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 greatest horror films of all time

Halloween-2014-5October 24, 2014Halloween is only a week away, so there’s no better time to review a Ranker.com list of the greatest horror films ever made. Do you agree with #1? The greatest horror book for sure, but not greatest horror film.

That’s why I agree with this list from litreactor.com on the 10 scariest books ever written.

This is the perfect weekend to watch or read one of these classics, and get your fright on.

The Beatles: A list of lists


July 16, 2014 — As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the release of The Beatles’ movie, “A Hard Day’s Night” (a true comic gem), here is a list of five interesting lists put together about the Fab Four:

5.  10 unpleasant facts about John Lennon
Much has been written about Lennon through the years, since he’s no stranger to controversy. Are these facts true? I don’t want to believe any of them, but completely disagree with #5, which is NOT a fact.

4.  10 reasons to admire John Lennon
In Asian philosophy, yin and yang are concepts that describe how opposite or contrary forces complement each other. The same is true for this list, which contradicts some of the unpleasant facts above.

3.  5 Beatle songs that mean something different than we first thought
I put this list together after discovering the real story behind these five Beatles’ songs.

2.  100 greatest Beatles’ songs
Rolling Stone gathered this massive list, selecting the 100 of the greatest songs from The Beatles’ huge library. I’m sure it wasn’t an easy task. The boys recorded 213 songs on 19 albums in seven years. That’s a lot of music in a short period of time.

1.  The 10 worst Beatles’ songs
If there is a best of collection, the yin/yang theory indicates there has to be a worst. Here’s a list of 10 songs that fall into that category. However, I have to remember that what is worst for the Beatles can be far superior than what is the worst for other bands.

Ten things I like about spring

32506459389d31d2156e6f452d26ec78April 16, 2014
– After a cruel winter, it is a pleasure to welcome spring. Here are 10 things I adore about the season:

10. Longer days – What a joy it is to drive home from work and still experience daylight.

9. Warmer temperatures – Spring is perfect “no utility” weather. There is no need for heat or air-conditioning.

8. Taking photos – Everywhere you go looks like a picture postcard. Fresh blooms are enough to make any amateur photographer look like a pro.

7. Birds singing – Even the sound of birds chirping in the morning is a true pleasure.

6. Dining alfresco – I love sitting at outdoor restaurants and cafes in the city on spring days. It is great for the soul and for people watching.

5. Spring cleaning – Is it crazy that I love to clean in the spring? It makes me feel lighter to get rid of stuff we do not use.

4. Shopping at the farmer’s market – We have our pick of plenty of options in southeastern Pennsylvania, which gives us access to the best fresh produce around.

3. Cherry blossoms and azaleas – I like flowers, but never have I gone completely bonkers over them. I do enjoy spring blooms like cherry blossoms and azaleas, though. They are short-lived and much appreciated.

2. Sandals and open toe shoes – To get my feet in shape for the sandal season, I used a Pure Pedi foot peel. I was skeptical, but it worked wonders. Like a snake, I shed a lot of skin on my feet (and that was a little gross). However, I love the baby soft skin underneath.

1. Open windows – Yes, open windows are my most favorite thing about the season. There is nothing better than letting the fresh air in and watching the curtains flutter in the breeze.

Fun with puns and alliteration

a-middle-eastern-eatery-photo-u1January 24, 2014 – Most people enjoy a good pun, the wordplay form that suggests more than one meaning of similar sounding words for a humorous effect. They can be madcap fun.

When you combine a passionate penchant for puns and a lingering love of lists — the alliteration part of this blog post — you end up with a set of data that is sure to entertain. Take a look at the “47 Best Funny Restaurant Puns” from Ranker.com, the crowd sourced list maker of topics both entertaining and practical, and I bet you’ll be entertained, too.

It’s clever, for instance, to name a wine shop Planet of the Grapes, and a coffee shop Brewed Awakening. It’s downright funny to name a deli Nin Com Soup, or a chicken restaurant Sam and Ella’s. I had to read some of the puns/names a few times before it clicked, and admit to still scratching my head at nos. 16, 28, 34, and 44, but it’s a list definitely worth a look.

Idioms and their origin: A top ten list

downloadJanuary 15, 2014 – You have heard them and may even use them, but might not know where they come from.

