Friday, April 29, 2011

Top 10 The British Invasion

And I Love Her The Beatles

It's My Life Animals

Do You Love Me The Dave Clark Five

There's A Kind Of A Hush Herman's Hermits
Just One Look The Hollies

Here Comes the Night Them

Time of the Season The Zombies

All Day and All Of the Night Ray Davies' Kinks

For Your Love The Yardbirds

Itchycoo Park The Small Faces

Britain has given us some of the best entertainment ever! 

Congratulations to Prince William and Princess Catherine

Top 10 Southern Rock Bands

  1. Lynyrd Skynyrd-Free bird
  2. Allman Brothers Midnight Rider
  3. Marshall Tucker Band Can’t You See
  4. The Outlaws Green Grass and High Tides
  5. 38 Special Hold on Loosely
  6. Little Feat with Bonnie Rait & Emmy Lou Harris Dixie Chicken
  7. The Band The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down (technically a Canadian band but a great song nonetheless)
  8. Molly Hatchet Flirtin with Disaster
  9. ZZ Top Leggs
  10. Charlie Daniels Band Devil Went Down to Georgia

Funny story about these songs.  When I go visit my friends in Florida, who incidentally were born and raised in Pennsylvania, my girlfriend will allow me to plug in my IPOD and share a few songs.  I don’t get much playing time before she puts in one of her cd’s. The Outlaws have been her #1 selection every time I have visited and it is understood, in the south it’s southern rock, the jam bands.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Top 10 Time to Call the Plumber

1. So I’m sitting there next to the bathroom and I hear water running so I go into “the room” and it stops???

2. I hear it again, so I call the resident plumber.

3. He takes the lid off the tank and says the screw is loose and he tightens it. I coulda done that I just moved the arm thingy up so the noise would stop.

4. The noise doesn’t stop something is leaking or malfunctioning some where.

5. He’s going to Home Depot, always a frightening thought. I better go with him.

6. So many choices. Hmm the system has changed. It’s a whole new setup. Uh-oh.

7. I told him to buy the whole package that includes everything. It was $2 more, I think. He says, “I don’t need that”.

8. The bucket is now involved and I don’t think he’s swabbing the floor. Then he says, "I gotta go get another part".

9. I get in trouble for laughing. An odd sound comes out of the bathroom. What is that I delicately ask? Teflon seal tape for plumbing. Oh boy! He says that outta do the trick. We now have a fountain in the bathroom. I wasn’t planning on remodeling.

10. It is awful quiet in there. I better check he didn’t fall in.

Its working and we have spare parts! I ain’t using it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Top 10 Start an Ancestry Search

  10. Your first clue should come from an elder living relative before all memories and traces are gone.

As I said, in the title, this is a start and eventually you will be asked to pay a fee on some of the sites. Gather what you can for free first.  Not every one finds their roots and where they came from all that interesting, but I find it fascinating, it is the source of we the people. My husband’s grandmother was an amazing historian.  She has the family documented all the way back to their European roots. An ancestor came over on the Mayflower, another was captured as a child and raised by an Indian tribe and yet another was a famous television star. Me? I am sure I can some how be traced through the seven degrees of Kevin Bacon. I am still looking.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Top 10 Run/Walks May 2011 in Delco and Philadelphia Area

  1. Blue Cross Broad Street Run May 1st, Philadelphia, PA. Registration is closed but there is still plenty of time to donate and go out and support the 30,000 participants. I personally know 1 in 30,000 who will be running for the 2nd year to raise funds and awareness of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, a condition all 3 of his children have. You can read “in his own words” what is like to participate and prepare in a previous blog. A Man with a Marathon Heart.

  1. 10th Annual Swarthmore Run/Walk Charity Fun Fair May 1st, Swarthmore, PA.

  1. Walk MS walk to create a world free of MS. May 1st Philadelphia Art Museum benefits multiple sclerosis.

  1. Making Strides a 5K Run/Walk for Organ Donation May 2nd along Boat House Row, Philadelphia, PA.

  1. Delaware County Suicide Prevention & Awareness Run/Walk May 7th, Ridley Creek State Park.

  1. Susan G. Kormen Race for the Cure Run/Walk Mother’s Day Sunday, May 8th 2011 Philadelphia Art Museum benefits finding a cure for breast cancer.

  1. Richie Ashburn Memorial 2011 Home Run for Hearts Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, PA May 10th-11th benefits the American Heart Association.

  1. Elwyn Maximun 5K Race May 14th at the Elwyn Campus.

  1. 32nd Annual Philadelphia Bar Association Charity Run/Walk May 15th 2011 Martin Luther King Drive (West River Drive) Philadelphia, PA benefits the Support Center for Child Advocates.

