Friday, April 18, 2014

Top 10 Group Names for Animals

 We have all made generalizations like, look at that group over there, up to no good and we shake our heads, without knowing very much about the group. I am here to try and stop the gossip and educate.

A group of sheep is called a flock.

A group of geese is called a gaggle.

A group of deer is called a herd or mob.

A group of peacocks is called an ostentation a pride.

A group of  chickens can also be referred to as a brood or a peep.

A group finches is called a charm

A group of flamingos are called a stand or flamboyance.

A group of cows is called a kine and can also be referred to as a drift.

A group of pelicans is called a pod.

Real cute but you know a group of Meerkats is called a mob. They are still real cute.

Thanks to a Snapple bottle cap I learned that a group of goats is called a troop, that encouraged me to further investigate. I never knew all these other names. I will try my best to no longer be naysayer without the facts about other groups. We are all too quick to judge

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Top 10 Library Week and their Features

April 13th through the 19th is Library Week and it is not too late to "join" in the fun.

At the Library you can

1. Check out a book

2. Check out a  Fit Kit or a Grandkit

3. Take a Fitness Class like Yoga (at select libraries)

4. Rent a DVD

5. Research ancestry and old newspaper archives, some libraries offer homework help

6. Get access to a computer and the internet.

7. Join a Book Club

8. Make Crafts (at select locations)

9. Attend a lecture for adults, storytime for infants and toddlers

10. Borrow free ebooks

Your library is your connection to your community. Have a question? Ask a librarian, if they don't have the answer I bet they can tell you where to look it up!

We have 28 libraries in Delaware County and each one has its own special charm. Here is a link to the Delaware County Library System with a list of locations to choose from.

Library events link.

You will need to get a library card to participate in many of these features.
How do I get a library card you ask? Click on this library card link for more information.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Top 10 Suggested Easter Basket Fillers

1. Kite and string, look what it did for Ben Franklin.  It all starts with a spark of the imagination.

2. Sports equipment, a wiffle bat and ball, frisbee, bubbles. Yes bubbles you have to run and catch them correct?

3. Coloring book and Crayons.  I am not sure you will need the 96 pack but the sharpener is cool. Go brand name here.  I think the generic ones snap easier. I hate when that happens!

4. Balsam Airplanes.  You could be inspiring the next Boeing creative engineer, a female of course. How far can I fly? Have them race a paper airplane and compare the difference.

5. Children's Book with a seasonal topic, there are a lot of bunny books. How does your garden grow? Inspire an illustrator, storyteller, enthusiastic reader, an animal and plant lover. Books contain an unlimited supply of knowledge and inspiration.

6. Chalk in various colors washes off sidewalks with a hose and rain. Hold an art exhibit just prior.

7. A deck of cards it can teach number identification, good sportsmanship and negotiations. Gimme all your 10's, Go Fish. Someone will win and someone will loose. It can be a game of chance and a game of skill, a life lesson.

8. Paints can paint the palette of creativity you never knew you had. It can also spark after your retirement but why wait. President Eisenhower and President George W. Bush both discovered their passion for paint after holding the highest office in the United States.

9. Silly Putty and Play Doh or plain old molding clay from the craft store. Just "think" Rodan could grow up in your house. Provide the tools to make it happen.

10. Drawing paper is essential. Where else can you start that masterpiece?

Anything that builds on creativity is a plus.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Top 10 Things to do with the Kids this Week

1. The Philadelphia Zoo is open every day of the year except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve, and New Year's Day. Operating hours: March 1, 2014, through October 31, 2014, 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and November 1, 2014, through February 28, 2015 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. You can print your admission tickets and parking tickets at home. The balloon is back!

2. Adventure Aquarium is open 365 days a year, from 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM.  With special extended hours during certain times of the year. Location: 1 Riverside Drive, Camden, NJ 08103
General information:Toll Free 1-856-365-3300. Tickets can be purchased online in advance click on the ticket link for options.

3.Tyler Arboretum located at 515 Painter Road, Media, PA 19063 is open Monday – Friday  9:00 AM – 5:00 PM and Saturday – Sunday  9:00 AM – 6:00 PM. Phone: 610-566-9134. Adults (16 to 64): $9 Seniors (65+): $8,Youths (3-15): $5, Children under 3: Free. Check out membership prices.  This is a place that keeps you coming back for more. There are things to see and do for kids of all ages. The Treehouses opened April 5th.

4. Linvilla Orchards Visit the Barnyard and see the animals, FREE! Playland Playground: Children Admission $1. Hayride to Bunnyland 11-4pm $8.

5. Franklin Institute always offers many things to see and do to open the imagination.  Currently, they have special spring break hours. One Day in Pompeii is the special exhibit through April27th and 50 Greatest Photos from National Geographic runs through May 15. Admission prices for adults $16.50 and Children 3-11 $14. Additional pricing for special exhibits and theater shows. Don't miss the Pioneer out front.

