Saturday, November 30, 2013

'Fast And Furious' Star Dead At 40

You knew him as one of the stars of Fast and Furious.
In fact, he was working on the latest Fast and Furious film at the time of his death earlier this afternoon. And sadly, it was a violent, fiery death.
We're talking about Paul Walker who died in a car crash north of Los Angeles. He was 40 years old.
Police say Walker was one of two people who were killed in a messy car crash in the community of Valencia. Witnesses told the Santa Clarita Valley Signal the actor was behind the wheels of a red Porsche. Photos from the scene show a pile of twisted metal and broken windows.
This evening the following statement was published on his Facebook page:
"It is with a truly heavy heart that we must confirm that Paul Walker passed away today in a tragic car accident while attending a charity event for his organization Reach Out Worldwide. He was a passenger in a friend's car, in which both lost their lives. We appreciate your patience as we too are stunned and saddened beyond belief by this news. Thank you for keeping his family and friends in your prayers during this very difficult time. We will do our best to keep you apprised on where to send condolences. -#TeamPW"

Elvis: What Would He Look Like Now?

Elvis Presley died 36 years ago.
At the time of his death he was 42 years old.
So today, he'd be 78. What would he look like now?
Why speculate when through the magic of computers and photo manipulation we can virtually see what he would look like. Well, this is what Elvis would probably look like today without cosmetic surgery. But as a well-known performer you could pretty much bet that he would have had some nips and tucks here and there.
Anyway, let's just pretend he was like everybody else and had to age naturally. here's a photo of what he might look like now.
A place called Sachs Media came up with images depicting what various famous people would look like today. Click here for Rock and Roll Heaven to see other stars who died young and what they might look like now.

US, Russia, Germany, China Top Visits

Pageviews by Countries

for the week just ending . . . 

Graph of most popular countries among blog viewers
United States

Dan Cirucci Blog - This Week's Most Read Stories


Dry Skin? Here's How To Treat It

The winter weather can wreck havoc on your skin, especially as you get older.
As the temperatures drop and you spend more time indoors in a dry, heated environment dry skin can worsen and itchy, flaky dryness can become the norm.
But there are things you can do to combat dry skin every day. Here are some tips and some products you may want to try using to combat this pesky seasonal problem.

1) Oatmeal soap. An oatmeal soap is a great starting point. Try Yardley's Oatmeal and Almond Soap. It's mild and inexpensive -- and, it gets the job done.

2) Exfoliating gloves. You can buy these at any drugstore and they're a great way to scrub away dead skin and eliminate many of the problems that accompany dry skin.

3) Avon's Skin So Soft. Soak in it. It not only does wonders for your skin but it's the kind of pampering everyone could use once in awhile.

4) Kiehl's Creme de Corps. All of Kiehl's products are remarkable but this rich lotion is uniquely effective against dry skin all over your body. Available at Kiehl's and fine department and speciality stores.

5) A humidifier. A whole house humidifier is best but, absent that get a good room humidifier and use it -- particularly at night.

6) Lac Hydrin. This alpha-hyrdoxy acid lotion is now available without a prescription. Great for the most stubborn patches of dry skin -- even on your face.

7) Kiehl's moisturizing face cream. Use it at night before you go to bed. It's like a thirst-quencher for your face.

8) Crabtree & Evelyn Gardner's Therapy hand cream. The best product of its type. Leaves your hands soft and nourished.

9) A quick, tepid shower only. Hot water only makes dry skin worse. And, repeated showers invite more dry skin.

10) After a shower, be sure to thoroughly dry your skin vigorously with a fresh towel. After a moisturizing bath, pat dry. Then, apply lotions.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Video: Wild Brawl At Franklin Mills Mall

Catch the woman using a stun gun to try to break up this black Friday brawl at the Franklin Mills Mall in Philadelphia.

The Wonderful World Of Black Friday

Macy's [Wanamaker's] Light Show Is Back

You can't (and won't) see this exact Christmas light show at the Macy's store in center city Philadelphia anymore.
This is reportedly a digital rip of an archival VHS recording supposedly found in an abandoned, walled-off office in the bowels of what is now Macy's in Philadelphia.