Idioms, words that stem from the Latin idioma meaning special feature, are phrases that have a figurative meaning separate from a literal meaning. Idioms occur in all languages; in English, they number over 25,000. I am barely scratching the surface, but here are 10 popular English idioms, and their interesting origins:

  1. Turn over a new leaf
    In the 16th Century, people referred to pages in a book as “leaves”. Turning over a new leaf meant turning to another page to begin again.
  2. Absence makes the heart grow fonder
    The author of this particular sentiment remains unknown, but it first appeared in a book of French poems in 1602 (author unknown). Using it refers to lacking something increases the desire for it.
  3. Get sacked
    To get sacked means to be fired. We all know that. It is said to come from the 17th Century in England and France when tradesmen, who owned their work tools took them home in a bag or sack after losing their job.
  4. Can’t hold a candle to someone
    I couldn’t locate a year or place of origin for this common idiom, but it came from apprentices holding candles so their craftsmen could see as they worked; therefore, it had to be before electricity was commonly used. If you don’t perform as expected today, you may be told you can’t hold a handle to whoever performs well.
  5. Mad as a Hatter
    This idiom might be my favorite expression. We know it was used in “Alice in Wonderland”, but it originally it is said to come from 18th Century England when mercury was used when making hats, which caused hat makers to go mad. Today, we use it to describe someone we think is crazy.
  6. No dice
    This phrase is 100% made in America and comes from the early 1900s when gambling with dice was illegal. Gamblers went to great lengths to hide their dice back then; if the law couldn’t find the dice (no dice), they couldn’t convict. We use it indicate there is no chance for something happening.
  7. Get up on the wrong side of the bed
    In ancient Rome, people believed it was bad luck to get out of bed on the left side. If you dared, your day would likely not be a pleasant one. Today, getting up on the wrong side of the bed is used when someone is in a grumpy mood.
  8. Apple of my eye
    When we cherish someone above all others, we might say they are the apple of our eye. This idiom is biblical. Deuteronomy 32:10: “He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye”. Shakespeare may have been the first to use it commonly, as he did in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in 1600.
  9. It’s Greek to me
    Another idiom that is attributed to Shakespeare, and “Julius Caesar” in 1599. It comes from “Graecum est; non legitur, or “It’s Greek, therefore it cannot be read”, which was used by monk scribes around the same time. In modern times, we use it if something complex is not easily understood.
  10. Close but no cigar
    The second “All American” idiom on the list, it is said to have originated in the 1935 script for the film “Annie Oakley”, which stated, “Close Colonel, but no cigar!” Today, we use it when we fall short of our expectations.

Things I’d like to do before the year’s end

imagesOctober 23, 2013 –New Year’s resolutions usually don’t work for me because there is no pressure to make an immediate commitment. Cramming it all in to the last two months of the year, however, better suits me because stress improves my odds for success. Therefore, here is a list of things I’d like to accomplish before midnight on December 31, 2013:

  1. Get through 2001: A Space Odyssey without falling asleep. It might be impossible.
  2. Paint another picture at “Painting with a Twist”. I loved it so much the first time.
  3. Attend the writer’s workshop at the Northeast Philadelphia Library. Saturday morning. I swear.
  4. Figure out exactly how many states I’ve visited. I think it’s 45 of the 50, but I want to be sure.
  5. Write a message in a bottle and throw it out to sea. Just because.
  6. Donate blood. I have a crazy fear about this.
  7. Learn how to take a photo with my new camera outside of auto mode. Holidays are a perfect time to experiment.
  8. Take more risks at work. I can do it!
  9. Try sushi. I’m scared.
  10. Decide on whether to get my Master’s Degree or not. Is it worth it?
  11. Bake a good cheesecake and serve it to my family at Christmas. Last one was too dry.
  12. Send out holiday cards this year. I’ve been lax.
  13. Update my website. It’s been over a year and that’s not good.
  14. Better manage my finances. Yea, right…
  15. Find my iPod. It has to be in the house somewhere.
  16. Get past level 39 on Candy Crush. I have been stuck for over a week!
  17. Win a huge jackpot at the casino. Our traditional visit with family between Christmas and New Year is almost here, so I can get it in under the wire.
  18. Finish a huge editing project. I don’t want to but…
  19. Turn another year older in December. Don’t have a choice, do I?
  20. Be nicer to someone. You know who you are.