January 30, 2014

Frigid Winter Weather 2014



Hugs for Marge. Grace, & Bob


Weather not fit for man nor beast...

Weather not fit for man nor beast…

…it snowed during five days during the month…there were only a few moderately warm days. Everybody looked, longed and waited for warm weather. Things were undeniably bad. Temperatures in the first few days…were temperate…Conditions began to cool rapidly on the 5th. By the 6th…Cold northwest winds and snow squalls were replaced by heavy snows…across upstate New York and Vermont and throughout Maine… Snow and hail began to fall about ten o’clock a. m., and the storm continued till evening. Snow blanketed the area …rivers remained iced over… “A well known farmer informs us that… the snow was 6 inches deep in almost all sections of the state. It was so cold that birds froze, sheep and cattle died of cold and hunger…(the next day) rapid and extreme drops in temperature froze bodies of standing water to one-inch thickness… significant snowfall…, a wash-tub full of rain water was scum’d with ice  Portland recorded “a plentiful fall”… the snow acted as an insulating factor on the field, protecting (undergrowth) from the bitter cold winds, sleet and ice…great numbers of (birds) sought shelter in houses and barns; many fell dead in the fields…All travelers need great coats and mittens. I presume the oldest person now living knows of no such weather…(days later) Lake and river ice was observed as far south as Pennsylvania. At the beginning of the month h ice as thick as…

Frozen small pond

Frozen small pond

Doesn’t this sounds like reports of frigid winter weather in Southwestern Pennsylvania?

Ice on Washington Furnace Run

Ice on Washington Furnace Run

  • January 21, 2014: Western Pennsylvania commuters worn thin on Tuesday by slick roads and heavy rush-hour traffic face another test on Wednesday: a blustery return to the (more…)

January 28, 2014

WP Wkly Writing Challenge: Lunch 1/20/2014



Hugs for Joanne and Mary


Lunch 1/20/2014:


The January 20, 2014, WordPress weekly challenge is write a short(er) post during your lunch hour. During this limited period of time take a look at your surroundings and document what you see.



The couple, old enough to have grown children—even grandchildren—seated themselves at the two-person table adjacent to the six-seater where I sat with two friends, enjoying food and conversation.

He wore a lined flannel plaid shirt, she a worn winter jacket. They walked in as if they were regulars, a fact proven by the waitress’s friendly greeting as she approached the table with glasses of iced water—before they ordered it.

Suddenly, the man jumped. We looked over and saw that his table was (more…)

January 26, 2014

Open Birth Record Legislation Now (1/25/2014) in PA Senate





HB 162 Passed PA House, 1/25/2014

Now in PA Senate

UPDATE: HB 162 Senate Hearing

held by the 

Senate Committee on Aging & Youth

on March 18 at 10:00 a.m. 

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Continue to support HB162 by contacting

  • Bob Mernsch, chair of the PA Senate, Aging and Youth , 717-787-3110 or 215-541-2388
  • LeeAnna Washington, minority chair: , 717-787-1427 or 215-242-0472
  • Kim Ward, Westmoreland County, vice chair
  • Your PA state Senator


Adult adoptees are everywhere.

They stand in line behind you in the grocery store, sit beside you at conferences, celebrate with you at concerts. It’s likely they are in your family. Perhaps you know this, and wonder about these hidden persons. Perhaps they are a family secret.

Adoptees are in my family—I have an adopted daughter and nephew. Two sisters my mother released for adoption discovered me in 2010 and 2011. They were able to make connection with me because New Hampshire and Massachusetts have open birth record laws for adult adoptees.

They lacked medical/genetic and social/cultural history for more than 60 years. The first thing I said to each of them on our first phone contact was If we never speak again, I want to provide you with your medical history.

On October 23, 2013, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed HB 162 (Benninghoff), which allows Pennsylvania-born adopted adults to obtain their original, factual, birth certificate. There were no “no” votes. It is currently currently in the PA Senate, Aging and Youth Committee.

I encourage you to support HB 162 by contacting your state senator.

If the Senate passes HB 162 it will allow Pennsylvania adult adoptees the same access to their original birth certificates as non adoptees have, and as my sisters had in New England.


