Friday, February 27, 2015

Top 10 Wondering About the Downton Abbey Season Finale

What do you expect? Questions, questions??

Will this one end tragically?  I am still not over what they did to Matthew Crawley.

Who will walk down the aisle next? Will it be Violet the Dowager? How about the doctor and Isobel?

Is Mary getting too snarky for a suitor? Are there any more distant "rich" cousins in the wings?  That may sweeten her up!

Will Tom really go to America? Does he have a new project? Forget Edith and Mary, I'll miss him.  He needs a girl, maybe a nice American girl.  Any interest in an Irishman ladies?

Which actor/actress will you spot in different television shows or movies in the off season? Which actor appeared in one of the Oscar nominated films this year? Hint the movie was Imitation Game. Not to give that away but his character will shock you.

Who is your favorite character? Favorite couple? Carson and Mrs. Hughes belong together but the dialog between them and the spark between them would be missed if they got married and lived happily ever after but they really are a couple in many aspects of the show.

Is Thomas, Mr. Barrow the footman, not to be confused with Tom "Branson" the former chauffeur turned family member getting nice? I almost liked him helping out the new "temporary" recruit with the gambling issue. Nice move.

Do you miss O'Brien? Maybe she killed the rapist. How about the Dowager's new ladies maid?  She needs a Donald Trump moment, "You're Fired". I like her interaction with the butler Spratt the brat. I thought he was the problem but seems she's not very nice either. Denker is a drinker!

Are all the blondes subject to sadness and hard luck? Edith? Anna? Tom? Matthew? Is Rose safe? She is currently the lead role in Disney's Cinderella. It is not out yet, it opens March 13th. She does seem to be charming. See the Disney  Cinderella Trailer on YouTube. Anna  (Joanne Froggatt) did win the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Supporting role so maybe all her drama is just and act.  I was happy for her. You can't help but like her. I spotted Tom (Allen Leech) and Edith (Laura Carmichael) at the awards table with her for support! Where was Bates? Isn't that always a question?

I hope Rose stays local after getting married and I hope her nasty mother moves far, far away. Visitor's to the mansion do not get as much screen time with the exception of Isobel and the Dowager. You can see both of them in upcoming movieThe Second Best Marigold Exotic Hotel, you can spot a lot of familiar faces in this movie including, Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire and Newsroom) and Richard Gere still sexy after all these years and Judi Dench returns.

Tune in for the Season Finale Sunday on PBS! If you suffer from DA withdraw symptoms when the season ends, I have some picture from the great Downton Costume Exhibit at Winterthur, if you missed it at this link. 

 Many libraries across the country are having teas to celebrate the season.  Tickets are going fast so if you see one advertised grab that ticket in a lady-like manner. Go and gossip, these people leave a lot to talk about! Dress accordingly with hat and gloves of course.


Highclere Castle and Garden is having a drawing. See if you can answer the questions.  Click around the website to see more about the history of the location where Downton Abbey is filmed.  They offer tours to the public too!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Top 10 Things To Do This Weekend Feb 28

February 28 ANTIQUE APPRAISAL EVENT 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. at Historic Sugartown.Wondering what that prized family heirloom might be worth? Here’s your chance to find out! Antiques expert Sarah Shinn Pratt will provide informal appraisals on your fine art, antiques and collectibles. Bring your items to Historic Sugartown on Saturday, February 28th from 10 to 5 for an informal verbal estimate. Space is limited and registration is required! There is a $15 per item, or $35 per 3 items appraisal fee. Proceeds from fees will benefit the Historic Sugartown. Historic Sugartown’s Carriage Museum is located at 273 Boot Road, Malvern. Call 610.314.4048 or email

February 28 - March 8 The Philadelphia Flower Show at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Repeat after me, Spring is just around the corner.  Tap those heals too! I think I may be in the minority but I like all the seasons and the changes and I love the white stuff, maybe not so much if I lived in Boston.

February 28  Kitchen Herb Garden at Linvilla Garden Center 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. The price includes 3 herb plants, a quality terracotta planter, hearty soil and the guidance from an expert Garden Center staff!  Call 610 876-7116 to register. Fee $35 
February 28 iCare enough 2 #BeTheOne Concert 8 p.m. to 11:55 p.m. at SJU.

March 1 Bucks County  Designer House and Garden Empty House Party before the makeover. Villa d'Braccia, has been selected as the 40th Bucks County Designer House and Gardens. Tours begin April 26. Check out all the additional events at website.

March 1 Betsy Ross House Meet Mary Crathorne, Chocolate Maker Discover chocolate's patriotic history with 18th century entrepreneur, Mary Crathorne, and enjoy FREE samples of American Heritage™ Chocolate. 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Get Tax Help 

PathWays VITA offering free tax preparation in Greater Philadelphia, Camden, and Delaware County from January 26 to April 15 2015.  Schedule your appointment online today! Our services are available to individuals and families earning less than $53,000 per year. To schedule your free tax appointment, visit the scheduling page or call 610-543-5022 or 1-800-209-2914.

February 28 Free Federal and State Income Tax Prep at the Aston Library appointments required call 610-494-5877. The Aston Public Library will host free Federal and State Income Tax preparation services from PathwaysPA on February 28th (a Saturday). Families or single persons with income below $53,000 per year are eligible for the free filing assistance.

Community Action Agency is offering free tax prep from locations in Boothwyn and Media by appointment call 610-891-6327 or 610-891-5101.

AARP is offering free tax prep (not just for seniors) at the Granite Run Mall 8:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays on the upper level of Granite Run Mall near Boscov's.  This program is a first come, first served.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Top 10 Ways to Zip through your day!