The Day After - Still A Bit Sluggish!

"Guess I ate too much yesterday; all that food, all those people,
 all that excitement!"

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Thursday, November 28, 2013

President Reagan's Thanksgiving Day Message

President Ronald Reagan, 1985. His message resonates more than ever today.

George Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation

President George Washington's Thanksgiving Day Proclamation, 1789:

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor, and Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanks giving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many single favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the Service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be. That we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks, for His kind care and protection of the People of this country previous to their becoming a Nation, for the single and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of His providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war, for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed, for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, of the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have to acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge and in general for all the great and various favors which He hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humble offering our prayers and supplications to the Great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually, to render our national government a blessing to all people, by constantly being a government of wise, just and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed, to protect and guide all Sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace and concord. To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us, and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone know to be best.

How To Keep Thanksgiving Alive This Year


Could We Sing This Song Today? Yes Or No?

"We Gather Together" is a beautiful song that expresses the spirit of Thanksgiving in a very special way.
It has been sung in America for generations. So many of us of a certain age sang it in public school when we were children. It was often heard in schools around this time of the year and was a part of Thanksgiving programs everywhere.
Ask yourself: Can it be sung in public school today? Would it be permitted?
Think about what we've lost, America.
Think about it this Thanksgiving Day.

Great Deal From California Pizza Kitchen!

Click here for California Pizza Kitchen.

The Real Spirit Of Thanksgiving

To us, this painting by Normal Rockwell perfectly expresses the spirit of Thanksgiving and it also perpetuates a sense of simple goodness and decency. This painting was created in 1951 for the Saturday Evening Post.

20 Reasons To Be Thankful This Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, America!

Here are 20 reasons to be thankful this Thanksgiving holiday:

1) This great nation of ours and all its people: One nation, under God with liberty and justice for all.

2) The spirit of giving, of helping out to reach others. Even in these tough times, American individuals, corporations and foundations contributed an estimated $290.89 billion in 2010, up f 3.8 percent from the previous year.

3, 4, 5, 6) The four bountiful freedoms that we enjoy: Freedom of speech; freedom of worship; freedom from want; freedom from fear. These are our cornerstones.

7) Family - the bulwark of our society and the foundation of social order.

8) Our armed services -- all who serve, everywhere and all over the world.

9) The heroic example of those who gave their lives in service to our nation as we remember them anew this Thanksgiving.

10) All of our first responders, at every level and in every town and city as well as those who gave their lives in such service.

11) Children -- our investment in the future, the joy of our lives and the wonder of life itself.

12) Native Americans - the true Americans who shared the first Thanksgiving with the settlers.

13) The land itself -- from sea to shining sea and beyond; purple mountains' majesty and amber waves of grain.

14) Our pioneering spirit -- from the discovered frontiers at home to the space age above; we wander onward. always seeking, always discovering, always achieving.

15) Our Founders and the promise of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution that they bequeathed to us. May our stewardship be faithful to their original freedoms, responsibilities, laws, limitations and aspirations.

16) All the great elected leaders who have defined America from Washington to Jefferson to Jackson and Lincoln and Roosevelt (Franklin and Teddy) and Reagan.

17) The unelected leaders who nonetheless inspired us and opened new doors from Franklin to King and everyone in between.

18) All the inventors and scientists and all who charted a path to a better, safer world with longer, healthier lives for all.

19) Friends: Those who stand by us and encourage us and listen and laugh and love.

20) God, who has blessed us, watches over us and stands in final judgement of each one of us and all we do. God bless America!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Art Museum Readies Series Of Holiday Events

The Philadelphia Museum of Art will welcome visitors with a host of festive events during the holiday season, including caroling in the galleries, hands-on art activities, and films as well as seasonal excursions to Mount Pleasant and to the newly restored Cedar Grove. On Friday, December 6, at 10:30 a.m., Timothy Rub, the George D. Widener Director and CEO, will kick off the season with an event featuring the Upper Darby High School Encore Singers, who will present a sneak preview in the Great Stair Hall of the group’s upcoming Holiday Week performance. At 11:00 a.m., the Museum will offer media and visitors (first come, first served) a trolley tour to Cedar Grove, reopening in time for the holidays after sixteen months of refurbishments.