  1. Teal Ribbon Race Against Time Run/Walk May 29th Please Touch Museum, Philadelphia, PA benefits ovarian cancer research.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Top 10 Lessons from E-Bunny

1. Walk softly and carry a big carrot.

2. Everyone needs a friend who is all ears.

3. There's no such thing as too much candy.

4. All work and no play can make you a basket case.

5. A cute little tail attracts a lot of attention.

6. Everyone is entitled to a bad hare day.

7. Some body parts should be floppy.

8. Good things come in small sugarcoated packages.

9. The grass is always greener in someone else's basket.

10. Every Bunny Loves some Bunny.

List courtesy of Tom’s Mom a good egg.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Top 10 Religious Experience Songs

(Not necessarily religious but to me spiritual songs)

  1. I Shall Be Released The Band

  1. Taking You Home Don Henley

  1. Angel Sarah McLachlan

  1. Fragile Sting

  1. He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother The Hollies

  1. Solsbury Hill Peter Gabriel

  1. Amazing Grace (in Cherokee)

  1. Oh Happy Day Quebec Celebration Gospel Choir

  1. Whenever God Shines His Light On Me Van Morrison and Cliff Richard

  1. Born To Be Loved Lucinda Williams she does another song called Blessed that will knock you out.  Look for it!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Top 10 Easter Treats

Lent is almost over, roll out the sugar!

  1. How to make an Easter Bunny Cake from A slight alteration use jelly beans for the eyes and mouth and licorice works well for the whiskers.

  1. Carrot Cake.  It’s not that I am lazy but there really are some box mixes that taste just the same.  You can make your own cream cheese frosting and add coconut or not. The cream cheese frosting might be on sale if you buy the cake mix too!

  1. Cheese Cake this is a slight variation of the one I make from  I follow the recipe off the back of the graham cracker crust box if it is still there.

  1. Ambrosia Go to this link at for this one.  I haven’t had this in years.  It is usually served at bridal and baby showers but appropriate for a holiday meal.

  1. Fruit salad is always a hit.  Try to stay with seasonal fruits.  Watermelon is rarely turned down by anyone.  It’s a happy everyone is getting along comfort food in my hose anyway.

  1. Iced Box Cake. I have probably referenced this before.  It is a staple at the table for holidays in my house and it’s easy!  Chocolate Wafer Cookies (Nabisco) and heavy whipping cream is all you need.  Make it into the shape of a cross.

  1. Italian Rum Cake I married a German and he hates it but I am always up for adventure. I like just about everything with sugar in it.

  1. Pineapple Upside down Cake my grandmother made this from scratch and cooked it in the oven in an iron frying pan. There are many recipes on line.

  1. Can’t go wrong with ice cream cake.  A shape of an Easter egg or bunny makes it taste even better.

  1. Lest we not forget, raid the Easter baskets.  It is what big bunnies do while the little ones are asleep; just don’t make it so obvious.
Just as a side note:  I have been buying Sunshine and Sunny Bunny every year for over 20 years now and the average price was 99 cents, maybe caught a good sale and got them for 79 cents.  I saw them in the supermarket yesterday for $1.19.  Gas is not the only thing that is increasing in price. Apple pies too are out of reach, what is going on with them?  The price of food would make it easier to go on a diet IF the healthy foods weren’t twice as expensive. Not that Sunshine Bunny and Apple Pie are healthy foods, but they can put a smile on your face.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Top 10 Stages of Recorded Music

1. The first phonograph was a tin disc or cylinder. Listen to the Voice of Brahm’s and Piano Arrangement 1889.

2. 78’s I have seen them and they were much thicker and heavier.

3. 33 1/3’s loved them. Killed me when it skipped though and they could warp with too much heat.

4. 45’s (singles) You could play 45’s in a car? Check the link, of course it’s on youtube.

5. 8 tracks I never owned one but I had friends who did.
6. Cassettes (The Walkman) I had a cassette player specially installed in my first car. They did tend to get eaten, the term used when the taped crinkled up and was mangled by the gremlins inside.
7. Boom Box Okay so I don’t miss these on the beach.
8. CD’s (DiscMan) I carried one on my walks. I needed a pouch for hands free. It could be extra baggage to take your favorite CD’s on a road trip.
9. MP3’s (IPOD) in many cases, it’s in the air and an isolated experience. I do tend to listen to it more then the radio. It is my music on my time, no commercials.
10. Vinyl is making a comeback. Many bands are releasing albums as well as CD’s now.

