No Pottstown Fireworks!

Awwww, it’s a shame that this year there aren’t going to be any fireworks over in Memorial Park.  I have some lovely memories of being in the park and seeing the display of bright explosions and hearing the ooh’s and the ahhh’s.

I remember the singers, and the bands, and the food trucks and the families all parked on the big lawns with coolers and beach chairs and balloons.

And now, because we couldn’t raise 60,000 dollars for our celebration, it’s done.  Kaput.  Finished.

The thing that bothers me more than the fact that this year’s celebration has been cancelled is that the July 4th committee, who I am sure do an awful lot for the town, decided to cancel back in December and we are only hearing about it at the end of February.  Hmmmm.

What is really bizarre, is that there are plenty of businesses that could have advertised for this event in this area.  I’m not saying that it all should have been on local businesses, but this is the kind of thing that establishes a community feeling.  There are plenty of small contractors doing business in folks homes in the local area that could have pooled their finances to create the fireworks display and gotten some decent return on their good will.

I hate to think that we’ll have to wait till 2014 to see if maybe someone will be kind enough to stump for some dough for next year’s July 4th celebration, but it looks like that is the only option we have left anymore.  Pllththpppth.

I’m feeling a little bummed guys, I don’t like the feeling of saying ” once upon a time….we had fireworks…a radio station…a huge parade for Christmas with candy raining down on High Street.

Once upon a time in Pottstown…..

Can you help make it a better story?  Tell us how.








Russia’s Boom!

It was pretty freaky this morning to find out about the meteorite that hit Russia. I quickly found a video of it on Youtube and saw the bolide streaking through the sky and then I heard the resounding boom!

On my way to work, I have to admit I was looking out the window hoping I wasn’t going to run into any more meteorites.  Luckily, I made it safely to High Street 🙂

It’s also wonderful that we weren’t hit by that fly-by asteroid this afternoon.  I sent texts to my kids suggesting that they keep an eye out for bits of falling sky. I signed off ” Chicken Little”.




Sugar to Heal Wounds?

This morning I was reading about a new study that looked at the healing properties of plain old granulated sugar for deep wounds that were either not healing, or that were taking an extra long time to heal over.

Apparently it is common knowledge in Africa that you can place sugar in a wound and then cover it and somehow the sugar causes the wound to express water into the surrounding dressing.

I started looking for “manuka honey” as a product that might be helpful in healing wounds…that was when I found out that honey, whether it was manuka or not, was helpful in healing.  From honey, I found the sugar story.

Isn’t that odd?

Now don’t you listen to what I say without looking into it yourself.  I’m not a professional medical provider and I’m just talking about my own views here on this blog.  But if you do have a wound that isn’t healing properly, ask your doctor about the sugar, or honey for healing?!




Shrove Tuesday’s Over!

Yesterday was Mardi Gras, or Shrove Tuesday.  It is the beginning of the season of Lent.  Shrove is past tense of “shrive” which means to shed, or in a religious sense, it means to confess.  And of course it’s also pancake day, or doughnut day and that is because it’s a day when you clear your cupboards of things that are fatty or delicious…and what is the best way to get rid of sugar and fat and sweets?

A:  Eat them all at once!

I had been watching all the buxom ladies who were in the Mardi Gras parades, and honestly, it made me feel sort of itchy.  Can you imagine having spangles attached all over your body?  I certainly couldn’t, although, even with spangles all over my body I still wouldnt’ look like those women look!  Sheesh.

So, I decided to find some dancing that wasn’t quite as r-rated…of course I didn’t quite succeed; the stuff I found seems  a lot more, lets say graphic,  when it comes to showing off the physical bodies of it’s presenters, or dancers.  It’s called Butoh.

Butoh dancers paint their bodies white, wear minimal clothing, and writhe as if they are operated from outside their bodies.  Think of Japanese grudge flicks.

I’m not linking, but I dare you to watch some of those Youtubes before bed!  After I watched them, I wanted pancakes, or doughnuts.  Go watch!  You’ll see.




Autocorrect in Construction!

This morning I was complaining about the auto-correct feature on my phone.  I’m sure you’ve heard similar complaints before, or maybe you’ve had a similar problem.  I type what I am thinking into my phone and it changes right before my eyes.  Ugh.

Anyhow, I was complaining about it to my husband, who works in construction and he said he had problems of his own with auto-correct, for example, when he types “unfaced insulation” it is a word that has meaning to him and his cohorts.  He means insulation without what most people would call  backing, it’s either mylar, or kraft paper. His phone interprets that word as ” unlaced”  Insulation that isn’t lacy?

Another problem word is pre-tied.  I’m not going to explain that word, but just accept it has meaning in his industry.  His phone wants the word to be “prettied”  which isn’t a word most guys in construction are thinking about when ordering material.  Can you imagine contractors ordering “the pretty stuff”?

I couldn’t help but giggle while listening to my big, broad shouldered guy, complaining about  messages about insulating buildings and installing ceiling fixtures which  turn into delicate notes about lace and pretty things.

