December 2018 Volume 5 . Issue 1 golocalmagazines.com
EXPERIENCE THE SWEET LIFE WREATHS WITH A REASON SERVICE ABOVE SELF
2 GO LOCAL DECEMBER 2018
new this month DECEMBER 2018 . VOLUME 5 . ISSUE 1
If you drive down Barber Hill Road in South Windsor, you are bound to spot Dzen Tree Farm. It’s hard to miss. While there are four tree farms located on the road, John Dzen and his family’s location is eyecatching, with a large reindeer and sled standing proudly just outside of the entrance.
GO ON, YOUR SAY
WREATHS WITH A REASON
SERVICE ABOVE SELF
From The Editor 15 Minutes Of Fame
Operation Underground Railroad Molasses Spice Cookies West Springfield UNICO
DECEMBER 2018 . VOLUME 5 . ISSUE 1
GO LOCAL SPIRITS
i am local
go local for gifts
experience the sweet life
R Dee Winery
Noelle Pollack Dzen Tree Farm
Artisans, Designers and Crafters Glittery Holiday Ornament
Gingerbread House Festival Winter Beauty
Frieda B. Herself Put Your Thinking Caps On
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FROM THE EDITOR . STEPHANIE TROMBLEY
When I began working on Go Local, I skimmed through previous editor Amber Wakley’s works to see what the magazine was all about. My heart fluttered when I came across her December 2016 feature on Greenleaf Drive in Hampden. Greenleaf is a fond memory of mine that I had somehow forgotten about while caught up in the hubbub of life. When I was little girl, my parents would take my sister and I on an annual trip down Greenleaf Drive. My mom would pop fresh bags of popcorn while my dad made sure Brittany and I were bundled up and settled into our car. The popcorn sat on our laps and we munched on it in handfuls as we passed through McDonalds for the rare treat of an eggnog-flavored milkshake. After that, straight to the magical street decorated with lights and cutouts of Disney, Peanuts, and Nickelodeon characters. I stared in awe at every scene depicted by the residents of Greenleaf. This tradition is just one of the memories that I cherish as an adult. I was easily enchanted by Christmas as a child. When I was young, my mother and Auntie Connie told me all about a special elf. His name was Stripety Stripedy. He had the important job of painting the red stripes on all of the candy canes left in the stockings of boys and girls. He lived in Santa’s Workshop, but they told me I could expect him to visit me. From then on, every Christmas season, my mother would set an elf doll in the tree with rosy red cheeks and long, striped legs. Every so often, a small treat would be next to him for me. I thought it was the most magical thing in the world. I couldn’t grasp how he got there all the way from the North Pole, and how cool it was that he left presents. Although I have grown up, the magical feeling that these memories give me will never be lost. This month, I was lucky to meet four people who keep the Christmas spirit alive. John Dzen of Dzen Tree Farm in South Windsor makes sure every family has the perfect tree at the center of their living room, and that every visitor to his farm joins in on reindeer games. Karen DiClementi of UNICO West Springfield throws an unforgettable Christmas party, and her dedication is astounding. Jessica Vogelgesang at the Wood Memorial Library and Museum in South Windsor helps create a storybook vision of the holidays with the annual Gingerbread Festival. Mary Ann Dietschler volunteers her time in hopes that her handmade holiday decorations can save the lives of children. Hearing each of their stories left me ready to relish in and appreciate the holiday season long after this issue is complete. No matter which holiday you celebrate, or if you celebrate at all, I wish you and your family abundance, love and light this season. I hope your heart is full, your joy is plenty and that you feel the magic all month long.
MANAGING EDITOR G. Michael Dobbs
QUALITY CONTROL Carolyn Napolitan
Beth Thurber, Manager . Leigh Catchepaugh Elizabeth O’Donoghue . Susan Bartlett
Barb Perry, Manager . Amy Allen . Kim Barba Lisa Nolan . Paula Dimauro . Scott Greene Nancy Holloway . Jeanette Grenier . Matt Mahaney Greg Pudlo . Victoria Owen
Stephanie Trombley . Chris Maza
Leo Pilares . Elizabeth O’Donoghue
THE GO LOCAL COMMUNITY
6 GO LOCAL DECEMBER 2018
A CREATION OF
CONTACT US! 280 North Main Street • East Longmeadow, MA 01028 Tel: 413.525.6661 • Fax: 413.525.5882
GOLOCALMAGAZINES.COM Send local story ideas to our Editor, Stephanie Trombley: email@example.com
STEPHANIE TROMBLEY is the editor of Go Local Magazine and will be indulging in Christmas cookies this holiday.
