The Best and Worst of Halloween

Charlie-Brown-Halloween-WallpaperOctober 30, 2015 – Here are a few interesting Halloween-related top five lists for your perusal.

Best Candy – To the delight of dentists everywhere, Americans will buy an epic 600 pounds of candy this Halloween.

Here are the top five best and worst, according to trick or treaters, and Fox News:

5. Twix
4. M&Ms
3. Kit Kat
2. Snickers
1. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

5. Peanut Chews (I love them!)
4. Mary Janes
3. Mallow Cups
2. Circus Peanuts
1. Necco Wafers

Best and Worst Cities – Here’s an odd list of the best and worst cities for Halloween, according to WalletHub, an online financial resource company. Seems random to me, but WalletHub claims they were ranked on several items, including the number of costume stores available, weather forecasts, the city’s crime rate and the number of candy stores, to name a few.

5. Laredo, Texas
4. Gilbert, Airz.
3. Newark, N.J.
2. Jersey City, N.J.
1. New York, N.Y.

5. Oakland, Calif.
4. Winston-Salem, N.C.
3. Detroit, Mich.
2. Memphis, Tenn.
1. St. Petersburg, Fla.

Best Costume – Haven’t picked a costume yet? You still have a few hours to go. Here are the top five most-searched costumes for 2015, according to Google:

5. Batman
4. A Pirate
3. A Superhero
2. Star Wars character
1. Harley Quinn (a comic book character)

Happy Halloween!

Baseball’s Best

October 29, 2015 – The Phillies may not have made the playoffs this year, but the team was voted the best in baseball … for their mascot.

The team at Good Morning America named the Phillie Phanatic the best team mascot and they were right on target. I hope this sets the record straight for the 2012 debacle, when Mr. Met pushed the Phanatic out of the top spot and claimed it for himself.

Who’s the best mascot? Isn’t it obvious?


10 Reasons to Keep Blogging

timthumbOctober 28, 2015 – Yesterday I wrote about how difficult it’s been for me to stick to a steady blogging schedule this year. So, I came up with 10 satisfying reasons why I’m in it for the long haul:

1. Blogging keeps me focused on writing. There’s no better reason to keep a blog going than a love for the written word. Even though I write for a living – working as an internal communications manager by day – blogging makes me think and write differently.

2. Blogging is creative. Nothing makes me feel giddier than a good creative project. It’s a natural high.

3. Blogging helped me discover other people’s blogs. Since I started blogging, I’ve discovered so many wonderful blogs and so many wonderful writers. WordPress helps by shining a spotlight on the best blog posts of the day out of the millions of blogs they host through their “Freshly Pressed” feature. I was more than honored when my post was featured in the “Freshly Pressed” section on June 5, 2013.

4. Blogging helps me keep a journal of my life. I often write about family and personal experiences, so it’s a great way to relive memories.

5. Blogging forces me to go places. Lots of interesting places were discovered in the name of research. Creating several series on the blog, such as “A Lunchtime Tourist in Her Own City”, which highlighted some of the things to do around Philadelphia during your lunch hour and “The Streets of Philadelphia”, which featured things to do in the area if you have more than an hour to spend has been a great experience. Both gave me a fresh perspective of my own city.

6. Blogging connects me with the rest of the world. Nothing is more satisfying than checking the blog’s metrics and discovering the clicks from around the world. I’m even more thrilled when I receive a comment from my global friends. I’ve also received some great comments from friends in the U.S. One of my favorites is from a photography post. I took a photo of a small house by the railroad tracks in Beth Ayres, Pa. because I found it fascinating. I actually heard from the grandson of the man who used to live there. Not sure how he found my blog, but it was awesome to hear from him.

7. Blogging helped me discover a love for photography. It all began with taking photos for my posts; then I got bit by the photo bug. Now I’m a full-fledged amateur photographer who is armed with a camera any chance I get.

8. Blogging has educated me. Whenever I consider writing about a topic, I do research and that always leads to an interesting circle. More so, I love learning by reading other people’s blogs. You can learn something new every day!

9. Blogging helps me stick to a goal. Sure, blogging can be a chore. But it’s satisfying to submit the click button on a new post and cross it off my to do list!

10. Blogging allows me celebrate fun milestones. I remember my first post, my 100th post and all of the other milestones along the way. When I started back in 2010, I wondered how long I would last. Now that I’m inching closer to 1,000, I’m more determined than ever to keep going.

The 15 Post Challenge

bloggingtipsOctober 27, 2015 – I’ll admit it. It’s been difficult for me to stick to a steady blogging schedule this year, and now that we’re zeroing in on November and the year will be over soon, I’m finally ready to confront the demons.

I could tell you that 2015 has been particularly difficult for me and there were plenty of distractions, but that’s an excuse. Sure, I’ve found ways to compensate by filling several months with chapters of a novel I already had written. Technically, that wasn’t cheating because I had written it, but it sort of felt like cheating because it wasn’t new. I’ve also filled posts with lots of photos. I tend to go particularly snap happy in autumn.

While paging through my archives this weekend looking for inspiration, I discovered that on November 11, 2015 this blog will be five years old. When I checked to see how many posts I actually produced, I was stunned. I had written 985!

Suddenly I found my inspiration. How cool would it be if I could accomplish 1,000 posts by November 11? That’s only 15 more posts over the next 16 days.

Stay tuned, it could be a bumpy ride.

Happy Birthday John

112308+John+Lennon+P11October 9, 2015 — John Lennon would have been 75 today.

I’ll never forget waking up on December 9, 1980 and learning that he’d been shot and killed the night before at the age of 40. I’ll also never forget meeting him as an 11 year old girl obsessed with the Beatles when he appeared on the Mike Douglas Show in Philadelphia. He was nice to me, taking the time to chat and giving me his autograph.

To commemorate the occasion, a Philadelphia radio station, WXPN, will celebrate John’s life and his music with local musicians Jim Boggia, Ben Arnold, Kevin Hanson and others during a free concert performance at World Café Live at noon. If you can’t be there to enjoy the show in person, the next best thing is to listen live by streaming it on


October 6, 2015 – I’ve always been intrigued by the moon. It’s one of my favorite things to photograph, but until I bought a decent camera I never got a lucky shot. Here are some of my favorites over the past year:

Full moon taken on August 10, 2014
Full moon taken on August 10, 2014
Super moon taken on October 7, 2014
Super moon taken on October 7, 2014
Full moons are all the rage but I love a crescent. Taken September 18, 2015
Full moons are all the rage but I love a crescent. Taken on September 18, 2015
The super moon, harvest moon before the eclipse on September 27, 2015
The super moon, harvest moon with a little cloud cover before the lunar eclipse on September 27, 2015
The beginning of the total lunar eclipse on September 27, 2015
The beginning of the total lunar eclipse on September 27, 2015
The lunar eclipse almost complete on September 27, 2015
The lunar eclipse almost complete on September 27, 2015