Her Times
By Pam Parker Erie Times-News staff blogger
Pam Parker's blog takes on everything from women's fun to momisms to lifestyles around Lake Erie and real estate. She'll take you down Memory Lane, up through sports and fun and off the grid. Get ready for laughs — it's more than just Pam. It's Pamdemonium.   Read more about this blog.
 Phone: 814-870-1821
Archive for the ‘Her Times magazine’ category
Posted: November 15th, 2013

Wedding Ring or Engagement Ring on whiteI never thought about the gunk I get on my rings. Or bracelets. Or necklaces. Until I opened an e-mail that told me all about my jewelry germs. Ick!

In a press release, David Bellman, inventor of the Aquasonic Wave jewelry cleaning system, and Dr. Holly Neefe, a pediatrician with 17 years of experience, warned that bacteria gets on our jewelry, and it makes us  carriers for some nasty germs.

Bellman invented the AquaSonic Wave, an at-home professional-quality jewelry cleaning system, but this isn’t a commercial for that. However, it is notable that Bellman’s co-inventor is Dean Kamen,  inventor of the portable kidney dialysis machine, and the Segway — those cool transport systems we ride in big cities, at the peninsula and at Peek ‘n Peak. For more information visit www.aquasonicwave.com.

Here’s an article from Woman’s Day on DIY — how to clean your jewelry at home. It includes quick tips on how to clean pearls, diamonds, sterling silver, gold and turquoise. Here’s an ehow link on how to clean opals.

Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa. She is mom to three, stepmom to three and GramPam to one.

Posted: October 24th, 2013

When I see all the cute Halloween costumes, I remember some of the cute stuff my kids wore. And here they are:

Kelly and Ry

Kelly and Ryan — the pumpkins invade!

Howie the lion

Howie roars as a tot. That young woman next to him is making me feel awfully old. This picture is about 25 years old.

Howie and Kelly

I made that Christmas tree costume that Howie is wearing. We all wore it at least once. Kelly was a dinosaur. We turned her sideways so we could see the dino part.


Kelly Potter

In a year of Harry Potter, Kelly made her own costume.Great job, Kell! That old house we lived in had some Hogwarts’ characteristics. I magically raised three kids there.

As the kids got older, they were very clever. Kelly has been a slice of pizza, Mario Brothers’ characters, Woody from “Toy Story” and much more. The boys were football players. And they went through a lot of scream masks. For years. Too many years because I have a box of scream masks.

In recent years, when both my boys lived with us, they were cowboys. I’m not going to embarrass them with that photo, but I do have it. And my oldest went to a party with a last minute costume of a party in his pants. Balloons and other party paraphernalia wrapped around his waist.

Oh the days of partying kids.

Back in the old days on Oakmont Avenue, trick or treating was a trick that I remember. My oldest was 7, and he was recovering after a bout of chicken pox. He became totally “sausted” after we had only hit a few houses. My daughter and youngest son were raring to go, so I carried my oldest one home and took the other two back out. The next day, it was two more kids with chicken pox. That’s a disease that now has a vaccine.

Good thing because it was nasty. My daughter never got very many chicken pox, and she seemed unscathed by the whole thing. My youngest was covered in them, however. Nothing slowed him down, but he was covered. And he itched. My oldest was sick as a dog — fever and miserable. It’s funny how three kids with the same genetic makeup can suffer so differently. At the time, I remember calling it Pam held hostage — I think we hit 21 days before we could send everyone back to school and the babysitter.

This year, no Eckerts are home to celebrate Halloween, but little Mia Parker will visit. She is a pirate, and shiver me timbers, I am looking forward to that.

Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa. She is mom to three, stepmom to three and GramPam to one.

Posted: October 17th, 2013
Kelli Postema and Julie Fedders.

Kelli Postema and Julie Fedders were among the 60 women who dressed as witches for an annual Welcome Club Event — a Witch Party.

Oct. 11 marked a wicked-good day in the Erie area when more than 60 women dressed as witches for an annual costume event of The Welcome Club of Erie.

Kelli Postema, new to the Erie area, swept the women into her home for the party after Kate Zahorchak hosted the event for eight magical years.
This isn’t just a party. It’s an event where women search the country for cloaks, cauldrons and costumes. “Some of the women look all year for the perfect outfit,” Kelli said.
Fine costumes included Dorothy and her ruby slippers, Glenda the Good Witch, a biker witch and others.

