Paranormal Investigator asks Is Dover, PA haunted?

Paranormal

Is Dover Haunted? By Tom Miles

Dover Borough is 250 years old this year. There is a lot of history in Dover, not only the town but the whole area. People lived, worked, and died here; most were probably from natural causes. But, there were some that were not so natural. It’s not whether a person dies by natural causes or by another tragic event, they say when your time comes, it comes, whether you are ready or not. What about those individuals who are not ready to go?  Whether they have unfinished business, they choose to stay with a loved one to help them through their grief, to give someone a message or perhaps it’s the fear of the unknown, not knowing what lays waiting for them beyond the light. There are many reasons that spirits stay in this realm, most of which we will never really know the answer to until our time comes. And when that day comes for me and a ghost hunter asks if I have any messages for any one, BOY HE’LL BE SORRY HE ASKED THAT QUESTION!

Looking at the Dover area in general, it has a very long and interesting history. The Confederate Army came through Dover and some of their troops were in need of medical attention.  A local doctor on the square tended to these men who were probably wounded during the battle of Hanover. I’ve searched and have found that the Confederates did have wounded and dead from this battle. I have yet to find where the soldiers who died were buried. I’ve been told stories that on the square of Dover people have seen the apparitions of Confederate soldier’s still standing watch over the square. I’ve also been told of a patch of woods in Weiglestown where people have seen the ghostly images of Confederate soldiers in the woods.

1964

1964

Undated-looking from 2 N. Main towards Weiglestown.

Undated-looking from 2 N. Main towards Weiglestown.

 

It is fact that the underground ground railroad came through Dover, a house on North Main Street is said to have been a safe haven for slaves coming to the north. The house is rumored to have a lot of activity in its basement. Could this activity be caused by the spirits of those slaves that were seeking freedom and dying from sickness before they reached their free home?  Are they still seeking their freedom?

The borough fire station has two spirits roaming through the building; they are both older gentleman who probably loved being around the fire station. We speculate that when they died, their feelings for the fire station and/or the people there were that strong they were drawn back to the station where they “help or watch over things”. There is also a small boy there, he is not connected with the fire house, but the land the fire house sets on. He may have lived on this land or died on this land, it is hard to say. He is a lost soul and must find some comfort being in the fire station. He is a bit of a prankster.

There is a story I have been investigating and researching that took place in August of 1957. It involves four young boys, two pairs of brother—Weaver’s and the Baker boys–who were tragically, killed by a bazooka shell. Somehow, the boys got obtained three bazooka shells while visiting their brother in the service. One day the boys were playing in the yard and one boy climbed up a tree near the house and dropped the shell to ground below. The shell exploded and three boys were killed instantly. The boy who dropped the shell was blown from the tree and his leg shattered. He died later that afternoon. This all took place literally in my own back yard on a hot August day in 1957.

Over fifty years ago there was a farm house where my house sets today. This story shows how time has a way of erasing the past. I found out about this from a friend who lived her whole life in Dover. I started searching and finally found the story of what happened. I find it sad that these boys have been forgotten because they died in another generation in time. The boys are still here, they are attached to the land. Donna, our Spiritual Investigator for Dover Paranormal Research Team lives in the small development behind me, no more than a hundred yards away. She has a gift where she can feel the energy of spirits. The boys showed up in her kitchen a few days after she moved in, attracted to her by her energy. We’ve done short EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) sessions in my back yard and captured a child’s voice saying “Yes” confirming a question that was asked.

There is an undisclosed house in the Dover area from the early 1800’s that the owners have allowed us to come in and investigate home many times. The local historical society did a deed search and found the names of the families who owned it since it was built. We have been investigating this home for over three years and have dozens of EVP’s from inside the house. We know the names of the spirits who still reside there and we have found their names through one of online genealogy search engines. The names that appeared in the search match the names of a man and his daughter that once lived in the home. They have spoken to us on numerous occasions. This is known as a “Disembodied Voice.  Like the night a little girl told us “HELLO”. As she said this, we had a camera on a table focused on an EMF Meter, a K2 meter to be exact, and when she spoke her voice registered on the meter. We have all been called by name at least once or more during our investigations. The spirits of the house have accepted us just as it did the home owner.

