Monday, November 30, 2015

Upcoming First Week of December thru December 4 Events

Now through December 31 Community Art Show Lenses on Newlin at Newlin Grist Mill Visitor Center. Artists were invited to draw upon both the environmental and historic components of the park for inspiration as they portray one or more of the Faces of Newlin. The show runs daily through December 31st. Artwork is for sale at artists' discretion. Cast your vote for your favorite piece! The People's Choice Award will be announced on November 30th!

November 28 - December 19 Santa Saturdays at Franklin Square Milk and Cookies with Santa 4 - 5 p.m. Enjoy milk and cookies with Santa as he tells some of his favorite stories in the indoor, heated Pavilion. Tickets: $10. Click here to purchase tickets »

November 28 - December 19 on Saturday Jingle and Mingle with Santa at Franklin Square 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

November 30 Middletown Free Library Historical Presentation Life and Times of Mrs. Elizabeth Hutter Presentation by Kerry Bryan at 2 p.m.

December 1 World Aids Day

December 1 An Introduction to Mindfulness, Next Step to the Wellness Program, presented by Maureen Fleagle, PT,CLT-LANA at Riddle Hospital Health Center 4, Second Floor Conference Room, 5-6:30 p.m.  This "free" introduction to mindfulness is for anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer.  Family members and caregivers are also invited to attend. Register by calling Linda at 484.227.3036. 

December 3 – 20 Historic Fairmount Park Houses Christmas Open House Thursdays through Sundays 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Tickets: $5 per person per house; children 12 and under free. All are welcome to drop in and delight in each house’s festive decorations inspired by the Christmas carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas”. Reservations not required. Limited free parking available at all houses. CLICK HERE FOR DIRECTIONS. LIMITED FREE PARKING IS AVAILABLE AT EACH HOUSE.

December 3 Middletown Free Library Local Architecture Through History, Presentations by Nancy Webster Why were they built the way they are and what inspired the changes in design. Commercial and Industrial Architecture at 2 p.m.Click Here to Sign Up.

December 3 National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in Washington, D.C. 4:30 p.m. The event is held rain or shine.

December 4 Frozen Night at Franklin Square “Let it go! Let it go!” with Elsa and Anna for a special night of fun activities with Kids Corner host Kathy O’Connell! 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

December 4 Rose Tree Park Holiday Festival of Lights opens with a special celebration at 7 p.m. The Festival of Lights will run nightly 5:30- 9:30 p.m. until January 3.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Things that Multiply Mysteriously

Pounds (I had one piece of pie!!)

Dirty Dishes (I swear I just washed you.)

Dust (This can be cured with low lighting but in the sunlight, forget it.)

Leaves on the Lawn ( I saw one maybe two dancing along the street, on a windy day maybe more BUT not all those).  Is someone dumping them on my lawn?

Fuzz on a Sweater (You will not be the first one I choose to take out for a walk, think about that before you get all crazy)

Hangers ( I never remember buying one and I must have a million.)

Shoes ( Did I really buy all these shoes!  I hate shoes. ) Maybe Imedla Marcos stashed some here.

Jeans that no longer fit (I have a personal disdain for those)

Hair in the hairbrush (Who has grey hair?)

Spam (about items I would never use) whose watch list am I on?

Charges on Your Credit Card and Interest on Monthly Statements  (It may be naughty or nice that someone is interested in you but BUYER BEWARE.)

Thursday, November 26, 2015

About the Pilgrims of Plimouth Plantation

On a recent trip to New England, we had to go to Plymouth Rock and see to the Mayflower II and make the connection to Plimouth Plantation. My husband and children are descendants to Francis and John Cooke but it did not entitle us to a discount : ) I tried.

Originally, two ships were hired to bring the Pilgrims and their families to the new world, the Mayflower and the Speedwell. The Cookes, father Francis and son John, were passengers on the smaller ship the Speedwell.

Mayflower II

The Speedwell was taking on water and proved unfit to make the journey across the sea. Some of those who were to prepared to take the voyage saw this as an omen and decided not to go. The rest combined with the Mayflower passengers and traveled to the new world.

