Jersey Shore

Foodie Friday Fragments…

Friday Fragments…

Friday Fragments are bits and pieces of your week that are usually brief; too short for a stand-alone post, but too good to discard. Collect humorous observations, “Heard” items, and other small gems (hint: a notebook is helpful) and put them together in a Friday Fragments post. Leave me a link so I can read your fragments!

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

The Nor-Easter/blizzard was sort of a bust but it was still 6 or 7 inches of snow with an inch of ice on top of that. It was pretty until I had to go out to present a workshop an hour and 15 minutes away.

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Keep Moving Forward…


Keep Moving Forward Challenge:

I will post an entry in the Keep Moving Forward Challenge every Thursday from now through March 2015. To join in on the journey, use the comment section to tell us about how you “kept moving forward” that week. Write about it on your own blog site (and include the link in the comments), make a video, and/or use the hashtag #KeepMovingForwardChallenge on the social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram).


Please make sure to use #KeepMovingForwardChallenge on social media so that we can comment, like, share, favorite, or retweet!


Keep Moving Forward

It’s always easier to move forward when we have something to look forward to or something or someone special waiting for us.

I am an obsessive planner. I want to know what is happening every second of everyday and if for some reason I can’t know, I become anxious. Then there are those times that you know something unpleasant is coming and thinking about it causes anxiety.

confused woman

Before a recent surgery on my jaw (the 6th in a series of 8,) I was anxious because I knew the recovery would be painful and long. I also knew I would be craving my favorite foods for weeks.

I gave up worrying two years ago for New Year’s and an exercise I used to stop worrying was to close my eyes and imagine the most positive outcome for the situation that had me stuck in worry. If I was worried about my daughter arriving safely with the children, I closed my eyes and pictured them walking through the door.  That positive thinking is pretty much a habit now.

Recently I started using that exercise to help me get unstuck, to give me something to look forward to when I moved forward.

Faking it till you make it is working for me.

Before that recent surgery I pictured myself on the other side of recovery enjoying a steak and a salad, smiling. It wasn’t easy but it did help.

Feeling stuck during the editing of The Stranger In MyRecliner, frustrated with waiting for the answers to research questions and dealing with seemingly endless contract issues, the anxiety tried to get the best of me. When I felt the familiar soreness creeping in on my shoulders I would get up from the computer and take a break. I would close my eyes and imagine myself at a Barnes & Noble author event or a book signing/happy hour at the most amazing place for a book signing, the library at my favorite beach.

Doreen and Barbara meet IRL Schaivo Library (at the beach)

Doreen and Barbara meet IRL Schaivo Library (at the beach)

I used to get into a lot of trouble for daydreaming when I was younger. Spending time imagining positive outcomes feels a lot like daydreaming but today I’d rather think of it as time well wasted, like a vacation for my mind that fuels my creativity and leaves me wanting to #Keep Moving Forward.


Florida Does Beach Feet






A Perfect Dacation, Birthdays and Revenge…


Friday Fragments are bits and pieces of your week that are usually brief; too short for a stand-alone post, but too good to discard. Collect humorous observations, “Heard” items, and other small gems and put them together in a Friday Fragments post. Then leave a link to your Friday Fragments here:

Half-Past Kissin’ Time

Friday Fragments Summer logo









My granddaughter Allyson turned 19 on Monday. We celebrated with her on Saturday. She has not stopped amazing me since the day she was born. I am so proud of her for so many reasons but especially because she is such a good big sister.

Allysons Birthday 19

John and I took a motorcycle ride down the shore last Sunday. As soon as we got there it started to rain. We ordered cheese steaks and watched the Eagles game. As soon as the Eagles won, the sun came out. We took a long walk on the beach, visited the spot where we ended up on our first date and then married. For the last day of the summer it was surprisingly deserted.

