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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Secret of the Week

I miss my daughter. I hate when she sleeps anywhere but home. I know she is having a good time, but still...

Doesn't he get it?

It is 6am Thanksgiving morning, I do NOT have to cook and that rooster is outside calling to my dogs, I swear. They have been pacing around for the last hour, so I have to get up. Hopefully they catch our feathered friend and bring him home for breakfast. I watched how to pluck a chicken on a kids show, I can do it...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Right Under Me II

The raging schnauzers have struck again, as we were eating our UN-Stone soup, the dogs were ripping apart the trash bag full of shredded mail in my front room. Guess someone put some kind of food in that bag...oops that looks like my Cheetos bag!



Now they are in Coventry

Stone Soup



Today one of the classrooms made stone soup in school. We could smell the aroma wafting down the hallways and everybody in the building wanted some. On the way home from school, my fifth-grade son was talking about the smell and asking what stone soup was. I told him the story and he wanted to run right home and make some. He thought it was funny about the stone and wanted to know if they actually had to eat the stone. I patiently explained that it is a group effort, which everyone has to contribute to for it to be stone soup. He came back with, “ Well, can we make it anyway, without the stone and the meaning?” It was too cute. Of course we went home and made UN-Stone Soup, as it will be known forevermore in my house.




Here is my son tasting the UN-Stone Soup.

Here he is after tasting the UN-Stone Soup. What a happy dinner. I actually got a hug and a kiss and breathless thank you.

Twilight Night

What a cool thing to experience. I felt like I was sucked back in time to my own mooning over Kevin Bacon in Footloose. Two weeks ago, my daughter decided she was going to read Twilight before she saw the movie. The first book got her so excited, she HAD to get the rest of the series, and I was pulling my hair out trying to borrow them from the library and from friends.

She stayed up late very night reading them all, It took her a week to get through the series, me too. Then as soon as she was done reading them all, she decided she had to own them all. So I had to buy them off amazon, and she wouldn't let me order them used, at a discount, she wanted them new. She was going to spend her own money and besides I owed her $30 anyway. Unbelievable. I never buy books used, I had to just suck it up and do her bidding, after all, she has to make her own financial decisions and learn naturally, the way we all did.


Saturday Night I took a group of her friends to the movies to see the object of her affection, Rob Pattinson, in action. We met at our favorite coffee shop, Casciano, and took off for the Turnersville Movieplex where more of her friends were waiting.

As I took the teens in all I could think was, "This squealing group of kids is going to get me kicked out of the theatre." They were acting like Sydney and I did when we used to get asked to leave movie houses for dancing in the isles during Footloose. The sighing during the movie was another reminder of how much we could fall in love with movie stars when we are young. I used to FREAK, and now my daughter is doing the same thing.
They made so much noise squealing during the movie that I was shrinking down deeper and deeper in my seat. They were comparing all the boys in the movie to each other and debating how beautiful they all were. Her new love is Taylor Lautner instead of Rob Pattinson. Whatever happened to Toy Story and Spy Kids? I miss the good old days of Monsters Inc. though I should have been prepared for this three years ago when she went ape over Zac Ephron in High School Musical. I was a good mom though, I chaperoned all of them and took so many pictures that I tripped up the stairs and fell on my knee to get good shots. How embarrassing, what a mom won't do...
My nachos fell victim to Daniel, one of the girls, Sarah, was SUPPOSED to be guarding them for me. He stepped in them, right as I fell up the stairs.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Driving Under the Influence



You know you are old when you go to get into your sister’s truck and a vitamin bottle rolls out instead of an empty beer bottle. She is getting healthy while driving, and it should be against the law. I should have turned her in to someone. We had a lovely time at the designer handbag auction. We didn’t win, but that bottle rolling out of her truck made it all worthwhile. Now I do not mean to say that she used to have beer bottles in her car, for a bartender she drinks surprisingly little. Bt when I heard the glass bottle hit the road I was expecting Corona, not Nature’s Way. I too am guilty of driving with open containers in my van. I did drive around for a time with oil and vinegar in case I met a salad I had to dress. Ask Jenn, she KNOWS it came in handy the day I “just happened” to have it. It is funny what we have in our cars; I have a lot of friends who cannot find the floor of their vehicles and some that vacuum it out after each use. My sister probably has a coffin in hers, "just in case, you know."

