tough to evict! And while most of us object to the squirrels because of the noise they make running around in our attics, it's their chewing that causes more dangerous problems. They'll chew on lead piping around plumbing stacks, vents, wires, and of exposed wood. In some cases they've chewed through and burst PVC plumbing piping! Talk about a messy flood!  But by far the most dangerous thing they chew on is electrical wiring! Insurance companies estimate that a high percentage of fires of unknown origin are the result of exposed electrical wires, possibly from a squirrel having chewed his way through the wire's covering. For me that's a REALLY good incentive to be sure there are not squirrels in my attic--NO MATTER WHAT IT COSTS!

Why do squirrels like your attic? I mean, hey, they live in TREES right?  True, but what they are really seeking is a safe place to nest, and your attic gives them that. It's safe, it's dry and it's a warm place to build their nest where they are safe from predators. Think about it, you like living inside, why shouldn't they?

There are a variety of methods that people swear by to get rid of the squirrel infestation, just be sure whatever process you use doesn't end up being the end of you too!

I've heard tales of Realtors going into homes and having their nasal passages assaulted by mothballs.  Mothballs in such quantity that it was enough to drive people out the door as soon as they stepped over the door sill. While mothballs repel all sorts of critters, huge quantities of them are noxious to humans as well. Use a professional to get rid of your squirrels... or at least do not use pounds and pounds of mothballs!

Follow Me on Pinterest Other options? Have-A-Heart traps have been used to trap squirrels. The trick here is to trap the squirrels and then be sure you seal off your attic.  Squirrels are wily critters and if there's the smallest space where they can get into your attic 'they'll be back!'  Squirrels leave behind their scent in the form of ... uh... their excrement. Better known at our house as 'gifts.' (I knew there was a more polite word than the one I was thinking of!) Once a squirrels has 'gifted' your attic other squirrels will follow and want to get into your attic too. This can make getting rid of them without wholesale extermination by pros next to impossible.

Stay tuned for still more ways to rid your home of squirrels!

When Pigs Fly!

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When Pigs Fly! Sometimes I come across a piece of jewelry (hmm are pigs ever jewelry? Well this cutie is!) that I just have to have. He/She's the cutest flying pig! Thank goodness my birthday is I have a good excuse!

I have to admit to having my share of oddball jewelry! Some of the charms on my old fashioned charm bracelet are not your typical charms that commemorate things like birthdays or a favorite sport or a hobby. No, I have things like dragons! After all, who could resist? And then there's the copy of an old Mayan or it might be Polynesian statue that I picked up at a museum shop in my travels.  It always draws comments.

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Another example of my oddball jewelry collection is this necklace made from silver from the Atocha. (The photo above is of a gold one, but mine is exactly the same.)  The Atocha is a treasure galleon that sank off the coast of Key West that was located and salvaged by Mel Fisher (the king of undersea salvage of ancient galleons and the like.)

It resembles a dragon (sort of). I love to wear it because it is a real conversation starter... I mean who else wears an ear spoon/toothpick combination around their neck? Ha! Who else in this day and age HAS an earspoon? Well I have to admit, I've never used it... as either a toothpick or earspoon, but I do like the watching peoples' faces as they try to figure out just what it is without coming right out and asking!

Wealthy passengers on ships carried these in the pre-toothpick and pre-toothbrush era or used the other end to clean out their ears (and the doctor says Q-tips are bad for your ears?) See? Now when you see me wearing it you won't have to wonder or ask. In fact you'll wow me with your knowledge of jewelry artifacts from the Atocha! They were also the 1622 equivalent of a tax dodge! Jewelry was not taxable so it was an easy way to sneak some gold into a country without paying tax on it. I do love a creative tax dodge! (Wish I was wealthy enough to need one!)

So, you could say my anthem is:

"I've never seen a flying pig,
I never hope to see one.
But if I see one anyhow,
I'd rather see than be one!"

A bit of an off-shoot of purple cows... but...
Do you have an interesting piece of jewelry you've seen or own? Share it here!


