I wanna be an Air Borne Ranger…
April 27, 2012, 7:39 AM
Filed under: Fun on a budget, Life style

Well maybe not an airborne ranger but the opportunity to be a Park Ranger can be real, at least for a day.

Valley Forge National Historical Park, Route 23, Upper Merion, will celebrate National Junior Ranger Day on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. This special celebration gives kids, ages 6 to 12 the opportunity to interact with park rangers, play games related to park resources, and explore models and demonstrations.

 A variety of family-friendly activities and demonstrations will take place throughout the park.   Included will be muster roll, beginning every hour, 10 1 p.m.. when the troops will drill with wooden muskets according to the training procedures of Baron Von Steuben.  Junior Rangers also will: discover the geology and archaeology of Valley Forge, hear stories of survival and struggle in the winter of 1777-8, watch as rangers in colorful continental army uniforms demonstrate how to fire a flintlock smoothbore musket, learn about the Hut City construction at Muhlenberg’s Brigade, visit Washington’s Headquarters, explore the terrain that protected Washington’s army, learn about the park’s best-known inhabitants-deer, investigate the Valley Creek watershed, and create a story or poem or drawing about their park experience.

Participants will receive their official Junior Ranger Day Patch during a graduation ceremony at the Visitor Center at 2:15 p.m. The Junior Ranger program introduces children their National Parks and provides hands-on, in-depth information about the resources that their parks protect.  A Web Ranger activity page is available on the National Park Service’s website for children who aren’t able to visit a park.   Throughout the year, children use the Junior Ranger program and booklet to learn about both historic and natural resources. Booklets are available in the Visitor Center and on the park’s website at The program is so popular that it sparked a two week-long summer camp that will be offered in partnership with the Franklin Institute this summer.

Visitors start at the Visitor Center where they will receive information about the day and maps to the activity stations.   This event is weather dependant and will be rescheduled if necessary to Saturday May 5.

Other Happenings this weekend:

Spring yard sale sponsored by Volunteers in Action takes place 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. today and Saturday at Norristown State Hospital, Building No. 53, Stanbridge and Sterigere streets, Norristown. Follow sale signs from Gates 1 and 4. Books, toys, household goods, toys, small furniture, clothing, holiday items, baked goods, lunch and more. Proceeds benefit the patients.

  •   Flea market to benefit Spay and Save will be held today and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Jeffersonville Presbyterian Church, 1921 W. Main St. Information: 610-539-0180.
  •   Bingo hosted by Norristown Cedar Club will be held at the Tall Cedars Building beginning at 7 p.m. (second and fourth Fridays of each month except May, November and December). Smoke free. Information: 610-631-1594.

 ORGANIZATIONS Deaf and Hard of Hearing games night and ice cream social will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at Community Center at Blue Barn near Branch Creek Community Church, 100 S. Main St., Harleysville. Bring a favorite topping and drink to share and bring a favorite game. Information: 215-721-7121.

  •   Dance California dance group meets Fridays (except first Friday of the month) for buffet dinner at 6:45 p.m., beginners’ lesson at 7:30 p.m., intermediate lesson at 8:15 p.m. and dance party from 9 to midnight at Church on the Mall, Plymouth Meeting Mall. Cost: $12. Information: 610-558-4556.
  • Third Annual GNAL Art Trail sponsored by Greater Norristown Art League will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and Sunday. The art-loving public is invited to visit the open studios of 11 local artists and may purchase original works of art in a variety of media. Free, self-guided and self-paced tour; no reservations necessary. A brochure with artists’ information and map is available online at or at the GNAL building, 800 W. Germantown Pike, East Norriton, before and during the event. Information: 610-539-3393.
  • World Tai Chi & Qigong Day hosted by Pear Garden School of Tai Chi, Perkiomenville, is held from 9 to 11 a.m. at Hickory Park, New Hanover Township.  World Tai & Qigong Day is a global health and healing event. All are welcome to sample a Tai Chi Class or watch demos of the Tai Chi, Sword and Fan forms. Information: contact Charles Brynan at or visit  To view World Tai Chi Day activities, go to Free.
  • United Singles hosts a dance from 8 p.m. to midnight at Forrest Lodge VFW, 2118 Old Bethlehem Pike, Sellersville (215-257-9480). DJ Johhny K. Dance and light buffet, $10. Information: Frank Fulmer, 610-845-7624.
  •   Peppermint Dance Club meets for ballroom dancing Saturdays and Thursdays at Church on the Mall, Plymouth Meeting Mall, Germantown Pike. Beginners lessons are 7:15 to 8:30 p.m.; intermediate lessons, 8:30 to 9 p.m.; dance party, 9 to midnight. Light refreshments. Singles welcome. Admission: $12 includes lesson. Information: 610-558-4556 or
  • Bucks County Symphony, choral society and AVA soloists featured in concert.  The Bucks County Symphony Orchestra will stage its spring concert — the final event of its 59th season and featuring the Bucks County Choral Society and soloists from the Academy of Vocal Arts — at 8 p.m. Saturday at Central Bucks West High School in Doylestown.  The program, which is celebrating music director-conductor Gary S. Fagin’s 10th anniversary, includes two works by Ludwig van Beethoven: The Consecration of the House Overture, Op. 124, and Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125.The latter, considered by many to be the greatest piece of music ever written, also was the first symphony by a major composer to include voices — the final movement’s well-known “Ode to Joy.”