Anyway, the Soroptimist handbag auction took place at another wonderful restaurant that recently opened in our town, Annata Wine Bar. Here is their link.
They have a beautiful dining room with huge chairs to sink into while you drink wine and eat scrumptious food and cheese. Tonight we had tart baked apples covered with nuts and chocolate and some other gooey stuff as hors d'oeuvres. I have been dying to get my sister there; we have to go back to the big chairs because tonight we were in the back banquet room. It is still very comfortable and they even have little mouthwash cups in the bathrooms with a beautiful decanter of scope. I am sure that my sister Pinky took advantage of this nicety, after all, she should not drive and smell like Omega 3 Fish Oil, she might get pulled over.


The handbags were all very expensive and some were so beautiful, such as the Michael Kors and the Coach bags, but some were so ugly I cannot believe people waste a paycheck on them. No matter what label you throw on something, it should not look like a ball of yarn the cat threw up. It should not look like your grandma lost her sewing glasses when she made you a bag out of old leather scraps and your grandfather’s hunting trophies. It should not look like someone doodled his or her initials over and over again on fabric. Aren’t we past all those “initial” bags yet? They are so tired and I just can’t stand them. Lets move on, next fad please. I did not put my tickets in any of the bags that had the crown jewels on them, except one, I thought my teenaged daughter would get a kick out of it. When I was in my twenties, I may have gone for it, but now I am looking for maximum matching capability, not “this goes with only one outfit in my closet.”

Hey Pinky, Thanks for the Aquarius Bag, and the laughs! We’ll win at the Basket Bingo.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

TEETHING

Ok, I just had too many memories tied up with teeth after reading mrlady's son's story, I had to post. My son is 10 now and trying to pull two teeth out, so I am going to warn him that the tooth fairy won't come if they came out early. He feels that the tooth fairy is a scam and I told him that the tooth fairy will not visit if he doesn't believe either.

I was awful when I discovered the Tooth Fairy in first grade, and so were my friends. We loved the money and couldn't wait to lose our teeth. It was a beautiful time in our lives, even if we could only eat pureed foods. First of all, if our tooth came out in school, we got a cool necklace shaped like a tooth to put our tooth in and special treatment all day from the nurse in the form of ice pops to stop the bleeding.
After my friend Leslie lost her first tooth in school, most of the girls in my class spent entire recesses trying to dislodge each other's teeth. There were so many bloody grins that year that I am sure my teachers felt like they were at a vampire movie when we smiled as a group.
We tried every trick that Tom Sawyer did and more, thank god there was no internet back then, or we would have needed dentures.
After reading the comments on mrlady's post about teeth, I am no longer embarrassed by the silk drawstring bag that holds all my kids baby teeth and a few of the puppies too. (You know that the tooth fairy sent them back to me just so I could keep them after she was done turning them into stars right?)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Michelle's Anisette Cookies

Michelle's Anisette Cookies

I used to make these in our deli for our special customers. Since they are so delicious, they need to be passed on. Not fair if we keep the goodies to ourselves, you can substitute any other flavor for the anise, they make a great cookie that is not too sweet!

½ cup butter
½ cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon anise
2 ½ cups flour
tablespoon of baking powder


Cream butter sugar and eggs one at a time stir in vanilla and anise, add baking powder and flour a bit at a time until dough forms a ball, split refrigerate. Either roll out with extra flour and use cookie cutters, or make twists and bake.
bake at 350 for 12 minutes or until edges are golden. The thicker you make them, the fluffier they will be!


Powdered Sugar Icing


2 1/2 cups powdered sugar 
2 tablespoons water 
1 tablespoon butter, softened 
1 tablespoon light corn syrup 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon anise (or other flavor).
Combine powdered sugar, water, 1 tablespoon butter, corn syrup and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and anise in small mixer bowl; mix until powdered sugar is moistened. Beat at medium speed until smooth, adding additional water if necessary, to reach desired glazing consistency. Tint with favorite food color. Ice cookies with basting brush.