Thursday, April 26, 2012


Drexel Hill, the home of idiots who don't know how to park! I rarely promote a product, but this card, designed to let you vent without causing damage when some IDIOT parks across your driveway (so you can't back out until the next day without calling the police!) is genius! Or you can use it for the jerk who parks in the angled lines next to a handicapped parking space that's meant for people to be able to maneuver their wheelchairs into their cars or put wheelchair lifts down (THIS IS NOT a parking space for motorcycles or small cars!) Or the people who park on your bumper (and I mean ON TOP OF) so they're far enough from the stop sign to not get a ticket. These are just a few of my pet peeves and people who deserve to get one of these signs.  Do you know anyone who 'parks like a jerk?'  Tell us about them! (no names just their parking problems).
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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Eat That Squirrel For Breakfast!

Video courtesy of YouTube/Tropic of Cancer/and the BBC

Ah! You've dreamed of the day. The day those squirrels finally got what was coming to them! They've become BREAKFAST! Not the most appetizing breakfast I've ever seen, and this is one of those times I watch television and am GLAD I'm not a television star. No matter how badly I want the squirrels out of our feeder, I don't want to feed on the squirrels! No way would I want to eat a squirrel that ran through all the detritus in my front yard (and all the adjoining yards).

So, watch the video. Tell me, would you eat that squirrel? I'd have to be pretty desperate! But how about you? Come on, you can tell me!

Has the Disney Princess Empire Hurt Your Daughters?

Is There A Crown In Her Future? Your Children, Reality and The Disney Princess'

Walk in any big toy store today and you'll find an entire aisle dedicated to the Disney Princess 'franchise.' This week Disney, Target and award winning actress and author Julie Andrews want you and your daughters (and perhaps your sons if you're brave enough) to celebrate the first annual Princess WeekPrincess Week starts April 22 and runs through April 28.  The princess-ification of girlhood and/or childhood has once again come to a toy store near you!

As a woman who writes wedding blogs for a living, I am well aware that the princess fantasy is alive and well, and many girls never grow out of it. Some of them live healthy mental lives, others will be waiting for prince charming forever. Some are perfectly content without a prince charming.

As long as a girl or woman recognizes the difference between having a healthy fantasy life and reality all is well. It's when your reality becomes expecting your life to be like the life of a Disney princess that you run into difficulties.

We all need to take control of our futures and take them where we want them to go. It doesn't mean we can't have our very own version of 'Prince Charming,' just that not every girl's 'prince' is of the Disney variety.

Has Disney has gone overboard in presenting most girls with unrealistic expectations, fantasies they'll never be able to live out. Who am I to say? I wanted to be a lion when I grew up (this was pre-Lion King), so unrealistic expectations are not unknown to me.

I was fortunate to have a mother who stood up for my right to make choices (even though she obviously knew it(me actually being a lion) was never going to happen.) (Read my post "Becoming Your Dream.) What she did want was for me to grow up with the characteristics of a lion, the strength, the pride, the personal power (oh and great hair would be nice, doesn't every mother want her daughter to have great hair?)

I have two daughters, both in their 30's now. I let my daughters choose what they wanted to play with growing up. That being said they had a huge number of Barbie dolls (most of which resided in a recycling bin on our enclosed front porch sans clothing and with hair that badly needed a brush!) But they also had a variety of other toys that had nothing to do with princesses or Barbies.

But some of their dolls lived on shelves in their rooms, the equivalent of a princess' castle compared to the peons who lived on our porch. A few lived in Barbie Dream Houses in my living room. The odd thing was the dolls that got played with, who were the best loved, lived on the front porch. They had adventures outside, unlike their counterparts in the house. Why were they sans clothing on the porch? Their clothes, like my daughters', were ALWAYS in the wash! The Barbies on the porch were their Velveteen Rabbits...well worn but loved.