View and Brew:  Sellersville Theater  24 West Temple Ave, Sellersville PA 215-257-5808 Free showing of Titanic Monday 7:30pm May 2nd.  Not in 3D but still a nice date night.  If you have cash refreshments can be purchased in the lobby.


April 26, 2012, 8:29 PM
Filed under: couponing, Financial tips, helpful household hints

Okay readers, so here are a few more tips about couponing.  While on this journey to save money I have discovered a few tips and tricks. Some I have heard from others and others I have leaned by trial and error.

1)  Giant doubles your coupons automatically your coupons (unless the coupon says do not double).

2)  shop in the middle of the week because stores jack up prices later in the week as most people shop on weekends.

3) Hold on to coupons.  Don’t use them right away, I have heard that stores raise prices in the beginning of month when coupons come out to compensate for their use.

4) Don’t drive too far out of your way.  You will lose the savings from the coupon or price difference.

5) You don’t have to buy name brand everything, some things it is okay to buy store brand.  If you need something branded get on the internet and search by product name.  Almost every one has a web page and printable coupons you can use at any store.

6)  Collect coupons from Val-Pac, local newspapers, and mailers.

7) Shop warehouses for things you can store in bulk like toilet paper, paper towels, and other dry goods.   Often these places have coupons as well when you walk in.

Correspondence-Part II Children
April 25, 2012, 8:29 AM
Filed under: etiquette, Life style

Ever wish you got something other than bills in the mail?  Years ago before the telephone became a permanent attachment to our bodies, people wrote letters.  Letters were written for every occasion and it was considered part of good upbringing and social graces.  A letter was written for introductions, visiting cards, invitations, social correspondences, and special occasions like weddings and showers.  I will go over some example of each, but today I’ll focus on children.

A party offers much opportunity for training a child in the beauties of hospitality.  While girls are easier to train than boys, if mom can get the child to see the idea of a “square deal” (if you behave nicely you can expect to receive the same treatment in return), it will be easier to accomplish.  Your children will grow up to be kinder and more considerate of others if you teach them how to be that way when they’re young. You can do that by setting a good example. You must always say “please” and “thank you” to your kids. Even when you are saying, “Please get your bicycle off my foot,” or “Thank you for the dead slug.”

Be a good role model. “Do as I say, but not as I do” is a joke. Your kids probably want to respond with, “Yeah, like you’d catch me playing bridge with a bunch of 50-year-old women!” When you want your child to show good manners and respect, you must also practice good manners and respect. Say please and thank you, admit your mistakes, apologize, and treat people, in general, with kindness and respect. The reward of this behavior is that your children will grow up having many friends and a family that loves being around her.

If mom (or dad) can make it seem like a game to keep each guest happy, they will prove successful.  Show them the way. Children do whatever they have to do to express themselves. Sometimes that comes off looking and sounding pretty bad. Playing a role reversal game with your child can help show them how to handle situations. Let them ask the question or behave a certain way, and you respond by showing them how their behavior should appear.

