Another Fall in Philadelphia

Not that I consider it a bad thing. Like most Philadelphians, I love my city and its sports teams, no matter how bad our reputation might be. Sure, we have our share of issues like any other major metropolitan city in the country, but sports myths around here are so blown out of proportion, so I decided I’ll wear my Philly roots proudly.

Fall in Philadelphia is lovely, no matter how depressing Daryl Hall says the song really is. Here you’ll find some of the most beautiful foliage found in any urban area, especially along Kelly Drive and Boat House Row where the river sparkles in the sunshine and the days are filled with tourists and residents alike strolling, biking, rowing or jogging along the path by the Schuylkill River.

The fall colors also make a trip to Old City worthwhile, and this fall, Philadelphia’s Independence Visitor Center, located on one of the most historic square miles in our country, will undoubtedly help plenty of visitors. The Visitor Center is one of the busiest in the country, welcoming more than 20 million tourists over the last decade, which is double the number that was originally expected when the center was first built.

There’s plenty to do in Philadelphia, and there’s no better time of year to take a stroll through history than in the fall when the weather is usually perfect.

I say count your blessings if you get to spend another fall in Philadelphia.

Over the rainbow and then some

wizardAugust 11, 2019 — In two weeks, the world will celebrate the 80th anniversary of the release date (August 25, 1939) of the “The Wizard of Oz.”

I’m an old movie fan, so it’s easy for me to say that it’s one of my all-time favorites. But even those who don’t care for the old black and whites love “The Wizard of Oz”. After 80 years, families still gather to watch the story of Dorothy and her three friends look for their hearts’ desire.

It made me wonder what other entertainment icons stand the test of time. Here are a few I came up with; feel free to add your own.

“Casablanca” springs to mind immediately, which is the greatest in my opinion, along with “Citizen Kane”, although I don’t see what the fuss is all about there. Many movie aficionados obviously disagree. In addition, I have to give honorable mention to anything from Alfred Hitchcock, especially his earlier films of the 40s and 50s, and to the wonderful family movies made in the 60s such “The Sound of Music”, “Mary Poppins”, and “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”, to name a few. I know I try to catch them whenever they are on.

How about Frank Sinatra, or anyone in the Rat Pack to start? They are still wildly popular today. You could also include The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan in the mix because all of their music still has a strong audience, even though many of the songs were recorded 50 plus years ago. I wonder how many people will listen to Taylor Swift or Justin Bieber 50 years from now?

This is probably the easiest category because schools will always push the classics on students, although many (like me) won’t appreciate them until they are adults. So, what books stand out? How about “The Catcher in the Rye”, “Jane Eyre”, “Pride and Prejudice”, “Anna Karenina”, and “The Bell Jar”, to name a few? I would be remiss not to mention Judy Blume because I know that young girls in the future will still be captivated with “Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret?” It’s also quite possible that the Harry Potter stories will have staying power.


How-to-lead-positive-change-in-your-businessJuly 6, 2019 — There are a lot of things in this world that would benefit from a change.

Since they’re too numerous to mention, and many are out of my control I’ll start with something simple.

I started this blog nearly nine years ago, and I know I’ve been away for a few months, but I feel inspired again. It’s the first real break I’ve taken.

During those nine years, I’ve only made two layout changes. Now, it’s time for something different, a facelift if you will, and although it might have been more appropriate to introduce a new look with the start of the new year, today felt right.

The kindness gene

kindnessJuly 6, 2019 – When Blanche Dubois uttered her famous line, “I have always depended on the kindness of strangers,” in A Streetcar Named Desire, I bet she didn’t know that one day there would be a scientific theory to explain why. Or rather, to explain that we can spot kindness in people we don’t know, and maybe she was drawn to strangers she sensed were kind.

According to research data published in 2011, people with a certain gene trait are known to be more kind and caring than people without it. Who knew?

This isn’t earth-shattering news, but what’s interesting about the research is that they’ve proven that if we have the kindness gene, it can be easily and quickly picked up by people who don’t even know us.

The research was conducted on average people, and not folks who go through life pinching babies and kicking dogs, where it is more than obvious they’re missing the kindness gene. Researchers at Oregon State University devised an experiment in which 23 couples, whose genotypes were known to them but not to observers were studied. These observers were asked to watch them converse in groups of two, and with the sound turned off, identify which listener had the kindness gene and which did not. In most cases, the observers chose correctly.

Finally, an explanation of why I’m always selected for jury duty.

Crescent moons, magazines and peppermint tea

downloadJuly 6, 2019– Anyone up for solving a mystery?

The song, My Favorite Things, from the musical The Sound of Music, is played at Christmas each year, and I’m not sure why. Aside from the lyrics “brown paper packages tied up with string, or snowflakes that fall on my nose and eyelashes” – and are both a stretch – there isn’t a reference to December 25 or any of its holiday traditions. Yet artists from Tony Bennett to Luther Vandross include it on their Christmas recordings.

And while we’re on the subject … the items Rogers and Hammerstein mention in their song are nice, they aren’t included on a list of my favorites. If I were to rewrite the song, I’d include the things below:

Curtains fluttering in the breeze
Early morning walks with my camera
Georgia O’Keeffe and Vincent Van Gogh paintings
Sunflowers and daisies
Crescent moons
Sunsets at the beach
Crisp mornings in autumn
My brother-in-law’s margaritas
Long drives
Magazines and peppermint tea
Mack’s Pizza at the Jersey shore
Listening to Joni Mitchell on Sunday mornings
Haagen Daz vanilla ice cream
Warm towels straight from the dryer

Weird Things About Traffic

August 20, 2018 – Traffic is a real head scratcher.