Sometimes these Barbies rescued the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (who my daughters always thought had 'problems' because they resided in the sewars). They were constantly rescuing Ninja Turtles! Some of those Barbies really kicked butt.  While their clean and pretty counterparts never got dirty, they rarely got played with either. They were the great 'untouched.'

One night I heard my youngest daughter earnestly explaining to the 'fancy' Barbie in her room that she was just like the other Barbies outside, but she'd made a different choice for her life! Out of the mouths of babes! Their 'porch' Barbies or their princess dolls, it's all came down to a matter of CHOICE.  Choice is what I want for my daughters.

As parents we have the ability to take the 'princess mania' and turn it into lessons on women with power. Sometimes it's power within their own personal lives, sometimes it's power in a professional life, sometimes it's a combination of both.

Not every princess waits for the same Prince Charming (or any Prince Charming at all.) We can give our girls options, choices. Kind of like the books for kids where they can choose how the story progresses on their own.

I say "Give a girl a princess doll and one day she may grow up to rule the world." Not such a bad thing to teach our daughters (or our sons)! What I want for my daughters more than anything else is a choice, their choice, of what their future will be.

Read more about the Disney Princess Week and opinion at The Huffington Post's article by Lori Day and co-written by Michele Sinisgalli-Yulo of Princess Free Zone Or pick up Peggy Orenstein's New York Times Bestseller "Cinderella Ate My Daughter. These offer valid points of view on 'princess mania' in our society and how it effects our daughters (and yes, our sons).

Be sure to visit one of my favorite blogs, Princess Free Zone. Please comment on what you think about the Disney Princess 'franchise' and how it effects your children, or doesn't. Disagreement welcome, rudeness not.

Monday, April 23, 2012

#heytomcorbett $$ for Districts! Updated!

#heytomcorbett I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore! Are you listening? Someone in Harrisburg needs to, because as far as school funding goes things in the Corbett administration are going from bad to worse! At least if you live in Upper Darby School District they are.

Governor Tom Corbett’s proposed budget cuts are taking aim at our school systems. That's right, your school system, my school system. He wants to cut another $100 million from the state funding that supports classroom learning. ANOTHER $100 MILLION. How many of YOUR children we be affected by those cuts? What do those cuts mean to your child?

If you live in Upper Darby School District it means your children may have to live without what many experts consider some of the educational basics... things like library, gym, music and art.
How important are these 'electives?'

It's time to shout out to Governor Tom Corbett and say the people in Pennsylvania are made as hell and we're not going to take it anymore! There are a lot of programs he could cut, but don't cut programs that effect our children!

The decisions in Upper Darby Township to take away electives like a library, a critical component for developing a love of reading as well as a love of learning, or gym classes at a time when childhood obesity is at an all time high doesn't make educational sense or cents. The music and art programs they want to do away with? These are the hyacinths for the souls of our children. What kind of person decides this is where to make the cuts?

Upper Darby is planning on cutting their grant coordinator which means no more innovative classes funded by GRANTS not your tax dollars.  This is one position I'd vote to keep! 

The school district is blaming the funding of charter schools as the reason for the need for cuts. The reason Charter Schools are needed is because the school district isn't fulfilling the needs of all the children in it. By cutting elective programming our schools will become a warehouse for our children. It will be a place they go and spend an entire day in classes they take in order to pass standardized tests. Is that somewhere you want to send your children? I know I wouldn't.

Do I have all the answers? I freely admit I do not. But surely as a group we can find a way to keep our education system providing our children with a decent WELL ROUNDED education. Parents, teachers, administrators, school board members and our elected state representatives all need to work as a group to find a way to fund our school systems adequately so that we don't have to make these deep cuts.

Governor Tom Corbett and our school district both need to be reminded:

"If of thy mortal goods thou art bereft,
And from thy slender store two loaves alone to thee are left,
Sell one, and with the dole
Buy hyacinths to feed thy soul".

-Gulistan of Moslih Eddin Saadi
13th century Persian poet

Our elective classes are just that, hyacinths to feed the souls of the children in our school district. Our art, music, library and gym classes are our childrens' hyacinths. What happens when you take away these classes that nurture the souls of our children as well as their education? You tell me...