Zip your pants

Zip your coat

Zip the pocketbook

Zip the backpack

Zip the code

Zip the lips

Zip along

Zip the tent

Zip the sleeping bag

Zippity Do Da Day mission complete!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Top 10 Reasons why you should see all the Best Picture Nominations

No one really likes a job critique and let's face it none of these films or the people in them would have been selected if they were not award winning quality. I am just one of the billions and billions of opinions out there. They all received at least one "Oscar".

The asterisk at the end indicates "Academy Award" wins.

American Sniper Any movie that casts Bradley Cooper in a leading roll will get a wink and a nod from me.  I just like the guy, yeah he's sexy but he is also believable. Good at his job being precise and a good decision maker is certainly someone we all want defending us and our country and that quality and characterization is something we all want from our leaders. What I found hard to believe but maybe it is true is this. How can anyone experience the horrors of war, combat, conflict and anything else you want to call it without experiencing PTSD?  I can't imagine what his wife went through.  Was he really able to call her on the phone while he was right there getting ready to shoot someone? I am sure that does not happen in today's military. Even though she was not there, only on the other end of the phone, how can she not suffer from PTSD? It is a true story, the trial is going on in Texas right now. I find the timing a little off for the movie, maybe it should have waited till after the trial to be released. Sad but true it is not so uncommon to shoot down American heroes. It was hard to get tickets to this one, it was a box office smash with a big message about how much we do respect out military.  It is a tough job, the service they do for us. Some of the more poignant moments in the film were no sounds at all. Winner Best Achievement in sound editing. *

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)  I absolutely hated this movie. I felt attacked by it.  I didn't like the beginning or the ending or any of the people in it. The acting, however was excellent to invoke such distaste and this is  just my opinion, for what it is worth... The movie troubled me so much that it caused a lot of after thought.  A true sign of a good movie, provoking. While I felt  like I was being attacked in the movie, I was missing the point or was I? Here are just some of my crazy thoughts, we all have them : ).  We have demons, ideas of the way we want things to be and a conscious that we sometimes struggle with just about every day when we open our eyes to the new day. I would rather have a Jiminy Cricket character buzzing in my ear rather than a bird telling me to go take a leap. It is a tough job to live up to expectations of someone else let alone your own. Social media only seems to want a piece of you if you do something embarrassing or out of character. This is why people that did not see the movie were so critical of Neil Patrick Harris in his underwear. I saw the movie so I got it but it really didn't work.  I found the fine line between reality and fantasy in the movie a little confusing but very true to life as we know it today, especially the critic's message. A person's words (a critique) can destroy another person's character and life's work without even seeing their work just because they can.  I found this so dangerous and close to reality that was why I guess the movie was so disturbing to me.  I love Michael Keaton's work just as much as anyone else and I wish he took home a statue but I went with the guy from The Theory of Everything. I wish they both could have won. Birdman won Picture of the Year, Directing, Original Screenplay, Cinematography ****.

Boyhood I have to say this was not my favorite but I liked that I could "rent it" from cable and rarely will you find me saying something nice about cable.  I can be a critic too but I am not of the intention of ruining anyone's (cable companies) reputation.  I applaud the effort in this film and it was cool to watch this kid grow up.  It certainly lifted the curtain on a few struggles kids go through in those all important years. The one section that got most of my attention was the teacher and maybe I took it wrong but the teacher telling the kid he needed to focus on his real school work and things that were important. Maybe these were not the exact words but the kid said I am doing something important.  Of course as adults, we all know now that you get your education from all sorts of sources and rarely are the most crucial questions and answers on any standardized test. I am not faulting our educational system, I think it is tough to teach when you haven't gotten the proper training yourself, not everything is in a book. The teacher that teaches off book and strengthens the imagination to wander creates the transition in a more influential way in my opinion. It was interesting to watch how most of the people in the movie were too with adulthood to recognize the all important childhood years. I loved Patricia Arquette's acceptance speech and Meryl Streep's reaction. *

The Grand Budapest Hotel I am trying so hard not to be critical because you know, it's disturbing to me, but I probably wouldn't pay the big bucks to see this one in the theater but this is another one I enjoyed for $5 or maybe $6 on cable. The Academy disagreed with me, they loved it. I liked it. The story was zany but the scenery was spectacular so you know who got my cinematography vote. I loved the mountain scene. It holds your attention because you want to know just what will happen next. It was a fun show to watch which I can't say about any of the other nominations. Sad to say there isn't much fun in the other true to life films nominated so it was nice to mix it up with a zany one. Watch it on one of those evenings you want to escape the real world, some parts are really funny. I am a Big Finnes Fan, both Ralph and Joseph. It won Best Original Score, Best Production Design, Costume and Make-Up ****

The Imitation Game Wow is my first reaction walking out of this film. Those patterns in math class and solving puzzles do matter. I never read about Enigma in the history books and I am always fascinated to find out new information about secret war stories.  It is a fascinating story just imagine what technology can do today. There are a few other interesting components to the story as if this wasn't enough. We have improved on some of our beliefs and how we treat people yet we still seem to make judgements and decisions that do not compute. I really recommend this film. Imitation Game won Best Adapted Screenplay. I would have given it Best Picture, I was that impressed with the story it told. *