Some things are worth keeping.

I admit I rarely throw out things that are sentimental to me, those certain things that evoke great memories but I did lose track of my albums but I still have my first stereo.  It was nothing fancy to the music aficionado but it meant the world to me.  My son is now a collector and I’ll hear a song that he is playing and just reminisce.  The other day, I said to him, “I had that album, where did you get it?” and he said “in mom-mom’s attic” and I just smiled. Owning the whole album was so much different from downloading a song.  I will admit I like the convenience of putting the IPOD on shuffle and just let it play the next random song but I think back to the days that I was just in a Dave Mason mood or it was a Yes day and the sound filled the room. When you owned the album, to me anyway, you identified with the artists differently. There was more of an appreciation. The names of the entire band wasn’t the only knowledge you acquired, an album cover was full of information as well as the sleeve that the album slipped into. I can still identify many songs by the album they first appeared on and the art work first comes to mind. I remember closely examining the album as it played. Holding it in both hands and just scanning it as the music played in the background. Looking at the names, often times other artists from other bands played on that album and you felt like you had a bonus collector’s item. I’ll admit I have gotten a little old folksy when the music is too loud but if an album that I owned is playing I have been known to say, “crank it up”. Another observation, when playing an entire album you always knew what song was coming up and if you owned the album and heard the song on the radio you would always hear the first few chords of the next song in your head and half expect to hear that song. It also fascinates me how many lyrics are swimming around in our heads that are activated when a song is played, yet we forget where we last placed our keys.

Remember when you could only buy your albums at a record store?
Record Store Day was April 16th 2011 and is now celebrated annually.

Everyone had a favorite album or two.  Do you remember yours?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Top 10 Egg Expressions

1. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Keep some things independent, separately, usually money.

2. Which came first the chicken or the egg? An age old debatable question.

3. Eggactly! Slang for, “You got it right”!

4. Just don’t egg me on. Motivate or provoke to keep going.

5. Egg on your face. To be embarrassed

6. He’s/She’s a good egg. Favorable, nice person.

7. Start your nest egg early. Saved money.

8. I feel like I am walking on eggshells around him/her. You must be very cautious and careful, fragile territory.

9. He/She is a rotten egg. Mean, not very nice.

10. They are all eggheads. Very smart people, higher intelligence, smarter then the average bear.

Feel free to add your own eggsamples.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Top 10 Rabbits That Have Made It To The Big Time

Bunnies with human characteristics

Easter Bunny or Spring Bunny The Easter Bunny seems to have come to the United States through traditions and the influence of German immigrants.  In legend, he brings candy and toys on the night before Easter.  Children awake the next morning to find a basket full of goodies. He is also known to be a talented artist that sometimes leaves colorful decorated eyes and if he finds your house to be adventurous he will hide the eggs and make the treat more of a challenge.  Easter Egg hunts are a common practice the Saturday afternoon before Easter.  The Easter Bunny enlists volunteers for these special events.  Although he has been known to attend and also participate in the Easter Parade he seems to have a lot of help making this tradition last.

Bugs Bunny He does not come bearing gifts but perhaps has just as much recognition power as the Easter Bunny.  He started his career in cartoons and lives fondly in the hearts and minds of children of all ages. Bugs has appeared in movies, comic books, coloring books, colorforms, stuffed animals, etc. You can find his image on many things. Bugs coined the catchy phrase, "What's up, Doc?" He belongs to Warner Bros. and is one of their head Looney Tunes. In 2002, TV Guide compiled a list of the 50 greatest cartoon characters of all time as part of the magazine's 50th anniversary. Bugs Bunny was given the honor of number 1.  He also has a star on the Walk of Fame. He would probably prefer a carrot.

Peter Rabbit first appeared in a book called The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrice Potter.  Peter against his mother's warnings wonders into Mr. McGregor's garden and eats his vegetables. McGregor spots him and chases him, Peter loses his coat and shoes and the farmer displays them on a scarecrow as a warning to keep out next time. I do not believe it is the same one but I am pretty sure there is a distant cousin who will vist my own vegetable garden in the upcoming season.

The Energizer Bunny we all marvel at his ability to keep on going and at times seek the very same power and will that he possess.  He can at times be an inspirational role model when you are dragging and trudging through a task.  If you get your bunny on you can buzz around and get the task done.  Maybe it is just me but I think the key is to pace yourself as to not burn your batteries out. I didn't realize, the Energizer Bunny is a parody of the preexistent Duracell bunny.