Throughout December, the Museum will present seasonal offerings. 
Wednesday Nights at the Museum, when admission is pay-what-you-wish from 5:00 to 8:45 p.m., will offer programs ranging from Make Stuff: Holiday Card-Making Station (November 27), and an Ugly Sweater Party (December 4) to holiday film favorites, including Elf (2003), introduced by one of the film’s producer’s, Todd Komarnicki; Love Actually (2003); and A Christmas Story (1983). 
On Wednesday, December 11, First Person Arts StorySlams will invite visitors to share their personal stories on the theme of re-gifting. 
On Friday nights, Art After 5 will present a Festival of Lights with the West Philadelphia Orchestra (December 6), Christmas in Mexico (December 13), Matt Wilson’s jazzy Christmas Tree-O (December 20), and the Mistletoe Hop (December 27).

From Thursday, December 26, through Wednesday, January 1, holiday activities are planned daily, including a Winter Family Studio, a Holiday Family Gallery Tour, gallery tours focusing on the Christmas Story in Art, a Holiday Drawing Activity in the Great Stair Hall Balcony, and concerts ranging from the Philadelphia Chorus to Nashirah, the Jewish Chorale of Greater Philadelphia. The week concludes with a New Year’s Day Film Marathon: Back to the Future.

The Museum’s more than two hundred galleries are filled with collections spanning two thousand years of artistic achievement. 
Among the special exhibitions on view are the acclaimed Léger: Modern Art and the Metropolis, entering its final weeks (closing January 5); Barbara Chase Riboud: The Malcolm X Steles, continuing through January 20; and The Surrealists, closing on March 2, 2014.

The historic homes of Mount Pleasant and Cedar Grove in Fairmount Park will be decorated for the holidays. There are opportunities to experience the houses on selected evenings with wine and colonial-inspired desserts and transportation provided via trolley from the Museum’s West Entrance.

The Museum Store offers gifts inspired by art, wit, and whim, ranging from touchscreen gloves, pocket-size puzzle book stocking stuffers, and notecards showing Santa in the masterpieces of the collection. 
Tickets to the Léger: Modern Art and the Metropolis exhibition (through January 5, 2014) and the widely praised catalogue also make timely holiday gifts.

One unique item offered by the Museum this holiday season is the gift of membership. 
Gift recipients enjoy a full year of benefits and privileges, including unlimited free general admission to the collections; free tickets to exhibitions; special discounts on dining, shopping, parking, and educational programs; and access to exhibition previews and special programs. On Monday, December 2, a $10 discount will be offered on gift memberships. 
For more information, call 215-684-7840.

For a full schedule of holiday activities at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, visit

Museum Hours:
Mondays: Closed. Tuesday through Sunday: 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Wednesday and Friday: 10:00 a.m.–8:45 p.m. The Museum will be closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day and open during normal hours on Monday, December 30, 2013 and Wednesday, January 1, 2014.

Social Media:
Facebook: philamuseum; Twitter: philamuseum; Tumblr: philamuseum; YouTube: PhilaArtMuseum; Instagram: @philamuseum

Shop On Thanksgiving? Not At Nordstrom!

Unlike other stores, Nordstrom has NEVER rushed the Christmas season.
And this year is no exception.
Here's what the sign says in front of every Nordstrom store:
From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving.
We won't be decking our hallS until Friday, November 29.
Why? We just like the ides of celebrating one holiday at a time.
Our stores will be closed on Thursday for Thanksgiving festivities.
On Friday our doors will be open to ring in the new season in style.
Bravo to Nordstrom.
Now, we ask everyone to follow Nordstrom's example.


Let The Candles Glow; Happy Hannukkah!

Hanukkah begins today at sundown and continues over the next eight days. 
Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday celebrated for eight days and nights. It starts on the 25th of the Jewish month of Kislev, which coincides with late November-late December on the secular calendar.
In Hebrew, the word "hanukkah" means “dedication.” The name reminds us that this holiday commemorates the re-dedication of the holy Temple in Jerusalem following the Jewish victory over the Syrian-Greeks in 165 B.C.E.
Each day at sundown one more candle is lit until the entire Hannukkah menorah glows with the light of the holiday. That's why you will not see the candles (or electric lights) on the menorah fully lit for seven of the eight days.

