Lovely Blessing

This is taken from the Pocono Record, they attribute it to Mike Levine, former editor of the Times Herald Record in New York.

Under the heavens of our Creator, we bow our heads in awe before the miracle of life. We give thanks for:

The bounty before us, however modest.

Those who toiled in field and kitchen to bring us this meal.

Every wonder that helped this food grow: sun and rain, soil and seed, the hands of the farmer.

The company that shares our table and the loved ones missing but still with us.

All the generations who brought us to this day.

We can grumble if we like. We can focus on family squabbles, numb out on food and football, get nuts over traffic. Or we can praise our gifts:

Water at the turn of a faucet.

A roof between us and the cold night.

A walk in the autumn meadow under sparkling heavens.

The healing power of an embrace.

Our elders, whose heirloom is wisdom.

The children who give us a window to eternity.

Our daily bread.

We can worship the futile gods of getting and spending. We can mistake amusement for joy, complacency for peace, cynicism for truth. But today we are thankful for:

The cord connecting us to the needy.

The visit of conscience allowing us to right our wrongs.

The generous souls who give to the greater good.

Those who protect us from harm.

The whisper of peace in the world and in our own lives.

Do we live like the walking dead? Do we forget life’s possibilities, our capacity for awe? Not today. We give thanks for:

The thunder and lightning of passion.

The private dream of words and music.

The cleansing sweep of laughter and tears.

The enduring comfort of friendship.

The unbreakable bonds of family love.


Days and years roll on, one to another, and we wonder, where did the time go? But when we know our blessings, each moment is eternal. And so we say grace for:

The four seasons teaching us to number our days.

Love that is stronger than death.

The promise of a new morning when the lonely are embraced, the sick healed, the tortured set free.

The sanctuary of memory.

The breath of our Creator, pulsing through this room and through all of us everywhere.

Strange how entitlement brings us emptiness, but gratitude fills our cup. Savor each breath and blessing.

Remember the time you laughed so hard, jumped so high, held so tight. Remember the hour when you watched the scarlet sky fold to night. Remember the holy moment when you touched the tiny fingers of birth.

Thanks to all who have come before us for showing us the way. We see you in all we love. And to everyone under the bow of this grace, a sweet Thanksgiving.



Adults Can Read Picture Books Too!

Hey Friends,

I’m just going to remind all of my grown up friends that the library has lots of wonderful books that we call ” children’s books” but that would certainly appeal to adult readers , or to entire families.  I know it’s a little late for Thanksgiving books right now, but yesterday I read a wonderful book about the Peterkin family and their holiday meal.  You’ll never believe what happened.  Their entire meal was stuck in their dumb waiter.  They had to wait till late in the evening when the local carpenter was able to fix a weight in the shaft before they could enjoy their feast.

There are books about the history of the holiday, and books about different families celebrating the day, and their are books of stories for young people about the holiday and books with poems about Thanksgiving.

All you have to do is come on over to the Pottstown Library!

It’s FREE 🙂




May You Be Granted Such A Degree of Temporal Prosperity As HE Knows Best!

1621- Thanksgiving was celebrated by the “Pilgrims” and the Wampanoags.

1789- George Washington issued a Thanksgiving Proclamation for the nation. But this wasn’t a national holiday just yet.

1863- Sarah Josepha Hale, author of the poem about a little lamb whose fleece was white as snow, asked Lincoln to proclaim a national holiday.

1939- Roosevelt, listening to business interests pushed Thanksgiving back a week till the 3rd week in November.

1941- Thanksgiving was officially made a national holiday on the 4th Thursday in November.

Today- I’d like to wish you a very Happy  Thanksgiving!

By the way, here is Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation from 1789:

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor– and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be– That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks–for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation–for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war–for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed–for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted–for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions– to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually–to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed–to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord–To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us–and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Thanks to the Library of Congress.




Putting Things Together!

Isn’t it amazing when someone puts two or more things together and they work nicely?  I know this must seem a little silly, but I find myself a little irritated sometimes when I see a recipe, or a craft using things that I have, and that I’d have never imagined connecting.  For example, I sometimes eat chocolate chips.  I love them when they are hot and just out  of the oven.  I pick them up and hold them in my hands till they cool down so I can eat them without burning my tongue off.  Who else does exactly the same thing???

