Category Archives: politics

50 years gone by


Being a little girl of just 4, I don’t remember too much about this day. I know my mom and grandmom were quiet and the black and white Zenith was on all day long for several days showing coverage that  3 and 4 year old children aren’t very interested in.

Several years later, in 5th grade, I would write a paper about President Kennedy, travel to Washington, DC and then see the Kennedy grave.

Signs pointing to the graves of the Kennedys and Unknown soldiers

Grave of President Kennedy

There were some things about the assassination that I didn’t know and am sorry I had to see…like that lost film footage of the actual fatal shot.

I also didn’t know that they took seats out of Air Force One so the President wouldn’t have to go in the cargo area. Also didn’t know that Johnson wouldn’t have the plane take off without being swore in as President first. Mrs. Kennedy sat with the coffin the entire way back to the nation’s capital.

Eternal flame on Kennedy's grave

When Brian and I were first married, we traveled up to New England on a car trip that took us a week. We saw the Kennedy compound from a far in Hyannisport, MA.

Kennedy Family compound

We also went to Newport, RI and decided to see Jackie’s home ‘Hammersmith’ and took a tour. It was where she and the President had their wedding reception in 1953.

Hammersmith Estate fall 1984

Back of Hammersmith with me

These are from 1984, so not the best quality (and a scan)

Brian is the same age as Caroline and my brother is the same age as John, so you see we grew up with them. When John got killed in 1999, it was like losing a brother.

Life goes on, a new generation of this family may or may not take the limelight. Senator Ted Kennedy was the last of his generation. He was popular and outspoken until the end of his life.

Just recently Caroline became Ambassador to China. This is very interesting. She’s written several books of different genres.

I just heard the pink suit that the First Lady wore on that terrible day won’t be seen by the public until the year 2103 as requested by the family. I don’t blame them.

Well isn’t that smashing?


Sean and I have had colds this week. He is sicker than me, but still is plugging away. I thought I’d be blowing my nose like crazy, well I have done that enough, but it’s the achiness that is getting to me. I wanted to do something distracting, so I pulled out my ‘Smash’ book. This is a book I bought over a year ago. A smash book is like a scrapbook, but you ‘jam’ more stuff into it. I tend to be a little more organized than that. Here is what I started out with:


That’s one of those fold up organizers I am using. The stuff in the top wants to fall out all the time.

This is my ‘Abbey Road on the River’ spread from when we went to the Beatles tribute event in Aug./Sept. 2011 and 2012.  We saw the guitar that George Harrison is posing with in this photo. I got a catalog in the mail and lo and behold, George was on the cover. I really liked the shot, so I used it in my Smash book.


I have a paper I hand wrote near George that tells about the Beatles tribute event. The pocket has the programs from the two years that we attended plus a postcard and bookmark The little ‘Peeps’  picture is because they are a sponsor. We probably won’t go again for a while as we weren’t happy with the way it was run last year.


It’s hard to believe our New York trip was almost a year ago! I wish I felt like I did back then. The left side has a bumper sticker from the 9-11 Memorial store-seeing that was a big thing.  There’s a receipt from the store and the little envelope holds a card describing the purchase of a metal cast leaf I bought (the tree will grow at the sight). The next page is a happier one-Sean holding an umbrella next to Radio City Music Hall (we had a  bit of gloomy visit the first night and day and then it got chilly and windy); a card from Tinsel Trading Company-a store I wanted to see that sold millinery and crafty things; and the  description of the caramels I bought from Dylan’s candy bar. Oh…the mustache is from the Lorax movie! He was visiting at Dylan’s.


Brian took me to see the Van Gogh exhibit at the Philadelphia Art Museum around April 1st. We weren’t allowed to take photos of the exhibit, but I took plenty of shots around the museum. The one on the right is from the mailer and that’s the the pamphlet of from show. When you open the pamphet, A Rembrandt card (shaped like him) is there-see his foot? We saw a few of his works of art, plus I bought this in the gift shop.


In June, we had our Delmarva trip. I met up with a internet pal Rachael and we headed over to the art museum to see the Andy Warhol exhibit. It was great to meet her. I bought the Andy card in the gift shop (the Rembrandt one looks like this) and some postcards of his most famous works.

The last page I worked on yesterday was about the November election we went to see both the First Lady Michelle Obama (in August) and then President Bill Clinton a few days before the 2012 election. I have the email about picking up the tickets, the tickets in the holder, stickers and some ballot ends.


So on the health front, I’m still fighting these body aches and fatigue. I seem worse since I have had the cold. I missed work, but heard a bunch of others called out sick on Wednesday too. My cold wasn’t what made me feel blah-it was the body aches! I got an appointment at a rheumatologist office  at the beginning of March. I googled about menopause and arthritis and didn’t something come up! Seems there is a parallel. I am looking into going to another doctor  specializing in hormonal issues. At this point, I can’t hardly do anything without having to sit down in half an hour. I’ll probably call the doctor near my hometown later. I want to be able to add more pages to my smash book!

