Friday, May 30, 2014

Top 10 Lures of the Shores

1. Ocean Breeze there is nothing more calming and hypnotizing in my book of life.

2. Respecting the thundering sound of the surf, knowing at anytime who is really in charge here.

3. Blues skies can make a better day.

4. Sand in your shoes is a good thing. It is part of your footprint in the sand.

5. Crushed shells glistening along the shoreline.

6. Finding an intact shell, that one in a million conch shell that escaped any damage, a lucky find.

7. You and the ocean at play, cooperation.

8. Catching a wave.

9. Unsuspectingly being caught by a wave can be damaging or exhilerating.

10. Walking along the edge of the world at peace.

This is the instant message I received standing on the shoreline of the Atlantic Ocean on Memorial Day 2014.

And yes people were actually in the water already, most without wetsuits, those brave souls.

State of the shore: Down by the seaside with Mary Ann

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Top 10 Uses For Paper Clips

1. Invented to hold paper together.

2. Pick a lock

3. Clip in to a zipper when the top piece breaks

4. Remember Clippy the helper for Word and Excel? He was always popping up to help, a little too much.

5. Restart your modem

6. Change the time on you car clock.

7. Make a connecting chain when you are bored or a creative necklace or bracelet for unique jewelry.

8. Pop open a CD-Rom tray

9. You see a paper clip if you have an attachment in email.

10. They are magnetic and every office has them.

Your creative use?

What will a paper clip do in a paperless society?  Is it safe to say the paper clip's job is secure?

Today is "Paper Clip Day". Get it Together.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Top 10 Things We Have No Control Over

1. Weather

2.  Actions of Other People

3. Our Emotions (although we all try)

4. Accidents Happen

5. What Other People Think of You

6. Computer Crashes

7. Natural Born Talent or Lack of

8. Illness

9. Death

10. Your Genes

Today is Amnesty International Day

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Top 10 Upcoming Events Week of May 26

May 27 The  Springfield Historical Society presents The Wonderful World of Trains.The always entertaining and well-informed train enthusiast, Stan Bowman, returns and brings a full carousel of the great train stations of Delaware County, which includes the Pennsylvania Railroad line to West Chester thru Delaware County, and the Harrisburg station which is truly an architectural gem! From your basic board and batten-sided way stations to the classic quaint brick stations by Furness, Stan will provide visual delights of the gateways we all have passed thru, or by, on our way to work or home. He will also highlight some stations immortalized in film, some that are now gone, and the ones that remain. This great program is not to be missed! Bring your own recollections of the favorite stations in your life to share with Stanley and the group. ALL ABOARD 7:30 p.m. at Springfield Township Building, 50 Powell Road. This program is presented free of charge with refreshments served at the conclusion.

May 29 PA Veterans Van 9 a.m. – 3p.m. Aston Township Community Center 257 Concord Road in Aston. Event hosted by Rep. Joe Hackett.

May 29 to June 1 Brandywine Health Foundation Strawberry Festival on the grounds of Brandywine Hospital.

May 30 First Look for Members Only Grand Opening of the Concord Township Historical Society Museum  situated in the historic Pierce-Willits House, which dates to 1764 and 1809. Virginia Merion DeNenno History and Educational Center is now open! Set against an historic backdrop, the Society’s collection is brought to life through documents, exhibits and objects that help to tell the story of our township. Featured exhibits focus on the beginning of our township and our early schools, as told through maps, old photographs, historic objects and narratives that share this history with you, our audience.

May 31, and Sunday, June 1, from 1 to 5 pm. Virginia Merion DeNenno History and Educational Center will open free to the public on Saturday, with the goal of opening on a regular basis thereafter. The museum is located at 659 Smithbridge Road, next to the Hero Memorial.

May 30 Summer Wine and Music Series begins at Crossing Vineyards.
May 30 -June 1 Three Days of NASCAR Racing at Dover Speedway.  