BECAUSE EVERYONE DESERVES THEIR 15 MINUTES OF FAME
All I want for Christmas is…?
My kids to be home and happy
My family to smile and laugh
For everyone to be happy
A pretty little ring on my finger
You turn the radio on. The holiday song you hope is on is…?
I’ll Be Home For Christmas by Bing Crosby
All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey
I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas by Gayla Peevey
It wouldn’t be the holidays without…
Family and friends
Hot cocoa and marshmallows
Family and friends
My grandmother’s cooking
What would be on your ugly holiday sweater?
Santa, bows and reindeer
A cat or reindeer
Cats and puffballs
The Grinch stealing cookies
Best gift you have ever received?
Bearpaw boots! I cried when I got them.
Pioneer Woman pans from my husband
Nightmare Before Christmas makeup case
A drum set
If you had to be trapped in a Christmas movie, which would you choose?
Christmas with the Kranks
The Nightmare Before Christmas
It’s a Wonderful Life
It’s snowing! What are you doing during the storm?
Building a snowman with my brother
Hot cocoa and fuzzy socks
Cuddling up with my 3-year old to watch it
Favorite holiday dish?
My mom’s broccoli casserole
Ham, mashed potatoes and turnips
My mom’s “Death by Chocolate” dessert
8 GO LOCAL DECEMBER 2018
Mary, Did You’re A Mean One, Rockin’ Around You Know the Christmas Tree Mr. Grinch by by Wynonna Judd by Brenda Lee Thurl Ravenscroft and Kenny Rogers
Watching On the couch Christmas movies with tea and and drinking Christmas movies hot cocoa
Complaining about the snow
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MESSAGE TO PATIENTS OF MERCY HEARING CENTER
With the recent announcement that the Mercy Hearing Centers in Springfield and Agawam will be closing at the end of 2018, you might be concerned about your options for hearing care. Rest assured that we are accepting new patients. Our Doctors of Audiology would welcome the opportunity to help you. We provide comprehensive hearing evaluations and hearing aid fittings and service. We want to be sure that you are hearing your best. When you need us, we’ll be here.
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! STEPHANIE TROMBLEY LEO PILARES
WREATHS with a REASON I
t was six years ago when Mary Ann Dietschler picked up a book at the consignment shop that would change her life. “I picked up a book on the Underground Railroad of the 1800s. It was a narrative of individual people who were caught in the trafficking system back in the South. One story after another, and it was heart wrenching. When slaves escaped, they didn’t have a name or know their birthday. I couldn’t believe one human being could think they could own another human being.” Although the Underground Railroad is part of the past, that moment in history prompted Mary Ann to question what action she would take if she were alive during that era. “Ideally,
I like to think I would have been a part of the Underground Railroad. Realistically, if I had lived during that time with three children in the North, it wouldn’t have affected me personally. I might have said, ‘that’s a terrible thing’ and did nothing. What would happen today if there were such a thing?” Mary Ann never expected to receive an email from a friend that would answer this very question. The email was regarding Operation Underground Railroad, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending human trafficking. Groups such as former CIA members, Navy Seals, Special Ops and law enforcement enter trafficking areas and pose as buyers to rescue children caught in the trade. According to the Polaris Project, a nonprofit orGOLOCALMAGAZINES.COM 11
ganization against human trafficking, the International Labour Organization estimates 40.3 million victims of human trafficking globally. Of that statistic, 25% are children. Between being a grandmother and her knowledge of the Underground Railroad, Mary Ann was instantaneously compelled to help the operation. “I have a heart for that because I have four grandchildren. I have no idea how a child can be trafficked for the pleasure of someone else. It broke my heart.” Wanting to help Operation Underground Railroad, Mary Ann began utilizing her creative abilities to raise donations for the nonprofit. In May 2014, she handmade a wreath based off of one she saw in a magazine. Her friend liked it so much, she asked Mary Ann to duplicate it for her. Rather than accepting money for it, Mary Ann requested that her friend write a check to Operation Underground Railroad. Through word of mouth, Mary Ann soon had several requests for handmade wreaths. This was the beginning of Wreaths with a Reason, Mary Ann’s business dedicated to fundraising for Operation Underground Railroad. 12 GO LOCAL DECEMBER 2018
