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 ‘kids’
Posted: April 15th, 2014

SharktankIf you need an idea on how to make a presentation, you can learn it all in an episode of Shark Tank.  Big tip: Know your numbers and your competition. And know the questions — it’s always the same. In essence, be prepared — tell the kids.

In a Forbes interview, one of the best deals Barbara Corcoran says she made  on Shark Tank was Daisy Cakes out of Pauline, S.C. Here’s a link to the Forbes article.

I watched that episode, and what was impressive was that Kim Adams Nelson, now 51, and owner of Daisy Cakes since 2009, truly had a homemade family operation. It’s now a very successful business. Even more impressive is that the company tried to use a commercial kitchen to prepare its cakes after her appearance on Shark Tank. The quality suffered, and the entire operation moved right back home to Pauline, S.C.  Read a 2013 interview with Nelson on Huffington Post here.

Another of Cororoan’s huge successes that I loved was Ava the elephant, a talking medicine dispenser. Inventor Tiffany Krumins, a cancer survivor, went on to develop thermometer stickers. Krumins was voted among the top 50 Mompreneurs of 2011 by Babble.com. She has been featured on Entreprenuer.com along with Bank of America and many other sites. The product is now in thousands of stores throughout the country.

Even the entrepreneurs who failed often end up as successes because of the exposure they receive on Shark Tank. Great ideas abound out there, and you’ll see some of them on Shark Tank.  To read the most recent article on Shark Tank, visit Parade.com.

Pam Parker has written about real estate and home decor in the tri-state region for more than 20 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, stepmom to three and step-grandmom to one.  

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: March 4th, 2014

chineseChristopher Parker: you can turn your box of Chinese rice into a plate. See the video at left from Food Beast. I never knew.

Howie Eckert: Bluetooth keyboards are fast. Here’s an article on five top keyboards. He sent me this message at 6 a.m. one day.

Kelly Eckert: Google has instant messaging functions in its Google chat — with voice recognition. Here’s an article from Slate about the new updates — 16 hours ago New!

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 30th, 2013

computer hangerJust in case you’re wondering — yes that is a hanger and dishrag attached to the left side of my Dell computer screen. I am a genius to find this novel response to technology’s foils.

A few weeks ago, my screen started acting up — horizontal lines and freezing. The nice young man at Staples told me it was the LED screen, but if you touched it on the left side, the screen returned to normal. And, no, this is not a touchscreen model.

Well touching the screen worked for a while, then I had to hold my thumb there. Then I had to press really hard and got a cramp in my hand. And typing with one hand is never a good idea. I devised the hanger method, but my husband suggested a chip clip — so I now have an alternative. But I’m not moving that hanger until I have to.

I was trying to put off buying a new computer before Christmas. And I don’t know what I want.

Sherry Rieder of the Erie Times-News let me test drive her iPad a few weeks ago when I worried the screen problem would become — well permanent. The iPad was pretty nice — thanks, Sherry.

With it being Black Friday yesterday, deals appeared to be all over the place on computers and iPads, so we went to look at them at Best Buy last night. Sticker shock and technology shock set in.  My current Dell is only a few years old and cost maybe $400. Newer computers have a base price, then add in the apps or software and we’re talking big money.

They also have real touch screens. I felt like a dinosaur. The salesperson spoke a language I kind of understood, but I had no idea what I wanted after 15 minutes. I felt like Ralphie in “A Christmas Story” sitting on Santa’s lap. ”My mind had gone blank. I was blowing it, blowing it.”

My husband gently asked what I wanted, and I responded that a nice lemon drop martini was in order. The computer would have to wait. So off we went to TGIFridays where I had two lemon drop martinis and dinner. I’m still using this hanger, but I don’t have buyer’s remorse. I’d prefer to wait until after Christmas, so attaching an old monitor to the keyboard might be the best short-term solution — if the hanger and the chip clip give out. So I will be researching and trying to figure out what I want. Suggestions are welcome.

And I am not complaining — it could be worse. My pal Jennie Geisler’s car died the other day. Now that’s an expensive pre-holiday necessity.

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: August 28th, 2013

colored pencilsI hated buying school supplies. I can admit it now. It’s been a long time. And if you hate it too, I feel your pain. Don’t let your kids hear you say it, but know that I am listening. It’s not the purchase or necessity that bothered me — it was trying to find the stuff. My pet peeves about all those years of schools supplies:

We bought colored pencils every year for every kid right into college — I swear we did. I never thought anyone would outgrow markers, crayons and colored pencils. Or glue sticks.

