February 28, 2013

Laughlintown (PA) Post Office to Make Changes: Part 1


Most persons who attended the Laughlintown Post Office meeting on February 19, 2013, knew it was just a formality, just United States Post Office procedure.

The 25 attendees knew what was coming was a done deal.

Still, there were lots of questions from Laughlintown Post Office and Rector Post Office box-holders. (FYI: The Rector Post Office is housed in the Laughlintown Post Office structure.) A presentation of the questions and issues raised at the meeting are found at Laughlintown (PA) Post Office to Make Changes: Part 2 .

Sign on the former Rector Post Office (in Rector, PA) was removed in 2005

Sign on the former Rector Post Office (in Rector, PA) was removed in 2005

In mid-January box-holders from the Laughlintown and Rector Post Offices received a mailing from the Post Office’s Postplan Coordinator, Linda Cafara.

The Postal Service has established a review process for certain Post Offices known as the POST Plan.

The POST plan is a cost-cutting move that includes reducing Post Office window hours to 2, 4, or 6 hours per day, according to (William) Bill Battles, manager of Post Office Operations in Fayette and Westmoreland Counties.

The letter included an explanation of a new Post Office plan notification of the public meeting date/location, and a survey.

Mr. Battles opened the meeting by introducing himself and thanking attendees for coming. He noted that the public meeting was to make sure we—the box-holders and the Post Office—are all (more…)

February 26, 2013

National Pig Day (March 1) Children’s Stories, Poems, Etc.



For children (of all ages) I surfed the Internet and found the following sites with stories, poems, and finger plays that provide National Pig Day entertainment.

(Subscribe to this site to receive, an email of current posts, by typing your email address in the subscribe post at the top right of this page. You will receive an email asking you to confirm the subscription. Emails will not be published.)


What do you get when you cross a parrot with a pig?
A bird who hogs the conversation.

What do you give a sick pig?

What kind of pigs know karate?
(Pork chops!)    More

What do you get when you cross a pig with a centipede?
Bacon and legs    More

What do you call a laundromat for pigs?
– The Hogwash!

Why doesn’t anyone want to play on Peg Pig’s football team?
– Because she hogs the ball!

What do you get when you cross a pig with a cactus?
– A PorkerPine.

How did the little pig win at Monopoly?
He built hotels on Pork Place.  More

a-pig-grunts_coloring_page_jpg_468x609_q85TONGUE TWISTERS

Pete’s pa pete poked to the pea patch to pick a peck of peas for the poor pink pig in the pine hole pig-pen.
More (more…)

February 24, 2013

Share a Smile Day (March 1) Children’s Stories, Poems, Etc


For children (of all ages) I surfed the Internet and found the following sites with stories, poems, and finger plays that provide Share a Smile Day entertainment.

NOTICE: As of January 15, 2015, CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS has moved to Carolyn’s Online Magazine.

I invite you to visit the new site and to subscribe in the FOLLOW box in the upper right hand corner.

You will receive an email asking you to confirm the subscription. Emails will not be published.)


Q. Which is the longest word in the dictionary?
A. “Smiles”, because there is a mile between each “s”!

If peanut butter cookies are made from peanut butter, then what are Girl Scout cookies made out of?

Knock, knock. Who’s there? Aardvark. Aardvark who? Aardvark a million miles for one of your smiles!



Smelly shoes and socks shock sisters.
Sam’s shop stocks short spotted socks.
Sunshine city, sunshine city, sunshine city



Never smile at a crocodile!
No, you can’t get friendly with a crocodile


February 23, 2013

February 22, 2013: Flowers Emerge Through Snow


FEBRUARY 22, 2013:


Our stream is frozen...

Our stream is frozen…

...but the snowdrops are budding...

…but the snowdrops are budding…

...and the daffodil shoots are clearly visible...

…and the daffodil shoots are clearly visible…



A Sense of Place

Boston Blizzards: 2003 & Nemo 2013

Category on Creatures

February 21, 2013

Cucumber Falls in Ohiopyle, Pennsylvania


Cucumber Falls was most likely as equal an attraction to the first known group to inhabit the area as it is for tourists and residents today.

The first known group known to occupy the Ohiopyle region in Pennsylvania the Monongahela, a Native American clan of the Mound Builders. They and other Native American tribes ultimately disappeared from the region following the French and Indian war that ended in 1763.

