The Coercive Acts

The musical Hamilton put me on an American history kick.  I’ve read the Ron Chernow biography of Alexander Hamilton and have biographies of George Washington and John Adams on my reading list right now.  But have you ever heard of the Coercive Acts?

Coercive ActsThe Coercive Acts – also known as the Intolerable Acts – were passed by the British parliament 244 years ago this week in response to the Boston Tea Party.  This response consisted of 4 major acts:

  • The Boston Port Act which closed down the port of Boston until such time as order was restored and the colonists repaid the Crown for damages of the 342 chests of tea destroyed in the Boston Tea Party.
  • The Massachusetts Government Act took away the Massachusetts colony charter and restricted town meetings to one per year.  It also turned  the Governor’s Council and almost all government roles into royal appointments rather than elected positions.
  • The Administration of Justice Act making British officials immune to any criminal prosecution in the Massachusetts colony.  This was accomplished by giving the Governor the ability to move any trial out of the colony – even back to England.  And in those days, long distance travel was an prohibitively expensive affair when you factored in time away from fields and businesses.
  • The Quartering Act requiring the housing or quartering of British troops on demand – even in colonists’ private homes.

The British Parliament thought that these measures would isolate the radical Sons of Liberty but boy were they wrong.  The harshness of the measures brought actually brought the colonies together and instigated the committees of correspondence that lead to our First Continental Congress and then the Revolution.

Want to know more?  Check out the Wikipedia article on the Intolerable Acts.

The New Vibration Plate

My gym recently put in a Vibration Plate.  It’s a platform that vibrates side to side, back to front and up/down while you work out on it.  I played on it for a couple of minutes the other day and it made me laugh – all I could think about was those crazy vibrating exercise machines with the belt on them from old TV shows!  But it also made me curious about just exactly how I should use it and what its benefits are.

AcPowerPlateTherapycording to, a vibrating plate makes you constantly tense/relax your muscles to maintain your balance so you get greater muscle activation with every movement you make.   So you can get results with a shorter workout.  Sign me up right?

The gym trainers and all the articles I’ve read recommend doing traditional strength, flexibility and core exercises on the plate like squats, lunges, push ups, hamstring stretches and planks.  The trick is to start with low vibration and repetitions and work your way up since the plate increases the intensity of every move you do.  Most articles recommend starting with 10 minutes and working your way up to 30 minute sessions.

I’m sold!  Can’t wait to try the machine out now that I know more about it!

Do you want to know more?  Check out these articles:


Spring Chores…

Last week I told you I’m a firm believer in to-do lists.  And sitting here staring at the calendar ready to turn to April, I’ve started my Spring Cleaning To-Do list.  This may be one of my favorite lists of the year because I actually like to clean.


So bring on the summer furniture arrangement, washing windows and cleaning carpets!  This year, I’m adding another chore – I’m doing a Rejuvenate treatment to my wood floors.

The floor by the windows in my dining room has gotten sun-faded and I found a product on Amazon to fix that!  I’ve already tested it on a little piece of the floor and it worked.  So now it’s time to move out the table and chairs, roll up the rug and get busy with the whole floor.  I can’t wait to see it in its restored glory!

Want to try Rejuvenate yourself?  Check it out on Amazon.

Let me know what your favorite Spring Cleaning chore is in the comments!

The First College in the U.S.

For a lot of my friends, Spring Break is all about college tours.  And that got me thinking about which college was the first one established in the United States.  I thought it was the College of William & Mary – but I was wrong.

HarvardThe oldest college in the United States is actually Harvard.  Founded in 1636 by the “Great and General Court of the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England” and chartered in 1650, the college didn’t gain the name Harvard until 1639.  The name Harvard came from the minister John Harvard who bequeathed his own library (all 400 books) to the institution. In recognition of John Harvard’s bequest, the Great and General Court ordered “that the colledge agreed upon formerly to bee built at Cambridg shalbee called Harvard Colledge.”

John Harvard’s bequest is just part of the Harvard Library which is the largest academic library in the world.  Today, the library is home to 20.4 million volumes, an estimated 400 million manuscript items, 10 million photographs, 124 million archived web pages, and 5.4 terabytes of born-digital archives and manuscripts.

Today, there are approximately 22,000 students at Harvard – and the annual cost for the 2016-2017 academic year without financial aid was $43,280 for tuition and $63,025 for tuition, room, board, and fees combined.  Fortunately for you parents, more than half of students receive scholarship aid with the average grant amount at $50,000.  In fact, Harvard distributes more than $170 million in financial aid annually!  Want to know how much it would cost for you to send a student to Harvard?  Check the calculator here.

