An Afternoon of Ice Skating

Today I left work at 1 pm and ventured into the city for an afternoon of ice skating. I had lunch at Panera, then I decided to walk to Penn’s Landing to get photos of the landmarks for a circle journal I am sending to New Zealand. As I was walking, I had my own personal soundtrack playing:

This was my favourite song in my sophomore year of high school. I was thinking of this song the other day and yesterday it appeared on my heavy metal playlist on Amazon. It appeared on my playlist today.


‘I just started listening to Asking Alexandria and they’re not bad.

Another favourite from high school. I love Pantera; fitting that I was listening to it walking out of Panera. Back in 2004, dad used to confuse the names. LOL!

I have a soft spot for Drake.

Of course, when I arrived at the skating rink, put on my ice skates and began ice skating, the tone of the soundtrack changed. I listen to everything and tend to get pumped up by everything. Here is the music that graced my hour of ice skating. Perfect workout music too, as well as music that perked up my mood.






I was singing along to this one. I love Lizzo.


Right now I am listening to a special Martin Luther King Jr. tribute put together by the Cleveland Orchestra. Earlier, the Philadelphia Orchestra performed this very piece. I stand with Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision and with the Happiness Box Project I strive to incorporate everyone, and treat everyone with loving kindness.

Ice Skating Sunday

Today I ventured down to the River Rink for a morning ice skate. It has been a month since I last went and it felt great to be back on the ice at Penn’s Landing. This is going to be a music and photo entry. I skated to some great tunes today that not only pumped up my blood, but also pumped up my smiles.

I actually really like this song, it reminds me of “Criminal” by Fiona Apple and that is one of my favourite songs.



He was on SNL last month and I fell in love with this song. It’s catchy and good to skate to.




The wind enjoyed these hits too and I guess Mother Nature wanted a skate partner because she was skating by my side. I held myself with the wind and at times, she was pushing me, then I was pushing her.


I’m leaving work two hours early tomorrow and I will go ice skating again. It’ll be 30 degrees tomorrow and I’m excited to hit the ice! I also can’t wait to see what the soundtrack will be tomorrow – it’ll be snow much fun!

Friday Joy Filled with Nature, Ice Cream, Community and Ice Skating (17 January 2020)

Yesterday I decided to walk to Manayunk. It had been two months and this was my first 3.3 mile walk with my new phone. It was nice taking photos and listening to music without depleting my battery. It was 29 degrees yesterday and walking in the cold was refreshing.

I made it to Manayunk at 4:15, an hour and fifteen minute walk. I really had to go to the bathroom and as I was looking for a public restroom, I finally spotted the Tubby Robot! I first heard of the Tubby Robot last year, meant to visit, couldn’t find it, and kept meaning to find it, so once I found it yesterday I decided to go in. They had dairy and gluten-free chocolate ice cream. I bought a scoop, as well as an enamel pin. After the bathroom break, I dug in, and took notice of the video games they had. The TV was outside and you could play from inside. I was chatting with the staff member about Brooklyn and Brighton Beach, until a babysitting and the young guy she was babysitting came in. We then talked about gluten-free and vegan places. The young guy had a blast playing the video games. I enjoyed the atmosphere, I enjoyed the ice cream, and I want to visit again.

From there, I took the bus to Philadelphia and got to Philadelphia a little after six. Shabbat was at 6:30 and I had plenty of time to walk to the William Way Center. I was early and schmoozed with the other people for a bit. I met Jonathon and Jacob and chatted with them until it was time to take our seats. I sat with Ben, Rick, and Conezy and they were fun to chat with. Ben is from Germany and we were talking about immigrating to other countries. I didn’t get many photos because it was a special MLK weekend Shabbat and most of the talk was about the census and volunteering. I had a good GF vegetarian dinner. Jonathon and Ben gave me their e-mail addresses, I’ll have to e-mail them later. It was nice spending a few hours with community. ❤

I ended the evening ice skating and because of the time, I decided to go to the Rothman Rink instead of the River Rink since Rothman was closer. It felt good to get back onto the ice after a month and I taught a college student how to ice skate. Okay, maybe not, but I showed her how to get started and said, “it’s all about mindset too. I don’t think about falling and I think ‘I got this’ instead, while repeating, ‘I’m an Olympian skater and I got this!'” She and her friend giggled, but they were skating eventually. Mindset is key to everything. Their guy friend, Kyle, was picture taker that night, he took my photos and agreed to a selfie, I gave him a hug before they left. They were really nice.