But at least those were readily available. We also bought cases of loose-leaf notebook paper. I almost thought that was extinct one year. My husband and I and two of the kids, who could drive, scoured every store in the Erie area for loose-leaf paper. Nada. Every store was out.  I’m not kidding. I bought notebooks and ripped paper out of them. And then I bought loose-leaf by the ton like a hoarder.

Last month, I gave all the remaining colored pencils, crayon, loose-leaf paper, construction paper, poster board and markers I had stashed in a closet to my daughter-in-law — a teacher.

We also had an investment in index cards. And every teacher wanted a different index cards.Teachers were very specific about how many lines were to be on each card and how big the cards were. And I made the mistake of buying cards without lines once. But only once.

On the website Circle of Moms, one mom noted that her school district bought the supplies for the year for each kid and charged $45. That’s a steal. When my kids were young, one of the Millcreek schools did the same thing. The gas we used and time we spent searching for loose-leaf paper, dividers, sheet protectors, highlighters and planners was worth more than that.

There’s an opportunity here for school districts to turn it into a fundraiser. Enjoy the school year, and I wish you an easy shopping trip as you hunt for school supplies.

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

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: July 24th, 2013

PoinsettiaIt’s July 24, and my 2012 poinsettia is still hanging on with a few red leaves. The red ones look pretty sad, but the green ones are quite healthy.

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.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: July 23rd, 2013

PearlSomeone needs to stop me.

I always played games with my kids. You name it: Sorry, Monopoly, puzzles, Rollercoaster.  I spent one summer personally conquering Nintendo tennis.

A few years ago, we had a Words with Friends frenzy. I even played with my kids’ friends, but I had to stop because I would lose by default — I couldn’t find the time to play.

Other than bouts with Sudoku on my phone and an occasional match with Freecell, I do not play many games. Until my friend — whom I had not seen in about 35 years — sucked me into Pearl’s Peril on Facebook. It’s kind of like the original Nancy Drew novels, and it’s from the same era. You have to figure out what happened to Pearl’s father.

It’s a mystery in the form of a chapter book, and you construct buildings on Pearl’s family’s island as you collect clues — via finding hidden objects in a short time. I thought it was about 7 chapters. That was in May. I am now in Chapter 13, and I don’t see any end in sight. And the island still has a lot of real estate to explore.

I am getting a little sick of finding the rat, cat, fire extinguisher, gloves and snake in every chapter. But I have also learned new words for objects I never heard of, and it’s all in the effort to save Pearl and figure out who are the good guys and bad guys.

The best thing about this is the sound effects. It has lapping waves and birds. And don’t worry that you will play too long because you run out of energy in minutes, and you have to wait to accumulate some, ask friends for it or buy it. I’m not doing the last two — except for my three friends who play with me. But you still won’t get much energy.

I tried to ditch Pearl for other hidden object games, but most of them want money or have complicated storylines with gremlins and monsters. Another one had objects so tiny you had to use the cursor as a magnifying glass and some of the rooms were dark. The objects moved with every turn, and a lot of them were hidden on the ceiling. It had cats and rats too.

I have to run — it’s time to help Pearl escape from the submarine bay so I can buy a greenhouse for the island.

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 and stepmom to three.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: July 15th, 2013


We have four college graduates — all with advanced degrees and all working in their chosen fields. But that’s not the case for every family. I heard John Tesh talking this up over the weekend, and he pointed to research that college degrees aren’t a neccessity.

According to an article in Forbes magazine – click here for the article – jobs of the future may not require a college degree.  Forbes quoted the projected fastest-growing careers from 2010 to 2020 from the article, “Occupational Employment Projections to 2020,” published in the January 2012 Monthly Labor Review.

Certificate programs that result in jobs like diagnostic medical sonographer ($64,380 per year), do not require a 4-year degree.

Before we push kids into college, we need to evaluate their skills and  help them look for careers that fit their skills and the job market of the future.

The college experience has been wonderful for our kids, but it’s not for everyone. Neither is the debt. Help your kids explore career opportunities. There’s so much more out there for kids other than college. It’s great to see the salaries.

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 and stepmom to three. Four kids are college graduates, one is a senior in college and one is an EMT. 

