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
Posts tagged ‘empty nesters’
Posted: November 19th, 2013

Colorful CrayonsIt’s been a long time since the dryer had red crayon all over it. And the laundry. When empty nesters are Googling “how to get crayon out of washed and dried clothes,” you know it’s because we were silly enough to forget that tots love to hide things. (I still remember when my oldest put a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in the VCR!)

After spending precious time with our delightful granddaughter, Mia, I tossed my old sweatshirt into the laundry — forgetting that Mia had left a present of a red Crayola in my pocket. My husband tossed all the laundry into the new washer, including one of his really expensive shirts (the ones you don’t have to iron — ever.) When I checked the new dryer later, red spots plagued pretty much everything, but my husband’s dress shirt and my silvery sparkle top got the worst of it. Some old jeans and old sweatshirt had nothing. Nada — not even a trace. The good stuff — the crayon hunted down the good stuff. Isn’t that always the way?

We started the Googled cleaning process that Crayola and countless other sites suggest. It requires soaking the stained stuff in cups of detergent, OxiClean, Borax, white vinegar, hot water and Shout. Certainly makes the house smell clean! The concoction removed the crayon from pretty much everything but my husband’s shirt and my sparkle top. We even got it off the inside of the dryer drum with some Clorox wipes.

The last time we had to scrub down the washer and dryer was when most of the kids lived here. But they weren’t tots. They were all teens. We had a rash of pens go through the washer and dryer — and chewing gum. More gum than I ever thought possible. And then there were cell phones. My youngest washed at least two cell phones.

Well Papa and Pammy have learned a few lessons most parents and grandparents already know. First, check your pockets after you play with the cutest granddaughter ever. Second, good stuff is a magnet for stains — we always knew that, but we kind of forget. I’m happy to report WD-40 is working to remove the remaining stains on my hubby’s dress shirt and my sparkle top. It will take more than a few applications, but it is working.

In the old days — when I was kid — my parents used gasoline to remove stains from just about anything. That still scares me. It did work, however — as long as it didn’t burn a hole in the garment. And stay away from open flames after the stain removal process.

I think we’ll stick with WD-40. Another website suggested Soft Scrub — for the clothes and the dryer too. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Extra Power was also suggested to clean the dryer. We were pretty lucky — the dryer wasn’t bad.

I’m not sure I’d use Soft Scrub on a shirt, but it’s worth a try. I remember using it to successfully clean crayon and marker artwork off the walls in my old house when my kids were tots. It all cleans up eventually, and the smiles on little kids’ and grandkids’ faces after they have created artwork is worth the investment in cleaning supplies. I’ll be checking my pockets more frequently.

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 in: Uncategorized
Posted: November 5th, 2012

There’s no reason to lament an empty nest. Get outta there and have some fun.

And you don’t have to go far. My hubby decided we needed a ride up to Chautauqua. It’s closed for the season, but it’s impressive any time of year.

The communities all around the region also impress.  We stopped at Dick’s Harbor House in Mayville, N.Y., for a lumberjack brunch cheaper than I could have made it at home. We sat in a booth by the window with a full view of the lake.

We toured the antique stores in Westfield. Saraf’s gives you a glimpse into old elegance with incredible furniture that looks like it came out of castles. We marveled at the old homes and made a final stop at Meeder’s Restaurant in Ripley, N.Y. The sign says it has world-famous pies, and we agree it was some of the best pie we’ve ever eaten. I was tempted by the lemon meringue but had coconut cream. My husband had warm blackberry pie with ice cream.

Quaint little towns, family diners and a calm, quiet Sunday with my hubby. Yeah baby, that’s what empty nesting’s all about. And then my son came home from Gannon University to watch the football game last night, so the empty nesting never lasts too long. But that’s what makes it sweeter.

Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa.


Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: September 15th, 2012

No these are not miniature homes — they are tiny, but people live in them. Read the story in House to Home right here.

The Small House Movement is gaining in popularity in many age groups. The 20 somethings don’t need a lot of space to call home, and they need cheap space. Empty nesters want to downsize and travel but still have a place to call home. Other folks just want some a little space to call their own.

In Erie and everywhere, we are finding folks who buy traveling homes and even sheds that they can convert into small living spaces, offices or playrooms for the kids. Little spaces are finding big fans, and it’s a trend to watch.

Wikipedia credits Sarah Susanka and her book The Not So Big House in 1997 for some of the popularity. Visit the website here — it is impressive. Hurricane Katrina was the mother of necessity for small homes when Marianne Cusato designed the 300+ square-foot Katrina Cottages that offered private shelters much homier than the FEMA trailers.

Small homes, apartments and mobile homes are finding buyers in a tough economy. It’s something to see, and we’re seeing more of it.

Pam Parker has been writing about real estate for more than 20 years. She is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa.

Posted in: Uncategorized