June 1st Lenape Life at Historic Sugartown 's Carriage MuseumLenape Indian Culture, Music, Games, Dance, a Program for Children and Adults at 2 pm Program Admission: $8 Adults, $7 Seniors (60+) $5 Children (ages 3 – 17 yrs). Children ages 2 and younger – Free. Program Admission includes a tour of Historic Sugartown. Arrive early to ensure a seat!
Directions: Historic Sugartown is located at 690 Sugartown Road, Malvern, PA. To
reach the Carriage Museum, enter 273 Boot Road, Malvern, PA into your GPS, and it
will take you directly to the Carriage Museum’s parking lot. For more information,
contact 610-640-2667 or visit

June 1 DCCC Flea Market Rte 252 and Media Line Road. 8 a.m - 3 p.m.

June 1 Hurricane Season begins and "they" say it will be a light year.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Top 10 Heart Rendering Military Memorials

The United States Marine Corps War Memorial - Iwo Jima Memorial is located outside Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. It was dedicated  The statue was designed by Felix de Weldon and based on the iconic photograph of the raising of the second flag during the Battle of Iwo Jima by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal.The memorial is open year round with special "Sunset Parade" ceremonies in the summer. In a different location in Triangle, Virginia near Quantico you can see the original flags that flew over Mount Suribachi. This statute was dedicated by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on November 10, 1954. President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation that a flag should be flown above 24 hours a day. One of the few locations in our country.  Do you know the others?  Here is a link to flags officially flown 24 hours a day.


United States Air Force Memorial is located in Arlington, VA on the property of Ft. Myers near the Pentagon. The memorial was dedicated on October 14, 2006, by President George W. Bush.  The three steel spires symbolize the contrails of the Air Force Thunderbirds as they peel back in exploding bomb formation. There are only three trails, the fourth and missing one is set to symbolize the missing man.

The Korean War Veterans Memorial is located in West Potomac Park in Washington, D.C. it was dedicated on July 27, 1995, by President Bill Clinton and Kim Young Sam, President of the Republic of Korea.  It stands to honor the men and women who served during the conflict.  I find this to be an interesting monument as you walk along next to the soldiers. It also has the reflecting wall. The figures represent a squad on patrol, drawn from each branch of the armed forces; fourteen of the figures are from the U.S. Army, three are from the Marine Corps, one is a Navy Corpsman, and one is an Air Force Forward Air Observer. When the statues within the triangle are reflected on the wall it looks like 38, representing the 38th parallel.

It is nearly impossible to capture one single picture that tells the story of the Viet Nam Memorial (The Wall) and every time I have been there it has been a different experience and I learn something new each time. The memorial was designed by a female American architect, Maya Lin.
The guides in the yellow hats are volunteers and they are there to offer you their knowledge and experience.  The one guide was telling the story about the other guide done the lane from him.  That man flies here from Chicago,  I want to say he said once a month but maybe it is a longer duration in between his travel but I was still impressed. Someone asked the guy why he does that and he said he fought with these gius and he feels he owes it to them.  He also told us something I never really noticed before.  The monument starts and ends in the center.  See the 1959 date at the top on the left and 1975 is more clear on the right stone at the bottom. The duration of the war and the names of all the soldiers that lost their lives. I still think it is one of the most solemn places in Washington D. C. maybe in all of America.

Vietnam Women's Memorial is dedicated to the women who served during the Viet Nam War mostly nurses. The woman looking up is named Hope, the woman praying is named Faith, and the woman tending to a wounded soldier is named Charity.  The statue was designed by Glenna Goodacre. As additional trivia, Goodacre also designed the Irish Memorial at Front and Chestnut Streets in Philadelphia.

The Three Soldiers commemorates the soldiers of the Vietnam War.  The statue, dedicated in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan. It depicts three soldiers, a White American, African American, and Hispanic American. The statue, designed by Frederick Hart faces the Wall and the soldiers are looking at the names of their fallen comrades.

Friedrich St. Florian designed the World War II Memorial in Washington, D. C.  It is located in the center sight line of the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. It is very large. The majority of the corporate fundraising effort was led by two co-chairs: Senator Bob Dole, a decorated World War II veteran and 1996 Republican nominee for president; and Frederick W. Smith, the president and chief executive officer of FedEx Corporation and a former U.S. Marine Corps officer. The U.S. federal government provided about $16 million. A total of $197 million was raised, according to Wikipedia.

