Sanatoga Thriftway!

I live near the Coventry Mall, so the Sanatoga Thriftway isn’t exactly in my backyard, butI like going there. In fact, I’ve got to recommend that store as a nicely laid out market with pretty decent prices.  It isn’t close to my home, but it is minutes away from my workplace which is why I  make it a point to shop there once in a while.

The  other day I was there and I’ll admit, the prices in the meat case weren’t so great.  I noticed some steaks for 22 dollars. They were an instant “No.”  But there were some reasonably priced meats, so I picked up some flank steak which is excellent when broiled, and I got some hamburger, and some crab cakes and fish.

I also got some cereal; trust me I didn’t buy any boxes that were over 4 dollars!  I bought a nice cheap box of Golden Grahams.  I got 2 Keebler’s chips deluxe for 5 bucks, and that worked perfectly because my daughter needed to take cookies into school this week.  And I bought 2 loaves of bread, some milk, some eggs, some cheddar cheese, and a nice selection of  veggies and some rice, and I spent less than 60 dollars.  It wasn’t one of my best shopping trips, but it provided me with enough for at least 5 dinners, a couple of breakfasts and some treats for my sweetheart.

Before I close, I want to explain broiling a flank steak because some people just don’t know how to do it.  The truth is it’s simple, you just turn your oven to broil, get a heavy flat tray and wait till the oven heats.  Grab your package of steak, peel off the pad that soaks up the fluid in the tray, slice into your steak not completely through, but so that it has a nice diamond cut on both sides.  That allows the heat to penetrate and your steak won’t curl while cooking.  Add salt and pepper, or any seasonings you like, and pop it in for 5 to 7 minutes.  It will turn gray but that ( doesn’t mean it’s done.  You are going to have to flip it and cook it on the other side, remember, the broiler will heat the top of your meat so have your oven grills set so that the meat is close to the burners.( this is for an electric oven, in a gas oven you probably have a bottom broiler, which  uses the same technique just in a different space in the oven.)

I like to remove my steak before it turns to shoe leather.  It will  be slightly red in the center when I’m ready to take it out.  I just let it sit on it’s pan while I get the rest of my dinner together.  By the time I slice it into strips it has finished cooking.  But in the event that your steak is still too red for your liking, you can always toss it into a small frying pan for only minutes,  just add some flavoring to the pan like oil, or butter, or soy sauce, or Worcestershire sauce, so that you don’t burn your meat.

When I took out my steak, I threw some onion rings into the cooling oven and then made rice and beans.  Dinner was easy, it took 15 minutes or less, and it was cheap compared to some meals.  I think the steak was 7 dollars, the beans were 85 cents and the rice 1.19.  That is three  meals, plus  leftovers, for just a smidge over 3 dollars a person.


Buy Some Books For Toddlers!

I was just reading over at the Daily Mail about a University of Pennsylvania study ( I know, why am I reading about this local study in a newspaper from England??)  Anyhow, the study seems to suggest that children who are read to, or who have books in their home when they are 4 years old, will do better as older teens when it comes to thinking and communicating.  When older children, who were 8 years of age, got books, or had parents or caregivers read to them, they didn’t have the same brain changes later in life.

I can tell you first hand that I have seen little children fall in love with books.  In fact, in my real life  job, I introduce children to books and instructional toys.  If you need help getting your kids to read, just send me a note!  I’ll get back to you at NO COST to you!

But it’s easy to share a book with a toddler. You can pick them up at yard sales, ask friends for used books, or  contact people like me!  Tiny children need books, they might not appear to be interested in them immediately, but teach them to hold them, and teach them that they can relax by paging through them, and most importantly, give them the gift of hearing your voice while you read them some of their favorite stories.

For those of you who have children who prefer being online, I’ve created a small collection of stories that children can view in video format at my other blog called “Pottstown Reads”.  Let them view the online stories and then amaze them with a paperback version of the story they’ve read  online!  They’ll love it.

I don’t make any profit from this website, and I don’t pay any attention to who visits,( other than noticing where my visitors are coming from).  I won’t sell your name, and I’m not interested in signing you or your children up for some tutoring classes.  I’m just a regular person, I live in the area, and you may have seen me at the supermarket, or at church events, or at local activities.  I really do have a job in which I read stories to toddlers and I reallydo want Pottstown area parents to introduce their kids to reading!  That is my story.  Don’t believe me?  I’ll provide references.