You’re driving along at a normal speed, and all of the sudden you’re moving slower than a three-toed sloth. There’s no indication why. No merging. No accidents. No school busses. You try to figure out the physics behind it, but you’re only fooling yourself. You were never good at math or science anyway, so you simply accept that traffic will always be a complete mystery.

Once upon a time I enjoyed getting caught in traffic. Between working and raising my son, my traffic time was my alone time. If traffic moved at the pace of a sloth, it meant more time listening to music or spending time with my thoughts. Now, he’s grown and I still have a hefty commute each day. Traffic is no longer what I desire, but it is a little more understandable thanks to this list of weird things about traffic from

20 Questions

July 2, 2018 – It’s not often I get to interview myself, so here’s part of a rare conversation I just had with me last night.

Confused? Don’t be. I received these questions from a friend and answered them to help her out with a survey/statistics project. They took a long time to complete, so I thought they’d pull double duty and act as a blog post as well.

1. What are you dreading right now? Running a communication task force meeting next Monday. Never cared for public speaking or running the agenda and worrying about the conference equipment. I’d rather just be an attendee and give my opinion when needed.
2. Do you celebrate 420? No, I never have. Honestly, I just learned what 420 was a few years ago. I don’t have a problem with legalizing marijuana, though.
3. If anyone came to your house on your “lazy days” what would y’all do? First, we would not get showered or dressed until nearly 3 p.m. or so. We’d spend the morning watching bad talk shows or movies, and probably take a nap or two in between.
4. Do you own a pair of Converse? Not now, but they were a staple of my wardrobe when I was a teenager.
5. Do you eat raw cookie dough? I’ve been known to eat my share of raw cookie dough while baking. But I would never eat cookie dough ice cream or anything like that.
6. Have you ever kicked a vending machine? Kicked, no. Pushed or pounded on, yes.
7. Are you cocky? I don’t think so, but those who know me may answer this question better than me.
8. Could you live without a computer? My first instinct is to say no, but that’s crazy. I don’t want to live without one, but I could if I had to.
9. Do you wear your shoes in the house? Never. Not even in the winter. My toes enjoy plenty of freedom and fresh air.
10. What do you do when you’re sad? Put on sad music, listen to it loudly with my earphones on, and cry. Before I realize it, I’ve switched to upbeat music, I’m dancing around with a smile on my face, and I forgot what I was sad about. Just ask my ex-husband…I used to do this after an argument with him and it drove him crazy because he wanted me to stew just like he did.
11. Is anyone on your bad side now? Not right now. But if there is, you know who you are!
12. When was the last time you left your house? Yesterday in the oppressive heat to run errands.
13. Do you return your cart? Absolutely. It’s a big pet peeve of mine, especially when folks leave them free in the parking lot very close to a drop off point. The trick is to find a spot near one, even if it isn’t the closest to the store.
14. Would you survive in prison? This is just like the computer question. I know I wouldn’t like it, but I would find a way to survive.
15. If all of your friends were going on a road trip, who would most likely over pack? Easy one. Me! But they would forgive men because I would have created an awesome road trip playlist.
16. Do you know anyone with the same name as you? Same first and last name: other than my mother, no. Same first name: yes, a few people, but not many. Jane may be a plain name, but it’s not very common these days.
17. Do your siblings ever pay for stuff for you? They have at one time or another. I typically don’t like it though and they know it.
18. Who would play you in a movie about your life? In my younger days, I would say Meg Tilly because a lot of people thought we looked alike when she was in the “Big Chill”. Today, there isn’t an actress who could handle the role, so I would star in it myself.
19. Ever been to Georgia (the state)? Yes. Driving through rural Georgia I came upon one of the most interesting places, too. Ruby’s Prayer Chapel and Hair Salon!
20. What song best describes your life right now? I could be living between two songs right now. “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” and “Paperback Writer”.

More Street Slang Added to The Official Scrabble Dictionary

May 7, 2018 – Remember the two old ladies playing dirty word Scrabble in the 1978 movie Foul Play?

Scrabble snobs like me may have a sense of humor when it comes to comedy scenes in movies, but in reality we would never accept those words if they didn’t appear in The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

Last month, Scrabble celebrated its 70th anniversary, and in its honor, The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary added 300 more words, marking the sixth edition of the game book.

Prior to this, the book was last updated in 2014, when 10 new street slang words were added, some more offensive than those words used by the old ladies. They include “thankx” (it’s not even shorter than the proper spelling, but the “k” and the “x” together can score plenty) and “bezzy”, (a term used to describe a “ho” is not particularly good-looking). Do we really need a slang term for this scenario? Not to mention, Scrabble only has one “z”, so you’d need a blank to spell the word.

The newest volume, which publishes this fall, includes 21st century slang words like “emoji,” “facepalm” and “puggle.” I’m familiar with the term emoji, but I just learned that facepalm is the act of bringing your hand up to you face to express disbelief, and puggle is a breed of dog with a beagle and a pug for parents, the latter of which seems acceptable.

Even better, the newest volume includes more of those elusive two letter words that can score big points for you at the end of the game when trying to use all of your letters. The expressions “ew” and “hm”, are now official, along with the strange slang term for pizza–“za”, which is simply disrespectful.

The latest edition of The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary will be available in September 2018.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Favorite Place

March 23, 2018 — This week’s photo challenge is favorite place.

There are two peaceful places I visit often to catch my breath, and they just happen to be two places that I’ve photographed the most over the last several years.

Sunset Beach in Cape May, N.J. where folks gather each night to watch the sun set.

Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia, is beautiful all year round, especially in the spring.