Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Among Friends

I have been on the board of the Friends of the Roxbury Township Public Library for a number of years. Like many non-profits we are struggling in todays economic climate to maintain let alone increase donations. As a result non-profits are looking for new ways to connect with their membership. A monthly Among Friends e-newsletter is one of those ways the Friends are using. The e-newsletter will quickly catch you up with what's going on with the Friends. This month's message is about our upcoming May events. Please check out this issue of Among Friends. If you like what you see subscribe to future issues by clicking on the Join Mailing List link in the e-newsletter. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Parfait Murder ~ Appearances can be deceiving.

Wendy Lyn Watson recently sent me a ARC of her upcoming book “A Parfait Murder”. Parfait is the 3rd serving of a Mystery a la Mode series.  We open to find Sonny Anders, Bree’s ex and Alice’s daddy, strolling up the midway at the Lantana County Fair after a seventeen year absence. On his arm is his new lady, Char. Char is an enigma dressed up like a church social lady but with a walk that would give the Devil pause. The duo is back in town with a sweet deal for the business folk of Dalliance. But first Sonny’s lawyer, Kristen Ver Steeg has papers served on Bree challenging Alice’s paternity. The stage is set for an epic battle when Kristen turns up dead with Bree holding the gun.

Meanwhile Tally, the owner of Remember the A-la-mode and Bree’s cousin, has begun to date her childhood sweetheart Finn who roared out of her life after high school only to re-appear last year.  Their romantic adventures throughout the fairgrounds leave your head spinning like a Tilt n Wheel. Riding through the Haunted House moves their relationship closer.  Then a ride on the ferris wheel serves up a scene worthy of your favorite soap opera. While at the top of the ferris wheel a romantic moment is interrupted by a life changing event. When the Tally gets off the ride her family’s lives will never be the same again.

Things are not what they seem in this tale. Is Sonny really in town to disown Alice? What’s the scoop on his and Char’s business, is it the real deal or just a scam? Just who was Kristen Ver Steeg and why would anyone want to kill her? Will her latest family drama be enough to tear Finn and Tally apart or bring them closer to the cherry on top of the sundae? It’s up to Tally & Finn to get to the bottom of Sonny’s reappearance and Kristen’s murder before Bree finds herself frying for murder.

“A Parfait of Murder” is more delectable than a fudge sundae with double whipped cream on top. It has more surprising twist and turns than a Vanilla/Raspberry Twist cone. Pick up the book this summer for a cool treat at the beach.

Friday, April 15, 2011

My Favorite Childhood Restaurant Memory

In my search for tips on researching my family history I found an interesting group, GeneaBloggers. Among the advice offered is a challenge to record our own memories for future descendants. I am intrigued by their 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin which is a series of weekly blogging ideas. This week’s prompt is RESTAURANTS.

I immediately thought of Burger King. As a treat a couple times a year, my mom would pack my brother & my best friend’s family into the car for the trip to Burger King. Car rides with the two families always meant something fun was in store.  This BK was the first fast food restaurant in the area, so it was a novel experience for us kids. We would each get to step up to the counter and order what we wanted. This alone was huge! I realize the current generation expects that mom to fix different meals for each kid, but with the moms my friends & I grew up with, we ate what they made that night… and we ate it all, end of discussion. Our choice was the amount of fuss we put up before eating the brussel sprouts, too much fuss & no dessert. After we all ordered and gotten our crowns, we’d get our bag of food & head back home to eat. I don’t ever remember eating at the restaurant; instead all us kids would eat out on the porch back at home.

We moved from Blue Bell when I was still in elementary school, so my geographical memory is that of a child. I can give you directions from my house to: school, church, and Burger King. A few years ago we were passing through Blue Bell and there was a need for a bathroom break. Without having been in the area for decades I was able to direct the driver right to this Burger King. My aunt has moved to the area and lives a bit passed the BK, so now when I drive by, I smile.
What is was your favorite restaurant as a kid?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What's the Deal with Group Discount Sites?

Groupon, Living Social, Daily Deal
I've been getting e-mails, Facebook posts, and now TV ads on these. A friend sent me a Groupon a couple months ago for Barnes & Noble which looked interesting, but I didn't have time to deal so I left it in my inbox to deal with later. Those who use these discounts realize my mistake. By the time I had time, the time had passed to execute the buy. I roamed the site anyway, finding a great deal from Baby Genius. I got 5 of there top DVD/CDs for a little over the price for 1. My new nephew will be a genius! 

So what's all the fuss about? These sites advertise discount deals of 50% or more on a variety of products or services. The "deal" is activated when a pre-determined number of people agree to buy the offer. For example the deal that got me jazzed enough to write this blog is from Daily Deal. It's an hour massage & a chiropractic eval from Chiropractic Health in East Hanover, all for $39! I said yes and if 4 other people say yes today, then the deal is on. 

Living Social has an additional interesting twist. If you say buy one of their deals, tell your friends and 3 of them buy the same deal, then your purchase is free. For the well connected this could be a really good deal. Me, I'm looking at an interesting offer for a play at the PaperMill Playhouse. Problem is, I've got to settle on a date and find at least one other person  to go with me let alone three within the next 17 hours. That's just not enough time for me & my non-wired friends. Now if the offer was for a cool sporting event I have no doubt my nephew & his texting buddies would have it worked out in minutes. Oh God does this mean I am officially old? Yikes!

Back to my Chiropractic Health deal. In the time it's taken me to write this blog enough people have said yes to the daily deal from Daily Deal that it is on. Time for a massage!

Monday, April 4, 2011

This week is National Scottish Week

My family name originated in Scotland. Our original family name was Fairbairn, which was changed to Armstrong by an ancient King of Scotland following battle. As the story goes, the king had his horse killed under him in battle.  Fairbairn, his armor-bearer, lifted the king on his own horse with one arm. For this timely assistance the king rewarded him with lands on the borders, and to immortalize so important a service gave him the name of Armstrong. Tis the week to break out my Scottish plaids.