Sunday, April 16, 2017

Celebrating the Holiday!

I'm taking a break from blogging this week to celebrate the Easter Holiday with my family.



Everyone, have a safe and great week!



(Photo c/o facebook.com/snoopy)

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Phillies Score 12 for the History Books!

Although the Phillies' didn't begin the season the way fans had hoped (one win in four games), last night's game at Citizen Bank Park against the Washington Nationals was one for baseball history. 




The offense scored TWELVE runs in the first inning! The Phillies won the game by a score of 17-3!




During baseball season, I always check the Phillies' Facebook page while drinking my first cup of coffee. When I saw all the great photos posted from last night, I knew I had to share with all of you! For game details and to see some of the highlights, visit, http://m.phillies.mlb.com/news/article/223113776/phillies-have-historic-inning-defeat-nats/





The standing ovation the fans gave the team at the conclusion of the first inning brought tears to my eyes...



We don't know what the rest of the season holds for the Phillies, but last night was truly a night to remember. 



Great job, Team!




Thanks, Guys!!!

Have a great week, Everyone!



(photos c/o facebook.com/phillies)

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Let's Play Ball! The 2017 Baseball Season is Here!!!!

Yay! It's baseball time, PHILLIES baseball time! ☺ My Philadelphia Phillies open their 2017 season against the Reds tomorrow, April 3rd, in Cincinnati. The team hosts their season home opener this Friday, April 7th, at Citizen Bank Park.


Here's wishing my team a happy, healthy season with lots of home runs (for Phillies' hitters), and many scoreless innings (for Phillies' pitchers).

Go, Phillies!



(photo c/o facebook.com/Phillies)


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Spring Fun in Philadelphia!

Spring has finally arrived! The season means warmer weather, outdoor events, and plenty of activities in Philly. 




Here's a sample of what fun things my friends and family, and me will enjoy!

Cherry Blossom Festival (April 1-9)

Lasting nine days, this event gives visitors the opportunity to view the beautiful cherry blossoms and gardens throughout Philadelphia. Activities for all ages. FMI, www.visitphilly.com/events/philadelphia/the-cherry-blossom-festival-of-greater-philadelphia/


"Phillie Phanatic"



Phillies' 2017  Season Home Opener vs. the Washington Nationals (April 7)

Baseball at Citizens Bank Park! 
FMI, www.phillies.com



"East Passyunk Avenue Easter Egg Hunt"



Easter Egg Hunt on East Passyunk 
Avenue (April 8)

Little else is more fun than watching little ones search 

for colored eggs...and their exuberance when they find them! 
Arts and crafts and kiddie activities galore! FMI, www.visiteastpassyunk.com


Manayunk StrEAT Food Festival (April 9)

Main Street in the Manayunk section of Philly closes to vehicle traffic so that folks can enjoy fabulous live music, awesome food vendors, and spectacular boutiques. FMI, www.manayunk.com/news-and-events/events/spring-streat-food-festival.html


South Street Spring Festival (May 6)

Event runs along South Street from Front to 8th. Music, dancing, food, and lots of activities for families. FMI, www.visitphilly.com/events/philadelphia/south-street-headhouse-spring-festival/


Italian Market Festival (May 20-21)

You may not find "Rocky" running through South Philly's 9th Street, but year after year the edible treats keep getting better and better. Bring your appetite to the nation's oldest outdoor market. FMI, www.italianmarketfestival.com


Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival (May 20)

Visitors from all over swarm Rittenhouse Square to check out the discounts shops have to offer and sample delectable treats. FMI, www.rittenhouserow.org


"Elfreth Alley, Fete Day"




Elfreth Alley's Fete Day (June 3)

Annual celebration on our nation's oldest residential street. Elfreth Alley was designated a historic landmark in 1966. Enjoy a day of crafts, music, colonial games, and food. FMI, www.elfrethsalley.org/new-index/


What events do you have lined up for Spring? Whatever you do this week, have a great one!



