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december ’16

departments Ask the Vet


Behavioral Medicine


Book Review


Classic Cars


Events Calendar


Film Review


Healthy Geezer


Living Green





connectionsmagazine DECEMBER ’16

VOL. 18 NO. 12


Outdoor Ramblings


Pocono Secrets


Reflections of Prison


Scarecrow Winners



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COUNTRY SIDEWALKS “Country sidewalks, busy sidewalks, dressed in holiday style…” This popular holiday tune speaks of city sidewalks, but here in Northeastern Pennsylvania, our country sidewalks are brimming with shoppers as people flock to the pretty, quaint streets for holiday shopping in our towns.







The 18th Annual Hawley Winterfest arrives on Friday, December 9th with wintery fun activities planned through Sunday, December 11th. This three-day winter event is one of the most celebrated holiday festivals in Northeast Pennsylvania with many activities and exciting things to do for the entire family.

Keeping your furry family members safe during the holidays can be a difficult task. There are the ornaments, plants, presents, lights -- oh, and who could forget the Christmas tree (if do you decide to put one up this year)? Let's take a look at some simple steps that will allow your pets to join in the holiday fun this year, while avoiding any trips to the animal emergency room.

With the holidays quickly approaching, you’re probably planning your decorations, family gatherings, and festivities. Often, caught up in the merriment, we overlook hazards that may result. Here are some tips for ensuring that you have a safe holiday season.

Just $36 per year. Call now 570.647.0085!

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cookie recipes


[YOUR] NEPA MAGAZINE president • publisher • editor in chief deborah bailey production manager meica drake account representative barry weiss editorial correction services sandi scull assignment writers allison mowatt contributing writers al hoff, Movie Review lucille norella, ArtScene fred cicetti, The Healthy Geezer


charles curtin, Finance

1 1/2 cups butter, softened 2 cups white sugar 4 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 5 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon salt

terry mooney, Reflections of a Prison Inmate arthur middleton, MD, FAPA, Behavioral Medicine michael krupa, Finance terri schlichenmeyer, Book Review la guzda, Pocono Secrets

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight). Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.


bill deaton, Outdoor Ramblings pike county conservation district, Living Green amy platko-williams, D.V.M, Ask the Vet


1 cup margarine or butter softened 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 cup packed brown sugar 1 egg 1 tsp vanilla 2 1/2 cups flour 1 tsp baking powder Jar of your favorite jam

3305 Lake Ariel Highway Honesdale, PA 18431 570.647.0085 • Fax 570.647.0086 •

Combine all ingredients, except for jam, to make the dough, divide into eight balls. Shape each ball into strips 8 x 1-1/2 inches on an ungreased cookie sheet. Make a slight indentation down the center of the strip. Fill the indent with jam--any flavor you like! Use about 1 tsp of jam per strip. Bake at 350 for about 10 to 12 minutes until the edges brown. Cool slightly. Drizzle with powdered sugar icing, which is made with powdered sugar, milk and vanilla.

Connections Magazine is not responsible for typographical errors, mistakes or misprints. All advertising, including photographs, is the property of Connections Magazine and not that of the advertiser. The advertiser has purchased the right of reproduction only in Connections Magazine and does not have the right to reproduce the ads in any other place or publication. Connections Magazine reserves its rights to exercise its discretion in the selection of advertisements. © COPYRIGHT 2006 CONNECTIONS MAGAZINE


KOLACHKI: 1/2 pound cream cheese (at room temperature) 1/2 pound butter (at room temperature) 3 cups all-purpose flour 1 pound finely ground walnuts 1 large egg 1 cup granulated sugar water Preheat oven to 375o F. Mix butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add flour, and mix again until smooth. Making this dough is easy with a food processor, hard with a mixer. Roll dough into 3 balls. Refrigerate dough to keep it from drying out. The dough can be refrigerated for 1-2 hours, but it is not necessary. Roll out 1 ball at a time and flour lightly. Roll dough out in flour or granulated sugar so it doesn’t stick. Cut dough into squares or circles using cookie or biscuit cutter. Make the filling by mixing together the walnuts, egg, and sugar and adding just enough water to obtain a stick consistency. Add about a teaspoon of filling to each piece of cut dough. Roll squares into logs. Fold circles over and seal with fork. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned.

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arnie milidantri, Classic Cars

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To laugh is to risk appearing a fool. To weep is to risk appearing sentimental. To reach out for another is to risk involvement. To expose feelings is to risk rejection. To place your visions before the crowd is to risk ridicule. To love is to risk not being loved in return. **To go forward in the face of overwhelming odds is to risk failure. But risks must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing. The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing. We may avoid suffering and sorrow, but we cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love or know GOD. Chained by our own self-assurances, we are a slave. We have forfeited our freedom. Only the person who dares to take risk and to trust in their GOD will ever be made FREE.

In 1997,Rev. Edwin E. Bailey, father of the editor, gave this poem to his daughter 8 days before he had a stroke and 3 weeks before he died. The poem was adapted from works by Leo Buscaglia. Edwin hand wrote this on a scrap of paper and gave it to his daughter, Deborah, saying the words, “Someday you’ll understand these words and use them. God bless sweetheart.” **These words were used in making the decision to purchase Connections Magazine in 2002. CONNECTIONS COPYRIGHTED 2007

country sidewalks


his town is a real gem with antique stores, unique cafes, restaurants, inns, coffee shops, a historic theater, and a plethora of specialty shops. The charming streets and alleys throughout Milford are home to many historic architectural structures housing art galleries, salons, bed and breakfasts, and specialty shops. Two of the well-known buildings are Grey Towers, the former home of America’s first forester Gifford Pinchot, and The Columns Museum, which houses the Pike County Historical Society and features historical artifacts and memorabilia including the famous “Lincoln Flag.” Both buildings are open to the public, offering visitors a glimpse into Pike County’s past.


Other than its historical claims, Milford is considered a destination based on its shopping and dining alone. Strolling along the twinkling tree-lined streets is a treat, discovering such places to dine as the Apple Valley Restaurant and Pub, Balch’s Seafood Restaurant, Holy Crepes, Tequila Sunrise, the Flying Pig Tea Room, Bar Louis at Hotel Fauchere, Patisserie Fauchere, Chang Mao Chinese Restaurant, the renowned Milford Diner, Laurel Villa Country Inn, the Waterwheel Café, and The Dimmick Inn. One of Milford’s biggest holiday traditions is the Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. The town resembles something out of a charming picture book with the entire downtown twinkling with lights and the big star on the cliff glowing from a distance. The free event is held December 3rd at 5 p.m. on the lawn of the Community House at the corner of Broad and Harford Streets. In addition to the tree lighting, people can enjoy a visit from Santa, cookies, and cocoa. On December 10th, the Milford Theater hosts the concert Shirim’s Klezmer Nutcracker, via Kindred Spirits. Enjoy this Boston-based group as they celebrate the holidays with their hilarious rendition of this holiday classic. For more information about these events, visit Enjoy Holiday Mansion Tours at Grey Towers National Historic Site beginning December 5th through the 17th. Guided tours of all three floors with each room beautifully decorated for the holidays are available at 1 and 3 p.m. For more information on Grey Towers, visit Another Milford winter highlight takes place after the holidays when people are looking for fun things to do to break up the long, cold season. The 9th Annual Winter Lights Festival/Celebrating the Arts takes place January 20-22, 2017. The festival kicks off Friday evening with the Milford Historical Society’s Dinner and a movie. On Saturday morning, non-stop indoor and outdoor events begin at the Milford Public Library with a family/children’s theater event, followed by the popular Mac & Chili Contest (11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.) at the Dimmick Inn. Over at the Ann Street Park ice rink, from 2 to 3 p.m., the centerpiece of this year’s free ice show will feature skaters, actors, and puppetry in “Merlin Awakens”: His eternal struggle with wisdom and truth versus the love of Morgan Le Fey, her enchantments, dragons and the most dangerous, to be loved by the “Dark Side.” “Merlin Awakens” features an original score, mixing Medieval instruments within an electronic format, similar to the Alan Parsons Project. Following the show, the rink will officially be open to free public skating, and as darkness descends, torch light skating will commence with the first of two musical events at the Good Shepherd Church that evening. The second will be on Sunday at 3:30 p.m., so drive the winter blues away in Milford, PA. For additional Winter Lights Festival information and updates, “like” Winter Lights Festival, Milford, PA on Facebook.

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country sidewalks

ome to Honesdale and experience all this historic town has to offer. Downtown Honesdale is the place to go for unique shopping with its cafés, restaurants, gift shops, clothing stores, and many more. There is plenty to do throughout December for people of all ages, from holiday open houses to breakfasts with Santa. Shop till you drop and then head to these businesses for festive holiday fun.


The anticipated 25th Annual Holiday Open House at Highlights for Children takes place on the 3rd from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., complete with treats, entertainment, storytelling, an art show, craft room, puppetry, and more. Other open houses with holiday refreshments, raffles, door prizes, and other specials include Dr. Michael C. Rogers of Complete Health Dentistry of NEPA on the 1st from 6 to 8 p.m., Arts for Him and Her Too on the 5th from 5 to 8 p.m., Apple Day Spa & Hair Restoration on the 7th from 5 to 7 p.m., and Gina Lenz Photography on the 14th from 6 to 8 p.m. On the 3rd from 9 to 11 a.m., children can enjoy hot cocoa and donuts with Santa at Papa’s Primo Pizza and pictures with Santa at Fins and Feathers at noon where people are invited to bring their pets for photos with Santa. In addition, refreshments, snacks, and specials will be available. Pictures with Santa will also be offered on the 11th from noon to 3 p.m. at the Velvet Maple. Other holiday events include the annual Children’s Ornament Hunt in Central Park on the 10th at 10 a.m. where children have the opportunity to hunt for ornaments and for a chance to win prizes; the annual Holiday Artisans’ Market on the 11th from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Cooperage, featuring local and regional artisans selling unique and hand-made items, live music, snacks and a hot lunch; on the 16th a reading of “The Night Before Christmas” at the Wayne County Historical Society from 6 to 8 p.m. with classic holiday stories, treats, letters to Santa, and fun prizes; the Annual Chorus and Band Holiday Concert on the 20th at 7 p.m. in the Honesdale High School Auditorium; a Holiday Light Spectacular from Dec 16th through the 21st from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Honesdale High School parking lot; and Luminaries on Main on

Christmas Eve, with 300 luminaries lining historic Main Street and other areas of town. Throughout the month, Santa Express train rides on the Stourbridge Line will be available. Kids will receive a present from Santa and a candy cane. Call (570) 470-2697. For more information about these and more December events, contact the Greater Honesdale Partnership at (570) 253-5492 or visit BETHANY– The quaint village of Bethany is just three miles north of downtown Honesdale on Route 670. The Annual Christmas in the Village is a free event held on December 3rd featuring holiday open houses from 2 to 4 p.m. with seasonal food and beverages at several historic bed and breakfasts: the James Manning House, the E. Kellogg, and the Mansion at Noble Lane. At the James Manning House, the Honesdale High School Chamber Choir will sing carols and local author Will Wyckoff, who recently published his third book, will offer a book signing. In addition, starting at 2 p.m., Mrs. Claus will be visiting from the North Pole to help children write letters to Santa Claus at the Bethany Public Library. Tours of the library and historical society are from 2 to 4 p.m. There will also be a special holiday display on the second floor of the library building. Bethany Village Senior Living Center will be holding a tree lighting at 3:30 p.m. and a tricky tray with drawings at 4 p.m. Information for a self-guided walking tour to see Bethany’s historic architecture will also be available. For more information about Christmas in the Village, call Janet at the James Manning House (570) 2535573.

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country sidewalks

his time of year, Hawley is decked out in holiday splendor, resembling a Victorian town. Historic inns, bed and breakfasts, candy shops, novelty stores, an historic company playhouse, a yoga studio, boutiques, and antique shops line the streets, beckoning shoppers with the promise of warmth and wonder.