I’ve heard many stories about houses in the Dover area that are rumored to have paranormal activity. We wanted to do a Haunted Ghost Tour through Dover this year, but could not find enough stories to tell, we are hoping for next year. So if you live in a house that has strange things going on such as whispers, voices, footsteps, things disappearing and reappearing in another place, animals acting out of sorts, staring at things you can’t see or growling at something that is not there, chance are it is paranormal activity.

There is another tragic story where a small shop owner on the square of Dover was killed during a robbery. I can’t help but wonder if he is still working in his shop.

We have conducted investigations in a local church which is several hundred years old. The congregation has seen shadows and heard voices through-out the church. We caught a lot of EVP’s and came to the conclusion the spirits were there for the same reason the spirits were at the fire station; the church was a favorite and familiar location and they felt comfortable.

One of our more interesting investigations was an old early 18th century, log, farm house. The owners were restoring the house back to its original state. They asked us to come into the home and check over the house and land. We believe the house may have been once owned by an old witch. When one of our investigators stated a phrase that one witch would have said to another witch, we caught an EVP that said “Hello”. Out in the field, we had a static recorder set up that ran all night. On it we found what sounded like Native American Indians chanting or singing.

How We Work

We at Dover Paranormal Research Team do not refer to spirits as ghosts, we refer to them as people or if we have one, we will call them by name. We treat them just as if they were sitting across the table chatting with us in life. After all, they were people once, so why would you not treat them as you would if they were alive. We show respect to them, unlike many of the TV shows where the investigators yell and swear at them or make threats. Let’s face it, if this is how you were treated by some fool stumbling around in the dark yelling and cursing at you, would you talk to them? I don’t think so.

They still probably think they are fools for stumbling around in the dark, asking a lot of questions, snapping pictures with our bodies covered with all sorts of electronics. We hope they talk to us because we are doing one thing that the guys on the TV shows aren’t and that is showing them our respect. We treat the site with respect, we treat the property with respect, and we show respect to the owners of the property. We begin an investigation by saying “Hello” and afterwards thank them for allowing us to speak to them. We also introduce ourselves and explain why we are there. We know it’s working when we hear a very soft, ghostly “Good Bye”.  We then remind them that they must stay there and they cannot come with us.

Ah, what about evil spirits or demons? This is an area that I will only say a little about. Everyone has their own religious beliefs, as it should be. We are not out to change religious beliefs and most of what I say about this is my own personal beliefs. I believe that when someone dies their disposition in death is the same as it was in life. If you were one mean, nasty, SOB in life, well guess that’s probably the way you will be in death too. To be honest, the worst thing we have ever come across is negative energy, some will call this evil or demonic, it’s all in your religious beliefs. We have found in cases like this the negative energy was manifested by the family.

Have ever known anyone whose family did nothing but fight and argue constantly, never having a nice word to say to anyone? Ever notice how heavy the air is and just the overall negative feeling in the house itself? This energy feeds off of fighting, fear, anger, and distrust. When this is taking place, it is constantly growing and feeding off of you. Negative energy itself can make you sick, depressed, angry, and emotional. And this is where I will stop with the subject.

Who We Are

Our services are free and all information is confidential unless you say otherwise. We are made up of five people; we have one young man, Kevin, who is an investigator on our team. Since he is the youngest member, he gets to carry all the heavy stuff for the old people. He keeps telling us he hopes we get a new kid someday to help him. Carl is our lead investigator and cofounder of the group. He is our skeptic and keeps us grounded, which allows us to look at evidence with an open mind. Donna is our spiritual investigator and cofounder of the team. She has a gift of feeling spirit’s energy and where they travel. She goes into a site and tells us what she feels. She knows nothing going into an investigation, when she is done with her walk through she will sit down with the owners and explains her findings. This is always my favor it part, watching the owner faces when she tell them what’s been going on. Then we have the owners explain to her their experiences. It’s always amazing at how accurate she is. John is our newest member and also an investigator. He has an interesting way of looking at things which makes us stop and think twice about some of the things we experience.

