Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Does an increase in pedestrian vs. car accidents in Ridgewood, NJ surprise anyone?

Posted in distracted driving, driver safety, driving, hang up and drive, Life tagged , , , , at 7:47 pm by Elaine Petrowski

Ridgewood, New Jersey, an upscale NYC bedroom community, has recently experienced a huge increase in the number of pedestrian/car and bicycle/car collisions. I’m talking at least one accident involving a person and a car per month.  And in the last month, three that I can recall reading about.

Some of these accidents have occurred on dark, rainy nights. But many have occurred on sunny afternoons.

At least two of  these accidents have been fatal.  All  have caused pain and suffering.

My guess is that MANY of these accidents were caused by inattentive drivers.

What’s your guess?

Friday, March 4, 2011

Spring Really Is On The Way

Posted in Pursuit of Happiness, Seasons tagged , , , , , , , , at 3:41 pm by Elaine Petrowski

A  Mama Bear and her  cubs were spotted crossing a nearby major  highway yesterday.

Though the snow created some amazing images this winter, like many, I'm longing for Spring to arrive this year.

The edges of the lake are flowing water, not ice, today.

Daffodil sprouts are now five inches high in my garden.

Spring arrives in 16 days according to the calendar.

Do you think the piles and mounds of dirty snow will be all gone by then?

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Next Generation of Distracted Drivers Is Learning from You. That’s Right, You.

Posted in Liberty, Life, Pursuit of Happiness tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 9:02 pm by Elaine Petrowski

texting and talking on a handheld or a handsfree cell phone is as or more dangerous than drivng drunk!

Texting and talking on a handheld or a handsfree cell phone is as, or more, dangerous than driving drunk!

Here’s a thought for all you moms and dads who still defend your habit of driving while talking on your cell phones or texting, despite the ever- growing body of  evidence that PROVES you are driving while impaired. (No matter  your self-proclaimed and non-existent superior, multi-tasking abilities.)

Your babies, toddlers, children and teens are watching your every move.  And as every parent knows, there’s no adage more true than “Monkey see, monkey do.”

Let’s fast forward.

One day in the not- too-distant future your darling 3’6″ seven-year old superhero will be your darling seventeen-year old, testosterone-fueled, completely invincible (at least to himself) 6’3″ superhero with a brand new driver’s license. Your golden boy or girl will be behind the wheel of a several- thousand-pound vehicle with cell phone or PED in hand… or NOT.

If nothing else can persuade you to put down that phone or PED and to lead your kids by your BEST example, the thought of your eventually-adolescent, hypocrisy-sniffing offspring doing exactly what you are doing today should chill your blood.

It does mine.

According to the United States Department of Transportation statistics, simply talking on the phone (handheld or NOT ) while driving is like driving legally drunk with a blood alcohol of .08.

Texting and driving makes you 23 times more likely to be in an accident that day.

Do you want your kids to drive with those odds?

Then don’t do it yourself.

Repeat after me:

I will not drink and drive.

I will not text and drive.

I will not phone and drive.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Watch the Conference on Distracted Driving Online Now

Posted in Life tagged , , , , , , , , at 2:59 pm by Elaine Petrowski

The U.S. Department of Transportation thinks distracted driving ( texting, phoning and drinking)  is  enough of a problem to convene a two-day Distracted Driving SummitYou can listen to right now online.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Four Great Reasons to Garden

Posted in gardening, Life, Pursuit of Happiness tagged , , , , , , , at 12:39 pm by Elaine Petrowski

While we were gone.

While we were gone.

” A garden is a thing of beauty… and a job forever. ” So proclaims  the pretty little needlepoint pillow one of my dearest friends crafted as a gift for me.

Sometimes … like after the pounding rains that washed my lettuce seeds far out into the Jersey Meadowlands somewhere; that insatiable  ground hog, who stretched to enormous heights to eat every last one of the moonflower buds; the endless mosquito bites and poison ivy; a tomato blight that splotched, and ultimately ruined,  all of the lovely green orbs… I wonder… why am I doing this?

But then comes a morning, like one just passed, when everywhere I look presents a natural wonder, a trick of light, some small delight.

Sometimes, especially in a garden, one picture is worth a thousand words.

And so I share with you four great reasons to keep at it.

Enjoy.

Please leave a note about your garden/gardening. Or send a picture of some garden delight to share here… write4@att.net.

Early morning visitor

Early morning visitor

I "heart" gardening.

I "heart" gardening.

All the zinnias are pink this year!

All the zinnias are pink this year!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Last FREE Weekend at National Parks This Summer

Posted in fun, Life, Pursuit of Happiness, useful information tagged , , , , at 10:30 am by Elaine Petrowski

Looking for something family and budget-friendly to do this weekend? National Parks across the nation are  once again offering FREE  admission on August 15 and 16. This is your last chance to take advantage of the fee-free weekend program this summer.

“The entrance fees being waived at the 147 sites that usually charge for admission range from $3 to $25.( The 244 other parks do not charge entrance fees.) The waiver does not include other fees collected in advance or by contractors—such as fees charged for camping, reservations, tours and use of concessions.”

For full story click HERE.

Look for a park HERE.  If you drill down on this page, you can find specials that save even more money at some of the parks.