(Winnie & friends photo c/o facebook.com/winniethepooh;
 East Passyunk Ave photo  c/o facebook.com/EPassyunkAve;
 Phillie Phanatic photo c/o facebook.com/phillies;
 Fete Day photo c/o facebook.com/ElfrethAlley)

Sunday, March 19, 2017

A Blast of Winter...

Although the 2017 Winter in Philadelphia hasn't been as nasty as seasons past, Mother Nature hit us with a Nor'easter this week that left the city and surrounding areas with some messy snow and ice.


As I've frequently said, the only way I like my snow is in a photo. Many people were happy to share their "snow photos" from around the city on social media. The white stuff does look lovely (in a photo, of course!).

A "shout-out" and a thank you to all the Philly folks who posted photos and shared.



"The Academy of Natural Sciences"




"Philadelphia Museum of Art"




"Historic Christ Church and Burial Ground"





"Benjamin Franklin Parkway"




"View of Cret Park from
Capricco Cafe and Bar"




"Spruce Street"



According to the calendar, Spring begins tomorrow. Let's hope Mother Nature circled the date! 😊

Everyone, stay warm, safe, and have a great week!


(photo of  Winnie and Christopher Robin c/o facebook.com/WinniethePooh;
 photo of Academy c/o facebook.com/Academy of Natural Sciences;
 photo of Christ Church Burial Ground c/o facebook.com/historicchristchurchandbg;
 photo of Museum of Art c/o facebook.com/6abcActionNews;
 photo of Benjamin Franklin Parkway c/o facebook.com/visitphilly;
 photo of Cret Park c/o facebook.com/LoganSquareCafe:
 photo of Spruce Street c/o facebook.com/washwestcivic)

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Do You Take "Me" Time?


One morning this week, during my bus ride to the "day job," I couldn't help but overhear the conversation taking place between the two women who were sitting behind me. 




From their dialogue, I concluded they were neighbors. Although each had different jobs, and different bus stops, they apparently waited on their corner and rode together every morning. As the bus approached a stop, one of the women prepared to exit. Her companion said to her, "I won't see you tomorrow. I'm taking the day off to pamper myself for my birthday." 

She went on the explain that she was spending the day at a popular spa getting a mani/pedi/massage/facial and then treating herself to lunch. She named a very high end Philly restaurant. She said her sister had asked to join her, and she replied, "No, this is my day for me. I want to enjoy it by myself." 

During what was left of my ride, I thought about how once in a while, I take an hour or two for "me." A walk through Philly's historical district, or along East Passyunk Avenue with a stop at one of its great bistros is my idea of "pamper me time." I never considered taking an entire day, or spending as much money, as this woman apparently planned on spending. 

But the concept of such lavish indulgence intrigued me. So, I ask you, Readers. Do you take time to "pamper" yourself? And, if so, how?????

Have a good week, Everyone!


(photo c/o cheriedurbin@morgueFile.com)

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Catching Up on DVDs...

Rainy -- or snowy -- days are a great opportunity to catch up on my DVD watching. A recent dismal weather day in Philly had us seeing a rain/snow mix. A trail of DVDs and non-stop hot chocolate makes me forget how miserable it is outside my window.




I'm always happy to share my recent choices with you (and their Amazon links)!




"Sully"


In January, 2009, Captain “Sully” Sullenberger (Tom Hanks) glided his disabled plane onto the frigid waters of the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 aboard. Only, that's just the beginning of the story.

Amazon Buy Link:

https://www.amazon.com/Sully-DVD-Tom-Hanks/dp/B01LBWHQ70/



"Pete's Dragon"



A mysterious 10-year-old boy, Pete, turns up, claiming to live in the woods with a giant green dragon.

Amazon Buy Link:

https://www.amazon.com/Petes-Dragon-Bryce-Dallas-Howard/dp/B01I0RFMO8/



'Eight Days A Week: The Touring Years!"




Two hours with The Beatles...reminded me how much I miss them...