Selma despite all the hub bub and fact checking I thought this was a great film. For historical purposes, I suppose I should have paid more attention to the portrayal of LBJ but I didn't. I watched the film in a more personal rather than a political fact check.  I would have been approximately the same age, slightly younger, of those little girls that were killed at the 16th Street Baptist Church. I guess it shows how different information is relayed now than from back in those days. I don't remember my parents speaking of it. It was not breaking news on the Internet.  I remember having the opinion that George Wallace wasn't a nice man but never really fully aware of rights and "peaceful" marches. I remember the term being riots, it was good to get a clearer perspective.  I wondered why we were not taught about such things in school and then it dawned on me, it wasn't history at the time.  It was current news.  I hope today's kids are getting a more clear message and someday senseless acts and the suspicion  and mistrust will be part of the shameful and sorrowful past. Selma won best original song and the presentation at the Academy Awards was powerful, so was the movie, I think it deserved more recognition. *

The Theory of Everything I have nothing but respect for the characters and the people who portrayed them so eloquently. I wish they were acknowledged more but it was a powerful field to choose from this year. My favorite scene in the movie was when he (Stephen Hawking) went to receive his award from the Queen and he invited his wife whom he was no longer with and his children and he turns to her and says "Look what we have done, referring to his children". He really is a brilliant man. I don't know if this movie was what made the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge so popular this summer but ALS is such a nasty disease.  Mr. Hawking did not beat the disease but he sure did "outsmart" it. I thought Felicity Jones did such a great job in playing Stephen Hawking's wife Jane, she is just as much a hero as her husband.  It really was her story to tell.  Stephen Hawking has a website if you would like to catch up on him.  The Theory of Everything won Best Actor *.

Whiplash The music was great and I read the drummer, Miles Teller did his own drumming, quite amazing. He gets best musician in my blog to date for endurance alone, very intense. It is a tough movie to watch. Hard work should pay off and you should be able to achieve your dreams but I have never been a fan of someone that uses abuse and criticism to drive someone to achieve. There is a fine line separating the men from the boys. No doubt, J.K. Simmons earned that award, he's such a nice guy, from the movie you would never know it.  That is acting!  It is a tough movie to watch, especially if you know anyone like that who destroyed dreams. I got that one right. Whiplash won Supporting Actor, Film Editing and Sound Mixing ***.

An Award Waking Moment for me watching the Academy Awards was Lady Gaga.  Her tribute to the Sound of Music was show stopping.  Are their many if any movies today, where the majority can sing along and know almost all the lyrics to the soundtrack of a movie?  The closest I'm guessing is "Frozen".

The Short Films aren't as easy to find and watch.  I found a website, and you can watch some of the older ones for free. You may have to first go to the Oscars website and see previous winners and google the name and maybe get to see parts on YouTube but their are copyrights especially on the winners so maybe just a clip. The Phone Call short Live Action this year had the most impact on me. It tore at me and brought me to tears.  This year I liked the International diversity of Tibet, Afghanistan, Austria, U.K and Israel and I always like the Irish humor, perhaps I am a tad prejudice. I like funny. I also thought "Butter Lamp (La Lampe au Beurre de Yak)" (Hu Wei and Julien FĂ©ret) was a good translation of people.  It showed  people are the same no matter where they live in this case Tibet.  We get fears and phobias about people and places because all the bad gets amplified.  I read a review online where someone said, I was expecting something more to happen. I think if you look close enough there was a lot happening in that short time frame.

I got a little chatty today, lots of caffeine involved. I almost didn't make it to the end of the show but I had to see who won. It was over around midnight.  I was happy for all of them. I find it interesting how people pick up different things in movies.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Top 10 What's Happening This Week February 23

1. February 24 "A College Kid With A Story To Tell" SJU - iCare Week 5:30 p.m. - 7:00p.m.  The week of February 23rd is iCare week at St. Joe’s University! Speaker Jackie, a SJU student, will be kicking the week off with a powerful presentation in the Forum Theatre. Please join come for her message of hope!
2. Feb. 24 The 1696 Thomas Massey House and Marple Historical Society present Michael Harris Speaking on his book Brandywine: A Military History of the Battle that Lost Philadelphia but Saved America, September 11, 1777 at 7:30 at the Marple Christian Church, Lawrence Rd. Broomall. Brandywine Creek calmly meanders through the Pennsylvania countryside today, but on September 11, 1777, it served as the scenic backdrop for the largest battle of the American Revolution, one that encompassed more troops over more land than any combat fought on American soil until the Civil War.  Harris’s Brandywine is the first complete study to merge the strategic, political, and tactical history of this complex operation and important set-piece battle into a single compelling account.Donations appreciated. Refreshments served. For information call 610-353-4967.

3. February 24 What’s My Child Thinking? The Brain from Childhood to Adolescence. Let's Talk About Your Brain at the Franklin Institute 7 p.m.- 8 :30 p.m. Free for members $5 for non-members.

4. February 24, 2015 Fighting Heart Disease with a Fork and a Knife - Riddle Hospital fro 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

5. February 25 Senior Suppers (for the Over 60 crowd) this monthly event is being held at Riddle Hospital ($7) and Senior Entertainment Nights ($5) are held  at Paoli Hospital. Click on the links for more information and times.