I just know I don't want to miss seeing all the children walking to school carrying not just a backpack for school books but a library book as well.  And I want to see them carrying their black clarinet or trumpet case, with a look of pride on their faces. Smiling children. Happy children. Children who want to go to school. Children who take pride in learning. These are the things our children will lose with these cuts.

Are you mad as hell? If this makes you mad tell the governor. Join mothers and fathers by tweeting #heytomcorbett.

I'm mad. But I'm also sad. But action is the only answer. If like me, you're mad, or sad, or want to take action then shout out using the hashtag: #heytomcorbett and lets get the attention of the governor and the school district! As a group we have power. We have the power to effect change. It's time to use our power to be sure our children keep their chance to have hyacinths to feed their souls. 

This post is part of a group of moms who have made up their minds to speak out. Here are some of the others. I'll update through the day!

Updates: Read this post, directed at the Upper Darby Schools and Governor Tom Corbett

And yet another:

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Express Your Inner Diva!

I remember those days, getting on my bike, tossing my watercolors and brushes into my bike basket and heading to art class. I was one of the lucky kids, the community where I lived (Birchwood Lakes) had an adult Mrs. X., who taught drawing and painting to any interested kids. Come one, come all. What a gift she gave us! She taught us how to look at the world and show it to everyone around us through our eyes. What we created might not have been representational art but it let us create and put our dreams on paper.

We weren't Wyeths or Turners, or Sargent or Monet. But we were kids creating our inner visions. If you live near Lansdowne PA, Art Space Lansdowne offers creative drawing and painting classes for kids from 8-16. These classes let kids discover the visual arts while having fun and, on occasion, making a mess!

Classes are taught by Liz Steele Coats.  There are three one hour Monday night classes where students explore character drawing, pointillism (painting with dots) and 3-D projects. The cost of the series is only $28 for all three classes and included all materials. Class may be messy so dress accordingly! If you have a sketchbook, bring it along!

Sign up now because space is limited. Register here. Also be sure to check out all the other classes offered, some for adults only.  Bring your creativity to class and strut your stuff!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Women and Guns In Delaware County

Dining After Dark - Conversations Overheard In Delco Denny's. 1230 AM. A Friday night. 

It was a crowded late night at Denny's. A mix of kids, date nighters, groups of women together and people like me who just stopped in for a late night iced tea and salad after taking my daughter home. It was a 'pink' crowd...mostly women. A few men with dates or with their wives and kids. I was sitting next to some PTA-types and admittedly listening to the conversation of the four women.

(When you're by yourself and forget to bring your Kindle with you to a restaurant you're reduced to listening in on conversations around you.)

Photo from the web

Two of the women sitting in Denny's that night said they were from Springfield (yeah, I'm nosy, that much I overheard, 2 from Swarthmore.) One of them was excited about her latest purchase.

OK, I'm thinking a new car, designer jeans, Jimmy Choo's, a Birkin bag, maybe even a Coach would generate this kind of excitement. So as an inveterate shopper I was curious about what these upscale looking ladies had purchased.

I was dismayed (and frankly alarmed) to hear one say she just bought herself a new ... GUN! Yes, you read that right... a GUN. Maybe I'm out of the loop, maybe this is the latest 'accessory' item. But I admit, my non-violent and pacifist soul was appalled.

Women. Guns. And the fact that it was discussed with such...excitement. Like a new toy. Or the latest jewelry. Have women, once the strongest opponents to guns, now become the newest consumer of guns?

Last year (2011)USA Today's reported Doug Stanglin wrote about Black Friday gun sales that were posting record numbers. Right up there with big sellers like flat screen televisions, fancy smart phones, tablets, and computers. Gun or new computers? Give me a computer anytime!

This morning, NBC's Today Show happened to report that 47% of Americans own a gun.  Wow! That number blew me away...! But back to the conversation...

