I am so proud of this “Child of Mine,” a great song by Carole King.
I am so proud of this “Child of Mine,” a great song by Carole King.
Ordinarily, I don’t pay a lot of attention to Christmas in July — which celebrates that Christmas is six months away. This year,though, I have had numerous people and things calling it to my attention:
We are having a Christmas in July food day in the newsroom. What could be better than Christmas cookies in July?
A Texas company is sending out samples of pecan pie — a holiday item they are promoting in advance. I love pecan pie.
I’m wearing red nail polish and a lot of red to match, so I will just add some green this week.
All this Christmas stuff is even making me think about Christmas gifts. I usually don’t do that until November. My kids will be glad. My husband won’t be happy.
This mid-year celebration has a lot of history associated with it. It dates back to an 1892 opera, a 1932 summer camp presentation in North Carolina and a host of movies, starting in 1940 — all according to Wikipedia. Read about it here.
So Merry Christmas, everyone. We have no snow, but it is a cool 64 degrees this morning. Enjoy!
Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyle, Her Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa. She is the mom of three, stepmom to three and step GramPam to one.
What a difference a year makes.
Last year my oldest graduated as a doctor of physical therapy after seven long years of studying. This year, we spent a long weekend in his new hometown of Virginia Beach.
We shared love, laughter and libations on this trip and made memories. Some of the memorable moments:
My youngest, who recently turned 21, told us frequently, “I’m a grown man.” He also selected the fave meal of the week — the Waterman burger – a burger topped with a lump crabcake and cheese. It was incredible.
Our view above Rudee’s Inlet near the beach included a marina. Captain Jack and the Lost Pearl, a pirate ship, regularly cruised by larger boats with loudspeaker blaring, “Give me all your treasure.” The boat tours the inlet and includes a bar.
We had an air show on Friday courtesy of the Naval Air Station in nearby Oceana. It is home to the F/A-18 Hornets and Super Hornets.
Everyone in Virginia Beach must be working for the Chamber of Commerce. The police officer directing traffic near a construction site outside our rented condo talked to us on a break and shared all the pertinent stats of the area. He also offered tips on shopping, eating and traveling. He moved there in the 1980s from New Jersey.
It’s a great place to visit, and we will be back. It’s also not far from the Outer Banks.
In today’s New York Times that hit homes hours ago, Angelina Jolie wrote an opinion piece that announced a medical choice that many women have chosen — a preventative mastectomy — that reduced her 87 percent chance of contracting breast cancer to less than 5 percent. The video at left is from CNN.
Her mother died at age 56 of breast cancer.
In honor of Mother’s Day, I am reposting The Pennsylvania Conference for Women‘s e-mail message that quotes what women have said about their moms as role models — like the one at left. The Pennsylvania Conference for Women is the largest women’s conference in the state. It is scheduled for Tuesday, October 29 in Philadelphia. Here are quotes from the website:
How was/is your mother a role model for your career?
My mom’s mantra was “make yourself indispensable” (i.e. do whatever’s needed, not just what you think you should be doing).
My mom always told us to do what makes us happy.
My mom had her own alteration business in 1948 before (and after) she got married. She taught me to be independent and not to settle – whip up a dress and a fabulous meal too.
My mom was a stay-at-home mom but also sold Tupperware and Avon. She had such a beautiful light about her, and people were drawn to her smile. I realized having positive energy and a good smile goes a long way.
Funny you should ask. I am a communications trainer and I reference her years in the banking industry all the time. I learned so much from her about how to treat people, how to be a true professional, and how to be a working mom. I am indebted to her entire generation of women who blazed a path for me and the women of my generation. I hope to do the same for my girls.
My mom didn’t have a high school diploma; she worked in sewing factories, long, hard hours for low wages, also waitressing. She inspired me to get an education so that I could earn a better life. I am grateful.
She told me to invent a product, I did, and millions of sales later I have her to thank!
Growing up, my sister and I witnessed my mother (a single parent) struggle and work long hours as a waitress. After many years she had enough and decided to better herself and her family by going back to school for nursing. While going to school full-time and working (and being a single parent was an even harder struggle), she graduated and has been a nurse for well over 10 years now. I am extremely proud of her hard work and dedication. Her persistence has taught me to succeed in everything I do. I would not be where I am in my career today if it were not for my mother.
My mom modeled communication, she took us to campaign, community, church…taught us to prioritize a balanced life…our God, our family, our community.
My mother started “take your daughter to work day” with two other women. She has paved the way for so many women scientists and inspired me to be a business owner. She’s my hero.
My mother owned a public relations company in the ’60s. She was very successful and always told me I had to find a career that I loved so that I would never have to depend on anyone else.
Happy Mother’s Day!
As the Poinsettia Blooms — sounds kind of like a soap opera name, doesn’t it? I like it. I am outside admiring the 13 pots of flowers we planted, but it’s my inside garden that is impressive. Here’s how the funny fauna family fares at Chez Parker:
My November poinsettia is still blooming — even has new red bracts – it is sure to croak after I write this. Here’s a link to care and feeding of a poinsettia. I have done none of the things on that website. I think I just got a hardy plant. It’s looking scraggly compared to its former holiday splendor, but it still lights up the living room with color that no other indoor plant delivers.