This is my recipe submission for Mr Lady’s Holiday Recipe Contest

Handmade Christmas

This Christmas, we have the added pressure of my daughter wanting to get her friends something. She felt bad last year because some of her friends bought her stuff and she was not prepared to reciprocate. So this year, we have a month to prepare to make some cool little handmade (Made with Love) gifts. I have been trolling the internet and found some cool ideas, but I have to have some labels made. My daughter and I have talked for years about making some of her own clothes and she has a line name already chosen, so I must get working on that. Today I learned how to make a dress form very inexpensively and so now I feel like we can really get started on this little dream. I will clean the house and get started on sorting fabrics that we can use. I have bags of scraps upstairs just waiting for new life. Of course, my husband will start moaning about the threads and pins he will undoubtedly find on the dining room floor, so I am thinking of setting up shop downstairs in the basement. I won’t get in anyone’s way and I won’t have to tear down everything for dinner every night. Now I know this may not be an exciting blog entry for you, but for me it helps to solidify my thoughts and make plans, so tough, just deal with it. I am going to take a trip to goodwill to get an old t-shirt to make the form with and maybe find some fun old sweaters, you will see what we make out of them later!

Bakugan Tournament

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Yesterday, I took my son to his first Bakugan Tournament at Toys R Us. It was crazy fun for the kids and a lot of his friends showed up. I told him about it only 2 days before, because I had gotten an email from the store (I never usually open the mercenary emails, good thing I did). He told some of his friends and I managed to get a bunch of pictures of them battling each other. His friend Nick even made him a shirt to wear! My daughter, husband, and I cheered on all the kids from our town and it was so serious, they were talking trash to each other and everything. At one point, my son had to face off against a 5 year old, it was the most precious moment, I was so proud of how patient he was with the younger one, he taught him what to do and proclaimed a tie when the went up to register the score. He even battled him an extra time. The Toys R Us employee was so good at keeping a straight face and recorded the “Tie” win so the little boy walked away happy. There were sad moments as well, my son faced off with a lot of friends, so when he had a victory; we were both happy and sad. I think it should have been a double elimination tournament, so that everyone had a real chance to advance. We are going to do this again, only we have decided to have a play date tournament at our local library. They have a room we can use and the boys will have something to do during the yucky weather. At the toy store there was a lot of standing on line, so we will have multiple face off’s and double winners will advance. There are so many kids that love to battle, and I can’t fit them in my house, so the library will work out fine. Now I have to figure out how to pay for the prizes. Plus, I have to actually learn the rules. By the way, my son won the tournament and is looking forward to their next one. Good job Toys R Us! Now if you had actually had the Bakugan Brawlers to sell yesterday, you would have made scads of money!
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Friday, November 14, 2008

Not Your Average Home Party

I just got back from a Lia Sophia party and it went pretty much as expected, family and friends all gathered to order Christmas gifts and share some wine and laughs. Except, as I went to open a can of soda I saw this long bone on the counter top. I didn’t think anything of it, my sister-in- law has a dog and her husband hunts. I thought it was way too long for a chicken bone; it looked like a skinny rib bone. I almost opened my can of soda with it because I didn’t want to break a nail. I would up using a bottle cap instead because the bone looked kinda flimsy. I was getting ready to leave and my sister- in-law asked me if I had seen the bone. I said, “Yes.”
She asked, “ Do you know what it is?”
“No,” I replied.
She burst out laughing,“It’s a bear *&^k!”
No way, I thought. “Really?” I said.
“Yeah, It is the bone from the bear’s p$#@*.”
OMG I am thinking, I almost opened my coke with it. I had it in my hand, now I need to go wash my hands.
I just had no good response; I guess it was the leftover bits from the bear my brother- in-law caught a few weeks ago. It was not your average home party after all.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Right Under Me!

I thought dogs chewing on shoes was a myth and I thought once I had my dogs way past the puppy stage, I was in the clear. Apparently this is not true. 2 years ago, one of my dogs, the second one ate the little bit of suede off the back of my brand new sneakers. I wear them anyway, though I do have the decency to cringe when people notice. I just can’t bring myself to invest in another possible chew toy. Two days ago, I notice my dog, same dog, chewing frantically and contentedly under the table. RIGHT UNDER ME! Deep in my subconscious something woke up, I had not given any of my dogs a bone in months. I had not bought any pig-like ears or anything; I had not made ox-tail soup either. I bent down, peered under the tablecloth and found my second dog eating the heel of my favorite pair of boots. They are suede with big brown buckles and nice heels and comfortable as H. E. double-hockey-sticks. I was floored, and I screamed, because frankly, I don’t even have nightmares bad enough to beat out my favorite boots under attack. Luckily the one remaining shoemaker in my town is still alive and working a few days a week. He did his best, and I can wear them as long as no one looks too closely at the teeth marks. Once that man retires, I may have to ship my shoes away to get fixed…

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day



Honoring the veterans in our family.