The gathering brewed up tasty treats that included deviled eyeballs, witch hat cookies, broomstick pretzel sticks and “devilish green punch that may turn a good witch into a bad witch,” Kelli said. witches2From left: Linda Whalen, Deb Mack,Caroline Jenks and Sharon Stoik.

From left: Deb Mack, Caroline Jenks and Kelli Postema. Middle: Kate Zahorchak. Right: Linda Whalen, Deb Mack, Sharon Stoik and Caroline Jenks.

Fashion show coming!
The group doesn’t just get together to look stylish in witch garb. On Tuesday, Nov. 19, the club will host a fashion show.
Where: Lake Shore Country Club, 5950 Lake Shore Drive
When: Brunch will begin at 11:15 and fashion show to follow with Fashions from Coldwater Creek.
Cost: $20 includes brunch, fashion show, with a cash bar available
Hostesses: Minnie Lawrie, Toni Bliley and Marianne Levstek
Info: Minnie at 814-528-6763

Seating is limited to 200. E- mail Kathy Goodiel (k8goodie@yahoo.com) or call Ann Miller (814-833-4176) to reserve a ticket by Nov. 12 at 6 p.m.

Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa. She is mom to three, stepmom to three and GramPam to one.

Posted: October 15th, 2013

poopourriNo, it’s not a joke.

Poo-Pourri founder Suzy Batiz, of Dallas, set up a business in 2007 that takes the stink out of the bathroom — before it happens. Watch the funny video at left if you don’t know what I am talking about.

Poo~Pourri Toilet Deodorizers are the spray-before-you-go scents that prevent the odor of number 2 making a stink in the loo. The website indicates that the spray forms a barrier on the toilet water surface and keeps bathroom odors from ever forming. The sprays retail for $10 to $14.

Batiz had a few failed careers and then landed this one sparked by her husband and sons — need we say more?

The video, starring a BYU student, went viral, and Poo-Pourri has sold more than 4 million bottles. This is a company with a sense of humor. The commercial and the names of the scents are all fresh. And the company has products for diapers, pooches and cats. Click on the names below for some entertaining descriptions:


It’s environmentally friendly.  Watch the real commercial on the link above. Watch how the company got started on the middle link, and then see a blooper reel here.

I see Christmas gifts in the offing for the men in the family.

To buy it, try these local stores listed on the Poo-Pourri website:

A La Carte

2624 W 8th St.
(814) 838-6749
Traditions Unlimited
1609 W. 8th St.
(814) 456-5516
Serendipity Emporium
126 High Street,Waterford
(814) 796-0094


Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa. She is mom to three, stepmom to three and GramPam to one.

Posted: October 11th, 2013


Time to reboot? Me too! I am in search of boots, and I have spent a lifetime trying to squeeze my small feet and larger-than-average calves into designer boots. I’ve used pliers to pull those zippers up on occasion. I’ve worked up a sweat getting them on and never take them off until day is done. Or I buy pull-ons.

Recently, I had success at Payless. Women’s Nadia Tall Boots from Payless — under $40 got great reviews. I tried them and liked them. I also found some of their other boots, that were not extended-calf boots, fit me perfectly. I am sold!

If you search for wide-calf or extended-calf boots online, make sure to measure your calf and read the reviews. Although some boots may claim to extend beyond a 14-16-inch circumference, reviewers are blunt and say the boots are not big enough.

calf stretcherIf you still want regular designer boots, and who doesn’t, one option is this handy, dandy calf stretcher from FootFitter on Amazon.com. It goes inside the boot, claims to work miracles, gets a 5-star review from 18 out of 19 reviewers – the 19th gave it 4 stars. It is on sale now for $169 — I say we all chip in, buy one and pass it around! Note that you only get one for $169 and most reviewers said to pay really close attention to the directions. I’m guessing you could break something if you don’t.

Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa. She is the mom of three, stepmom to three and GramPam to one.