Next time I feel frustrated by my auto-correct, I’m  going to remember it’s delicate nature. 🙂





What is Love?

The big love holiday is approaching and I thought it might be interesting to look at some ideas of what love is all about in order to honor Valentine’s Day.

First I read an article about a woman with a new book out describing love. Her name is Barbara Fredrickson, and she has posited that love isn’t a life long commitment kind of thing, instead it is a series of positively charged micro-moments in which couples get a surge of oxytocin, and their faces match each other nerve for nerve, and their brains light up similarly.


This in my view is more science working at deconstructing rainbows.  I will accept that science can tell us what it looks like physically to be in the throes of love, but can it tell us what long term love looks like? I don’t think it can, thus I refuse  to see love as simply the result of miscellaneous cell firings in our bodies?

Personally, I think the mechanistic view of love is  way too simplistic.  I’m not a specialist by any means, but I feel that there are different conceptions of “love”.  And to suggest that they are all made manifest in humans under the same conditions, with the same inputs and that the same results must follow is a little silly.  Love afterall is a “many splendored” thing, and as such I think it’s impossible to describe it as a single response of the vagal nerve, or an instantaneously shared impulse in two brains.

Love is more than that.

So what is love?

Well, it isn’t what Hollywood sells us.  Love isn’t roses and chocolate.  It isn’t wanting to hop into bed with someone else.  It isn’t a feverish anticipation of another’s presence.  There is more to love than that!

Love is when something  or someone is etched into your mind and heart.  Love makes you think about another person, or persons.  Love takes you outside of your own body and allows you to feel another person’s energy.  Love is a strong connection between people.  It doesn’t require that two people be in the same environment!  It doesn’t require certain gestures, or certain verbiage.  You don’t have to “deserve it”.  You don’t have to “work at it”.  You have to live it.

I’ve had my own fights with myself over my own perception of love.  I’ve achingly wondered at times why I wasn’t loveable.  I’ve cried over feeling forlorn.  I’ve felt wounded and lonely.  I know what it feels like to want to feel love.  That lack of love creates an incredible void inside.  I know how it is to feel unloved. I’ve been there, done that!  And I don’t mean to be flippant, but that struggle enabled me to sort of get a grip on what I now understand about love.

I now think of love like I think of wisdom, or knowledge.  I think that it is something that we are all capable  of feeling, or experiencing, or living with, but it doesn’t mean that it’s easy to feel.  It develops, and as it does, it changes.  A child knows the love of parents, or favorite objects.  An adult understands the idea of romantic love.  Parents understand what it is to love children.  Seniors often show a greater love for their communities than younger people do.

Love isn’t something that you can wrap up in fancy bows and give to someone.  It isn’t going to be found in a card shop.   You aren’t going to catch up with it on a dating web site.  If you think love is outside of yourself, think again!

I think I’m going to continue to struggle with what love is.  And I think that is because there are a lot of mixed messages in society about what it is.  I do sometimes hold myself up to other people and ask dumb questions like ” how come they have it so easy?”   or “how come they are loved  when they act so repulsively?”  or ” how come love is easy for some folks, but not for me?”  And I think the next time I ask one of those whiny questions I’m going to have to be a little more loving to myself and I’ll gently chide myself.  And I’ll try to remember ” love isn’t love till you give it away.”  If I can’t love myself…then  what is the point in looking for someone else  to fill me up?

So there, that is my two cents on what love is.  It isn’t something you can capture in a fMRI.  It’s something illusive, and yet substantive.  It’s impossible to define.  Like a fire, if you feed it it grows, and if you smother it, it dies.

Approaching fifty has some perks though, because after chasing this thing called love for number of decades, I can now say I’ve sometimes caught it’s warmth quite  literally.  I get a feel of  a warm glow that radiates along my spine.  It doesn’t happen all the time, and I don’t think that that feeling is the absolute height of  loving feelings, but it’s a pretty cool perk.  It is something I never would have imagined feeling.  No one ever told me what it might be like.  I just get it when I am with the people I love.  I get it when I’m engaged in doing things that make me feel connected.  I now know my body can do it, and I know that I tend only to experience it in situations I’d call “loving”.

So there, I’m not trying to talk in magical, mystical ways.  I just don’t know how to explain what it is I feel.

I wonder what love  feels like to you?

Thanks for spending some time  reading and thinking with me.








Don’t Eat Horse Bute!

Okay, just a quick check on what “bute” is, has horrified me.

I should remind you that I am often absolutely horrified,so what horrifies me, won’t necessarily horrify you and honestly, what can you do about things sometimes?