Beach Goodbye Summer 3

After our walk we went to the boardwalk for the famous Manco’s Pizza. In the parking lot, I was going through my purse looking for quarters to put into the parking meter. A couple walked up to our meter and inserted seven quarters and refused to take our dollar bills. It is amazing how a small act of kindness like that really does make you want to pay it forward.

Manco and Manco

It was a perfect daycation.

Two weeks ago a guy ambushed two Pennsylvania State Troopers. One died and one was critically wounded. The guy has been hiding in the woods in the Pocono Mountains for fifteen-days now. There are over one-thousand cops looking for him. Yesterday they spotted him but he disappeared into the rough terrain again. It’s been interesting following the tweets of the reporters who no doubt are bored out of their minds waiting by the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. These tweets happened yesterday:

State Police will not speculate why Frein is wearing diapers except that they are sometimes used by snipers to stay in place

Thanks to Twitter, I just learned survivalists depend on #diapers and #Serbiancigarettes. Bizarre. #Frein

There were many more diaper and cigarette tweets but you get the idea.

I hope they find him soon and no one else is hurt. Life is really disrupted for everyone that lives in that mountain community. I cannot imagine the fear they must have especially the police officers families.

Today I am going to an alumni lunch at Temple University. Brian Williams is the keynote speaker. Tonight I have an event at our local mall and Saturday morning we have our first in a series of Press Club Workshops. It seems like we have been planning them forever, I’m excited and very nervous. Saturday night is date night and Sunday a Fairy Tale in the Hamptons Party celebrating the return of Once Upon a Time and Revenge. I have never seen either show. I want to watch them both, I need to see at least one episode so I can figure out what to wear so I can try to win a prize.

Have a blessed last week of September, oh my!



Time for Teaching and still Beaching…


Friday Fragments are bits and pieces of your week that are usually brief; too short for a stand-alone post, but too good to discard. Collect humorous observations, “Heard” items, and other small gems and put them together in a Friday Fragments post. Then leave a link to your Friday Fragments here:

Half-Past Kissin’ Time

Friday Fragments Summer logo








My husband told me yesterday to stop thinking about summer being over and to concentrate on enjoying each day of September. He is so right. The days are still sunny and warm, without being oppressive and the nights are comfortably cool. Then he asked me to go on a couple of beach dates. Just another of the million reasons I love that man.

Florida Does Beach Feet

I have some exciting things to look forward to this fall. Not only will I be teaching again but I have been working with a committee since last spring to put together a workshop series sponsored by the Press Club of Pa. They will be held the fourth Saturday of every month (except December.) They will be on social media, branding, style (for men and women), networking, understanding the news, how to get attention from the media for your product, business, store, event, non-profit, blog or book, writing and publishing, pitching your business and more. We have been so lucky to have top experts in these fields offer to join us. We even have a few celebrity guests. I will be writing more about these classes next week!

Our Florida adventure has come and gone but I have no doubt we all created memories that will last forever. My husband and I took five of our grandchildren to Daytona Beach to visit my mother and John’s sister. We were worried that at least the driving part would be a nightmare but I have to tell you the kids were so good and we had SO much fun. Kudos to John for renting the top of the line Town & Country minivan equipped with DVD players and satellite radio and kudos to me for creating maps and putting them on corkboard for each child with colored stick pins. One color for cities we stopped in and another color for cities we passed through. They really got into it and now they know how to read a map. We had a great time with family and friends, went Go Karting, to batting cages, the beach, to Zoomair Daytona a zipline adventure and more…

FLORIDA trip the kids by pool FLORIDA Here we go FLORIDA trip maps FLORIDA with Kids Florida beach all 5

During our vacation my laptop kind of crashed and even though there was a TV by the pool the kids always wanted to listen to music so I was forced to detox from my news addiction. After reading this post on Boomeon written by Cathy Chester, taking an occasional news break is going to become a habit for me:

Have a safe and fun Labor Day,





Wave on Wave


During the cold, dreary winter months, I keep depression away by planning every detail of my family’s summer adventures. From our annual family reunion/ beach week, romantic weekend getaways, writer’s retreats, daytrips to amusement parks and motorcycle runs for good causes, I can be found inside, researching the next best fun thing to do, while the snow is falling outside.

serious icycles


I convince myself every winter to hang on for just a few more weeks and my sanity will return and those empty idea files in my mind will soon be overflowing with creative ideas as I lounge along the shoreline soaking up the warm, soft breeze.