6. The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.  The first thing I think of is dinosaurs and butterflies and so much more! The Academy is also offering a Spring Break Camp to ages 5-12.

7. Please Touch Museum Great fun for kids and also a CENTENNIAL GROWN-UP TOUR is offered which features a scale model, built in 1889, depicting the more than 200 buildings erected for the Centennial. Memorial Hall in Fairmount Park. The Museum is located in Memorial Hall  at 4231 Avenue of the Republic, Philadelphia, PA 19131.

8. Philly Mini Golf at Franklin Square Putt your way through Center City's only miniature golf course, featuring 18 holes designed after favorite Philly spots like Elfreth’s Alley, the Ben Franklin Bridge and the Liberty Bell. Adults, $9; ages 12 and under, $7; children under 2, free. Children must be accompanied by an adult. March 22 - May 22: Open daily from 10 am - 7 pm. with additional hours as the season progresses and special events. Franklin Square is located at 200 N. 6th Street in Philadelphia.

9. Delaware County Institute of Science  Location:  11 Veterans Square, Media, Pennsylvania 19063, Media, PA  Admission: FREE Days: Mondays, Thursdays, and most Saturdays, excluding holidays. Hours: 9 a.m. until noon. Parking: Parking is FREE in Media on Saturdays.

10. Planning a laid back week?  There are plenty of local parks and playgrounds for picnics, kite flying and just appreciating nature.

Some events may be weather sensitive. Plan ahead and check websites for updates.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Top 10 Upcoming Events this Week April 14-20, 2014

This week is "Spring Break" for many families, have a safe one.

1. Exciting opportunity for Insta-gram users: Washington Monument Insta-Meet May 12, 2014. The Department of the Interior announced the first Insta-Meet – and it’s pretty cool. A dozen followers of their Instagram account (@USInterior) will be invited to participate in the re-opening of the Washington Monument on May 12, 2014! You will join in the opening festivities and be among the first to go to the top of the Monument since it was closed for repairs after the earthquake in ‘12. Oh, and they will throw in an awesome guided tour of the National Mall and all the monuments. They are looking for active Instagram users who will document the day in real time for their followers. To be considered, please fill out the form below. They look forward to meeting 12 of you on May 12! To read the terms of this InstaMeet, click here:
Please note that the (doi) is unable to cover any expenses (including travel) for the Insta-Meet.

2. April 15th is Tax Day and a Lunar Eclipse.   If you can't sleep you can stay up and watch a live chat during the Lunar Eclipse with NASA April 15 at 1am - 5am.  Join the conversation at #eclipse. You have till midnight on April 15 to file your taxes or request an extension. If you already filed your taxes relax. I hope you are enjoying a refund.

3. April 16th  Newtown Square Historical Society presents 18th Century Medicine, speaker Donah Zack Beale, an historic interpreter with 28 years of experience in the field. Following her interest in history and medicine, she has researched 18th century medicine and procedures, and has assembled a large collection of medical artifacts. If you aren’t happy with our medical system today, discover how it compares with 18th century medical practices. What they didn’t know or understand is is simply amazing. We have come a long way. This program is held in the Dunwoody Village auditorium. The public is always welcome. Admission is free and refreshments will be provided by Dunwoody. Program starts at 7:30 pm. Location: 3500 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square, PA.

4. April 16th Happy Anniversary Wawa Food Markets! You are "Golden". On this day, 50 Years ago the first Wawa Food Market opened in Folsom, PA. Gotta have a Wawa! Free coffee at select participating Wawa's today in honor of the anniversary.  Ask if your Wawa is celebrating. Do you remember your first Wawa?

5. April 17 10-10:45am Newlin Grist Mill Springhouse Storytime: Sheep First Springhouse Storytime of the year.  This year our story focuses on sheep and how they get ready for summer. The program will start with a hayride and will include books, songs, finger plays, movement activities, and more! Springhouse Storytime is for our preschool visitors (ages 3-5 years old) and their parents. It is held rain or shine. Cost per child: $5 members/$7 non-members. Pre-registration is required. Email to register.

6. April 19th NEW Colonial Plantation Easter Egg Hunt Saturday and a Puppet Show for the young ones, - pre-registration is strongly encouraged! Ticket Price $0.00 - $8.00 check link for details. Description: The Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation will host an Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 19th at 11:00 am only. Children 12 and under are welcome to search the fields of the farm to find eggs with treats and surprises in them. Look for the golden eggs and win a chance to pick a prize from the farm barrel. Bring a picnic basket for afterwards. Enjoy a day in the country that is very close to home. Wear your Easter bonnet or hat and win a prize! The three hunts, divided by age group, will begin at 11:00 (1-4 years), 11:15 (5-8 years) and 11:30 (9-12 years). The Farm will close at 2:00pm.  Admission includes entrance to the farm.  Pre-registration required.  No rain date - if cancelled, ticket can be used as admission for another weekend day/event. Online ticketing will end at Noon on April 18th - remaining tickets will be sold at the door.