Placing of the Wreath at the the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a solemn occasion. It is tradition that the President have the honor on Memorial Day. A special concert at 10:30 a.m. in the amphitheater by the U.S. Navy and will proceed the wreath laying at 11 a.m. Check Arlington's website for further details and events. The three Greek figures represent Peace, Victory and Valor. The remains of an Unknown soldier from World War I is buried under the white marble sarcophagus. On the opposite side placed flush with ground are three graves of unknowns from World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam. Written on the opposite side of the large memorial...


This plague IN MEMORIAM is for 241 Servicemen killed in the Beirut Lebannon Terrorist Bombing in 1983. It is one of the memorials in Philadelphia.  We have so many located  throughout the city but you can find a few of them opposite Penns Landing over the bridge near Dock Street you can find the Korean War Memorial Park and just down Front Street across Spuce Street you will find the Philadelphia Vietnam Memorial.  This area is worth a stop to remember.

The Delaware County Veterans Memorial is located on Route 3 (West Chester Pike) in Newtown Square.  It was  dedicated on May 11, 2013.  If you have not seen it yet, go and see it. It marvels any national monument I have seen.  The Wall of Prayers lists the names of the veterans from Newtown Square and all those from the Delaware County killed in the line of duty. Every war or conflict that America has been involved in dating back to the Revolutionary War is represented. A Memorial Day Service will be held at 8:30 a.m. The service will include a wreath laying by the Veterans Alliance. This memorial is local and it like our veterans deserves recognition and a place to pay homage.  It is impressive and something to see. Take the kids.

Front view of the Memorial

View from the parking area

Friday, May 23, 2014

Top 10 Don't Fry Day

The Friday before Memorial Day is "Don't Fry Day" according to

We are all excited about the upcoming holiday weekend with anticipated R and R, catching up on chores and a little fun in the sun.  It is the first long weekend in the summer three part series of Memorial Day, Forth of July and Labor Day

Nothing says summer and fun in the sun more than Memorial Day Weekend. Many will be heading to the beach and the weekend is looking good with Sunday and Monday as the gems. Friday and Saturday there is a "chance" to alternate your plans "if" you forget your umbrella. They "the mighty wizards of weather" are suggesting the "r" word.

No one wants to spoil a good time but getting a little color is no longer the way to look healthy. Remember your mother used to say, go out and get some color in your face. Today mom says "use sunblock".

Being shady is the new sexy.  Seek shade whenever possible and coverup! Wear sunglasses too with UV protection.

Use extra caution around water, sand and snow and a cloudy day offers no safety net.

Sunscreen should be re-applied every two hours and I was surprised to learn it takes 15 minutes for sunscreen to absorb into your skin. Show of hands...How many wait till you are at the beach, start to feel a little heat on the skin and then lather up?

An ounce of sunscreen should be used to cover exposed skin. How to apply suncreen link from the American Academy of Dermatologists. The comparison to an ounce is a shot glass full of lotion. The spray stuff is suppose to be pretty good but I see most people missing by a long shot and just spraying the sand.  Maybe that helps the refection.  I don't know.

Or you can practice Sun Wise suggestions from the you mom says USE SUNBLOCK and listen to her. This weekend is the stuff we were all dreaming about on all those endless snow days.

Be safe 
have fun
limit you time in the sun
use sunscreen and shade.

Happy Start to brighter days!
Let's Make it a Good Memory
and don't forget to
remember the men and women
who have died while serving our country 
and protecting our freedom.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Top 10 Upcoming Events This Memorial Day Weekend 2014

1. May 22 At the State of the Shore event, New Jersey will announce Top 10 New Jersey Beaches.  Did You Vote? I could recommend where I would not want you to go because I like the beach all to myself but that would be shellfish. I am looking forward to the announcement.

2. May 24 Lecture: Local Family’s Multigenerational Experience From Slavery to the Civil Rights Movement on Saturday, at 1 p.m. at the Middletown Free Library 21 N. Pennell Rd., Box 275, Lima, PA. 

3. May 24 Opening Day of Once Upon A Nation Storytelling Benches. Ten one-of-a-kind award-winning Once Upon A Nation Storytelling Benches are scattered all over Philadelphia’s Historic District, telling riveting stories of our nation.