Hip Hop is the mascot of the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team. Hip Hop usually entertains Sixers fans during halftime and time-outs by performing acrobatic slam dunks off of a trampoline, often over an item or person, such as a motorcycle, a Sixer Dancer, a fan, or a ladder. Hip Hop also appears at various Sixers publicity events and fundraisers. He has a sidekick named Lil Hip-Hop. He also has helpers named the Hare Raisers, who help him out at every home game. Congratulations to the Sixers and good luck in the playoffs!

The White Rabbit is the first character Alice in Wonderland confronts in Wonderland.  I’m late, I’m late for a very important date! No time to say Hello! Goodbye! White Rabbit is also referenced and the title of a Jefferson Airplane song.  Go ask Alice I think she knows. There is a clever video, Jefferson Alice on youtube that puts both together.

 "Rabbit rabbit" is a common British superstition. The most common modern version states that a person should say "rabbit, rabbit, white rabbit", "rabbit, rabbit, rabbit", "rabbit, rabbit" or simply "white rabbits" upon waking on the first day of each new month, and on doing so will receive good luck for the duration of that month. The tradition is especially common in Nantucket, Cape Cod and Natick, Massachusetts.

Playboy Bunny A list of some of the more notable ones can be fund at Sorry just names no pictures. The Playboy Bunny costume is the only non-service uniform to have been granted a U.S. Patent. The Smithsonian and the Chicago Historical Society both have Bunny costumes on display. Gloria Steinman was a playboy bunny!

The Hare and the Tortoise The story concerns a hare who ridicules a slow-moving tortoise and is challenged by him to a race. The hare soon leaves the tortoise behind and, confident of winning, decides to take a nap midway through the course. When he awakes, however, he finds that his competitor, crawling slowly but steadily, has arrived before him. The meaning is morally problematic and the story has been interpreted in a variety of ways over the centuries.

Year of the Rabbit This is the Year of the Rabbit in the Chinese Zodiac. Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Rabbit enjoy being surrounded by family and friends. They’re popular, compassionate, sincere, and they like to avoid conflict and are sometimes seen as pushovers. Rabbits enjoy home and entertaining at home. Compatible with Goat or Pig. You can read more about the rabbit and other Chinese zodiac signs at a website I found

Persons born within these date ranges can be said to have been born in the "Year of the Hare," while also bearing the following elemental sign:

• 29 January 1903 – 15 February 1904: Water Hare

• 14 February 1915 – 2 February 1916: Wood Hare

• 2 February 1927 – 22 January 1928: Fire Hare

• 19 February 1939 – 7 February 1940: Earth Hare

• 6 February 1951 – 26 January 1952: Metal Hare

• 25 January 1963 – 12 February 1964: Water Hare

• 11 February 1975 – 30 January 1976: Wood Hare

• 29 January 1987 – 16 February 1988: Fire Hare

• 16 February 1999 – 4 February 2000 Earth Hare

• 3 February 2011 – 22 January 2012: Metal Hare

• 22 January 2023 – 9 February 2024: Water Hare

• 8 February 2035 – 27 January 2036: Grass Hare

• 2047 – 2048: Fire Hare

These are the first 10 Rabbits that came to mind. Feel free to mention any of your favorites if I have inadvertently hopped over them.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Top 10 Taxing Songs

  1. Taxman The Beatles
  2. Sunny Afternoon The Kinks
  3. Money (That’s What I Want) Barrett Strong
  4. Money Pink Floyd
  5. I’d Love To Change the World Ten Years After
  6. Tax-free Hansson & Karlsson
  7. Tax Man Max Schoolhouse Rock
  8. Lap of Luxury Jethro Tull
  9. The Taxes Song cnn youtube democratic debate question 30
  10. Lovely Day Bill Withers (Of course this song only applies IF you are getting money back!)

I wish every one a lovely day!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Top 10 Facts About Abraham Lincoln

1. President Lincoln’s political party was Republican and he was president for four years from 1861-1865, when he was assassinated.

2. Before marrying Mary Todd Lincoln he had two notable romantic relationships, Mary Owens who he had planned on marrying and Ann Rutledge, whose death caused Lincoln to drop into a severe depression. Mary’s parents disagreed with her marrying Abraham because he had a poor background.

3. Abraham was an unaffiliated Christian as he never officially acquired church membership.

4. He had deep depression, even though he would frequently tell stories and jokes to friends and family.

5. Lincoln, one week before his death, had a dream of someone crying in the White House, when he found the room; he looked in and asked who had passed away. The man in the room said the President. When he looked in the coffin it was his own face he saw.