Beach Chairs

Then I snap out of it and realize that nearly every summer plan I have made for the last eight years imploded.  There was the summer I was recovering from a brain injury and couldn’t remember how to tie my shoes. Then there was the late spring where my daughter had to have an emergency c-section and was in the hospital for weeks. We did not want to leave her. Another summer my stepson was in a horrific motorcycle accident and in a coma for twenty-one days. That same summer our grandson had a pole from tennis net go clear through his leg in a freak camp accident. So embarrassing was the time I tried to shut the garage door at our beach rental and the door sucked up and crushed eight of my fingers causing my grandsons to call me Mom-Mom scissor –hands for the rest of the summer. Two years ago right before our vacation my father was diagnosed with lung cancer and one of my dearest friends was diagnosed with a cancer so ugly there isn’t even a ribbon for it. The outlook for both was grim.

After months of treatment, my father’s cancer went into remission. My friend went through months of chemo and radiation and then a life altering radical surgery and she was declared cancer free.

John and I swore we witnessed a miracle. We wanted to celebrate life. That January we leased a beautiful, private beachfront home that was large enough for our kids and grandkids. Beach week could not arrive fast enough. At every family occasion that winter we talked about the fun, we were going to have that summer.  My daughter’s and I planned the menus. We shopped for extra special beach toys for the kids and matching towels.

On June 10th that year, I was told my father’s scan showed a ‘mass’ in his throat. My mother’s scan showed a suspicious density in her remaining breast. It looked liked that summer would include a few trips to Florida to be with them.

The next day I got the news that my sweet friend’s scan showed multiple lesions. I would be spending some time in North Carolina that summer as well.

On June 14, John called me at work to tell me our realtor called and told him the perfect house we leased back in January was suddenly unavailable to us because the owner had a family emergency. The proverbial shoestring broke and I could not grab the pieces.

My personal rule to never, ever commit woman -on -woman crime no.matter.what. was about to be broken big time on that realtor because we found out it was her negligence that lost us our rental.  The owners of the property never had a family emergency.

Not to worry she said, we found you another house, it is only three towns away, does not have direct beach access and it is not private. Private being one of the key words here. With eight kids in the house the last thing we wanted to do was to be telling them to be quiet all week because of the neighbors.

It was also not on the sand that my husband spent every summer on from the time he was one-year-old. The sand where he and I stood on our first date and watched fireworks, appear out of nowhere. It was not the beach where we shared our first kiss and then thirteen-months later got married during a family beach week. It was not the same sand that held the precious ashes that John lovingly scattered so his first-born son would forever be a part of his family’s beach week.


That realtor just did not get that.

This past winter within three- weeks of one another I lost my father and my friend. There were no plans made for the beach this summer. I was too sad.

I am not going to plan the day but the first one that comes along and finds the two of us with the day off, no rain in the forecast and a clear calendar, I will look at John and say lets go. I will hop onto the back of his Harley and in no time at all we will be sitting on ‘our’ beach.

Daytona Biker Girl

Life can be chaotic, down right terrifying at times. It can feel like the world is crashing around us and sometimes even on top of us. I can always count on ‘our’ waves, to remind me that whether life comes at us as a raging storm or in soft poetic rhythm, it will be constant.

I will take the time to breathe softly and cleanse my soul of the everyday life stressors like traffic, lost sippy cups, endless deadlines and whining. My eyes will follow a seagull as he soars along that invisible line where the fluffy white clouds meet the sea. I will hold my husbands hand, close my eyes and be grateful for him, our family and our many blessings.