Now they had me hooked on their conversation. I had to continue to listen. It was like a book you just couldn't put down until you found out the ending. No matter how bad it was (even though the plot was nonexistent and the characters one dimensional)

One woman said, "Well you know, it just makes me feel more secure, I mean we have an alarm but my husband travels so much, I just want to blow away anybody who comes in."

BLOW AWAY? Anybody? Hopefully not her husband returning early from his business trip or her son who is away at college who stops home unexpectedly. Or her mom who she forgot she gave a key and alarm code to. The possibilities for disaster were endless.

Her friend piped in saying, "I got one (a gun) a few years ago. My husband was messing around with someone else. I wanted him to take me seriously."

SERIOUSLY? SERIOUSLY? Now my jaw was on the floor. She couldn't find a better way to communicate her displeasure with him than buying a GUN?

By now I'm seriously wondering if I've happened into a tapping of the television show "What Would You Do?" with John Quinones.  I am almost waiting for the cameramen to pop out and jolly John Quinones to say to the surrounding customers "Why did you say ..." or "Why didn't you speak up?..."  And later I did wonder, why didn't I say something? Why didn't the women's friends say something? So WWYD? Would you keep quiet?  Would you speak up?  Or would you she packing it now?  If I say something will I become the next statistic?

It seems to me no matter who owns a gun or who bought it, as soon as you bring a gun into the house the power dynamics shift. Suddenly there's a potential for violence. And yes, the person holding the gun has control. But the potential for disaster has just increased exponentially.

I know some men and women carry firearms as part of their jobs. Law enforcement, military, there are legit reasons to have a gun in the house. But to bring a handgun into your house voluntarily and as a fashion accessory? Or as a psychological tool?

These ladies didn't look like people who would carry guns. They were well dressed PTA types. Not what I would think would be your typical gun toting woman. But neither are they the women you'd find in the book "Chicks With Guns" by Lindsay McCrum.

The women I overheard were using guns as a way to level the playing field.  They were using violence to fight violence (or their violent reactions to a husband's infidelity.)  Are these women typical of women buying guns? I don't know.

To be fair, one of the women said nothing. I suspect she was as freaked out as I was by the direction the conversation was heading. By friends who had gone from mild mannered PTA-ers to women with the potential for violence. 

As I paid my check I cautiously looked over... wondering how long it would be before I saw one of them on the nightly news... as a statistic or being walked into the local police station after using their newest accessory.

It would certainly make me re-evaluate my friendships if they'd been my friends. I suspect some of my friends have guns and I just don't know it.  I hope I'm wrong.  I just hope anyone (male or female) considering purchasing a handgun for use in their home will stop and think.  Think once, twice, and then again about the potential for disaster and death that a gun of any kind brings with it. 

Earlier this year, guest columnist at the Delco Times, Gerald McOscar wrote a story about the increase in sales of guns and the violence that makes you think about why gun sales are soaring.

Also think about Columbine and other disasters where children or teens get a hold of guns, either their parents' guns or one of their own they have obtained through illegal sources.  Think of all the innocent people killed.  For no good reason.  Other than someone wanted to level the playing field.  To feel they had POWER.

Are you a woman with a gun? A man with one? Why did you buy it? How has it effected the dynamics in your family? In how you interact with your friends? Tell me about it! Give me one really good reason you HAVE to HAVE a gun... why you can't survive without one. 

You won't convince me to join the NRA, but maybe you can help me understand. If you think there should be great gun control tweet #guncontrol and also leave a comment here.

Just A Little Therapy...

Somehow, no matter how hard I try, if I walk in the door at Target... I walk out with a basketful of ... STUFF! What stuff? Stuff I don't need.  Or didn't need when I walked in the door.  Target is AN ADDICTION!

This is the genius of Target and yes, The Dollar Store and worst of all, CVS! I've solved the Target and Dollar Store dilemmas, I just NEVER go in there.  I mean it's literally been over three years since I was in Target.  This doesn't mean I haven't bought anything from them, but I've gotten smart... I send my husband in with a specific list (and unlike Home Depot, he'll actually only buy what's on the list (except for a bag of Oreos, which is way less expensive than what I'd come out with!) 

