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Ms. Low Flow and the Escape Poo

23 Aug

Lets be clear, I’m not a fiction writer.  However, I am a professional, even when we need to get real with our body parts, fluids, and functions.  Try not to recoil, its impolite.

So let me tell you a story.  Ms. Low Flow is our environmentally friendly excrement relocater has always been kind, but not always effective in her duties.  Though a sweet bubbling lady, she has many enemies in the office. Some of these enemies are my unknowing co-works who are waging war on poor Ms. Low Flow.  But her greatest challenge has been Escape Poo.  The Escape Poo is always just barely lurking below the surface, often just beyond one’s range of visions.  He is determined if anything to remain above ground.  Ms. Low Flow does her best to quietly and discretely sweep him into the undercurrent, but without help from the unknowing staff, it is a downhill battle.

The absent minded staff inevitably allow the Escape Poo to resurface, simply by not holding the handle down long enough.  Ms. Low Flow can only do her part if you do yours.

So dear friends,

In the office, park, or public restroom, and even at home.  Remember our good environmental friendly machines can’t do their job effectively if we don’t participate.  Hold down the handle and save your spouse from encountering the


First They Came…

23 Nov

I am often quiet in the midst of many changing things.  I have observed the uprisings of the Occupy movement in every state.  I’ve witnessed my home of Centre Country be rocked by sex scandal and lack of leadership and have seen the community struggle to pull itself together.   I have said little in the way of either.  I have watched a middle aged women tell her aging mother that the Occupy Moment is just folks complaining about the rich.  And when her mother asked if this was happening world wide, she said no.  She must not have seen the 300,000 people in Madrid Spain, or the oust of political leaders in Rome Italy, or the streets of London.  She must not have been watching.  She must have simply been consumed by her own mundane life.

But I said nothing to her elderly mother.  I did not tell her assessment was right.  Yes, there is something going on in the world.  And I thought about this quote from Niemöller:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.

So, I share this.  Someone from my community, who was a graduate student from Penn State when I first met him:

What a Summer

26 Jul

My Apologies.  I went to Ginnell Iowa for a whole week of work!  Good things Grinnell is so trendy.  I saved a dog and met a cute tatted police officer at mid-night under a starry sky.  (butterflies)

In other events.  I attended two weddings for some of my best friends (in the same day).  Though I have yet to develop my photos from the first, here are some quick glimpses at my friends Mr. Matt and Mrs. Sara Frank!

These fabulous folks held a smashing wedding.  Like their photography?  Meet my friend Nate Davis!  A Philly friend of mine asked me if all of my friends from Central PA look like Rock-a-billy stars.  I should think so!

Clean-Up for Squirrel Hill Falls Park A Success!

28 Jun

Thanks to all the folks who joined the clean-up effort last weekend.  We had over 25 volunteers!  Check out some of our photos!

Some of our volunteers are involved in other local groups.  Check them out!

Tool Library

Friends Rehabilitation Program Inc.


West Philly Worship Group

Schuylkill River Exiles Rugby Club

Farm Frenzy, Raise the Roof!

23 Jun

West Philly has gardens, garden communities, and mini-farms popping up all over!  Farm 51, the guerilla space “Plotland” and cute little lot garden on Kingessing behind the recreation center.  What you don’t know, is that the West Side is about to RAISE THE ROOF!  (And I mean literally plant and raise a farm on the roof!)

Rania Campbell-Cobb, landscaper and farm coordinator for Guild House West Community Garden, and Clare Hyre, education coordinator for Saul W.B. Agricultural School, teamed up to bring you Cloud 9.  (You can read more details on their website)  Whats really cool is the idea of building your own farm on top of your apartment complex, or what local corner markets could provide in their own store… “top-o-the-market tomatoes!”

Getting Grimey with Squirrel Hill (Falls) Park

15 Jun

Ladies, gents, dogs, and feral street cats!  Now is the time to grab your elbow grease and put on your Rosy the Riveter!  The tiny cloistered park located on 48th and Chester Ave. will be opening its doors for a (late) spring cleaning.

photo by charlie clay

Squirrel Hill (Falls) Park has a long history of disuse.  Though it had many amazing attractions (murals, seating, lighting, sound equipment, and waterfall) most of these things are in great disrepair.  Now, I’m not suggesting making the lot a grande focal point of the city, in the image of its illustrious past, but just to breath a bit of life back into the park.