I am Tom, the old man in the group. I am disabled but, I do what I can to help. I am the team’s Case Manager, Researcher, Investigator, Computer Geek, Inventor and Web Master. Together, we make up Dover Paranormal Research Team. Our investigations are held on Saturday evenings, we do not go all night because we are all above the age of 40 (except for Kevin). We are not a bunch of kids looking for a thrill. We do this because we all have had our own paranormal experiences. When we formed this team we decided our investigations would be done scientifically. We would only tell the truth and not exaggerate our evidence, being up front about everything found. We have no reason to lie or deceive people. What is the point of that? I was taught a very long time ago to tell the truth . . . that lying will only come back to haunt you.

Our evidence is our proof that what we show you is real. If you choose not to believe, that is your choice, but we know it is real. We do this because we all enjoy helping people, especially when someone is experiencing paranormal activity, and needs explanations of what is taking place. Many people have no one to turn to when this happens and are afraid of what people will think. We do this because we want to help you understand. So if you need help contact us. Our services are always free. If you have a group of people, whether it be just a few friends or a club or organization who would like to hear our thoughts, experiences and evidence contact us, our seminars are also free of charge, but we do accept tips!

So that being said, I thank you for reading our article. We bid you a good bye and tell you that you must stay here and not follow us home! Happy Halloween!

Check us out on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dover-Paranormal-Research-Team/120283111386905

Last Night, I Took Hines Ward Back to His Hotel Room

What a sweet smile!

What a sweet smile!

Last night, I took Hines Edward Ward, Jr. back to his hotel room, but that’s jumping ahead in the story. Let me back up.

Every year the York County Youth Development Center (YDC) holds their annual fundraiser and secures a speaker that will draw a crowd. This year the keynote speaker was professional football player for the Steelers from 1998 to 2012, winner of Dancing with the Stars in 2011, and current NBC studio analyst, Hines Ward.

My fiance Brian, Ward and I

My fiance Brian, Ward and I

The fundraiser began with a private meet and greet with Ward in the upstairs portion of York City’s Valencia Ballroom. There, fans were able to meet Ward, have their photo taken and get his autograph. Ward was gracious, chatting with individuals and never rushing anyone along in line.

Before dinner was served the audience heard from Mayor Kim Bracey, YDC director, Rodney Wagner, Secretary of the Department of Welfare, Beverly Mackereth, former YDC resident, Chris Wilhelm and art teacher at YDC, Ophilea Chambliss.

Kim Bracey Mayor of York City

Kim Bracey
Mayor of York City

Rodney Wagner Director of the York County Youth Development Center

Rodney Wagner
Director of the York County Youth Development Center

Beverly Mackenreth Secretary of The Department of Welfare

Beverly Mackereth
Secretary of The Department of Welfare

Chris Wilhelm Former YDC resident

Chris Wilhelm
Former YDC resident

Ophelia Chambliss Art instructor at YDC

Ophelia Chambliss
Art instructor at YDC

Wilhelm gave a moving speech about his life and experiences at YDC. At 13 years old, he found himself kicked out of his father’s home with nowhere to live. He was taken in at YDC for his first of many stays at the center. He is the first and only child that ever rode his bicycle to and from his part time job while residing at YDC. At twenty years old and nearly at the age where kids max out for assistance at YDC, Wilhelm began experiencing pain in his ankle and thought he had sprained it playing basketball with other YDC residents. In the middle of a vicious snowstorm in 2010, Chris called for an ambulance to pick him up. After many tests, the doctors told Chris it wasn’t a sprained ankle, it was cancer and if he wanted to live longer than two more years, he would need to have his leg amputated from below the knee down.

Wilhelm

Wilhelm

Chris wanted to live and went forward with the surgery, meanwhile the youth residents raised money to help pay for his medical bills, something Chris will never forget and can’t thank them enough for doing. Now he is going to school to be an EMT so that someday when someone calls for an ambulance in the middle of a snowstorm, he will be the one to answer the call. Chris received a standing ovation following his speech, touching the heart of every person in the audience with his bravery and perseverance.

YDC Streetbeats

YDC Streetbeats

2014-09-23 19.20.24

YDC Streetbeats were a hit with the crowd.

YDC Streetbeats were a hit with the crowd.

Following dinner, the YDC Streetbeats performed their junkyard drumming. The audience loved the driving beat and I overheard people stating how amazing it was to make music from five gallon buckets and frying pans. The kids were nervous before going onstage before nearly 400 people, but once they began playing they got their groove on and all nervousness was beaten away.