4. May 24 Veterans Forum to be held at the Collingdale Community Center on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. American war veterans from various wars and armed services as well as Delaware County students from grades 7-12 will be participating in the forum. Students will present our veterans with questions and then write a short essay if they choose to participate in our Essay Contest. An award from the Clifton Heights American Legion Post will be given to one boy and one girl. There is no admission fee for this event however
donations will be accepted for the participating Veteran organizations.

5. May 24 (Saturday) Marcus Hook Memorial Day Parade starts at noon, at the Marcus Hook/Trainer line to Market Square Memorial Park.

6. May 24 – Cowtown Rodeo opens on Saturday Nights 7:30 p.m.

7. May 24 and 25 A 17th Century Camp and Skirmish at Colonial Plantation. Witness a period of our history that shows the expanding horizons of both Europe and America.
Saturday 11 a. m. to 5pm with last entry at 4pm (skirmish at 12:30 and 2:30) Sunday - 11am to 3pm with last entry at 2:30pm (skirmish at 2:00) Adults - $10.00 and children (4 to 12) -$8.00.

8. May 25 to May 29 PathWays PA and Barnaby's of America are Partnering to Serve Our Military! Barnaby's of America locations are celebrating Memorial Day by offering a 20% discount on food purchases for active and veteran military with valid ID. This discount is offered by Barnaby's in conjunction with PathWays PA's HeroesPath program. HeroesPath offers veterans in Southeastern Pennsylvania one-stop access to a full range of services, opportunities, programs and supports for a successful transition from military service to civilian employment and family life.

9. May 25 Teal Ribbon 5K Race Against Time, Please Touch Museum, 4231 Ave of the Republic, Philadelphia, PA 19131.

10. Making a Dam Difference The dam at Newlin Grist Mill suffered significant damage, read more about the “Dam Disaster Project”. Take a moment to check it out on Indiegogo and also share it with your friends. All the tools are there. Get perks, make a contribution, or simply follow updates. If enough of us get behind it, we can make 'Dam Disaster Project' happen! An amazing story about people that give for a dam.

At the beach

 May 23 -26 Wildwood International Kite Festival in Wildwood New Jersey Event begins on Friday at 12 noon with the “Unlocking of the Ocean” media event on the beach behind the Wildwoods Convention Center. Festivities continue with the opening of the Festival Field Tent and the 9 p.m. illuminated kite fly at Rio Grande Ave. and the beach. Saturday and Sunday include the East Coast Stunt Kite Championships on the beach starting at 9 a.m. daily, as well as kite exhibits and workshops. A Kite Festival Auction will be held in the Wildwoods Convention Center at 7 p.m. on Saturday night and is open to the public - many unique kites and collectibles will be auctioned off. Monday will feature the World Indoor Kite Competition from 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. inside the Wildwoods Convention Center where kite fliers will showcase their impressive ability to fly a kite without wind. FREE to spectators! For more information call 732.822.4884 or visit

May 25 - June 12 Bach to the Beach Cape May Music .

Local Memorial Day Parades 

May 26 Aston Memorial Day Parade starts at Village Green Shopping Center at 10 a.m. The parade route will travel down Concord Road to the legion Post at 3220 Concord Road.

May 26 Another Aston Memorial Day Service and Parade will begin at 11 a.m. at Mount Road and proceed to Veterans Monument at New and Mount Roads. 

May 26 Glenolden Memorial Day Services and Parade begins in front of the Murray-Stuart American Legion at 11:45p.m. followed by a parade to Glenolden Park.

May 26 Marple Memorial Day Parade starts 10 a.m. at West Chester Pike and Malin Road.

May 26 Memorial Day Thank a Vet! Media Memorial Day Parade starts at 10 a.m. on State Street in downtown Media, PA.

May 26 Prospect Park Memorial Day Parade begins at borough hall 9 a.m. and ends at Norwood Huron Avenue Memorial

May 26 Springfield Memorial Day Parade will begin at Veterans Memorial Park 10 a.m.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Top 10 Facinating Things About Fort Delaware

Fort Delaware is located on Pea Patch Island in the middle of the Delaware River and is surrounded by water.  You have to take a ferry to get there.