6. February 25 Delaware County Historic Preservation Network presents HIDDEN COLLECTIONS INITIATIVE FOR PENNSYLVANIA SMALL ARCHIVAL REPOSITORIES:THE RESULTS SO FAR…7:00 p.m. Delaware County Gov't Center Building, County Council Meeting Room, 201 W Front Street, Media, PA. Hundreds of small archival repositories in the five-county Philadelphia region hold thousands of individual collections documenting a wide range of topics and geographic areas. Private, non-profit organizations with a history-based mission or that have historically significant archival collections, that agree to make their archives available to the public, and that do not employ a full-time, professionally trained archivist are eligible for participation in the project. Project staff identify small archival repositories in the Philadelphia area, survey and assess their archival collections, and create summary finding aids to these collections. The finding aids are made publicly accessible in an online database developed by the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries (PACSCL). Within this single online resource, researchers may search collections held at a wide range of Philadelphia-area archival repositories, from the smallest all-volunteer organizations to the largest professional institutions. In 2013, DCHPN introduced representatives of the Hidden Collections Initiative to Delaware County historic groups and outlined the services they could offer.  Join us for this presentation on the collections in Delaware County that have been cataloged and find out how your organization can be involved in the Initiative’s continuing effort to add additional collections to the online database. Participating organizations receive a report on improving their collection. An added bonus to the event will be a display of unique and rare Delaware County books and artifacts for everyone to enjoy before the event as you mingle with colleagues and friends. Free and open to all.  Please register at or 610-891-4910.

7. February 26 FREE! Thursday, February 26th at 6:00 PM at the Wagner Free Institute of Science (1700 W Montgomery Ave Philadelphia, PA 19121). Freshwater mussels are the "underdogs" of aquatic ecology: few people know that they exist and even fewer know that they are the most imperiled of all organisms in North America. As a result of degraded stream conditions and their unique and complicated lifecycle, once plentiful freshwater mussel populations are dwindling. That’s bad news for our rivers, streams, and lakes, where freshwater mussels play a vital role as natural waste treatment plants. This presentation will describe the fascinating lifestyle and status of freshwater mussels and chronicle how local efforts to restore these animals will protect our waterways. Registration and more information here.

8. Feb. 26, 2015 Paint the Town Red presented by the Women's Heart Initiative. An evening devoted to celebrating women and making heart healthy choices. Shop to your heart’s content with many local vendors; savor heart-healthy hors d’oeuvres; and meet the Lankenau Heart Institute team of female cardiologists, 6:00–9:00 p.m. Merion Golf Club, 450 Ardmore Avenue, Ardmore, PA 19003. For More Information and to Register. click on the link.

9. February 26 and February 27 2015 Wild and Scenic Film Festival at Chester County Historical Society 225 N High St, West Chester, PA 19380. The 2015 Wild and Scenic Film Festival is hosted by Trail Creek Outfitters and proceeds from the event equally benefit: The Land Conservancy for Southern Chester County and Stroud Water Research Center.  The theme of the film festival is “A Wild Life” and features stellar film making, beautiful cinematography and first-rate storytelling to inform, inspire and ignite solutions and possibilities to restore the earth and human communities while creating a positive future for the next generation.

10. February 26 The Japanese Film Festival, presented by the Center for East Asian Studies and Shofuso Japanese House and Garden.The final film in the series of four, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, follows sushi master Jiro Ono on his quest to perfect the art of sushi, while highlighting the trials of his two sons who follow in their father’s footsteps.Please note, these FREE events take place at 7pm each Thursday in February in room B6 of the Stiteler Hall (208 South 37th Street, Philadelphia PA, 19104) on Penn’s campus.

Watch the weather and check the links for possible cancellations or time changes.

Delaware County Literacy Council is celebrating their 40th Anniversary.  Visit the 40th Anniversary Facebook Page and Share Your Literacy Council Story.  Help Document the History and Pave the Way to a Successful Future.


Saturday, February 21, 2015

Top 10 Oscar Predictions and The Winners

Best Picture of the Year The Imitation Game but I really liked Selma and the entire cast. Winner Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Best Actor Eddie Redmayne Selma guy David Oyelowo, was snubbed not being nominated (he was great). Winner Eddie Redmayne!

Best Actor in a Supporting Role J. K. Simmons Winner!

Actress in a Lead Role Julianne Moore Winner Julianne Moore!

Actress in a Supporting Role my previous mistake I chose Felicity Jones as supporting because I thought her character was so supportive of her husband.  I have to pass on this because I didn't see wild and I thought all the other ladies did a comparable job.  Emma Stone with those big eyes did stand out to me, lotta attitude. Winner Patricia Arquette! Equal Rights for Women Wage Equality!

Best Animated Feature Film Big Hero 6 Winner Big Hero 6

Achievement in Cinematography Grand Budapest Hotel Winner Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)!

Achievement in Costume Design Maleficent Winner Grand Budapest Hotel

Achievement in Direction Imitation Game Winner Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)!

Best Documentary Feature CitizenFour Winner CitizenFour

Best Documentary Short Subject White Earth Winner Crisis Hotline:Veterans Press 1

Achievement in Film Editing Boyhood Winner Whiplash!

Best Foreign Language Film Ida Winner IDA!

Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling I'm going with me on this one.  I have no clue but Steve Carrel's nose stands out. Winner Grand Budapest Hotel

Achievement in Music Written for a Motion Picture (Original Score) Mr. Turner Grand Budapest Hotel Winner!

Achievement in Music Written for a Motion Picture (Original Song) Glory Winner Glory!

Achievement in Production Design Into the Woods Grand Budapest Hotel Winner!

Best Animated Short Film A Single Life Winner Feast!

Best Live Action Short The Phone Call spoiler alert (tear jerker) Winner The Phone Call!!

Achievement in Sound Editing Unbroken Winner American Sniper!

Achievement in Sound Mixing Whiplash Winner Whiplash!

Achievement in Visual Effects Interstellar Winner Interstellar!

Adapted Screenplay The Theory of Everything Winner The Imitation Game!