6. His birth mother died from milk sickness. His father remarried a widow, and Abraham was very close to his step mother.

A view from the general seating below of the balcony seats where Lincoln was sitting. The assasin John Wilkes Booth jumped down onto the stage after shooting the President and escaped.

7. Abraham had four children, Robert Todd Lincoln, Edward Lincoln, Willie Lincoln, Tad Lincoln. There are no direct descendents of Lincoln. Robert Todd Lincoln, the only son to reach adulthood and marry, had three children: Mary, Abraham and Jessie. Mary's only child, Lincoln Isham, had no children. Abraham lived from 1873-1890 and had no children. Jessie had two children, Mary Beckwith and Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith, neither of which had any children.

This is the balcony seating where the Presidentand Mrs. Lincoln were sitting when he was shot.

8. Lincoln was shot on Good Friday, April 14, 1865, by John Wilkes Booth at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C., where he and his wife were attending the play Our American Cousin. He died at 7:22 a.m. the following day, April 15th, at the Peterson Boarding House across the street from Ford's Theatre.

This is a picture of the bed that Lincoln died in located at the Peterson House

9. The Lincoln Memorial was the site of many famous speeches. Martin Luther King gave his “I Had a Dream” speech in 1963, a tile marks the spot on which he stood.

10. The Gettysburg Address was just ten sentences.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

The South wall of the Lincoln memorial has the complete Gettysburg address inscribed on it. Above the inscription, is a mural depicting the angel of truth freeing a slave.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Top 10 Quotations by Abraham Lincoln

1. Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. As a peacemaker the lawyer has superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough.

2. Let me not be understood as saying that there are no bad laws, nor that grievances may not arise for the redress of which no legal provisions have been made. I mean to say no such thing. But I do mean to say that although bad laws, if they exist, should be repealed as soon as possible, still, while they continue in force, for the sake of example they should be religiously observed.

3. If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend.

4. Force is all-conquering, but its victories are short-lived.

5. Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.

6. You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.

7. When you have got an elephant by the hind leg, and he is trying to run away, it's best to let him run.

8. When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad, and that is my religion.

9. "I agree with you, Mr. Chairman, that the working men are the basis of all governments, for the plain reason that they are the more numerous, and as you added that those were the sentiments of the gentlemen present, representing not only the working class, but citizens of other callings than those of the mechanic, I am happy to concur with you in these sentiments, not only of the native born citizens, but also of the Germans and foreigners from other countries."

10. “I think very much of the people, as an old friend said he thought of woman. He said when he lost his first wife, who had been a great help to him in his business, he thought he was ruined that he could never find another to fill her place. At length, however, he married another, who he found did quite as well as the first, and that his opinion now was that any woman would do well who was well done by. So I think of the whole people of this nation they will ever do well if well done by. We will try to do well by them in all parts of the country, North and South, with entire confidence that all will be well with all of us.”

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Top 10 Civil War 150TH Anniversary

The first attack of the American Civil War began April 12th 1861, 150 years ago today.

Weston Plantation overlooks the Appomattox River in Hopewell, Virginia approximately 2 miles east up river from City Point a strategic location General Grant and his troops made headquarters during a crucial time of the Civil War. A young girl who fled Hampton with her father and took refuge at Weston Plantation remembers the anxiety when the Union troops took up residency.  Much to their surprise, not only did the federal army provide safe passage but the family had their first square meal in six months. Just 1.5 miles from this location the army built a pontoon across the river where men and material used throughout the Petersburg campaign. If you do a search on the top of the blog for City Point or click on the link you can view my list and pictures taken last summer while I was there.

Total casualties during the Civil War are staggering. Somewhere between 600,000 and 700,000 people died during the war. When you factor in the wounded, the total casualty number rises to around 1,030,000. Information taken from .

The Civil War- A film by Ken Burns has been playing on PBS.  If you missed it, the DVD is available for purchase. You may be able to find it at your local library.  It is quite an extraordinary recounting. There is also a mini-series called North and South that is worth checking out.

You can read many excerpts online but as they say a picture is worth a thousand words. Wander over to for some incredible and disturbing photos of a war fought that at times pitted brother against brother. A list of the battles of the American Civil War by state can be found at Many of the officers for the Union and the Confederate armies attended the same educational institution West Point Academy. currently has a free access week April 7th-14th where you can search civil war records.

April 9th, 1865 Gen. Robert E. Lee surrenders his Confederate Army to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at the village of Appomattox Court House in Virginia. Follow this link to the website "Surrender at Appomattox, 1865," EyeWitness to History, (1997).  They documented the correspondence between the two generals that led to the end of the conflict between the North and the South.