Update on Latest Obsessions

The hat has finally arrived, leading to endless discussion on whether or not to take those stupid stickers off. I don't understand why anyone would want to wear a hat with stickers on it anyway. I don't care if it proves authenticity, or price, isn't the point supporting the team, and not the dollar? Luckily my son thinks the stickers are stupid as well. We are now sticker free and still number 1!


My daughter is not easy to deal with right now, she is moaning that New Moon was not as good as Twilight because there is not enough romance and I guess she is not into werewolves. Halfway through the third book, Eclipse, she seems happier, but is stressing about where the next book is coming from. I am on New Moon and it is just about to get interesting...






Original Post

Revisionists Strike Again! Holocaust Survivors to Mormons: Stop Baptisms of Dead Jews

The revisionists are always hard at work. the practice of post-humorously baptizing people of other faith by proxy in the Mormon faith is atrocious. I want to be reunited with my loved ones after I die, but I am not going to lie about who they are or what they believed. I cannot believe that anyone strong in their faith would condone this practice. Clearly if someone is a Catholic, Methodist, Jew, or Moslem and lived and died in their faith, to be re-baptized years after they died to beef up the rolls of the Mormon Faithful is a insult.

This twisted practice, by the group of people most respected for their genealogy records, shakes my confidence in their information to the core. I strongly support the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors who are denouncing the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I do believe the Mormons are responding to the outcry, I give them credit for that, but the practice of re-baptism by proxy is what I protest. I do not care what faith people are, they should be allowed to hold onto it as it is a PERSONAL belief. The Mormons clearly believe that this is the only way to be reunited after death, but to change genealogy records is wrong. That goes beyond faith to revisionist history. Honestly, there are parts of every faith that are hard to swallow, and this is their embarrassing problem that they are forcing onto others who don't deserve it. If I died and some relative of mine became Mormon and tried to re-baptize us all by proxy, I would haunt them for eternity.


By what right do they do this? How is this different than trying to erase whole races or groups of religion? Clearly there is no associated violence, but it is a death of a religion all the same. I live my life simply, I do not believe we can be responsible for anyone else's soul but our own. I cannot vouch for what anyone will do or not do, because honestly, I only know my own mind. I hope that someday, someone in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gets a clue.
Click on the link to read the original article.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Guess who moved into the neighborhood?


I am going to lose it. All of a sudden, after 10 years of living in our little suburban home, a rooster has moved into the neighborhood. No I do not mean some overdressed guy taking up residence around the corner but an actually a real rooster that my dogs go hunting for every morning. He crows somewhere in our little chunk of town and my dogs go insanely crazy! Now there is farmland in our town, but nowhere in a 1/2 mile radius from us. This rooster is probably lurking in the woods behind our house. There is some landlocked property there and I think a little hiking trip is taking place today through our patch to find this distraction. I am going to have to put up chicken wire to keep the dogs out of the woods now, because every morning they are off to find this rooster. In the ten years we have lived here, this patch of woods has yielded 1 bunny, 3 turtles, a few cats and a groundhog, along with some daffodils that the neighbors throw back there after Easter and Mother's Day. We have never seen any deer or anything. It was a benign patch of woods until a few weeks ago. Now I am thinking, with the economy so bad, maybe I should get a few chickens and let them wander back there with said rooster? Fresh organic eggs might make up for me having to chase the dogs every morning.

Update on the Coffee Press

If the water is too hot and you put coffee in, it will boil up and spill all over the place, NO LIE!

Latest Obsessions



For those of you with kids, you are probably quite used to the daily and weekly obsession changes. I mean I am simply minding my own beeswax when a breathless 10 year old comes running up to me babbling about something or other. At least 9 or ten times a day this week he inquires if his Phillies World Series Championship Hat has arrived in the mail yet. Today is sunday, so technically I should be off the hook. I even gave the little $%#! the tracking number so he could follow the package and stop bugging me. It didn't work. He still keeps looking in the mud room for the package and talking about it. I am sure in church today when he lights a candle, it won't be for Great Uncle Tony or Poppy, it will be for that damn hat. After the hat arrives, he will be onto something else. Bakugan figures and cards seem to be an ongoing obsession, every Monday he wants to race off to the Toys R Us or the Walmart to see if new creature marbles were delivered. If my husband says he wants to take a ride to get a Starbucks, my son throws in a Toys R Us request.