May the glow of the Hanukkah candles bring you the gift of renewed faith, joy and contentment! 
Happy Hanukkah!

Pope: Practice Mercy, Have No Fear Of Death

The Pope is now concluding his catechesis on the Creed, pronounced during the Year of Faith which came to an end last Sunday. Today's focus, which will also be the theme of next Wednesday's general audience, was the resurrection of the flesh, our death and resurrection in Christ; today he analysed the first element, our death in Christ, and will turn to the aspect of our resurrection next week.

The Pope first thanked the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square – over 50,000 participants – praising them for braving the cold weather that has affected the Italian capital in these days, and complementing them on their “resistance” before beginning the catechesis.

“There is a wrong way of looking at death”, he said. “Death affects all of us, and challenges us profoundly, especially when it touches someone close to us, or when it strikes the very young or defenceless in a way that appears 'scandalous' to us. I am always struck by the question, 'why do children suffer? Why do children die?'. If it is understood as the end of everything, death … terrifies us; it is transformed into a threat that … stops us in our tracks. This happens when we consider our life as a period of time closed between two poles, birth and death; when we do not believe in a horizon that goes beyond that of our present life; when we live as if God did not exist. This concept of death is typical of atheist thought, which interprets existence as a matter of appearing in the world by chance and walking a path towards nothingness. But there also exists a form of practical atheism, which involves living only for one's own interests and for earthly goods. If we allow ourselves to be ensnared by this erroneous view of death, we have no choice other than that of evading death, denying it, or of trivialising it so that it no longer frightens us.

“But man's heart - the desire we all have for the infinite, our nostalgia for eternity – rebels against this false solution. And so what is the Christian meaning of death? If we look at the most painful moments of our lives, when we have lost someone dear to us … we realise that, even in the drama of loss, there rises from the heart the conviction that it cannot all be over. … There is a powerful instinct within us that tells us that our life does not end with death”.

“This thirst for life finds its true and reliable answer in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The resurrection of Jesus not only gives us the certainty of life beyond death, but it also casts light on the mystery of the death of every one of us. If we live united with Jesus, faithful to Him, we will be capable of facing even the passage of death with hope and serenity”.

From this perspective, “we understand Jesus' invitation to always be ready and watchful in the knowledge that life in this world is given to us also in preparation for the other life, that with the celestial Father. And for this there is a sure way: preparing oneself well for death, staying close to Jesus in prayer, in the Sacraments and also in the practice of charity. Remember that He is present in the weakest and neediest among us. He himself identified with them, in the famous parable of the final judgement, when he says 'Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me'. Therefore a sure way is to recover the meaning of Christian charity and fraternal sharing, curing the bodily and spiritual wounds of our neighbour”.

“Those who live with mercy”, he concluded, “do not fear death, because they face it directly in the wounds of their brothers, and overcome it with Jesus Christ's love”.

Tickets For Ellie Goulding In Philly On Sale Now

UK singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding will bring her Spring 2014 North American headline tour to Philadelphia at The Liacouras Center on Friday, March 14 at 8 p.m.

Tickets at $35 and $39.50 are on sale to the public through ComcastTIX, online at, by phone at 800-298-4200 or in person at the Liacouras Center Box Office on Friday, November 22 at 10 a.m.

The 2014 North American headline tour brings Goulding back to the states after her sold-out 2013 Halcyon Days tour and opening for Bruno Mars’ Mooshine Jungle Tour earlier this year. The tour will kick off in New York City on March 12 at Madison Square Garden and, after her stop in Philly, will continue on to 20 other major cities in the US and Canada until May 2, 2014.

While borderlining a few music genres, you can always tell when it’s an Ellie Goudling song. Bouncing from pop to electronic to acoustic, her soft voice does not relate whatsoever to the energy surrounding her performances. The way she interacts with the audience, breaks out her acoustic guitar or bangs on the drums while jumping around ensures a high energy Ellie and a high energy crowd! She connects with the fans in a way that makes them want to bust out some moves or stay silenced in awe when fitting.