Keep my mom and brother in your thoughts and prayers as my brother’s Dalmation Baxter appears to be at the end of his life. Mom thinks he’s at least 13 or 14 (maybe older). He is in a lot of pain, it takes him 5 minutes to lay down and he has hardly any bowel control at this point. He is on medicine, but yesterday he was just so miserable. Such a sad time.

Check one off the bucket list


Just a photo…words will follow later as I have a very busy day ahead.

On Monday, I asked Brian if we could go out to Montgomery County Community College to see former President Bill Clinton. It was always my wish to see a President someday. I missed a chance many years ago to see my favorite President, Jimmy Carter when he had a lecture at the college where I attended. This was about 15 yrs.  I really admire what he did after he left office from writing books to helping to build homes for people through Habitat for Humanity.

He may have been too nice to be President. He’s a very intelligent man with what they call an encyclopedia type memory. Ask him something, he can tell you about it.

So we got stuck in traffic very close to the college. The doors had opened at 2:30 and we got there about an hour later. When we were in traffic, we heard sirens and a mini motorcade went on our left-police and a few SUVs from Maryland. I bet that was Prez Bill!

So many people wanted to come to the event, they moved it from the gym to outside. We were a little cold, but okay. We heard from about 4 local politicians first, heard a 14 yr old girl sing the national anthem beautifully and then Bill came out! We were in the back. People were holding up signs and cellphones. It was really an honor for me. When he was President, I got a Christmas card from him and Hillary and the Gores for 8 years. That was a treat! I should take photos of them sometime.

So it was a good 15-20 minute talk and he had the crowd in the palm of his hand!

My viewpoint at one place in the crowd.

Learn about words-Filibuster


We’ve heard this word quite a few times lately and I noticed filibuster was on the cover of ‘Word Histories and Mysteries’  by the editors of American Heritage Dictionaries. (I thought I’d share these with you every once in a while).

Filibuster- A freebooter and a filibuster are from the Dutch word vrijbuiter, derived from vrji ‘free’ and buit ‘booty’. This was first used in the 16th century. The French borrowed the word and passed it on to the English in the 18th century in the form of filibustier. The Spanish got a hold of it and it became filibustero where the English word filibuster came from. At first it meant ‘pirate’, but then in the United States in the 19th century it was known as adventurer who tried to to stir up trouble between the Spanish Colonies of Central America and the Caribbean.  It was also used as a verb to explain pirate activities. The term now is used to describe the aggressive  course of action taken by legislators seeking to delay or prevent legislative action.

Photo Hunt Spooky– a church in the middle of no where  (we were on the way back from Penn State back in 2009 looking for Penn’s Cave)with a ghost story associated with it!

1885 Bethesda Evangical Church on Swamp Church Road
If you don’t hear from me for a few days, blame it on Sandy…

No we weren’t casing out the place, we swear!


Last night Brian and I headed to Philadelphia for a tour featuring vampires, ghosts and sex. Believe me, I am not shocked by anything as I grew up with three brothers.  Rain was threatening all afternoon, and on the way in it did rain about 10 minutes. We went in a little early to geocache. There were not a bunch of them in the vivacity of Independence Hall, but we saw there was one on Sansom Street where jeweler’s row was. Oh, I had printed out a coupon for a parking garage and we went into the incorrect one…bummer. Also saw where my cousin’s store was and will have to go there sometime. The family has owned a Danish furniture store for years-it’s called ‘Dane Decor’.

So we walk down to Sansom. Almost 30 years ago, we walked around there looking for my engagement ring.  Because Princess Diana had a sapphire, I wanted an emerald with diamonds around it. We went to a few stores and settled on Sydney Rosen & Co. The salesman talked me out of the emerald as a main stone, so I got a .33 diamond with two emeralds on each side. Years later, I got my ring cleaned and sized again and not sure if all the emeralds had cracked, but some had to be replaced.

Back to yesterday-so we start looking for a nice size cache and the GPS is bouncing back and forth. We look down stairwells and in planters. We did this for 30 minutes. I thought it best to tell the policeman we were looking for something hidden since we are in the diamond district. So a man walks by me and says ‘8 ft. 6 ft…..’ I  asked him if he knew we were looking for something and he said yes and if I wanted to know where it was. I said…well I think it’s in a planter. He said look for one just with dirt…and then pointed to a restaurant! I think I could of found it without him telling me about the restaurant part. Within a few minutes we found the empty planter (the hint was on the earth).  It was almost buried with a tile over top of it. It had a lot of stuff in it too, which I found the ones around here usually don’t.