Once you cross the river to the island, you are transported back to the days of the Civil War, when this place was bustling.

1. As you first approach this massive building, you think of a prison.  Fort Delaware was used as a prison during the Civil War and it gave me a similar impression when seeing Alcatraz for the first time in the San Francisco Bay.

2. Standing in front across the gang plank it takes on a different motif.  It has a moat and you can envision a medieval castle.  It could have easily defended royalty within those thick sturdy walls. The fort that you see today, is the second constructed defense at this location. The original structure was built just after the War of 1812 with the idea of preventing an easy access to the important ports along the river including Marcus Hook, Chester and further up the water, Philadelphia. This would help place Ft. Mifflin in a less precarious position.

3.  Before you are invited in through the sally port, you are given a brief history of the island and informed of yet another special ingredient that lies upon this treasured island.

4. Stepping inside the sally port, the main entrance to the fort, you are asked to close your eyes and travel back to 1863-64. Imagine where you are standing most likely stood a Union soldier or perhaps a Confederate soldier who became a prisoner of war. Surely one or the other if not both had walked through the same doorway that houses the original doors with the same flooring and the brick arch above, all original structures. The steel rods across the brick ceiling served a multi-task. Soldiers did not have a lot of entertainment on the island and tended to drink, get out of hand and sometimes neglect their duties. We were told such conduct was rewarded with their arms raised in the air they were attached to the poles and hung out to dry, so to speak. The sobering lesson was the inability to raise your arms for three days after release.

5. Once you pass through the sally port and into the courtyard area the fortress took on yet another mystique. There was a protected feel inside this brick city concealed bu the massive thick stone walls. I loved it.  Not that I would ever want to have lived during the Civil War or ever visit the inside of prison walls but this place seemed secure.

6.  Confederate Officers were given rooms on the 2nd and 3rd floor of the building directly ahead and the accommodations were nice.  Officers were treated as such and had similar housing to the Union officers, who stayed and had offices to the right. The enlisted men had other lodging, not as fancy, barracks style. Only one of these buildings exists on the island today but there were many more during the darkest days of incarceration during the Civil War.  We were unable to tour this facility due to flooding a few weeks back.  You don't need a boat to get to this building but knee deep boots would have been a plus.  No doubt that is how high you would have sunk into the mud.

7. During the heightened period, Pea Patch Island was the home to over 12,000 civilians and military personnel on both sides of the conflict. Below you can see a model of what it looked like back in these times. There was even a church on the island built by the prisoners but they were not allowed to attend the service. You would think they would be the ones who needed the prayers and praying.

8. I came to know about this Fort when I was doing a little research on the Confederate soldiers that were originally buried at Chester Rural Cemetery in Chester, PA.  These soldiers were sent from Fort Delaware to the U.S. General Hospital in Chester during the war suffering from dysentery, small pox, scurvy, measles and other nasty stuff you can catch living in overcrowded situations and unhealthy dietary conditions. Some of these men did not survive and originally they were buried across the street at Chester Rural and then moved to a mass grave at Philadelphia National Cemetery.  Those who died at Fort Delaware are buried across the river on the New Jersey side at Finn's Point National Cemetery.

9. Pea Patch Island is also a one of the largest nesting areas for herons on the Atlantic Coast, north of Florida. I went to see them.  I did mention the flooding right? The trail back to that area had a small obstacle.  It was now a pond and a delightful new place to waddle around for the ducks, temporarily impassible. Seriously, this was our trail.

10. I was bummed and should have demanded my money back but these people did have weapons.  Had it not been for the very visible presence of the artillery and the fact that I spent five hours wandering around and marveling at the history on this island I just may have done that.

 Did I mention the bats? I can't give away all the secrets.

  There is so much to see at Fort Delaware on Pea Patch Island definitely worth a day trip. Besides the Chester Rural Cemetery connection to Delaware County, some of the stone for the fort and also the spiral steps came from John Leiper's quarry in Delaware County.

 Step back in time

It is a fascinating place. Plan to spend the day.