Posted: October 6th, 2011

Weddings have arrived for our family, and being a stepfamily opens a new chapter with another wedding on the horizon. Fortunately, it’s not uncharted territory for us. My hubby’s oldest son got married a few years ago. As a stepmom, here’s what I learned:
1. It’s all about the bride and groom and their bio-parents — we steps have nothing to do, but offer support — to our spouses. Silence is golden, and if someone asks your opinion, stay vanilla. No matter what you say, you’ll wish you hadn’t opened your mouth. Now, I’m not saying that’s what I did the first time around. I’m just telling you what I learned.
2. Give the kids a specific sum of money and tell them to enjoy making their plans. It’s easier. That way, the decisions are up to the bride and groom. When all the parents get involved if there’s any disagreement, someone gets hurt. It gets ugly. Just write a check and be supportive. Once again, I’m not saying that’s what we did the first time around. I’m just telling you what I learned.
3. Get approval on your dress or suit or whatever you’re wearing. I DID do this. I wore navy blue. I know wearing beige is what some etiquette guru might suggest, but be careful. Beige isn’t always a good choice for a lot of reasons. Ask the bride and make her happy.
Enjoy it all, and smile. It’s over in a flash. The happiness you see on the kids in their wedding pictures will give you happy memories forever. And once you read all the advice and Q&As on The Knot, you’ll discover that other people had some terrible problems. Be thankful you didn’t have those wedding bell blues.

Posted: October 5th, 2011

“Well of course you can!” I say enthusiastically.
We’ve all encountered the “bring a friend along,” and it’s a great idea … on paper.
Three things I’ve learned:
1. When your darlings start bringing along friends, enjoy it. Make it fun. You will be the odd man out and often more of a driver than a participant, but at least for the ride in the car, you’ll get a chance to KNOW the friends. Take it from me — mom of three and stepmom of three — no one, and I mean no one, will influence your child more than friends.
2. Be prepared if the kids want to ditch you. As kids become ‘tweens, you become invisible, especially at the mall. But relish letting go a little. Watching your child grow up and interact without you is endearing. You’re going to see a little of yourself in that tween. Smile and remember it’s a step toward independence. Give them the space they need, but make sure you have had all the safety discussions in advance.
3.You’re going to find that you don’t like some of the friends, but don’t be judgmental, at least not out loud. My mother was a terrible judge of character. She disliked some of my teen friends that are, to this day, my best buds.
But that doesn’t mean every kid will be a lifelong bud. The bottom line here is that kids change. The overly loud, boisterous and obnoxious friend that your child loves and you dislike might be the lifesaver your youngster needs someday. Trust me on this. A friend can be annoying one year and thoughtful the next. It’s all part of the growing process … for us and our offspring.

Posted: October 2nd, 2011

After a banner outing with all the women involved in the Her Times 5K yesterday (click here for results), we followed up with our October issue of Her Times in today’s newspaper. It’s full of terrific articles and thanks to everyone for your emails and support!
Make sure to give Debbie DeAngelo’s story a read on how we really can work to avoid the chemicals that invade our lives. It hit home for me when I was out of town at a wedding last night.
I realized that we didn’t see much in the way of plastics last night or this morning. Even in our hotel room at The Wyndham, we had glasses — not plastic cups in the bathroom. Our little Cuisinart pumped coffee into two paper cups (not plastic), but I stirred whitener or (whatever that fake creamer is) into the coffee with plastic stirrers. Still, it’s a step up from plastic cups! We can make a difference. Thanks for making me think, Debbie!

Posted: October 1st, 2011

I dodged the bullet on allergies most of this year, but I am paying for it these past few days. Sneezing and itchy-red eyes are my enemy today. I just took a dose of Allegra, which doesn’t always work. So now I am scanning the list of meds at webmd.com One of the few things that works for me is Singulair, which I pretty much take year round. My prescription ran out, so as soon the Her Times 5K is over — it’s off to the pharmacy.
I know how hard this season is on kids, too. None of the kids had the same results. My son did well on Zyrtec for years, but knocked my daughter out. Same with Benadryl.
Although I do hate the feel and taste of nasal sprays, they work. That’s next in my arsenal today. If you can get kids to try it, they often find that it works so well, it is worth the temporary discomfort. I can guarantee it.
See all you ladies at the 5K — I’m the one with the red eyes!

Posted: September 30th, 2011

I never ask people to vote for anything or anyone. Not on Facebook or anyplace else, but I implore everyone to vote for Liz Allen in the Live Fearlessly contest.
If you don’t know Liz, please read the essay submitted. I do know Liz, and she is an extraordinary woman who faced a lot of sadness in her life losing numerous family members in a short time. Yet, Liz never dwells on the sadness. She is an inspiration for all of us.
Liz is the public editor at the Erie Times-News, and I am proud to have known her for decades. Take just a minute to voter for her today — voting ends tonight.
The contest is a statewide honor, and no one deserves it more than Liz.