You want to change the world?  Read to a child!



By the way, contact me at mogallant@gmail.com







What Mormons Think About Working Women!

Earlier today I wrote that I wasn’t quite sure that I’m comfortable with Mitt Romney’s idea that we are all children of the same God.  I don’t want to frighten people about Mormons, but I refuse to pretend that we are all one big happy family.

In all honesty I have to applaud most Mormon families, or  at least the Mormon mothers who have created blogs online.  They do have a sense of home and family that you don’t generally find in today’s world.  So, please don’t assume I’m against their habits of creating families, or their conceptions of how families should be maintained.  I like a lot of what I’ve seen.

My point in making this post though, is I don’t believe along with those in the Mormon church that all women are meant to be mothers.  I don’t believe that women should only work if they absolutely have to in order to sustain their families.  I think that some women want to work and I think they should be allowed to do so with no constraints!

I could tell you that Mormons don’t feel that way, but instead I’m going to point you to their teaching for the newly married.  You read about what they think about women in the  workplace.  It is their teaching that says that women who don’t teach children are sinners!

Please note that I’ve been a “stay at home Mom” for most of my life.  I’ve worked, but it was always part-time.  When I am working I am in fact teaching children, so even though I’m not a practicing Mormon, I’m living out their plan for women within a marriage, but I wouldn’t insist that anyone else would do what I’m doing because quite frankly, I can handle being irrepressibly bored.  Motherhood is wonderful, but there have been times when I’ve wanted to cry out because it can be both incredibly trying and absolutely inane at the same time!



It’s Finally News! Women’s Periods Aren’t Really Fun!

I just laughed reading this silly stuff over at Salon about the CEO of a UK company called Bodyform, that apparently sells feminine hygiene products and had a funny guy write that his girlfriend wasn’t the skydiving,  sports loving woman that he expected her to be during her monthly cycle.  Richard said she was more like the young girl from the Exorcist.

Bodyform’s CEO responded with a refreshingly honest video, that she closes with a fart.

It might not be everyone’s humor, but I thought it was silly enough to share.




Obama Campaign Called!

Who knows who really called my house last night, but whoever it was said that they were calling on behalf of the Obama campaign and they wanted to know if we were willing to tell  them who we’d be voting for.

My husband answered the phone by saying ” What is your favorite color?”  When the  woman on the other end of the line asked him whether he’d tell her who we’d be voting for he said ” Hang on…” and he asked me if I wanted to tell her.  I was lying on the couch in my living room listening to my daughter read a science fiction novel to me.  ( This doesn’t always happen,I was just lucky last night.)  I shrugged, and then said “no”.  He told the woman on the phone that we didn’t want to share and that was the end of their chat.

My kids have bristled about sharing their political beliefs with folks.  They think it’s private information.  I’ve laughed and told them that the only time it is private is before they vote!  They were surprised that people could find out who they voted for and I tried to explain that the whole point of their being involved in voting was that they were making a choice and it wasn’t a secret ballot.  It was a citizen’s voice.  I don’t worry about sharing my political feelings.  I’ve mentioned several times on this blog that I’m a liberal Democrat but that doesn’t mean that I’m always going to vote party line.

This election is being cast as one of the most important elections for America’s future!  Well, I’ve been around the block a couple of times and I am pretty sure that it doesn’t matter who we vote in, things aren’t going to magically change immediately for any of us.  Gas will still be expensive, college costs will still be crazy, food prices aren’t going to get much cheaper, health care will continue to be expensive and many Americans will still be sitting around their kitchen tables fraught with worry.  Sadly, this election won’t change all of those things!

But I’m still voting if I’m physically able, and that vote will be for Obama.  Romney’s been a bit of a bulldog in the past debates and I’m sure that is attractive to some, but I’m not the kind of person that thinks that loud means right.  I don’t like his social policies and I’m not so sure I want to agree that we are all “children of the same God” as he said in the last debate.  I don’t like my politicians being very religious!

Onto Economics:  I would like to believe in Romney’s “trickle down economics” mostly I agree with his view  that “trickle down government” isn’t a great plan for our economic future, but as I said, I’ve been around the block a few times and I know that rich people like  living in gated communities, and they like hobnobbing with their rich friends, and while they often donate to very good causes- those causes are not always going to be the causes that make the biggest difference in the quality of life for their fellow Americans.   I certainly don’t want rich people to have to be responsible for taking care of the poor, but I can’t figure out another way to help the folks that don’t have sufficient means on their own to get by.  Just creating jobs won’t help lower income Americans find employment.