Amtrak makes the point that some of the parks ( in NYC, D.C., Philadelphia, Baltimore, Boston, Arlington, VA) are even accessible by train.  Click here for a list of the parks you can reach via train.

morr-ImageF.00003

Morristown National Park

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Raise Your Hand if You Need a Federal Law to Tell You Not to Text While Driving

Posted in Liberty, Life, Pursuit of Happiness, useful information tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 7:16 pm by Elaine Petrowski

While I applaud the intent of the good Senators Menendez, Schumer, Landrieu and Hagan, and I do firmly believe the findings of the many researchers on distracted driving, do we REALLY  need a law to keep us all  from texting while driving?

Well now, we do seem to need laws to keep from us shooting each other, from sticking each other with knives, abandoning our spouses and children at the mall, and driving through red lights, not to mention about six zillion other potentially stupid human tricks.

Hmmm… come to think of it,  maybe we really do need the proposed ALERT (Avoiding Life-Endangering and Reckless Texting by Drivers) Act (or possibly we could just call it American Lawyers Easy Revenue Trail Act? )

Or, is it that we need an effective tool to punish those who text while driving?

My suggestion: forget the fine. A driving-texting offender will be prohibited from owning a cell phone, crackberry or  any other form of PED, existing or to be invented, for up to ten years, until his/her brain finishes maturing sufficiently to realize TEXTING AND DRIVING DON’T EVER MIX. (This applies if the driver is 16 or 96.)

Please …tell me that you DON’T EVER TEXT WHILE DRIVING? (Reported stats say 20% of drivers DO!)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

What’s Up With All the Noise?

Posted in gardening, Life, Pursuit of Happiness, sustainability tagged , , at 11:02 pm by Elaine Petrowski

Close your eyes and imagine, if you will:

An incessantly barking dachshund, tied in the adjoining backyard for hours, (yip, yip, yip …..yip, yip, yip….yip, yip, yip…yip,yip,yip.)

PICT6916.JPG

Tricyrtis or toad lilies in my garden last Fall.

What seems like at least a dozen consecutively run, gas-powered  lawnmowers.

A landscaper, cleaning up after a weed wacker with a leaf blower.

A  neighbor washing rocks (I swear) with a power washer.

A radio, blaring a baseball game.

Assorted  high-pitched, whining, woodworking  tools, at a distance.

A baseball pitching machine.

A tinny “Turkey in the Straw”, played over and over and over, by  an ice cream truck  s-l-0-w-l-y meandering the neighborhood.

All this, and more, was the background noise for a  Sunday afternoon spent in my suburban garden.

Do you think it would be ok to suggest that “they” arrange to all make  noise  at the same time and get it over with, so that I could have an hour or two of QUIET to listen to the wrens singing and hear only the bees buzzing and the fountain splashing and the leaves blowing in the breeze?

Nah …I don’t think so either. But I can dream, can’t I?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Happy 4th of July

Posted in fun, Liberty, Life, Pursuit of Happiness tagged , , , , , , , at 5:45 am by Elaine Petrowski

by LIz Noffsinger from www.freedigitalimages.com

by LIz Noffsinger from http://www.freedigitalimages.com

Here’s a link to a terrific little video with some gorgeous photos of our country. ( It opens with a shot of  the Arizona Memorial, in Pearl Harbor, near Honolulu, HI, which is as solemn, moving, eerie and haunting a place as you will ever visit. Just seeing the photo produces a lump in my throat.)

The background music is “America, The Beautiful”, which, if I had my way, would be our national anthem.

Though I’m not sure how it sits with Native Americans — when you read all the words, and not just the verses we sang in school — I’d much rather we’d be known around the world for “amber waves of grain, purple mountain’s majesty, fruited plains and brotherhood, (though just plain personhood would be nice to acknowledge. But that’s yet another post!)  then for “rockets’ red glare and bombs bursting in air.”

On the 4th, we’ll be waving at friends who are marching in the parade here in Ridgewood, NJ and then reconnecting with other dear old friends at the July 4 bash they’ve hosted for more than thirty years.

And, there’s no RAIN in the forecast. Perfect.

What are YOU doing for the 4th? (Leave a comment, below so I know someone’s out there.)

Enjoy the day.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

So…What’s on Your Bucket List?

Posted in Life tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 5:08 pm by Elaine Petrowski

You know … that list of things you want to do before you “kick the bucket”?

It helps to take them out of the closet first.

It helps to take them out of the closet first.

Okay… I’ll start, but then let’s hear from you lurkers out there on this one… share some of the top items on YOUR bucket list. ( You know who you are!)

Here goes:

(I note a common thread of travel through these, which does not surprise me in the least.)

1. Visit the towns my father walked through as an infantryman during World War II- they would be France, Germany, Luxembourg and Czechoslovakia. ( Happy Birthday, Dad. He would have been 85 today!)

2. Meet all my great grandchildren.

3. Go  to each of the 18 states I’ve not been to…yet.  (I could cheat and make the list shorter, but  just an airport doesn’t count.)  Michigan, North Carolina, Colorado, Tennessee, Iowa, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Oregon, Oklahoma ,Utah, Nebraska, North and South Dakota and Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi.

4. Own, and know how to competently use, a kayak. ( NOTE: This does NOT imply there will be any white water rafting. This means quiet water kayaking.)

5. Research the rest of my family tree.

6. Knit just one sweater that really looks great on me…. and that I LOVE to wear.

7. See the Northern Lights.

8. Master watercolors. Ok, maybe master is a bit strong, but at least use them occasionally? And taking them out of the closet is a good first step, don’t you think?

Okay lurkers … your  turn.  It’s simple… Just click on the word “comment” below.

Next page