I had a lovely evening and I’m headed back to the city tomorrow, to the River Rink, for a day of ice skating. It’ll be 30 degrees tomorrow and I’m loving this weather! Perfect weather for fun and community.

Thankful Thursday 16 January 2020

Happy Thursday! I’m finally 100% feeling better and I am grateful to have my health back.

Although the library took down my scrapbook pages for my kindness display, I was allowed to keep the story up. I was chatting with one of my friends and she said I could type it and use their materials. Last weekend I typed it up and last night she printed it, then today I decorated my story. I was able to use the die cuts and markers. The display looks complete now and I’m grateful for my friend. I’m grateful that I was able to keep the story up, just sans the photos. (I’m still never doing a display again.)


There was an incident at the library last night—I don’t know what happened, but as I was shelving books, I heard a young man get up, scream out that he was leaving, and made a paranoid statement. He left his computer on and had Pitbull playing out very loudly. I looked at the computer, it looked eery, but I paused the song. I walked away and five minutes later, six officers were in the library looking for this individual. When I left, I was feeling uneasy; the officers left the library and were canvassing the township building when I left. I walked home and before I left the township, I had my flashlight and two teenagers thought I was a cop and started taunting me. I ran away, uneasy. I didn’t know if they were connected to the person at the library.

Dad picked me up tonight and I’m grateful. I’m grateful that three days a week he takes me to the train in the morning, then mom takes me twice a week. I’m thankful for my health, friends, and family.

What are you thankful for?


Friday Night at the Philadelphia Museum of Art | Honeysuckle | 10 January 2020

On Friday, I made my weekly trip down to Philadelphia. I decided to walk to the Book Trader first and I’m glad I did. I haven’t been there since the end of January in 2019 and I was glad that their cat was still lazily sunbathing in the store. He was in the CD/record room, which I thought was fitting for a lazy cat. The Book Trader is also a fun store, it reminds me of maze.


I decided to let the cat get back to sleep and I took Lyft up to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Honeysuckle was the band playing and I ventured upstairs to work on Happiness Box 2019 scrapbook and listen to the band as I scrapbooked. They are a folk/rock duo from Boston and I really liked their sound – their music made a great scrapbooking soundtrack.

At intermission, I went back downstairs and bought one of their albums. I went back to the staircase and I decided that I would listen and watch for 15 minutes or so. As I was sitting, one of the Art Museum staff members came over to me and we chatted about the Happiness Box Project and tattoos. She loves the idea of the Happiness Box, she might try it, but a monthly installment with her husband. She was also telling me that the museum is thinking about bringing in a tattoo artist for an Asian inspired Final Friday. If they can get it cleared with their lawyer, they would set up in the Asian gallery and talk about how Asian art inspired tattoo art. Of course, they couldn’t tattoo us, but maybe they could bring in another artist and demonstrate. I said to her, “well, I would love to volunteer! I would gladly fill out a form!” We both laughed, then it was time to start the show again.

I stayed until 7:30 and loved watching Honeysuckle for 20 minutes. I thought I took two videos, but it looks like I only made one. Let me share:


As I was walking to District Taco, I ran into some Ravens fans and we enjoyed chatting for ten minutes. I saw a lot of Ravens fans walking around Philadelphia on Saturday (South Street hosts a Raven fan club, next time I see it, I might inquire how I can join); dad and I are very sad that the Ravens choked, but next year!

I had fish tacos and as I was waiting for Lyft home, the full moon was gorgeous!