Robert E. Lee was asked by Lincoln to lead the Union Army but Lee would not go against his home state of Virginia, he became the general that led the Confederate Army. Arlington House, his home in Arlington, Virginia, still stands.  It is a memorial to General Lee who is now respected on both sides of the war. The army occupied the estate from 1861 and legally purchased it in a public auction in 1864. Due to the increasing death toll of the war, a cemetery was needed. In 1864 a burial ground was created in Arlington.  Initially the bodies were buried away from the mansion but eventually soldiers were interred in Mrs. Lee's rose garden.  The action was meant to be an insult to the Lee family.

Arlington House the former residence of Robert E. Lee and his family prior to the civil war.

Ulysses S. Grant kept any political opinions private and never endorsed any candidate running for public office. He also, at this time, had no animosity toward slavery. His father-in-law was a prominent Democrat in St. Louis. In the 1856 presidential election, he voted for the Democratic candidate James Buchanan to prevent secession. In 1860, he favored Democratic presidential candidate Stephen A. Douglas over Abraham Lincoln, but did not vote. It was during the Civil War that his political sympathies coincided with the Republicans' aggressive prosecution of the war.  In 1868, Grant, affiliated with the Radical Republicans, was nominated as the Republican presidential candidate was elected the 18th President of the United States.Reelected in 1872, he became the first president to serve two full terms. As president, he led Reconstruction by signing and enforcing civil rights laws and fighting Ku Klux Klan violence. He helped rebuild the Republican Party in the South, an effort that resulted in the election of African Americans to Congress and state governments for the first time. Despite these civil rights accomplishments, Grant's presidency was marred by economic turmoil and multiple scandals. His response to the Panic of 1873 and the severe depression that followed was heavily criticized. In addition, his image as a war hero was tarnished by corruption scandals during his presidency. He left office at the low point of his popularity.

View of Arlington Cemetery from Arlington House

Jefferson Davis was an American statesman and leader of the Confederacy during the American Civil War; serving as the President for its entire history. A West Point graduate, Davis fought in the Mexican-American War as a colonel of a volunteer regiment, and was the United States Secretary of War under Democratic President Franklin Pierce. Both before and after his time in the Pierce administration, he served as a Democratic U.S. Senator representing the State of Mississippi. As a senator, he argued against secession, but did agree that each state was sovereign and had an unquestionable right to secede from the Union. After Davis was captured on May 10, 1865, he was charged with treason, though not tried, and stripped of his eligibility to run for public office.While not disgraced, he was replaced in Southern affection after the war by the leading Confederate general, Robert E. Lee. However, many Southerners empathized with his defiance, refusal to accept defeat, and resistance to Reconstruction. Over time, admiration for his pride and ideals made him a Civil War hero to many Southerners, and his legacy became part of the foundation of the postwar New South.

President Abraham Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth a Confederate sympathizer on Good Friday, April 14th 1865 while attending the theatrical play "Our American Cousin".  It was only four days after the surrender of Robert E. Lee to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox bringing an end to the most costliest and bloody war in our history.  Lincoln was holding his wife's hand, watching his play when he was shot once in the head.  He died the next day from his injury and never regained consciousness. Lincoln had succeeded in uniting the country once again and abolishing slavery. Of course there is so much more to the man and he warrants his own list on Thursday April 14th.

Let "U.S." remember "United We Stand", "Divided We Fall".

Monday, April 11, 2011

Top 10 More Ways to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

1. "Let's Pollute!" written, produced, directed and animated by Geefwee Boedoe was nominated for an Oscar for Best Short Film by the Academy Awards in 2011. It is an interesting satire about the waste we create.  You can view a trailer at the films website and also download a copy of the movie to ITunes. It only takes up space on your computer but you can easily delete :). The entire film is a six minute reminder.

2. Leaky toilets and faucets can waste up to 850 gallons of water a month, locate any leaky pipes or appliances and fix immediately.  Not everyone is a plumber. Call a professional for the more challenging jobs.  It will save a lot of time and money.

3. Wasted food is wasted money. Before shopping, plan ahead and avoid "big" deals unless you plan on preparing several meals and freeze one for another time. Don't quote me on this but I was told at one time that all those pre-cooked items at super markets are thrown away at the end of the day if they are not sold. Due to health and insurance issues those items cannot be donated to the many hungry and homeless shelters. That just doesn't seem right. I wouldn't want to see anyone sickened by bad food but thrown away?

