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 ‘florida’
Posted: February 4th, 2013

ExamThe Wall Street Journal and countless media outlets reported Education Week’s best and worst school systems by state in the United States last month, and the report on Yahoo.com is below:

Top 10

  1. Maryland ranked at the top for the fifth straight year
  2. Massachusetts
  3. New York
  4. Virginia
  5. Arkansas
  6. Florida
  7. Georgia
  8. New Jersey
  9. West Virginia
  10. Kentucky

Bottom 10:

  1. South Dakota
  2. Nevada
  3. Idaho
  4. Alaska
  5. Mississppi
  6. Nebraska
  7. Montana
  8. Arizona
  9. Oregon
  10. Missouri

But it’s not the only study. Michelle Rhee, has her own report, according to Huffington Post. She is the former Washington, D.C., schools chancellor and chair of StudentsFirst. Click on that link for a map of the U.S. with grades per state. Pennsylvania gets a D.

Frankly, I am way more interested in education reports than in daily national media coverage of Notre Dame All-American linebacker Manti Te’o’s creation of a virtual girlfriend debacle and whether or not Beyonce lip synced the national anthem. It’s time we all made education a priority.

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-grandmom to one.  


Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: November 24th, 2009

Tuesdays are “I tried it Tuesdays” where I’ll tell you about something I recently tried — a movie, an activity, a restaurant, etc.

Today’s topic: The Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida

What it is: A museum dedicated to surrealist artist Salvador Dali, (May 11, 1904 – January 23, 1989), whose most well-known painting is: La persistencia de la memoria (1931) or The Persistence of Memory


Why I tried it: I was in St. Pete’s for the weekend with a group of girlfriends to run the inaugural Women’s Half Marathon.

About the artist: Salvador Dali was a Spanish surrealist painter who was also a skilled draftsman who did not limit himself to one media — his repertoire (and, indeed the collection at the museum) includes film, sculpture, photography, jewelry and even holographic art (featuring Alice Cooper, no less).

Eccentricity: Dali was nothing if not eccentric and flamboyant and that, of course, fit with the whole surrealist movement. Dali loved attention — going out of his way to embrace idiosyncrasy while rejecting the idea of an underlying madness or darkness of the mind. In fact, Dali himself said: “”There is only one difference between a madman and me. I am not mad.”

That said… : It’s pretty hard to walk through this museum without saying to yourself on at least 10 occasions…”this guy was whacked.”

To get the full experience: You must take a museum tour. Never fear, the tours are free with museum admission and they are lead by really great museum docents.

Don’t worry…they don’t give you the background & history on every single piece in the museum (and there are at least 100 …possibly more) — they just cover some of the “highlight” pieces including some of his other more interesting or famous works such as:

82disintigrationofthepersistenceofmemory 64threeyoungsurrealistwomen70threeagesaa_000

Above, from left: 1. The Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory (1952-1954); 2. Three Young Surrealist Women Holding in Their Arms the Skins of an Orchestra (1936); & 3. Old Age, Adolescence, Infancy (The Three Ages) (1940). (All images copyright of The Salvador Dali Museum).

Admission: Is not cheap — $17 for adults for regular daytime museum admission. However, every Thursday night the museum opens from 5 to 8 p.m. and admission is just $5.

Would I reccomend it? Even if you know absolutely nothing about art, Dali or the surrealist movement, you will find this museum fascinating. Just the array of pieces that they have will enrapture you.  While I loved the 45-minute tour (I’m guessing on that time frame), I wish I’d have had more time to really explore his work one by one (and I could have, but I sensed the friends I was with weren’t as keen on reflecting on every piece as I was).

Bottom line: If you’re ever in St. Petersburg, put this museum on your MUST-do list. This is an experience I will never forget. To be honest, I’m not all that artsy of a girl…seriously, I don’t even GET the whole modern art thing…but Dali’s surrealist work was just, well…. the kind of thing that will forever change the way I look at art…and at the world itself.

New museum: By the way, they are currently building a brand new Dali Museum in St. Peterburg. It’s supposed to be completed in 2010. I saw the new museum (It was right by the start of the Women’s Half Marathon start) and it’s as eccentric and interesting as Dali himself…but…what would you expect — four cinder block walls and some mirrored glass windows? Not a chance in the whole whacked world. Even the groundbreaking was, well…not your usual men-in-suits-turning-over-shovelfuls-of-sod.

Interesting note: The museum was founded by a couple — Reynolds & Eleanor Morse — from Cleveland, Ohio (which, frankly, made me think…hey…by rights, this museum should totally be up north — here in Yankee land — why does Florida get everything…sun, sand, beaches, pelicans, warm weather year-round, ….).

Posted: November 18th, 2009

Three things I’m loving this week:


1.Chocolate Tootsie Pops. How awesome is it that they now make entire bags full of just the chocolate-flavor Tootsie Pops? I found some on clearance after Halloween and grabbed them right up. Honestly, I don’t even know why they make the other flavors.

How many licks does it take to get to the center? I’ll never know, I can’t resist chomping into it halfway through.


2. A women-only trip to sunny Florida with 4,000 of my closest friends. More about that here (if you get the “warning” message, ignore it…it’s safe, trust me!).


3. “Mommy Mantras.” This little book is chocked full of great advice. The cover says it all: “Affirmations and Insights to Keep You From Losing Your Mind.” You can read more about it in this Sunday’s Nov. 22 issue of Her Times magazine in your Erie Times-News.

My favorite Mantra so far? “Within me there is a peacefulness that cannot be disturbed.”

“At any given moment, you have the ability to feel tranquil. Period. While it might seem alien or bizarre to lay aside the anxiety, fear and frustration that we often associate with stressful situations, it’s find to do this.”

“Mommy Mantras” calls this a mega-mantra and says, “if you can really internalize its logic and power, you have the ability to radically alter the way you manage stress in your life.”


Three things I’m not loving this week:

1. Holey socks. Seems every pair of trouser socks I own now has holes on both sides (you know how usually you can just put the hole on the bottom..no more…now I have holes on the top and bottom) and it’s driving me insane.

I keep checking the local stores for new ones, but refuse to shell out good money for flimsy, thin, nylon-like trouser socks. I want the thick tights-like trouser socks. Seen any locally? Share and I’m certain that karma will reward you.


2. “Yesterday’s News” cat litter. I’m all about recycling and, of course, I’m all about finding a creative use for old newsprint, but this cat litter is, well, crap. I had to use it when one of my kittens came home from a spay/declaw operation and could only hack about 5 days of it before I tossed the entire lot of it into a bag and took it outside.

First, it’s expensive. Second, you can’t effectively “scoop” it. Third, it does not, ahem, control odors.

I’ll take Fresh Step or Tidy Cat over Yesterday’s News any day.

3. Christmas shopping. Bah humbug. I’m just not in the mood to spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on Christmas gifts. Sorry Santa, I’m just not that into you anymore.