And the two things I REALLY need at The Dollar Store (gift bags and tissue paper) I've gotten pretty good at only shopping at the one with the gift bags near the door.  Also the good thing about this particular Dollar Store is it doesn't have a great selection of other stuff I think I want.  But CVS... I'm still fighting that addiction.  I've tried the husband trick there as well.  It works to some extent.  It keeps me out of there for nearly a month and a half, but then I cave, sometimes I just HAVE to go in there myself!

I guess I should count myself lucky I'm aware of my uh...addictions, my awareness saves me money (even if sending my husband into Target costs me a bag of Oreos!)

And my worst addiction (shopping that is) used to be Borders Books. How they ever went out of business I don't know! Not only did I live there (keeping their coffee shop in business) but I always left with three or four books. Granted, paperbacks... but still... Even my children fed my addiction to Borders, knowing nothing pleased me more than a gift cert from them for my birthday or other gift giving occasion.

I suppose my addictions could be worse, I could be looking to score some Jimmy Choos, Manolo Blahniks or Birkin bags. I DO love shoes and handbags!  Even shoes with heels so high I know I'd break my neck wearing them. Or styles so extreme they're feats of architecture not fashion design! But I keep those ... under control.  (OK, if you look at my Pinterst board under shoes you know I'm ... in love with them) But at least I'm not buying them!

Men, (if you're reading this you obviously are a great husband, any man who reads about women shopping is BRAVE!) I know you hate stores like Target. I KNOW just how much it emasculates you to go in there and shop for our 'girly' stuff. But the next time she asks... think how much money it's saving you, and smile and say "Yes Honey." (And then head to Home Depot or Best Buy on the way home for some retail therapy of your own! This tip courtesy of my husband...the rat, I never KNEW!) So strike that! Wives, give him the exact amount of money what you want costs (plus a bag of Oreos), take all the credit cards and checks, and THEN send him out. HA! Gotcha! It seems ladies aren't the only ones with our shopping addictions!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Unexpected Results of Exercise

I know there's a reason why I keep putting off going to the gym... no all kidding aside... this photo just goes to show that Mom is ALWAYS right.  As a child (and teen) we were never allowed to chew gum. Not bubble gum, no Wrigley's, no Juicy Fruit, no Chicklets.  Among other things it was not ladylike (I wonder what she told my brothers?) and of course, was bad for our teeth.  My cheat? I would sneak peppermint Chicklets and eat the peppermint off the outside, and ditch the gum. I figured I wasn't technically CHEWING gum so I was in good shape! 

Somehow I never got into the habit of chewing gum, even as an adult, something my daughters' friends find hilarious. I mean, I'm almost sixty years old, I could chew gum NOW if I wanted to. I mean what could my mom do to me now? (aside from a few looks.) (You all know THE LOOK, that one that immediately makes you cease and desist whatever you are doing no matter how old you are because you KNOW the outcome is going to be bad if you don't!) 

So seeing this photo and caption didn't strike terror into my soul because I knew I was safe... I'd never chewed gum, let alone swallowed it! Obviously these ladies had mothers who didn't have the same rules at their house! 

Someone Took Out The Squirrels...Or Something

Near Garrettford Elementary School in Drexel Hill, where today there's a WAWA Store, a long time ago the corner was a holding house for prisoners.

According to local lore prisioners were routinely mistreated, beaten and even murdered. Before the WAWA was built people reported seeing their 'ghosts' walking the grounds. Restless ghost. Hostile haunts. 

One summer, following the night of the full moon, in the morning all the birds and squirrels in the surrounding trees were found mysteriously dead all over the school grounds. Ghosts and ghouls? Or kids deciding to start a rumor of ghosts? We'll never know. No one was ever found responsible. Do you know about any paranormal activity in Drexel Hill? 