The name Ohiopyle is derived from the Lenape Indian phrase ahi opihale, meaning it turns very white, a reference to the frothy waters of the nearby Ohiopyle Falls.**

Photo by Monte

Photo by Monte

Cucumber Run is named for the abundance of one species of magnolia tree, the cucumber magnolia (Magnolia acuminate), that still is found in the watershed.** Another explanation for its name came from a friend: (more…)

February 20, 2013

WP Daily Prompt: Nightmare: What Does It Mean?

WORDPRESS DAILY PROMPT for February 19, 2013
What Does It Mean?

My Journal Entry for Tuesday February 19, 2013

I went to bed at 12:30 a. m. At 1:30 a. m. I awoke with weird dream.

I was with someone in a ranch house along Rt. 8 north of Pittsburgh, near the Old Stone House. We heard an explosion from a bomb. It occurred about three miles east of us. We went outside and saw the smoke rise. Then water rose, flooding us up to our waists. It receded as quickly as it rose. When we entered the house we saw no water, or any wetness that showed water had entered the structure.

Then I woke up.


Guess what prompt turned up today?

Describe the last nightmare you remember having. What do you think it meant?

How do I know what it meant??? Can anyone out there explain it to me?

FYI: I’ve only had one other bad dream in since forever…and I don’t recall what or when it was, except that it occurred in 2013.



A Stained Glass Window in Brownsville, Pennsylvania

Boston Blizzards: 2003 & Nemo 2013

WP Daily Prompt: All About Me & What My Blog Title Means to Me

February 19, 2013

Should Big Mt. Savage (PA/MD) Be Renamed?


1866 depiction of the “Savage Mountains” triple ridge between the Negro and Wills Mountains

1866 depiction of the “Savage Mountains” triple ridge between the Negro and Wills Mountains

There is a movement on to change names of historical sites, both man-made and geographical, to conform to political correctness and the sensitivities of a limited number of people. The following came in my email, with a petition to support the action:
Unknown to most people, there is a mountain named “Negro Mountain” which straddles the Pennsylvania/Maryland border. Rep. Rosita Youngblood (D, Philadelphia) is introducing legislation to change the name.
This made me wonder if two other mountains (and a river) I have researched also have a movement to change their names: Big Savage Mountain, Little Savage Mountain, and Savage River, along the Pennsylvania/Maryland border.
256px-Allegany_coal_basin  savage mountain ridgeApparently I’m not the first person to consider this thought:
The Montgomery County school system has voted to ban team nicknames, mascots
and logos with American Indian themes. The Poolesville High Indians had
circled the wagons and voted to keep their mascot. But it didn’t help.
They, too, will be forced to change. More recently the Havre de Grace
Warriors of Harford County announced they will be forming a 12 member panel
to discuss their mascot’s fate (and eventually decided to retain the same.)
It’s with this thought in mind that I think we should be ready if at some
point someone attempts to impose a similar ban on us. Here’s one
The editorial, titled Politically and historically correct, continues: :
Big Savage Mountain, as well as the Savage River, take their names from John
Savage. John was among a group of 17 surveyors sent to the area by the King
of England, George II, in 1736.
Their purpose was to determine the great Northern Neck boundary of Lord
Fairfax’s land and locate the headwaters of the Potomac River. The
expedition, after battling two snowstorms, soon ran out of provisions and at
one point began considering the killing and eating of the most expendable
member (more…)

February 17, 2013

February Birthstone: Amethyst


February Birthstone: The Amethyst
“The February born shall find
Sincerity and peace of mind,
Freedom from passion and from care,
If they, the amethyst will wear.”

The February birthstone, deeply steeped in history and lore, is also the traditional seventeenth anniversary gift. It is traditionally used in engagement and anniversary rings because it is said to strengthen love between two people.
Because the amethyst is linked to addiction and gives the wearer the power to overcome any adversity it is often referred to as the “sobriety stone.”This symbol of protection reminds the wearer, and others, of the addict’s struggle with an alcohol addiction. The stone was sacred to Dionysus, the god of wine and overindulgence.


The amethyst, part of the quartz family, comes in any shade you can imagine, from the palest lavender to a rosy mauve to a deep plum that is nearly as dark as black.
AMTHYS~2It’s not clear why amethysts are purple. Some scientists believe this color is due to the gem’s iron oxide content, while others attribute the color to manganese or hydrocarbons. Some amethyst crystals, particularly those from Brazil or Uruguay, can become yellowish-brown when heated and are then sold as citrine.
The deciding factor in determining the amethyst’s value is its (more…)

February 14, 2013

WP Daily Prompt: All About Me & What My Blog Title Means to Me

Filed under: blogging,WordPress prompt or post — carolyncholland @ 3:00 am


WORDPRESS DAILY PROMPT for February 12, 2013



The naming of things is a difficult matter.