A must-see landmark in Hawley is the historic Hawley Silk Mill, a large bluestone structure built in the 1800s. Once an operating silk factory, the Mill is now open to the public featuring a community college, Harmony Presents- an intimate performing arts space in the Boiler Room, a fitness center, Art on the Edge, the Mill Market with locally sourced produce and other items for sale, art galleries, clothing boutiques, and more. When visiting the Hawley Silk Mill, be sure to stop in the Cocoon Coffee House situated in front of the building for a steaming beverage of any kind and gourmet treats ranging from luscious quiches to mouth-watering muffins. Ledges Hotel is also part of the Hawley Silk Mill campus and is below the Silk Mill on Falls Avenue in Hawley. This is another bluestone building constructed in the 1800s when it operated as a cutting glass factory. Now, it’s a luxury hotel with a wine bar and restaurant called GlassWine.Bar.Kitchen., specializing in small plates for sharing, an extensive wine list, and a variety of local beer. Further adding to its uniqueness, the Hawley Silk Mill campus overlooks gorgeous views of cascading falls over the Wallenpaupack Creek. What better way to celebrate winter and the upcoming holiday than with an old-fashioned festival celebrating the pre-holiday season and Hawley’s historic roots? The town twinkles with holiday cheer, and the cold, fluffy snow provides the perfect backdrop for the 18th Annual Hawley Winterfest, which

takes place December 9th through the 11th. This three-day event throughout the quaint town is one of the most celebrated holiday festivals in the area. The one stop winter wonderland offers wintery fun activities including cookie decorating, holiday theater, ice sculpture demos, horse and carriage rides, author book signings, live musical entertainment, a living nativity, train rides, open houses, holiday feasts, arts and craft shows, holiday house tour, a beer tour, art exhibits, and so much more. During Hawley Winterfest, the Enchanted Christmas at Bingham Park will be held on December 10th from 4 to 6 p.m. Adults and children can enjoy a holiday singa-long, visits and pictures with Santa and his friendly Elf, and roast marshmallows over a bonfire with hot cocoa. Hawley Winterfest is presented by the Downtown Hawley Partnership, a non-profit organization dedicated to maintaining and enhancing the high standard of living the community and tourists enjoy. The event is made possible through the generous contribution of local sponsors, donations, volunteers, participating residents and merchants, and the Winterfest Committee. For more information and a complete schedule, pick up a Winterfest brochure at local businesses, visit or call (570) 226-2141. For more information about Hawley events year-round, visit

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country sidewalks

Hawley Winterfest December 9-11, 2016 The 18th Annual Hawley Winterfest arrives on Friday, December 9th with wintery fun activities planned through Sunday, December 11th. This three-day winter event is one of the most celebrated holiday festivals in Northeast Pennsylvania with many activities and exciting things to do for the entire family. Winterfest is a one-stop winter wonderland experience reminiscent of an old-fashioned Christmas. The quaint town of Hawley twinkles with cheer as people of all ages enjoy exploring this lovely town while participating in the many activities. This year’s celebration features many returning time-honored favorites. Festive fun and adventure is had by all and residents and visitors are filled with good cheer as they celebrate this pre-holiday event.

[ Returning Favorites ] When the words “Hawley Winterfest” come to mind, certain signature events are remembered and anticipated. With a full itinerary set each day, people can plan on attending popular favorites such as the Virgin Consort, the Holiday House Tours, Holiday Show at The Ritz, Horse and Carriage Rides, Author Book Signings, the Annual Cookie Walk, the Winterfest Brunch at the Settlers Inn, and much more. On Friday, the Virgin Consort presents an elegant blend of traditional and Victorian carols and Medieval and Renaissance sacred works sung by an ensemble of eight angelic voices. The concert will take place at the Hawley United Methodist Church and begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 and $10 for senior citizens. Advance ticket sales will be available at The Settlers Inn and the Hawley Library. On Saturday, the 16th Annual Cookie Walk will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church on Church Street. There will be over 5,000 handmade gourmet cookies and candies for sale with about 30 varieties. The Holiday House Tours run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. The self-guided tour begins at Teeter’s Furniture, where an official tour map

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awaits you. Get an inside look at some of the area’s gorgeous architectural gems during this one day only tour. Some may feature delicious refreshments with holiday music playing in the background. Ticket prices are $20. Advance tickets will be available at the Lake Wallenpaupack Visitors Center, the Hawley Library and Teeter’s Furniture. Purchase tickets the day of the event at Teeter’s from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Also on Saturday, local authors of all literary genres will be at the Hawley Library for book signings from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Some authors making an appearance that afternoon include Clara Gillow Clark, Patricia Thomas, Will Wyckoff, Lillian Corrigan, and more. Experience a memorable holiday tradition with horse drawn carriage or wagon rides from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. People board the carriages at Miss Elly’s Antiques on Church Street. These nostalgic rides bring to mind an old-fashioned Dickens style Christmas. The carriage rides are $8 per person and wagon rides are $5. For laughs and merriment, take in the annual Christmas show at The Ritz Company Playhouse on both Saturday and Sunday from 2:30 to 4 p.m. This is a free children’s holiday play full of music and good cheer. On Sunday, treat yourself to a special brunch at the Settlers Inn where delicious food and delicate live music provide an atmosphere of warmth and cheer. From 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., people can enjoy a holiday brunch featuring a classic menu of gourmet farm to table favorites while listening to soft, seasonal music provided by harpist Kristy Chmura. The brunch is $39 per person and reservations are required.

[ Better Than Ever: New Events ] Some new additions this year include the Christmas Campfire at Silver Birches Resort, Undecorate a Tree at Doodles And Such, Victorian Times-Visit with Santa and Dorflinger Glass Demo at B. Madigan Jewelry, and the Popcorn Putt along Keystone Street. Enter the Winterfest Painting Raffle Drawing for the chance to win a beautiful original watercolor painting by esteemed local artist, Barbara Briden. With a new winter scene and another worthy cause to benefit, this is an important aspect of Hawley Winterfest that is pleasing to the eye and warms the heart. “This is the eleventh watercolor painting I’ve created with the “Winter in Hawley” theme,”

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said Barbara. “Each one has been raffled during Winterfest with proceeds benefiting a local cause. This year’s painting, titled ‘December Twilight’, varies from the usual Hawley landmarks. I chose to depict a generic country scene - a nostalgic picture of a parent and child ice skating on a frozen pond in a late afternoon rural setting. It could be in Hawley or anywhere that resonates with the viewer.” The 2016 raffle proceeds will benefit The Downtown Hawley Partnership's (DHP) newest sub-committee, the recently formed Merchants Events group. The sub-committee is comprised of local businesses working to enhance the DHP efforts to bring exciting and innovative events to the area. The primary goals are to build on the Partnership tagline, “The Lake Region's Downtown”, encouraging both residents and visitors to enjoy the special treasures and activities downtown Hawley has to offer, with a focus on shopping, dining, outdoor and recreational activities, volunteer opportunities, and more. The painting is custom framed by Bill Holster of Picture Perfect Framing Gallery in Hawley. It will be displayed at the Hawley Public Library Tuesday through Friday and the Lake Wallenpaupack Visitors Center Saturday, Sunday and Monday from now until the drawing. The drawing will be held on Thursday, December 26th at the library at 4 pm. Tickets may be purchased at the library, the Visitors’ Center, Teeter’s Furniture Store and Doodles And Such. Free Winterfest Shuttles will loop through town and up to the Hawley Silk Mill on Saturday between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. allowing people to park their car once and take the shuttle to all of the exciting activities. The shuttle will come by each stop approximately every 10 to 15 minutes. The places are listed in the Winterfest brochure. This is just a glimpse into the wintery world of Winterfest and all it has to offer. For more detailed information, call the Lake Wallenpaupack Visitors Center at (570) 226-2141 or pick up a Hawley Winterfest brochure at the Visitors Center or other area businesses. For a complete schedule of events and continuous updates, visit or “Like” Hawley Winterfest on Facebook. Hawley Winterfest is presented by the Downtown Hawley Partnership, a non-profit organization dedicated to maintaining and enhancing the high standard of living the community and tourists enjoy. For more information, visit The event is made possible through the generous contribution of local sponsors, donations, volunteers, participating residents and merchants, and The 2016 Winterfest Committee.

country sidewalks


cranton, otherwise known as the Electric City, truly lives up to its name this time of year. The town is decked out in lights, wreaths, and snowflakes from streetlights to storefronts. The many storefronts gleam brightly as shoppers discover this interesting city. Downtown Scranton is full of stores, salons, eateries, theater, and cultural events. There is never a shortage of things to do any time of the year, but the holidays are even more exciting in Scranton.


The city gets electric when the Holiday Light Spectacular begins. This unique light show, on a grand scale locally, is a breathtaking event highly anticipated every year. Nay Aug Park lights up gloriously every evening during the holiday season beginning at dusk until about 10 p.m. The show depicts scenes of the season and runs through the first week in January. The display is across from the Everhart Museum and can be seen from anywhere in the park, even from parts of the interstate. On December 9th, head to the Marketplace at Steamtown for the Opening Reception for the annual Festival of Trees exhibit and fundraiser. This year, the event benefits Toys for Tots and Steampunk—a genre of science fiction featuring machines and technology from the industrial revolution. Join in the fun during the Holiday Market, which will take place on December 2nd from 5 to 9 p.m., the 3rd from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and the 4th, from 11 a.m. to 4 the old Globe Store. The Globe Store is a dream location to celebrate the best and brightest of local artists and independent businesses, showcasing their talents, crafts, music, and food. “Christmas in a Small Town” welcomes Santa as he rolls into town on the Santa Train. At all five stops, people of all ages are included for fun and exciting holiday activities, including handing Santa a wish list before he heads back to the North Pole. For information on the five stops and times, call (570) 963-6730. Also in December, enjoy the timeless holiday story of “The Nutcracker,” performed by the Ballet Theatre of Scranton at the Marywood University Performing Arts Theater. This is an annual free production of the classic ballet. For more information, call (570) 347-2867.

For more detailed information on these and many other events, visit or call the Lackawanna County Convention and Visitors Bureau at (570) 496-1701.

MONTROSE– Montrose in Susquehanna County is a thriving town with a lot of culture, stores, restaurants, activities, and annual events throughout the year. Get in the holiday spirit during Christmas in Montrose, which is held December 2nd through the 4th. It’s fun for the entire family. On Friday at 5 p.m., a Chocolate Santa Roll gets the fun started in the evening as a four-foot tall chocolate mold crafted by Chocolates by Leopold is rolled up Public Avenue to the delight of the young and young at heart. On Saturday, some highlights include a variety of craft fairs at area churches throughout the day, a Jingle Bell Fun Run at 9 a.m., which is a three mile run/walk starting on the Courthouse steps, at 10 a.m. a Chocolate Santa Decorating at Chocolates by Leopold, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. a Christmas Trimmings Farmers Market, also from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. an Around the World Nativities, a free showing of Home Alone from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Montrose Theater, from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. S’mores Stations with local Boy Scouts offering make your own s’mores across from the Montrose Public Library and at the Inn at Montrose, and from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. free pictures with Santa at the Susquehanna County Library. On Sunday, listen to the Christmas Chorale Concert at 3 p.m. in the First Presbyterian Church. For full details, visit

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pet safety

O Christmas Tree, Don’t Hurt My Pet eeping your furry family members safe during the holidays can be a difficult task. There are the ornaments, plants, presents, lights -- oh, and who could forget the Christmas tree (if do you decide to put one up this year)? Let's take a look at some simple steps that will allow your pets to join in the holiday fun this year, while avoiding any trips to the animal emergency room.


Christmas Tree Tips: Place your Christmas tree in a corner, blocked off from your pet's wanting eyes. If this doesn't keep your dog or cat from attempting to jump onto the tree, you can place aluminum foil, a plastic drink bottle filled with knick knacks, or anything else that creates noise on the tree's bottom limbs to warn you of an impending tree disaster.


Tinsel can add a nice sparkling touch to the tree, but make sure you hang it up out of your pet's reach. Ingesting the tinsel can potentially block their intestines, which is generally only remedied through surgical means.

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Do not put lights on the tree's lower branches. Not only can your pet get tangled up in the lights, they are a burning hazard. Additionally, your dog or cat may inadvertently get shocked by biting through the wire.

Other Great Holiday Item Tips: Did you know holly, mistletoe, and poinsettia plants are poisonous to dogs or cats? If you normally use these plants to decorate your home, they should be kept in an area your pet cannot reach.


Edible tree decorations -- whether they be ornaments, or cranberry or popcorn strings -- are like time bombs waiting to happen. These goodies are just too enticing and your pet will surely tug at them, knocking down your wonderfully decorated spruce.

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Burning candles should be placed on high shelves or mantels, out of your pet's way -- there's no telling where a wagging tail may end up. Homes with fireplaces should use screens to avoid accidental burns. To prevent any accidental electrocutions, any exposed indoor or outdoor wires should be taped to the wall or the sides of the house.


When gift wrapping, be sure to keep your pet away. Wrapping paper, string, plastic, or cloth could cause intestinal blockages. Scissors are another hazard, and they should be kept off floors or low tables.


We at petMD don't want to ruin all your holiday decorating fun. By all means, go crazy sprucing up your home and wrapping presents, but make sure you do in a way that is safe for your pet(s) this holiday season. ARTICLE FROM PETMD.COM

–Amy Platko-Williams, D.V.M

Ornaments need to be kept out of reach, too. In addition to being a choking and intestinal blockage hazard, shards from broken ornaments may injure paws, mouths, or other parts of your pet's body.


For those buying a live Christmas trees this year, keep the area free and clear of pine needles. While they may not seem dangerous, the needles can puncture your pet's intestines if ingested.


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Dr. Platko is one of the four full time veterarians at the Cherry Ridge Veterinary Clinic in Honesdale. Send your questions to Dr. Platko, c/o Connections Magazine, 3305 Lake Ariel Highway, Honesdale, Pa. 18431 or e-mail them to and type 'Ask the Vet' in the subject line.

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DANGEROUS HOLIDAY PLANTS Poinsettia Plant Basics A lot of people have been led to believe that the poinsettia plant is deadly for pets and children, but this is actually an unlikely occurrence. The poinsettia plant’s brightly colored leaves contain a sap that is irritating to the tissues of the mouth and esophagus. If the leaves are ingested, they will often cause nausea and vomiting, but it would take a large amount of the plant’s material to cause poisoning, and most animals and children will not eat such a large enough amount because of the irritating taste and feel from the sap. However, if the plant has been treated with a pesticide, your pet could be at risk of becoming ill from ingesting the pesticide. The size of your pet and the amount of ingested plant material will be the determining factors for the severity of the poisoning. Young animals -- puppies and kittens -- are at the highest risk. Severe reactions to the plant or to the pesticide it has been treated with include seizures, coma, and in some cases, death.

