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Notes, comments and observations from the Lifestyle and Entertainment desk by Lifestyle Editor Aixa Torregrosa-Vazquez.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

I am not a poet ... but had to write this

A few weeks ago, I woke up in the middle of the night and could not get a verse off my head.
I had to sit down and write.
I wrote this poem. Don't ask me why.  I just had to.
It is in Spanish.

Doesn't have a title ...

Cuando en al lucha se triunfa  (Cuando en el amor se triunfa o se pierde)
Que dolor queda
La flor incipiente
Del árbol dormido

En la semilla de antaño
Que dolor queda
La promesa truncada
De lo que fue y no fuera

En el corazón abatido
Que dolor queda
La vida interrumpida
El sueño que fue y pudiera

En la noche tan larga
Que dolor queda
La oportunidad perdida
Si no recordase la ofrenda (promesa)

En el amanecer tan frio
Que dolor queda
Si no extiendo la mano
Hacia lo que fue y pudiera

En el día mas largo
Que dolor queda
Si las palabras faltan
Y el amor se entierra

Pero si hay esperanza
Aunque sea un vestigio
Resucitare el amor
Para estar otra vez contigo

Aixa Torregrosa-Vazquez, 2014

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

When you are looking for something to do ...

 Yes, there's more snow/sleet/freezing rain coming our way ....
And, we are all tired of dealing with it and having to stay home trying to entertain the kids, do some work from home, catch up with chores, you name it.
I just want to share a few links of websites that might help keep you, the kids and everyone else busy ... at least for a couple of hours  (or at least maybe a few minutes).

The Smithsonian American Art Museum offers a variety of online exhibits: ... 
While there, check out : "Inventing a Better Mousetrap: Patent Models from the Rothschild Collection"

Check out:   where you can take a trip to New York , Bilbao or Venice.

Want more? Check out this list:

Explore nature, go on a virtual tour or the National Zoo

Do you have a favorite online museum or interactive website? Let me know.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Here's a day trip suggestion .... I hear fall is a great time to visit



Thursday, June 6, 2013

I am surprised I enjoyed this

You have to approach camping with an open mind. That’s what I did when my husband suggested going camping on Memorial Day weekend along with other family members.

I was a little worried … you know … about facilities, cleanliness, sleeping in a tent … a whole lot of other stuff.  You know, I do like the comforts of home. I’ve never camped.   (I slept in a tent once – one night. It was next to a house. So that does not count as camping.)
I decided to keep an open mind. Plus I felt pretty comfortable. The other four members of our camping party have lots of experience – even the almost-4-year-old little man has more experience that I do
I decided it was going to be an adventure. And, it was.  A fun one. Yes there is a lot of work prior to even getting to the place. Lots of packing – you have to take everything. You have to plan and shop for the meals – no restaurants on the premises.  As this was my first time, it was overwhelming.  I was exhausted before I got in the car and on our way.  I was so anxious to get there; I made for a very frustrated and cranky co-pilot on the way up.
Once we got to our destination, all worries went away. I was surprised, I really got into it. I learned a lot. Now, I sort of have an idea on how to pitch a tent, how to cook over a fire, how to crawl in and out of a tent, how to cook without having a sink nearby ….
Our trip was only two nights. But, it’s a start, for me. We camped at Locust Lake State Park in Schuylkill County. The place is beautiful.  We enjoyed a couple of beautiful days. The temperatures were cool … so no bugs. The nights were pretty cold. We had prepared for the cold nights. But, I was still cold.  I think we all were. We survived though.  I did not want to come back home so quick. 
During our stay, we took a quick trip to Jim Thorpe where we took a ride in the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway:
The town is a fun place to visit. On our way there and back, we rode through some pretty small towns and hamlets.
For information about Jim Thorpe:
Now, I keep looking for possible sites for our next camping trip. Do you go camping? Do you have a favorite place? Let me know at
Now, I don’t know that I would do if it is stormy – with thunder and lightning …

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Thursday, May 2, 2013

A house of worship like no other

(Let me say this first: All houses of worship are special and unique … particularly for the people who worship in them and/or have contributed to its creation and role in the community, and rightly so.)
After years living in this area, finally, last week I visited Beth Sholom Congregation.
Taking the opportunity of a day off to spend with mom while she visited our family, we decided to stay close to home for our day trip.
It was a great day. Weather was awesome, spending the day with mom was awesome and Beth Sholom is outstanding.
I like to visit houses of worship. There is something mystical about them.  They convey so many stories in so many ways. And, I am a fan of Frank Lloyd Wright's work.
Beth Sholom Congregation is located at 8231 Old York Road in Elkins Park. It’s about 30 to 40 minutes away from Lansdale. 
Beth Sholom’s sanctuary was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and has been designated a  National Historic Landmark
Tours are offered to visitors. For a schedule, click here.
On the day of our visit we were the only visitors at that time of day so we got a personalized tour and to top it off with a Spanish-speaking tour guide, which was great for mom. Our tour guide spent plenty of time with us and answered all our questions.
There is a fee for the tours -- $12 for adults, $10 for students, seniors. Children under 10 are admitted free. In addition to touring the main sanctuary, there is a visitor center that traces the history of Beth Sholom.
For more information including the history of the congregation, development of its current building and a virtual visit, check here


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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Sometimes I feel I want to be a .... how about you

I just feel like drawing this week ....
Don't you feel like sometimes you just want to be a "Fly On the Wall"?
(Click on the image to see a bigger version.)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Get a hold of this book

As of late I’ve become quite interested in children’s books. With two little ones in the family, it is fun to get books for them. I especially like checking thrift stores. I am no expert by any means, but I get pretty happy when I make a great find with a great price attached to it , say – 50 or 75 cents, $1.  Very nice indeed.  Not only do I get a deal, a community organization gets a little help. Also as important, the little ones are learning to appreciate books and to enjoy reading.
Being a Spanish speaker, it’s nice to find bilingual books (English/Spanish).  In “my book” another language is a window into another world. And, I want the little ones to get used to Spanish and one day being able to speak it, read it, use it. It all starts with getting the books in their hands and reading to them.  I am sure you also read and share stories and books with the young ones in your family.
This week, I received a copy of Pennsylvania’s One Book, Every Young Child Early Literacy Initiative.
In its eighth year, the program highlights the importance of early literacy development in preschoolers ages 3 to 6.
This year’s book is “The Bus for Us” by writer Suzanne Bloom.  And, it is a bilingual book. The story is also told in Spanish. It is very colorful and fun.
You could win the copy I received …. Just follow the instructions below. But read this first:
As part of the program, authors visit libraries across the state. Bloom will be in the area on the following dates and places on April 15:
11:30 a.m. at North Wales Area Library, 233 S. Swartley St., North Wales. Check or call (215) 699-5410.
9:45 a.m. at Upper Dublin Public Library, 805 Loch Alsh Ave., Fort Washington.
6:30 p.m. Lower Providence Community Library, 50 Parklane Drive, Eagleville. Call (610) 666-6640 or check

 You could win the book.
and post your answer to the following.   Which two characters are featured in Suzanne Bloom’s book “A Splendid Friend, Indeed”?  (Hint: one is furry, one is feathery.) A winner will be selected at random from among the correct answers.
Good luck and keep reading to the little ones. And, if you find a place with great bargains, let me know.