 The Mayflower carried 102 people plus supplies across the ocean.  These colonists founded the first European settlement in New England, Plymouth. The difference between the Jamestown colony and Plymouth is, these colonists came to the new world seeking religious freedom. They were considered separatists.

On November 11, 1620 (according to the signage at Plimouth Plantation)in the cabin of the Mayflower 41 male passengers including the servants signed the Mayflower Compact, an agreement that kept the group together as a unit. Frances Cooke was the 17th signer on November 21, 1670, according to A. Hamilton, researcher and family descendant.  Two different dates but th same basic information  I add our family history that was documented over 100 years ago.  I will add this documented history at the end of the blog.

Plimouth Plantation became the second successful English settlement after the founding of Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607.The village at Plymouth today is the result of historian and archaeologist Henry Hornblower II.

Plimouth Plantation is a living museum with characters that portray the original inhabitants.  You can speak with each on these people about life back in the 17th Century.

The woman that most held our interest was Hester Cooke wife of Francis Cooke.  Her husband was not at home. She came to Plymouth three years later with the rest of her children.  She sat on the bench next to her home and spoke with us about life in the Cooke family for over 20 minutes while she tended to the herbs in her garden. She spoke of her emotions when she was reunited with her husband and son after three years. She was excited to see them and anxious to know if they would be anxious to see them.  The first thing she did was cry in relief.

 Inside the homes were personal belongings brought over on the ships. They lived a simply life. I don't know where the furniture came from if or if not it was from the time period but it seems plausible to me and you really don't think about it when you look into the homes, only that it was a simpler time. Here is a sample of the articles inside the colonist homes including the all important heat source and cooking hearth.

Also at Plimouth Plantation you can walk through an area designed with people to tell you about the Indian style of life during the 17th Century.  Hester had told me that they did get along with the neighboring Indians. Something new I have learned from the recent PBS special including Saints and Savages is about Squanto. He really seemed to be the one who paved the path for the white man to learn to get along with the natives of this new world.

Notes of Adeline Hamilton Davis descendant Francis and John Cooke


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Pumpkin while it lasts

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin Spice Creamer

Pumpkin Coffee

Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pumpkin Pancakes

Pumpkin Ale

Pumpkin Soup

It is okay to admit you did partake in something pumpkin between Halloween and Thanksgiving, no judgements.

Did you satisfy your pumpkin quota? I have moved on to gingerbread.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Topic changers for around the Thanksgiving table

Let's put aside the politics, religion and gossip and enjoy family time.

Did you know?

1. A group of black footed ferrets is called a business?

2. A group of jellyfish is called a smack.

3. Spiny lobsters migrate in a groups of 50 or more, forming a conga line on the ocean floor.

4. The Pacific Ocean is eight inches higher than the Atlantic Ocean at the Panama Canal.

5. Oysters can change from one gender to another and back again.

6. Fish can drown.

7. There are more species of fish in the Amazon River than in the Atlantic Ocean.

8. Lizards communicate by doing push-ups.

9. Vanilla is used to make chocolate.

10. Only male fireflies can fly.

Can you recycle a Snapple lid?  I like to think I just have by sharing nine of the above Snapple facts.  Are these facts true?  Snapple has a xls.list on their website were this information was obtained. The number one fact is from America’s Great Outdoors Tumblr updates.

Some municipalities request you remove lids from various containers and just toss in the trash.  I found a website with a suggestion on what to do to recycle Snapple and similar lids.

 Knowledge is Power.  Save those Snapple lids and then dispose of properly.

Give Thanks

Monday, November 23, 2015

Upcoming Events This Week of Thanks

November 21 - December 23 Cut Down Your Own Christmas Tree (closed on Thanksgiving).

November 23 and 24 Middletown Free Library Fall Bake Sale 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. just in time for the holiday.

November 24 Come see the Historic Houses of Fairmount Park in the form of ice sculptures and watch a live carving by a master ice carver 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. in Rittenhouse Square (corner of 18th and Walnut). Six of the park’s treasured Historic Houses - Cedar Grove, Laurel Hill Mansion, Lemon Hill Mansion, Mount Pleasant, Strawberry Mansion, and Woodford, in addition to two other houses, Shofuso Japanese House and Garden and Ormiston - will be depicted in ice. Enjoy performances by five Golden Ring Dancers and one Piper Piping as you walk through the Square.

