Woohoo! Time to Party!

daylin-leachSo the state senators just passed a bill to legalize marijuana in Pennsylvania! I know there’s a long way to go (Corbett seems to be causing trouble as he’s no fan), but this is the first step. And as far as I’m concerned, it’s a great one!

All the Democrats voted yes and a somewhat high number of Republicans (27) did as well.  I don’t know about these nay-sayers. I mean, there are so many people out there suffering. And why? Because of college students getting high from it? That’s just crazy. I personally am wholeheartedly behind Sen. Daylin Leach, D-Montgomery, who said at the debate: “It is cruel and heartless to deny people the best medicine that is available. And it’s time to stop treating this irrationally and saying, ‘we’re not going to let you have this, we’re going to instead make you take far more dangerous and less effective drugs.’ That’s just not how we would want to be treated; it’s not how we want our families to be treated.”

And if at the same time we can use it recreationally as well…

Kids Back at School

First+Day+of+School+back_to_school_family_cartoonFinally the kids are back at school. I don’t mean to be a terrible mom or anything but yay! The kids are back at school. It’s just so hard sometimes. The demands are so great. I only have two yet it seems like at least one of them always wants something! I can’t even imagine how it is for people with more than four kids.

So for my first day “off,” I just sat and vegged. I brewed myself a wonderful pot of Starbucks Medium Roast Breakfast Blend, put my feet up and turned on my iPad. I then proceeded to spend the next two hours, completely enwrapped in funny YouTube movies to enjoy my escapism.

The cutest one I found was Baby Got Class. Boy did I laugh. Can’t wait to show that one to Daniel when he gets home! Plus, it took away some of my guilt at feeling like a bad mom. It seems like I’m not the only one who was excited for the first day of school!

Well, here’s to happy days at school and relaxing, quiet days at home for mom!

Summer Things To Do with Kids in Harrisburg PA

appalachian_trailLooking through the calendar for cool things to do with kids in Harrisburg this summer, I came across some great ideas. The first thing I saw might not have been perfect for my older kids, but for sure my younger kids and I enjoyed “Music at the Mill.” Carroll Swam of the Bluestone band came along to help out the informal jam session. We got to see the mill that dates back all the way to the 19th century and we hung out, jamming to the music. The best part was it was free (although they were collecting donations to benefit the Friends of Wallace-Cross Mill).

Another cool activity for my kids in Harrisburg was Nixon’s Park Turtle program, presented by the York County Department of Parks and Recreation. We learned about this turtle species which was pretty interesting actually, this time, more so for my older boys.

A couple of weeks ago I went with my girlfriend on the 10 mile hike on the Appalachian Trail that started on the Shippensburg Road South and ended up at the Caledonia State Park. It was pretty scary actually since most of it was downhill, but I had to pretend I was doing fine as that for sure wouldn’t have impressed the girlfriend! We went across two small streams and it really was a great way to enjoy nature.

Overall so far – both with and without the kids – we’ve had a great summer in Harrisburg. Long may it continue!

Harrisburg Calendar for July

wildwoodI’m wondering what to do this month to really get into the spirit of summer. So I started checking out the Harrisburg Calendar for fun activities, especially those that are outdoors, and also – preferably – kid-friendly ones.

So next week there is a Stress Relief Walk, starting at the Nature Center! I don’t think my kids are going to go for that so I’m going to try to see if the ex will have them that night. It’s early evening (the best time to walk in my opinion) and it’s a 3-mile stroll with short climbs and easy trails. Why not? I think it’s a great way to kick off the summer!

Now, the next night there’s a Canoe Wildwood by Moonlight. That looks really interesting but I’m not sure if I can get away two nights (I also have a lot of work commitments next week and the week after). Anyway, if I do get to go, I’ll learn all about what’s changed over time vis-à-vis the lake and the park, as I paddle into the aquatic ecosystem to check out the lake and marsh. It sounds phenomenal, especially since the timing will provide picturesque views as the moon rises over the lake.