4. Thinking of a remodeling project?  You can donate old kitchen and bathroom appliances, plumbing fixtures, radiators, windows, door, cabinets and hardware to a building products recycling center. Check for ReStore resale outlets.

5. Participate in your local recycling program.

6. A "Hazardous Event" was held this weekend in Delaware County, PA.  We participated and it really was a well organized and painless task.  If you missed this event and still have products to dispose of Montgomery County is sponsoring another event at Upper Merion Middle School on May 16th, 9am-3pm. There are photos in the blog on what you can expect.  It was nice to see that people do care about their environment.

7. Leftover paint always seems to be a problem. A few suggestions I have read along the way, donate to schools for theater projects, call first don't just show up with a truck. If you miss a hazardous event it is recommended for latex paint to remove the lid and pour into a box lined with a heavy duty trash can bag that contains kitty litter.

8. I have two reusable shopping bags that I always seem to forget to toss back into my car so I like many am stuck with an overabundance of plastic bags. At times there is a severe competition with junk mail and extra paper. I have reused the bags for trash can liners in the bathrooms, a catch all for the days recycles. Why I didn't think about it sooner I don't know but there is a website solution at It just may save my marriage. Pop in your state and search for a location near you that accepts your bags back.

9.  I have been on to this one for a long time.  Plastic egg cartons make the best seed starting containers.  If you have a decent sized window sill and southern exposure to the sun.  You are ahead of the garden game.

10.  I am still being dazzled by this innovative idea. Plastic milk cartons sliced in two can create a shovel. Draw a line about 1-2 inches below the handle around the entire jug and cut.  The other half can be used as a pot for plants.  Half gallon and gallon containers can be used. It should also work as a great sandbox toy but since I have not tried this at home yet, I would caution on the possible sharpness of the edges if being used by small children.

Anyone have any additional great ideas?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Top 10 Cherry Blossom Sightings

  1. The most popular and widely attended Cherry Blossom Festival is in our nation’s capital, Washington, D. C.

  1. The festival in Washington D.C. is being held this year from March 26th –April 10th.

  1. Saturday April 9th is the National Cherry Blossom Parade which will run along Constitution Avenue between 7th -17th street.

  1. The Cherry Blossom Trees can be found on this map along the Tidal Basin and East Potomac Park

  1. The National Park Service provides a webcam for viewing of the Cherry Blossoms in Washington, D. C.

  1. The story behind this display began in 1885 with a vision from Mrs. Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore after her visit to Japan.  After several attempts, she finally got the attention of the new first lady Mrs. Helen H. Taft in 1909 who was in the position to make it happen.  The rest as they say is history and you can read the full story at the link to National Park Service website.

  2. Weather permitting it is an event to put on your bucket list.  It does get crowded but it is also a very enriching way to spend a beautiful afternoon out among nature.

  1. If the travel does not fit into your budget or time frame, Washington is always worth at least two days, the city of Philadelphia offers quite a sculptured landscape of cherry blossoms as well along the Schuylkill River.  The blooms are just beginning.

  1. Philadelphia is also home to over 2000 flowering Japanese cherry trees, half of which were a gift from the Japanese government in 1926 in honor of the 150th anniversary of American independence, with the other half planted by the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia between 1998 and 2007. Philadelphia's cherry blossoms are located within Fairmount Park, and the annual Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia this year celebrates the blooming trees March 4th thru April 15th.

  1. Other US cities have an annual Cherry Blossom Festival (or Sakura Matsuri), including the International Cherry Blossom Festival in Macon, Georgia, which features over 300,000 cherry trees this takes place in late March. Belleville, Bloomfield, and Newark, New Jersey celebrate the annual Branch Brook Park Cherry Blossom Festival from April 9th -17th, which attracts thousands of visitors from the local area, Japan, and India. As of April 2009, Branch Brook Park has a cherry tree collection with over 4,000 cherry blossoms in more than fourteen different varieties. Branch Brook Park will soon have more flowering cherry trees than Washington, D.C., thanks to an ongoing replanting program. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden in New York City also has a large, well-attended festival. This link is worth checking out.  Not only is the map so well designed and thought out but they also have a 2008 time lapse video that is worth watching.

The Cherry Blossom Tree is a symbol of friendship between the United States and Japan. One way to extend the hand of friendship back to Japan is to make a contribution to the American Red Cross in support of the relief efforts going on now in their time of need.

Buddhism’s concept of “mono no aware” means “sensitivity to things” it teaches the Cherry Blossoms’ cycle of exceptional beauty followed by a quick death, a human being’s life can be given and taken at any moment.

The seasonal emergence of the cherry blossom serves as a reminder as well as the recent devastation that happened in Japan.