Holly and Mistletoe Holly and mistletoe are also popular holiday plants. These plants, along with their berries, have a greater toxicity level than the poinsettia. Symptoms of illness from ingesting these plants include intestinal upset, such as vomiting and diarrhea, excessive drooling, and abdominal pain. Mistletoe contains multiple substances that are toxic to both dogs and cats, including toxalbumin and pharatoxin viscumin (Lectins, Phoratoxins). Mistletoe is well known for causing severe intestinal upset, as well as a sudden and severe drop in blood pressure, breathing problems, and even hallucinations (unusual behavior). If a large enough amount of these plants are ingested, seizures and death may follow. The leaves and berries of holly and mistletoe plants, even the dried plants, should be kept well out of your pet's reach, or kept out of the home altogether.

Christmas Cactus Fortunately, the Christmas Cactus (or its relative, the Easter Cactus) plant is not toxic to dogs in either its parts or flowers. The same lack of toxicity applies for cats. However, fibrous plant material can cause irritation to the stomach and intestine, leading to vomiting or diarrhea.

safety tips


H liday Safety Tips Submitted by Disaster Blaster

ith the holidays quickly approaching, you’re probably planning your decorations, family gatherings, and festivities. Often, caught up in the merriment, we overlook hazards that may result. Here are some tips for ensuring that you have a safe holiday season.


Decorating: Make sure to keep candles and other open flames away from trees, curtains, or any other flammable object. Decorative plants may look pretty, but they can present a hazard should children or pets eat them. Some plants to keep out of their reach include mistletoe, holly berries, Jerusalem cherry, and poinsettia. Trees dry out much more quickly than many realize, and when dry, they can present a fire hazard. Be sure to keep your tree well watered and check it often to reduce this risk. When selecting the perfect place for your tree, look for a space far away from fireplaces, radiators, and other heat sources. If you’re going the artificial tree route, look for trees labeled as “fire resistant.” If lights are built in, also look for an Underwriters Laboratory (UL) label. When hanging the lights, make sure that indoor lights are only used indoors and outdoor lights are only used outdoors. Inspect each strand for frayed or bare wires, cracked sockets, or loose connections. Unplug or turn off all lights on trees and decorations when going to bed or leaving the house. When purchasing light strings, extension cords, or timers, ensure that they have been certified by an accredited certification organization such as CSA International or Underwriters Laboratory (UL). Never connect multiple extension cords together. Instead choose an extension cord long enough to reach its destination without stretching, but not too long that it can get tangled or become a trip hazard. Do not use twist ties, etc. to bunch up electrical wires or cords. This can cause the wires to arc, which can result in a fire.

Watch for any potential trip hazards and take steps to rectify it immediately to prevent potential falls and injury. If hanging lights outside, make safety a priority. Make sure that someone is able to assist you when hanging lights, that power cords and lights are kept off of the ground and out of puddles, and that ladders are of an adequate height and in an appropriate location for your task.

Gatherings and Entertaining: Food safety is a must! Make sure to clean anything that has come in contact with raw meat or poultry and that everything is thawed properly (In the fridge, not at room temperature) before cooking. Make a list of everything that you need to do and how long each task is expected to take. Using this list, you can plan when the turkey or roast needs to go into the oven and when other sides need to be started. This will free you up to entertain and reduce your overall stress level! All leftovers should be refrigerated or frozen within two hours after cooking.

Be Prepared: If you haven’t checked your smoke detectors lately, perform a test and replace batteries if necessary. We hope that you found this information helpful, and most of all that you have a wonderful and safe holiday! If there’s something that YOU want to hear about, please e-mail us at!

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from inside

“There’s No Escape from Yourself” Reflections of a Prison Inmate By Terry Mooney first impression of this young man is that he seems very pensive, older than his mid-twenties. His demeanor is low key, and he takes the ARROW program here at the facility very seriously, using his past experience in the food industry for his work in the kitchen. As he tells his story, there is more to him than meets the eye.


My Story I was born in Florida and moved to the Poconos when I was only three, so I don’t really remember much about it. My parents met in a bar while he was down there doing a job building gas stations. My dad is from New Jersey and wanted to be closer to his family who already lived here. To this day, he does all of the petroleum based piping, installs the gas tanks and pumps. I’ve worked for him before and it’s tough, intensive labor. Sometimes we dug a really deep hole in the ground, put up metal walls to keep the dirt from caving in, and climbed down a ladder into the hole to do our work. Sometimes there was contaminated soil that my dad had to remove because he has all kinds of crazy certificates that allow him to perform these functions. Most of what we worked on was the petroleum residue, wearing protective gear that looked like space suits. On the job, my dad and I worked well together, but once we got off work, it was a completely different story. A lot of belts and spatulas, he was just always mad at having to work so much that he took it out on me mostly, not my sister or my brother. He was able to find jobs in his field that allowed him to be home every night, giving us a sense of being a family, and affording my mom to stay at home with us. Yet even though we could afford dirt bikes, quads, adding a really big deck to the house and finishing our basement, he just could not find joy in anything. Both of my parents dropped out of high school, and my dad went to live with one of his friend’s families. He felt that his parents were too strict, but ironically, as a parent, he believed in tough love. He was very proud that I played football throughout grammar school, and that’s the closest he and I ever were. One day, I was running on the field and fell on a rock, seriously tearing up my knee. After surgery, the doctor said no more football or I could lose my leg. My dad seemed disappointed in me after that, and that’s when we became really distant from each other. A turning point for me, I gave up and started to withdraw, hanging out with the wild kids, partying heavily. Only thirteen, it was oddly the same age as my dad when he stepped away from his family. My younger sister and I have always been close; our personalities are very similar. I also was really close with my mom who was a great cook and from whom I developed the same talent. I believe she helped me emotionally because I wasn’t completely devoid of belonging and feeling loved, although on some level I knew there was a much deeper reason why I did not relate much to my dad or my brother who resembles him. I dated some girls while I was in high school, but nothing serious ever developed. I always felt like there was something missing. I just preferred to party and hang out, meeting new people. I was very social and well-liked. Eventually, I had a run in with the law. They gave me probation,

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but I repeatedly violated because I felt no one should be telling me what to do. As a result, I was sent to a boot camp type thing for thirty days. It did not help me. The day I got back, I got in trouble again. Finally, I was sent away to the same boot camp, this time for six months. This did not help me either. Looking back, I think it was my misguided way of acting like a bad dude, pretending I didn’t care about anything, pretending I was as tough as the next guy. Little did I know what I was really trying to hide. Graduating from high school at the normal age with twenty-two credits, I could have gotten out six months early. No one told me, so I just stayed in school. Studies came easily to me, so I did well with very little effort and went on to Penn State, majoring in architecture. Unfortunately, I dropped out in my second year when I partied so much I couldn’t get up in the morning. I’d become a full-fledged alcoholic. That’s when I came home, but still continued to party. Coming to the conclusion that I needed to do something to straighten out my life, the first step, I thought, was to move out of the area where all of the temptations were. I got back into managing fast food restaurants, and cut back on the partying scene. It worked until I met someone that dragged me right back into it. Again, I tried to better myself by moving four hundred and fifty miles away from home. But as they say, you can move to the ends of the earth, but you’re taking yourself with you. I began hanging out with the wrong people, yet again, and it brought me down, yet again, deeper than before and on a more extreme level. Within a couple of months, I stopped going to work. I lost any sense of myself. At the same time, I was on probation for another run in I’d had with the law. As I was mired in this toxic relationship, I neglected to stay in contact with my probation officer. Now there’s a warrant for my arrest. Sheriffs came and brought me straight to jail. Ironically, after all of this, my dad is really concerned for me and constantly tells me he loves me. What I thought was him alienating me really was me alienating myself. I was punishing myself for not living up to the image of what I thought a real man should be, a man like my dad, and for having romantic preferences that were not main stream. I also see now that my dad has always blocked out his happy emotions, while I’ve always blocked out my sad ones. His unhappiness was not with me or caused by me. Here at the Pike Correctional Facility until sometime next year, I am taking advantage of the programs offered, working in the kitchen and reflecting on my life of twentyfour years. With the love of both of my parents, I am ready to nurture and take care of myself. I now have the foundation that I need to stay grounded, a point from which I can make better decisions. I used to live all up in the moment. Now I know that it’s most important to keep my eye on the prize, and that is finding peace, a place of happiness inside. And the rest takes care of itself.

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Get Outside This Winter! By Craig Lukatch, President, Lacawac Sanctuary

ince many folks consider hiking to be a three-season activity (Spring, Summer and Fall), we thought it might be helpful to talk about winter hiking and snowshoeing. We hope it will create an awareness that hiking is a year round activity to enjoy and provide information that may help someone stay healthy while out there!


There are probably a few good reasons to hang up the hiking boots during the winter; we just can’t think of one! Many of the trails at Lacawac and across the region that are used in the spring, summer, and fall are also available during the winter. Many public parks, nature preserves, lands trusts, Pennsylvania State Parks, the National Park Service, and other non-profits maintain trail systems which remain accessible for winter hiking and even snowshoeing. Some have special rules that apply to winter use so check with them for specifics. If nothing else, it’s a great way to keep active in the winter! Check out local hiking trails! Find out what’s available in your area. You might be surprised at the possibilities. For higher elevations, why not try snowshoeing? “If you can walk, you can go snowshoeing” is a popular and truthful saying. There isn’t a long learning curve, it doesn’t require a large investment—for specialized boots, fashion-statement clothing, lift tickets and standing in long linesand it doesn’t require a lot of special techniques. You can start today and have fun, immediately! Personally, I find the nuances of snowshoeing to be intuitive. Not to slight established techniques, but I’ve been doing just fine for a number of years without any formal instruction.

Snowshoeing can accommodate a casual hike in the woods, and it is also a relatively inexpensive way to get the whole family out in it together. One of the positives about snowshoeing is that the snowshoes allow me to go places where cross-country skiers and snowmobilers cannot go. I easily travel through thickly wooded and/or steep terrain. Another distinction between hiking in the winter versus the other seasons is the quiet and serenity of the snow-covered landscape. For those of you who have still not caught up to the 20th Century, snowshoes do not look like upside down tennis rackets strapped to your feet. Size wise, that’s not completely inaccurate though, as the job of snowshoes is to keep you from sinking into deep snow, and their rounded, bigger than your feet shape, helps keep your weight evenly distributed to do just that. Pennsylvania is a great place to snowshoe, with the abundance of undisturbed nature and extensive trail systems we have (you could also easily go in parks, on golf courses, and frozen lakes), and with a bunch of places that rent snowshoes to beginners. Random fact: “Snowshoe” is actually also a borough (pop: 756) in Centre County. And as we already mentioned, it’s extremely accessible for all sorts of people. If you want to try out snowshoes but aren’t ready to throw down some cash for your own pair just yet, here’s a small list of a bunch of places in the region that rent snowshoes or provide guided tours. PA State Parks– While you can’t rent snowshoes at most state parks, they do have extensive trail systems anyone can use for free. Visit for more

information. Jim Thorpe- Jim Thorpe is an outdoor mecca located in the Lehigh Valley’s aptly named Lehigh Gorge (where, surprise, the Lehigh River flows). There’s a whole host of places here to snowshoe, and any of the rental locations could surely provide recommendations. Bike Jim Thorpe does rentals, while the Jim Thorpe Experience does guided group snowshoe tours during the day and full moon tours at night. Delaware Water Gap- Northeast Mountain Guiding does group snowshoe hikes on both the PA and NJ sides of the Delaware Water Gap. Snowshoeing the Water Gap is one of my winter goals this year. Wayne County- Honesdale’s Northeast Wilderness Experience does snowshoe rentals and guided tours. There is a certain peace and tranquility hiking and snowshoeing during the winter, and the view can be breathtaking. Lacawac Sanctuary, located in southern Wayne County and on the shore of Lake Wallenpaupack is a fun destination for winter hiking and snowshoeing. Why not get out this winter and try something different with the family? Start today by making a visit to Lacawac Sanctuary and enjoy the serene beauty of 550 acres of protected forest and glacial lake, Lake Lacawac. Lacawac Sanctuary Biological Field Station and Environmental Education Center has been providing education programs to the public, PreK-12, and collegiate institutions for fifty years. With over 8 miles of hiking trails, Lacawac offers the public a view into the beauty of the region and ecological importance the land has in scientific research involving water quality and climate change. Lake Lacawac is a registered National Natural Landmark, and its historic Watres Lodge is one the National Registry of Historic Places. Craig Lukatch is president of Lacawac Sanctuary.

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INVESTING Charles Curtin, JD, LLM, CTFA – Trust Officer, The Honesdale National Bank

ach year right after Thanksgiving, a local radio station begins playing Christmas songs 24 hours a day. In my mind, Christmas songs a month before the big day is a bit much, but my wife and kids seem to love it. I am always surprised that every major recording artist has Christmas Songs in their arsenal. Sting, Brittany Spears, Run DMC… you name it.