Well, now let’s imagine a clever person who takes that same hot delicious chocolate chip cookie, but they add a dollop of vanilla ice cream.  Suddenly their dessert is so much more practical and enjoyable than mine is!

The other day I was watching a program on television, it was a cooking show, and the guy was cutting out small rounds of tortillas and painting them with oil and then baking them.  Once he had baked these little rounds he put sauce on them and topped them with a shrimp.  In seconds he had an appetizer that I’d have never thought of.  That is so bothersome! 🙂

I’m catching on though!  I finally have begun to wrap my head around the idea that I can mix things and that those mixtures are then things in their own right!  Like last night I thawed some meatballs I had made earlier in the week.  I didn’t want to have the same old meatballs and spaghetti again, so I added them to a crock pot with chili beans and tomato sauce and corn and garlic and cheese.  Then all I had to do was mix up some cornbread and it was an entirely different dish.

The other day I had a couple of candles in jars that were all burned down to the bottom of the glass containers and still they had about a  1/4 of an inch worth of wax in them.  In the past I’d have thrown them out.  These days I pop them into a pot with warm water and bring it to a gentle heat so that the wax turns to liquid.  Then I get a birthday candle and insert it in the middle of a small glass candle container and I keep it there with a metal tie from bread, then I pour the rest of the scented melted wax into the jar.  Now I have a new candle.

I know these things seem silly, but I know you guys are tossing stuff just like I am!  The other day, I got rasberries and I worried about eating them all before they went bad, my daughter said let’s freeze them in ice.  Now when I make a lemonade, or an orange juice I pop a frozen berry in it.  Neat.

Oh yeah, say you are running  out of ketchup but there is still a bit in the bottom…don’t throw it away, mix a little vinegar into it, a squirt of mustard, add some brown sugar and then water.  It’s barbeque sauce.

Mayonnaise left over in the jar?  Add some relish and you’ve got tartar sauce which will slip out more easily.

Cutting veggies and you don’t need all of them?  Bag them in a freezer bag and add the next time you are making eggs, or a meatloaf.




Scary Knock-Out Game! Should We Worrry? NOT

I’ve been reading about this new “game” that police are concerned about.   Victims are beaten up just for the fun of it.  No robberies are taking place, no other abuses, it’s just about knocking people out.  Doesn’t that sound scary???

Well, while I don’t particularly want anyone to sneak up on me and beat me up, the numbers aren’t exactly living up to the hype. For example, CBS in Philly is talking about some folks who have been attacked in this game, and one of them was in Merion, and one was in the Fox Chase area.  Now, Philly has about 1,526,000 people living in it and that is in the city alone.  So including surrounding areas like Merion and even Fox Chase, will up the numbers.   That means that the likelihood so far of being beaten up for fun in the Philly area is as great as well, let’s say falling out of bed and dying.  Some people would say it’s as great as getting hit by lightning, but when I looked into the statistics the 1 in 1.5 million risk is a myth.

Perhaps it’s true that the likelihood is as high as the person  becoming a movie star!

I’m not condoning hitting people, or attacking innocent victims!  As a matter of fact, I’m against it entirely.  And I also hope that I’ll avoid being abused in that way, but to start worrying about this happening to us just because there are a few idiots out there, is probably a little silly.  At least so far.

If thousands of people start getting beaten up- then  I’ll worry.




What Mo’s Reading!

I know, some of you are wondering why anyone should care what I’m reading.  I don’t even know why anyone should care, but I think it’s really neat when we step out of our stranger selves and act like we are all in this together!  So I’ll tell you what I’m reading and if you are reading something wonderful, or striking, or meaningful, please feel free to share it with all of us.

I just finished a book called Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson.  I’m not usually big on novels about murder trials, but this one was really written well.  Guterson portrayed the characters of his Puget Sound based novel extremely well.  Imagine crusty fishermen,  Japanese strawberry farmers, and some love stories.  Are you finding that hard to do?  Well, grab the book.  It’s definitely worth the read.