November 25th, 2015
At Springfield High School 12 p.m.- 5.p.m.
Flag Football, Food, Music and Entertainment
Helping to Feed Those in Need!
Donation of 5 non perishable food items
or $5 entrance fee for admission

Other Donations Welcome!

warm clothing, food donations, gifts etc.

November 26 Thanksgiving Day - Give Thanks.

November 26 6ABC, Dunkin Donuts Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade starts at 8:30a.m. 

November 26 - Frost Bite Run / 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and Southeastern PA. Antique Car Club Rally at the Thomas Massey House.

November 26 Thanksgiving Dinner at the First Presbyterian Church located at 2 S. Glenolden, PA. All Are Welcome 12 Noon.

November 27 Santa's Arrival and Festival of Lights at the Delaware County Courthouse in Media, PA 6 p.m.

November 27 Santa's Arrival at Franklin Square Holiday Festival 5:30 -7:30 p.m. Santa returns to Franklin Square to pose for photos and collect wish lists! Be there for Santa's special arrival in the Square on Friday, FREE

November 28 Patriot's Day at Brandywine Battlefield 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you ever wanted to meet General George Washington here is your opportunity, the gentleman that portrays Washington is a proud example. You are going to want to vote for him as President! I saw him last year, very impressed man. The entire event is great, bring the kids.

November 28 Black Powder Day at Fort Mifflin 10 a.m.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Things That Stretch

rubber band

elastic waistband

a buck

the truth


full body yawn

exercise moves

exercise band

muscles you never knew you had


And of  course we have all had those moments when something stretches too far, Ouch!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Fidgeting, what is the fuss?

These are all forms of fidgeting in my opinion

Ants in your pants

Can't sit still

Got the jitters

Tapping on the table

I'm jumpy


Itchy fingers



Scratching your head

Twirling Hair

You got worms? ( my grandmother always used to ask me that) I still can't sit still for long. Granny it was a good thing.

Fidgeting might be good for your health according to an article at referencing a British study. If you fidget you might find this article interesting, if you need to validate your fidgetness.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

November Awareness 2015

November 19 the Great American Smokeout. Make you plan now to quit! Check out the facts, How does your body recover after smoking , at

American Diabetes Awareness Month Approximately 25% of adults over 60 have diabetes. The American Diabetes Association has a Download Living With Diabetes: A Guide for Adults 55 and Up, if you click on their link, you can learn more.
Download Living Healthy with Diabetes: A Guide for Adults 55 and Up to learn more. - See more at:
Download Living Healthy with Diabetes: A Guide for Adults 55 and Up to learn more. - See more at:
Download Living Healthy with Diabetes: A Guide for Adults 55 and Up to learn more. - See more at:
Download Living Healthy with Diabetes: A Guide for Adults 55 and Up to learn more. - See more at:

Alzheimer's Awareness Month
Have you seen the movie, Still Alice?

Lung Cancer Awareness Month Post Office Holiday Shipping information and tips  for Military, International and Domestic.  Have you received your first Christmas card yet?  

The Fluview from the CDC.  Have you gotten your shot yet?  Who should get the flu shot?

National Epilepsy Foundation 5th Annual Shark Tank Competition submission deadline November 13 for ideas on helping people with epilepsy.

November is National Family Caregivers Awareness Month. Resources for Family Care Givers at  AARP is sponsoring a  Virtual Family Caregiving Fair 11/19/15
Caring for a loved one and need support? AARP can help! Join online from the comfort of your home or office for the AARP Virtual Family Caregiving Fair 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET.  To register, please visit: 

Stomach Cancer Awareness Month click on the link for reducing risks and prevention.“Stomach Cancer Awareness Month is a registered trademark. Used with permission.”

Only two months out of the year contain two federal holidays, January and November.  What are the November holidays?  Guess first and then click on the link for the answer.  Federal employees are not eligible to guess, you already have the days off.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

2015 Gingerbread Houses at Liberty Place

The 2015 Gingerbread House Display at Liberty Place will only be on display until November 20th.  Today, November 17,  the display will only be available for a private event.  Here is a sneak peek, in case you miss them and their compatible models.