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: July 4th, 2013

hannahcampbag Who can give kids great camp advice? A kid, of course, and here’s advice from 10-year-old Hannah Alper, of Canada.

The seasoned blogger — visit her blog here — started her blog after a 3-hour WordPress workshop in Philadelphia in June 2012.

Here she is– thousands of page views later, winning awards for her blogs. She’s been interviewed many times by national media outlets.

Here’s her blog Top 10 pieces of advice on kids going to summer camp for the first time. She also addresses parents.

“Last year I went to overnight camp for the first time. At first I was really nervous about being away from home for 10 days. I won’t lie and tell you that it was all easy. But I will tell you that after the first two nights I started to get comfortable at camp. I was supposed to be there for 10 days and then my parents were coming for Alumni Weekend (my mom went to the same camp) and the plan was that I would go home with them. But you know what happened? I loved camp so much that when my parents arrived, I asked if I could stay for another 12 days.
Here is some advice for people who are going to overnight camp for the first time:

Make friends with the people in your cabin. You will make new friends starting from the bus ride up there and have lots of people to hang out with. Also, introduce yourself to everyone. I always had not just my friends in my cabin but other people in my camp were my friends too. It is always good to have a lot of friends to get you through the lonely or homesick times.

  • If it’s your first time at overnight camp, it’s probably also the first time for most of the kids in your cabin. You are not the only one. It will make you feel better to know that.
  • I was mostly nervous about the nighttime. My Mom’s advice to me was “all you have to do is make it through the night and then you will have so much fun in the day.” The days are so much fun at camp. Remember this at night.
  • Try talking to your counselors if you’re feeling homesick. It feels good and they can make you feel better. They were also first-time campers – a really, really long time ago, though!
  • When you’re packing for camp, collect some pictures of your family and bring some tape so that you can have them on the wall at your bunk.
  • You know the list of things they tell you to pack? When it comes to clothing, bring extra t-shirts BUT…
  • Don’t take your favourite t-shirt. You will probably lose it.
  • My Mom and I had a special deal that we would both go outside at 9:30 every night and look up at the stars and say goodnight. When I looked up, I knew that she was looking up too.
  • Take a notebook so that you can write down the phone numbers and email addresses of your new friends to stay in touch until next year.
  • Make the most of every day. It goes so fast you’ll be home before you know it and instead of wishing you were home you’ll be wishing you are back at camp.”

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 and stepmom to three.


Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: June 19th, 2013

WindowsI hate cleaning windows. I love the way they look when they are clean, but I hate cleaning them. I don’t care who knows it. And that includes the windows. My husband has purchased gadgets and gizmos to do the exteriors, but we still have screens and interiors to clean. I have neighbors who love to clean windows, so my windows have cleaning envy.

My window washing disdain dates back to my old house. Built in 1928, it had massive wood windows that required hauling the storms off the window frames, storing them and then cleaning the interiors. The windows were heavy and so were the screens. And they were almost as tall as me. The first floor alone had 19 windows. Gradually, I replaced the old house’s dinosaurs with newer models and/or lighter weight storm/screen combinations, but my disdain for window cleaning remains.

This house is twice as big and has 13 first-floor windows, but they have removable muntins. I love the look of muntins until I have to pull them out and reinsert them in the same holes — one is right in the lock. Who does that? Right now, I have three windows done. I have tried paying the kids to do them, but repairs are too costly.

My boys were better at breaking windows than cleaning them. Howie broke more than one window in our old sunporch just fooling around with my tennis racket. He also is the one who, while outside, threw a snowball at his brother, who was inside — breaking both the storm and interior windows. The basement windows were broken so many times by soccer balls that I installed glass block.

I admit I broke a few windows myself. I killed a bug with my wallet one time, and smashed the kitchen window — must have been full of pennies.

I know all the tricks: Vinegar, newspaper, squeegees, add a teaspoon of dish soap. I’m a Windex girl myself. Sometime before Sunday, I plan to get at least those other three windows on the front of the first floor done. And then we will be in for a storm of biblical proportions. And after that, I must clean out the closets. Every time a kid moves out, I take over a closet. I now have spring, summer, winter and fall closets. Oh and a closet of stuff I don’t know what to do with. :) My husband is not amused, but I will remind him how lovely the windows look.

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 and stepmom to three.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: May 12th, 2013

MomsIn 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!

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 of three and step grandmom of one.

Posted in: Uncategorized

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