Amazon Buy Link:

https://www.amazon.com/Eight-Days-Week-Touring-Years/dp/B01NA7F5E2/



Have a great week, Everyone!



(photo c/o facebook.com/snoopy)

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Wisdom from Dr. Seuss...

This Thursday, March 2nd, we celebrate the birthday of one of the wisest men to ever grace the world of literature, Theodor Seuss Geisel, affectionately known as "Dr. Seuss."




Coinciding each year with Dr. Seuss's birthday is the annual "Read Across America Day," created by the National Education Association. Libraries, bookstores, schools hold annual events and share activities to promote reading.

Whether your favorite Dr. Seuss character is "Horton" the sweet, sensitive, compassionate elephant or the zany, unpredictable, perplexing "Cat in the Hat," there's no denying that Seuss creations have not only entertained us and educated us, but influenced how children and adults respond to the world around them.

So, Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss! And, thank you for the delightful characters you created and the hours of reading pleasure. In honor of this special day on Thursday, I'm sharing some of Dr. Seuss's inspirational quotes and Seuss trivia. 




"A person's a person no matter how small."
                             ...Horton Hears A Who!




"You're never too old, too wacky, too wild to pick up a 
 book and read to a child.'

                                                      ...Dr. Seuss





"You find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax. 
All you need is a book.."

                                                       ... The Cat in the Hat





"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. 
 You can steer yourself in any direction you choose."

                                                 ...Oh, The Places You'll Go!




"We've got to make noises in greater amounts! So open your 
 mouth, Lad! For every voice counts!"

                                                   ...One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish,                                                                                     Blue Fish



"You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because 
 reality is finally better than your dreams."

                                                   ...Dr. Seuss





For more information on "Read Across America Day" and activities,  www.nea.org/readacross


Have a great week, Everyone!





(photos c/o facebook.com/drseuss)





Sunday, February 19, 2017

An invitation to Betsy's House...

A few weeks ago a friend of mine, who teaches second grade, asked me if I could help chaperone a class field trip to Betsy Ross's House in the Olde City section of Philadelphia. As she had looked through her class list, she realized that she was short on parent chaperones



Walking through the historical district of Philadelphia is definitely my cup of hot chocolate. My friend's second graders are adorable and bright, and the outing turned into a fun afternoon.


Betsy's Arch Street House 
as it stood in 1898




History tells us that the Philadelphia house is where Betsy Ross lived and sewed the first American flag. Over the years, whether or not she actually sewed the flag has been seen as more fiction than reality. What is known to be fact is that Betsy ran an upholstery business out of her house from 1773 through 1786.

Although her connection to the first flag is debatable, the house on Arch Street is a major tourist attraction in our city. 


The "restored" house as it stands today



"Betsy" in her Upholstery Shop



Sewing was done by hand in the 18th Century



Dinner at Betsy's 




Have a good week, Everyone, and for a Virtual Tour of Betsy Ross's House, http://historicphiladelphia.org/virtualbrh/



(photos c/o facebook.com/betsyrosshouse)

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Still Reading Christmas Books?

I often joke that I'm still reading Christmas books in the summer. Once I purchase a book, it stays on the top of my bookcase until I'm ready to read it. Once finished, it finds a spot on a shelf.




Here's what's on my "Waiting to be Read" list.



A Lowcountry Christmas
by Mary Alice Monroe






A wounded warrior and his younger brother discover the true meaning of Christmas in this timeless story of family bonds.

Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/Lowcountry-Christmas-Mary-Alice-Monroe/dp/1501125532/

Barnes & Noble

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-lowcountry-christmas-mary-alice-monroe/1123497143


Books-A-Million

http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Lowcountry-Christmas/Mary-Alice-Monroe/9781501125539


Miracle on 5th Avenue
by Sarah Morgan






It will take a Christmas miracle for two very different souls to find each other in this perfectly festive fairy tale of New York! 

Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/Miracle-5th-Avenue-Sarah-Morgan/dp/0373789343/


Barnes & Noble

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/miracle-on-5th-avenue-sarah-morgan/1123276862


Books-A-Million

http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Miracle-Avenue/Sarah-Morgan/9780373789344




It Must be Christmas
by Various Authors
(three holiday stories)




It’s the most wonderful time of the year, when love is in the cold and frosty air―and desire reaches the boiling point. . .

Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/Must-Be-Christmas-Holiday-Stories/dp/1250106370/


Barnes & Noble

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/it-must-be-christmas-jennifer-crusie/1124361540


Books-A-Million

http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Must-Be-Christmas/Jennifer-Crusie/9781250106377


Besides me, is there anyone else who has Christmas books waiting to be read? Have a good week, Everyone!



("snow" photo c/o office.microsoft.com)

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Happy Super "Puppy" Bowl Sunday!

Football fans celebrate this Sunday as "Super Bowl Sunday" and look forward to today's match between the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots. In my house, we celebrate this day as "Puppy Bowl" Sunday.



Animal Planet's "Puppy Bowl" coincides every year with Football's big day. The event features puppies from shelters throughout the U.S. at play, with the voice over of a broadcaster calling the various moves as if the pups were simulating a competition. 
In Philadelphia, you don’t need to be a “puppy lover” to have an endearment for the festivities. Our beloved sportscaster, Harry Kalas who did the play-by-play for the Phillies until he passed away in 2009, called the plays from Puppy Bowl I in 2005 through 2009's Puppy Bowl V. Puppy Bowl VI was dedicated to Harry's memory.
An emphasis on adopting shelter puppies is a focus. For 20017's Puppy Bowl, we’re happy to have puppies from Philadelphia’s Morris Animal Rescue in the competition. The Morris Animal Refuge, a nonprofit founded in 1874 by Elizabeth Morris, is dedicated to finding homes for neglected pets. Along with providing adoptions, the center also provides various educational programs.
Max, a Pit Bull mix, is a starter on Team Fluff. Chuchi, a Chihauhua mix, is a backup on Team Ruff.

For information on our furry-heroes, check out the feature on Philly.com,



"Max"




To find out more about the Morris Animal Refuge, and their cuties up for adoption, http://www.morrisanimalrefuge.org/

For information on Puppy Bowl XIII, including the starting lineup,

http://www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/puppy-bowl/

Have a great week, Everyone!






(Puppy Bowl XIII photo c/o facebook.com/PuppyBowl;
 Max photo c/o facebook.com/morrisanimalrefuge)

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Conference Update

Around this time of year, whenever I would start complaining about Winter, my grandmother would say, "Spring is just around the corner." For writers Spring means conferences, a chance to network with other authors, exchange writing tips, learn a new skill, and meet agents and editors. Consider reservations for these upcoming events. 





"Let Your Imagination Take Flight"
sponsored by New England Chapter of Romance Writers of America
April 7-8, 2017
Boston Marriott, Burlington, MA


2017 Philadelphia Writing Workshop
"How to Get Published"
April 8, 2017
Sonesta Hotel Center City, Philadelphia, PA


2017 Seattle Writing Workshop
"How to Get Published"
May 6, 2017
Embassy Suites by Hilton Seattle Bellevue, Bellevue, WA
FMI, https://theseattlewritingworkshop.com/


30th Annual Pennwriters Conference
"Making Milestones"
May 19-21, 2017
Pittsburgh Airport Marriott, Pittsburgh, PA


2017 Desert Dreams Conference
sponsored by Desert Rose Chapter of RWA
"Write Your Dreams Into Reality"
June 1-4, 2017
Embassy Suites, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Phoenix, AZ
FMI, http://desertroserwa.org/desertdreams


37th Annual Romance Writers Conference
July 26-29, 2017
Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort, Orlando, FL
FMI, https://www.rwa.org/conference


2017 Writer's Digest Annual Conference
August 18-20, 2017
Hilton New York Midtown, New York, NY
FMI, http://www.writersdigestconference.com/


Have a great week, Everyone!