And lastly, you can disagree with me, but I agree with Obama that there are some quality of life issues that Romney isn’t talking about ( he likes talking about his 5 point plan)  and those issues will keep me voting as a Democrat. Sure, Obama won’t be able to fix everything that I see that needs fixing but I can see where he wants to be and therefore I’m voting for him.  I believe that getting America back to work is very important, but no one can fool me, ” quality of life issues” are very important too.








Almost 48!

How on   earth does it happen?  Once upon a time I was 16 and now suddenly I’m about to be 48 years old.  I mean, I was aware that time was moving along, as I finished high school and moved on to working life and then I got married and we had three children, but still it’s sort of shocking to me to acknowledge that almost a half a century has passed and while everything has changed in my life — I’m still very much me.

My sweet husband has been pestering me about my gift.  He’s worried about not getting the right thing.  First I told him I wanted a robe so that I could snuggle up in at night while I read. That idea didn’t appeal to him much.  He didn’t like the idea of me having my own “snuggie” because he says he likes it when I snuggle up to him.  After 28 years of marriage I guess that in itself is quite a birthday present to me!

Ten years ago I’d have wanted to go out and have dinner, maybe go dancing.  Now, not so much.  It isn’t that I don’t enjoy going out and having a nice time; it’s just that I’d rather enjoy myself at home with the people that mean the most to me.  Unfortunately, a few of them are going to be away soaking up knowledge at big institutions on the East Coast.  Sigh.  Maybe they’ll remember to call.

A friend at work reminded me my birthday was Friday.  I mean, I knew it was approaching, I just didn’t pay attention to the actual day.  We laughed.  I’ll bet that she doesn’t even realize what a present her playful teasing was to me!  It is so wonderful to have friends who make fun of  me for forgetting which day is  my birthday.

Twenty years ago I would have wanted presents, and a cake, and maybe some drinks after a nice dinner.  Now I want hugs, and I want time to just sit and enjoy the people I love.

I’m going to be 48 tomorrow and while I’m still absolutely 100% me, I’ve changed over the years.  Once I was sure that birthdays meant streamers and cake and champagne and gifts, and now I’d really be okay with a comfy robe and a dinner with my youngest followed by some phone calls with my oldest kids.

I’m laughing because I’m thinking a robe plus champagne might be nice too.

Happy Birthday Me!  And Happy Birthday to my friends who are also celebrating being born in October!


old mo




Helen Mulvehill Coleman

That was my Grandmother’s name.  She was a beautiful lady who could  play the piano and she was excellent at handwork.  She made her  own clothing and she was always  willing to share her talents with me.  She taught me to sew and to cook and to garden and I miss her an awful lot.

I didn’t know my Grandfather, he died way before I was born.  Grandmom lived with my Uncle on a little street in Philadelphia.  I loved their house.  I think I remember it being called an “air-light”.  It had a large picture window in the living room and that room opened into a brightly lit dining room that had  it’s own double windows that looked out on a small yard and a back driveway.

Grandmom didn’t drive.  My parents would go and pick her up and bring her to our house, or my Uncle would take her where she wanted to go.  She could walk to her church, and she could walk to a little deli where she’d get essentials, but for the most part she was a home-body.

It is funny that my Grandmother was quiet and reserved and yet her son, my Uncle was loud and effervescent.  I remember his welcoming thunderous ” How do?”  whenever we visited, followed by handshakes all around.

I remember the colors in her house. Her carpet was green and she had  furniture that was green.  There was a big picture mirror over her couch and she’d laugh at me when I stood on it to look at myself.  I remember she collected fine china ladies that appeared to be dressed in real cloth only it was dipped in porcelain and felt like glass.  I wasn’t supposed to touch those dolls, but Grandmom didn’t really mind as long as I was careful.

Her home smelled of chocolate chips.  I don’t know if she made them regularly, or just when she knew we were coming, but I seem to remember them always being in her cookie jar.  But when I say jar, you have to think of a wooden cannister instead of a round jar.

I miss her hands.  They were strong and soft at the same time.  I loved watching them move across the piano.  She would tilt her head back and sing.  Her voice was high pitched and she’d trill some of the lyrics in a very old fashioned way.