Friends Rehabilitation Inc.  [website sometimes takes a bit to load] has worked hard on filing the for the right insurance to let folks enter the premises again.  Now the local community has a chance to share in a service effort on June 26th from 1pm-5pm.  Bring gardening gloves and tools.

We are still looking for:

  • -Trash Bags
  • -Garden disposal bags for leaves/organic matter
  • -Able-bodied friends!

Everything helps, so bring yourself or a friend, a good pair of work shoes.  If you just want to drop by because you can’t stay long, bring a kitchen trash bag with you!

West Philly Worship Group

9 Jun

I’m not too into religion, but I have to say I’ve been a church shopper before.  I am however, a Quaker.  Weird, huh?  A modern girl like myself.

Either way, Quakers in West Philly have been doing something cool and a little be out of the ordinary.  (Quakers in West Philly, who thought that was ordinary!?)  They hold a small worship group on Wednesday at 7:30pm, typically in someone’s living room.  Since it moves place to place each week, its good to check in with their list-serve. (Touch base here for more details: West Philly Google Group.

About 15-30 folks show up each week ranging in age (thought mostly in the 35 and under crowd) and coming from a wide range of spiritual (or non-spiritual) backgrounds.  The worship evening goes something like this:

  • Approximately 15 min of Check-Ins.  (Check-in is a period of time where folks can share their name and a little bit about themselves.)
  • 40 Mins of worship.  (Worship is silent.  Out of the silence anyone may be “moved” to speak and share a message.  If there are lots of messages, it is practice to leave a small amount of space in-between messages.  I typically count to ten.)
  • About 10 min. for After thoughts (anything that didn’t rise to the level of a message.), Joys/Concerns/Prayers, and Announcements.

There is always a bit of socializing afterwards and if anyone has questions about Quakers or the Worship Group, there are always folks available to answer questions.

Not sure what your spiritual inclination is?  Take the Belief-o-Matic quiz to get a better perspective!

For the likes for you

29 Apr

Events are popping up like daisies after a rainy Sunday!

PIC Plant Sale

Parent and Infant Center is having their  plant sale today and tomorrow at 42nd and Spruce (at the church)  I pre-orded my herb garden this year. Success!  Grab your own plants!

Park Pleasant Craft Bazaar

Little old ladies selling their wares to support breast cancer research…power mamas!  Not to mention, these folks live on the block (Chester blocks that is!)  And for folks who don’t already know, this neighborhood loves our grandmas!  Come out and support, grab a hand-knit dish scrubber, hot dog, and listen to some tunes!  For more information about PP’s race for a cure, Catch the Action Here!

Saturday Yard Sales- West Philly 

I don’t know about you but I love used goods.  I practically created my power-suit interview outfits from mix-and-match pieces found all over the U.S.  But here’s your chance to check out your neighbors junk (or treasure).  There are some good looking yard sales on 49th and 47th street.  Check your local phone pole.  One even mentions banana boat lady shoes.  For those of you not blessed with HUGE anchors, size 10+.

Jumbo Jumble Sale!

Trinity Memorial Church will be sharing its Jumbo Jumble Sale.  Their church news letter is here.  Scroll passed a few cute pictures of Jesus and you’ll find the details.

David Kosbob

My dear friend David, a West Philly local, is looking for a neat girlfriend (or girl-friend) to do all of these sweet events with. Also, he has an awesome series of music events he plans to attend in the next few weeks.  Touch base with him via his music blog.  (p.s. the newest album on his site is fantastic!)

Cheap Tricks #2 Doggie Bags

25 Feb

Living in the city is a little different than the suburbs or in the country.  The neighborhoods are tightly constructed to pack in as many people as possible.  Some with tiny yards and left to our imaginations on how we will effectively fit everything.  In the city, everyone has a companion (or at least most).  Dog, cat, squawking bird.  I fortunately have an Alarm Dog.  Barks a lot when something or someone is around the property.  Unfortunately, she costs me a pretty penny when it comes to health, food, and doggie bags.

Doggie bags?  For those who aren’t formally introduced to poo on the sidewalk, doggie bags are thin, sometimes solid colored bags, invented to pick up dog crap.  They also cost to be pretty, pink, and smell like chemical “flowers”.  In the way of being cheap (or frugal) I collect newspaper bags.  Thin, often clear bags remarkably similar to doggie bags.  My grandmother, Peggy has a whole basement collection.  I usually siphon off of her pile.  It helps her help me.

If you don’t get the newspaper and there are no other folks collecting the tiny bags, consider using your standard grocery bag.  Its not as pretty but just as functional.