To date, Mary Ann and her group of five volunteers have raised over $38,000 for the organization through custom wreath sales. She never knew how big her efforts would become. “We were out to dinner with friends one night. One of my friends asked to come help and she was crafty, so I was okay with that. She started making wreaths with me and was my first volunteer. I had no idea how far this would go. It wasn’t long before my craft room was too crowded.” The supplies are typically purchased by volunteers for their creations. Every month, Savers Thrift Store in East Springfield donates a number of supplies to the cause. Mary Ann also works with wholesalers to purchase them. The group now meets in Mary Ann’s Agawam, Massachusetts’s basement, where they hand create stunning wreaths themed around Christmas, Valentine’s Day and every day in between. Although it can be daunting for a group of six people to handmake several wreaths, Mary Ann explained, “We think of it as ‘one wreath at a time.’” Mary Ann believes that while no money is made for personal
gain from the creation of the wreaths, volunteers can feel good about the work they are doing. “When someone wants to volunteer, I tell them it might cost them money in supplies. They may have to give up space in their homes for wreaths. But we are making a difference. We might not see the rewards here on this Earth, but I always tell my volunteers that someday, some little kid in Heaven will come to them and thank them for what they have done. That’s what compels us; the fact that we are making a difference.” Wreaths with a Reason sells their wreaths year-round, taking them to craft fairs and featuring them in storefronts. Auntie Cathie of Auntie Cathie’s Kitchen in Agawam has begun displaying completed creations on the walls of her bakery to help spread the word and earn donations for Operation Underground Railroad. Wreaths with a Reason also offers sales of wreaths through their website, but Mary Ann suggests those interested in purchasing one stop by and look at them before they settle on a design. “If I’m going to buy something, I want to see it in person. In the winter, my garage has two full walls where wreaths are hanging so people can call or text me and see them for themselves. Sometimes I will say, ‘take two home, try them out.’” When it comes to giving back, some may not know how, or if, they can truly help out. To that, Mary Ann has one suggestion. “I would tell people ‘to give to that which breaks their heart’. It
might not be human trafficking, but it might be something else. Find a way to volunteer and get their feet wet. Do something and take action.” When Mary Ann started helping Operation Underground Railroad, she began by sending in $25 a month. “My first time into this was ‘okay, I’ll support this organization,’ and I wanted to do more and more.” Mary Ann also believes that there is a place in giving back for everybody. “So many areas need help. There are all sorts of opportunities. You think, ‘is this a good fit for me?’ Some of my friends started and it wasn’t long before we realized it wasn’t a good fit for them. Now one of my friends teaches Sunday school. It depends on your individual gifts. It’s about finding your gift.” Mary Ann will continue to support Operation Underground Railroad and help in every way possible. “I started off making most of the wreaths, and now I make some and do other stuff within the group. I oversee it now but enjoy making the wreaths. I would spend Mondays in my craft room and it was therapy. Now it’s Monday afternoon and I have a house full.” She encourages everyone to get out and help. “Do something, we can all complain about the way things are. But instead of complaining, get in there and make some changes.” To purchase a wreath from Wreaths with a Reason, visit www. wreathswithareason.com or call 413-218-6231. To learn more about Operation Underground Railroad and how you can help, visit ourrescue.org GOLOCALMAGAZINES.COM 13
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! RECIPE SUBMITTED BY ANISSA ARROYO
MOLASSES SPICE COOKIES
‘Tis the season for holiday parties and family dinners! Celebrate the holidays in New England with this festive (and delicious) dessert recipe. These sweet, cinnamon-y cookies are quite addictive and will make your kitchen smell amazing! It’s a quick and easy recipe for any festive celebration you’re invited to, or maybe just for a relaxing Friday evening dinner at home.
2 cups all-purpose flour
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
1 ½ tsp. baking soda
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. In a smaller bowl, place ½ cup sugar, set aside.
1 tsp. ground cinnamon 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg 1/2 tsp. salt 1 ½ cups sugar 3/4 cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened 1 large egg 1/4 cup molasses
With a mixer, beat butter and remaining 1 cup of sugar until combined. Beat in egg and then molasses until combined. Reduce speed to low & gradually mix in dry ingredients until a dough forms. Pinch off and roll dough into balls, about the size of a tablespoon. Roll balls in reserved bowl of sugar. Arrange balls on baking sheets, about 3 inches apart. Bake until edges of cookies are just firm, 10-12 minutes. Cool for 1 minute on baking sheets, then transfer to racks to cool completely. Enjoy with tea or coffee!