After being released in the US in March 2011, her song Lights from her debut album of the same name, spent almost a year and a half on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, peaking at number two. In August, Goulding released a deluxe edition of the album Halcyon, entitled Halcyon Days, along with the two singles “Burn” and “Anything Can Happen.” She has sold over three million albums and 10 million singles worldwide.

Glass Menagerie Celebrates 100 Performances

The limited engagement of the critically-acclaimed revival of the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) production of The Glass Menagerie at the Booth Theatre (222 W 45th Street) will play its 100th performance on Saturday, November 30th at 8:00 pm. The production, which began performances on Thursday, September 5, 2013, and officially opened on Thursday, September 26, 2013, is on sale through Sunday, February 23, 2014.

The production stars multiple Tony and Emmy Award-winner Cherry Jones as Amanda Wingfield, stage and screen star Zachary Quinto as Tom, two-time Tony-nominee Celia Keenan-Bolger as Laura, and Brian J. Smith as Jim, the Gentleman Caller. From director John Tiffany and the Tony Award-winning team behind Once, The Glass Menagerie has set and costumes by Bob Crowley, lighting by Natasha Katz, and sound by Clive Goodwin. Original music is composed by Nico Muhly, and movement by longtime Tiffany collaborator Steven Hoggett.

Tickets can be purchased at, by calling (212) 239-6200 or at the box office of the Booth Theatre.

Here’s what critics have to say:


“A THRILLING NIGHT IN THE THEATER. There’s magic from start to finish. It’s all an alchemy that must be experienced. It is, like the work itself, UNFORGETTABLE.”
– Mark Kennedy, Associated Press

“Grade: A. AN EXQUISITE PRODUCTION.” – Thom Geier, Entertainment Weekly

“(5 stars)! Tennessee Williams classic is given A SUPERB BROADWAY REVIVAL in John Tiffany’s BRILLIANTLY ACTED, striking production. The fall season has just begun. THIS SHATTERING AND SHIMMERING GLASS MENAGERIE IS THE FIRST MUST-SEE.” – Joe Dziemianowicz, Daily News

“(4 stars – out of 4)! This MAGNIFICENT, REVELATORY and RADIANT MENAGERIE will leave a glow in your heart.” – Elysa Gardner, USA Today


From director John Tiffany and the Tony Award-winning team behind Once comes a spell-binding new production of Tennessee Williams’ masterpiece The Glass Menagerie.  Amanda Wingfield (Cherry Jones) is a southern belle past her prime, living with two grown children in a small apartment in St. Louis.  Amanda dreams of a better life for her shy and crippled daughter Laura (Celia Keenan-Bolger), and so she pushes her son Tom (Zachary Quinto) to find a “gentleman caller” for the girl. However, the arrival of the gentleman caller (Brian J. Smith) sends shockwaves through the family, and causes cracks to form in the delicate fantasies that have kept them going.  A beautiful play full of poetry and longing, The Glass Menagerie makes its triumphant return to Broadway in an exquisite and groundbreaking new production.

The American Repertory Theater’s production of  Tennessee Williams’s The Glass Menagerie is presented on Broadway by Jeffrey Richards, John N. Hart Jr., Jerry Frankel, Lou Spisto / Lucky VIII, INFINITY Stages, Scott M. Delman, Jam Theatricals, Mauro Taylor, Rebecca Gold, Michael Palitz, Charles E. Stone, Will Trice, and GFour Productions.

Pope Begins Busy Advent/Christmas Season

Below is the calendar of liturgical celebrations due to be presided over by the Holy Father from the end of November to January 2014:

Saturday 30 November: celebration of first Vespers for the First Sunday of Advent, with students from the universities of Rome at 5.30 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica.

Sunday 1 December, first Sunday of Advent: pastoral visit to the Roman parish of “San Cirillo Alessandrino”; Mass at 6 p.m.

Sunday 8 December, Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary: Homage to Mary Immaculate, at 4 p.m. at Piazza di Spagna.