I’m in love with my new phone’s camera. What a lovely evening!

National Hot Toddy Day and Farmer’s Market Adventures

11 January is National Hot Toddy Day. After learning that the Ruth Bader Ginsburg exhibit was sold out at the National Jewish Museum (today is the last day for the exhibit), I decided to check out Red Owl Tavern. I used to go there when I drank alcohol and ate gluten; I read in Metro that they were partaking in National Hot Toddy Day and I decided to go in.

I sat at the bar and the bartender greeted me. The bartender sounded like he was from Maryland or somewhere South because I heard a little Southern twang in his voice. I love Southern accents! I asked for a non-alcoholic Hot Toddy and he looked a little confused, “you don’t want brandy or anything in that?” I said, “No, I don’t drink anymore.” “Oh, okay. How about extra lemon and ginger then?” “Perfect!”

He brought out my non-alcoholic Hot Toddy, chai and spiced teas, ginger juice, lemon and clove. I was still stuffy and that opened my nose. It felt soothing to the soul. I wasn’t hungry, as I ate breakfast before and we were going to Texas Roadhouse and I wanted to save my appetite for dinner, but I asked him if they had gluten-free options.

His reply? “Most things on the menu can be made gluten-free and we have gluten-free breads too.” He handed me the menu and it did look delicious – it’s brunch for the weekends – and I think next Sunday after I ice skate, I’m going to Red Owl Tavern for brunch. The bartender didn’t charge me for the Hot Toddy, but I gave him a $3 tip for his help, service, and making the atmosphere pleasant for the 45 minutes I sat there, chatting with him and the other guests. I’m hoping Red Owl Tavern will become my favourite spot again, with my new dietary needs.


It’s unseasonably warm this weekend in Philadelphia and I thought about walking the ten blocks to Rittenhouse Square, but since I finally shook this cold, I didn’t want to overdo it. While I was feeling better, I was still stuffy, and I thought about my health. I walked a few blocks to the bus and took some photos of Independence Hall. I have been learning how to use the panorama view of my new phone and these were the photos I captured:

I hopped on the bus at 8th Street (I walked three blocks, not bad), exited at 19th Street, then walked four blocks down to M&T Bank, then Rittenhouse Square. Since it was 67 degrees Fahrenheit, the Farmer’s Market was crowded. Not as crowded as when I went in September, but it still drew in a good sized crowd.

I started to take pictures. As I was walking to find Amrynth, the awesome GF bakery from Lancaster, I was so focused on finding the stand that I forgot to take photos. I finally found the stand and I was overwhelmed by all of the options! Banana bread, raisin bread, GF pies, thumbprint cookies, granola, rolls, you name it and he had it. I would have loved to buy the whole table, but I knew I couldn’t. I settled on GF raisin bread, dinner rolls, and thumbprint cookies. I chatted with the guy for a little bit and they appear at all the farmer’s markets in Lancaster, Bryn Mawr, and Philadelphia. I might have to take a bus trip to Lancaster some time.

I decided to look at the vegetables and I knew I had to watch pricing. When I went in September, I paid $2.99/lb for butternut squash and paid $20 for two butternut squashes and two tomatoes. Trader Joe’s was selling butternut squash for $0.99 each. While the butternut squash soup turned out delicious and the veggies were super fresh, I am watching my budget. Yesterday, I only bought arugula at $3.99/bag.


I never bought fish from a fish monger and I wanted to try it. There was a fish monger at Rittenhouse Square and as I waited in line, I looked at the different options. I wanted to make a cod dish, but the cod was $16.49/lb. I’m used to buying a filet at Wegmans for $6.99 each. I wasn’t sure if that was expensive or not (I asked mom when I got home and she said, “it’s not cheap buying seafood anymore, but $16.49 seems a little high, but most likely because it’s at a farmer’s market.”), so I decided to ask the young fish monger what skate was. Skate was $12.49/lb and he explained that it’s from the sting ray, I can dredge it in flour, fry it with butter, lemon and capers. I said, “I can make it gluten-free!” and bought a piece of skate for $8. He put the fish on ice in a bag and said, “next week when you come back, let me know how it was!” Unfortunately, he probably won’t know for a few more months, but who knows! I’m excited to try it. I bought GF almond meal at Trader Joe’s that I’ll fry it in.