New England native and stay-at-home mother ANISSA ARROYO has been cooking and baking as a hobby since her freshman year of college. She enjoys practicing her skills and testing out new recipes for her family and coworkers to try, as well as reading and writing about all things food related. She hopes to one day to make a career out of this hobby and open her own bakery. GOLOCALMAGAZINES.COM 15
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SERVICE ABOVE SELF UNICO
hey treat you like a hero. I’m no hero; I just do what I do.” Karen DiClementi of the West Springfield chapter of UNICO throws an enchanting Christmas party year after year for people with special needs and their caregivers. Through several initiatives, the West Springfield chapter of UNICO (the Italian American Service Organization) gives back to their community. But after over twenty years, the Christmas party stands out from the rest for Karen. “This is by far my favorite event. If we had to get rid of something, this would never be it.” Holiday magic soars when the Christmas party starts at Mittineague Congregational Church. All of the hard work and planning by UNICO of West Springfield cumulates to create an undeniable amount of spirit. This year, the party will be held on December 15. The church is the official home of the party, and Karen hopes that never changes. “They’re amazing to us at the church. There’s no need to ever look anywhere else.” UNICO is an acronym for “Unity, Neighborliness, Integrity, Charity and Opportunity. It was founded in Waterbury, Connecticut on October 10, 1922. Since then, several chapters have 18 GO LOCAL DECEMBER 2018
! STEPHANIE TROMBLEY
grown countrywide. Not every state has their own UNICO chapter, and they are primarily found on the East Coast. About thirty members make up the West Springfield chapter. UNICO of West Springfield hosts fundraisers most often in the form of family-style dinners. During their 4th of July fundraiser on the West Springfield Town Common, over 700 chicken dinners were sold to benefit the organization. As Karen shared, “People really want to come to these. The food is fabulous. Sometimes, we have to turn people away just because of hall limitations.” While other events such as the summer cookout are fun for UNICO, Karen always has the Christmas party on her mind. “I start thinking about this Christmas party in August. I work in conjunction with the West Springfield Parks and Recreation, and they send out all of the invitations. Caitlin in Parks and Recreation gets this all together for me. She knows exactly what she’s doing.” The invitations bring joy and excitement to those who are invited every year. “They wait for the invitations, and they know when to expect it. If someone doesn’t get theirs by a certain time,
I will hear about it!” Karen shared. Guests are allowed to ask for one gift not to exceed ten dollars every year. They will write a short list of their top picks on their invitation and mail it back to RSVP. Shopping for the presents is special to Karen. “I go out shopping for the presents, and it humbles you to see what they ask for. When you see what is being asked for. You might think I’m buying something worth a million dollars. It’s special to them. I will do whatever it takes to get it for them.” For example, one woman asks for a red purse every year. Knowing this, Karen always has her eye out for the perfect red purse, year round. She described shopping trips with her friends, where she usually finds several purses that may fit the bill. “I go back and forth saying to myself, ‘Will she like this? Or this one?’ I can’t choose and buy them all as I find them. I always make sure I have that red pocketbook.” Another of the guests collects Hot Wheels toy cars. Karen would never be caught at the party without them. Every year, she goes to Walmart to go through the giant bins of toy cars, hoping to find a couple special ones he doesn’t own yet. “I dig for these Matchbox cars as if I am digging for diamonds. When he opens those the night of the party, I can’t even imagine what his eyes are going to look like.” Expecting to see a few extra attendees, Karen prepares by purchasing several gift cards to places such as Walmart and Dunkin’ Donuts, careful not to leave anyone out. She stressed the importance of doing this, saying, “Never would anyone leave without a present.” Providing those special memories moves Karen, bringing her to tears just talking about the reactions of the people she cares so much about who attend. Karen expressed, “You can never be too passionate about anything, but I can’t even explain it.” Karen’s entire family gets involved in the event, making sure it comes together and brings Christmas magic. “In my house, it’s a family affair. Our family knows nothing different. It’s only what we know. We are a community service family. If we are able to do
it, we will do it.” Karen’s passion for the events knows no bounds. Two days after her daughter, Gianna, was born, she attended a monthly dance with her newborn baby. “I would never, ever miss it,” she said. Guests of the party come from all over the local area, including residential, family and personal homes. Attendees sign up ahead of time to receive an invitation. The night of the party, guests come ready for a great time. “We put on and cook the dinner. They all come dressed to the nines so excited. They sit together with caregivers in the background, and they have communities among themselves. It’s a nice night out. Santa comes and we sing Christmas carols.” Watching guests, who return year after year, grow is a happy experience for Karen. “I’ve watched them grow up, and now they’re young adults. When you see them, it’s like ‘wow!’ They are amazing.” UNICO of West Springfield is always looking for volunteers for the Christmas party, and Karen highly recommends it. “It’s a great, great event. We can never have too many members. This is the event to come out and test drive. If you’re not moved by this, I don’t know what’s going to move you. It’s awe-inspiring to see their reactions. It’s a wonderful way to kick off the holiday season. You get wrapped up in what you need to do.” When the world is caught up in Black Friday, the perfect present and spending money, it’s easy to lose sight of what makes the holidays an important and special time. The UNICO of West Springfield Christmas party humbles those involved and creates endless Christmas spirit. The amount of work that goes into throwing the perfect Christmas party is all worth it in the end for Karen. When Santa Claus comes out to greet guests and she sees the reactions on the faces of attendees, she knows the Christmas party is where her heart belongs. “Some of these people are in their 60s and 70s, but when they see Santa Claus, they become very emotional. I look in their eyes and say ‘This is what Christmas is all about.’” GOLOCALMAGAZINES.COM 19
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hildren of all ages will have a chance to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus in his workshop and explore a magical wonderland of model railroading. Capture the magic of the season and make Santa’s Trains at Look Park part of your holiday tradition!
