June 19, 2014

Bride’s Name at Marriage is a Choice



Baby Jane born to Mary Jones and Tom Smith…

Being of a curious nature a statement such as this raises many questions, since in today’s society media announcements of newborns are not restricted to wedded parents.

So I wonder:

  • Are they  married but Mary kept her maiden name after the wedding?
  • Are Mary and Tom married?
  • Are they living together, as is the trend today?

Today a bride often questions whether she should adopt my groom’s family name or should I keep my own family name?’s most recently compiled statistics (2010) on this issue shows that 86% of brides adopt their husband’s last names on the day of their marriage.

This is the norm of all (more…)

April 12, 2014

WP Weekly Photo Challenge 5/31/2013: Signs



Hug for my good friend Barbara.



The wordpress weekly photograph challenge for May 31, 2013 was the sign says—Signs: Funny, poignant, symbolic, incorrect, informative, foreshadowing…there are so many signs in the world.

Because I was traveling most of May I am delayed in responding to this Sign challenge and am playing catch-up. A year later. Today, April 12, 2014, is the Pennsylvania statewide regular opening day of trout season.


I shot the following sign along Pymatuning Lake in Crawford County, Pennsylvania, a number of years ago.

It speaks for itself.

See note at end of post for information on

The annual Open House: A Day at the Hatchery at the Linesville State Fish Hatchery, April 5, 2014


The following sign was taken between Cumberland, Maryland and Meyersdale, Pennsylvania.



March 15, 2014

Weekly Photo Challenge 11/15/2013: Layers



(posted 3/15/2014):


The WordPress weekly Photo Challenge for November 15, 2013, was layers. Below are three pictures of woodland fungi:

IMG_5749E - Copy




January 5, 2014

WordPress Daily Prompt for 8/18/2013: Procrastination


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

I invite you to visit the new site.

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONSMovicons2-hugsandkisses(3)

Hug for Joanne


Today’s date: January 5, 2014


 The WordPress daily prompt for August 18, 2013, was procrastination.

I was writing it on November 24, 2013. Today, January 5, 2014, is the day I’m publishing it.

I ask you: Is this procrastination or what?


Question: What have I been putting off doing?

My answer: Responding to this post.

Question: Why was I procrastinating?

Answer: It was filed in an out-of-sight site, which was temporarily abandoned for more recent items that would later receive the same treatment.

Simply put, by filing it out of site I could procrastinate and neglect to follow it through. I do that with many items that cross my desk. In fact, paper items crossing my desk are so prolific it’s easy to procrastinate.

I procrastinate on other things too. For example, bunnies and kittens are adorable. Soft fur, snuggly, good companions. However, their fur contributes to what we, for some reason, we call dust bunnies—or dust kittens. These are not so cuddly as they gather under our couches, along the edges of our floors, under our beds. When I operated a child care home, I found a creative means of dealing with the dust bunnies a. k. a. dust kittens. The children decorated a jar, and every morning they opened it to feed their pet bunny or kitty as many (more…)

December 29, 2013

Snow Tubing Part 2: Carolyn’s 1st Ride

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONSMovicons2-hugsandkisses(3)

Hug for Marcus.

Part 2

Members of the Monte Holland family went snow tubing at Hidden Valley (Southwestern Pennsylvania on the Laurel Ridge) on December 27. My grandson Marcus, 7, helped me document that visit: click on Snow Tubing
Part 1: The Holland Family
. The following relates my first and last snow tube ride.

A snow tube ride became a part of my bucket list, and was accomplished before I ever had a chance to write it down.
I decided I should try one ride if I was going to write this piece. Of course I had to be color coordinated, so chose the yellow tube. As I stepped onto the conveyor belt I almost lost my footing, and I was approaching the top of the hill I wondered what kind of a nut I was.
10 IMG_5497

However, it was too late to change my mind—the only way down was via snow tube.

At the top I quickly snapped a couple of photos before sitting down.

11 IMG_5508E

Then the worker gave my tube a gentle shove.

The ride was (more…)

December 28, 2013

Snow Tubing Part 1: The Holland Family



Hug for all those who snow tube.

Part 1

Marcus with Grandma Holland

Snow tubing provided Marcus and the rest of the family with a day of joy , as the photos in the accompanying post demonstrate. Part 1 is the family’s experience from Marcus’ point of view. Snow Tubing Part 2: Carolyn’s 1st Ride relates my first and last experience riding a snow tube down a steep hill.   Carolyn

It was cold and windy this morning when I awoke. I was excited about going snow tubing, but my brother Vince was less excited because he really wanted to go skiing.

“I don’t want to go skiing,” I said. “I want to go snow tubing.”

Because my cousin Jordan wanted to go snow tubing and she could only go today, my Daddy and Grandpa Holland decided we would go to the Hidden Valley Resort snow tubing hills, tucked in the Laurel Ridge off Rt. 31.

Vince and I went snow tubing during the Cleveland Snow Days when I was 5 and Vince was 7, two years ago. While we were there we also watched the Ohio State versus Michigan hockey game. Unfortunately, Michigan won although we were cheering for Ohio. And we also went ice skating.

The hills (at Hidden Valley) looked big, In Cleveland, the hills were just slanted, in a straight line. Here there was a big slope and a hump, then another straight slope and a second smaller hump.

