LMIAGPTL

You probably don’t know what that means. Or more accurately, what it stands for. It’s an acronym for a Facebook page about the community that I live in – Lower Makefield Is A Great Place To Live. Do you have this too? Is there a Chester County Is A Great Place To Live, Upper Darby Is etc.? Somehow I can’t imagine the same thing happening in other, bigger towns. It seems so quaint and so ours. You’re probably thinking what I first thought, “ain’t nobody got time for that.” But you do. You do have time for that. And it’s amazing.

It’s a place for neighbors to share a heads-up on traffic, weather and other happenings. Would you believe it’s a better source for local news than my local news? It is. I wrote a post a while back about a new grocery store opening in our neighborhood – well this FB page kept us all current on the opening, and now it keeps us current on when the good jarred sauce is on sale. Stop rolling your eyes and judging. I love those updates. I also love knowing that there’s a two car accident and to avoid the mall for an hour on a Sunday.

I’ll also admit that I knew nothing (nor cared) about local politics until I joined the group. But what I’ve learned is that local politicking is far juicer than the state. Right now we are in the midst of ousting a woman we believe is wrongfully representing us….because it was discovered that she lives in South Carolina now but is still on local boards! Scandal! Outrage! Justice! I’m telling you, it does not get better.

The site can veer off into drama sometimes, but who doesn’t love drama!? Case in point…(insert Law and Order music)…IF you happen to be driving by and want a Starbucks but it’s super cold out so you decide just to park in the fire lane while you dash in and out, a photo of your car will likely appear on this site – under the photo will be many comments chiding you for the lazy beast that you are. Or if…(Law and Order music again)…there’s a medical/police emergency within 10 miles of our community, I’m pretty sure we know about it the second the call comes in. It can be a little big brotherish, I admit, but for nosey rosies like me – it’s my jam.

Here’s the flip side of this page. It’s a hardcore business tool. It has over 3,000 members (some more active than others). These people stroll/troll/view this site every week, every day, every hour (people like me!) When my husband first started his small business, he spent alot of money on advertising in several different ways. It’s 5 months later and every single customer he has – 100% of his book – is from this site directly or from a referral. It’s no joke. It’s powerful. It giveth, and if you suck- it taketh away. I am now a complete and utter believer in social media marketing. It changed the trajectory of his company. It’s also how we find our favorite take-out joints, so there’s that.

And the site isn’t all about marketing and selling and policing. During the Halloween season folks would ask for random items they needed to complete a costume – and they almost always walked away with what they were asking for. The most commented and followed posts are about filling a local pantry or helping a family in need. Last year this site and the people on it, furnished atleast two homes with the things that family needed and couldn’t afford.

And the photos. I love the photos. I know everyone thinks their hometown is beautiful, but ours really is!  Ok I said it. My town is better than your town. Did I mention that we have some of the best Indian food and bagels outside of New York City, maybe even better than inside of New York City – and did I mention our local brewery is better than any in Seattle?? Just kidding folks. Calm down. In reality, if your town has a Trader Joe’s or a Whole Foods, our entire community bows down to you. You win. It’s not a competition you say? Sure it is. Everything is.

I hope you have a page like this, if you don’t  – go make it happen. It’s worth it. At the very least you’ll know which Chinese restaurant to order dinner from tonight.

Here’s some recent shots of Afton Lake, located in the heart of our bustling downtown (ha!). Photo cred to a fellow LMIAGPTL member kind enough to let me borrow the pics – thank you Nick Primola!

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An open letter to the men in my life

Dear husband and child,

I am sitting on a late train home surrounded by two men. One in the seat in front of me. One in the seat behind me. The dude behind me has burped, coughed (with his mouth open, I can tell!!!) and propped his knee into the back of my seat – I know this because I feel his knee.

The guy in front of me is….letting off some gases.

There’s nowhere for me to go. No open window to jump out of. All the other seats are taken. At first I was so disgusted and grossed out, thinking that these were two of the nastiest people on earth. But I think that’s wrong. I think the truth is that they probably don’t behave like this at home. Near loved ones. They probably cover their mouths when they cough and help wounded birds on the side of the road. I’m sure when they walk in the door at home tonight, they’ll hang their coats nicely, put their shoes away and wash their hands. But here, in the world, they roam wild and free and dirty. No one knows them. There’s no wife, girlfriend or mother to scold them. Notice I don’t say boyfriend or husband because I’ve never met a sloppy gay man, maybe in the future I will, but I haven’t yet.

That got me thinking about the two of you. What are you like on a train or a bus? Do you sigh loudly? Do you wantonly take up more than your fair share of space? Do you burp, fart, cough a nasty open cough? I don’t think so. You are both clean, nice, considerate, well-mannered boys. Aren’t you???