On July 12 there is a Volunteer Work Day to help Wildwood and all its habitat enhancement projects. That’s from 10am to 1pm so that’s perfect for the kids and me to do since they are on holiday from school anyway. Then I’ll treat them all to a pizza. It’ll be a good day out I hope.

So that’s a start at least. It looks like it could be a really good summer. That’s presuming the ex and the kids co-operate!

Summer Harrisburg Clubs for Kids

canooeingIt’s time to think about the summer. The kids are with me for a long stretch of time and I simply don’t have the cash to take them away anywhere. So I’ve just started looking around for local options. Thankfully there seem to be a few.

Clubs in the region will be opening ponds, streams and grounds for local kids to frolic and enjoy lots of outdoor activities – the perfect antidote to my three boys’ massive energy! Registrations are just beginning and I’m going to get in there! My philosophy is, the more exhausted they are, the better off for everyone!

This year there are some great opportunities for nine to sixteen year olds (which more or less covers all three of my boys). The Capital Area Sportsmen for Youth Field Day on June 14 will make a great weekend activity – starts at 7 30 and ends at 3 00pm. Thankfully I’m past the days of early risers so we’ll probably find ourselves there at around 11. It’s perfect – especially for my oldest who is constantly complaining we only do stuff for the younger ones. They are going to do shooting, canoeing, fishing, archery and more. He’ll definitely have fun there.

So it’s a start. I’m going to keep my eyes peeled though for more Harrisburg clubs and their activities to keep boys busy and active this summer.

Bringing in Extra Income

cashI’ve recently begun seeking out opportunities to make extra income. I have a lot of expenses coming up with the kids and I need to stop feeling panic every time my mortgage is due. I’ve seen a few online opportunities but I’m not sure I can find something that is in complete sync with my skill set.

I did some research and it seemed like the most methodical way of doing this is figuring out my skills and then seeing what work is out there. I like the idea of working from home but I’m not the best writer or editor. However, maybe I can do some telesales job? There was something interesting at Carnival Cruise Lines so I may apply that.

Later on in my research, I found something interesting with Primerica. When I did a web search I found their mission statement to be most appropriate for my needs: “to help families earn more income become properly protected, debt free and financially independent.” Debt free alone sounded good to me!

There’s also a job I’m qualified for going at Panera Bread nearby. Problem is it’s nights. I can do it – it’s a baking opportunity – but I’m not sure I want to commit to nights. I used to work nights and it was tough, especially with a day job. But I guess I’ll think about it.

Hopefully something will come up with Primerica – it seems that there are a lot of like-minded individuals working for that company who have the same requirements as me. We’ll see. I’ll start applying and then hope for the best.

Easter and Kids: Harrisburg, PA

IM000337.JPGI had the kids this year for Easter for the first time in Harrisburg.  Had no idea what to do with them.  I started looking on line for things to do with kids in Harrisburg, over Easter and found a bunch of things.  But since my kids are quite different ages, I eventually settled on Hersheypark’s Springtime in the Park.

Everyone loves Hersheypark.  I know that I’ve taken the kids there a lot already but I find I never get bored of the place.  I’ve actually not yet experienced Springtime in the Park so I figured this would be as good a time as any to start, especially now that the weather is really great.

So we went and we really had a blast (I totally overate the Easter Eggs but of course that would happen at the Hersheypark!).  I was delighted to see that there were new rides just in time for the holiday season and my kids enjoyed both the Cocoa Cruiser and Memory Machine.  If you want to go, get your tickets ahead of time.

The best part for me was just before we left, my little one said “daddy, this was the best day ever; let’s come again soon.”  Success!

Winter Harrisburg Fitness

jumping-jacksWhen it comes to the cold weather, the only thing I want to do is lie down and do absolutely nothing.  I mean, seriously, who wants to do anything other than snuggle under a blanket?