Adoptees are the only people in the U.S. that are, as a class, denied the right to view their own birth certificate. This denial of “adult adopted persons access to information related to their births and adoptions has potentially serious, negative consequences with regard to their physical and mental health, according to a 2007 study written by Madelyn Freundlich, the former general counsel for the Child Welfare League of America,

Prior to 1984 things were different. Adult adoptees born in Pennsylvania could access their original birth certificates just as all non-adopted adults who were born in Pennsylvania. In 1984 this equality under law changed upon the enactment of the Adoption Act 195, which took away the right for adult adoptees to obtain their original birth certificates.

As a result Pennsylvania adoptees hold false birth certificates that state they were born to their adoptive parents. Their biological parents’ names are a state secret.


Sealed adoption records are a relic of outmoded depression-era laws created

  • to protect the adoptee, for which there was an underlying fear and stigma that the illegitimate child would be ostracized because of the mother’s out-of-wedlock pregnancy.
  • to   maintain the prerogative of adoptive parents who didn’t tell the child about the adoption and to protect the adoptive family from exposure to embarrassment due to the illegitimacy.
  • to prevent pregnant women from choosing abortion over adoption for fear their relinquished children would be able to discover their birth mothers’ names in eighteen years’ time.
  • to create an adoptive family that are indistinguishable from those formed by birth

Overriding these factors is the need for many adoptees to discover their heritage—medically and socially, and the need of many birthmothers to confirm their child’s status.


I maintain that adult adoptees have a right

  • to information needed to understand of their identities – including the identities of their birthparents and information about their births and adoption. There’s a great solace in even knowing a [birthparent’s] name.
  • to information that can provide them with family, genealogical, and medical (more…)

January 25, 2014

Photos in Foul Weather Not Fit for Man Nor Fowl 1/25/2014






Ligonier Valley, PA. and Laurel Mountain Borough

A buoy? In Laurel Mountain Borough? Think warm thoughts.

A buoy? In Laurel Mountain Borough? Think warm thoughts.

IMG_2533E 140122

IMG_2539 E 140122


January 23, 2014

11 Facts About Valentine’s Day


Hug to




Valentine’s Day Photos & Quotes



Carolyn’s Online Magazine (COMe) in January 2015.

I invite you to visit the new site and encourage you to Follow it.



The history of Valentine’s Day–and the story of its patron saint–is shrouded in mystery. We do know that February has long been celebrated as a month of romance, and that St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition.****

NOTE: February 1, 2014, is the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ first #1 hit, “I Want To Hold Your Hand.” Enjoy the day by reading Submarines, the Beatles, Sloops, and Apples.


  1.  In the Middle Ages young men and women drew names from a bowl for what purpose?
  2. What two alternatives exist for St. Valentine’s Day?
  3.  What is the Valentine’s Day significance of the church “Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church” in Dublin, Ireland?
  4.  How did the action of wearing your heart on your sleeve develop?
  5.  If a person is considering five or six names of suitable marriage partners, how can he determine which one to pick?
  6.  Three the name Valentine (Valentinus) belonged to at least three men. What countries were they from?
  7.  What does it mean if a person seeking a mate sees a squirrel on Valentine’s Day?
  8.  When was Valentine’s feast day removed from the ecclesiastical calendar?
  9. Why was Valentine’s feast day removed from the ecclesiastical calendar?
  10.  What does it mean if a person seeking a mate sees a flock of coves on Valentine’s Day?


What is the date of the oldest surviving love poem, what was it written on, and what time era was it written?

Click on MORE to learn the answers.


January 21, 2014

WP Daily Prompt: 1/7/2014: Ribbon Colors Mean… Part 2




(Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet)

Persian Gulf War yellow ribbon

Persian Gulf War yellow ribbon

This article continues the WP Daily Prompt for 1/7/2014, colors : Write about anything you’d like, but make sure that all seven colors of the rainbow — red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet — make an appearance in the post, and the WP Weekly Writing Challenge 1/6/2014, Cliffhanger! : …write a post that will leave readers waiting for more. (So) readers will have their curiosity piqued sufficiently to wait expectantly for the second part.