Forest and Main was also there. I love that restaurant/brew pub. Since I don’t drink, I decided to look at the books, tees, and bags they were selling. A crowd had formed to try the different beers, and as I was waiting I saw a little boy in a dragon coat who was waiting for his father. I told him I loved his jacket and that prompted him to tell me that he loved my Grinch bag. He chatted my ear off for fifteen minutes about how the big Grinch was mean, the baby Grinch on my bag looked nice, then told me the story about how mean Grinch turned into a loving Grinch at the end. He loved feeling the bag and sketching a baby Grinch with the twig he was holding. After his dad finished his sampling and purchasing, he realized that his chatty son was possibly holding me up (he wasn’t) and the father kept trying to pull him away from my bag. He resisted for a few moments, but eventually went with his father. The little boy was cute.


I just realized that most of the photos I took yesterday were of the fish monger. I captured the father holding the little boy while they were buying fish. I spent forty-five minutes at the Farmer’s Market and I decided to head to Trader Joe’s before I took the bus back to King of Prussia. On my way to Trader Joe’s, I met Sam and Kat and offered to take their photos. They were struggling with good angles with selfies and they loved that I offered. They loved the photos I took and I asked them for a selfie with me. They graciously agreed.


Yesterday was a nice day out and it cheered my soul. It made me feel even better too. There is just something fun about going to farmer’s markets and connecting with local businesses. I was chatting with someone at the library and the scheduling app deleted many of her shifts too, the app has a habit of doing that (shake my head), I’ll have to email. Part of me is sorta hoping I don’t get Saturdays back because I can start a freelance photography business through Air bnb on weekends.

Thankful Thursday 9 January 2020

Week two of the Roaring 20’s 2.0 and Vision 2020! I’m starting to feel a bit better; I’m continuing to rest and things are starting to look up.

Today when dad dropped me off at the train, I kissed him goodbye (he’s sick now too) and we had a good laugh fest as I closed the door. I smiled as I walked onto the platform and then someone caught my eye. After three months, I had a Savage sighting. He looked up, my heart froze, but I just turned away, sat down, and started looking at my phone. Carl wasn’t there this morning. However, I noticed Savage did the same thing. Another woman came around, I’ve been chatting with her for four years, I called her over and we started chatting until the station doors were open. I avoided walking near him, went inside and waited for the train. When the train came, I avoided walking in front of Savage. I joined a group of familiar people. No drama and I’m grateful; I’m thankful that he didn’t even acknowledge me and he was truly someone I didn’t really know… thank God. I’m thankful that it was peaceful and not harmful.

I was telling a few work friends and the one, Ms. Pat said, “Oh, you saw Scarface or whatever his name was?” We both giggled and then she said, “he knows you weren’t playing and you don’t have to worry anymore.” Melody said, “he knows you are off limits.” Another one said, “it’s a shame he didn’t also have a skull and crossbones tattooed on him.” We both laughed and I said, “not yet, but I could sense that danger.” I’m grateful that I listened to my instincts and I’m glad I stood my ground. I’m proud of myself, just like I’m proud of myself for telling a store associate on Saturday that I’m not interested in buying another shirt in the buy 1, get one 50% off, I only need one and I am not spending $40 for two shirts. I walked out feeling proud. I am getting better at standing my ground!

Oh, Instagram gave me back the Happiness Box Project page yesterday! No notification, but when I went to the link, it worked. I also signed in today and I was back to normal. I had some e-mails about where I was and what happened to my personal account. I’m going to keep my personal account deactivated for a bit and I uninstalled Instagram from my phone again. I’m taking a break for a little bit. I want to take a little social media break.

I’m grateful for my friends and family as well. What are you thankful for?