Beach kiss

I will open my eyes just in time to see a crab scurry by and I will shriek. John will laugh so hard that tears will roll down his cheek and I will give in and laugh with him. Our eyes will meet and for that moment we will have stolen back, our joy and we will smile. We will have a little fun in the sun and then ride into the sunset and back to our reality where we will excitedly be making plans for our next adventure.

Wave on Wave by Pat Green (our wedding song)



Flip Flop fashion or not…


I still think of Fraggle Rock every time I write my Friday Fragments. The song remains in my head for at least three days after each post.

Friday Fragments are bits and pieces of your week that are usually brief; too short for a stand-alone post, but too good to discard. Collect humorous observations, “Heard” items, and other small gems (hint: a notebook is helpful) and put them together in a Friday Fragments post. Then leave a link to your Friday Fragments post with Linky Tools and link back to our host Mrs. 4444 at Half-Past Kissin’ Time.

Friday Fragments Summer logo






Last Sunday John and I decided to take a motorcycle ride to the shore. It was a perfect day for the long ride. The beach weather was as close to perfect as it could be. As far as we could see along the shore line there were nieces, nephews and in-laws that we haven’t seen in a year. I didn’t take one picture.

From there we stopped into the Deauville Inn to meet up with my six-sister-in-laws for a drink and a little music and then to the Ocean City boardwalk for some Mack & Manco’s pizza. We crave that stuff.

The ride home was long. We may not have been able to get away for the whole week this year but the day was so needed.


Not Fun- I have been going through a series of surgeries on my jaw and yesterday at a routine appointment they found an infection and a random bone fragment. Ouch! Three more surgeries in the coming months and hopefully done, finally.

On Good Day Philadelphia this morning Jenn Fredd did a segment on some of the fashion items men dislike immensely. Hmmm. Platform flip- flops a big turn-off along with crop tops on women over the age of sixteen. Disliked by men the most is the one piece shorts romper. My flip-flops are flat. Do we agree? Do we care?


Apparently there is a bit of not so nice in me. On this week’s episode of 24 Jack finally caught up with a very dark and evil terrorist woman and instead of handcuffing her and turning her over to the CIA, he picked her up and tossed her out the window. I cheered so loud the neighborhood dogs barked. I might have had a bit of empathy for her if the evil biotch hadn’t cut her own daughters finger off and shot her son-in-law last week.

I started a new feature here, Writing Wednesday’s. If you ever felt like you had a story to tell check out the first post here:

Have a blessed weekend and dance your life away and save your worries for another day:)






Writer’s Conferences and the Insecure Writer’s Support Group…


Like most writers I can feel stressed out, from time to time, luckily for me, I have my friends at the Insecure Writers Support Group. #IWSG

The group meets on the first Wednesday of every month. Whether you need a shoulder to cry on or you have some great advice you would like to share, no matter where you are in your writing journey, you are welcome to join us.



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Happy witches, biketoberfest, hayrides and marshmallows…

I have no idea how many #Friday Fragment’s posts I‘ve shared. I know it is more than three years worth because I remember sharing about my youngest granddaughter’s birth and she turned three in June.

I am so grateful to Mrs. 4444 and this group of bloggers.  If you want to make real blogging friends please feel free to check out Friday Fragments. You will find all of the information here:

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Interview with Bonnie B. Latino…

I met Bonnie virtually on Facebook, a few months ago. She is a lovely person and a talented writer. I hope you enjoy getting to know her as well…

Bonnie B. Latino, Co-author, of Your Gift to Me

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Twitter trash talking, Book Writing, Graduation , the Jersey Shore and more Fragments…

Welcome to my weekly edition of Friday Fragments. If you have some Fragments and would like to participate in the fun and make some new friend along the way, visit our lovely host Mrs. 4444 and you will find the easy to follow instructions:

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Stranger In My Recliner book cover
Realize Your Writing Dreams by Doreen McGettigan
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