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 ‘Thanksgiving’
Posted: November 23rd, 2013
town home 1

The living room of David and Deanne Bardo’s town home on Peach Street includes hardwood flooring and triple doors that open to an outdoor balcony.

town home 2

The open floor plan includes a terrific kitchen with quartz counters.

This week, House to Home visits with Deanne Bardo, proud owner of a Union Square town home at 12th and Peach streets. She and her husband and family sold their Fairview home to move to downtown Erie. Read my entire article here.

We could see plenty of activity in that area. Thanks to Deanne for sharing!

This week, our writers check out some terrific ideas:

Black and gold garden book makes great gift – If you have a Pittsburgh fan, check out this great book that Sue Scholz read.
Make fun, easy holiday decorations – Sassy Peacock’s Sabrina Fischer shows us how.
Other stories include:

Greystone Mansion features over-the-top décor
Fire up your backyard
Top 10 kitchen remodeling trends
Working with shades of gray

Pam Parker has written about real estate, home improvement and redecorating 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. She is mom to three, stepmom to three and GramPam to one.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: November 20th, 2013

HTH_110913DramaticThanksgivThis table from one of our House to Home articles is certainly a designer demo, and one thing you won’t see on the perfect place settings is cell phones.

A friend asked me to write an article about put-away-the-cell-phone-dinner etiquette — not just for the kids. She said adults at her dinner table were often worse than the kids.

Here are some tips from the Momtini Lounge. She writes up suggestions from AT&T for a cell-free zone on Turkey Day that include silenced cell phones at least during dinner. She also adds that the family photo should be taken before or after dinner rather than during — that limits anyone’s need for the word of the year “selfies” with a mouthful of turkey.

I hate to admit it, but if my brother and I’d had cell phones when we were kids — we’d be shooting mouthfuls of food just to gross each other out, and it would not have been pretty. My parents were lucky that a color TV was high-tech in those days. But we were pretty stealthy kids and would never have risked getting caught during a big family dinner.  The consequences would have been disastrous.

The dinner table should be sacred. “Don’t put your cellphone on the table or use it during a meal” is one of the many rules students at MIT learn during what they call charm school. Read the article here.

Fashion writers from the New York Times agree in the article Step Away from the Phone. 

They maintain that disconnecting is a luxury and that private time is precious. Read the entire eye-opening story here.

The New York Times article closes with some good news from Bronson van Wyck, a party planner in New York who said that NOT being available 24/7 is the new chic.

Here’s to the new chic at your Thanksgiving dinner party. What a great new trend.

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 16th, 2013

3545 Julie CourtThis week in House to Home, we visit Love Farms — a community of homes in Millcreek Township that still seems new to me — even though homes were built between 1992 and 1998. Right now, five residences are for sale at 3545 Julie Court, 3518 Julie Court, 3555 Julie Court, 3561 Dominic Drive and 3567 Anne Marie Drive. Read my full story here.

We have a lot of informative stories in our online and print issues as well. Check out the entire issue here.

» Garden clubs present beautification awards – Sue Scholz shares some winning gardens.
» Add some fun decorating to Thanksgiving – more than gourds and pumpkins.
» Update a family room with less wood – cool ideas that take 1980s right into the present.
» Cash still reigns in real estate – buyers with cash are growing in numbers.
» What to do with all those souvenirs — group them in fun displays — or put them on your Christmas tree!
» Year end house hunting tips – lots of advantages for year-end buyers and sellers.
» Paint ceramic tile to bring it up to date – you can paint tile if you do it just right.
» Let the kids make Thanksgiving place cards –fun crafts for the kids.
» Check your electrical outlets – maintenance of plate covers and more is a safety issue.
Be prepared to invest in maintenance – home buyers need to budget for more than the mortgage.

Pam Parker has written about real estate, home improvement and redecorating 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. She is mom to three, stepmom to three and GramPam to one.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: November 21st, 2012

Jennie Geisler and Marnie Mead

Gobble, gobble, gobble — it’s time for turkey talk.

Today at noon, Erie Times-News food editors Jennie Geisler and Marnie Mead will help you strategize for the big day during an online chat. Log on to our Facebook page and click on the GoErie Live button.

You can also submit questions in advance on Twitter using hashtag #ErieFood or via e-mail at event+e2fc12c201@mailcomments.coveritlive.com.

Chat it up about recipes for turkey, pies, sweet potatoes, veggies, rolls, salads, appetizers and everything you could possibly want to put on your Thanksgiving table!

To participate in the chat, visit www.GoErie.com/chat.

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


Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: November 19th, 2012

There won’t be many pilgrims around our Thanksgiving table this year. My oldest is in Virginia and has no time off. Sniff. My daughter is going to her boyfriend’s house in central Pa. Sniff. The stepkids always have their own plans.

So my youngest Ryan is volunteering to cook dinner when he comes home from Gannon University. This should be good.

In years past, we’ve enjoyed the George clan gathering in New Castle where my sister’s husband’s family — with four generations — celebrate a Lebanese feast at a hall that holds 100 in the middle of beautiful Pearson Park in New Castle. But this year, I’m not ready to see so many families together when mine isn’t.