I know you are. I have faith. But then again there’s probably some poor woman/mother walking around the world thinking she did a good job with these two walking germs. Or maybe they live in a zoo and this is the best it gets. I dunno.

So promise me that when you are sitting in your mass transit of choice, you’ll remember this and not do at least two of those gross things? Please?

Thank you,

Signed, the woman in your life who will be taking a long, hot, disinfecting shower tonight, xoxo

Perspective

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Sometimes it’s not about the dinner, it’s about the view.

I’m starting Deep Thoughts Wednesday. It’ll be a thing. I’m sure of it.

2015 day 19

What’s up buttercups? Whatcha been up to for the last two weeks? You’ve taken down the tree? The lights? The cheer? We are holiday gear and cheer free. And loving it. Bring on the dark, cold days of winter! I’m nuts right? Here’s a recap of what’s been on my mind and in my world (I know, again with the recap – but this is what I can manage right now. It’ll get better)

  • Work has been crazy super busy, but in a fun way. Can you relate? The great thing about events is that you get to see everything you planned come to life. The scary thing about events is that you get to see everything you planned come to life. For good, bad or OMG. Work that my team has been doing for, in some cases, over a year – will come to life. Wish us luck! I’ll post photos along the way.
  • On New Year’s Eve we kept it really low-key. We invited one of our favorite families over to ring in the new year. They brought all kinds of goodies – but the goodiest of the goodies was a box of Magnum ice cream bars. Why hasn’t anyone ever told me about this? Why isn’t this the only thing people talk about? Anyone else addicted?
  • My husband and I are well on our way to seeing all the Oscar movies. Current fave is Whiplash with American Sniper close behind. Although Imitation Game is amazing. And Boyhood. Boyhood was really really good too. And I can’t forget Birdman. Or Grand BudaPHESHT Hotel. Up next for us is Selma and Theory of Everything. And then maybe I’ll pick up a book or talk to my kids.
  • My girl made the cut for her school’s production of Les Miserable – she’s proudly in the pit playing keyboards. I can’t tell you how excited I am. She doesn’t know this but I’ll be helping her practice. I’ll play the part of Cosette, Fantine, Javert and Jean Valjean. I can do it! What – it’s not about me? Sure it is.
  • Had dinner in Philly with our New York friends and laughed so much I made an ugly face – ever do that? He sent me a cute photo of himself which I’m sharing below (also sharing my ugly laugh face which my husband captured).
  • My kids continue their love affair with our cat Lexi. Once in a while I ask both of them to send me photos they’ve been taking – I find that 99% of them are Lexie shots. I shared one below so you can see the love, attention and detail that goes into their photo shoots.
  • The other 1% are silly selfies taken by my son (wonder where he gets that habit from).
  • I also included a small pic of my man giving me some love. Just cause.
    I have been dying to tell you all that. In my heart I’ve been writing the blog every day. In reality I’ve punked out. But as I say to my kids when I forget to pick them up from somewhere, it doesn’t mean that I don’t love you. It just means that I got caught up in some TV. xoxo

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2015 day 2

So far so good. Aside from my incredibly powerful desire to put away all the Christmas decorations and take down the tree, I’m feeling pretty chill and relaxed.

I haven’t had this much time off in almost a year. It was so needed and appreciated. I’m back at work today – although the rest of the world isn’t quite there yet, which is fine by me. I’ll take it nice and slow.

The kids are back to school on Monday, and although both would deny it, I think they are excited to get back. Enough with the family already. Just kiddin’.

One of my favorite moments from the past few days was Christmas morning. The kids have always bought each other little gifts, but they’ve been tokens. This year they both took time and money and bought each other the perfect gifts. And when they woke up they weren’t tearing open the things with their name on it. They wanted us to open our presents from them and they wanted to give each other gifts first. It was as gooey and corny as it sounds. It was awesome. These are good kids. You’re welcome world.

My husband and I don’t exchange, that’s our special gift to each other. Aren’t we romantic?

Here’s what else went down in the past few days:

  • My little baby girl went to a winter camp for 4 days and has decided to go to a 5 week session in the summer. Let me repeat what I’ve said before. I do not like this growing up thing.
  • I became addicted to the app Trivia Crack – which is aptly named. But Trivia Crack is so not whack, so I’ll keep playing.
  • My son got a FitBit for Christmas and now tracks over 20,000 steps daily. Without even trying. Instead of motivating me, this makes me want to take a nap. This makes him want to do one handstands.
  • I’ve cooked and cleaned almost nothing and we’ve done laundry only in case of emergency. It’s been amazing.
  • I didn’t bake cookies this year and no holiday police came to arrest me. I’m going to try not decorating next year and see what else I can get away with.