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CHRIS MAZA LEO PILARES
R DEE WINERY
or one winery in Enfield, CT, the business of making wine is truly a family affair. The wife and husband team of Michele and Mark McAuliffe welcomed the public to their winery, located next to Powder Hollow Brewery, in late September, it was the fulfillment of a dream inspired by Michele’s grandfather and supported by relatives along the way. “The winery is named after Michele’s grandfather, Richard D. Albright, who used to make wine in upstate New York. That was the inspiration for us making wine in our apartment,” Mark recalled, adding that an aunt who was also an experienced winemaker helped them get started. When the two moved to Connecticut 2 ½ years ago, the thought of turning their hobby into a business took off, thanks in part to Michele’s brother, Michael McManus, the owner of Powder Hollow Brewery. The timing was perfect as Powder Hollow was expanding and moving its brewing operations to a larger facility. The McAuliffe family set to work transforming the brewery’s former brew space. The result is a cozy, rustic-looking tasting room with knotted wood walls, plentiful tables and chairs as well as booth seating, and a bar complete with, of course, a massive wine rack. Wine production is done off-site in the same Enfield facility that houses Powder Hollow’s brewing operations, allowing the McAuliffes to dedicate all of the space to entertaining guests. “It’s definitely a laid-back atmosphere. It’s kind of an easy-going chance to get away from the real world,” Mark said. With separate entrances, but an open floor plan that allows for travel between the two tasting rooms, R Dee and Powder Hollow are pioneers in Connecticut, becoming the first brewery and winery to serve their products under one roof. “It took us about 18 months to get the licensing figured out,” Mark said. “There was nothing in place prior to us.” Now up and running, R Dee offers a variety of six wines: three
22 GO LOCAL DECEMBER 2018
whites – a Niagara called Take Time, a white table blend called The Falls, and a Riesling; two reds – a petit sirah called Slainte and a malbec called Strength in Numbers and a rosé called Fairytale. While the grape growing season and the varieties available in the area are limited, Michele explained the winery partners with family farms in upstate New York, California, and overseas, allowing them to produce a variety of wines. More are on the way next summer, she added. Patrons can purchase a bottle to share at the winery or to take home, enjoy a glass, indulge in a flight of four, or partake in a tasting. “You get to learn a little about the wines,” Michele said of the tastings. “We try to offer insight on the nice smells and tastes that you should expect and suggest food pairings. We let you know what foods go well with the wine and which you should stay away from.” Patrons can also bring in their own food or enjoy a cheese plate, which are made by For Love and Food Café, a fellow small business in Enfield. Michele admitted she didn’t know what to expect when the winery first opened its doors, saying she wondered the night before if anyone would come at all. Those worries quickly vanished. “People have been very supportive so far. Our grand opening was overwhelming. The line was out the door with people, even people who had never had wine or been to a winery, who wanted to see what it was all about,” she said. “We’ve had some great feedback from people. They’re enjoying our wines, our stories behind our labels, our family approach.” R Dee Winery, located at 504 Hazard Ave, is open Fridays, 4 to 10 p.m., Saturdays, noon to 10 p.m., and Sundays, noon to 5 p.m. FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT THEIR WEBSITE, RDEEWINERY.COM, THEIR FACEBOOK PAGE, FACEBOOK.COM/RDEEWINERY, OR THEIR INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT, @RDEEWINERY.
Time To Put A Little Music In Your Life?
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Bring a piece of Maine Home for the Holidays Maine Moose T-Shirts Caps and Cups!
Martha and Tom’s LLC
• We guarantee the collision repair as long as you own the vehicle • 35 years experience – locally owned • Reasonable rates 34 West Street, Stafford Springs, CT
Great shoes for the holidays . . . or every day!