Here I am with the cache with Sydney Rosen behind me!

Next we went to the Bourse Building as we didn’t have time to locate a Cheese steak place I read about. We had 15 minutes to grab a slice of pizza (we had the kind with a top crust). A shop was still open and I went in and grabbed a few little things for Sean, Mom and me.

Then we headed on over to the Liberty Bell pavillion. We had both seen the Liberty Bell a few times, but not here. We had to get our belongings examined like at the Mrs. Obama event!

It was really humid and I had to pull my hair back-whew!

For Zoey-look at this gorgeous Sweet Potato vine!

We then headed for the tour across the street at the visitor center. We first looked around a gift shop there-wow stuff is expensive!

We had a young guy about Sean’s age and he didn’t want his photo taken. I guess maybe it’s because of what he is talking about. We stood at the visitor’s center for 10-15 minutes as he told us about the infidelities of our founding fathers. I knew about Jefferson and the slaves.  Something about John Hancock that I didn’t buy.

Then the part, which must have been this guy’s favorite part was talked about down the ways. It was about hookers in Philly in the colonial days. I knew it was a tour that was ‘R’ rated, but why not show us maybe where a brothel was?

We went over to Washington Square. That was used as a mass burial yard. Very creepy. He said a guy he knows was digging in his basement nearby and bones fell out of the wall.  Okay, maybe after over 200 years? Thanks to standing there all that time I got at least half a dozen mosquito bites.

That’s the unknown soldier…the guy said they pulled some guy out of the mass grave in a uniform.

He told us a lot of stuff, but didn’t show us many sights. This building (not sure if it’s the original) was a prison and where the first balloon sailed all the way over to Deptford, NJ  (really not that far).

I really liked seeing the Old City Tavern up close. The ghost story is that a bride was getting ready for her wedding and her bridesmaid knocked into an oil lamp and set her on fire and she met her demise.

Here’s a local tv program and the head chef and a clairvoyant are talking about ghosts in the tavern.

Entrance way of the Old City Tavern-look at all the famous people chef Walter Staib has met.

The guide left us across the street from here at a grid pattern that was set up the way the original city streets were laid out. And that was it. He even had the nerve to ask for a tip. This wasn’t a cheap tour, even with the discount. I was a bit peeved as they took a registration fee on top of the Living  Social deal. And the other tour took you in a circle. This one, we had to find our way back to 6th and Market.

More sights:


The Declaration House where Thomas Jefferson wrote the Constitution

Independence Hall at night. We heard the clock chime three times.

This was unique. What’s in the remnants of I think the Beale house. There are three videos going and places to sit. This one looks like it’s above a fireplace. There are windowless window frames also.

I think we enjoyed walking around on our own more than going on the tour! I’d love to eat at the Old City Tavern sometime and visit a few more places and look for a few more caches. 40 miles isn’t that far away.

Seeing The First Lady of the USA!


What an exciting day we had up in Montgomery County, PA yesterday! I got an email, said to pick up the tickets and come on up to see First Lady Michelle Obama. Brian literally held the camera over the heads of other people (zoom lens). We arrived late, got our purses searched and walked through a metal detector. We had to stand almost an hour to wait for Mrs. Obama. The school (Upper Dublin high school, about an hour from here) only had the one side of bleachers open. Thank goodness my mom had a fold up chair, but that little lady had to walk from a field.

Not too bad right? We only got a few clear ones. We took my almost 82 yr old mom along as none of us has ever seen a First Lady before…just their inaugural gowns in the American History museum. Sean has seen both Barack Obama at a Penn State rally and Bill Clinton.

The First Lady is a very thoughtful, intelligent speaker. People tend to forget that both she and her husband come from humble backgrounds. Barack was raised by a single mother and his grandparents (I was raised by my mom and grandmom). I know she probably repeats this speech a lot, but it was interesting to the 1,800 people there.  We all had to go pick up the tickets to be able to go in.

The school band

The people on the bleachers

Send some good vibes as the hubby got a phone call yesterday while we were out for a job interview!