But apparently that’s really not the way to beat the blues.  The way to beat the winter blues is actually by exercising!  Aah! That doesn’t sound like fun!  But I read recently – and my girlfriend keeps confirming it (very into fitness is she) – that exercise is the most important when the weather is like this.

No matter what it is you do, just do something apparently is the message.  The idea is to REALLY sweat.  And the theory is, that by exerting energy – even if one is freezing to start with – it is like having an internal heater as one sweats so much from the exercise that they are no longer cold.

Now I get it. I really do.  I mean sweating sure is one way to get warm.  But the thought of getting dressed up, in the car and seek out some Harrisburg fitness actually fills me with dread.  So I came up with a different solution (and also a way of getting my 3 boys to exert some of their excess energy – something boys ALWAYS seem to have) and that is, jumping jacks in the living room.

Boy did we sweat!  And when my girlfriend gave me the Wahoo Fitness Heart Rate Monitor I figured I would get really competitive while getting in shape. What could be better?

Harrisburg Calendar in Sports

city-islandersHarrisburg City Islanders just began their busiest season ever.  Two days ago saw the start of the 11th USL PRO campaign.  Beginning and ending in North Carolina, the team will participate in 28 regular-season contests for the first time.

Included in this are four games that will be played against Dayton, three against Charleston, Richmond and Pittsburgh and home-and-home sets with Wilmington, Charlotte, Orlando.  The Rhinos are also taking part.  The single-game series will be played with the Blues, Sacramento, Phoenix, Los Angeles Galaxy II and Oklahoma City.

In 2013, the team played a home-and-home set with the Colorado Rapids reserves.

Rabbi Tully Bryks on How to Find Your Soulmate

soulmatesSo the search is on again.  I just got dumped.  And I’m tired.  I really want to find my soulmate already.  Enough of just dating, or being married and then divorced.  I want to find THE ONE.

So rather than just go to my local bar, or sign up for a dating website, I thought I’d do some research into what “experts” have to say about how to find one’s soulmate.  During my research I found that Rabbi Tully Bryks had something interesting to say.  Now I’m not Jewish or anything but I figure if someone has some sound advice, who cares what religion they are from?

According to him, “one of the many beautiful Jewish concepts is the idea of a soul mate. Forty days before a baby is born, a proclamation in heaven declares the ideal future soul mate for that baby’s soul. When G-d created the first person, the verse says, ‘G-d created ‘Adam’ in His image, male and female He created them.’ The definition of the Hebrew word “Adam” is person. A careful reading of the text indicates that this 1st person was some sort of hermaphrodite. G-d then took from the rib of this dual-gender being and created two separate genders.”

Not wanting to confine myself to Jews’ opinion of soulmates, I then moved over to research the Buddhist attitude.  While Buddhism in and of itself does not promote soulmates (being a proponent instead of monasticism), there are still four areas one keen on finding their soulmates, should focus on.  According to an article by Tara Springett, these are: commitment to love and grow in love; law of an even deal(for satisfaction amongst both partners, they need to equally give and take); harmonious energies (romance) the intimate relationship.

Then there is the Christian approach.  Like Judaism, it takes a Biblical approach, quoting Genesis 2: 19: “The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’” From the beginning, God designed the concept of companionship and created a picture of partnership in the first relationship between Adam and Eve, which is further evidenced throughout Scripture in the lives of Abraham and Sarah; and Mary and Joseph; and many others.”  True believing Christians also believe that they should trust God to find their soulmate.

I like that idea.  I like the idea of putting trust in a higher being (rather than a website!)  But I do believe I need to do a bit of work too and not just wait for God to rescue me.

So I may take a leaf out of Buddhism, Judaism and Christianity’s book – why not use all three – and see if that way, I can somehow find my soulmate quickly and smoothly.  Why not try religion? So far nothing else has worked!