Saturday, November 21, 2020

Day 376 - No Stress Thanksgiving-From Freezer to Oven Turkey or Turkey Breast in a Bag-Archer Farms


I stress about making Thanksgiving dinner every year because I am not that good of  a cook (see Day 243).   Thanksgiving is one of my least favorite holidays because cooking the dinner is not a “ labor of love” for this girl but a stress bomb. I also think it’s highly unfair that during this holiday women slave all day cooking (I know that some men carve or help by deep frying the turkey) but mostly men get to relax, eat dinner, and watch football. 

This year during the pandemic,  I am trying to eliminate as much stress as possible and for me that is  that  is cooking!  Instead of making  numerous calls to my girlfriend, who takes on the role as my “turkey line,” I decided to make it stress free by again trying a freezer to oven turkey in a bag (Archer Farms at Target). Since we are keeping it small, I am opting for the turkey breast option this year. The tale that follows is of my experience with the full bird option two years ago. 

Monday, October 26, 2020

Day 375- Zombies of the Corn -Get Your Halloween On-Out Door Package of Fright and Fun


One of Pittsburgh’s claim to fame is the local filming of the zombie movie “Night of the Living Dead.” Zombie fright is in full swing this time of year. If you are looking for a place to celebrate during the pandemic, you can find your fill of the undead  just north of Pittsburgh at Zombies of the Corn.   At this  Zombie mecca you  can walk though the Zombie Compound, test you navigation skills in the corn husk  Z Maze, and take aim with your paintball gun on the Zombie Shoot ride. It is a complete out door Halloween package of fright and fun. 

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Day 374 Ohiopyle State Park- Dare to Explore the Youghiogheny River –“Pedal/ Paddle” - a Whitewater Experience that Balances Thrill with Relaxation

Ohiopyle State Park located in the Laurel Mountains is great place to enjoy the outdoors with biking and hiking trails, waterfalls and more.  A highlight of the park is the Youghiogheny River that offers kayaking and whitewater rafting experiences for all levels of bravery. The bold adventurers can tackle the class III and IV whitewater of the Lower Yough. For those of us that are daring but not quite fearless, the Middle Yough, with class I and II whitewater, offers an experience that balances thrill with relaxation.

Monday, October 5, 2020

Day 373-Frankenstein by Manual Cinema and City Theatre -Humorous Spooky Cinematic Drive-in Experience


During this time of social distancing, City Theatre gives the drive-in a face lift by making it a safe place to go to satisfy a craving to get out of the house and experience live entertainment (see Day 372). In October, City Theatre celebrates Halloween by bringing an inventive production of Frankenstein by Manual Cinema to Hazelwood Green. Manual Cinema  combines shadow imagery, puppetry, special effects and lighting with a live band to tell this classic story from the author, Mary Shelly's perspective. It’s a humorous and spooky cinematic experience.    

Monday, September 21, 2020

Day 372 - City Theater's Drive-in Arts Festival- Adapting Live Shows- Lifting Our Spirits

 As a lover of the arts, I have had “theatre withdrawal” during the pandemic. I had accepted the grim reality that live shows would take an intermission for some time. My desire to find an activity outside the home and to stay safe caused a reoccurring dilemma just like the song lyrics, “should I stay or should I go.”  City Theater's Drive-in Arts Festival put a kibosh to the conundrum and gave me the green light to go when they offered live performances in a safe social distancing drive-in theatre venue.  Like many, I am tired of staring at a computer for work, school and entertainment. I applaud the creativity and collaboration of the arts community in adapting live shows to lift our spirits.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Day 371- Remember 9/11- Flight 93 National Memorial (Shanksville, PA)- Pause Refection on Unity


A common field one day. A field horror the next

Like many, I remember EXACTLY what I was doing on September 11, 2001 when the hijacked planes crashed into the World Trade Center.  During this horrific event “time stood still” and we were glued to the television watching repetitious replays of the events. Yet this monstrous day somehow birthed a feeling of unity in this country. Stores were sold out of American flags. The American flag waved everywhere, on cars, homes, lawns and television. There was a united spirit to help, pray and care for one another.    

 During the present time of social distancing, protests and polarized elections, visiting the memorials are powerful reminders to pause, put aside our differences and unite as we honor those that left this world  on September 11, 2001.  

Friday, May 22, 2020

Day 370 -Happy 143 Day-A day to Remember Kindness and Love

Mr. Rodgers stature with mom (Pgh North Shore)
 Today is the 143 day  of the year, a day of kindness and love initiated by Pittsburgh icon Mr. Rodgers. During this pandemic when stress levels are high and protesters are in the news, we all could use a reminder from Mr. Rodger's to say "Happy 143 Day" and celebrate with a little dose of  kindness and love for others and self.  

Friday, May 1, 2020

Day 369 Liberty Magic@Home -A virtual Magical Experience Every Friday- Where Thoughts of Covid- 19 Disappear and Objects Reappear

Just prior to the pandemic lock-down in February 2020, Pittsburgh’s Liberty Magic, a venue dedicated solely to the art of the sleight of hand, celebrated its one year anniversary.  For two seasons, world-renowned magicians wowed, amazed and brought a variety of personal approaches to the "magic show" for an adult audience. Magic@Home continues the show with a virtual magical experience. Host Zoe Ruth, Venue Manger of Liberty Magic, brings interviews and tricks with two new magicians to the virtual stage every Friday at 7.30 pm. Tune into Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Youtube or Facebook live  every Friday and watch your thoughts of  Covid-19 disappear  as objects reappear during this magical home experience.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Day 368 Earth Day-Virtual Celebration-Pandemic by-product, Blossoming Earth

Wednesday was the 50th anniversary of Pittsburgh’s Global connection with Earth Day. This year’s Earth Day celebration has gone digital in the present age of social distancing. Although Pittsburgh’s Earth Day has been moved to August due to Covid- 19, organizers have put together a variety of  virtual activities to explore for several weeks to come. One of the positive by-product of this pandemic has been cleaner waters and bluer skies. It seems that the earth decided to blossom this spring in celebration of Earth Day.   

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Day 367- Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater-“Ailey All Access”-Weekly Free Performances

During this “stay home” period, I have been in search of new “art experiences.” New York based Alvin Ailey Dance Theater offers "Ailey All Access"- weekly full-length dance videos from their repertory every Thursday, Ailey dancer conversations on Instagram live every Wednesday and Saturday at 1 pm, and virtual dance classes.  This is an opportunity to experience this modern ballet dance company whose mission is to use “the beauty and humanity of the African-American heritage and other cultures to unite people of all races, ages and backgrounds” through dance. 

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Day 366-Easter-Passover-Spring

This Holiday looks a little different in the shadow of the Coronavirus. We celebrate even as we stay home and keep our distance from others and our loved ones. I wanted to share one of my favoret Psalms in the mist of it all.


The LORD is my Shepherd;
     I have everything I need.
 He lets me rest in green meadows;
      he leads me beside peaceful streams
He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
      bringing honor to his name.

Even when I walk 
       through the dark valley of death,
I will not be afraid, 
        for you are close beside me.'
Your rod and your staff 
       protect and comfort me.
(PSALM 23:1-4)

Wishing you all an enjoyable modified holiday as we adapt to our changing world.  We can find  peace and rest in the constant of nature, newness of spring and promise of love this holiday.