Original Screenplay  Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) Winner Birdman or(The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Top 10 February 22 Weekend Special Events

February Penn Museum Tours are awesome. Click on the link to see the schedule coming up. I took a Mummy Tour recently, they have a lot of interesting artifacts at the museum. I was at the museum to see the 1918 silent film Eyes of the Mummy set to the score created by Michael Stambaugh who operates a teaching studio for piano, concentration and music theory.  He is on the faculty of the Settlement Music School in Philadelphia.  He holds an M.M. in Composition from the University of Delaware and a Bachelor in Music Theory with Piano Concentration from Temple University.  He is also a graduate of Strath Haven High School, Strath Haven Middle School, SRS Swarthmore-Rutledge School, The Kid's Place and Holy Trinity Nursery School. Relache played Michael's music live. I have known Michael since he was three years old and I thought some of the many teachers he had along the way might want to know of his success. I too now can appreciate the work so much more that goes into scoring the music for motion pictures in the upcoming Academy Awards. One never knows, I may never walk the red carpet but I know one mummy that is getting closer. Michael's "world premier" music, set the mood of the movie.

February 22 The Philadelphia Suns Lion Dance Parade starts at 10th and Spring Garden  11 a.m.  - 2  p.m.

Tides of Freedom: African Presence on the Delaware River exhibit at the Independence Seaport Museum.

February 22 Weathering the Storms: Resiliency Workshop 2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Haverford Township Library ONE BOOK ONE Inspired by the book Orphan Train. Gain practical tools and a fresh perspective on the roadblocks that we all inevitably encounter.This discussion and interactive workshop will explore the concept of resiliency as portrayed by the heronines in Orphan Train and other episodes in human history and look at topics  like change/conflict management, obstacles and influences for change, and taming the flight, fight and fright instincts.Participants will gain practical tools and a fresh perspective. This workshop is presented by Sharlene Goldfischer of Quintessence Coaching.  She is a certified coach with over thirty-five years of professional experience helping people find solutions and reach their full potential through training, consulting and coaching.  She specializes in leadership development and life wellness coaching. This workshop is free, but registration is required.

February 22 Daytona 500 begins at 1 p.m. 200 laps 500 miles.  Vince Vaugh is the Grand Marshall and the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will provide a flyover! Joey Logano of Team Penske won the 2015 Daytona 500.

February 22 Academy Awards on ABC 7 p.m. on ABC. posting my picks on Saturday some tough choices this year. It is EXTRA credit.

February 22 - 28 East Passyunk Restaurant Week -3 course lunch and or dinner at 28 award winning restaurants for either $15, $25 or $35, Check out the menus!
February 22 Sensory Friendly Sunday at the Franklin Institute The Franklin Institute can sometimes seem a little overwhelming.  It can be crowded, loud, and bright.  That’s why we are pleased to offer Sensory-Friendly Sunday. It is our goal to make Sensory-Friendly Sunday a comfortable environment  for kids and adults with a variety of sensory differences.  On Sensory-Friendly Sunday our exhibits will be modified to provide an opportunity to experience all The Franklin Institute has to offer for people on the autism spectrum and with a range of differing abilities.  Our trained staff and volunteers will be on hand to answer any questions you have and, if necessary, direct you to a quiet space that provides a chance to cool down and take a break. We are also offering the opportunity to “try again” if your visit isn’t successful in the first half hour. Enjoy a special discounted rate available for guests arriving between 8:00 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. and for pre-registered guests, but you are welcome to stay all day: To register:  Call Center, 215-448-1200 Questions: Adrienne Kimball, 215-448-2195. Regular museum rates apply after 9:30 a.m. unless pre-registered.

2015 Sensory-Friendly Sunday Dates:
February 22
March 22
May 17
June 14
July 12
Aug 16
Sept 13
Oct 11
Nov 15
Dec 13

February 26 The FCC will vote on Net Neutrality here is a link to more information on how you might "Save the Internet". Take Action now.

other options and links 
Mozilla: Firefox
Comcast Corporation Open Internet

For a little light reading... I found an interesting link on how "cable" began on the Harvard Business School website titled Cable TV: From Community Antennas to Wired Cities.  It is a very interesting read. Does anyone remember when we only had 3 - 6 - 10 and 12 and then UHF (17 - 29 - 48) came along and you couldn't decide which show to watch and T.V. was free! I know cable companies provide a great service and they want to make money but how did it all get so dang expensive.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Top 10 Chinese Fortunes of the Past Year

Confucius say: Top of ladder nice place, can be lonesome.

There are lessons to be earned by listening to others.

Cheerful company and a merry time are ahead for you.

Sail into the land of opportunity, treasures await.

You'd rather be approached than do the approaching.

There will be many surprises: unexpected gains are likely.

A difference to be different, must make a difference.

You will be traveling and coming into a fortune.

There is the year when ingenuity stands high on the list.

A zesty partner can help your efforts to get ahead.

Happy Chinese New Year!
Year of the Goat

Favorite Chinese food appetizer

Egg Roll or Wonton Soup

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Tiop 10 Upcoming Things To Do Mostly Snow or Shine

1. Now until April 19, 2015 Deep underground in a Colombian coal mine, scientists have uncovered remains of the largest snake in the world, Titanoboa cerrejonensis. Stand eye-to-eye with a full-scale model of this massive snake at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19103
2.February 18 Midnight Lion Dance 11:30 p.m. at 10th and Race Streets in Philadelphia's Chinatown.

3. February 19 Walnut Street Library Lunar New Year CELEBRATION hosted by Friends 4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. featuring the Penn Lions.

4. February 19 - 21. Please Touch Museum celebrates the Chinese New Year of the Goat! Festivities take place throughout the weekend.