Washington in the spring


Washington DC, pt 2
We had a whirlwind of a trip to Washington, DC from April 14-16th (the 14th was our 26th anniversary). Sean has been attending the AAG (geography) meetings now for two years. Last year, while still a senior at PSU, he went to Las Vegas, but with a handful of pals. This year he asked us to go along as it was a driving trip and since we haven’t been down for over 10 yrs, we agreed as it probably would be fun!
The trip down was faster than coming home. We had to stop for a quick lunch (why Mc*Ds?) and then we headed to where the conference was so Sean could register. It was a nice Marr*iott with funky garage parking. It only took Sean a few minutes to register and we hopped back in the car to find out it was $17 to park in the garage from get this, 0-2 hours. What a rip off! We should have gone to where we were staying, took the shuttle to Union Station, and then the metro to the Marr*iott. That’s what Sean ended up doing a few times the next day anyway.
We stayed in a fairly new Holiday*Inn Express, but we had to take the above mode of transportation to get around. And they charged $14 a day to park there. Wednesday night we did get a free pasta dinner at the HIE-it was a catered one. Not bad for free. We headed to Union Station that evening to look around and see where the metro was. It’s a fabulous place with restaurants in every corner of the main area and shops in the other areas. I ended up buying a neat t-shirt with some of the founding fathers in silhouettes wearing ipods.
Thursday was the busiest day and I don’t know how I did the walking I did after being sick and laid up a bit. Sean went to the conference and Bri and me headed to Smithsonian/mall area. We decided to venture to the American History museum (my favorite) and saw Julia Child’s kitchen (fairly new and shown in the movie Julia and Julie) and Michelle Obama’s Inaugural gown. She’s really tall! Her jewelry and Jimmy*Choo shoes were also next to the dress. We also say Carol Burnett’s ‘Gone With the Wind’ curtain dress-so funny! I have photos of all the above.
After the American History, I wanted to see the Holocaust museum, which was down and across the street. That was fairly crowded with groups of kids. We saw the German/Hitler propaganda exhibit (definitely brain washing). We also saw an exhibit about a German boy named Daniel who was a Jew who went from living in a nice home to a concentration camp-very moving.
When we caught up with Sean, I was starting to get very fatigued. We took the metro to where Ford’s Theater and the Hard Rock Cafe are (10th St). We did get inside the Hard Rock (4th one we have visited now), but could not get in the theater as it was the anniversary of Lincoln’s death and there was about 200 people waiting to get inside. We went in a few touristy shops and I got my mom a glass prism with ‘holograms’ of the sights (she loved it). When we got to Union Station, we decided to get our anniversary dinner there at a place called ‘America’. Sean parted ways as he had a reception to attend and got his free dinner at the hotel. He also met up with a friend who lives in Virginia now. The dinner was great (I had salmon and Brian had steak). The waiter even brought us a sliver of fudge cake with my key lime pie because he knew it had been our anniversary. Very nice.
The last day was equally as hectic! We checked out early and went to the National Arboretum. You know I had to see that place. It had some lovely areas, especially the bonsai. It was approaching 80, so a bit warm. They have a serious carpenter bee problem and the males were swarming all over the place! After we walked around there, Sean wanted to see the Jefferson Memorial. The GPS was leading us in the right direction, but we couldn’t figure out where to park. We finally did and had quite a walk to the Memorial. Sean was impressed and was glad we found it. We then decided to go to Arlington Cemetery to view just the Kennedy graves. We had trouble with the GPS again. We went there with no lunch, just some snack foods to hold us over. It’s a hilly place and I was tired when we got up to the Kennedys. The guys decided to see the Tomb of the Unknowns and I found a bench and waited…and waited. It was windy and both me and the lady next to me sneezed. I caught up to the guys heading down another path to the visitor center and used the ladies’ room. When I came out of the bathroom, I got the worst tickling feeling in my throat and started to cough and wheeze for about 45 seconds to a minute. That’s all I needed was to pass out at a cemetery! I figured I had exercise induced ‘asthma like’ symptoms. But I had just sneezed and maybe that brought something up enough to constrict my lungs for a minute. No inhaler. Very scary! It hasn’t happened since. Knock wood.
We left Washington then and got stuck in the Friday traffic heading out of town. We ended up not eating a square meal until close to 6 when we stopped in a small Maryland town. We got home about 7:30 that night. Glad to be home! I like seeing different things, but I’m definitely a country girl through and through.
Washington 2010

Hump day Humor


progress1I helped the new Prez write his speech!
Barack Obama’s Inauguration Speech

My fellow Americans, today is a Prosperous day. You have shown the world that “hope” is not just another word for “garbage”, and that “change” is not only something we can believe in again, but something we can actually stomp.

Today we celebrate, but let there be no mistake – America faces green and delicious challenges like never before. Our economy is sparkly. Americans can barely afford their mortgages, let alone have enough money left over for toes. Our healthcare system is flat. If your stomach is sick and you don’t have insurance, you might as well call a plumber. And America’s image overseas is tarnished like a glass hat. But rowing together we can right this ship (not bad!), and set a course for morgue (yikes!).

Finally, I must thank my Plump family, my skinny campaign volunteers, but most of all, I want to thank Republicans for making this historic occasion possible (another good one). Of course, I must also thank you, President Bush, for years of hitchhiking the American people. Without your smoothing efforts, none of this would have been possible (hee hee).

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