Tuesday 24 December, Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord: Midnight Mass at 21.30 p.m. in the Papal Chapel of the Vatican Basilica.

Wednesday 25 December, Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord: “Urbi et Orbi” blessing at 12 p.m. from the central loggia of the Vatican Basilica.

Tuesday 31 December: celebration of the first Vespers and Te Deum for the Solemnity of Mary Mother of God, thanksgiving for the past year, 5 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica.

Wednesday 1 January, Solemnity of Mary Mother of God: and 47th World Day of Peace, Mass in the Vatican Basilica at 10 a.m.

Monday 6 January, Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord: Mass in the Vatican Basilica at 10 a.m.

Sunday 12 January, First Sunday after the Epiphany, Feast of the Baptism of the Lord: Mass and baptism of newborns in the Sistine Chapel at 9.45 a.m.

Remembering Jim O'Brien, 30 Years Later


6ABC (WPVI-TV, Philadelphia) recently broadcast a beautiful tribute to Jim O'Brien.
We're sorry we missed its original broadcast but we're happy to present it to you now.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Pope: Abortion Doctrine Cannot Be Changed

From today's extensive Papal exhortation on the proclamation of the Gospel in the contemporary world entitled Apostolic Exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium”. These are the exact words of Pope Francis. Read them carefully as they are most important:
Among the vulnerable for whom the Church wishes to care with particular love and concern are unborn children, the most defenceless and innocent among us. Nowadays efforts are made to deny them their human dignity and to do with them whatever one pleases, taking their lives and passing laws preventing anyone from standing in the way of this. Frequently, as a way of ridiculing the Church’s effort to defend their lives, attempts are made to present her position as ideological, obscurantist and conservative. Yet this defence of unborn life is closely linked to the defence of each and every other human right. It involves the conviction that a human being is always sacred and inviolable, in any situation and at every stage of development. Human beings are ends in themselves and never a means of resolving other problems. Once this conviction disappears, so do solid and lasting foundations for the defence of human rights, which would always be subject to the passing whims of the powers that be. Reason alone is sufficient to recognize the inviolable value of each single human life, but if we also look at the issue from the standpoint of faith, “every violation of the personal dignity of the human being cries out in vengeance to God and is an offence against the creator of the individual”.
Precisely because this involves the internal consistency of our message about the value of the human person, the Church cannot be expected to change her position on this question. I want to be completely honest in this regard. This is not something subject to alleged reforms or “modernizations”. It is not “progressive” to try to resolve problems by eliminating a human life. On the other hand, it is also true that we have done little to adequately accompany women in very difficult situations, where abortion appears as a quick solution to their profound anguish, especially when the life developing within them is the result of rape or a situation of extreme poverty. Who can remain unmoved before such painful situations?

'Freshest' Cut C'mas Trees; Two Weekends Only!

Committee members of the Devon Christmas Tree sale, sponsored by the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair, Inc., are preparing for the two weekend tree sale. The annual event begins Friday, December 6, 2013. 

"Each year this event grows as more and more people hear just how fresh the trees are. The grower, located in Pennsylvania, literally cuts the trees a few days before delivery. This means the trees remain fresh and fragrant well through the holidays," explained committee member Norma Hamm. In addition to trees there will be beautifully decorated wreaths from a local grower and grave blankets.

The Devon Candy Committee is making fresh fudge for those who enjoy a taste of Devon in December. The Engraver, a longtime Devon vendor, will be selling their very popular line of small leather goods such as bracelets and belts. "This is one of our favorite sales as we see so many of our Devon customers. Last year the leather door handle bells were very popular so we will be sure to have those on hand along with other bells and leather bracelets," remarked The Engraver owner, Barbara Jacobson. Choosing the perfect tree can be hard work, so Tom Hewlett will rolling in his food truck serving his specialty hot sausages and cheese steaks along with hot chocolate and other goodies.

Adding to the the holiday fun, this year members of the Baldwin School middle school choir will be lending their voices to the festivities with caroling on Saturday, December 7th and December 14th from 2-3PM. "We are especially excited about having the Baldwin choir girls come to bring in the season to life with song. We're hoping that Santa will make an appearance as well," said committee chairman, Karin Maynard.