2014-09-23 19.25.40

2014-09-23 19.28.20

Finally it was time for Ward to speak. He was nattily dressed and looking very handsome. He took his place behind the podium and everyone was ready to hang on his every word. He began by giving his background, born in Seoul, South Korea, to a Korean mother and an African American father and the difficulties that alone brought into his life. The American children didn’t want anything to do with him and neither did the Korean. His father divorced his mother when Ward was 2 years old and he was sent to live with his paternal grandmother after his father convinced the courts that his mother was unfit to raise him on her own. Ward Sr. was not involved in his son’s life other than to tear him from his mother. At age 7 he was reunited with her and never reconciled with his father. This portion of Wards speech really touched me on a personal level. It was at that point that I suddenly wanted to privately talk to Ward, and I knew I could make that happen because I was riding in the car that was taking him back to his hotel room. Call it luck, or call it fate, I was going to chat with Ward and tell him how I could relate to his story.

Dancing at the Valencia

Dancing at the Valencia

Huge fans  Samantha & Sherry Ward

Huge fans
Samantha & Sherry Ward

Ward spoke for 45 minutes, taking the time for a question and answer session following his speech and even allowing people to come up on stage for a dance pose and photos. I couldn’t get over how genuine a person Ward was and how well he handled the audience questions. He was asked anything from his most memorable play to why people referred to him as a dirty player. Also the topic of domestic violence came up, all which he answered with insight and honesty. When he finished with the last question he was ushered out the back door of the Valencia and next thing I knew, I had my private moment to chat with the man that had my friends extremely jealous of me.

First thing I said was how his story as a child really touched me personally. He smiled and I told him how I had been involved in a long divorce and that my ex-husband had been given majority physical custody of our daughter because he was still living in the marital home. In 2010 I was on state assistance for food and medical insurance and decided to go to college. I graduated in May and now have a great job and two weeks ago I took my now ex-husband to court, representing myself and was awarded joint custody. My daughter, now 8 years old, will spend a week with her father and a week with my fiancé Brian (a supervisor at YDC) and me.

I said, “I know people came to hear you talk about football and Dancing with the Stars, but honestly, your personal story is what really made the biggest impact on me.” He thanked me for sharing my story and said, “I want people to relate to me and my story. You could have just given up when you were going through the divorce and needed assistance from the state but you didn’t. You pushed for more and used the system for how it was intended. You persevered through adversity and made your life better instead of throwing your hands up in the air in defeat. That’s what I want people to get from my story. I don’t expect people to recognize me on the street. I don’t think of myself as a celebrity. I’m just a guy who had a rough childhood but was determined to be successful at football and I made it happen. Too many kids think things should just be given to them and they don’t want to work. The young man who spoke tonight, that’s the type of kid I want to help by doing events like this. He got cancer and didn’t let it stop him.”

I agreed with Ward and mentioned that I had gone to India with my college, seeing and experiencing the poverty and nearly unbelievable living conditions. When I came home I spoke at YDC, sharing what I had seen and learned and the youth at the center were very interested in my story. Ward said growing up in South Korea as a child he had to make the decision to do the right thing and live a clean life or turn to drugs and fighting. He said some kids never get the opportunity to see how other horrible the conditions are for those living outside the USA and that’s a shame. Maybe seeing how bad others have life would make them strive to better their own as they have many more opportunities in the U.S. than outside. Ward, who is a newlywed as of July this year, feels blessed. He has a supportive wife who misses him when he travels, but understands the demands of his speaking engagements. He loved his time with the Steelers and gained a whole new fan base participating in Dancing with the Starts. I asked him if he would appear on The Amazing Race if asked and he said he would love to. At this point his promoter spoke for the first time saying they had been approached, but because The Amazing Race broadcasts on a competing station they were unable to accept. I said, “Awww, that’s a shame! It would be great to get to travel around the world but it would be hard because you’d want to take in the sights even though it is a race.” Ward replied, “I took in the sights when I was in the Ironman competition, but I also realized I wasn’t going to win that. If I was in The Amazing Race the competitive side of me would kick in and I wouldn’t want to even sleep. I’d be too focused on taking first place, but I’d still take the time to look around as I raced.”