  • Be kind to others. Telling kids, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” doesn’t really mean anything to them. Instead, stress the importance of treating others the same way they’d like to be treated, especially when you see them doing something that you know they themselves don’t like. For example, if your son hates to be interrupted and yet he interrupts people, then remind him, “Jonah, you really don’t like it when people interrupt you, so please don’t do that to Jeremiah.”
  • Understand their actions. Help your children understand the harm they can cause by doing or saying thoughtless and unkind things. Ask them, “How would you feel if someone pointed at you, and started to laugh?” In the beginning, you may simply be doing damage control, but eventually you’ll be helping them to avoid harmful words or actions.
  • Share. Share with your children so they understand the importance of sharing with others. Compliment them when you see them sharing with others.
  • Keep kids healthy. Children tend to behave badly when they’re tired or hungry. Kids need sleep and nutritious foods to survive. It’s that simple.
  • Practice family politeness. Everyone in the family must practice “please” and “thank-you” policy in which, for example, no request is considered unless the person asking says “please.” When one of your children forgets, just give him or her a look that says, “I’m waiting.” They soon catch on. Use the same approach for saying “thank you.”
  • Praise good behavior. Praise is a wonderful teacher. Tell your children how proud you are when you notice them being polite and following the “please” and “thank-you” guidelines that you’ve set


  •  Invitations. The mother may write a few lines, but she retains the specialness of the invitation if she asks the child what to say.  Invitations for children should always be definite as to the hours of the affair that the parents may know may know when to send for them.

Example:    Dear Betty,

Will you come to a dance on Friday April the third, from four to six o’clock?

Lovingly yours,


Response:      Dear Rosy,

Thank you asking me to your dance on Friday, April the third, from four to six o’clock.

I will come with much pleasure.

Affectionately yours,


      Invitations for outings of a longer duration.

                                Dear Barbie,

Will your mother allow you to come to our vacation house at Woodhaven for a few days?  My mother wishes me to say to your mother that she will take care of you in every way.

If you come on the train leaving at___ on Friday the second, we will meet you at the station and Dad will take you into town on the train arriving at___ on Monday morning.  I do hope you can come.




Dear Margery,

Mom saya that I may accept your kind invitation so I will arrive at ____ station on the ____ train on Friday.  I am so happy to be with you  and know it will be enjoyable.

Lovingly yours,


  • Thank-you notes. Teach your children the importance of thanking people for gifts. Show them how to write notes and make sure that they are sent promptly after receiving gifts.  examples:

Dearest Grandma,

Thank you s thousand times for the lovely Christmas dolly you asked Santa to bring me.  She is the sweetest dolly and I tell her how much I love you.   We had a delightful Christmas and we all send you much love.

Your loving little girl,

Barbie Fuller

  • Apology notes

If a child has destroyed anything, a few lines written in apology will make the desired impression.  If there has been rudeness to a teacher or older person a note of regret will cause more courtesy another time.

  •     “I am very sorry that I was careless and broke your pretty vase.  I will truly try to be more careful.
  •    Dear Miss Greene,

I am very sorry I was rude today and hope you will excuse me.  I will try to be more

polite every day in every way.

Yours sincerely,

John Bolter, Jr.

Practicing these simple courtseys will not only ensure future invitations but will equip your child with the social graces to ensure their future success in life and business.  It can also help in the short run making day-to-day life more pleasant.





Healthy tip for the day
April 24, 2012, 4:38 PM
Filed under: Healthly Living

Did you know that yogurt could help you avoid a cold and many ailments associated with allergies?  Yogurt contains probiotics.  Probiotics are bacteria that can benefit the body’s immune system.  You can also find probiotics in soy or other non-fermented dairy products.  So eat a little yogurt and avoid the doctor’s office!

Recipes for a rainy day
April 24, 2012, 6:45 AM
Filed under: recipes

On rainy cold days we don’t always have as much energy and so sometimes we can fall into a rut.  This recipe for Lasagna I was given a long time ago but sad to say I don’t remember who gave it too me.  This is Crockpot Lasagna.


1lb ground beef                             1/2 cup grated Parm                                         1 chopped onion

28oz spaghetti (I use a chunky sauce)     4-6 oz ricotta (opt)                                   2 cloves garlic

1 (6oz) can tomato paste                 12 oz cottage cheese                                       1 1/2 tsp salt

Lasagna noodles 12oz uncooked     16oz shredded mozz cheese                        1tsp dried oregano



1) Brown ground beef , onion, and garlic in fry pan.

2) Add tomato sauce, paste, salt, and oregano.  Cook till warm

3)  spoon a layer of meat sauce onto the bottom of the crockpot.

4)  Add a double layer of uncooked lasagna noodles (break to fit) and top with cheeses.  If you choose to add ricotta cheese use 4-6 oz depending on the size of your crockpot.  You may also want to add more sauce to taste.

5) Repeat with sauce, noodles and cheeses until all are used up.

6) Cover and cook on low 4-5 hrs.