The question now is are the ghosts of those squirrels and birds now haunting the area? Did you see that ghostly flip of a furry tail? A robin that's not quite a robin...? I don't know about you but I think I'll stick to shopping at this Wawa during the day! Or maybe this is why we always see police cars in Wawa's parking lot? Protecting the area from uninvited intruders...ghostly or otherwise.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Oh God, It's Me!

Source: via Linda on Pinterest

Have you ever looked in the mirror and realized 'oh god, that's me?

Whether it is because you have aged (who me?), added a few pounds (oh no, not me!), have mirror dysfunction (oh I have that for sure), or you just got a new haircut and forgot what you looked like in short hair (oh god, why did I let her cut it?) we all have times in our lives when we just don't recognize ourselves or wish we didn't.

Post-pregnancy? And so used to seeing the 'bump' you don't recognize yourself? What woman hasn't had that happen?

Post bad breakup... and eaten your way through a bit too much Ben and Jerry's? Ah! men are pigs! And a few have been known to turn women into pigs.

Post divorce and you do not recognize yourself because you've been so used to ONLY seeing woman he wanted you to be?

Did you just let that evil witch at the cosmetic counter redo your makeup AND talk you into buying several hundred dollars worth of product and walked by a store window and gone, GOD NO! I didn't!

Have you just been on a date with a man who... well your best friends would kindly say to you, 'honey, WHAT were you thinking? But you don't recognize why (somehow you totally missed the fact that he had FANGS!)

Yes there are always times in our lives when we do or are people we do not recognize or do not WANT to recognize.

Sometimes we date/marry someone who takes over who they think we should be. Or we allow ourselves to become what someone else thinks we should be. Or we cease being a person in our own right and instead become a wife, a mother, but no longer YOU.

If you're any of the above, it's time to kick your own backside and say "So we meet again." and take back your identities. It's time TO BE YOU. For you. The best you you can be and find your personal identity. One more time!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

You Are What You Wear

                                                                    Graphics Source

All of us have heard the age old adage "You are what you eat." Now according to researchers at Northwestern University you can include "You are what you wear." This new research explains why you stand taller in those Louboutin pumps (other than the height of the heels) or why you feel better carrying that Bottega Veneto bag, as well as why you feel better in the shoes from Saks than the ones from Payless. The researchers at Northwestern say you feel more powerful in expensive clothes and shoes and the higher the price tag the greater the power you associate with it. Wow! Who knew?

"Enclothed cognition" is a term the researchers use to describe the connection between psychology and your clothing.

“Clothes cognition is really about becoming the clothes themselves and having them direct who you are and how you act in the world,” study author Adam Galinsky said. ”When we are putting on a suit, we are not only giving impressions to other people, but we are also giving an impression to ourselves. We feel the rich, silk fabric on our arms; that allows us to take on the characteristics of those clothes.” (Adam will you tell my husband how important it is the next time my credit card bill comes in?)

One part of the research involved having people put on a white lab coat that the researchers labelled "a doctor's coat." Researches then observed the differences in how people acted wearing the "doctor's coat" versus when they were wearing the same coat but heard it described as "an artist's coat" or "a painter's coat."

When they wore the doctor's coat they were more attentive. When they wore the painter's coat you did not get the same results. Galinsky posits that when you put on a coat labeled 'doctor's coat' you also take on the symbolic meaning of being a doctor. A doctor needs to be more attentive and smarter. Artist or painter's coat wearers felt more creative.

The idea for the research came for watching an episode for The Simpsons where a group of children wore gray uniforms and were really quiet. A rainstorm came and washed away the gray resulting in a dramatic behavior change. Galinsky started thinking about how the clothes you wear and the meaning behind them effect behavior.

Galinsky's suggestion to us all? Remember the next time you are choosing clothing and/or getting dressed that “the clothes that you wear seep into the fabric” of your psyche.

What do you think? Are you the same person in clothes from H&M as you are if you've been shopping at Saks? Do you change your personae when you wear designer looks with a high price tag versus the same designer's looks from Target?