One famous song gets my family rocking every time they hear it. Whether my kids are in the car or at home, if “Feliz Navidad” is on, they are belting out the lyrics. To be honest, neither they nor I have any idea what they are singing as none of us understand Spanish. But, it is a hoot to hear them so carefree. The song, recorded in 1970 by the Puerto Rican singer José Feliciano, wishes everyone a Merry Christmas in Spanish. It has become a Christmas tradition. The United States of America is a melting pot. The nation’s current prosperity can be attributed to people who originally came from somewhere else. Today, we have citizens of all different nationalities and ethnicities. America’s culture is really a mash up of all different things- foods, music, and arts. We are the “all in one country,” including our Christmas songs. Although Americans hail from far and wide, the majority of our collective investing acumen lies here at home. Fortune 500 American Companies are global behemoths. Many investors feel that

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they do not need to look beyond the United States to generate solid gains. This has been certainly true over the past several years, but it appears we are headed into a period of diminishing domestic investment return. In order to take advantage of all investment opportunities, it may be time to brush up on that foreign language and start investing internationally. Investing abroad is an American concept when you stop and think about it – international investments add diversity to a portfolio, and an opportunity to succeed perhaps unattainable elsewhere. It is advised to tread carefully when beginning to invest internationally. The normal investment risks apply. Such risks include price fluctuation, inflation, and liquidity, amongst others. In addition, investors are exposed to another risk when venturing offshore - currency risk. Currency risk is the chance of losing investment principal, because the movement of the exchange rate between the U.S. Dollar and the chosen foreign denomination. For example, if the exchange rate between the U.S. Dollar and EURO falls and the U.S. Dollar becomes less valuable against the EURO, any U.S. Dollar investment in companies that trade in EUROs, will in turn also be worth less. As I have mentioned in these articles several times, I am a big fan of mutual funds. I do not profess the expertise to pick individual stocks. To be honest, not many people have that skill. The lagging returns of hedge funds over the past years are indicative that choosing the right stock is a dangerous game. When it comes to international stocks, I certainly do not any have in-depth knowledge. This is why, in my opinion, the majority of international investments for a portfolio should be in an internationally focused mutual fund, which has small investments in a number of different companies. International mutual funds come in all shapes and sizes. There are funds for European growth stocks, Asian value stocks, and African commodities. The choices are great. When overwhelmed in any aspect of my life, I try to keep things simple. This is true even for investing. That is why I recommend when considering an international mutual fund for your portfolio, select a “core” international fund with a focus on developed markets. A “core” or broad based international fund with an emphasis on developed markets (more than 75%) will

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primarily invest in companies headquartered in established countries, like Germany, Britain, Japan, and Korea. Nestle, Honda, and Samsung to name just a few are foreign headquartered companies. Developed markets tend to be more stable than emerging markets (India, Russia, and Brazil). As such, the share price of these funds is typically less prone to wild fluctuation. By investing in international mutual funds, the investor receives an added layer of diversity to their overall portfolio. According to academic research, a diverse portfolio with exposure to various asset classes reduces overall risk and provides investors the best opportunity for long term investment success. A couple of excellent mutual fund choices for those just wading into the international investing waters are Vanguard Total International Stock Index Fund (VGTSX) and Schwab International Core Equity (SICNX). The last ten years have not been kind to international stocks. The United States stock market has trounced most other countries in terms of overall performance. Yet, the savviest investors know when to identify the undervalued. It is always best to buy low and sell high. The present might be the best time to start investing internationally in a safe, measured manner. The above funds are excellent for the beginning international investor. If you do need help in your selections or other financial advice, contact your local financial advisor because as I like to say, “Local advice is often the best advice.”

Happy Holidays from all of us at The Honesdale National Bank! The Honesdale National Bank and its employees do not render legal, tax, or accounting advice. Accordingly, you and your attorneys and accountants are ultimately responsible for determining the legal, tax, and accounting consequences of any suggestions offered herein. Furthermore, all decisions regarding financial, tax, and estate planning will ultimately rest with you and your legal, tax, and accounting advisors. Any description pertaining to federal taxation contained herein is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used by you or any other person, for the purpose of avoiding any penalties that may be imposed by the Internal Revenue Code. This disclosure is made in accordance with the rules of Treasury Department.

blended family


Planning Concerns for the

Blended Family –Provided by Michael Krupa

he Brady Bunch made it look so easy: Mike and Carol bring their kids together under one roof, and the only troubles seem to stem from Jan’s allergies, Marcia’s braces, and Bobby’s ever-changing entourage of pets. In reality, blended families can be a lot more complicated, especially when it comes to financial planning.


There’s a natural tendency to focus on the personal and emotional aspects of divorce, loss of a spouse, remarriage, and blending families. “A lot of times, people are so focused on emotions and making sure everyone is okay moving forward that they forget to talk about the financial side of things,” says Kathleen Selinger, Wells Fargo Advisors Wealth Planning Strategist on the Estate Planning Team in St. Louis. Here, Selinger shares some talking points that will benefit everyone in the new family portrait.


Are we understanding each other?

Sure, the new husband and wife may be laying everything on the table when it comes to second-marriage dynamics in the home or picking out new china patterns. Yet at the same time, they could be sweeping financial matters under the rug. That can be especially true after developing a long-term, intuitive relationship over years or even decades, and then suddenly switching gears to the unspoken wants and needs of a new spouse. Maybe you’re used to saving money by eating most meals at home, but your new spouse has always enjoyed a night or two out on the town every week. “Be very clear about your intentions,” says Selinger, “and, to the extent possible, write them down. When you just assume you know what the other person wants or thinks, that’s when most of the problems arise.”

the impact of child 2} What’s support? “A Financial Advisor should know how children from a prior marriage are going to affect the financial plan for clients in a second marriage,” says Selinger. “Will child support be 50-50? How are you going to

handle the big expenses, such as education and child care?” Knowing an ex-spouse will contribute is important in developing a family budget. Deciding how much the new spouse will help support children from a previous relationship is also key, especially when that includes saving for college or other large expenses. If you’re planning on having children with your new spouse, think about whether the level of support you’re offering them will be similar or different to what older children are getting.

will gift rules and 3} How estate concerns be handled? In non-blended families, the majority of married couples leave everything to the surviving spouse, and the kids receive assets upon the second spouse’s death, explains Selinger. “But in blended families, you’ll hear a spouse say, ‘I want to leave something to my children from a prior marriage, even if I’m the first spouse to die.’ Often parents do not want their children from a prior marriage to wait an additional 10, 20, or even 30 years after their death for their inheritance. There may not be anything more important than having clear direction when it comes to your legacy. “Make sure it’s all addressed in the estate planning document,” Selinger says. “It just clarifies everything.”

assets make the most 4} Which sense to leave to whom? If the parent wants to benefit both his surviving spouse and his children from a prior marriage at his death, it’s best to carefully consider which assets those should be. “Some assets, such as an IRA, are more advantageous to leave to a spouse,” says Selinger, “and some assets make more sense to give children from a prior marriage, such as the family business.”

This article was written by Wells Fargo Advisors and provided courtesy of Michael J Krupa, Krupa Wealth Management, 614 Church Street, Honesdale PA 570-253-0121. Investments in securities and insurance products are: NOT FDIC-INSURED/NOT BANK-GUARANTEED/MAY LOSE VALUE.

Investment products and services are offered through Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, LLC (WFAFN), Member SIPC. Krupa Wealth Mangement is a separate entity from WFAFN. ©2015 Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC. All rights reserved.

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book/film reviews


“Ticktock Banneker’s Clock” By Shana Keller Illustrated by David C. Gardner Reviewed by Terri Schlichenmeyer

our favorite toy came apart yesterday. That’s okay, though; it snapped right back together. It’s made to come apart; in fact, it’s one of those things you can build with and you like doing that anyhow, which is why it’s your favorite. And in the new book, “Ticktock Banneker’s Clock” by Shana Keller, illustrated by David C. Gardner, you’ll see how one really interesting project can lead to another.


There wasn’t much to do on that fall day near Chesapeake Bay. Once Benjamin Banneker had harvested his crops and prepared his farm for winter, there was plenty of time for thinking and dreaming. A friend had recently given Banneker a pocket watch, and Banneker was quite fascinated with it. He’d never seen one before, and while he knew his friend would want the watch back, Banneker also knew that he could take it apart, if he was careful. And that’s what he did that winter. He disassembled the watch to see the tiny little parts so he could understand how they worked together, and how each gear ran the other gears. He studied them and drew diagrams – partly because he knew he’d have to put the watch back together again, and partly because he wanted to make a timepiece of his own. It “was a challenge and he loved challenges.” But the pocket watch was made of metal. Metal was expensive. How could Banneker make a watch without any metals? The answer arrived the following spring, right in front of him, right on his farm! He had plenty of wood and wood should’ve worked fine, but when he started carving, it split. Banneker had to figure out how to keep his project from being ruined. It took much of the summer, but he finally realized that he knew all along how to cure wood so it wouldn’t splinter. And so that next winter, Banneker carved and drew. He figured and thought some more, and he dreamed. Could a man make a working clock from scraps and scratch? I’m sure you can surmise the answer to that, but what makes it remarkable is included on the last page of “Ticktock Banneker’s Clock.” In her Author’s Note, Shana Keller explains a bit more about the real Benjamin Banneker and his life and times, which felt to me like I’d happily come upon a littleknown corner of history that needed the light of day to fully appreciate. For the far end of the audience (kids up to 10 years old), that fresh information may spur them to learn more about this brilliant self-taught inventor. Children on the lower end of the age-target (children in kindergarten and first grade) will learn, too, but may initially get more from the artwork by illustrator, David C. Gardner. Overall, I think this is one of those unexpected gems from history that kids may find fun to learn about, and that parents will like, too. For any reader looking a new hero to emulate, “Ticktock Banneker’s Clock” is a book to make time for.

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Gavin O’Connor’s crime thriller is a headscratching swing-and-a-miss of movie. Let’s start with the premise, which has a sort of Mad Libs quality: Christopher Wolff (Ben Affleck) is a boring tax accountant working in a strip mall in the Midwest. In his spare time, he does black-books accounting for cartels and other organized crime groups around the globe. He also works as an assassin. And he’s autistic. Motivations and backstory are a bit of a muddle, but the film suggests his autism is beneficial to his proficiency with both numbers and military-style assault rifles. The film juggles three main stories. 1. Wolff takes a forensic accounting job at a robotics firm and meets a sympathetic junior number-pusher (Anna Kendrick); this leads to a tentative friendship and two bloodbaths. 2. A Treasury Department agent (J.K. Simmons) is trying to track Wolff down; a bloodbath from the past is recalled in vivid detail. 3. Wolff grows up as an unhappy child, with a fighthappy dad; there are increasingly ugly brawls. It’s all enough to make one turn to something low-key, like accounting. The problems with this film are legion, from its convoluted plot and its ill-advised nonlinear structure to its deep moral ambiguity: When did loner assassins become such sympathetic figures? out of 4

INFERNO Ron Howard’s thriller is adapted from Dan Brown’s continuing series of novels about world-renowned symbologist, Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks). Langdon winds up in Italy, suffering from amnesia, but with a clue in his pocket: a Farraday flashlight which beams an image of Botticelli’s map of Dante’s Inferno. Soon Langdon and his doctor (Felcity Jones) are off on a whirlwind tour of historical sites in Italy to stop a deadly pathogen nicknamed “Inferno” from being released. No less than four parties are chasing the couple, including an Italian cop who looks more like a modelslash-assassin; a private security agency whose head is played by droll scene-stealer Irrfan Khan; plus two competing groups from the World Health Organization. The plotting is as frantic and ridiculous as you’d expect from the Brown canon. But unlike earlier works like The Da Vinci Code, Inferno’s twists rely more on the nonstop lies and double-crosses perpetrated by contemporary humans, than on puzzlecraft from some long-dead Italian artist. Langdon is best served by a decent pair of running shoes, rather than his specialty: The only symbol that matters here is that familiar three-intersecting-circles one denoting biohazardous material. But Langdon gets credit for keeping his cool and relying on brains more than brawn. out of 4

All of these ran previously in the Pittsburgh City Paper.

the art factory

The Art Factory of White Mills

Looking for UNIQUE Holiday Gifts? By LA Guzda

eet Jerry Davis, a retired electronic worker from New Jersey. Jerry bought the beautiful barn / studio building (it actually looks like an old grange building) located at 736 Texas Palmyra Highway (Route 6), in White Mills, in 2011. He has been lovingly restoring it to create “A Community Art Center for Local Artists.”


The space is chockfull of offerings in jewelry, pottery, painting, photography, and sculpture. And the prices are just as varied, meaning that everyone can find something that fits their budget. I asked Jerry what prompted an electronic worker to create a shared art space, and his answer was simple, “It was this or be a ballerina.” Jerry is a stained-glass artist. The factory also serves as home to his studio. Not sure if Jerry leaping in tights is something to add to my “To Do” list, but certainly visiting the The Art Factory and enjoying Jerry’s stained glass and candle spinners is a must!

did you know?