Shop online at:
marthaandtoms.com Kennebunkport, ME Phone: 207-204-2000
y Days – Dec. 1st ate Holl & 2n r b e l e d C
Colonial Flower Shoppe Kassandra Herbs Unlimited Florist & Gift Boutique Herbal Wellness & Gifts
611 Main Street, Somers, CT 860-763-0082
54 Springfield Rd., Somers, CT 860-749-0839
Somersvillage Gifts & Gourmet Baskets 111 Main St., Somers, CT 860-265-2282
You’ve Got It Made!
Hive Creative Co-Op
Our Focus: The Artistry of Master Craftsmen
Textile Studio, Classes & More
62 South Road, Somers, CT 860-461-2439
598 Main Street, Somers, CT
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Try us on for size
420 Enfield St., Enfield, CT 860.745.5676 Ingleside Mall, Holyoke, MA 413.536.2768
Thornes Marketplace Northampton, MA 413.584.0920
Serving the Pioneer Valley for 34 years! GOLOCALMAGAZINES.COM 23
NOELLE POLLACK FROM LONGMEADOW, MA CIVIL ENGINEER IN THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE
What is most rewarding about being in the United States Air Force? I absolutely love my job. It is very hands on and I am always learning new things and interacting with people of different career fields and experiences. As a civil engineer I complete any work orders that need to be done throughout the base. There is a huge variety of tasks from remodeling buildings, replacing ceiling tiles, mudding walls, painting, pouring concrete, welding, installing locks, making signs and anything in between. What is most rewarding about this job is at the end of the day I can see the progress I made in my various tasks and that I can take these skills and use them in the civilian world as well.
Why is it important to you personally to support the United States? I have always had a love for community service and giving back to others and I thought that by joining the Air Force I would be able to do that on a larger scale. I wanted to make a positive impact on other’s lives through selfless service.
What is a day in the Air Force like? The Air Force is just like a normal job where we work Monday through Friday from 7-4. The days consist of physical training for an hour, then heading in to do our work. We have weekends and holidays off to spend with family and friends, so it isn’t a bad gig. Being deployed, the day to day is a little different. We work 6 days a week, no holidays off, and most days getting up at 0300 to get ready for work. For this deployment I am working as Force Protection and escort the foreign national workers who come and work on base. It is my job to ensure they do their jobs as well as keeping the base secure from any kind of potential threats.
Who inspires you? My mom inspires me and is one of my biggest supporters. She has always been so hard working and dedicated to her family, health, friends and job that it motivates me to want to work hard and do my best. She is also just a genuinely nice and caring person and I hope to be as good a role model for someone as she has been for me.
WHat do you love most about your hometown? Longmeadow is home! I have been able to travel all over the world, from Texas to Mississippi, Washington to Guam, a few stops in between – Germany, Arkansas, Tokyo, Hawaii just to name a few, and now out in the Middle East. As fun as it is to travel and live all over the country, whenever I see that “welcome to Longmeadow” sign I feel a sense of home. It is nice to be able to go back to a place you once knew so well and share your new experiences with the people who have stayed there. I always have a sense of new found appreciation when I get to go back to Longmeadow, sometimes I take a step back and see how lucky I was to have been raised in such a quaint little town.
What are you thankful for?
24 GO LOCAL DECEMBER 2018
I am thankful for my super supportive family and friends. The distance, traveling and stresses of work can be a lot but having that support system makes it all a little easier. I am also really thankful for the technology we have today. Being able to video call my family and friends has made the distance so much easier, and makes home feel a little closer when I can pick up the phone and see my people.
Come for your Bra fitting, and
leave feeling jolly!
Let The Bra Ladies put Health, Comfort and Beauty back in your life! We offer custom sizes that offer comfort and style! High-end shapewear bras, lingerie and consignment bags & shoes Curvy Kate • Enell Sports Bra Hanky Panky • Conterelle • CosaBella Hollywood Tape • Curvy Couture
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Claws and Paws Pet Salon Where your pet is Family
546 Enfield Street • Enfield, CT email@example.com
860.265.2390 Call for appointment
We Welcome All Breeds Large and Small – and Your Pampered Kies!
635 Main Street • Somers, CT
Schedule your appointment online or by phone. Your privacy is important to us!
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Wishing you a warm and cozy holiday season Featuring a wide variety of Insulating Window Treatments
Gift Certificates Available
Interior Shutters Draperies Sunroom Shades Woven/Bamboo Skylights Top Treatments Wood Blinds Screen Shades Featuring Motorized Shades Luminette & Silhouette Privacy Sheers & Much More!