5. February 19  The Japanese Film Festival, as presented by the Center for East Asian Studies and Shofuso Japanese House and Garden is back for 2015! This year’s theme is oneiric films, those relating to dreams or dreaming. The third film in the series of four, Ten Nights of Dreams, brings Natsume Soseki’s same-titled short story collection to life with imaginative, wacky, and sometimes unsettling detail. Please note, these FREE events take place at 7 p.m. in room B6 of the Stiteler Hall (208 South 37th Street, Philadelphia PA, 19104) on Penn’s campus. Oneiric means of or relating to dreams, I did not know.

6. February 20 Friday Flicks 12 p.m. 2015 Academy Award nominated Birdman 12 p.m. at the Lansdowne Public Library 55 S. Lansdowne Avenue  Lansdowne, PA 19050  610-623-0239.   

7. February 21 River Palooza Winter Edition - Manayunk Music Festival 12 p.m. - 2 a.m.

8. February 21 and 28  Landscapes and Structures Photography Program at Valley Forge National Park. Click on the link for more details.

9. February 21 Colonial Plantation first workshop of the year. learn to cook a whole meal from start to finish in our kitchen! Colonial Cooking Workshop 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. $25 members/volunteers $35 nonmembers. Limit 10 participants. Must register in advance! Call the office: 610-566-1725. February 21 The Rural History Federation will host  “At This Unseasonable Hour:” Illuminating Night Life of Our Past at Pennsbury Manor in Morrisville, the home of William Penn. snow date March 7.  Open to museum volunteers, professionals and lovers of all things history to learn about what really happened at night during earlier centuries. $35 registration fee includes presentations, Q&A panel discussion with all speakers, light breakfast & lunch. Optional tour of the site also available. Interested in attending, then download the brochure with registration form here For more information about this workshop, please contact Kimberly  or 610-584-5104.

10. Check out the Oscar Nominated Films including the Short Animated and Short Action Films. Playing at many theaters locally and in downtown Philadelphia. Pick a winner!

Go sledding, ice skating, snow boarding, or skiing, tis the season enjoy it while it is here.

Check the link before you go for possible cancellations or time changes.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Top 10 SNL 40 Best Moments

The very first host of SNL was George Carlin.

1. Mom jeans commercial, I am still laughing at it.

2. Kenan Thompson portraying Bill Cosby mixing his favorite drink.

3. I still think Tina Fey plays a better Sarah Palin than the original.

4. The Larry David  - Jerry Seinfeld exchange. I didn't know Larry David wrote for SNL and I didn't know Brian Williams was on the first season.  Oh!  Seinfeld got me. Very funny subtle way of sharing NBC family love.

5. The opening with Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake was phenomenal and it was great see Debbie Downer and Superstar.

6.  The writers of the Jeopardy skits deserve an Emmy Award and the actors who portrayed Sean Connery "Whore ads" - "Who reads" and "Le tits now" - " Let it snow" and the portrayals of Burt Reynolds, Tony Bennett, Justin Bieber and Jim Carrey nailed Matthew MccConaughey.  I liked Carrey's shout out for Brian Williams on the blue carpet too. I felt he wasn't throwing him under the bus like the rest of the world, he was acknowledging him as a person, just my take.

7. Best musical guest?  They were all unique in their own way but surprisingly I have to give it to Miley Cyrus. I know nothing about the girl except what I hear on EXTRA EXTRA and all the other gossip on the Internet. She can SING!! I loved her version of Paul Simon's 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover. Beyonce was good too! What? That was Maya Rudolph, she was great.

8. Biggest Star turnout I will have to go for a tie Jack Nicholson and Robert DeNiro both classy gentlemen. I am not counting audience members or previous cast members. I wished Eddie Murphy spoke more or did one of his famous characters.  He was one who always made me laugh.

9. Previous cast members that shined "Gilda will always be Golden in my book"  Emma Stone did her proud.

10. I liked how they acknowledged the crew, the writers and the band.

I didn't remember that Mayor Rudy Juliani told Loren Michaels it was so important for the show to go on after 911 and they did.  It was a great clip to revisit. Live in New York! It's Saturday Night!

In case you missed it the SNL 40 Top 10

10. Live Show
9. Satire
8. Saturday Night Dead
7. Catchphrases
6. Musical Guests
5. Kayne Sit Down!
4. Opening Credits
3. After Show Orgies Wigs
2. Lorne Michaels
1. The Crew

Here are "some" of the people either seen on the red carpet, on stage, clips or in the audience.

Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon
Debbie Downer and Superstar
Steve Martin
Tom Hanks
Alec Baldwin
Melissa McCarthy
Chris Rock
Peyton Manning
Miley Cyrus
Billy Crystal
Paul McCartney
Paul Simon
John Belushi
Chevy Chase
Steve Martin with the arrow throw his head
George Harrison (all the Beatles except John have appeared on SNL)
Eddie Murphy as Buckwheat "O Tay"
Pee We Herman
The Church Lady
Baba WaWa
Chris Farley
More Cowbell
Britany Spears
Tina Fey - Sarah Palin
Steven Spielberg
Dan Aykroyd
Buck Henry
Pump You Up
Jeopardy Game
Sean Connery(character)
Justin Bieber (character)
Tony Bennett (character)
Burt Reynolds(character)
Christopher Walken
Matthew McConaughey(character)
Jim Carrey
Bill Cosby (character)
Kenan Thompson
Gilda Radnor
Robert DeNiro
Mayor Koch
Alicia Keys
Keith Richards
Paul McCartney
John McEnroe
Jack Nicholson
Political Characters
Chevy Chase as Gerald Ford
Dan Aykroyd
Hartman as Clinton
Dana Carvey as George H. W. Bush
Ross Perot
Bob Dole
Will Ferrell at George W, Bush
Gore vs Bush debate
Lock Box vs Strateegery
Dick Cheney
Barrack Obama
the real Barrack Obama
Soapnet The Californians
Bradley Cooper
Kerry Washington
Taylor Swift
Betty White
Tina, Amy, Jane
11 Films have been made from SNL skits or ideas
Rosanna Dana
Emma Stone
Ed Norton
Seth Myers
Melissa McCarthy
Jane You Ignorant Slut
John Belushi as Liz Taylor
Chevy Chase
Jim Signorelli
George Lucas
Randy Nemn
Martin Short
Beyonce (character)
Michael Douglass
Catherine Zeta Jones
Dana Carvey
Derek Stevens
Adam Sandler
Steve Martin (King Tut)
Bill Murray (Nick Ocean)
Paul Schaeffer
Blues Brothers
Dan Aykroyd and Jim Belushi
Louie C. K.
Chris Rock
Eddie Murphy
Chappelle seen on the red carpet he was hoping to see Eddie Murphy
Dick Ebersol
Derek Jeter
Peyton Manning
Sports Stars clips
Tom Brady
 LeBron James
Wayne Gretsky
Yogi Berre
Dennis Rodan
Charles Barkley
Michael Jordan
Mike Ditka
Joe Montana
Michael Phelps
Candence Bergen
Jon Lovitz
Miley Cyrus
Jerry Seinfeld
John Goodman
James Franco
Larry David
Ellen Cleghorne
Dakota Johnson
Tim Meadows
Kevin Kline (one of my favorites)
Bob Odenkirk
Sarah Palin
Donald Trump
Ellen Baskin
Tracey Morgan
Christopher Walken
Kanye West
Louis C. K.
short films
Mr. Bill
Lindsay Lohan
Ed Norton as Owen Wilson
Bruno Mars
More stars
Zak Galanfankas
Andy Sandberg
Adam Sandler
Bill Hader
Don Rickles
Bill Murry
John Belushi
Elizabeth K.
Al Siegal
Don Prado
Andy Kaufman

If I repeated a name they were shown more than once and if I skipped someone, they were there I just missed jotting them down.  The 40th Anniversary is On Demand and fun to watch! See ho you will spot.

Top 10 Guilty Pleasures-Lenten Sacrifices


Ice cream 


Skipping the daily walking exercise

Bread dip in an olive oil base with my favorite Italiano spices

Cream in my coffee

Sailor talk

The bigger steak 



 All these sinful delights.

Today is FAT TUESDAY and many people will engage in all their guilty pleasures just to get it out of their system.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Top 10 Interesting Facts and Lessons About the Presidents

Abraham Lincoln was the tallest  U.S. President at 6'4"
James Madison was the shortest U.S. President at 5'4".

Franklin Roosevelt! Was driven to Congress in Al Capone's limousine when the Secret Service needed a car to drive President Roosevelt to Congress to make his speech on Pearl Harbor the day after the attack. The Treasury Department had impounded Al Capone's armored car years earlier, so they decided that was the safest transportation.

Secret retreat: First known as Hi-Catoctin, Camp David was originally built as a camp for federal government agents and their families by the WPA. Construction started in 1935 and was completed in 1938. In 1942, Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first to converted it to a presidential retreat and renamed it "Shangri-La" (for the fictional Himalayan paradise). Camp David received its present name from Dwight D. Eisenhower, in honor of his father and grandson, both named David.

John F. Kennedy was the youngest president (43)  elected to office The youngest person to assume office was Theodore Roosevelt (age 42), who became president following William McKinley 's assassination.  
 Ronald Reagan was the oldest president to assume office at 69 years, 349 days on January 20, 1981.

Gerald Ford was the oldest living president. He lived 93 years. I went to see him lying in state at the Capitol Building and got to sign the condolence card, one person per family were permitted to do so.Ford died on the 34th anniversary of President Harry Truman's death

Former presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on the same day, July 4, 1826.

More presidents were born in Virginia than any other state with 8, almost the first 5 presidents to be exact if it wasn't for John Adams, that rebel. Ohio is 2nd with 7. Can you name the Virginians?  Okay without Google can you at least name one from Pennsylvania. He was also the only one to remain a bachelor. Why were the folks from Virginia so popular?

To date, two sets of fathers and sons became President of the United States, John Adams and his son John Quincy Adams and George H.W Bush and George W.  Bush, a possible hat trick if former governor Jeb Bush runs for and wins the next presidential election.

More information on the Presidents of the United States has a great website with educational games for kids, this link focuses on the United States Presidents.  If you believe you are smarter than a 5th grader take the challenges offered.

Click around on the U.S. Mint website for more fun stuff. also offers a great link for reference and teaching aids.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Top 10 Ways To Avoid Bad Luck

Top 10 Ways to Avoid Bad Luck
Friday 13th

Don't step on cracks; it breaks your mother's back. She doesn't like you walking in puddles either.

Put salt on the doorstep of a new house and no evil can enter there.  It is also good for icy conditions.

Don't walk under any ladders.

If you see a black cat getting ready to cross the road in front of you, turn around and go the other way.

Go out the same door you came in.

Things that happen in threes, like third on a match...don't smoke.

Hang a horseshoe open side up. If it is upside down the luck can run out.

Hang a dream catcher in your bedroom window and it will take care of the bad dreams.

Always get out of bed the same side you get in or everyone will notice..... "YOU" got out of the wrong side of the bed.

If you used the same pencil to take a test that you used for studying the test, the pencil will remember the answers.

Saturday is Valentine's Day in case you haven't noticed all the red and the chocolate on display.

There are Valentine's Day superstitions at this website, click the link if you want them. 
I am not going to go there, but you can if you want.
Watch for the birds!