My daughter has a new one too, she is reading that Twilight series by Meyers and cannot put that first book down. I got it out of the library yesterday afternoon, she will finish it very soon. She is talking about using her babysitter money to buy the series because she wants to "keep them" for her kids. She wants to re-read them like her Harry Potter books. I have always pushed for Library books, because I want to keep the library in business and because if you read as fast as my daughter and I do, you know that any book has to be absolutely amazing to actually purchase. I cannot afford either of our book habits. We would spend more than the heaviest cigarette smoker on their worst weeks. Unfortunately, I had bought the second book in the series for my daughter thinking it was the anthology, it wasn't so now she wants to own them all. We couldn't even get her to talk to us yesterday, she laid on the ottoman in a very uncomfortable pose and just read. I will get that book after she is done with it to see what the hub-bub is all about. If it is good, we may send a request to the Library Fairy that the entire set will be under the bookshelf on Christmas morning.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

No Good Excuse



Yesterday I disappointed my daughter; I told her I spent 2 1/2 hours watching back episodes of Paris, My New BFF. She couldn’t understand why I wasted my time. I protested, “It’s iconic reference research,” but she wasn’t budging on her position that I was stunting my brain development. Since my daughter is 13, I have to keep on top of all the tv shows that she may be watching in the future. Of course I just want to watch Lipstick Jungle and Grey’s Anatomy, but if I don’t understand which way the girls are growing, how am I ever going to get through her teenaged years? I don’t yet allow her to watch VH1 or MTV but she wants to and it is only a matter of time until she is streaming back seasons of The Hills and DeGrassi. She caught me watching Brooke Knows Best on my ipod the other day and I didn’t even have a response other than it was free to download.

OK, now that I have proved my reasoning I am going to just offer up the truth, I was curious. It was a fun show to watch in a perversely, slightly sickening way. I was watching a bunch of young ladies and two men dye their hair, throw themselves at men, and drinking themselves into a stupor to get to be best friends with a celebrity user. I laughed at their poor judgment and groaned a few times. I don’t blame Paris Hilton, I blame the girls that really cry about being her friend. I expect some of them signed up for the show to get their faces out there, but some of them are so over –the-top crazy about Paris that it is painful to watch. The girls that attempted to stick up for themselves were quickly vetted out. I have no idea why there were there in the first place; they must have stayed at the crazy bar a little too long, because I would never pick them to be anyone’s best friend.

I am going to stay on top of the idols of the day because they do influence my daughter’s life. The more mainstream these weird shows become, the more normal it will be for our youth to keep perpetuating the insanity.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Enjoy the Flash!




As I uploaded pictures from last night into my laptop this morning, I was bit annoyed that the men complained about the flash of the camera, we could have gotten some great shots of me and my sister. Instead I have a bunch of pictures I really don't like and we have no table shot at all. I need some good shots of me and my sis. Anyway, loved dinner last night, it was too delicious! We took my sister and her man, my kids, and in-laws to A Touch Of Italy in Egg Harbor Township and had a wonderful time. I adore a leisurely dinner with good service and they certainly treated us right. It didn't matter that is was pouring hard enough for me to start looking for the closest Ark, the restaurant was very warm and welcoming. Our waitress Dana was so cute and funny and she brought us the hottest rolls right from the oven. She took such good care of us that I actually felt spoiled. We used to go to this restaurant a lot, just me and my family, and we had a great waiter named Steve. I don't know what they pay their staff here, but I have never been disappointed. I had these amazing sun-dried tomato & broccoli rabe ravioli. YUM! The cannoli was not authentic, not enough ricotta or something, but everything else was fabulous. Now I am stressed about what I am cooking for dinner, nothing will top that. That is always the downside to a great meal, you want more, and you want it everyday. I guess I will have to break out the cookbooks today. We just put some pumpkin bread in the oven, and the chicken stock for the Matzo ball soup is already cooling so I can scape off the fat to form our matzo balls. My kids and I am thoroughly enjoying the days off from school. I was up early looking at the Halloween photos from my friend Kim and returning long overdue emails.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Embarrassing

It is a shame that so many people were worried about voter fraud yesterday. In this beautiful country, where we get to vote freely, no one should have to worry that his or her vote won’t be counted, that their voting machine won’t work, and that there are not enough paper ballets to go around. I just don’t get how the election officials were so unprepared. Everyone knew that record numbers of voters were on their way. Next election, I am going to volunteer.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Getting Ready for the Parade!