If you’re one of the people on tour this week, good luck finding a school that will give you the education and college experience you’ll love!

Henry VIII

Henry VIIILet’s throw WAY back this Thursday!  One of my favorite historical eras is the Tudor era.  You don’t find people much more interesting than Henry VIII.  Charismatic and flawed, Henry ruled England from 1509 to 1547.

Most people know Henry was married six times and had an unfortunate quirk for killing some of his wives.  And you may also be aware that he created the Church of England and put himself at the head of it after fighting with the Pope.  But here are some other fun facts about Henry VIII:

  • Henry was never meant to be king.  He was the second son of Henry VII and likely would have gone to the church if his older brother Arthur had not passed away when Henry was 10 years old.  Of Henry’s six siblings, only he and his two sisters (Margaret and Mary) lived to adulthood.
  • Henry’s first marriage was with his brother Arthur’s widow, Katherine of Aragon.  Katherine and Arthur were married for 5 months before Arthur’s death – and according to Katherine and her ladies, the marriage was never consummated.  Katherine’s mother Isabella of Castille and Henry VII were still very interested in uniting their two countries in marriage and signed a treaty betrothing Henry and Katherine about a year after Arthur’s death – when Henry was only 11 years old!  The road to the marriage was rocky and Henry didn’t actually agree to it until after his father’s death.   Henry and Katherine were eventually married in 1509 shortly after Henry’s coronation at age 17.
  • Henry didn’t just behead wives.  He started his reign by executing two of his father’s ministers and Wikipedia lists 92 people he ordered executed!

Want to learn more about Henry VIII?  Check out:

Old Medications?


Welcome back to Wellness Wednesday!  The calendar says it’s spring now – even if the weather forecast hasn’t gotten the word yet – so you may have started your spring cleaning.  Your medicine cabinet is a good place to start with spring cleaning to make sure you’re stocked with first aid items and that you’re getting rid of outdated medications or medications you’re not taking.

The effectiveness of medications certainly declines over time.  If you take an expired aspirin or cold pill, it might not hurt you although it may not be as effective as it once was.  But if you have outdated/unused prescription medications you should probably dispose of them.

The FDA recommends that you dispose of old medications following these steps:

  1. Mix medicines (do not crush tablets or capsules) with an unpalatable substance such as dirt, kitty litter, or used coffee grounds.
  2. Place the mixture in a container such as a sealed plastic bag.
  3. Throw the container in your household trash.
  4. Scratch out all personal information on the prescription label of your empty pill bottle or empty medicine packaging to make it unreadable, then dispose of the container.

Want to know more about drug expiration dates?  Check out this article.

To-Do Tuesday

To-Do-List.jpgI’m a list maker.  A firm believer in keeping a to do list so I can organize my activities and not let anything slip through the cracks.  Tuesdays will be all about my to-do’s.

Some of my lists get written down – like the grocery list, chores, work projects but I carry a lot of them in my head.  I especially like the mental list I keep of places I’d like to go.

I have a big list of places I’d like to return to: London, Paris, Disney World, New Orleans (and always NYC) to name my favorite places.  But I have a list of places I still want to see too.

Top places I want to visit:

  • The Grand Canyon.  I REALLY want to go to the Grand Canyon and take the tour where you ride a mule.  Check it out here:  National Parks – Grand Canyon Mule Rides
  • Montreal.  I’ve been told that if you love Paris, you’ll love Montreal – and it doesn’t take a long plane ride to get there!  Take a virtual tour of Montreal HERE.
  • California Wine Country.  I would love to drive the coast and wander around in wine country.  Not only is it beautiful out there but how much fun would it be to explore B&Bs and taste wine?  I like this site when I’m dreaming about wine country.

What is the top destination you want to visit?  Let us know in the comments!



Think about it.   When you’re little, major firsts come all the time.  First smile, first word, first step, first bike, first day of school, first date…  But once you get past a certain age, you need to work a little harder to find things to experience for the first time!  So with Monday being the first day of the work week, I’ll be using Mondays to talk about firsts.

Doing something for the first time can be a real adventure like hiking the Grand Canyon.  Or maybe it’s just trying a new recipe for the first time.  You never know.



My favorite recent first was knitting my first sock.  It was ENORMOUS but I knew it was going to be weird because I didn’t have the right size needles or yarn – but I still made my first sock without any help (except YouTube!).  Great feeling isn’t it?



What was your favorite first?  Let me know in the comments!