In my opinion, there is no bad luck on Valentine’s Day unless you do not acknowledge it in some way. In that case, I am predicting bad vibes and a LOT of eye (i)(i) messages.

Tell somebody you love them
Chocolate works!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Top 10 Upcoming Extended Weekend Events

February 13 10 Extremely Awesome Presidents part of the "Step Back in Time Presentations" at the Middletown Free Library at 2 p.m.

February 14 is National Have-a-Heart Day and I recommend have a little chocolate.  Dark chocolate of course, it is good for the heart. It is also S. A. D. Singles Awareness Day! The benefit to S.A.D. celebrators?? You do not have to wait for someone to deliver your chocolate, you can go out and get it yourself, no questions asked.  Enjoy!

Ten Thousand Villages shop in Media has a program called Manna on Mondays and Food Cupboard Fridays. On Mondays and Fridays only, non-perishable foods (dry food basics, peanut butter and canned foods), personal care items (deodorant, soap, feminine care products, toothbrushes, toothpaste) and baby basic needs (diapers, wipes, formula, food) are collected in our store at 101 West State Street in Media, PA.(Donors who wish to shop in our store that day will save 15% on their purchase excluding all other discounts; and we thank them in advance for their generosity.) Here is a link to the Media store website, they ave very cool things. They have many locations.

Register by February 15  for April 19 Bowling for Project SEARCH - Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital Plan on an afternoon of bowling 3:00–5:00 p.m. and fun to support efforts to teach employable skills to individuals with disabilities. In addition to supporting this amazing program, you will have the opportunity to participate in raffle prize drawings and munch on food as you bowl. $120 per lane reservation which includes shoe rental and food for up to six bowlers. Only 28 lanes available at Sproul Lanes, 745 South Sproul Road, Springfield, PA 19064. Space is limited so register early. Registration is required. Call 484.596.5425 to register by Feb. 15, 2015.

February 15 is the last day to sign up for or change your selection for 2015 Health Insurance at

February 15 SNL 40th Anniversary on NBC the reunion begins at 8 p.m. with many special guests.  The red carpet begins at 7 p.m.

1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.Location: Mount Pleasant, Belmont, and Strawberry Mansion in Philadelphia's Fairmount Park Section . Paid tickets required $38 ($30 members). In celebration of Black History Month, the tour explores the stories of both free and enslaved people at historic mansions Mount Pleasant, Belmont, and Strawberry Mansion, and the Abolition movement to end American slavery.

February 16, 2015 Presidents’ Day Celebration at John Chads House, 9th year from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The John Chads House will be open in honor of George Washington’s and Abraham Lincoln’s birthdays. When General Washington positioned his soldiers on the hillside next to the Chads House in 1777, a nervous Widow Chads hid her silver spoons in her pocket.  There will be many exhibits and special activities at the Visitors Center, free of charge.  These include a coloring station, Presidents and First Ladies paper dolls, Presidential quizzes, the “Name that US State” game, or the Presidential matching game with portraits, names, and quotes from many well-known U.S. Presidents. There will be refreshments, costumed interpreters, and beehive oven bread for sale.  The John Chads House, a Delaware County Historical Society’s Passport to History site, will be open ($5 for adults; members & children 12 and under are free). For additional information, check the website: or call (610) 388-7376. The Chads House is located opposite the Barn Visitors Center on Creek Road, ¼ mile north of US Route 1.

February 16 George Washington Birthday Parade in Alexandria, VA. Some historic sites will also be open for tours. Check the link for additional events celebrating Washington's Birthday.

February 16 "The Story of Nate Simms" by Historian, Lecturer and Teacher, Michael Payton at Doc Magrogan's Oyster House  117 E. Gay Street, West Chester, PA 19380 at 6:30 p.m.  Nate Simms a young African American man who was involved in one of the most important evenings in American history, April 15, 1865 - the assassination of President Lincoln. Simms, who later lived in Marshallton, Chester County is buried at the cemetery near Bradford Friends Meeting House.


February 16  Presidents Day, honoring our nation's Presidents with particular attention towards commemorating
 Presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln
the entrance fee to all national parks will be waived
click on the National Park Foundation link and scroll down to receive a Free Owners Guide.

Check for fee free beautiful locations around America.

Here are the  additonal fee free dates in 2015 

  • April 18-19:Opening weekend of National Park Week
  • August 25: National Park Service Birthday
  • September 26: National Public Lands Day
  • November 11: Veterans Day
I did mistakenly add National Get Outdoors Day to a previous blog/list but it is not on the list now.  I must have seen it somewhere I don't make this stuff up. Ah I found it, the U.S. Forestry listed June 13 and they are not celebrating National Park Service Day or the first weekend of National Park Week.

To be clear 
here is a table listing all agencies 
and their fee free days.

2015 Free-free Days
DatesEventParticipating Agency
Jan. 19Martin Luther King Jr. DayU.S. Forest Service
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
National Park Service
Bureau of Land Management
Feb. 15-17*President’s Day WeekendU.S. Forest Service
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
National Park Service
Bureau of Land Management
Jun. 13National Get Outdoors DayU.S. Forest Service
Apr. 18-19First Weekend of National Park WeekNational Park Service
Aug. 25National Park Service BirthdayNational Park Service
Sep. 26National Public Lands DayU.S. Forest Service
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
National Park Service
Bureau of Land Management
Oct. 11First Sunday of National Wildlife Refuge WeekU.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Nov. 11Veterans DayU.S. Forest Service
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
National Park Service
Bureau of Land Management
*The Forest Service will offer fee-free day on Feb. 16 only

Information obtained at