Find a Feeder

Monday, December 31, 2012

Go For The Gusto! And I Don't Mean Your Beer

First of all, let me say this post was inspired by one written by a gutsy friend and fellow blogger, Sherry Aikens, and her post titled Facing Fears Being Vulnerable on Superexhausted. Sherry writes about all the things she's done in her life that have left her open to being hurt or taking risks. Wow! She is one gutsy lady.

Each year I try to make a New Year's resolution and every year I forget all about them within a few weeks. Someone suggested making a bucket list. Bucket list--oh no! not me! Yes, I admit, I don't have a bucket list. (I know, I am the only one right?) But life is too busy to write bucket lists! Better I just get up and do it! I've always love the sneaker company slogan "Just Do It!" because it is so... me. (more like if I took the time to write it down I'd chicken out, so I need to Just Do It! and the sooner the better!)

So I want to ask you, what have you done that involved taking a risk, trying something new, something out of your comfort zone? What do you have on your 'bucket list' of things to do that terrifies you the most?

At 50 I was laid off from a job doing medical research that I'd had for almost 20 years. As I looked for a new job I kept coming back to a job listing that had intrigued me--working for reality TV. I know, leap off the cliff right? Well at least if I failed I wouldn't smash into pieces at the bottom of the cliff! Nothing like going from something I know to something I know nothing about--but that's typical, sometimes making decisions that lack 'smarts' all because I want to try something new.

Amazingly enough it was a great job! At least while it lasted. Like many jobs my job was absorbed into someone else's job description, alas, because I really enjoyed it. Ah well, time to hunt for a new job again! At 55 I was once again looking for a job but didn't want to go back to Center City to the big research hospitals, so I snagged a job doing medical editing--a bit of everything I'd ever done. Once again, it lasted, until it didn't. So now, I blog. A lot. And I work with helping people with intellectual disabilities live independently. I zig, I zag, and yes, I guess you could say I do JUST DO IT! 

A lot of my scary stuff is nothing to a lot of people. It's their everyday life, but for me, not so much. One thing that I was afraid to do... chemistry class.  In high school I absolutely could not master balancing equations. Yet when I had to do it again in college a few years ago, it was a piece of cake. Why couldn't I do it before? Fear. Fear of failure was holding me back. When I couldn't master it the first few times I tried it, I let fear paralyze me. (See, as I said, not your usual 'bucket list.')

What else used to make me crazy? Driving in Philadelphia. Again, college forced me into facing that fear (I learned a lot of things in college that had nothing to do with getting a degree.) I was terrified of driving from my home in the suburbs through west Philadelphia and into Center City. Buses, people swerving in and out, bikes...all of it make me nuts, but nothing so much as those narrow lanes! Now I wonder why it ever bothered me. Again, nothing you would put on a bucket list, like skydiving, ballooning, bungee jumping, sailing around the world--but everyday scary stuff for me.

I'm old enough that I remember when I didn't know how to use a computer. (OK OK, stop holding your sides laughing at what a dinosaur I am!) But I was terrified of it. The darn thing jammed up everytime I tried to use it. Finally after hours of driving my coworkers crazy (thank you Chris, Rob) I figured it out. Ah! Finally! I refuse to become intimidated by a machine ever again!

What else is on my list of terrifying things? Navigating the subway systems, whether in NYC or Philadelphia, subways scare the beejesus out of me! I think it has to be with being enclosed underground (I will not be a happy corpse!) I had the same problem with scuba diving--as a child my dad took my brothers and my sister and I diving--I was sure I was going to be pressed into the sand at the bottom of the ocean! Of course obviously it didn't happen. You'd think that would have cured me of the fear--'fraid still won't find me scuba diving though. But I may ease into the subway next year--stay tuned!

Yes, you won't find me making a bucket list, it would scare me to death. I think I'll go ahead and JUST DO IT! Before I chicken out--AGAIN! So I guess you could say 'just doing it' is my New Year's resolution for 2013.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Elk and Gorillas and The Fiscal Cliff

From Pinterest
A group of geese is called a gaggle, a group of swans is called a bank, a group of elk is called a gang, and a group of gorillas is called a congress. I guess that explains a great deal about our government doesn't it? Actually I'm not sure our legislators should be called a 'gang' or a 'congress' in D.C.
So do you think those gorillas in Washington can get their acts together so we don't go over the fiscal cliff? Contact your senator and congressperson today and tell them their future employment depends on their job performance. Face it, you or I have to complete tasks on time at work, why shouldn't they?