Free In-Home Estimate/ Installation Holiday Rebates Available Now
DECEMBER PET TIP OF THE MONTH KEEP PETS AWAY FROM STRING AND RIBBONS, WHICH COULD POSE HEALTH HAZARDS. SKIP THE TINSEL TOO!
Andrew R. Hersman, DVM Lynn Dgetluck, DVM William D. Anderson, DVM Denise A. Chiminiello, DVM Hannah BelcherTimme, DVM
A Progressive Animal Hospital & Wellness Facility
Wilbraham Animal Hospital
2424 Boston Rd. Wilbraham, MA
Happy Holidays! Open Evenings & Weekends for your convenience. Family owned for over 30 years!
East Springfield Veterinary Hospital
525 Page Blvd. Springfield, MA (Less than 1 mile from Route 291)
Out of this world feline care since 2009
...formerly Furry Friends Pet Sitting We Bring the Shades to You
413-786-9411 • 860-529-7789 SHADESONWHEELS.COM
Serving East Longmeadow, Longmeadow, Springfield and surrounding towns in Western MA Bonded, insured, and American Red Cross pet first aid certified
413-265-0306 • rocketboycatsitting.com firstname.lastname@example.org GOLOCALMAGAZINES.COM 25
Inspired by the glamour and laid-back luxe of Italy
GIFT CARDS AVAILABLE FOR THE HOLIDAYS * * * * * * 185 Elm Street, West Springfield, MA | 413.240.2106 | bnapoliitalian.com
7 Magauren Dr., Suite #4 Staﬀord Springs, CT
We’ve Got Your Back....
(Staﬀord Professional Suites behind Johnson Memorial Hospital)
(...and face, feet, hands, etc.)
Holiday Sparkle Facial
After Party Foot Fixer
Post Holiday Stress Buster
Special Price..... $50.00
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Get that instant glow with our gentle lactic resurfacer & antioxidant infusion.
Includes therapeutic foot bath & foot reﬂexology with our special muscle ache relieving formula. Save $20.00!
Valid thru December 2018
Valid thru January 2019
Special Price..... $50.00
Includes full body dry brushing exfoliation and CBD oil Relaxation Massage. Save $20.00! Valid thru January 2019
Ooops...forgot a gift? Unexpected guest at your holiday gathering? No worries!
Instant Spa Gift Certiﬁcates to the rescue!
Go to HRWellnessSpa.com, Gift Certiﬁcates. Choose your design, greeting and amount, and print or email instantly! To book an appointment visit HRWellnessSpa.com or call 8606841158
26 GO LOCAL DECEMBER 2018
DZEN TREE FARM
! STEPHANIE TROMBLEY LEO PILARES
f you drive down Barber Hill Road in South Windsor, you are bound to spot Dzen Tree Farm. It’s hard to miss. While there are four tree farms located on the road, John Dzen and his family’s location is eyecatching, with a large reindeer and sled standing proudly just outside of the entrance. For many, reindeer elicit fantastic memories of imagining Santa Claus dashing across the sky on Christmas Eve in a grand red sleigh. Leading the mystical vehicle, no matter in children’s books or movies, are reindeer. As far as Christmastime goes, reindeer have a reputation for being a pivotal part of festivities. For John, reindeer are also a big deal. Not only is his tree farm the only one with a grand entrance, his is the only one that has real reindeer that call the farm home. “People want value. But they really want to be entertained and they want to be educated and that’s really what it’s all about. Everyone thinks that reindeer are this mythical cartoon animal and they’re not.” Jack, Noelle and Belle enchant guests at Dzen Tree Farm year after year. Children from all around will come with their families to witness the creatures GOLOCALMAGAZINES.COM 27
known for guiding Santa and dancing across rooftops. Reindeer are rare in New England, making the mere sight of them in person an unforgettable holiday activity. While the reindeer are famous for being a part of the tree farm, they are also movie stars. The three reindeer starred in the Hallmark original Christmas movie “Romance at Reindeer Lodge” in 2017. But it’s not all about the reindeer. Dzen Tree Farm has an expanse of trees in all sizes. Each one is grown with love and care all year long. “There’s a lot more going on here than anyone understands. If you have one flowerbed in front of your home, and you can’t prune your shrubs, you can’t pick your dead flowers off, you can’t control the weeds and the mulch…well, we’re doing that on 60 acres. It’s the same thing you’re struggling with at home, but we’re just doing it a lot bigger. It is year-round and full time, keeping everyone busy.” Upon entering the farm, guests are offered a saw that is loaned for use in cutting down their very own family tree. Families are then free to wander about the tree farm to hunt down the perfect tree to hold their ornaments this season. After the perfect tree has been chosen, families return to the front to have it prepared for travels home. For those in a bit of a rush, the farm also offers pre-cut trees. John shared that it’s a wonderful feeling to know 28 GO LOCAL DECEMBER 2018