Liberty Place located at 1625 Chestnut Street houses, The Shops at Liberty Place Rotunda. This is where you will find the 2015 the Gingerbread House Display located. 

 Betsy Ross House Gingerbread House was created by PARC Brasserie, Baker: Abigail Dahan,

The Betsy Ross House is located at 239 Arch Street in Philadelphia and open for tours daily. It is believed that Betsy Ross lived here from 1776-1779 when she made the first American flag.

 The Crew,  Baker: Peter Scarola with R2L Restaurant/Lounge behind the creation of Liberty Place Gingerbread Skyscraper.

The Shops at Liberty Place was awarded the first-ever BOMA Philadelphia Retail TOBY Award in September 2015, The TOBY (The Outstanding Building of the Year). One Liberty Place is a 61-story, 945-foot  tall skyscraper and  Two Liberty Place is 58-story, 848-foot. They are two of the tallest buildings in the Philadelphia skyline.

2015 Gingerbread House Display

Shofuso Japanese Tea House and Gardens Gingerbread house was created by Bredenbeck's Bakery Ice Cream Parlor.

Shofuso Japanese Tea House and Gardens will have a special holiday open house on December 5 and 6 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.  It is a special treat to see. I went last year and loved it!

Smith Memorial Playhouse and Playground was also created Bredenbeck's Bakery Ice Cream Parlor.

Smith Memorial Playhouse and Playground located in East Fairmount Park was funded in 1899 by Robert and Sarah Smith memory of their son Stainfield Smith.  The mansion has always been a playhouse.

Woodford House and The Naomi Wood Antiques Gingerbread House was created by the Gingerbread Bakery USA.

The Woodford House and The Naomi Wood Antiques is located in Fairmount Park and part of the upcoming 2015 Park Charms Holiday and Trolley Tours.

December 1st 6 - 8 p.m.

Photographs of the 2015 Gingerbread Houses in this blog courtesy of Augusta Tuozzo

            Augusta Tuozzo currently lives in Philadelphia with her family. She is getting her Associates degree in photography at the Art Institute of Philadelphia. Augusta is a freelance photographer, but wants to be an event/band photographer. But she dabbles in still life and landscape photography as well. Although she loves color she loves black and white photos better.  

Other photographs: MFiebert

Monday, November 16, 2015

November 16 Upcoming Events

2015 Gingerbread Houses on display at Liberty Place until November 20. (not open to the public on November 17.)

November 16 The City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program and the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services will culminate a year of collaboration inspired by President Obama’s nationwide My Brother’s Keeper community challenge. Building Brotherhood: Engaging Males of Color is a collaborative venture that encouraged dialogue and relationship-building amongst males of color (both men and boys) in Philadelphia 2 p.m. at 4008 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104. Artists: Willis “Nomo” Humphrey and Keir Johnston are members of the Amber Art and Design artist collective.

 November 16 Middletown Township Historical Society's, Middletown Mondays 2015 YULETIDE HOLIDAY TRADITIONS THEN and NOW by Debbie Harper, Winterthur Museum Curator of Education and creator of Winterthur’s annual Yuletide tours. For almost 40 years Winterthur Museum has presented its annual celebration of Yuletide at Winterthur, a walk through time that illuminates winter festivities from long ago and provides inspiration for creating your own memorable holiday experiences. In a lavishly illustrated talk, Harper will share how Christmas evolved from an adult-centered time of gaming and carousing in the 1700s to a child’s paradise of toys and Christmas trees in the 1800s and finally to an expression of extravagant holiday décor in the 20th century. Come discover the origins of some of our most beloved holiday traditions! Lectures begin at 7:00 p.m. at Lima Estates, 411 North Middletown Road, Media, PA 19063. Free and open to the public, no registration required.

November 17 Mr. Franklin’s Gym Class 2015 SCIENCE AFTER HOURS at the Franklin Institute.

November 17  Delaware County Historic Preservation Network Presents Delaware County Yesterday and Today by historian Keith Lockhart. 6:45 p.m. at the Ridley Township Municipal Building.