In  WP Daily Prompt: 1/7/2014: Ribbon Colors Mean… Part 1 I wrote about the issues that red, orange, and yellow ribbons make people aware of. This post will discuss green, blue, indigo, and purple ribbons and the issues they make people aware of.



Green awareness ribbons bring support for and awareness to isues that include childhood depression, missing children, bipolar disorders, ovarian cancer and tsunami victims.


Human Heart

Human Heart

Green is an international symbol of support for organ and tissue donation.  Awareness recognizing both the dire need for more organs to save lives and hope for those waiting for a second chance at life through transplantation, as well as thanking the donors and their families for giving the greatest gift of life so another can live on. Wearing a green awareness ribbon brings attention to the cause and initiates conversations to share information, according to the London Transplant Gift to Life organization.

National Organ Donor Day, celebrated on February 14th, coincides with Valentine’s Day, a coincidence chosen by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 1998. Valentine’s Day is a perfect day to show love by signing up to be an organ donor.

Ways to become an organ donor include:

  • Joining the National Registry of potential volunteer marrow and blood stem cell donors.
  • Donating, at childbirth, your baby’s (more…)

January 19, 2014

11 Facts About Groundhog’s Day (Feb. 2)



Hug for


Punxsutawney Phil's mug shot

Punxsutawney Phil’s mug shot

UPDATE—FEBRUARY 2, 2014: Expect 6 more weeks of winter. Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow,

Falling midway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, February 2 is a significant day in several ancient and modern traditions.

The first official Groundhog Day celebration took place on February 2, 1887, in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. It was the brainchild of local newspaper editor Clymer Freas, who sold a group of businessmen and groundhog hunters—known collectively as the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club—on the idea. The men trekked to a site called Gobbler’s Knob, where the inaugural groundhog became the bearer of bad news when he saw his shadow.^


NOTE: To entertain children click on Groundhog Day—Children’s Stories & Poems .

Read the 2015 article: Groundhog Day Recipes & Pictures

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.



  1. The groundhog’s cleanliness protects them how?
  2. A groundhog’s life span is normally 6-8 years. Why has Punxsutawny Phil’s add 7 additional years to his life each year?
  3. The movie Groundhog Day, released in 1993, had what effect on the 1994 Groundhog Day ceremony on Gobbler’s Knob in Punx Pennsylvania?
  4. Why don’t groundhogs drink water?
  5. Punxsutawney Phil has hobnobbed with which famous persons?
  6. What is Punxsutawney Phil’s full name/title?
  7. By what other terms is a groundhog known?
  8. Why did the Germans start asking the groundhog about spring?
  9. What did groundhogs discover in Ohio?
  10. Groundhogs are simple creatures who build small burrows. True or false?


When groundhogs hibernate during the winter their body temperature drops from 99 degrees F. to what? Their heartbeat rate drops from 80 beats a minute to what? And their breathing drops from 12 breaths a minute to what?

Click on MORE to find answers.


January 18, 2014

WP Weekly Photo Challenge 1/17/2014: Family

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



Hug for Nolan on his 42nd Birthday



The WP Photo Challenge for January 17, 2014, is family: The interpretations of “family” are as varied as families themselves…show us any kind of family — a gaggle of ducklings, a copse of trees, a row of identical buildings…

The first thing that came to my mind is a post I did on two television sit-com theme songs: Cheers and Seventh Heaven, which represent two different types of families, the broken one and the loving one.

The image I wanted for Cheers was a broken piece of china, representing the breakage in many families. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to repair broken families, as it is to repair broken china. Each piece of china holds part of the story.

Not wanting to break my china for a photo I selected an online photo:


The second images are of a loving family, as portrayed in Seventh Heaven:

A train (or snake)

A train (or snake)


January 16, 2014

WP Daily Prompt 1/13/2014: Ice Skating Competition & A Stored Memory



Hugs for my sisters

WP Daily Prompt 1/13/2014:



The WordPress Daily Prompt for January 13, 2014, was Ripped from the Headlines : click over to whatever website you visit most frequently to get news. Find the third headline on the page. Make sure that headline is in your post.