Les Misérables Is Coming To The Academy of Music January 2, 2013

Coming soon to the Academy of Music is Boublil & Schönberg's legendary musical, Les Misérables. But don't expect your usual Les Mis. This is Cameron Mackintosh's 25th anniversary production and it boasts "glorious new staging and dazzlingly reimagined scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo."

The New York Times calls this Les Misérables 'an unquestionably spectacular production from start to finish.' The London Times hails the new show 'a five star hit, astonishingly powerful.'

Sounds to me like it's time to get your tickets now. Les Misérables will be at the Academy of Music from January 2-January 13, 2013.

If you've never seen Les Mis this is the year to break the piggy bank and buy those tickets. If you are looking for a date night you'll never forget, take your significant other out for an evening at the Academy of Music to see this production that is breaking box office records. Enjoy.

**The writer received tickets to see Les Misérables as compensation for writing this post. The content was not influenced by said tickets and opinions are my own.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

2012 Charitable Donation Time

As the year end approaches have you sent out your charitable donations for 2012?

This year may I suggest donating to the March of Dimes? Through December 31, 2012, your $25 or more donation (up to  $65,000) will be matched by PerkinElmer. PerkinElmer is committed to protecting the health of expectant mothers, babies and families and is proud to be a national supporter of March of Dimes NICU Family Support®.

It's that type of commitment that helps us have a healthier generation of babies. For more than 75 years, the
March of Dimes "has funded research, partnered with medical experts, sought volunteers, provided training, and advocated for access to health care for mothers and babies." Please help them continue this tradition of excellence by giving today. Your donation, no matter how big or small will help them toward their goals. PerkinElmer will help as well.

March of Dimes, a not-for-profit organization recognized as tax-exempt under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3). Donations to March of Dimes are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law. Up to $65,000 will be doubled. Matched money does not count toward March of Babies incentives nor President's Society membership.
For more information about the March of Dimes, visit our website at

Sleep Hygiene-How to Get A Peaceful Night's Sleep

Sleep hygiene. No, this isn't about being sure your have clean sheets and pillowcases. Instead it is tips for getting a peaceful night's rest. Whether you're aging and need to get a better night's sleep or are trying to get your children to sleep, these tips will help you all.

Here are tips from the pros for how to get better sleep and a restful night.

Use a good quality mattress and pillow. Without these two products your body won't be comfortable and you will toss and turn all night long, never getting in to a deep sleep.

Keep you bedroom dark and quiet. No music, no TV, no lights, no phones.

Do something relaxing before bed like taking a warm bubble bath or reading a book(not one of Stephen King's thrillers!)

Keep the temperature of your room steady. Not too hot, not too cold--just right.

Try not to exercise in the three hours before you head to bed.

Avoid alcoholic beverages when trying to get to sleep.

Avoid caffeinated beverages in the late afternoon and early evening.

Avoid eating a large meal before bedtime.

If you need more information about sleep problems contact your sleep center at your local hospital. Many have cognitive behavioral sleep specialist who can work with you on your sleep problems. Some individuals may need a CPAP machine to help with sleep apnea or other issues. Or head over to the National Sleep Foundation (703-243-1697). Brochures on sleep issues can be ordered from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (630-737-9700.) Sleep is important--take the time to learn how to get the best night's rest you can from the experts.

Brides Against Breast Cancer Wedding Gown Sale Coming To Philadelphia

Photo from Brides Without Breast Cancer
Brides Without Breast Cancer comes to the Philadelphia area on January 4, 2013 at the Clarion Hotel Conference Center in Essington PA. Brides and designers both donate their dresses and the proceeds go to help fund programs for cancer patients and their families. Outreach and educational efforts during the "Tour of Gowns" bridal shows around the country help ensure that people impacted by cancer have the resources and information they need in their battle with cancer.
As a bride, this is a great opportunity to get your wedding gown at a discount price (savings up to 2585% while supporting a great cause. There are more than 1000 name brand and designer wedding gowns.
  • Philadelphia area brides can buy one ticket and bring a friend to this event for free.
  • Most gowns range in price from $99-$799.
  • Meet distinguished bridal partners who have helped make this event possible.
Don't miss this great event that lets you get a great dress at a bargain price!