This is great to do when you are especially busy or feeling a little worn out.  The prep time is about 10 minutes.  And then you set it and go about your day.  Depending on the size of your family you can adapt this to the oven in a bake dish also When I cook in a dish I use a 9×13 pan and usually wind up with 4-5 layers.  Serves about 6-10 in a dish in the pot I seem to get a little more 8-12 servings.  I hope you enjoy!

Charity begins at home
April 22, 2012, 6:47 PM
Filed under: Deal of the Week, helpful household hints, Volunteer opportunities

Hey everyone!  I hope all is well and you enjoyed the beautiful weather on friday and saturday and are safely curled up at home this evening with some hot beverage.  We enjoyed ourselves immensely.  We had the opportunity to see one of our favorite bands Big Shot when they were featured at a fundraiser locally.  We had a great time and I ‘d like to give a shout out to the people of Beth Or for being so welcoming to us and showing us how to party down!  Thanks for sharing and good luck to Rabbi Axel!

On another note, Saturday we went shoe shopping for my husband and had a reward card for $10 off and sure enough we found a pair he liked on sale and with our reward card saved $20!  But the biggest piece of information I picked up was about a program they participate in called Shoe Box Project.  This program provides support for the men and women of the armed services; Marines, Navy, Coast Guard, Army, Airforce.  When you bring in your used shoes (any brand, from any store or manufacture, as long as there are no holes or worn thru bottoms), they can be dirty and old as long as the condition is good.  The store collects your shoes and sends them out to the USO who cleans and repairs and then sells the shoes.  The proceeds go to the purchase of clean socks and shoes for our service personnel!  I love supporting companies who support our armed forces plus I actually get something back as well.  The store, Famous Footwear; will give me $10 off my next purchase of $50 or more.  Even better!  This will probably be most helpful to those of you with families who go through shoes quickly.  I thought this was great regardless.  Hopefully it is helpful to you.  Have a great week all!

Sun Shine Day
April 20, 2012, 9:29 AM
Filed under: Healthly Living

With the beautiful days we’ve had recently, I have been thinking about sun protectant.  After experiencing some very bad burns I have become more conscious of suncreen and other helpful ways to protect and heal. 

Put enough on.The recommended application for adequate protection is 35 to 40ml per person per session (a handful). “So someone may think they are applying SPF15, say, but if they don’t use the correct amount then it may only be equivalent to SPF8.  Inexpensive brands are just as effective as the more expensive brands.  Apply correctlySunscreen should be applied to clean, dry skin 30 minutes before exposure to the sun which allows it time to absorb properly.

  • Take time out in the shade between 11 am and 3 pm when them sun is strongest, but still apply sun screen because sand, concrete and water can reflect harmful rays.
  • Reapply.  Perspiration, exercise, swimming and towel-drying removes sun creams from the skin so you should reapply after taking part in any of these activities, even if the product is “waterproof.”
  • Everyday use of sun lotions on your face and back of the hands will limit the chances of developing dry leathery skin, wrinkles, mottling and other signs of premature aging and skin cancer.
  • Cover up in the sun with loose cotton clothing, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses with UV protection.
  • Use a “broad spectrum” sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 15 to protect against harmful UVA and UVB rays.
  • Overcast weather still requires sunscreen in summer because 80 per cent of ultra-violet radiation is still present on cloudy days.
  • Children and babies need greater protection so use specially formulated kids ranges with gentler ingredients and higher SPFs.
  • Know the Sun Protection Factor (SPF): appropriate for your skin type and intended time in the sun. The SPF number indicates how many times longer a person can stay in the sun before beginning to burn. SPF numbers usually range from 2 to 50.
  • If you are taking medication check with your physician or pharmacist: before going in the sun. Some medicines can make your skin sensitive to the sun.

After the Sun:

Act Quickly.  If you feel the tale-tell tingling of a burn or see any sign of skin reddening on yourself or your child, get out of the sun and start treatment. “Sunburn tends to sneak up on us. It can take four to six hours for the symptoms to develop

Moisturize skin after sun exposure: Look for sun products that contain moisturizers, such as vitamin E and aloe to replenish the lost moisture after sun exposure.

Hydrate.  Any burn draws fluid to the skin surface and away from the rest of the body. So drink extra water, juice and sports drinks for a couple of days and watch for signs of dehydration: Dry mouth, thirst, reduced urination, headache, dizziness and sleepiness. Children are especially vulnerable, so check with a doctor if they appear ill.

Don’t wait to Mediacate.  Take (or give your child) a dose of ibuprofen (for example, Advil) as soon as you see signs of sunburn and keep it up for the next 48 hours, Schmitt advises. “It cuts back on the swelling and redness that is going to occur” and might prevent some long-term skin damage. “It’s not just treating the symptoms; it’s treating the severity of the symptoms.” Acetaminophen (for example, Tylenol) will treat the pain, but does not have the same anti-inflammatory effect.