I also just finished a non-fiction book by Jaron Lanier called Who Owns the Future?  Wow, he sketched out several scenarios that were pretty high tech as far as I was concerned and the only thing that surprised me is that many of them are close to being part of our current reality.  For example, how would you like to sign online and before you do anything, or get your email, or read some local news you have to agree to whatever a large computer company says you have to agree to?  Like let’s say businesses hate having customers complain about them, so the legal form you have to click before you read the things that are of interest to you online has some restrictions on your freedom of speech!  How do you feel about that?

I think some of the ideas Lanier presents are a little uncomfortable, but I’m a partial luddite!  I like computers, but I don’t like advertisers selling my personal information to one another so they can work their magic on my pocketbook!  Find out what Siren Servers are…you might find yourself just as anxious as I am.

I’m also reading Mapp and Lucia, a book that was originally published in 1937 that is in my opinion hysterical.  I enjoy some of the Brit-coms that you find on PBS, and one of them features a rather nosy woman named Hyacinth Bucket which is pronounced Bu-kay and not like the word bucket. 🙂  After reading Mapp and Lucia I felt like I understood where Hyacinth came from!

Happy reading!




Pottstown Reads!

Please make sure you visit my companion blog Pottstown Reads.  It’s a collection of children’s stories in video form so that you can pick a story and listen to it with your favorite little person.  This blog gets lots of traffic, that one not so much.  But I’d like to see more folks enjoying it.  When I see that I promise I’ll add more vids.

Oh, there are some videos that have been removed from the site because of copyright violations.  I am not using them to make a profit, but some people might be and so some publishing houses have removed their videos from online services.  If you see a black space, the video has been removed.  I’m sorry about that, but you know what?  You can always stop by the Pottstown Public Library and request one of those stories.  They don’t disappear from the library!




Want to Shop Online for the Holidays?

It’s hard to believe it’s that time of year when many of us rush about madly trying to find that special something for those we care for.  A lot of folks are going to stay at home and use the internet to do their shopping and with the free shipping deals that some stores offer, it isn’t a bad deal!

I’m going to mention some of the sites I’m familiar with so that you can  check out deals online and see if you want to buy from home while wearing fuzzy slippers and jammies.

I like to check the following:

slickdeals.net – this site has deals that are “hot deals” and “free deals” and “Black Friday” deals

fatwallet.com- this is a lot like slickdeals, but it often has some additional items.

Dodtracker.com – this is one of those sites that grabs what are called ” deal of the day” items.  It might be something advertised on Amazon, or Pfaltzgraff, or REI

Woot.com – this site is a strict “deal of the day” site.  The prices are slashed, but you have to want what they are offering!

If any of you have favorite online shopping sites, send the information here and we’ll post it for everyone to read.

Also, if you are going to shop online, make sure you google search store promotional codes.  Stores have their own codes that give you percents off and shipping free.  So if it’s available tack it onto your order.




Are You an Early Thanksgiving Shopper?

Stores are pushing shopping for the holidays into Thanksgiving this year.  Stores that will open early for the shopfest are-



Best Buy




J.C Penney’s

Toy’s R Us


Stores that aren’t rushing to open so that their employees can grab some turkey and stuffing are-

Burlington Coat Factory



Hmmm, I’m betting there are more, but these are the stores I found online.




Not News Today!

Have you heard anything about Obama’s reading of the Gettysburg Address?  If not, you are blessed, but if you have and you heard that he left out “under God” well, sit back and take a listen for a few minutes.

There are in fact 5 copies of the Gettysburg address.  There were two that were apparently written and used on the day of the address by Lincoln. Those copies are the Nicolay and the Hay copies.  Those copies aren’t exactly alike, but if you were to read them you’d notice that the words “under God” weren’t there.

Lincoln was asked to neaten the copies up and add his name and some nice margins, and so, there are some more versions that are called the Everett version, the Bancroft version, and the Bliss version.  Guess what these copies have in them?  You guessed it, these have the words “under God” in them.

Ken Burns apparently asked President Obama to read the Nicolay copy.  Therefore no one can say that the President left out the words.  He didn’t.  The copy he read from didn’t have them.