The diversity in the artwork is truly beautiful. Jerry has created a magical space with a pleasant flow so that each artist is displayed well and yet each presentation drifts seamlessly into the next. I particularly love the attention to detail in his renovation. I love the bathroom. I actually created an image for an exhibit using a photo of the entrance to the bathroom. There’s a warm and inviting sitting area, a sweet kitchen, and lots of work space. One of my favorite artists on display is Charles Gregory Woods. His work is playful, brightly colored, textured, and thought provoking. In October, The Art Factory featured a program for emerging high school artists. Creating workshops, lectures, and programs that foster local artists is a priority – “where talent and appreciation meet.” Along the same school of thought as the Dorflinger Factory Museum, establishing artist-in-residencies and a travel destination, our industrial heritage is finding a new excitement. We are very fortunate to have people dedicated and passionate in bringing these factories to life. We need to support them so they can continue to enhance our community. I encourage you to visit The Art Factory. Visit their website at for a schedule of events. If you have art or ideas for classes, workshops, lectures or events, introduce yourself to Jerry. Tell him I sent you. I invite you to continue adding #PoconoSecrets to your beautiful images on social media. Visit or for past articles. Do you have a Pocono Secret to share? Send an email to:

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outdoor ramblings

It’s a fine wintery day in central New Hampshire. One minute it’s overcast; the next moment the sun is shining. Such is the way of things in the White Mountains. Disembarking from the chairlift, you pole yourself away from the top station and glide to the start of the piste. You stop to take in the view of the northeast’s highest peak staring you right in the face, its summit shrouded in swirling clouds is right at that time probably being pounded by 200 mph winds. You’re about to schuss down the hill at a mere 30 and most likely complain about being chilly. You’ve got nothing on that 6289 ft mountain in front of you. Welcome to The Granite State.

If you’re a frequent reader of my column, you know I head north to ski once or twice a winter. Typically, these voyages are to Vermont, but after a decade of Green Mountains, we opted for the Whites last year. Following an extended daylong drive that included stops at several establishments in Vermont that are purveyors of fine, hard-to-obtain, local beer, we checked into the Attitash Grand Summit Hotel just in time to catch the first episode of the re-booted X-Files series. Outside of our slopeside room, the droning diesel engine of the snowcat purred as it laid down a new carpet of corduroy for us to swoosh down the next day. I didn’t find anything particularly challenging at Attitash. The resort is comprised of two mountains with different lifts serving each. Our condo was on the Bear Peak side so we hit that first. Natural snow was lacking and the glades were off-limits. I’ll be honest; they were bare, so we stuck to the trails. Conditions over on the main peak were similar. We found a number of good runs, mostly cruisers that traversed the face, and the mild temperatures last winter allowed us to not have to duck into the lodge too often to warm up. By 2:30 p.m,. some of us were skied out and decided the heated outdoor pool and whirlpool were more of what we needed than skiing. We’d had a good opening day, and this was a great place to warm up for further adventures. We headed to Wildcat Mountain the following day. The sister slope to Attitash is about 17 miles up the Pinkham Notch Highway and offers

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a drastically different experience. Whereas Attitash is milder and mellow, Wildcat is a bit more untamed and unforgiving. Here, too, the glades were a no-go, but the steeper, deeper plunges were more of what I expected from New Hampshire. Light drizzle peppered up intermittently through the day, and the temperatures edged into the upper 50s. Rare winter weather for this neck of the woods indeed, but it made for spring-like conditions. That was fine by me. The snow was fast, and rooster tails spit off my skis as I made my turns down the hill. Night-life in North Conway (of day-life if you don’t ski) is easy to find. The resort town is packed full of specialty shops, bars, and restaurants to meet your apres-ski needs. We were parched and in need of victuals so we hit up the Moat Mountain Smokehouse and Brewery where we imbibed in local beer and various forms of cured carcasses. We had enough of us in our party to opt for the Family Style Barbeque Dinner that provided us with an almost endless supply of ribs, brisket, pork, chicken, potatoes, corn bread, slaw, and beans. You needed at least four people, and it was $19 a whack but so worth the price. Others in the party pressed on to ski other resorts in the area, but I had to motor after just two days. With an infant at home, I abbreviated my trip, but I’ll definitely be back one day. Hopefully, the smokehouse will still be there. I know the mountains aren’t going anywhere.





Race Car By Arnie Milidantri

ar enthusiasts have an unlimited selection of different paths to choose from to meet their unique taste in today’s diverse car hobby. One’s love of cars can take them down many paths: some choose to restore antiques, others create one of a kind customs, some spend their time performing radical engine swaps in pursuit of creating the ultimate street rod, and some take the not so traveled path of restored race cars. Race cars come in all sizes and shapes and fall into to two basic categories. One type is those that go around in circles: starting with the original antique racers who raced on sand beaches, the local stock cars that entertained fans at local tracks on Saturday nights, to the big event open wheels Indy cars or today’s NASCAR cars. The other type of racing is drag racing. Each race consists of two cars only racing against one another in a straight line for a distance of either 1/8 or 1/4 of a mile. Today, drag racing is done on paved tracks.


This month’s featured car is a beautifully restored 1972 Sprint Race car (one of the more popular type round track type racers). The car is owned by Gerry Milidantri of Durham, Connecticut, who has chosen yet another path few car hobbyist follow and enjoys the fun those that do have.

BACKGROUND Sprint car racing started soon after World War I. Car racing before then was mostly the larger modified stock cars of the day. These large cars were raced in the larger cities and were sponsored by factory race teams. After the War, the racing made its way to rural America, mostly at county fairs on horse tracks with racers built predominantly from stripped down Model T Fords. Based on the abundant and cheap supply of available T’s and the creative speed parts that were soon available, these homebuilt “dirt track cars” were flying around local dirt tracks. The Model T-based cars evolved into more refined racers during the 1930’s and 1940’s. The four cylinder Model A-B engines, along with the racing Ford parts, were still being used in many racing conversions. Special racing engines such as the Millers and Offenhausers were also available for those who could afford them. Racing was still held on the country and state fair horse tracks, but dedicated auto racing tracks were starting to emerge. During this time, the cars were still not called sprint cars. In the 1930’s, the midgets had come on the racing scene, so the bigger machines were called “big cars.” The 1950’s and 1960’s brought about major design and performance improvements in the cars as professionally built race cars became more common. Many of the 1950’s cars still used the pre-World War II four cylinder engines, but the flathead V8 Ford and Mercury engines were also popular. In the 1960’s, the Chevy V8 became the engine of choice and soon made other engines obsolete. There was still a bit of racing on the horse tracks, but this was on the way out. Rumor has it that around 1950 somebody thought of the name “sprint car” so finally we had sprint car racing! Originally referred to as big cars, “sprints” bridged the gap between the ‘midgets” and Indy racers. In the post-World War II era of the American Automobile Association, midgets specialized in quarter miles, sprints hit the halves, and champ (Indy) cars covered the miles. Beyond the 1960’s, the cars slowly evolved into what they are today. Safety dictated the use of the cage roll bar. Engines developed more horsepower, requiring wider tires and body designs, and wings took advantage of aerodynamic down forces.

FEATURED CAR The car featured this month is a beautiful, meticulously restored Sprint Race Car originally built in 1972 by Paul Leffler Race Cars of St. Paul, Indiana, to compete on the tough United States Automobile Club (USAC) non-winged Sprint Car Circuit. The circuit consisted of both paved and dirt tracks that included those located in: in Cincinnati, New Bremen, Toledo and Eldora Speedway in Ohio and Winchester, Terre Haute, Salem and Indianapolis Raceway Park in Indiana, Williams Grove Penn National in Pennsylvania and the Springfield Mile in Illinois. The race car was run as a house car owned by the builder Leffler and was sponsored by Dr. Ward Dunseth of Shelbyville, Indiana. The car’s sponsor typically paid all racing expenses including the driver’s salary in exchange for having their business name (in this case Dunseth Pharmacy) advertised on the car. Driver Larry Dickson of Marietta, Ohio, a 3 time USAC Sprint Car Champion started the 1972 season for Leffler and won at Winchester on April 9th. Tom Bigelow of Whitewater Wisconsin, who would be the 1980 USAC champion, took over for Dickson and won at Winchester also. During the 1972 season in 29 starts, the #2 Dunseth Pharmacy Sprint Car had 2 wins, 4 seconds, 2 thirds, 3 fourths, and 2 fifth places for a total of 13 top five and 20 top ten finishes. The race car also set fast time 3 times and finished the season in 4th place in the USAC point standings This Sprint car has a fiberglass body mounted to its custom chrome moly tube chassis that is equipped with a torsion bar mounted Halibrand quick change rear, a single spring hung, solid axle front end, and a 327 cubic inch small block Chevrolet engine reworked and fitted with Methanol feed Hilborn fuel injection that generates 500 hp. The car has no flywheel, clutch, or starter (push starting is necessary) and is equipped with an in out Box Direct drive instead of a transmission. Weighing only 1500 lbs. with an 84 inch wheel base, speeds of 150 mph and wheels off the ground turn were not uncommon. Driving a sprint car in a race was definitely not for the faint of heart!

The car’s ownership history consists of six owners: Paul Leffler (Builder) 1972-1977 Chas Ulrich 1977-1982 Jas Stashluk 1982-1990 Walter Burthis 1990-2004 Doug & Angie Post 2004-2016 Gerry Milidantri 2016-current

Doug and Angie Post, as shown in the chart above, purchased the sprint car in 2004 from Lynn Burthis, the widow of Walter Burthis. Together, they spent the next four years meticulously and painstakingly restoring the 1972 Leffler Sprint race car back its original condition. Upon competition of the restoration, Doug applied to the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) Certification Committee and was accepted upon the review of the well documented genealogy of the Leffler built Dunseth Pharmacy #2 USAC Sprint Car. Subsequently Doug and Angie’s restored Leffler Sprint Car won a AACA Junior, Senior and National award.

OWNER Gerry Milidantri is a retired CEO of an International metallurgical company that specialized in the repair of commercial turbine engines. After his retirement in 2010, he formed his own consulting company, providing managerial and technical support to the aircraft and industrial turbine marketplace. When not working and spending time with his family, he can usually be found in his pole barn doing what he loves, working on his latest car project; right now that would be Gerry’s 1972 Leffler Sprint Car. As I mentioned in the beginning of this article, car enthusiasts can take many paths in pursuit of their dreams. In Gerry’s case, it is safe to say “more than most”! When most babies were making cute cooing sounds, Gerry was making engine noises. Throughout his life, his love for cars has never waned. He has owned and restored dozens of beautiful cars across the entire spectrum of the car hobby, from antique Fords, 60’s Corvettes, muscle cars, street rods, to classics, pro stock drag cars, and dragsters. In the last two years, his latest path has taken him into the world of antique race car ownership. While still working on a restoration of a 1947 Ford V8 60 powered midget race car, he purchased and restored a 1948 Kurtis Offy midget that he entered in several vintage racing events. It was during this time that Gerry met and became friends with Doug Post. Recogniz-ing that the 1972 Leffler Sprint Car was the type and size sprint car he really wanted, he was able to convince Doug to sell him the car in July of 2016. Gerry was able to check off on of his bucket list items this year when he was able to compete in the August Vintage Race at Loudon, New Hampshire. With each new car path venture, Gerry enters his passion for perfection and commitment to the preservation of a part of our car history and that is recognized in each and every car he has taken on as a project. His thirst for knowledge is equal to his unselfishness in giving of his time and sharing his expertise to help a fellow hobbyist. His friendship is cherished by those lucky enough to be considered his friends. If you happen to see a tall guy smiling and standing next to a beautiful blue 1972 “Sprint Race Car”, or a tall guy smiling, sitting in a beautiful blue 1972 “Sprint Race Car” or tall guy smiling, racing that beautiful blue 1972 “Sprint Race Car,” smile back, and rest assured, he is a guy doing what he loves.

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behavioral medicine

When Anger

Becomes Toxic By Arthur Middleton, M.D., FAPA

Before you give someone a piece of your mind, make sure you can get by with what is left. ~Author Unknown nger is an emotion that is widely experienced. It is common and under most circumstances, it is a normal response to many daily challenges. The Oxford Dictionary defines anger as “a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility.” However, looking at a straightforward definition of anger does not completely describe its ramifications. The American Psychological Association defines anger in terms that are more familiar; “an emotion characterized by antagonism toward someone or something you feel has deliberately done you wrong.”


Anger is normal and in most instances handled appropriately by the individual. It is experienced and expressed in a spectrum. At the lower end of the spectrum, it is usually not disruptive or harmful. As most of us have experienced, it can be associated with unpleasant experiences for the individual, as well as the target of the anger, if it is not handled appropriately. In the media, we see daily instances of uncontrolled anger. Quite often, we are exposed to news accounts of anger associated with violence. It remains important to understand that anger, in and of itself, is not a sign of mental illness. At the same time, there are mental disorders that are associated with anger and sometimes violent behavior, but anger is not abnormal in most instances. The challenge is to understand what causes the anger, to recognize the presence of this emotion, and how to express it in a way that is not destructive. Many physicians encounter anger in their patients in circumstances that are quite different than one might ordinarily consider. A patient who is presented with medical test results which indicate a serious condition may respond to their medical caregiver with anger. This may be associated with non-compliance with treatment; refusing to take life-saving medication as an example. In this instance, the physician or the treatment team, if the patient is hospitalized, must understand that the patient’s anger is an emotional response to a circumstance that the patient is struggling to accept. The physicians make every effort to help the patient understand that the

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anger is a symptom of the patient’s frustration and fear of the difficult issues that must be confronted. Psychiatrists will also deal with a unique and actually not infrequent occurrence in the hospital; patients who sign out against medical advice. In this circumstance, a psychiatrist will be called to evaluate the patient to determine that they understand the ramifications of leaving the hospital when they often require continued care. The psychiatrist tries to understand the root cause of the anger, also viewing the anger as an expression of the patient’s fear and anxiety. While there may be justifiable reasons for anger, perhaps an insensitive staff person, it is important for the psychiatrist to help the patient see the importance of remaining in the hospital without escalating the situation. Should the patient ultimately decide to leave, the goal is to make certain that the patient understands the benefits and risks of the decision to leave the hospital and to deescalate the intensity of the anger. There are clearly many faces of anger. The following fictional clinical vignette is presented to highlight the experience of anger in a familiar environment. JT is a 45 y/o computer technician. He works in a large healthcare organization and is one of the senior technicians in the Information Technology department. This department is responsible for the maintenance of its electronic health records. JT is highly skilled and is respected for his knowledge and expertise, but increasingly he is avoided because of his temper. When called upon, it is anticipated that he will know what to do and has generally solved computer problems for the clinicians, but he is not easy to work with. Co-workers find him condescending and feel that he sets up a scenario where he will not be called again unless it is absolutely necessary. JT has never lost his temper at work. He rarely raises his voice, but he makes it clear if he is unhappy with the clinician, chastising them for not knowing about a particular application or failing to follow through with a recommendation that he made during a previous encounter.