Assess the Damage.

Most sunburns, even those that cause a few blisters, can be treated at home. But if a blistering burn covers 20% or more of the body (a child’s whole back), seek medical attention, Allen says. Anyone with a sunburn who is suffering fevers and chills should also seek medical help, he says. Finally: Consider the burn a warning that your sun-safety net has failed and vow to do better. That means using sunscreen, covering up with clothing and hats and avoiding the sun as much as possible between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.


Tips On Applying Self Tanners

  •  Jump in the shower – never apply fake tan unless you’ve washed beforehand.
  • Exfoliate all over to remove dead skin cells.
  • Don’t shave less than 24 hours beforehand or tan will sit in the open pores and you’ll end up with freckled looking legs.
  • Next, moisturize with a light lotion. Dry skin sucks up color, resulting in patchy areas.
  • Take your time when applying. Put it on like there’s no tomorrow and you’ll regret it!

Home remedies for Sunburn:


1.  Adding a few heaping tablespoons of baking soda to cool bath water makes a sunburn-soothing remedy. Just keep your soaking time down to 15 to 20 minutes. If you soak any longer, you risk drying out your already lizard-like skin. When you’ve emerged from the bath, resist the urge to towel off. Instead air-dry, and don’t wipe the baking soda off.

2.  Oatmeal added to cool bath water offers another wonderful relief for sunburned skin. Fill up the bathtub with cool water–not cold water because that can send the body into shock. Don’t use bath salts, oils, or bubble bath. Instead, scoop 1/2 to 1 cup oatmeal — an ideal skin soother — and mix it in. Another option is to buy Aveeno, an oatmeal powder found in the pharmacy. Follow the packet’s directions. As with the baking soda, air-dry your body and don’t wipe the oatmeal off your skin.

3.  The thick, gel-like juice of the aloe vera plant can take the sting and redness out of a sunburn. Aloe vera causes blood vessels to constrict. Luckily, this healing plant is available at your local nursery or even in the grocery store’s floral department. Simply slit open one of the broad leaves and apply the gel directly to the burn. Apply five to six times per day for several days.

4.  Soak a washcloth in cool water and apply it directly to the burned areas (do not apply ice or an ice pack to sunburned skin) for several minutes, rewetting the cloth often to keep it cool. Apply the compress multiple times throughout the day as needed to relieve discomfort. You can also add a soothing ingredient, such as baking soda or oatmeal, to the compress water. Simply shake a bit of baking soda into the water before soaking the cloth. Or wrap dry oatmeal in a cheesecloth or a piece of gauze and run water through it. Then toss out the oatmeal and soak the compress in the oatmeal water.

5.  As the sun fried your skin, it also dehydrated it. Be sure to replenish liquids by drinking plenty of water while recovering from a sunburn. Being well hydrated will help burns heal better. You’ll know you’re hydrated when your urine runs almost clear.

6.  The plain old potato makes for a wonderful pain reliever. It’s a time-tested technique known throughout the world. Take two washed potatoes, cut them into small chunks, and place them in a blender or food processor. Blend or process until the potatoes are in liquid form. Add water if they look dry. Pat the burned areas with the pulverized potatoes. Wait until the potatoes dry, then take a cool shower. Another less messy method is to apply the mash to a clean gauze and place on the burn. Change the dressing every hour. Continue applying several times a day for a few days until the pain is relieved.

7.  Sunburns often strike where skin meets bathing suit. Sensitive and hard-to-reach spots you’ve neglected to smear with suntan lotion (along bikini lines, underneath buttock cheeks, or around the breasts and armpits) often fall victim. These burn spots then have to face daily irritation from tight elastic in bras and underwear. To ease chafing, cover the burned area with a dusting of cornstarch. Don’t apply petroleum jelly or oils, which can exacerbate the burn by blocking pores. If the burn is blistering, however, don’t apply anything.

8.  Topical anesthetics such as Solarcaine may offer some temporary relief from pain and itching. Look for products that contain lidocaine, which is less likely than some of the other topical anesthetics to cause an allergic reaction. Because some people do have allergic reactions to such products, test a small area of skin before using it all over. Topical anesthetics come in both creams and sprays. The sprays are easier to apply to a sunburn, especially when it is widespread. If you use one, avoid spraying it directly onto the face. Instead, spray some onto gauze and gently dab it on.