I named my blog  CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS because I’m not tremendously creative and could think of nothing better.

IMG_8343E2I also chose it because it’s generic. The recommendation when designing a blog is that it have one focus. Of course, since I’m a rebel, I disregarded that advice. I wanted my blog to be a magazine, and magazines, unless they have a target audience, tend to have articles on many subjects in many genres. Thus, my blog’s simple title doesn’t limit its content.

Although the title implies the posts are MY writing, I occasionally post items written by other persons, usually a family member. These include In Our Mother’s Womb ; The Flamingo, A Pizza, and a Big Bad Dragon , and Rack the Green-Nosed Reindeer,

One writer even has her own category. Following my Mother’s death each of her children received a copy of her writings. My siblings agreed to allow me to post her work , found in the category Nancy Briskay Cornell Lipsius .


Originally my blog was meant as a learning tool for navigating the Internet and as a personal place to post some of my writing. Since then it’s meaning has evolved.

First, my blog connects people. My two most interactive posts are genealogy related— IN SEARCH OF THE ARABELLA: A Story of Two Boats and KILLED STRANGELY: A NEW ENGLAND MURDER STORY . Killed Strangely became a forum for those researching the Cornell family rooted in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, in the 1600s. And yes, Ezra Cornell, founder of Cornell University, is a descendant of Thomas and Rebecca Cornell, as is Lizzy Borden. And, of course, myself.

But more valuable connections, two personal ones, came about because I provided a platform for my Mother’s writing. Two infants she released for adoption traced their biological roots through CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS: My Mother’s Secret: An Adoption Story and Sister’s Day: 2012—Sisters Meet After 63 Years .

Second, my blog allows me a platform to creatively journal and memoir as I relate experiences from my present and past, often relating them to current events: Boston Blizzards: 2003 & Nemo 2013 .

Third, my blog is a venue to explore numerous historical issues and to sort out complicated historical data that underlies my historic romance novel: Stock & Money Market Speculation Today and in the 1790s .

Fourth, CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS encourages me to (more…)

February 12, 2013

Boston Blizzards: 2003 & Nemo 2013

BOSTON BLIZZARDS: 2003 & NEMO 2013P1010368E

In 2003 in Boston, an incredible 27.5″ fell in 24 hours, setting an all time record. **

A blizzard in Boston. In New England. And I was there…

The (2013) storm dropped 31.9 inches of snow on Portland, Maine,…*

I wish I was there, on the coastline, experiencing its full depth of winter.

I’ve wanted to take an extended vacation in New England in mid-winter, at a time when snowflakes accumulate into two-foot high drifts that blanket the white sands of the coastal beaches. My only stipulations are that we are within walking distance of the beaches, and that we don’t have to drive anywhere

My favorite New Hampshire beaches: Hampton Beach in Hampton and Wallis Sands Beach in Rye. In Maine there is Long Beach in York; Old Orchard Beach in Old Orchard; Popham Beach in Phippsburg, and Lamoine Beach in East Lamoine.

This year’s storm, Nemo, was perfect to fulfill my longing, dropping 31.5 inches in Portland and 24.9 inches in Boston. However, this isn’t the year of fulfillment.

By the way, even though there were blizzard warnings in effect for much of the storm as a point of definition we never officially had a blizzard. We had blizzard conditions, but they didn’t last long enough for the storm to qualify as a blizzard. According to the definition, we would have needed to have 35 mile per hour wind, combined with one-quarter mile visibility (or less) and it had to have lasted for 3 hours or longer. That did not occur in this storm…**


I think back to President’s Day, 2003. My elderly aunt, Nyllis Gardner, had died and my husband Monte and I left Connellsville, Pennsylvania, on Sunday afternoon to attend her funeral in Brockton, Massachusetts.

However, our Southwestern Pennsylvania weather was so treacherous that Monte actually cancelled church services. (Did I mention he was pastor of Wesley United Methodist Church in Connellsville at the time? And that he never cancelled church services?)

We quickly packed and started out.

We barely made it out of Connellsville. The Crawford Avenue hill was so treacherous that (more…)

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