The trip from the Valencia to the Marriott went quickly and before I knew it, my private chat with Ward had come to an end. I had accomplished my goal, to let him know it was his personal story that made the biggest impact on me that night, not how many Pro Bowls he had been in or how many touchdowns he made or even how nimble a dancer he is. He genuinely seemed to appreciate that my interest in his life had nothing to do with his fame and I think that is what makes Ward such a likeable guy. His life wasn’t about becoming famous; it was about overcoming adversity and coming out on top.

It was great to support YDC and meet Hines Ward. A win, win for everyone!

~P.

Supporters of YDC

Supporters of YDC

Silent auction items

Silent auction items

 

What the Cow Fart is going on with the Amish Mafia?

The boys are back

The boys are back

So the big question has been: Is Amish Mafia coming back for Season 4?

Well, I have the answer for you! YES! YES! YES!

There is no stopping the Amish Mafia, Tom Corbett, move out of the way (no votes for you from this girl) cause they’re back in the buggy.

And my favorite star who loves to hate on me, will she be back? I’m going with no. Esther, the money-making machine, seems to have lost steam in the bid to be Queen to Levi’s King mafia status. In fact, I think the whole Levi and Esther match up was…wait for it…fake.

In reality, back on August 16th, Esther had on her Facebook a photo of her and Imir (aka: Mirkat) that stated he was her new husband. You know who Imir is, the one who beat the crap out of her last Halloween. After that beating, she didn’t need a mask.

Mirkat's Mug(shot)

Mirkat’s Mug(shot)

Later that day the post disappeared, but not after thousands had voiced their opinions. Believe me, the opinions ranged from congrats to WTF ARE YOU DOING? I asked around to my insiders but no one seemed to know what was going on, yet didn’t seem surprised that maybe she would marry the guy that used her for a punching bag. Stranger things have happened. For example, after being sentenced to prison and ordered not to have contact with Esther, Imir calls her over 400 times from prison. Dude, move on!!!

On September 6th, Esther came out of the woodwork (or maybe the barn or after a long soak and bundling, who knows…) and posted for the first time since July 5th. Her new profile picture is far from Amish, in fact, I’m thinking more along the lines of streetwalker.

Esther wears an Ace bandage

Esther wears an Ace bandage

So two months without a peep, that’s a LONG TIME after posting on Facebook everyday, listing her handmade goods and cookbooks for the masses to purchase. Now Esther has posted she’ll be refunding the money for people’s orders. Think about it people…Esther has two kids (one is now on her Facebook page) was filming Amish Mafia Season 3, was dating Mirkat, caring for her elderly parents and farming the land. When did she have time to make handmade quilts and dresses by the hundreds to fill these orders? Can’t you see a shyster even if they’re wearing a bonnet that looks like a bra?

Esther did have a comment that the post announcing her marriage to Imir was done by a hacker. Yeah, maybe. Or it could have been to stir up interest in the Esther that is no longer ever going to have the chance to run the Amish Mafia. So sorry Esther, your 15 minutes has passed. Now your fame is about causing a 3 car accident back in June because you weren’t paying attention while driving your vehicle. Shouldn’t you be sticking to horse and buggy? I bet that accident would have never occurred!

Now I wonder what my boy Levi is up to. I’m not sure which of the two dislikes me the most. They both block me so maybe it’s something they can be mutual about the hate. Will Levi be back? Does anyone care? I’m pretty ho-hum about Levi anymore. His personal life seems more interesting since I get messages that he’s a daddy now. If that’s true, how did the Amish Mafia miss that? Is there room for a crib in his “office”?

You know what I really want? I want Freeman to take over. When that boy spoke last season, I got chills. Seriously, I been saying he could take over without saying a word, but now that I know creepy man speaks, it’s in the bag! And who should be his sidekicks? No neck Mary and Mini Man Wayne. They would be unstoppable.

Freeman, the quiet man of Amish Mafia

   Freeman, the quiet man of Amish Mafia

Mary just wants to soak and bundle

Mary just wants to soak and bundle

Freeman who says Everclear is the shit

Freeman says Everclear is the shit

So this will be my last Amish Mafia post for a little while. On Thursday, the Mafia wants to have a word with me, but I promise I’ll be back with more info about our favorite Amish misfits. I’ll be on the show dishing the dirt!! And if I suddenly disappear, start looking for my body with cement shoes in the quarry near the area where they ditched John’s buggy.