Friday, December 28, 2012

The Forrest Theatre Host Jekyll and Hyde

This week at this Forrest Theatre Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde visit the city of Brotherly Love. The book and lyrics of Jekyll and Hyde is by Leslie Briccusse. Music and Co-conceiver Frank Wildhorn and Co-conceiver Stever Cuden characters attack the stage at the Forrest bringing the duality of Jekyll and Hyde to Philadelphia audiences.

The good doctor is played by Constantine Maroulis, best known to the majority of Americans as a finalist on American Idol, but he is also a Broadway veteran of shows like Rock of Ages and The Wedding Singer. Female leads are played by Emmy Award winner Deborah Cox as Lucy and Teal Wicks as Emma, the doctor's fiancée. Cox first appeared on Broadway in the lead role in Elton John and Tim Rice's musical, Aida. She is also a Grammy nominated and multi-platinum recording artist and film and television actress. Wicks is best known for her role in Wicked, where she played Elphaba in the Los Angeles Company of that show.

Should you invest in tickets for Jekyll and Hyde? Fans of Maroulis will buy tickets just to see his performance. And Cox (as well as her understudy Emmy Raver-Lampman who was playing the role the night we were there) are well worth the ticket price. Raver-Lampman as Lucy owned the stage, stealing the show from Maroulis, and showing the audience just how good a 'bad girl' can be. She steals Teal Wicks' thunder as Jekyll/Hyde's fiancée, although when the two sing together they can't be beat. This show is owned by the women in the cast. (Sorry Constantine, loved you in American Idol, but the ladies own the stage in J&H.)

The show was directed and choreographed by Jeff Calhoun who recently staged Disney's Newsies and he brings the same look and feel to J&H. Lighting by Jeff Croiter and Sound by Ken Travis are also reminiscent of Newsies. Anyone who has seen Newsies will recognize the work of  these three as J&H progresses. (Not that this is a bad thing.)

The show is on it's way to Broadway, and hopefully they'll tighten up on the road. They missed a few opportunities to connect with their audience when a humorous line fell flat, but it's worth the ticket price just to hear Cox or River-Lampman as well as Teal Wicks sing. Some songs could use some work especially early in the show. Also of note, the chorus is Broadway ready, giving a tight and enjoyable performance every time they take the stage. 

Fans of Cox/Raver-Lampman, Teal Wicks, and Maroulis will enjoy the show. Maroulis' fans will think he's been robbed by the ladies in the cast but it's worth it to see his transformation from Jekyll to Hyde.  

**The author was provided with tickets as compensation for posting about Jekyll and Hyde's performances in Philadelphia. Any opinions are her own and have not been changed by the provision of tickets.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Give Teens and Tweens an Experiential Holiday Gift They'll Never Forget

Still stuck on what to get your tween and teen grandchildren for the holidays? Why not give them the gift of Cirque Éloize | iD. Take your whole family to see this innovative experience at the Merriam Theater in Philadelphia the week after Christmas. The new Cirque is full of up to date moves and music sure to appeal to tweens and teens. (and adults alike)

This Cirque show is full of music and moves your grand kids will be familiar with because the show sports the looks of break dancing and the X Games. iD shows off Cirque Eloize's reputation as one of the foremost theatre circus acts combining music, dance, and theatre.

Cirque Éloize | iD will be at the Merriam Theatre in Philadelphia Wednesday, December 26 - Sunday, December 30, 2012. Some dates have matinees as well as evening performances.

These are the perfect tickets to get for tweens and teens when you don't want to buy them some electronic gadget or game but want a family friendly gift where the whole family can go together, Cirque Eloize is it. Tickets are available, priced from $25-$65 so it is possible to take the everyone.

Montreal-based Cirque Eloize has seven productions and has presented them in more then 3,000 performances in 375 cities and 30 countries worldwide. They recently formed a strategic partnership with Cirque du Soleil that will help Cirque Eloize further enhance their presence on the world stage of theater circus productions. So look for Cirque Eloize to come back year after year with a new production.