(photo c/o facebook.com/snoopy)

Sunday, January 22, 2017

National Winnie the Pooh Day!

This past Wednesday, January 18th, would have been the 135th  birthday of A.A. Milne, the author who created the Hundred Acre Woods. Mr. Milne passed away in 1956, but his legacy lives on through his beloved characters, Winnie the Pooh, Christopher Robin, Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo, Tigger, Rabbit, and Owl.





Although I'm a big admirer of Winnie and his friends (I still have the tattered, stuffed Winnie my grandmother gave me years ago), I wasn't aware "Pooh Bear" had a national day until I turned on the TV for Wednesday morning's broadcast of my local news (thank you, 6abc's Action News). Hearing the piece on Milne and Winnie reminded me of my favorite Pooh quotes, the true story behind Winnie, and one of the several books written about Milne's inspiration. I'm delighted to share my quotes with you this week, and links for the book.







"If there ever comes a day when we can't be together, keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever." 
...Winnie the Pooh


"Promise me you'll always remember: you're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."
...Christopher Robin 


"How do you spell love?" 
...Piglet 
"You don't spell it, you feel it." 
...Winnie the Pooh





Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired 
Winnie-the-Pooh
       by Sally M. Walker and Jonathan D. Voss




Who could care for a bear?

When Harry Colebourn saw a baby bear for sale at the train station, he knew he could care for it. Harry was a veterinarian. But he was also a soldier in training for World War I.

Harry named the bear Winnie, short for Winnipeg, his company’s home town, and he brought her along to the training camp in England. Winnie followed Harry everywhere and slept under his cot every night. Before long, she became the regiment’s much-loved mascot.

But who could care for the bear when Harry had to go to the battleground in France? Harry found just the right place for Winnie while he was away—the London Zoo. There a little boy named Christopher Robin came along and played with Winnie—he could care for this bear too!

Sally Walker’s heartwarming story, paired with Jonathan Voss’s evocative illustrations, brings to life the story of the real bear who inspired Winnie the Pooh.

Amazon


Barnes & Noble


Books-A-Million



Also, Winnie and his friends have a Facebook page,

https://www.facebook.com/WinniethePooh/ 

Have a great week, Everyone!


(photos c/o facebook.com/winniethepooh)

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Writing Contest Update!

Looking for feedback on your latest work in progress? Or hoping that a completed piece might catch on with an editor/agent (who is moonlighting as a contest judge)? Check out these upcoming writing contest deadlines.




2017 California Hooker Contest; sponsored by Southern California RWA chapters; Deadline, January 31, 2017; Entry, 3 pages of unpublished manuscript; FMI, https://caldreaminwriters.com/california-hooker-contest/

2017 Great Beginnings Contest; sponsored by Utah Chapter of Romance Writers; Deadline, February 14, 2017; Entry, opening 5 pages of romance novel; FMI, http://www.utahrwa.com/gbcontest.html

2017 Fabulous Five Contest: sponsored by Wisconsin Romance Writers; Deadline, March 1, 2017; Entry, first 2,500 words of manuscript; FMI, http://wisrwa.org/

86th Annual Writer's Digest Competition: sponsored by Writer's Digest Magazine; Deadline, May 5, 2017; Entry, manuscript with entry form; FMI, http://www.writersdigest.com/writers-digest-competitions/annual-writing-competition


Good luck, Everyone, and have a great week!


(photo c/o facebook.com/snoopy)



Sunday, January 8, 2017

Romance Authors, Mark Those Calendars!


The Holidays, and its festivities are over. In Philly, we're shoveling snow, dealing with extreme cold, and easing back into our "every day" routines.


It's time for Romance writers to start preparing for Romance Writers of America's annual conference.

This year the conference is being held at Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando, Florida from July 26th through the 29th.

Conference registration opens on February 7, 2017. FMI, https://www.rwa.org/conference

Have a good week, Everyone!