Peace, love and Amish Mafia forever!
~P.

Want more Amish Mafia blog posts: Indulge!!

http://girlboxer1970.com/2013/05/10/the-amish-mafia-conspiracy-21st-century-reality-tv/

http://girlboxer1970.com/2013/01/30/amish-mafia-heres-the-truth/

http://girlboxer1970.com/2013/02/17/levi-loses-control-amishmafia/

http://girlboxer1970.com/2013/03/07/freeman-is-the-man/

http://girlboxer1970.com/tag/amish-mafia/

We’re Approved

117

I haven’t written much lately. Since graduating college I’ve gotten divorced, moved out of my townhouse, filed an appeal for custody, started a new job, and went on my first vacation since 2008. In other words, I’ve been busy.

The divorce seemed anti-climatic. John sure as hell didn’t want to risk going to court so we reached an agreement, one that he whines about constantly. Just pay the debts and your alimony and shut up already. He seems to forget this was the divorce he originally wanted. Now his relationship with his current girlfriend seems shaky. I mean, I just hear things through the grapevine (NOT TESLA), and it ain’t all sunshine and rainbows shooting out of his ass when he farts.

I moved into Brian’s house that he already owned and we applied for a mortgage together. The bank had already begun foreclosure steps so we were taking a huge chance by giving up my townhouse and just crossing our fingers they would remortgage the house. I went on faith, faith in God and in Brian that things would work out, and they did. After the approval went through Brian said he had been worried because his lawyer told him they might not approve it because he hadn’t made payments in a year. (He and his ex had decided to buy a house from her parents so they let this one go.) I’m glad he kept that to himself since I have sleeping issues already. We refinished the hardwood floors before knowing if they were going to approve it but we’ve held off on putting up vinyl siding. Now that everything is good to go, we can’t wait to have new siding so our house isn’t the scary one on the street.

Custody court is September 8th and I am PUMPED! I can’t see any reason why Judge Platts wouldn’t agree that Tesla should spend a week with me and a week with her father. I am certain Tesla and I will be successful in getting her to be shared equally between her father and I. The longer and harder her father tries to keep majority custody, the more of a horses ass he appears.

I have a great new job at Maple Press as the plant manager’s administrative assistant. I’m really into the position because there are so many facets to the job. I do the everyday stuff like answering the phone and scheduling vacation for the 103 employees, but I also get to write letters to customers, check books for quality, create programs for inventory control and even learn how to run some of the machinery. Now that is diverse and I pride myself on being diverse. My boss is extremely happy with my past experience and my performance so far and stresses that he wants me to be happy with my position at Maple Press. He also told me not to feel as though I can’t advance within the company. Give me a few years, I’ll know this book printing business inside and out!

Brian’s parents took us on vacation to Top Sail, NC for a week. We had a great time swimming in the ocean and shell hunting. Tesla got a cool kite and had her first kite flying experience. The pool at the resort was top-notch and we spent lots of hours splashing and sunning ourselves. Matthew and Tesla bickered like brother and sister and Brian and I just rolled our eyes and tried to over-look the “he said, she said” statements.

The only downside to life these days is my mom has been really sick. After 6 months in the Pittsburgh hospital she finally was discharged but she’s been in and out of the Chambersburg hospital since. I saw her today. She’s home after 3 days in, but still has an infection in her blood. I pray for my mom all the time. Doesn’t seem right that she suffers so much when she’s been such a wonderful person and a great mother.

Brian and I are searching for a home church. We will be checking out one in York in two weeks that is more progressive. The LCBC (Lives Changed By Christ) church on North Hills Road came highly recommended so that will be our next “church shopping” experience following a Labor Day weekend get-away with close friends to their cabin.

So that’s the latest. Living life to the fullest with no regrets!
~P.

I’m taking notes in bed

I woke up in the middle of the night, slightly alarmed by the fact that aliens were trying to contact me while I waded through the Susquehanna River. I found the way they spoke to me in my head amazing and I was really pumped that they chose me to communicate with. I realized it was a dream since the metal plate in my head would actually prohibit alien communication through thought invasion, but as a dream, it was a winner.