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It wasn’t always this way for JT. When he began working for his company, twenty years ago, coworkers would say that he was a joy to work with. His co-workers loved him and JT loved his job. He married, and after a few years he and his wife, a teacher, had a son. JT was promoted at work and felt that he would eventually head his department. JT’s life changed when his father was arrested for drug possession and robbery. His father was incarcerated and was to remain in jail for ten years. As an only child, JT felt that he had no one to turn to. While his wife was supportive, he did not feel that she understood how he was feeling. His father was widowed but did have a brother and sister. However, they lived in other states and did not feel that they should be involved as his father had long ago stopped speaking to them. JT did visit his father in jail, but each time he did so, he felt worse. While he had concerns about his father and his health, he also felt angry at his father for his actions, feeling that this was a reflection on him. JT recognized that his anger was intensified when he visited his father and he began to lose his temper when his father told him that he didn’t feel that he belonged in jail. He would tell his father that not only did he belong in jail, but he hated his father for what he had done to him. It got to the point that the officers in the prison advised JT that he not come to the prison as frequently as he often had shouting matches with his father when he came to see him. JT realized that things were not going well with his father and decided to limit his visits to once a month. While his anger did subside, he began to feel guilty that he was abandoning his father when he needed him. JT had conflicting feelings and didn’t want to burden his wife with his dilemma. He began to drink, realizing that he shouldn’t as he had problems with alcohol as a teenager. While alcohol calmed him down, he knew it was a slippery slope and could lead to greater problems. His wife intervened and convinced him to see a mental health professional. With CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) JT was able to understand that

difficulty swallowing part of his anger was his inability to control the situation with his father. He also recognized that his anger at work was misdirected and not at all useful. With therapy, JT once again began to enjoy work, and his co-workers were relieved that the JT that they had come to know had returned. The fictional clinical vignette presents a common scenario: expressing anger in the workplace. Many of us have encountered an angry co-worker and sometimes don’t understand why the individual is angry or why they are put off by the display of irritation. The bottom line is that outbursts of anger are generally not tolerated and can often lead to disciplinary action. It is also important to recognize that anger is a not an abnormal reaction and can communicate displeasure which may be appropriate in some circumstances. It is likely that many are familiar with the term “road rage” which describes anger in the driver of a car. This can lead to tragic car accidents and even death. There are also episodes of anger that have taken place in airplanes, sometimes leading to emergency landings. In a New York Times article by Stephanie Rosenbloom titled: A Recipe for Air Rage (September 25, 2014), the author writes about otherwise “rational air travelers” who are sometimes unable to exercise self-control and explode with anger and rage. The triggers for this behavior are the confinements of airplanes and the need to share space with strangers. The article describes studies that have focused on sleep deprivation that is associated with increased emotionality, as well as making it difficult to tolerate the intentions of others. This is likely the case when a passenger adjusts his/her chair backwards, entering the space of another passenger who communicates displeasure by shouting and frightening other passengers. The article ends with the conclusion that better trained airline personnel, who are also compassionate, could help passengers cope. Mental health providers will treat anger when it becomes associated with an underlying mental disorder such as depression, or a mood disorder. In these cases, antidepressants such as Prozac or fluoxetine, and Zoloft or sertraline are among the many antidepressant medications that are used to treat the depression. For serious mental illnesses such as Schizophrenia or Bipolar Disorder, antipsychotic medications such as Abilify or aripiprazole and Geodon or ziprasidone are examples of medications that treat these disorders. Again, the expressed anger can be part of the clinical picture. Intermittent Explosive Disorder or IED is a specific psychiatric disorder that is characterized by episodes of anger, irritability, and rage that may be associated with physical fights and proper-

ty damage. This disorder is often treated with antipsychotic medications like Risperdal or risperidone as well as Abilify and Geodon, which were previously mentioned in addition to anticonvulsants such as Tegretol or carbamazepine and Depakote or divalproex sodium. Recognizing that anger is a common experience for all of us, how it is expressed and understood by all parties involved is important. It is equally important to learn to control anger, which under ordinary circumstances is what most of us do, but when anger gets out of control, frightening coworkers and family members, leading to job loss or family discord, it may indicate that one needs professional help. Anger management, as described by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) identifies ways to manage anger. Suggested recommendations are: pay attention to what triggers your anger, change your thinking, find ways to relax, take time out, work to solve problems and learn to communicate. Mental Health providers will use talk therapies, such as CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, to help the individual better understand and change behaviors that are associated with anger. What, if any, medications are indicated depends on the individual and the behaviors that are present. All of us experience anger. How we express it is unique to the individual. If you or a family member is experiencing anger which indicates that professional intervention is needed, contact your health care provider. The following references are provided for the informed consumer: National Institutes of Health / U.S. National Library of Medicine: Learn to Manage Your Anger Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: BAM! GUIDE TO GETTING ALONG NIH News in Health: Positive Emotions and Your Health ure1 Dr. Middleton is a diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology, and a Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He received his undergraduate training at New York University and an MD degree from Rutgers Medical School. Dr. Middleton completed his psychiatric residency at St. Vincent’s Hospital & Medical Center, in NYC. He is on the honorary medical staff (retired) of Hackensack University Medical Center in NJ, where he is also Chairman Emeritus of the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Medicine. Dr. Middleton has been on the voluntary teaching faculty of Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Brown Medical School. He is currently a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. Dr. Middleton is retired as an Associate in the Department of Psychiatry in the Geisinger Health System formerly practicing at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Dr. Middleton lives in Dingmans Ferry, PA, and Manhattan, NY.


The Healthy

Gee z er

By Fred Cicetti


I’ve been having some difficulty swallowing food for the past few weeks. Is this something to worry about or is it just another one of those age things?

ou shouldn’t worry about occasional difficulty swallowing. Persistent swallowing problems, though, can be a symptom of a serious condition, so it is something to be concerned about. I’d get it checked out by a physician as soon as possible.


rows this canal. This condition is known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). • The formation of a small pouch that collects food particles in your throat. This happens more often in older people. • Weakened throat muscles caused by disease, stroke, or spinal-cord injury. • Improperly coordinated contractions of the esophagus.

And, yes, difficulty swallowing— called “dysphagia”—is one of those age things...yet again. As we get older, the esophagus, which is the tube that connects your throat to your stomach, loses its ability to move food downward. So, while difficulty swallowing can happen to anyone, it is most common in older adults. Swallowing is a three-step process that involves dozens of muscles and nerves to work properly.

Dysphagia can impede nutrition and hydration. And, if food or drinks get into your windpipe when you’re trying to swallow, you can suffer from respiratory problems, including pneumonia. Occasional dysphagia can be prevented by chewing thoroughly and slowing down when you eat. Treating GERD can reduce swallowing problems caused by the narrowing of the esophagus. There are a variety of tests for dysphagia. They include: an X-ray of a barium-coated esophagus; direct examination of the esophagus with an endoscope, a lighted instrument; a test with a pressure recorder to measure muscle contractions of the esophagus; video fluoroscopy and ultrasound, two forms of imaging that record patients swallowing. Treatments include exercises to help coordinate swallowing muscles or stimulate nerves responsible for the swallowing reflex; expanding the esophagus with an endoscope and balloon attachment; surgery to remove tumors; drugs to reduce stomach acid; liquid diets or feeding tubes for severe cases. Some people are taught a different way to eat. For example, they may have to eat with their head turned to one side. Preparing food differently may help others. People with problems swallowing liquids may need thickeners for their drinks. Avoiding some foods—such as very hot or very cold foods—can help some dysphagia victims.

Step 1—The tongue gathers the food in your mouth. Step 2—The tongue pushes the food to the back of the mouth. A swallowing reflex moves the food through the pharynx, a canal linking the mouth and esophagus. Step 3—The food enters the esophagus. It then takes the esophagus about three seconds for the food to be pushed into the stomach. There are a variety of causes for dysphagia. Probably the most common causes for occasional problems are chewing improperly or gobbling food. Here are others: • The muscle at the base of the esophagus doesn’t let food enter your stomach. • Narrowing of the esophagus. • Tumors in the esophagus. • Food or foreign objects stuck in your throat. • Stomach acid backing up causing the esophagus to spasm or form scar tissue that nar-

All Rights Reserved © 2016 by Fred Cicetti

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a+r+e Y O U


Ongoing Events DAILY

Public Art Displays Nature’s Grace, Dime Bank & Wayne Bank, Wayne Memorial Hospital, Harvey Insurance, Honesdale. & Pocono Lake Region Chamber of Commerce, Hawley. Wayne County Arts Alliance artists display their work monthly. DAILY

Public Art Display REMAX Wayne, Honesdale. Art displays of local artists all year long. Info: 570-253-9566. TUESDAYS

Bingo American Legion Post 311, Hawley. Doors open 10:30 a.m., games begin at Noon. Info: WEDNESDAYS

Lego Club 4:30–5:30 p.m. Pike County Public Library, Milford. Create, share ideas, make new friends. Free, open to public, registration requested. Info: or Facebook. Registration: 570-296-8211. THURSDAYS

Trivia Thursdays 8 p.m. The Dock on Wallenpaupack, Hawley. Hilarious combination of trivia & physical challenges. Compete with teams to win a gift certificate, gold medal & bragging rights. Info: 570-226-2124. FRIDAYS

Live Music Friday 8–11 p.m. Glass — wine. bar. kitchen. at Ledges Hotel, Hawley. No cover charge. Info: or 570-226-1337. FRIDAYS

Live Music 8 p.m.–Midnight. The Dock on Wallenpaupack, Hawley. Great drink specials, delicious food & live music. Info: 570-226-2124 or SATURDAYS

FREE Tastings and Demos 11 a.m.–1 p.m. Mill Market, in the Hawley Silk Mill, Hawley. Info: or 570-390-4440. SATURDAYS

Glassworks Demonstration 11:30 a.m.–3 p.m. B. Madigan, Hawley. See glass stretched & made into beautiful items, including watching the glass worked, learning how glass is made & what creates the colors. Info: 570-561-3629.

area events

get connected




Live Piano Music in the Dining Room 6–9 p.m. The Settlers Inn, Hawley. Info: 570-226-2993 or SATURDAYS

Live Music at Barley Creek 8–11 p.m. Barley Creek Brewing Company, Tannersville. The Pocono Mountains’ Original Brewpub. Great food & handcrafted beer brewed onsite. Free brewery tours daily at 12:30 p.m. No cover charge. Info: 570-629-9399.