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Eagle Theatre Restoration Update





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Casciano Coffee Bar and Sweetery



Casciano Coffee Bar and Sweetery is the best place to go after voting, Ahhhhhhhh, the foamy latte, We got some great shots of the Eagle Theatre Restoration and we are listening to conversations about the election. On the TV is Obama and his family voting, he is taking an awful long time to vote, Talk about milking a photo op. I guess it is to be expected, but I am getting jaded by all the posturing of the candidates. 15 minutes so far.... still going... still going... better than the energizer bunny... ah shucks this is ridiculous. Anyway, back to the lattes and Banana Nut muffins, uuuuummmmm....

Secret of the Week

The greys are back!

Too Young to be Old

I am officially old. Physically I am 42 years young, but I am old in the sense that I remember and mourn the loss of local businesses that used to get me through my life. It took me a while to build up these relationships because I am from North Jersey originally. When I first moved down here, I used to run home every weekend, sure that I was stuck in a shopping wasteland.

After a few years of hitting the parkway every Friday, I adjusted and learned how to live my life without driving 2 ½ hours to get a bagel. I assimilated and put down roots in the muck and sand of South Jersey. Driving around on the weekends, learning my way, I established relationships with stores and service centers in the Brigantine and Atlantic City area. I was finally living here. Then, about ten years ago, my favorite mechanic sold out and moved. This was quite a blow. Who else would I trust? Al had been sending me away for years saying, “You don’t need brakes yet, Michelle. See me next year. They are just squealing because they are dusty.” By the time I needed brakes, he and his son Ronny were gone.

A few years later, one of my favorite supermarkets closed. I used to drive 40 minutes to the Zagara’s in Marlton, NJ, just to get my favorite granola, cheese, organic vegetables and the bagels I was missing from New York. I loved this store, they had beautiful white shopping bags with sturdy handles and red strawberries on them and I always felt thoroughly spoiled walking out of there with my purchases. Every “specialty” market felt second rate to me after they closed. Whole Foods and Trader Joes are just down the road apiece, but they don’t have the same sunny atmosphere.

I feel betrayed when a local store I shop in closes. I have invested in them, why aren’t they here for me? Should I have shopped more? When I married and moved to the town of Hammonton 15 years ago I had to relearn my shopping habits again because I had moved from the shore area. New butchers were needed, gift shops, mechanics, body shops and hairdressers. I loved the shopping in this town though, I could pretty much get everything I needed, the people were friendly and the stores and businesses were family-owned. Now I am not moving again anytime soon, but the businesses around me are moving on and changing hands. In the last few years we have lost our beloved body shop, trust me, I needed Petetti’s right around the corner from me.

We have also lost my husband’s favorite pizza parlour, the owners sold out and retired. They supposedly still make the pizza the same way, but it does not taste exactly the same. Our amazing Toni’s Custard Stand where we used to get fried chicken and ice cream sandwiches is now a Mexican food stand. Baskets by Inferrera’s, my favorite gift store, is no longer on the avenue, but lives on in a back room not open to leisurely gift browsing. There is not the same cache of buying a beautiful gift basket when they sit next to the frying chickens in their butcher shop.

I am not complaining, because we all get older and have to readjust our priorities and business plans, but it still hurts a bit when I realize that my radiator will be fixed by a stranger, and not by our trusty mechanic on Broadway. He left no forwarding address, which is probably best, because we have been trying to track him down and he probably just wants a rest after years of serving his community. People die, retire, or need a change of pace, and if they own a business, their changes affect us all. I myself hear from people that they miss our family donut shop and deli. I do feel guilty that it closed; I do miss our customers and the amazing subs we used to make. Christmastime is not the same without banging out 2,000 cookie trays with my family and co-workers. But Christmastime cannot sustain a year-round business and I understand first-hand how hard it is to staff a store with trustworthy people.

So what to do? I just sit here in my forties just like an advanced senior citizen. I remember all the good times, all the lost businesses and friends, and I make sure I shop locally. I want to make sure that the stores I still love and frequent are here for me in the future.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween 2008

Enjoy all the pictures of Halloween 2008. It almost didn't happen because of the Phillies Parade, but Freddie got us out of the city on time.
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