Being empty nesters is all about adapting. Nearly every holiday will change, but it’s OK. It’s changed before. I hosted up to 24 people when my kids were young because I couldn’t stand spending time at one set of parents while the others ate Cornish game hens. Then, about 15 years ago, as a single mom, I worked two jobs to take my kids to Disney. We toured the Tower of Terror, sat by the hotel pool and ate Thanksgiving dinner at Perkins. It tasted just fine in 70-degree sunshine. Nine years ago, my hubby, my kids and I ate on a cruise ship.

Adventures are good. So if this “Cooking with Ryan” gig doesn’t work out, I know that some Tim Horton’s locations are open. So is Under the Clock Bar & Grill, Victor’s, Country Pride, Crowley’s, Colony Pub and Grille and some Bob Evans restaurants. I’m just kidding, Ryan. We’ll be fine.  Then it will be time for football and shopping. Some stores will be open at night, and it’s the perfect way to burn off dinner — no matter what dinner is. Yes there’s always room for new traditions at Chez Parker.

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: November 9th, 2012

You gotta love “the one holiday at a time” philosophy at Nordstrom. The company’s Facebook page lit up again with delighted fans this year when Nordstrom announced that it will continue the practice of celebrating Thanksgiving and then Christmas. Nordstrom promises no Christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving.

I kind of liked hearing holiday music this week, but I respect Nordstrom, which is running its semi-annual sale and offers some pencil skirts I like for $20 and up.

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: November 23rd, 2011

With apologies to Norman Rockwell, (I’ll get to Edgar Allan Poe), I don’t remember Thanksgiving feasts that looked anything like this. When I was a kid, my brother, sister and I were dragged from one grandparents’ home to another to eat until we gagged. My maternal and paternal grandparents lived blocks away from one another — over the hill and through the town (kind of like over the river and  …), but it was always separate meals, and I never understood why we just couldn’t all get along and eat together.

After the grandparents passed on, and I had my own family, I refused to give in to that drama or the “one house at Thanksgiving and the other at Christmas” or any of  that other hoopla.  I cooked for everyone. Sometimes 23 people … in a kitchen that would flip a breaker if the toaster and coffeepot were on at the same time. I entertained step-in-laws and people I didn’t even know. And we had good times.

Now, as a member of a blended family, it’s a struggle to schedule a dinner. But it’s OK. I’m cooking this year, for the first time in a long time. We usually attend the George family feast in New Castle, Pa., a gathering of 100 of my brother-in-law’s crazy kin, but since we have a stepwedding this weekend, a quiet day at home is on the menu.

One time we did this at-home cooking thing, the harrowing schedule of “who gets the stepkids and at what hour” turned into yet another laughable equation of a 15-minute window when we were “allowed” to eat so not as to interfere with the other family dinner. Someone should have told the turkey. “Nevermore,” quoth the Pamela (that’s me). “Nevermore. ”

This year, we are cooking a bird and eating whenever that bronzed beast is baked to perfection. And I don’t care who shows up or when. Thanksgiving in a blended family isn’t about ridiculous schedules of who gets the kids when or any other hooey where people want to control one another’s lives. It’s about being thankful and being together whether it’s over a baloney sandwich on a Tuesday or a tofu platter on Saturday, rather than the big day.

Last Saturday, we saw Thanksgiving in action. My husband and I had the privilege to share a Thanksgiving meal that Dick Hiles and Bonnie Zahn host annually at the Rotary Pavilion. We gathered with a bunch of people neither one of us knew, and everyone had a story. I discovered my former neighbors from when I was a kid, and my tennis buddy Dave Burton and his wife were in attendance. And we met a couple with a disabled foster child who will forever be in my heart. Everyone was thankful for what they had.

So am I. I’m sitting here at 4:30 a.m. with my neighbor’s Christmas tree lights twinkling on their outdoor tree. My husband is the most giving man on Earth, and my three kids are all together for a week for the first time in years. And as my older kids are living in different cities, I know future holidays may not be this “together.” My family has survived some incredible odds, tragedies, loss and  more. And thank God we are all together.

On Thanksgiving, I will hoist a glass — a big one — to all the ancestors, all my family we’ll miss this year  and all the stepfamilies who need to skip the drama, the unrealistic expectations of a Rockewell Thanksgiving and enjoy the fleeting moments of togetherness meant to be cherished for what they are — moments. Forevermore.

Happy Thanksgiving!



Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: November 21st, 2011

It’s been a long time since all three of my kids have been together in this house … for a week. About five or six years, in fact. They’ve been here occasionally overnight together, but other than a few shared dinners, they are ships that pass in the night.

Starting tonight, the kids are in the house, and we are in for appliance overload. I am looking forward to it, but the refrigerator, TV, washer and dryer will probably need therapy. And so will the hot water tank.  My husband won’t be far behind.

I’m looking forward to it, although my daughter, the big-city girl,  already told me my dinner selection of homemade chicken soup  “is not gonna cut it.”

My oldest son is worried about running out of hot water every morning. Funny, he never worried about that in the old days, and my stepson lived here at that time too. So six of us shared hot water and never had a problem.

My youngest son, who has shared a bath with his sister for eight years, always asks, “How long is she staying?”

It all makes me smile. Now if I can just get the appliances to buck up and do their part! Happy holidays!





Posted in: Uncategorized