Now it’s just a slight memory and I’m angry I didn’t have a notebook, recorder or even my phone by the bed to make a few notes because that dream was great and I could have used it as a springboard for writing material. I remember in my half awake, half asleep fog that it was note-worthy, sadly I drifted back off and didn’t write a single note and I can’t remember exactly how things went down in the dream. Why must dreams be so fleeting?

I swear, tonight, I will have a notebook/recorder/phone. I think just having my camera beside the bed and turning on the video recorder is the best idea. (Strictly to record my dream memories, let’s not go elsewhere with that.)

I start my new job Monday!!!

I was kidding about the metal plate,
~P.

Blue Crabs are Delicious, But We Ate None

Wallops Island Morning Afternoon Friday 061

The students of York College of Pennsylvania enrolled in the summer Marine Biology 210 course traveled to Wallops Island in Virginia to the Chincoteague Bay Field Station to study marine life, particularly crab species, for three days. This was my last course to complete prior to receiving my bachelor’s degree.

We arrived shortly after noon at the field station on Friday May 30th and split into three groups. Each group had their own species of crab: fiddler crabs, ghost crabs, and blue crabs. I was part of a small group of four studying the blue crabs.

Fishing for and the processing of blue crabs is a huge industry for both Maryland and Virginia. My group was interested in whether there was a size difference in the crabs on Wallops Island, which is owned by the government and closed to the public, versus the crabs found at Assateague Island, an island that is visited by countless tourists yearly.

The blue crab is a scavenger, eating nearly anything it finds at the bottom of the Chesapeake Bay. We fished for the crabs on Wallops Island using chicken, shrimp, oysters, and gummy worms. The crabs ate all of it, though the chicken was the most popular bait. My group was not interested in what the crabs were eating, but the size of the crabs caught in the 25 minute time frame given.

On Wallops Island, a total of 12 crabs were caught off of a dock with half being male and half female. The average size of the Wallops crab was 3.75 inches in width. On Assateague Island, 22 crabs were caught using only chicken from the banks of a running stream. Of the crabs caught, 14 were females and 8 were males. The average size of these crabs was 4.68 inches.

Eat in one bite

Eat in one bite

What we learned was the crabs caught on a public island was larger than those caught on the private island disproving our hypothesis that the larger crabs would be found on Wallops because there were no humans fishing there. Possible theories I came up with to explain this were the human activity on Assateague contributed to their larger size because more food was made available to them through fishing and accidental or intentional feeding. The legal size to keep a blue crab is 5 inches. Based on the sizes of the crabs students caught at this time of year, the crabs should easily reach legal size at the height of fishing season in August.

People love to eat blue crabs and they are especially good with Old Bay Seasoning. Humans are probably the biggest threat to the blue crab population, but not because of fishing. As long as the guidelines and laws are followed for crab fishing, the crabs are able to replenish yearly. The real problem for the blue crab population is the excess of nutrients found in the Chesapeake Bay that is making it difficult for the blue crabs to survive in their own habitat.  There is too much animal and human waste, car exhaust and power plants that are contaminating the creeks and rivers that empty into bay and all that pollution is having a negative impact on the blue crab. The excess nutrients cause algae to grow which leads to poor water quality and low oxygen levels making the bay habitat unhealthy for the crabs.

All too small to keep

All too small to keep

There are easy steps humans can take to stop causing the blue crabs habitat to deteriorate. First would be to cut back on the use of lawn fertilizers. These fertilizers wash away with every rain and always wind up in the running streams and rivers that lead directly to the bay. Secondly, whenever possible, carpool, use public transportation, ride a bicycle, or walk. The less exhaust released into the air, the less that will eventually end up in the water supply and dump into the bay. Lastly, plant a tree or two. Trees absorb the carbon dioxide cars create while releasing oxygen back into the air. They also absorb pollutant gases in their leaves and bark keeping them from every making it into flowing water. Sadly, if something isn’t done to keep the water that flows into the bay clean, the blue crab population will continue to decrease yearly and there will be less and less to harvest for humans to eat.

Wallops Island Morning Afternoon Friday 071

Finding a job

jobagency

I’ve been told by many people, “you’re the total package that employers are looking for.”

Great, so why hasn’t one serious employer called to at least interview me? I am not exaggerating when I say I’ve applied or tested for easily 50 or more jobs and I realize that finding a “real job” where having a college degree is involved for the position and not one for say, greeting people as they enter Walmart or asking if they want fries with that takes a bit of time, BUT my summer work study position is down to six weeks left and I have yet to get one call or email for a job I can seriously consider.

