A Trip to Punxsutawney!

Hello everyone, Sophia here!  I’m going to tell you about my trip to meet Xyra and Lea.  They were up for the semi-annual get together at Coolspring, and Xyra and Flo decided that we would do something a bit different.  Actually, they had been planning this since they got together in October, and when I heard about it, I begged Flo to let me go!  I was super excited when she said I could.

Now a bit of history–Punxsutawney is a town in Pennsylvania that has become famous because of the groundhog that lives there and predicts the outcome in regards to the end of winter every year.  The tradition is based on European lore–some have said German specifically, but if you read up on it, it also has some Celtic background as well.  It happens every year on February 2nd, and legend says that if the groundhog sees his shadow, it will be six more weeks of winter, and if he doesn’t it will be an early spring.  I don’t know if he is absolutely accurate every year, but it does seem like a lot of fun!  And by the way, the movie “Groundhog Day” wasn’t actually filmed in Punxsutawney.  Sorry if I burst your bubble.

Back in 2004, someone decided it would be fun to make these giant Phil statues and place them at various points all over town.  They are all painted with different themes, some of which reflect the business or building they are displayed in front of.  It was a lot of fun going around and checking them all out.  But first, we had to meet up!

Uh, wait a second here. I feel like I’m looking in the mirror, but I know my hair isn’t like that today!
It was really crazy, we were both giggling. We even dressed alike!

“Nice to meet you!”

In case you are wondering, that’s Lea on the left, me on the right. You can tell us apart by our hair and socks, as well as the fact that Lea is wearing bracelets and I’m not. Isn’t this crazy?!?!

We had to start off by paying the real Phil a visit…
It wasn’t easy to see him. The glare on the glass was pretty bad, plus it was covered with fingerprints from all of the people who come and see him everyday. There were quite a few people who stopped by to see him while we were there.

He’s somewhere in that straw. He wiggled a little at one point or we would have missed him completely.

After visiting Phil, it was time to head out and see how many statues we could find. We saw 20 in total, we missed 11 and one of those doesn’t count since it was out for repairs. It was fun to see how they were all painted differently!

This is Presby MacPhil. Flo said she was excited because he was one she really wanted to see. He’s in front of the Presbyterian Church.
This is Freedom Phil. I think it should be Freedom Phillis, isn’t the Statue of Liberty a woman????


Obviously, this is Fireman Phil. He even had his own firehouse!

THIS was an embarrassing moment! It was really hot out, and I was feeling a little dizzy. And I wasn’t paying attention…and I managed to catch my foot on the pavement and did a rather ungraceful faceplant. OUCH! I was okay, but I did scratch my nose a little bit. Not too bad. I think my pride was more hurt than anything.

This one has a rather long name: It’s Springtime for Phantastic Phyllis.

This one was called “Grow Up Great”. It was pretty cool standing on those giant books! From what I read in the brochure, this Phil has been completely redone from it’s original state and renamed. Not sure why they decided to change it, but I thought that was very interesting.

I loved the bright colors on this one. It is called “Phil A House With Love” and is sponsored by the Jefferson County Housing Authority.

This one was Flo’s favorite, it was a mosaic made out of stained glass. It is called “Get Your Phil Of Roses”. It was pretty neat!

When we crossed the street, we saw this giant painting of a zebra in the window of a furniture store. I just had to get my picture taken in front of it to show Louisa since she loves zebras!

By the time we got to Philtuminous, the Heritage Hog, I was so hot and tired, I wanted to sit on his foot. He was too slippery and I kept sliding down. Oh well…my gosh it was hot though. And humid. We all felt like we were melting!

This is Postcards from Phil. We were sad to see that his camera (as well as another one) had been wrecked. Why do people think that it’s okay to destroy something like this? That makes me mad. It was still a pretty cool statue though.

I loved the name for this one: Phil’d With Love. I thought he was so sweet. He was in front of a nursing home, so we had to be very quiet as not to disturb the residents.

Our last stop was at a pizza shop on the way out of town. They not only had a Phil statue, but they had this:

Lea got to be Phil, while I was a member of the “Inner Circle”, pulling Phil out of his burrow! The Inner Circle is the organization that oversees all Phil related activity and the events of Groundhog Day. The President of the Inner Circle is the man who Phil tells the prediction to. Talk about a lot of responsibility!

I hope you had fun with our little tour of Punxsutawney and the Phil statues. If you’d like to see more of them, you can check them out over at Tea Time With Melody Q, Xyra has different photos of some of the other ones. I had a great time getting to meet her and Lea! I hope to show everyone some of the goodies she sent home with us in a future post. And I think that whoever gets to go in October should go find the Phil’s we missed, don’t you agree?

Madame Alexander clothing sets, a word of caution!!!!!

I’ve seen a lot of posts recently about the Madame Alexander clothing sets that turned up at many Tuesday Morning locations over the past few weeks.  I have to admit that I looked at these myself, but I passed as the quality didn’t look as good as previous Madame Alexander items.  Well, I’m sure glad I did!!  Xyra over at Tea Time For Melody Q had a not so great experience with one of the outfits she purchased.  You can read about it here. https://teatimewithmelodyq.blogspot.com/2017/06/emergency-wardrobe-update.html

This is a good time just to remind everyone, that when it comes to doll clothing, not all products are created equal!  Some doll manufacturers use cheap fabrics that are not color fast and will come off on your dolls!  This is especially an issue with bright colors and in particular red, navy, black and purple.   I’m not saying to avoid buying completely from other lines or individuals, but just know that there is always that possibility.  American Girl has always guaranteed colorfast products in their line, and I’ve left many an outfit on a doll for an extended period of time and not had an issue, but as we can see from Xyra’s experience, it can happen VERY quickly!

Why American Girl…Why???????????

I had a few minutes today to actually do something fun, and I was super excited to see the new releases.  I even had stuff in my cart ready to order.  Except I can’t.  American Girl’s recent revamping of their website has left me (as well as others) unable to access my account!  I got the e-mail about updating my password, and I did exactly what they said, but all I get when I try to log in is an error message.  A quick check of their Facebook page tells me I’m not alone.  Ugh.  When I voiced my concerns on Twitter, the response was to call the 800 number.  I waited 10 minutes on the phone and hung up.  This is ridiculous.

My question is–what company in their right mind does a major upgrade on their website at the same time they are about to release a bunch of new product?  Just when I think that they are finally headed in the right direction, they go and do this hair-brained move.  Not only are people having issues with getting into accounts, but there are many products that are in this release that you can’t even order!  What is with that?!?!?!?!?!

Unbelievable.  American Girl, you continually perplex me with your ridiculous business model.  Get with the program, it’s 2017 and other companies are running circles around you.  (Insert disgusted face here)

UPDATE: This just gets worse.  I had to call twice to finally get through to someone.  They couldn’t find me in their computer.  Seriously??  They put me on hold, then came back to tell me they’d sent me a new access code.  It didn’t work, so I requested another and another.  Third time was the charm.  Everything seemed to be fine.  Except when I went back out to the main screen, I’d had a name change.  I’m apparently no longer Flo, I’m now SHANNON?!?!?! (Click on image below to see for yourself.  I assure you, that is a screen shot from my laptop.)