Visit a Greenhouse all Decked Out for the Holidays, Go to the Zoo and a few other things
I’m going to admit right up front that I love New Year’s Resolutions. Even though they seem somewhat unnecessary (I mean if you want to change something in your life, why not just do it whenever?) And even though I’m sometimes finished thinking about my resolutions by February, I still find that resolving to change for the better is an enticing January endeavor. Nevertheless, I’m done with resolving to lose weight and exercise more. That feels so 2010 to me. Last year I resolved to do something different at least once a week. And for the most part I kept that resolution. This year, though, I’m going to focus on blogging better and more often-especially since I missed a few weeks recently. My goal is to blog twice a week.
And, instead of doing something different every week, I’m going to try to do something meaningful every week. Volunteer more, donate to charities more thoughtfully, and get more active in community and school organizations that are seeking assistance.
Meanwhile, here are a few things I’ve done differently since my last blog.
1. Visit a Greenhouse filled with Poinsettas. For years I’ve been hearing about Glick’s Greenhouse’s holiday display. So, last weekend, my husband, son and I went out there and waited in a long line of cars just to get into the parking lot. I theorized that this quite possibly was the biggest traffic jam that back Oley Valley Road has ever seen. Once inside the Greenhouse, there was another long line which moved slowly through a display of wreaths creatively designed by local businesses that featured things like curlers for hair salons and miniature guitars for a music school. But the real attraction were the pointsettias. Boasting over 1,000 pointsettia’s, the display featured a beautiful variety of colors (even blue, my son noted). The theme was a cowboy Christmas, so the plants were interspersed with western accents, such as cowboy boots, horseshoes and saddles. My husband and I thought it was stunningly beautiful and a fun holiday attraction. My son described it later as “Room after room filled with the same plant.” So, maybe not exciting to a 14-year-old. But they offered free popcorn, cider and hot dogs, and even Ian was happy about that.
2. Go to the zoo: I’ve been to the zoo many times, but I never went to the Pittsburgh Zoo. Several weeks ago, while visiting my daughter in Pittsburgh on one of those unseasonably nice weekends, my family and I decided to spend a few hours checking out the zoo. In the past, I’ve only ever gone to a zoo in the summer. So this is what I learned about going on a cool fall day: all the animals are awake. Every lion, elephant, ostrich and primate was out moving around and, in some cases, interacting with one another. Aside from that, the Pittsburgh Zoo, I discovered, is very entertaining for several other reasons. First, it’s a nice size. There’s a lot to see but you don’t feel weary by the end of the day. Secondly, the animal habitats are, for the most part, roomy. I hate when I visit a zoo and leave thinking all of the animals were unhappy because space was inadequate. But the thing that really made this zoo spectacular, in my opinion, was that it also had an aquarium with many, many interesting sea creatures on view. So, if you find yourself in Pittsburgh, I would definitely recommend taking a trip to the zoo.
3. Bake bread. I have made bread before, but I’ve never made it with a group of friends. Recently, after our regularly scheduled book club meeting was canceled unexpectedly, three members of our club decided to get together after all. We discussed the book only briefly; our real goal was to bake bread. This idea came at the suggestion of my friend Diane, who hosted the get together and had recently purchased a 25 lb bag of flour for holiday baking. This made for a particularly fun evening, since we first mixed and kneaded the dough, then sat and chatted as we waited for it to rise. Then, because we were making a braided challah loaf, we braided the dough and formed the loaves. By that time, it was fairly late, so two of us went home and Diane put the bread in the oven to bake. The next morning I picked it up from her and couldn’t wait to taste it. There is nothing like the smell, taste and texture of home made bread, but this was especially good since I’d made it with friends.
4. Go to a play. There are so many great holiday productions, but this year I went with friends went to see the musical comedy Motherhood at Philadelphia’s Society Hill Playhouse. This, again, was organized by my friend Michelle, who is amazingly good at finding fun things to do and rallying us together to do them. Before going, I worried that I was too far beyond the young motherhood stage to enjoy this show. As it turned out, though, any mother could relate to this musical. The acting was great, the singing fabulous and there too many genuinely funny lines and songs to list here. You can listen to clips of the songs here. Who could not relate to the Costco Queen song? (My favorite line, preceeding that song: “She’s having a storegasam!”) At the end of the show, I really felt the kind of camraderie you feel after you’ve spent an evening with a group of mothers who relate well to your own experiences. I definitely recommend seeing this. The good news is, it’s playing in Philadelphia through February 19, so there’s plenty of time to buy your tickets and organize a group of friends to see this together.