The Christmas Trees sale is open weekends beginning Friday, December 6th at 4 PM and runs through Sunday, December 15th. For more information, please visit

New Jersey's Ten Best Cities

This list was compiled by Movoto which bills itself as "the lighter side of real estate." Movoto is an online real estate brokerage based in San Mateo, CA.

1. Fair Lawn
2. Edison
3. Westfield
4. East Brunswick
5. North Brunswick
6. Wayne
7. Toms River
8. West Orange
9. Hoboken
10. North Bergen

Click here for more information, including complete details on how the list was compiled.

Skate At The Piazza Opens Monday, 12/2

Pope To Putin: Work For Peace In Syria

Yesterday afternoon Vladimir V. Putin, president of the Russian Federation, was received in audience by the Holy Father Francis. Mr. Putin subsequently went on to meet with the secretary of State, Archbishop Pietro Parolin, who was accompanied by the secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Dominique Mamberti.

During the cordial discussions, satisfaction was expressed for the good existing bilateral relations, and the Parties focused on various questions of common interest, especially in relation to the life of the Catholic community in Russia, revealing the fundamental contribution of Christianity to society. In this context, mention was made of the critical situation faced by Christians in some regions of the world, as well as the defence of and promotion of values regarding the dignity of the person, and the protection of human life and the family.

Furthermore, special attention was paid to the pursuit of peace in the Middle East and the grave situation in Syria, with reference to which President Putin expressed thanks for the letter addressed to him by the Holy Father on the occasion of the G20 meeting in St. Petersburg. Emphasis was placed on the urgency of the need to bring an end to the violence and to ensure necessary humanitarian assistance for the population, as well as to promote concrete initiatives for a peaceful solution to the conflict, favouring negotiation and involving the various ethnic and religious groups, recognising their essential role in society.

How To Keep Peace On Turkey Day

For some people Thanksgiving is stressful.
The whole business with the relatives is too much for them -- too much togetherness for too long a period of time amidst the kind of tenderhooks that the holidays bring along with them.
Under these circumstances, the slightest disagreement or untoward look can mushroom into a huge imbroglio -- especially when there's already a history behind all of the characters, topics and relationships.
So, plan accordingly. If you're hosting the family this turkey day, here are ten tips for keeping peace:
1) Stick to the traditional menu that has something for everyone. Aunt Mary may not like your special cranberry sauce, so make sure you include the sweet potatoes that she does like.
2) Give the kids what they want. Set up a special table for them and don't force them to to rigidly act like miniature adults the whole time.
3) Weather permitting, open up some space outdoors so people can air themselves out. Too cold? Get that fire pit goin. Give people their own space.
4) Compromise on the football and sports events and try to forego any TV whatsoever during the meal.
5) Be traditional. Start the meal with a simple prayer -- non-denominational, if need be. It sets a nice tone. If you don't do this on Thanksgiving, when will you do it?
6) Play soft, pleasant music.
7) Compliment the family trouble-maker. Butter or baste him or her just as you would the turkey. It can be a wonderful form of sedation and/or diversion.
8) Keep known adversaries or potential adversaries at opposite ends of the table. Don't play favorites. try to give them equal time.
9) Stress cool colors - a simple light blue tablecloth can work wonders.
10) If something goes wrong, don't announce it to the whole family. Remain unruffled. Keep calm, slurp another martini and carry on!

Macy's Parade May Ditch Balloons

What's the Macy's parade without balloons?
We may be about to find out.
Impending bad weather may force the Macy's parade to forgo those great, huge character balloons that made it famous.
This year a nasty storm is headed into the Big Apple from the west. If it hugs the coast (as many expect) it could become perilous. Though the storm is due to hit tomorrow, the high winds may linger into Thanksgiving. If winds exceed 20 or 30 miles per hour, that could torpedo the balloons. They simply cannot be controlled with such winds and the situation could become dangerous.
Winds beyond a certain point could also deflate the balloons.
Weather did force Macy's to ditch the balloons in 1972.
Stay tuned for updates.