I’m cheating a little bit on this Daily Prompt, as I don’t know if I’m using the third headline on the page. However, I was watching for an article with information on which ice skaters were chosen for the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
IMG_6535 140111 E“You missed the first ice dance,” my husband informed me.

d been distracted and missed the dance being aired on NBC on January 11th . The 2014 Prudential U. S. Figure Skating Championships pairs competition, would determine the United States participants in the Sochi Olympics. I expected to view the entire program. Five couples competed for 2 Sochi Olympic spots (it was not official that the top two would be chosen—this will be announced at noon Jan 12).

The first skaters I watched were Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir, performing their Pairs Short Program. They were first after the Short Program, with a “record total” of 73.13.

Perhaps I was meant to see them first. She is from Cranston, Rhode Island near where I was born and a site we visited September 2013. He is from Boston, having arrived in Sudbury at age 18 months old. He is Russian and speaks the language. They were skating at the same ice rink where they practiced.

The Boston venue added to my interest in this competition It was happening at perhaps at the same ice rink where I witnessed a skating show in December 1948 when I was 4 years old (just about the time I turned 5…Or perhaps I was 5).

I learned later that the original Boston Garden was (more…)

January 14, 2014

WP Daily Prompt: 1/7/2014: Ribbon Colors Mean… Part 1



Hug for Sandy

  WP DAILY PROMPT 1/7/2014:


(Red, Orange, Yellow)

The WP Daily Prompt for 1/7/2014 is colors : Write about anything you’d like, but make sure that all seven colors of the rainbow — red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet — make an appearance in the post, either through word or image.

Since this topic is too long for a single post I decided to do it in two parts, which qualifies it for the WP Weekly Writing Challenge 1/6/2014, Cliffhanger! : …write a post that will leave readers waiting for more. Breathless with anticipation. On the edges of the seats…We want to hear audible groans when readers reach the end of your post and see “To be continued…” Although this is an informational rather than a storytelling post I hope readers will have their curiosity piqued sufficiently to wait expectantly for the second part of title, WP Daily Prompt: 1/7/2014: Ribbon Colors Mean… Part 2.

Persian Gulf War yellow ribbon

Persian Gulf War yellow ribbon

As I placed the yellow ribbon on my Christmas tree, reading its words Operation Mail Call, I thought about the military men in my family: my father, uncle, grandfather… Then I wondered about the yellow ribbon’s connection between the 1970s song Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree, and the Persian Gulf War in the early 1990s, the latter being the time of the ribbon.

And I wondered why yellow? Thus, I found myself surfing the Internet to find an answer.

As I surfed I discovered all the colors of the rainbow are used in ribbons to bring support and awareness to select issues. This post will run through the rainbow colors. Part 1 will cover red, orange, and yellow. Part 2 will cover green, blue, indigo, and violet.


Red ribbons bring awareness and support for numerous issues, including Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE), Mothers Against Drunk Driving, reflex sympathetic dystrophy.


Screen shot 2011-10-26 at 2_16_13 AM

Red Ribbon Week is the last full week in October, a time set aside to present a visible commitment to a safe, healthy and drug-free lifestyle. The campaign is designed to accomplish the following:

  • to create awareness concerning the problems related to the use of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs
  • to support the decision to live a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.

The first Red Ribbon Week was proclaimed in 1988 by the U.S. Congress to commemorate the sacrifice of Drug Enforcement Agency agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, who was murdered by Mexican drug traffickers.

An annual Red Ribbon Theme Contest reminds adults to support drug prevention efforts and set a positive example for children. The 2013 winning theme was A Healthy Me Is Drug Free. Previous winning themes were The Best Me Is Drug Free, It’s Up To Me To Be Drug Free, and 100% Me Drug Free.

Which reminds me that I won a poster contest at a camp when I was a teenager. It was the first thing I ever won.



Red Ribbons also advance the issues involved in women’s heart disease.

The annual National Wear Red Day ® is on the first Friday in February, February 7th in 2014. It brings awareness that heart disease is still the No. 1 killer of women, killing almost 1,100 a day…(it) kills more women than all forms of cancer combined. It is a silent killer, having symptoms that (more…)

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