In this case I went over to a site called “American horsemeat”  They aren’t big on the idea of eating horses, so their opinion might  be a little bit of an overreaction, but hey, I’m interested.. here is some of what I found for you to read it if you like-

Phenylbutazone became available for use in humans for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and gout in (1949), but is no longer approved, and thus not marketed, for any human use in the United States. This is because some patients treated with phenylbutazone have experienced severe toxic reactions, and other effective, less toxic drugs are available to treat the same conditions. Phenylbutazone is known for its ulcerogenic, nephrotoxic, and hemotoxic effects in horses, dogs, rats, and humans. It is known to induce blood dyscrasias, including aplastic anemia, leukopenia, agranulocytosis, thrombocytopenia, and deaths. The reported adverse reactions were associated with the human clinical use of 200 to 800 milligrams phenylbutazone per day. Hypersensitivity reactions of the serum-sickness type have also been reported in patients with phenylbutazone. The threshold for this effect has not been defined. Therefore, it is unclear what level of exposure would be required to trigger such reactions in sensitive people. Moreover, phenylbutazone is a carcinogen, as determined by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) based on positive results in genotoxicity tests and some evidence of carcinogenicity seen in the rat and mouse in carcinogenicity bioassays NTP conducted.


Horse For Dinner?!

If you’ve listened to global news lately, you are bound to have heard about the concerns that beef products in the UK have been “tainted” with horsemeat.

It looks like it’s the result of global buying that looks something like this- Buyer A gets a commitment for a product from supplier B, which gets it’s meat from supplier C.  If supplier C is selling something that isn’t quite exactly what Buyer A wanted, who is to know without testing?

In this case, hamburger products, or a lasagna product was not  made with beef, but with well, you now know what was in it.  I don’t have to beat it to death do I?

My only reason for writing about this mess here is because I was just reading an article about it in the Telegraph  and they mentioned that Aldi removed all of their products from a particular distributor.  Aldi.  Now we don’t have Tescos  here, and we haven’t heard about the company that made the Lasagna, but we do have Aldi’s.

I then wondered, other than the ick factor of eating a nice old horse, what the worry was?  And it turns out that it is chemical worry- phenylbutane.  That works to  stop horses  from having pains from inflammation, but it doesn’t actually help humans.  Heck, it might not help horses, but at this point we are worried about people eating horses, so who cares about horses here?

I’m going to find out  what I can about  this “bute”, and I’ll keep my ears open for news about American companies that have suddenly found out that some of their products contain horse.  If I find it, I’m going to post it!




Bacterial Meningitis

I am very sorry to read about the death of a student from West Chester University who died from bacterial meningitis.  But after hearing about it, I did some quick checking to find out what it is, and how we can avoid  it, and how much a person has to worry about it…

Well, it looks like it is one of those infectious diseases that comes from bacteria that always exist in our environment, but that sometimes penetrates into the brain. When it gets there, it inflames the coverings of the brain and that inflammation creates a space in the brain coverings which allows more bacteria to enter the space and inflame the meninges or nerve matter.

So how do you know you have it?  Well, you feel like crap, you probably have a serious headache, you can’t stand light and your neck hurts.  You may have a rash that when pressed doesn’t blanch or lighten, it remains reddish.  You also feel confused.

I’ll bet a lot of people are thinking, it’s flu season, the flu can leave you feeling awful with a headache and problems with keeping your eyes open in well lit rooms, but they have a couple of simple tests for people presenting with meningitis for example, if you tilt your head forward, your legs will  pull at the knees.  Another simple test that won’t prove a patient has meningitis, but probably will make the doctor schedule further tests is they ask  a patient to quickly move their head from side to side horizontally.  In patients with regular flu like symptoms that procedure won’t cause any extra pain, but in a patient suffering with meningitis that quick shaking from side to side will make the headache much worse.

Okay, winter is the season for viral or bacterial meningitis to appear.  It is harder to catch than the flu, or the regular cold, but drinking from someone’s cups, or being coughed on, or kissing someone who has it could spread the illness.  This then is why people in close contact are more in danger of catching the illness and spreading it.

It is so frightening knowing a common bacteria  can pass by our immune systems and wreak such havoc on human beings.  I think the only good news is that most of us have solid immune systems.

Be safe.  Take care of yourself and don’t ignore your body when it’s signalling you that it needs care.  You are worth it!



Please note that I am not a medical  professional and I am not giving any medical advice, I’m just looking up information  from sites online that I trust.  I recommend that anyone with a health concern immediately calls their care providers.




New Norovirus Fun!

If it weren’t enough to have to worry about the flu, now there is a new bug floating around that is just as awful.  That illness is a norovirus that showed up in Sydney Australia and now seems to be hitting the states.

It produces intense illness with stomach aches and vomitting and diarrhea.  Doesn’t that sound like fun?

The good news is it isn’t the flu, and it will  probably pass within 72 hours, but the bad news is that you can’t tell you are infected for 12 to 24 hours, and naturally it’s quite possible for you to infect other people during that time.

The best way to protect yourself is keeping your hands clean.  No, none of the quick rinse/soap/rinse business.  You need to wash with soap for quite a while, try singing a silly little song, or count 15 seconds.  That is how long you should wash in order to remove germs on your skin.

Honestly, it doesn’t matter what I say does it?  Just be prepared.  Make sure you stay hydrated in case this illness gets you, and if you do start having the unpleasant symptoms you need to call out of work, or keep family members who have it home and in bed..

This too shall pass.