Photos at the blog link

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Top 10 Upcoming April Events 2011

  1. Will’s 5K Walk/Run April 9th PPL Park in Chester, PA Will’s Night Out April 15th, Shipley School, Bryn Mawr, PA.

  1. Cherry Blossom 5K Walk/Run April 10th Horticulture Center Montgomery Drive & Belmont Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19131 benefits the JASGP Tree Planting Project.

  1. Bark for Life “Relay for Life Event” Rose Tree Park, Media, PA April 10th 10-2pm.

  1. V-Day Philadelphia 2011 at Rembrandt’s Restaurant & Bar, 741 North 23rd Street, Philadelphia, PA “The Vagina Monologues” with be performed April 15th & 16th at 7PM proceeds with benefit Women Organized Against Rape.

  1. Stamp Out Parkinson’s Walk April 16th, 8AM registration at Lloyd Hall, Kelly Drive, Philadelphia, PA.

  1. 5K Run for Clean Air and Earth Day Celebration MLK Drive next to the Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA April 16th.

  1. Run and Walk MS April 17th Ridley Creek State Park and other local locations.

  1. Butterfly 5K Run Elizabeth Ciunci Foundation, April 23rd Malvern, PA Great Valley High School.

  1. Little Angels Foundation Childhood Cancer Awareness Softball and Horseshoe Tournament April 23rd, Upland Park, Upland, PA 8am-10pm.

  1. March of Dimes March for Babies April 30th at Ridley Creek State Park.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Top 10 Tax Tips 2010-2011

1) GET ORGANIZED – Good organization of your tax and financial information is key to claiming all tax benefits each year.

2) TAKE YOUR INFORMATION TO YOUR ACCOUNTANT – NOW! - Waiting until the last minute could mean missing tax deductions from your return.



5) IF YOU SOLD STOCK IN 2010 – make sure you have your Cost Basis for the sale to minimize gain or to take a loss on your returns

6) Here are some of the ways to save tax dollars:

7) FULLY FUND YOUR 401K or Traditional IRA.


a. CHILD CREDIT – for qualifying dependent children

b. CHILD AND DEPENDENT CARE CREDIT - for daycare expenses for working parents/caregivers

c. EDUCATION CREDITS – for tuition paid for post High School education

d. ENERGY CREDITS – for energy saving improvements to your primary home – heating systems, water heaters, insulation, windows and doors

9) CONSIDER FUTURE TAX SAVINGS- with the help of your accountant

a. Consider converting a traditional IRA to a ROTH IRA – you have two years to pay tax on the conversion amount – may save taxes later

b. Plan Estimated tax payments for next year, if you owed this year.


a. Avoidable tax mistakes can be caught when you discuss your finances with your accountant!

Visit them on the web at call them with questions at

Collegeville Office
555 Second Avenue, Building F-100
Collegeville, PA 19426

Philadelphia Office
1904 South Street
Philadelphia, PA 19146

Friday, April 1, 2011

Top 10 Foolish Songs

1.What A Fool Believes Doobbie Brothers
2. Foolish Heart Steve Perry
3. Fooled Around and Fell In Love Elvin Bishop
4.Won't Get Fooled Again The Who
5. Fool on the Hill Paul McCartney
6. What Kind of Fool Am I Sammy Davis Jr.
7. Fool of Me Me'Shell NdegéOcello
8. Fool in the Rain Led Zeppelin
9. Chain of Fools Aretha Franklin
10.Everybody's Fool Evanescence

Apparently I am not the only fool. Some additional songs submitted

What Kind of Fool (Do You Think I Am)-Tams

Why Do Fools Fall in Love-Frankie Lymon & Teenagers

Love's Made a Fool of You-Bobby Fuller Four

I Pity the Fool-Bobby "Blue" Bland

Foolin'-Def Leppard

Fooling Around Usher

Fooling Yourself Styx
A Fool in Love Tina Turner
I'm A Fool Dino, Desi and Billy
Fools Rush In Artist Pending
Fool to Cry Rolling Stones
A Fool Such As I Hank Snow
A Fool For You Ray Charles
I Was a Fool to Care James Taylor
Fool (If You Think It's Over) Chris Rhea
Fool No More Peter Green
Fool in the Rain Led Zepplin
Everybody Plays the Fool The Main Ingredient  *****  this song should make all fools feel a little better : )

Winner so far Bill with She's A Fool Lesley Gore.  I am Impressed! You Don't Own Me Another Great Song of Hers.
I'm a Fool To Want You Billie Holiday another strong contender.