Take time to buy those tickets today. While the soundtrack may not be your personal favorite, it is sure to be a hit with the grand kids (and even your kids.) And shopping from your seat and not on your feet is so much easier!

**The writer received tickets to see Cirque Eloize iD as compensation for writing this post. The content was not influenced by said tickets and opinions are my own.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Tragedy At Sandy Hook Elementary School

The recent tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School has brought up the issue of better gun control. But the other and as important issue is how our country views mental illness and how we help our citizens who have mental health problems.

Liza Long recently wrote a blog post called I Am Adam Lanza's Mother and posted it on  The Blue Review and reposted it on The Anarchist Soccer Mom and called it Thinking the Unthinkable.

Her blog post details her day to day life with her 13 year old son who suffers from mental illness. She tells the story of her family's daily life, living with the possibility of her son will have an episode that results in calling paramedics and police and a trip to the local hospital. Where her other children have to run and lock themselves in the car while she attempts to wrestle whatever weapon her son has away from him.

She asked the social worker what her options were to deal with her son's increasingly frequent disturbance. She was told the only way to deal with it was to have him charged with a crime. She quotes the social worker as saying  “If he’s back in the system, they’ll create a paper trail,” he said. “That’s the only way you’re ever going to get anything done. No one will pay attention to you unless you’ve got charges.”

The sadness of having to charge someone who is ill with a crime in order to get the appropriate treatment for them horrifies me. In the United States we are failing our citizens who are mentally ill. Before we have another Sandy Hook or Columbine, let's make a concerted effort to help the mentally ill before they hurt someone. Whether it's their families or others. It's time for a call to arms, not to arm ourselves with guns but to arm our citizens with the knowledge and the power to care for the mentally ill.

Liza Long is an author, musician, and classicist. She is also a single mother of four bright, loved children, one of whom has special needs.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

On Stage In Philadelphia

Photo used per Allied-

This week in Philadelphia, Tony award-winning Broadway musical Million Dollar Quartet made it's Philadelphia premiere on December 11-December 16, 2012 at the Forrest Theatre. The Forrest in located on Walnut Street and is an easy commute from suburban Philadelphia, South Jersey or Delaware.

Why do you want to call NOW for tickets? This show is the story of a famous recording session when Sam Phillips (better known as the "Father of Rock 'n' Roll) brought together big names Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis for an unforgettable night in the recording studio. The show follows this incredible jam sessions and is filled with over 20 hits you all know like "Blue Suede Shoes," "I Walk The Line," "Fever," "That's All Right," "Great Balls of Fire" and the famed "Hound Dog." Who could resist an evening filled with songs we all know and love?

Get ready for a night of toe tappin' singing and an audience who is dying to sing along with the cast as they see this "Million Dollar Quartet" take the stage and show all the newbies how Rock was REALLY done. We were there opening night and the audience was on their feet, clapping and some singing along as the show came to rousing close.

Yes, we've had some greats since their time, but these are some of the biggest names from the beginning of rock 'n' roll. They showed all the rockers who followed them just how it's done.

While it's not really Elvis, Jerry Lee, Carl or Johnny (that would be quite a trick!) the cast does a great job of taking you back to the '50s and making you feel like you're right there listening to the men who started it all.

It would be hard to say which of the actors gave the best performance. Why? Because it didn't seem like they were acting at all. They literally became their characters, and got the audience to believe they had been transported back to the 1950s as these young men came into their own as artists.

Starring in Million Dollar Quartet are Martin Kay as Jerry Lee Lewis, Robert Britton Lyons as Carl Perkins, Cody Slaughter as Elvis, and David Elkins as Johnny Cash. They rocked the stage singing over twenty great songs. (I listed these artists from stage right to stage left because I was hard put to decide who had given the best performance.) Vince Nappo owned the stage as Sam Phillips the legendary rock 'n' roll promoter and marketer. Kelly Lamont played the part of Dyanne, Elvis' girlfriend and sang some notable songs on her own. Rounding out the cast are Billy Shaffer on drums and Corey Kaiser on base.