At the bottom of her coat closet was a box filled with coloring books and notebooks and crayons.  Those were the only toys at her house, but somehow, it was all I needed at her house.  I remember when I was a little older that my Uncle made a dollhouse for her that she filled with small reproduction pieces.  It was a lovely house, but it seemed out of place.

I want to go back to Helen’s house.  I want to sit on the floor and have her brush out my hair and then braid it.  I want to hear her tell me once again that I’m not putting my fingers on the right keys, and that it just takes practice to learn piano.  I want to see her Easter decorations;  They covered her upright piano, little fuzzy ducks and bunnies.

I want to eat a large gingerbread man, or a gingerbread woman frosted with Royal icing and decorated.  I want to see her ugly dolls. (She’d made  quite a few and kept the ones that didn’t pass her tests for beauty.)

I want to hear about her cousins and the old hotel, and I want to see her applying lipstick and combing out her white hair.

I want to hear the stories about her working downtown in Philadephia and I want to hear the story about meeting Salvador Dali and getting a handkerchief signed by him.

I miss Helen.  I miss John.




Sad Story of Amanda Todd

I’m not going to link to the video that shows Amanda detailing her story of abuse by bullies and an online stalker.  Basically Amanda did something childlike in flashing her breasts as a young kid and someone used those photos to attack her.  Police were sent to her house and she then described how she felt depressed, she self-medicated, tried to find friends, and began cutting.  She tried to kill herself and failed, she tried again, only this time, unfortunately poor little Amanda succeeded.

I wish I knew what to say to prevent children from believing in hate.  Of course it exists and it’s a real thing, but it’s invisible to most of us who aren’t feeling it directly.  It’s almost like  cancer that eats away at a young person.  It’s hard to root it out once it sets it’s disgusting barbs in a child’s heart.

I know that our society is trying to deal with bullying in schools, and on playgrounds, but obviously that isn’t enough.  Our kids are living in a toxic environment!  Hate exists and unless we face it and we show our kids how to deal with it, we’ll never displace it.  We have to drive it out of our schools, and kick it out of our communities!

The only thing worth hating is hate itself!



I’d like to extend my deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Amanda, I know it won’t make a difference, but it just breaks my heart to see how much she was hurting.  I’m sorry.





My Lady Parts Don’t Have to Worry About Voting!

I’m pleased the Obama team removed their cutesy card suggesting women “Vote as if their lady parts depended on it.”  I am a Democrat and I found it offensive, so I’m glad that the instant backlash, which is purported to have come from the Republicans caused them to trash the concept.

You can read about it here.

I don’t like that politicians presume to know anything as a group about human anatomy- either male or female.  But I also don’t like being threatened as a woman by my own party!



Inexpensive Meat

My eyes bulged when I saw the prices of meat at the supermarket the other day.  Prices are going crazy!  Anyhow, I know that a lot of people aren’t comfortable buying inexpensive cuts of beef because they never know what to do with them.  Sure, there are hundreds of recipe sites online, but they don’t write recipes based on what kind of meat is on sale locally, so while this site isn’t going to be a hotbed of meal ideas- I will share what I know when I can.

The other day I bought eye of round steaks.  Generally I don’t like purchasing these because unless you braise them gently  you often end up eating something that tends to remind me of shoe leather.  But they were on sale and I didn’t like the idea of paying 15 dollars for another selection.  I got ground beef and these steaks.

My package was about a pound and it amounted to 3 four to five inch medallions that were about a half inch thick.  No one in my house would be happy with a half a 3 inch round steak, so I cheat.  ( not really)  I sliced it into 1/2 inch sections  and browned it all in a little bit of butter.  When you brown the outside quickly the meat retains the moisture better than it would if you slow cooked  it. Plus I think it adds flavor.

I removed the beef from my pan, added onions, garlic and peppers and heated them till they were softened.  I added a little red wine vinegar, some worchestershire sauce, and a smidge of soy and then I mixed up a soup of taco  seasonings and added 12 oz of water.  I tossed it into my slow cooker and my house smells like a dream.  By this evening, the meat will be tender and I’ll serve it over rice with veggies on the side.

I think I paid a little over 4 dollars for the meat.  Gosh, I remember when it was dear at $3.59.  Oh well, we didn’t need all that meat anyhow in our diets.

How do you keep costs down with meals? If you have any tips, feel free to share them here.