Last year I made a New Year’s resolution to pay off the mortgage on my house before the end of the year. It was a lofty aim, because it would mean paying it off almost two years ahead of schedule. I even searched for a second part-time job to supplement my income, but nothing seemed to be a …

It seems that it’s so easy to start feeling stressed and overwhelmed at this time of the year, especially if we continue to demand perfection of ourselves with all the extra decorating, shopping, baking and wrapping that needs to be done. How refreshing it was to take a break recently from a…

I’ve always prepared the traditional Thanksgiving feast for my family, with the exception of the pies. I usually use a cooking bag for the turkey, as it keeps the meat moist and cuts down on the baking time. I keep trying to duplicate the taste of my mom’s giblet stuffing, with only moderate…

Has this ever happened to you? You’re dead tired after an especially busy day and are looking forward to dropping into bed and drifting into a deep and restful sleep, but find yourself still tossing around hours later. It’s like you can’t shut your mind down as you keep going over things you…

Johnstown wasn’t the only Pennsylvania city to have been devastated because of the failure of a poorly constructed dam. Even though 2,209 lives were lost in Johnstown, the tragedy did not result in any laws concerning dam failures being passed. In 1911, twenty-two years after the Johnstown f…

We recently read Al Roker’s book, “Ruthless Tide” in one of my book clubs, and it was all about the Johnstown flood of May 31, 1889. I was surprised to learn that this was not just a horrific natural disaster, but was actually caused by the irresponsible actions of a group of 50 wealthy busi…

It seems like I’ve been fighting a war singlehandedly for weeks now. It all started when I moved my seldom used toaster and discovered that a busy convention of tiny ants was in full swing. No doubt the crumbs they found could have sustained them for a long time, but I swung into action imme…

Granddaughter Violet recently turned 3 years old, as impossible as that seems to me! What a difference a year makes! She has grown four inches taller and four pounds heavier, she will talk the leg off of anyone willing to listen, and she goes way too fast on her scooter, as I found out last …

It is true that our lives can change drastically in the blink of an eye. I experienced that just recently when I attempted to stop 3-year-old Violet from crashing her scooter when she came down a ramp way too fast, in spite of my frantic yelling, “Put the brakes on!” I reached my hands out t…

According to people who study such things, our shopping habits have changed drastically over the last several years. There is much more online shopping being done, leaving many malls and storefronts empty. I was in Altoona recently and noticed that the Sears store there has closed too, as ha…