The show is directed by Eric Schaeffer, book by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux. Designs by Derek McLane(scenic design), Howell Binkley(lighting design), Jane Greenwood(costume design), Kai Harada (sound design), and Chuck Mead (musical arrangements and supervision.)

Million Dollar Quartet is a story of broken promises, secrets, betrayal and celebrations of these young men as they rock their way across the stage telling their tales. Songs ranged from rock to gospel, R&B, and country, this show truly had something for everyone. So get your tickets today, they won't last long!

Get your tickets now. They won't last long!

***Disclosure: This policy is valid from 12 December 2012 This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. For questions about this blog, please contact This blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. This blog abides by word of mouth marketing standards. We believe in honesty of relationship, opinion and identity. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post will be clearly identified as paid or sponsored content. The owner of this blog is compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. Even though the owner of this blog receives compensation for some posts or advertisements, she always gives her honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blogger's own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question. This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Artisan Living With Autism Makes Beautiful Blankets

Who is Brent? He's a talented artisan who makes blankets in a variety of colors and sizes. He has been making his blankets for over 20 years. He is also a man who lives with Autism but who has not let it limit him. He's put his creative skills to use and crochets blankets for family, friends and the public to enjoy. He sells his work at the West Grove Farmer's Market and through personal contact.
Visit his small business Facebook page Blankets By Brent.

Brent showing one of his blankets
Support Brent's business. Order a blanket from him. The blankets are unique and not quite rectangular in shape. Brent combines colors and designs in each blanket and follows his creative muse. All the blankets are different. Give a gift this winter that will warm your body and your heart.
Brent lives in suburban Philadelphia at  Juniper Hill Farms with other men with autism.

Juniper Hill offers a unique opportunity for a small group of men living with autism to experience life on a farm. To find out more about Juniper Hill, you can visit their Facebook page at

At Juniper Hill Brent helps to take care of the fiber animals and hopes to someday be able to crochet shawls and neck warmers from his own alpaca's fiber. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Holidays, Shopping, Hell? Not Necessarily

It's holiday time again and you're headed to the hell, oh I meant the mall to shop. You know the parking lot will be a crush. You are dreading that long walk from the farthest reaches of the parking lot that you know is waiting for you when you get there. What do do? Ah! I have a magical way to get that parking space you want near the door.
'How do you do that' you ask? I'll tell you. The best part is not only is it easy, it is free. As you leave your house imagine the entrance you want to park near at the mall. Then imagine the parking space. You know the ones, five spaces from the mall or less. The primo spots. Where it's easy to drop off packages as you shop so you do not have to drag them all over the mall with you. Ah, yes, I see you are familiar with those spaces!
As you drive to the mall imagine the spot. Think positively. See it in your head as you drive. When  you get to the mall, ta da! You'll often find that the very spot you imagined is available or a driver who is parked there is just walking away from the entry door. Magic I tell you! And the power of positive thinking too.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to my readers. (Who will likely be parked in my favorite spaces the next time I go to the mall!)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Women Helping Women

I have to admit, I've been very proud of my sex lately. I've watched women bond together to help families suffering through Hurricane Sandy, I've seen women generously getting together to raise money for everything from AIDS research to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation to St. Jude's to Cradles to Crayons. And I've seen them generously reaching out to their friends or colleagues on a one on one basis.

What makes women so giving? Why are women always out there willing to help someone in need? Whether storm victims or abuse victims or someone with a child who needs help, I've seen women reach out to help each other in times of need. Women supporting women. Supporting others who are in need.

I have to say, I'm proud of them, all these other women. Some of them are people I know either through business or just casual contacts, some are family, some are total strangers, but all of them have one thing in common--they care. And they do something about it.

I've personally seen people reach out to help my daughter who has a disability or two, but who is really quite capable with a little help from her friends--that's the key. All of us need a little help now and then. You never know when it will be your turn to need help, so it's always time to give help if you can.

So if you can give, just a little, to someone else in need this holiday season please do. And it doesn't have to be monetary giving. Give your time. Your efforts. Your smile. Take the time to listen to someone who is lonely and needs an ear. Those are equally appreciated. I know, we're all busy, but fit it in. Your holidays will be the richer for it.