Talk about things that make you go hmmm.....

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

You Thought Your Mom Was Obsessive? Ha!

Here Comes The Bride's Mother! Or OH NO! DUCK AND HIDE! Momzilla is coming to town!

I remember when my daughters were six-ish and they had a game called "Perfect Wedding" that revolved around planning their weddings. It was the hit of the neighborhood for several years. You got to choose everything from your groom (you could trade him in! (wow! just like a few people I know do!) and you could choose everything from where you got married to cakes and flowers. That was the beginning of wedding planning mania at our house. We went through Barbie and Ken getting married (multiple times) and occasionally GI Joe marrying Barbie as well.

I hate to admit this but I'm just as bad as my daughters! As soon as my daughter mentioned the word wedding I started researching. I know, I know it is HER wedding. But as a researcher by trade my knee jerk reaction to anything is to hit the net running and see what I can see! And as someone who loves finding a good bargain I love searching the Internet.

While I've been researching, she's been through three fiance/boyfriends since then. I've suffered through the boyfriend who was just...well just awful! The boyfriend even his mother didn't want. The boyfriend who was obsessed with Madonna and was a mama's boy. And now the last, her fiance. Well I'm not suffering through him. (Am I?) Of course not!

Unfortunately I'm still obsessive about using the web so I quickly found all the wedding web pages, blogs, and bulletin boards. And I've been reading them ever since. You have to realize, I've been reading them now for seven years, or is it eight or nine? OK OK, yes I am obsessive! I admit it. It's my personal failing. Needing to be a know it all! Or at least trying to be one!

During her various relationships she's wanted a beach wedding, a destination wedding, a traditional wedding, and a wedding at a vineyard and oh yes, the Vegas wedding with a Madonna impersonator marrying her(actually that was more her boyfriend's idea.) She's gone through wanting her wedding in three different states and several destination wedding.

I guess I should be glad she doesn't want to jump out of airplane in her wedding gown or get married underwater using scuba equipment! So just when you start to think your mom is nuts, (and you're ready to kill her) just think, you could have been stuck with me!

Failed Recipes That Send You Straight to the Pepto!

Video Courtesy of YouTube

Is your mom a great cook? Or do her creations send you running for the Pepto Bismol? I have to admit my mom is a great cook. While she doesn't cook as much now as she did when we were all younger, she has always been a creative cook who knows her way around a kitchen.

We grew up watching Julia Child with a dash of Graham Kerr, The Galloping Gourmet on TV. Although with six people to feed on a budget our food was rarely 'gourmet.' But my mom was always on the hunt for the next great recipe. Unfortunately for us she read the newspaper daily... and the newspaper was the source of nearly all unpalatable food served at our house.

"Oh no! Another newspaper recipe!" was a familiar lament at our dinner table when my mom was  trying out new recipes (some from the newspaper). Some of her new recipes were big hits, but it seemed every recipe she tried from the newspaper was a ... disaster... yes I think that's the polite way of putting it.

Not to say Mom isn't a great cook (and still is), it was those dreaded newspaper recipes! But since the rule at our house was 'eat what's served,' we all did (or were hungry!) Not that any of us were ever in danger of starvation! Even if the main dish was a disaster there were plenty of veggie and side dishes to go around.

I don't know if whoever wrote for the paper in those days just didn't try out the recipes they published or if they were just horrible cooks! Or maybe they didn't have any taste buds. I was very grateful when she stopped trying them and moved on to some magazines that actually TESTED how things tasted before publishing them.

As an adult I'm a decent cook but not on a par with Mom (or my sister who is an excellent cook). But I learned one important lesson growing up...AVOID the newspaper recipes. So as you are planning your Easter dinner and can't decide what to cook, talk to friends, consult good cookbooks, or good cooking magazines, call your mother or your sister, but PLEASE do your family a newspaper recipes! And if you must, be sure to keep a family size bottle of Pepto Bismol on hand!