2014 has been quite a ride. Can’t wait to see what 2015 brings. Happy New Year everyone!

Here’s some random shots from the past few days…

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I wore my pants inside out. Merry Christmas!

When I got home from going to the grocery store, the dry cleaners, the gas station (where I ran into a neighbor and had a convo), and the bank – I walked into the kitchen and both my kids said,” Mom, your pants are inside out.”
Come on 2015!

I’d rather be the hammer than the nail

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Everything is connected. All the time. Don’t you think? Let me explain. My husband and I snuck off to see the movie Wild on Friday night. It was the first book I read when I joined my book club a few years ago. Great book. Great movie. Great book club. But this isn’t about the movie or the book club. This is about the soundtrack to the movie. I need to back up a few years.

In 2010 my husband turned the big 4-0. He only wanted one thing to celebrate – a trip to Munich, Germany for Octoberfest. Turned out that 2010 was a celebratory year for that event (I can’t remember if it was 150 years or 100 years). Either way it was a big year for them too. So we went, and it was a blast. Him and I are really good travel companions (not in an Amazing Race kind of way, but in a relaxed House Hunters International kind of way). We stayed about a mile from the fairgrounds and headed there the first night we arrived. It was out of control and amazing. Crowded. Loud. Did I mention crowded? Our favorite haus introduced us to all kinds of characters (we were almost lured into a tricky situation but that’s another story). We had a blast. A couple of notes for those who have never been. There are a lot of Italians there. A lot. Molto. Also, John Denver is their God. Everywhere you go – in every tent – every 5 minutes – they play Take me home, country roads. The entire place stops and all the Italians and all the brauhaus servers sing along holding hands. True story. I’m off the rails. Back to why everything is connected.

By the third night we were pretty much done with all the fest fun. My husband suggested we find a small, local pub off the beaten track and spend the evening there instead. And because he has a tracking device for such places, we found one on the other side of town. Quiet. Small. Almost empty. Dark. Perfect. We settled in with our beers, ordered some food and chatted with the two other people in there. Did you know Germans are very friendly? Did you know Germans in a bar with beers are even friendlier? They are. After about an hour of hanging out there, the doors to the pub flew open and an entire oompah band walked in. Have you ever seen an oompah band? Sorry I’m asking so many questions. Oompah bands aren’t petite. Here’s what they kinda looked liked.

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Imagine this group with those instruments walking into a small, dark, pub – you notice. Turns out that the oompah band are regulars here. And they don’t just put their instruments down and relax, oh no. They play. They play loud. By the time they got there, we were ready for some excitement and my husband started hooting and hollering as he often does and recording them with his phone. We bought them beers. We sang along. It was great fun. At the end of the night they played Simon and Garfunkel’s El Condor Pasa. My husband leaped out of his seat and started yelling and screaming. What can I say? He likes Simon and Garfunkel – and we were so happy not to be hearing John Denver. They played really well and I thought I knew the song but couldn’t remember. My husband turned to me and said,” you know, I’d rather be a hammer than the nail…yes I would, yes I would.” I nodded and smiled. Oh yeah, I said, sure I remember. Truthfully I had no idea.

Days after we got home from the trip we would play that song and even John Denver to remind us of the trip. We even made the kids listen, showed them all the videos. Eventually the videos got deleted, because unless our kids in them – they really don’t seem to make the cut.

A few months after the trip we were still thinking/talking/singing about our time away. My husband decided to Youtube videos of Octoberfest one night – that’s how desperate we were to relive our time. He watched videos of all the differnt brauhaus fun. Then he typed in El Candor Pasa Oompah band. And the first video that popped up was the one he clicked. He turned it up. It ended. He watched it again. Turned it up louder. It was a dark video of an oompah band playing the song in a small pub. No way. He called me over. He said, “do you recognize this?” He played the video and it looked kind of familiar – but it was so dark, I couldn’t make it out. Then he turned it up and pointed to the corner of the room – where there was a dude recording a video of the band and hooting and hollering. NO!! It couldn’t be!! But it was. Someone else from that bar had recorded the band too – and in the background was my husband holding up a phone and yelling. You couldn’t really make out his face, it was blurry – but it was him! Come on!! That’s fantastical no? I feel my kids rolling their eyes somewhere out there in the universe. We’ve told them the story a few million times. It’s a good story.

Ok I’m getting excited again. Back to the movie. Told you it wasn’t really a review. The soundtrack is amazing. It’s the one thing that kept my husband awake the whole time. And I know he liked the movie, even though he kept tapping me and asking,” when does it get WILD?” every few minutes. He’s hysterical.  I’ll ask one last question. What song do you think they played all throughout the movie? Yep. That’s the one.

Everything is connected, even if it involves oompah bands and book clubs.

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