I wanted to pick the orange tube to ride, but Vince got to it first. I picked a red one because there were only red ones left.
1 A IMG_5410E

Then we went on the conveyor belt, also known as the moving carpet. I liked this because you didn’t have to walk uphill, but I didn’t like it because it moved slow. Everyone but Vince took the conveyor belt to the top of the hill. Vince had run ahead and was almost at the top of the hill when Daddy, Mommy, Jordan and I stepped onto the conveyor belt.

1 b IMG_4953When we reached the top we had to pick one of the four slopes where we climbed into our snow tubes and then a worker, with my Daddy’s help, tied our snow tubes together.

2 IMG_4997EThe worker waited until the coast below was clear, then pushed us down the hill.

3 A  IMG_4958E

Workers keep an eye out for safety.

It was fun that I got to go downhill fast, and got to scream and put my arms up. It was like a roller coaster ride. On the ride snow was blowing in our face. I was cold before the ride, but after the first ride I warmed up a whole lot. After a while I got sweaty under my clothes. I had too many of them on.

“My Daddy had to wave his cap to let my Grandma (Holland) it was us coming down the hill. She was trying to get pictures.”
3 B IMG_5006E

The ride could be as a train (also known as a snake), which is tubes in a line; a bundle, which is a group of tubes, or an individual.

A train (or snake)

A train (or snake)


December 26, 2013

11 Facts About New Year’s Eve & Day



Hugs for Fred Wells and Father Time


The birth of a New Year is celebrated in most of the world’s countries, making the celebration of the eve and the day an occasion of global celebration.
What do you know about the New Year?

  1. The oldest of holidays, it was first celebrated when?
  2. Where was the first celebration of the New Year?
  3. Do all countries celebrate New Year’s on January 1?
  4. Where in the world do the first celebrations of the New Year occur?
  5. Where in the world do the last celebrations of the New Year occur?
  6. Traditionally, it was thought that people could alter the luck they would have throughout the coming year. How could they do this?
  7. Why is New Year’s celebrated with noisemaking and fireworks?
  8. What feast does the Catholic Church observe on New Year’s Day?
  9. Why are ring-shaped foods favored on New Year’s Eve and day?
  10. When did the very first Times Square ball lowering occur?

The traditional New Year Eve midnight song, Auld Lang Syne, is a ( nationality) song written by (author) in the (era), and its words literally mean (meaning).
It was once believed that the first visitor on New Year’s Day


Click to locate the answers. (more…)

December 24, 2013

Santa Claus Christmas

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS Movicons2-hugsandkisses(3)

Hug for Jesus


Snowflakes fell gently and lazily while we rang the Salvation Army bell. Occasionally the breeze would pick up, offering us a wind chill factor. One breeze was sufficiently strong to knock over the kettle support, which we caught before it fell.

Ringing the Salvation Army bell for Heritage United Methodist Church was just one of our Santa Claus gigs this 2013 Christmas season.


Up to two inches of rainfall, causing some flooding. High winds toppling trees and power lines. Temperature varying between 72o and 60o Fahrenheit.

Typical, if not perfect, spring weather.

Except this was December 22, 2013, the day after the Winter Solstice, in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

For a complex combination of reasons the Salvation Army kettle campaign wasn’t reaching its goals this year, making their work challenging. But an additional challenge was met by the Salvation Army Mon Valley Citadel in Monessen, Pennsylvania, the rains brought added complications. In the midst of a Saturday afternoon downpour their basement experienced a flood that destroyed $3,000 worth of toys stored there, toys collected for needy children.

Lt. Joel Thwaite  and Lt. Susan Thwaite, husband-and-wife team leaders of the Citadel, were amazed when they arrived at the Citadel was again filled with toys donated, overnight, by community members, including three truckloads from the Mon Valley Leathernecks (sponsors of the Toys for Tots campaign).

“Everyone else is being Santa today. We’re just (more…)

December 22, 2013

Turtle Doves (2nd Day of Christmas)



Hugs for Fran and Jim


  On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me
A partridge in a pear tree.
On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me
A partridge in a pear tree
Two turtle doves…


A couple of years ago I was in Buffalo, New York, during the Christmas season. While at the home of my (Kensington) high school friend, Pat, I examined the ornaments on her tree. I was taken aback when I recognized that numerous ornaments were familiar—they were ones I’d sent her through the years.

This often happens, as our family Christmas card has, for 42 years, been a tree ornament. My sister Sally has a tree set aside to display our ornaments.

One goal on my “bucket list” is to complete one ornament representing each of the gifts listed in the song The Twelve Days of Christmas. Because the ornaments are interspersed with other timely themes, I have many to do.

Couldn't use photo of baby doves

Couldn’t use flash…nighttime…best photo of baby doves

In June my friend watched doves nesting in a planter hung on her porch. I was fortunate to see the baby birds shortly after they hatched and the day before they left the nest. It was even more fortunate that I photographed the latter.

Ready...set...not yet...

Ready…set…not yet…

The picture of two now-adult (or late adolescent?) doves provided the theme for this year’s ornament—On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me, two turtle doves… In the musical piece the doves represent (more…)

December 21, 2013

Zider Store (Laughlintown, PA) Reroofed



This autumn the Progress Fund purchased the Laughlintown, Pennsylvania, structure known as the Old Zider Store.


The first major task they accomplished was replacing the roof, gutters, and downspouts. Zider’s Store is located on the Lincoln Highway (Rt. 30) east of Ligonier in the Ligonier Valley.

Below are photos of the reroofing in progress.

Oct. 28, 2013

Oct. 28, 2013

Oct. 28, 2013

Oct. 28, 2013


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