& that famous Leg Lamp. Info: 570-283-2195 or THROUGH DEC. 23

Valley Artists Holiday Sale Alliance Gallery, Delaware Arts Center, Narrowsburg, NY. Sponsored & presented by Delaware Valley Arts Alliance. Gallery hours: Tues.–Sat., 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Free. Info: 845-252-7576 or THROUGH DEC. 23

Live Music 9 p.m.–1 a.m. The Dock on Wallenpaupack, Hawley. Great drink specials, delicious food & live music. Info: 570226-2124 or

“Art in Sixes” Alliance Gallery, Delaware Arts Center, Narrowsburg, NY. Mixed media small works. Sponsored & presented by Delaware Valley Arts Alliance. Gallery hours: Tues.–Sat., 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Free. Info: 845-252-7576 or



The Artery Gallery’s November Featured Artists: Bill Rabsey & Liza J Smith-Simpson Rabsey creates sculpture from found objects. Smith-Simpson shows paintings with the theme of “giving thanks.” Info: 570-409-1234 or

“CAS Winter Members Show” CAS Arts Center, Livingston Manor, NY. Free admission. Info:


Home School Program: ESU Wildlife Museum and Planetarium Tour Students meet Kettle Creek staff at 1:45 p.m. at East Stroudsburg University’s Schisler Museum of Wildlife and Natural History. Program for grades K–12 includes a guided tour of the museum & its dioramas of the wildlife & biomes of North America & the world, in addition to a show at the McMunn Planetarium. Info: 570-629-3061 or


Medicare Annual Open Enrollment The Wayne County Area Agency on Aging hosts free insurance counseling for Medicare recipients. Trained counselors answer your questions & provide information. Walk-ins not accepted. Info: 570-253-4262. THROUGH DEC. 9

Illustrating Scranton: The Drawings of Don Murray Weinberg Memorial Library, The University of Scranton. Art display of pen & ink drawings of historic architecture & landmark sites of Scranton & the surrounding region. Free during library hours. Info: 570-941-6341 or THROUGH DEC. 16

SECOND TIME AROUND: The Hubcap as Art Mahady Gallery, Marywood University, Scranton. A selection from Landfillart’s collection of more than 900 works of art made from discarded automobile hubcaps, created by professional artists hailing from every U.S. state & 52 countries. Info: 570-348-6278 or Further info on Landfill Art: THROUGH DEC. 18

A Christmas Story: The Musical The Music Box Dinner Playhouse, Swoyersville. 2012 Broadway musical version of the classic 1983 movie — the one about Ralphie, a Red Ryder BB Gun

December 1– December 9 DEC. 1

DEC. 1

Wayne Choralaires concert: “Sing, Ye Heavens” 7 p.m. St. Rose of Lima Church, Carbondale. Sacred & secular holiday songs. No admission fee. Freewill offering accepted. Info: 570-253-2782 or 570-253-2104. DEC. 2

Swampcandy 8–10 p.m. Hawley Silk Mill, Hawley. Whiskey-drinkin’, foot-stompin’ & hand-clappin’ Mississippi Blues duo. Info: 570-588-8077 or DEC. 2

Girls, Guns, & Glory and Kelsey Waldon 8 p.m. F.M. Kirby Center, Wilkes-Barre. Country-rock band with a love for early rock ’n’ roll, true country & raw blues shares the bill with Kentucky singer/ songwriter Waldon. Info: 570-826-1100 or

DEC. 2 & 3

Emmet Otter's Jugband Christmas 5:30 & 7:00 p.m. Dietrich Theater, Tunkhannock. Jim Henson Christmas movie about a poor otter family that risks everything for the chance to win the cash prize of a talent contest for Christmas. Free admission; first come, first served. Info: 570-996-1500. DEC. 2 & 3

Twelve Twenty-Four TSO Christmas Event 8 p.m. Mauch Chunk Opera House, Jim Thorpe. Featuring the music of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, as well as their own holiday creations, with a theatrical, rock edge to create a holiday show suitable for fans of all ages. Info: 570-325-0249 or DEC. 2, 3, 9

A Christmas Wizard of Oz Shawnee Playhouse, Shawnee On Delaware. A snow blizzard carries Dorothy & Toto to the Magical Elfinsland where Glinda is the Good Witch of the North Pole. Dorothy must get home so she sets off with the Snowman, the Tin Soldier & the Stuffed Lion to meet the Wizard in the Great Palace of Toys. Info: 570-421-5093 or DEC. 2–4

The Andrews Sisters: Christmas of Swing Shawnee Playhouse, Shawnee On Delaware. Celebration of music, family & patriotism mixing great holiday songs & comedy sketches with real letters from WW II G.I.s. Wonderful entertainment & a tribute to the men & women of the Greatest Generation. Info: 570-421-5093 or DEC. 2, 3, 4

Candlelight Christmas Dinner 5:30–9:30 p.m. The Settlers Inn, Hawley. Elegant holiday dinner. Live holiday music. Reservations required. Info & reservations: 570-226-2993 or DEC. 2, 9

The Nutcracker Shawnee Playhouse, Shawnee On Delaware. Full version of the holiday fairy tale about Clara & her magical Christmas dreams. Children’s version on Dec. 5, 12, 19. Info: 570-421-5093 or DEC. 3

Vintage Costume Jewelry Show 9 a.m.–1 p.m. Sparta Avenue Stage, Sparta, NJ. Vintage dazzling necklaces, brooches, rings, bracelets & earrings available. Open to public; no fee.

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get connected Handicapped-accessible. Info: Joyce Simmons, 201-213-2146 or DEC. 3

LTVFD Ladies Auxiliary Annual Holiday Fair 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Lackawaxen Firehouse, Lackawaxen. Lots of vendors, hourly door prizes. Food & homemade soup available. Plenty of parking. Snow date: Dec. 10. Info: 570-685-7330. DEC. 3

25th Annual Holiday Open House 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Higlights for Children, Honesdale. Treats, entertainment, art show, mime, storytelling, puppetry, sing-alongs, a craft room, face painting & balloon animals. Free drawing & surprises. Free event. Info: 570-253-1080. DEC. 3

Holiday Workshop 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Dietrich Theater, Tunkhannock. For all ages. A morning of cookie decorating, holiday crafts, singing & creations by the balloon lady. Great for the entire family. Free admission. Info: 570-996-1500. DEC. 3

area events

DEC. 3

DEC. 4

Winter Ecology Hike 1–3 p.m. Pocono Environmental Education Center, Dingmans Ferry. Learn how different plants & animals survive the winter. Take a hike & experience PEEC in the wintertime. All ages welcome. Info & registration: 570-828-2319 or

Ecozone Discovery Room! 1–4 p.m. Pocono Environmental Education Center, Dingmans Ferry. Climb into a bald eagle’s nest, crawl into a bat cave & dig in a fossil pit. Explore the indoor discovery room & enjoy handson exhibits on natural history, sustainability & the local environment. No registration required. Info: 570-828-2319 or

DEC. 3

Christmas Around The World Part 2 1:30 p.m. St. Thomas The Apostle Church, Sandyston, NJ. Delaware Valley Choral Society performs. Info & tickets: 845-856-5696 or at the door. DEC. 3

Annual Tree Lighting Celebration 5 p.m. Community House lawn, Milford. Cookies, cocoa, Santa Claus. Free. Info: DEC. 3

Bad Case Of Big Mouth — Sherman Showcase 7 p.m. Sherman Theater, Stroudsburg. With Settle Your Scores, Plumcocks, The New Nowhere, City Of Ember, Dreamers Like Us. Info: 570-420-2808 or

Art Opening: Photo Contest Display 11 a.m. Kettle Creek Environmental Education Center, Bartonsville. Exhibition of entrants in the Monroe County Natural Resources Photo Contest. Winners revealed & the top 13 photos will be available on a 2017 calendar. Proceeds benefit Environmental Education programs at Kettle Creek. Opening Reception: 11 a.m.–1 p.m. Info: 570-629-3061 or

DEC. 3

DEC. 3

Pictures with Santa 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Fins and Feathers, Honesdale. Household pets welcome, as well as children & families with or without your pet. Snacks & refreshments. Specials all day long. Info: 570-253-3132.

Tim Reynolds — Solo Winter Tour 2016 8 p.m. Sherman Theater, Stroudsburg. Guitarist & sonic innovator best known for his seemingly effortless guitar virtuosity, & masterful command of melody & timing. Info: 570-420-2808 or

DEC. 3

DEC. 3

Main Street Farmers’ Market 11 a.m.–1 p.m. The Cooperage, Honesdale. Delicious food, locally grown produce, maple syrup, fresh baked bread & locally roasted coffee. Anthill Farm Kitchen cooks farm-totable food. Info: 570-253-2020 or

The Wizards of Winter 8 p.m. The Theater at Lackawanna College, Scranton. Once a TransSiberian Orchestra (TSO) tribute group, now a musical force of its own design with startling prog-rock Christmas rock opera. Info: 570-961-7864 or

The NEPA Philharmonic: PNC Holiday: Sounds of the Season 7 p.m. F.M. Kirby Center, Wilkes-Barre. Ring in the holidays with the festive sounds of the annual Holiday concert, featuring the Choral Society of NEPA, Ballet Theater of Scranton, guest artists & a special visit from you-know-who. Info: 570-826-1100 or DEC. 3

DEC. 4

Christmas Around The World Part 2 2 p.m. Milford United Methodist Church, Milford. Delaware Valley Choral Society performs. Info & tickets: 845-856-5696 or at the door. DEC. 4

Wayne Choralaires concert: “Sing, Ye Heavens” 2:30 p.m. Queen of Peace Church, Hawley. Sacred & secular holiday songs. No admission fee. Freewill offering accepted. Info: 570-253-2782 or 570-253-2104. DEC. 4

RiverFolk Concert: Joe Crookston 5–7:30 p.m. The Cooperage, Honesdale. Presented by Riverfolk Concerts. Songwriter, singer, guitarist, painter, fiddler, banjo player, eco-village member & believer in all things possible. The magic & musical world he creates will pull you in. Donations collected. Reservations & info: Jill, 845-252-6783 or DEC. 4

Melissa Etheridge’s Holiday Trio 7:30 p.m. F.M. Kirby Center, WilkesBarre. Part of the Wells Fargo Concert and Comedy Series. Info: 570-826-1100 or DEC. 5

The Nutcracker 10 a.m. Shawnee Playhouse, Shawnee On Delaware. Children’s version of the holiday fairy tale about Clara & her magical Christmas dreams. Full version on Dec. 2, 9, 16, 21, 23. Info: 570-421-5093 or DEC. 5, 12

Chair Yoga 10–11:15 a.m. Dietrich Theater, Tunkhannock. Ages 18 & up. All the benefits of yoga for anyone who may feel challenged by a traditional yoga class. Free. Registration & info: 570-996-1500. DEC. 5, 12

Christmas in the Village DEC. 3 2–4 p.m. Celebrate the season in Bethany. Children’s party with Santa at Bethany Public Library. Holiday open houses at E. Kellogg B&B, James Manning House B&B & The Mansion at Noble Lane. Christmas decorations from the past & tour of Bethany Public Library & Historical Society. Tricky tray & tree lighting at Bethany Village. Holiday tour of the historic village. More. Free event. Info: 570-253-5573.

Kundalini Yoga 5:30–6:30 p.m. Dietrich Theater, Tunkhannock. Ages 16 & up. Experience the gifts that Kundalini yoga has to offer as you explore breath, movement & mantra. Bring a yoga mat & blanket. Registration & info: 570-996-1500. DEC. 6

Nia 5:30–6:30 p.m. Dietrich Theater, Tunkhannock. Ages 16 & up. Combination of yoga, martial arts & dance, for your health, wellness & fitness. Registration & info: 570-996-1500. DEC. 6

Golden Days of Radio Players Performance 7 p.m. Dietrich Theater, Tunkhannock. Go back to the golden days of radio &

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experience the “theatre of the mind,” including live sound effects & music. Free admission. Info: 570-996-1500 or DEC. 7

Simply Yoga 10–11:15 a.m. Dietrich Theater, Tunkhannock. Ages 16 & up. Suitable for all levels. Wear comfortable clothes, bring a mat, towel or blanket, & water. Series of 6 or per class. Registration & info: 570-996-1500. DEC. 7

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation — Dietrich Film Favorites Series 1 & 7 p.m. Dietrich Theater, Tunkhannock. Gather up friends & family to see this Christmas favorite on the big screen. Info: 570-996-1500 or DEC. 7

Adult Coloring Night 5:30–6:45 p.m. Wayne County Public Library, Honesdale. De-stress for the holidays: enjoy an evening of coloring to calm your soul & warm your heart. Supplies provided. Refreshments served. Registration & info: Elizabeth, 570-253-1220 or DEC. 8

Girls’ Night Out 6–9 p.m. Milford. Stores, restaurants, bars with free samples & specials. Info: DEC. 8

A Winter’s Tale: Shakespeare on Film 7–10 p.m. The Cooperage, Honesdale. The Cooperage Project hosts another film in the “Such Sweet Thunder: Shakespeare on Film” series. Led by Dr. Robert Dugan. Donations collected at door. Info: 570-253-2020 or DEC. 8

An Acoustic Evening with the Stolen — Sherman Showcase 7:30 p.m. Sherman Theater, Stroudsburg. With 4 Door Theatre, The Sulls, Midnight Foolishness. Info: 570-420-2808 or DEC. 8

In My Life: Tribute to John Lennon 8 p.m. Mauch Chunk Opera House, Jim Thorpe. Especially heartfelt tribute led by Carlo Cantamessa as John, performing on guitar, piano & vocals. Info: 570-325-0249 or DEC. 8

The Mavericks 8 p.m. F.M. Kirby Center, Wilkes-Barre. Country-fusion Christmas celebration with the “Sleigh Bells Ring Out!” holiday tour. From their earliest shows as a garage band playing the punk clubs on Miami Beach, they have long had a skill for getting people to groove. Info: 570-826-1100 or DEC. 9

PCDC Craft Store Holiday Open House Noon–2 p.m. The Pike County Developmental Center, Milford. Info: 570-296-6319.

area events DEC. 9

DEC. 10

Christmas in Hawaii 4–9 p.m. The Dock on Wallenpaupack, Hawley. Luau-themed pub, live music. Hula competition, 5 p.m., with pizes from Kona Brewing Co. Info: 570-226-2124 or

Main Street Farmers’ Market 11 a.m.–1 p.m. The Cooperage, Honesdale. See description at Dec. 3. Info: 570-253-2020 or

DEC. 9

Warrior Writers 7–9 p.m. Dietrich Theater, Tunkhannock. Ages 18 & up. Writing workshop supports artistic exploration & expression & provides a safe space to share experiences in the military culture. Open to veterans & service members. Free. Registration & info: 570-996-1500. DEC. 9

The Cast of Beatlemania 8 p.m. Mauch Chunk Opera House, Jim Thorpe. Theirs is the first, original & only complete representation of the musical force called The Beatles and through their exacting artistry & talent the music of the Beatles lives on. Info: 570-325-0249 or DEC. 9