November 19 Middletown Free Library Local Architecture Through History Presentations by Nancy Webster Late Victorian to 1960s at 2 p.m. Click Here to Sign Up.

November 19 Smoking Cessation Support Group 6:30 p.m. - 7:30p.m. at the Administrative Annex, Conference Room 1 at Riddle Hospital. Call 1-866.CALL.MLH to register. This support group is for individuals who have quit smoking and want to stay smoke free. For more information, please call 484.227.3635.

November 21  The Chadds Ford Historical Society is proud to present “I Paint My Life” a special lecture by Wyeth’s granddaughter and renowned art curator, Victoria Browning Wyeth from 7:30 - 8:30 pm at the Westtown School. I have seen Victoria speak before, she's great!

November 21 Brookhaven Holiday Parade 2 p.m.

November 21 Jazz  by Night Celebration in downtown Media 6 p.m. to 1 p.m.

November 22-23 Saints and Strangers Two-Night Movie on National Geographic TV. 9/8c.  If you are interested in the Pilgrim story, tune in.

November 25th, 2015
At Springfield High School 12 p.m.- 5.p.m.
Flag Football, Food, Music and Entertainment
Helping to Feed Those in Need!
Donation of 5 non perishable food items
or $5 entrance fee for admission

Other Donations Welcome!

warm clothing, food donations, gifts etc.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Autumn Color Last Views at Valley Forge

Valley Forge National Park

You can hike, You can bike, You can walk.  You can talk.  You can tour and see even more. When did the trolley tours start? I didn't know about them. You can also pick up audio tour information at the visitors center for yet another way to see Valley Forge.

Last Saturday, I had the brilliant idea of going to Valley Forge National Park, not for historical reasons but for the visual attributes it possesses this time of year. Unfortunately Saturday was a dark and dank day but there were still plenty of things to photograph and a few things I will have to go back and explore more.

We are all creature of habit are we not?  You may see this picture as lacking substance but my imagination sees something else.  Do you see the multitude of pine needles and pine cones?  You are not allowed by law to remove anything from a National Park, it is protected space but if you happen to notice these items anywhere else, I have an idea for you. The pines needles would make a lovely mulch and the pine cones are practically screaming at you to make them a holiday decoration. Again, you might think differently but that is how my mind works. The habit part is every time I see pine cones I think holiday wreath or a pine cone Christmas tree crafted from an upside down tomato cage.

I was waiting for this guy to move so I could take the perfect picture and he wasn't moving.  Then it dawned on me, he was enhancing the perfect picture and helped me create an Andrew Wyeth scene. Are you with me?  Doesn't it resemble something that Andrew Wyeth would paint?

Once in that zone, the subjects just keep popping up in nature.  This was a spring house?

The house is getting a makeover and I am curious as to who had lived there.  Was the house there during Washington and his men's encampment at Valley Forge? I hope signage will tell the story of this home and its inhabitants.

Can you tell any difference between the two photographs of the house?  I wonder if Wyeth had any trouble with Helga jumping in the frame while he was trying to create?

I hope this house will eventually be open to the public and we can tour inside. Now can you see why I was asking if it was here during the winter with Washington?  They have a fireplace!

Whereas, I do not believe any of the original "huts" that the Revolutionary soldiers stayed in still exist in Valley Forge National Park, this facsimile indicates to me, no fireplace. However there is a chimney.  Should we look inside?

It was rather dark inside but with a flash I could see that you did not have to sit on the floor but no fireplace in sight.  Maybe there were in the deluxe models.  This cabin/hut was across the road from the house.

These two trees standing there inconspicuously still had quite a few leaves left to drop but look at all the ones that had already broken loose. Do you think trees communicate? Would they say, You are losing leaves? How about, Did you make that mess? Does the wind mind coming in and cleaning up after them? Is that volunteer work?

 I am not sure what to call this structure, a stable, corral or a horse hitch?  My husband swears there used to be a Conestoga Wagon in there but I do not recall.  Can anyone verify that? It is located in the parking lot of the Washington Memorial Chapel.

I am a big fan of the Trolley Tours.  My next trip to Valley Forge I am going to have to 
take the trolley.