Over the years of countless poinsettia purchases, I tried only once to do the total darkness thing. My plant bloomed the following Easter … and then croaked. Advice from the Dept. of Horticulture in Michigan (I chose that site because it had great month-by-month pictures) on the year-round care and feeding of a poinsettia) is this: “You must keep the plant in complete darkness between 5 p.m. and 8 a.m. daily from the end of September until color shows in the bracts (early to mid-December).” I have seen variations on this theme, but it sounds like we would need a poinsettia sitter to handle that.
My indoor February shamrock is also flourishing, but that’s nothing new. I had one last year that I re-potted several times because it got so big. I set that one outside where it looked like a small shrub with a perfect shaped mound of green leaves and bundles of delicate white flowers … and then it died.
This one is very different — huge, dark green, leaves and delicate white flowers. We’ll see if it makes it to the outdoors where I am a geranium kind of girl. Geraniums are hardy and never let me down in color and impact. The ground at this house is unforgiving to most plants — hence the 13 pots. I’ve kept geraniums alive year-round many times. When I was pregnant with my youngest, I had indoor blooms on five plants straight through the winter and into the spring when I moved the plants back outside. They liked the window seat better, but they were a beautiful addition to my old dining room.
Geraniums also keep bees away, I hear. I veered away from them for a few years in favor of some showy pots of colorful pansies and petunias, but I did not fare well with those beauties. They looked great in the spring and again in October. I couldn’t keep up with their needs, and neither could the waterboys — my two sons who were here last year and handled lawn and garden maintenance.
This year, I hope the geraniums are as hardy as the plants I had 21 years ago that moved indoors and kept my family smiling while we awaited the arrival of Ryan, my youngest. If they don’t, maybe the poinsettia and shamrock will continue to bloom.
Decades ago, I discovered a battered old Hoosier in my 1920s house. In the basement. In a corner. Covered with green paint.
The Hoosier is a 1920s cabinet that pretty much served as the kitchen in old homes. Many of the units had coffee grinders, flour sacks, pie safes and bread drawers.
I didn’t know what a gem it was until I went into the former Haupt’s Meat Market on West Eighth Street by Villa Maria Academy. The owner had a black and white Hoosier. I told him about mine, and he told me it was a venerable antique.
I called the guys from the Back Porch in Erie, and they completely restored it – even the insides of every door and drawer. I retained the old drawer pulls and bought it a new logo sign — Sellers Indiana — where a lot of Hoosiers were made. My Hoosier sat in the front hall of my old home for more than a decade. It held art supplies for every project my kids did — and notebooks, card games, cameras and other oddities that I recently cleaned out of it.
When we moved into our new home a decade ago, it didn’t fit into the decor on the first floor, but it became an attractive storage unit in the basement rec room. This past weekend, my stepson and a friend moved it upstairs into the living room for us, and it was like seeing an old friend. My husband and I fussed over what to put on it and how to position it.
I think it looks pretty nice, but it still needs something. We are enjoying looking at all the websites that show off Hoosier cabinetry. If you have one, enjoy it — it has some great history.
Chick here for an interesting tale of where the word Hoosier comes from, thanks to the Indiana Historical Society.
Pam Parker has written about real estate, home improvement and remodeling for 25 years. She is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyle, Her Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa. She is the mom of three and stepmom to three.
Thursday, April 25 marks the annual Take Our Daughters and Sons To Work Day. In 1993, Gloria Steinem and the Ms. Foundation for Women started the idea as Take Our Daughters to Work Day. It included boys in 2003, according to Wikipedia. I included boys long before that. I never felt it was fair that I would get my daughter out of school for a day but not my boys.
I also took other people’s kids to work. At the time, I worked at an ad agency and taught classes at Mercyhurst College — now Mercyhurst University. My kids weren’t playing — they learned how to fill in information on Excel, help with research at the ad agency and then go out for a “Mad Men” lunch — well as “Mad Men” as you can get with kids under the age of 14.
At Mercyhurst, they got a peek at college life. They loved it, and so did my students.
Not everyone can do this, but if you can get your kids into your workplace even for a few hours, plan now. Give them something to do so they aren’t just watching you work. They can participate. Plus, you’ll share some memories — a nice thing when your kids are as old as my three in the picture, from left — my son, the doctor; my daughter, the CPA: and my baby, a college junior.
Check and checkmate for style this spring. Checkerboards and windowpanes are back. Some of this I like, and some of it is way off the charts for me, but the geometric patterns are hot this year, and some are throwbacks to the 60s …. and the 80s and probably decades before that. In fact, I had a red and black checkerboard skirt and vest suit my mom wore in the 40s. It was awesome. I think Twiggy wore some of these.
These images are all from Elle magazine. Check out the rest of the runway images — some are very entertaining – here.
On the local front, AJ’sin the Colony Plaza is hosting a trunk show today with Geiger coats today from 1 to 5 p.m. Enjoy!
It’s the first day of spring, and what better day to spring a proposal? David’s Bridal sent me an update on wedding etiquette — social-media style. Here’s the unveiling (get it un-veiling):
Thanks to Stacey Tropeano, senior account executive at Coyne Public Relations in New Jersey for the latest news on social media.
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