Kacey Musgraves 8 p.m. F.M. Kirby Center, Wilkes-Barre. Her very first Christmas headlining tour, “A Very Kacey Christmas.” Info: 570-826-1100 or DEC. 9

Holiday Hilarity 8–10 p.m. Presented by Club Funny & The Cooperage Project. New scenes & improvisational games based on audience suggestions. The Cooperage Project will be collecting new, unwrapped toys, games, puzzles & books for Toys for Tots. Donation suggested. Info: 570-253-2020 or DEC. 9

P.O.W.W.O.W 8 p.m. Sherman Theater, Stroudsburg. With The X Divine. Info: 570-420-2808 or DEC. 9–11

The Andrews Sisters: Christmas of Swing Shawnee Playhouse, Shawnee On Delaware. See description at Dec. 2. Info: 570-421-5093 or

December 10–December 19 DEC. 10

Breakfast with Santa 9–11:30 a.m. Central Volunteer Fire Dept., Hawley. Under age 12 free. Gifts to purchase at Santa’s Workshop. Info: Joan, 570-949-4296. DEC. 10

Romping Radishes: A Healthy Living Class for Kids 11 a.m.–Noon. The Cooperage, Honesdale. Children make & decorate pumpkin muffins & discuss ways to stay healthy during the busy holidays. Geared toward kids K–2, but all ages welcome. Info: 570-253-2020 or

DEC. 10

Victorian Christmas Open House 2–8 p.m. Pennypacker Mills, Schwenksville. Bell choir performs. Visit with the Victorian Santa Claus to share Christmas wishes & a photo Living historians bring the mansion to life for the holidays. Clear Toy Candy demo in the kitchen. Free. Info:

get connected Hawley Winterfest DEC. 9-11

Hawley. It’s a Winter Weekend Wonderland, from delicious holiday fare to the sounds of the season filling the air, a children’s show at the community theatre, artists & authors mingling with residents & visitors, ice carving, gingerbread decorating, horse-drawn carriage, homes boasting decked halls on the holiday house tours, & more. Info:

DEC. 10

Shirim’s Klezmer Nutcracker 5:30 p.m. Milford Theatre, Milford. Kindred Spirits Arts program. Celebrates the holidays with their hilarious rendition of Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece & much more. Info: 570-409-1269 or DEC. 10

Second Saturday 6–9 p.m. Downtown Honesdale. Local businesses teaming up in a Festivaltown network to create an evening filled with music, art, comedy, & community support. Info: 2ndSatHonesdale on Facebook.

music. Info: 570-325-0249 or DEC. 10 & 11

Winterfest Brunch with Classical Holiday Music 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m. The Settlers Inn, Hawley. Seasonal culinary creations & holiday music performed on a harp. Complimentary bottomless Mimosas. Info & reservations: 570-226-2993 or DEC. 10–11

DEC. 12, 19

The Nutcracker 10 a.m. Shawnee Playhouse, Shawnee On Delaware. See description at Dec. 5. Info: 570-421-5093 or DEC. 13

It’s a Wonderful Life 2, 7 & 8 p.m. Dietrich Theater, Tunkhannock. Classic holiday film. Admission, popcorn & soda are free. Seating is first come, first served. Info: 570-996-1500 or

Milford After Dark 6–9 p.m. Milford. Extended shopping hours, gallery events, live music & diverse dining options. Info:

Journey Through Bethlehem — A Living Navity 4:30–6:30 p.m. Bethany Presbyterian Church, Bethany. Outdoor walking tour. Celebrate the first Christmas as you travel to witness the birth of our Christ. Refreshments served. Info: 570-253-6316 or

DEC. 10

DEC. 10, 16, 17

DEC. 15

Open House Holiday Party 6–11 p.m. The Waterfront at Silver Birches, Hawley. Celebrate the holidays with other area businesses & friends. Reservations required. Info: 570-226-4388 or

A Christmas Wizard of Oz Shawnee Playhouse, Shawnee On Delaware. See description at Dec. 2. Info: 570-421-5093 or

Game Night 6–9 p.m. The Cooperage, Honesdale. Board games, brain games, card games & more. All ages welcome. Bring your own game to share & teach or choose from the collection. Donations make this possible. Info: 570-253-2020 or

DEC. 10

DEC. 11

Joe Nardone Presents: The Holiday Doo Wop Extravaganza 7 p.m. F.M. Kirby Center, Wilkes-Barre. Featuring Skyliners, Larry Chance & the Earls, The Dubs, La La Brooks, Jimmy Gallagher (Passions) & The Classic Sounds. Info: 570-826-1100 or

Fifth Annual Holiday Artisans’ Market at The Cooperage 11 a.m.–4 p.m. The Cooperage, Honesdale. Presented by The Cooperage Project. Showcases the work of many talented artisans of the Upper Delaware Region with a selection of unique handcrafted gifts for friends & family. Info: 570-253-2020 or

DEC. 10

DEC. 11

Cedar Green — Sherman Showcase 7 p.m. Sherman Theater, Stroudsburg. With Send Request, Civil Youth, Vertigo. Info: 570-420-2808 or

War Horse — National Theatre Live on Screen 2 p.m. Dietrich Theater, Tunkhannock. Powerfully moving & imaginative drama, with astonishing life-sized puppets by S. Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company, who bring breathing, galloping, charging horses to thrilling life on stage. Info: 570-996-1500 or

DEC. 10

DEC. 10

House of Waters 8–10 p.m. Hawley Silk Mill, Hawley. Trio incorporates elements of WestAfrican, jazz, psychedelic, indie rock, classical & world music into their astonishingly unique sound. Info: 570-588-8077 or DEC. 10

Craig Thatcher & Friends Rockin’ Christmas 8 p.m. Mauch Chunk Opera House, Jim Thorpe. They take your favorite traditional Christmas songs & rock them out for a very entertaining night of holiday

DEC. 12

Chair Yoga 10–11:15 a.m. Dietrich Theater, Tunkhannock. See description at Dec. 5. Registration & info: 570-996-1500. DEC. 12

Kundalini Yoga 5:30–6:30 p.m. Dietrich Theater, Tunkhannock. See description at Dec. 5. Registration & info: 570-996-1500.

DEC. 14

A Christmas Carol 7 p.m. F.M. Kirby Center, Wilkes-Barre. The Nebraska Theatre Caravan’s “Carol” weaves traditional Christmas carols throughout the narrative. Info: 570-826-1100 or

DEC. 16

Michael Carbonaro Live 7:30 p.m. F.M. Kirby Center, WilkesBarre. See comically perplexing & improbable feats of magic in a show jam-packed with audience interaction, hilarious video clips & a whirlwind of mind-blowing magic performed live on stage. Info: 570-826-1100 or DEC. 16

The Nutcracker Shawnee Playhouse, Shawnee On Delaware. See description at Dec. 2. Info: 570-421-5093 or DEC. 16

Ryan Montbleau Band 8 p.m. Mauch Chunk Opera House, Jim Thorpe. Songwriter & performer with his new work that is bold & barrierbreaking, organically blending rock, funk, soul, folk & psychedelia to create a sonic kaleidoscope. Info: 570-325-0249 or DEC. 16

“Yucky” Sweater Christmas Party 9 p.m. Tick Tocks Restaurant & Lounge, Honesdale. Entertainment by Tom

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get connected Hannafin and Company. Prize catagories include Most Creative, Yuckiest, Most Colorful & Silliest. Find that sweater & come join the fun. Info: 570-253-3733. DEC. 16, 17, 18

Change: A New Christmas Carol 7:30 p.m. 2 p.m. on Sun. Sherman Theater, Stroudsburg. Wonderful holiday production about a quarter that comes to life & brings change to the town of Stroudsville. Info: 570-420-2808 or DEC. 16–18

The Andrews Sisters: Christmas of Swing Shawnee Playhouse, Shawnee On Delaware. See description at Dec. 2. Info: 570-421-5093 or

area events

Springsteen Tribute, they bring a package of high energy, versatility & a few unscripted laughs, all accomplished with smoothness & professionalism. Info: 570-325-0249 or DEC. 17

MIZIMU — Sherman Showcase 8 p.m. Sherman Theater, Stroudsburg. Info: 570-420-2808 or DEC. 18

Go Sing It on the Mountain 10:30 a.m. Tabernacle Bible Church, Honesdale. Extended worship service including the musical & narrative cantata “Go Sing It on the Mountain.” Presented by the Church’s 25-voice choir. Info: 570-253-0720.

December 20–December 31

DEC. 17

Main Street Farmers’ Market 11 a.m.–1 p.m. The Cooperage, Honesdale. See description at Dec. 3. Info: 570-253-2020 or DEC. 17

Finding Dory 2 p.m. F.M. Kirby Center, Wilkes-Barre. Free holiday showing of the popular animated children’s movie. All children must be accompanied by an adult. First-come, first-served. Free popcorn, water or juice, & a free gift for every child. Info: 570-826-1100 or DEC. 17

Holiday Contra Dance 7:30–10 p.m. The Cooperage, Honesdale. Music by Poison Love. Calling by Laurie B. Donation-based event (under 15 free). Info: 570-253-2020 or DEC. 17

Peek-a-Boo Revue’s Holiday Spectacular 8 p.m. Mauch Chunk Opera House, Jim Thorpe. The Boo brings only the best in dance extravaganza, classic striptease & ribald humor, backed by a band of world class musicians known collectively as the Striptease Orchestra. Info: 570-325-0249 or DEC. 30

BStreet Band Tribute to the Boss 8 p.m. Mauch Chunk Opera House, Jim Thorpe. Branded as NJ’s Own

DEC. 21

DEC. 23

DEC. 29

Patent Pending 7 p.m. Sherman Theater, Stroudsburg. Holiday Tour 2016. With a never-saydie attitude & enough live energy to power Times Square. Info: 570-420-2808 or

A Boy Named John — Sherman Showcase 7:30 p.m. Sherman Theater, Stroudsburg. With Mother Goose, Kayla Avitabile. Info: 570-420-2808 or

DEC. 24

Christmas Eve Service 7 p.m. Tabernacle Bible Church, Honesdale. Join the congregation for an evening of worship with Christmas Eve carols & communion service. Info: 570-253-0720.

Kids Kabaret! 7 p.m. Shawnee Playhouse, Shawnee On Delaware. Children’s show. A talented cast of children entertains audiences with singing & dancing. Info: 570-421-5093 or

DEC. 27

DEC. 30

Dana Gaynor Band — Sherman Showcase 7:30 p.m. Sherman Theater, Stroudsburg. With special guests Gnarly Chaplin, Gallons Of Pork. Info: 570-420-2808 or

The Holiday Reunion Concert 7 p.m. F.M. Kirby Center, Wilkes-Barre. Bands performing: Underground Saints, The Five Percent, Bret Alexander, Aaron Fink & the Fury, Death Valley Dreams, Tony Halchak Band. Info: 570-826-1100 or

Wayne Highlands Quilt Guild 6:30 p.m. Community Room, Chamber of Commerce, Honesdale. Welcoming quilters all ages & skill levels. Make new friends who share your passion for quilting. Info: Deb, 570-224-4914 or

DEC. 28

DEC. 21, 23

DEC. 29

The Nutcracker Shawnee Playhouse, Shawnee On Delaware. See description at Dec. 2. Info: 570-421-5093 or

Sherman Winter Jam featuring Pink Talking Fish 7:30 p.m. Sherman Theater, Stroudsburg. Hybrid Tribute Fusion Act: the music of Pink Floyd, The Talking Heads & Phish. With special guests: Liquid Sunshine, Schmidtwood Flow, Lorg, Ian Kirk. Info: 570-420-2808 or

DEC. 22

Handel’s Messiah 8 p.m. Shawnee Playhouse, Shawnee On Delaware. Raise your voices with family, friends & neighbors singing Handel’s immortal masterpiece. Led by a professional conductor, with soloists & live orchestra. Join in or sit back & enjoy. Open seating. Donations accepted. Info: 570-421-5093 or

Hayes Carll 8 p.m. F.M. Kirby Center, Wilkes-Barre. Roots-oriented songwriting noted for its plainspoken poetry & sarcastic humor. Info: 570-826-1100 or

DEC. 23

Christmas in the Cove Noon–4 p.m. Tick Tocks Restaurant & Lounge, Honesdale. Join with friends and enjoy a special menu. Cash bar. Info: 570-253-3733. DEC. 23

A Christmas Wizard of Oz Shawnee Playhouse, Shawnee On Delaware. See description at Dec. 2. Info: 570-421-5093 or

New Year’s Eve Bash DEC. 31 8:30 p.m.–1 a.m. The Waterfront at Silver Birches, Hawley. Decadent Buffet, DJ music & dancing, complimentary champagne & balloon drop at midnight. Reservations required. Info: 570-226-4388 or

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DEC. 29 & 30

DEC. 31

The Glimmer Twins — New Year’s Eve Start Me Up Classic Rolling Stones Show 9:30 p.m. Mauch Chunk Opera House, Jim Thorpe. Their special attraction is their ability to capture the raw energy of the most electrifying performances throughout The Stones’ career & deliver a classic experience to their audience. Info: 570-325-0249 or

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Connections Magazine - December 2016 Issue  

One of the many benefits of living in Pennsylvania is having access to a Pennsylvania Magazine that offers a huge number of talented artists...