7. April 19 The Sound of Music digital restoration of the original 1965 film with Julie Andrews 2pm at the Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville. A classic film on the Big Screen.

8. April 19 Community Archaeology 10am -3pm at Newlin Grist Mill. It is the the first excavation of the season. This season first excavation for the season. This season, archaeology will finish the excavation next to the Miller's House as well as large trench over top of the tail race. Anyone interested is invited to learn about archaeology to help survey, excavate, and clean artifacts.  Free of charge. 

9. April 19-20th Free Entrance Days in the National Parks. Opening weekend of National Park Week.

10. April 20th Great Egg Hunt at Franklin Square in Philadelphia Noon to 2pm. Children 10 and under can hunt for eggs filled with candy and other surprises in the Franklin Square playground.

Please check all links to verify dates and times and possible rescheduling.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Top 10 Things to See at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello

Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743

Founder's Day and Jefferson's Birthday Celebration will take place on Friday April 11.

1. The House at Monticello in Virginia was designed by Thomas Jefferson without any formal architectural training.

The interior contains a vast collection from the Lewis and Clark exhibition as well as many unique designs created by Jefferson.  His interests included science, the arts, horticulture, ethnography, paleontology, archaeology and astronomy to name a few and he had a vast book collection.

2. The grounds of Monticello were expansive and impressive with a further extension of Jefferson's collections. He was also a collector of various seeds and a trader of seeds.

Jefferson's Trees

3.  A view of the opposite side of the house shows the dome and more familiar view of Monticello found on the back side of a nickel. Thomas Jefferson had originally wanted to have a circular bulls eye glass at the top of the dome's skylight. The room reminds me of a planetarium and eventually I could see Jefferson scoping out the stars. We may have reached the moon sooner but he was focusing on expanding the land through the Louisiana Purchase first. He doubled the size of the United States with that acquisition from Napoleon.

4. The South Pavilion, smaller building seen at a distance is located behind the house. It was the first residence of Thomas Jefferson and his new wife Martha while the main house was being built. It served as a sitting room, bedchamber, nursery for their first child and a dining area all in one.

5. The North Pavilion located in the rear of the main house caught in fire 1819 and the servants packed snow from the ice house along the side decking to prevent fire from reaching the main house and it worked. It was one of the last buildings completed in1800 and served as a study for Thomas Mann Randolph, Jefferson's son in law, as a study for a time.

6. Mulberry Row was the area down the hill from the main house and up the hill from the main vegetable garden.  It was the central location of the majority of the slave housing for the slaves that were not working in the house.  Those slaves had separate quarters under the main house.  Mulberry Row is the straight line at the lower part of the diagram. During the tour it was mentioned that the house slaves and the Mulberry Row slaves were considered different and there was a certain resentment among them.

7. The vegetable garden is the envy of any gardener but I am sure it takes a lot of work to maintain it.  The original garden was used to feed at the very least 140 people at one time. Read the article on the Monticello website that President Obama presented Pope Francis with chest of seeds from the White House garden and there is a Jefferson, Monticello connection.

The flower garden again stemmed from collections around the world that Jefferson had accumulated. Tulips were in full bloom last May when I was there.

I did not get a close look at the vineyards but wine was a staple beverage at the Jefferson table.

8. The lower level of the main house contains not only the sleeping quarters of the slaves responsible for maintaining the main house functions but many of the mechanisms to make the house work.

9. The Monticello Graveyard is maintained by the Monticello Association you can read a history of the graveyard at their website and has a link to the names of the family members that are buried there.

10. Typically, a shuttle bus takes you up the mountain to begin your tour but you can walk the trail. Take the trail back down, the cemetery is on you way.

The original draft of the Declaration of Independence was written in Philadelphia:

We hold these truths to be sacred and undeniable; that all men are created equal and independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent and inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, and liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; ... After touring Monticello, I wanted to ask Jefferson, are these your words?

After being edited by the "committee", these were the final words: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

The Constitution Center in Philadelphia just opened an exhibit Slavery at Jefferson's Monticello.  The exhibit runs through October 19, 2014.  I am anxious to see it. If you have never been to Monticello it is a good place to start.  If you have been to Monticello it most certainly will increase your curiosity about Thomas Jefferson and the people he lived with.

He was a lawyer, a member of the Continental Congress, Governor of Virginia, Minister to France, Secretary of State, Vice President of the United States, President of the United States, member and later president of the American Philosophical Society, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America yet he only wished to be remembered as


He was a complex man.