Sure, I get tons of emails about sales position jobs and spam emails about companies that once you Google them you learn “2014 Quality Service Award” is just a bunch of BS. I have years of management and accounting experience, retail sales and I’m not too shaky with the English language, so come on already, someone give me a shot here!

It’s super frustrating to see all these help wanted ads, apply, and then wait. And wait. And wait some more. It won’t be too long and I’m going to have to start paying back that student loan soon.

Ready to work…call me maybe?

~P.

Colonial Philadelphia’s Christ Church

William Penn had this crazy idea to allow all denominations the freedom of worship and with that idea arose the magnificent Christ Church in 1695 located at corner of 2nd and Market Streets in historic downtown Philadelphia. This church, which includes the burial tomb of Benjamin Franklin, is full of history and beautiful inside and out. There are still services held at the church. For more information check their website. http://www.christchurchphila.org/

I enjoyed taking photos and was particularly fascinated by the tombstone in the floor of the church and Mr. Franklin (or is that Mr. Penn?) on his cell phone.

~P.

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Click on the first thumbnail to best view the full size photos.

A colonial cell phone?

A colonial cell phone?

Philadelphia is full of history. . . check it out but be prepared to pay for a parking garage or meters!

~P.

2014 Philadelphia Writers’ Conference Photos

The 2014 Philadelphia Writers’ Conference was informative and lots of fun for all the writing geeks. Here’s photos of presenters, members of the conference board and attendees having a great time.

The winner of the random writing prompt knighted James Knipp.

The winner of the random writing prompt knighted James Knipp.

Donna Cavanagh gives a workshop on humor writing. She is the owner of HumorOutcasts.com.

Donna Cavanagh gives a workshop on humor writing. She is the owner of HumorOutcasts.com.

Cecily Kellogg takes about the importance of social media for writers.

Cecily Kellogg talks about the importance of social media for writers.

Board members Don Lafferty and James Knipp keep busy at the registration table.

Board members Don Lafferty and James Knipp keep busy at the registration table.

Lu Ann Cahn Philly news journalist for Channel 10 was the keynote speaker. She made us laugh and cry with her speech!

Katherine Ramsland gave a workshop on muse writing…she also told us about her strange adventures with vampires and ghost hunters.

Lu Ann Cahn Philly news journalist for Channel 10 was the keynote speaker. She made us laugh and cry with her speech!

Lu Ann Cahn Philly news journalist for Channel 10 was the keynote speaker. She made us laugh and cry with her speech!

President of the Philadelphia Writers' Conference Board Eileen D'Angelo (right)

President of the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference Board Eileen D’Angelo (right)

Dinner was delicious

Dinner was delicious

The keynote speaker, Lu Ann, encouraged us to let out our inner child and blow bubbles at the dinner table.

PWC day 2 052 PWC day 2 053 PWC day 2 055 PWC day 2 056 PWC day 2 057 PWC day 2 058 PWC day 2 059 PWC day 2 063Another great conference with many opportunities to meet agents, editors and other writers. I was thrilled to take first place in one of the writing competitions and to make new friends in the business.

~P.

 

Graduating 25 years after high school

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When I started York College of Pennsylvania four years ago, graduation in 2014 seemed like an eternity away. Now I feel like my four years at YCP flew by. I’ve had the most amazing experience going to college as an adult rather than right out of high school. I believe attending as an adult made me try much harder to achieve a high GPA and I truly believe my dedication to making high grades kept my mind off the fact that I was struggling to get through a long, ugly divorce process lasting six years. Now, to my delight, both have come to an end. I finished my last college course last week and the week before my divorce was finalized! Now I can focus on writing my story about life lived with a narcissist. This blog has followed the process of divorce, the book will be about what life was like. I’m not looking to villainize my ex or portray myself as a helpless victim. I will write this book so that others know the signs, and possibly, I can help one person realize the traits of a narcissist before they say “I do.”

The title of my future book I Used to Drive a Mercedes.

For now I drive a 1992 Honda Accord and celebrate having a wonderful man in my life and an earned degree.

The worst is over,

~P.

 

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