a Dzen Tree Farm tree is a major part of several family festivities each year. Shortly after the Great Depression in the 1930s, the Dzen family began their business. “We have different parts of the family in different parts of the business. We have been in business about twenty years. The family has been doing this for a real long time.” The longevity of their efforts shows after setting foot on the tree farm. While Dzen’s vast selection of cut-your-own Christmas trees is impressive, the entire location creates a genuine holiday experience. As you drive down the broad driveway, it’s hard to miss Super Santa, a product of Bronner’s Christmas Store in Frankenmuth, Michigan. Next to the giant statue is a classic nativity scene, a large sled and John’s brand-new arch of reindeer antlers. A step into the center feels like walking into a snow globe, and that is John’s goal. “We always try to do a little something special; something that you can’t get in a store. We always want to have that personal touch and that something extra.” Super Santa has become an icon on the South Windsor tree farm over the years. John never knows where he will see Dzen Tree Farm represented next. “We show up in the oddest places because of people taking pictures. You’ll go to someone’s house that you really don’t know and your Super Santa is on the re-
frigerator, and it’s like ‘Yeah, I’m that guy.’” John shared that Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut reached out to him to take a selfie with the holly jolly character. “When I got the call, I thought I might’ve been in trouble! I told him to come on down.” Being a part of Dzen Tree Farm is truly a family effort. John’s son, Daniel Dzen, owns Podunk Popcorn. Daniel grows and dries the ears of corn used for his jarred popcorn kernels on the tree farm property. John’s wife, Jennifer Dzen, creates handmade, personalized ornaments and decorates wreaths starting in the summer to ensure they are ready to go for the holiday season. Families are welcome to enjoy treats such as hot chocolate, cookies and coffee during their outing. John shared, “When you’re shopping for a tree, you can have a tree. Or you can have an outing, an experience. Everybody wants value but nobody really cares anymore. We are promoting that you stay out of the mall. Nothing good has ever happened at the mall, ever, and come out on the farm and spend some time with your family. Make a day of it. Come and get a lunch, and make it a family outing. Get back to the old fashion values. That’s really what we want you to do.” Year-round, John has the farm and reindeer on his brain. He is constantly running around the farm, writing information on a small sheet of paper in his pocket. New ideas such as the antler arch are always brewing, including a wooden reindeer decoration he created last year using a tuft of reindeer fur as the tail. GOLOCALMAGAZINES.COM 29
With trees filling the property and Christmas icons residing on it, professional photographers frequently use Dzen Tree Farm during the holidays as a setting to bring Christmas cheer to family photos. During our interview, John excitedly opened a package that had just arrived. Inside were brand new harnesses for the reindeer in eye-catching colors. It’s clear to see the animals are not only features of the farm, but loved as a part of the Dzen family. The Dzen family welcomes guests to come take part in the magic of the holidays and the brilliance of unplugging from the world to spend quality family time. “That’s what it’s all about. Spend time with your family. Turn off electronic devices and unplug. Come out to the farm, hold hands, laugh, it’s really what life is about. Life has turned into something I really don’t understand.” There’s something magical about being on Dzen Tree Farm. I would typically find light snowfall to be inconvenient during an interview. But when it started falling in mid-November during Go Local’s visit, it only ignited the spark of Christmas spirit that Dzen Tree Farm brought to me. I’d be lying if I said having a conversation about reindeer and Super Santa didn’t leave me singing Christmas carols all the way home. DZEN TREE FARM OPENED FOR THE SEASON ON NOVEMBER 23. THEY WILL REMAIN OPEN THROUGH THE END OF THE HOLIDAYS DAILY FROM 9 A.M. TO 4 P.M. DZEN TREE FARM • 215 BARBER HILL RD • SOUTH WINDSOR, CT 860-648-2233 • DZENTREEFARM.COM 30 GO LOCAL DECEMBER 2018
Thereâ€™s no better time than the holidays to express our appreciation for your business and friendship. May all the joys of the season be yours.
Remember Your Car During The Holidays! Gift Certificates Available
Toys for Your Truck, Jeep & Automotive Wish List!
Come in and let us show you the PLATINUM level of Quality and Service!
24-Hour Towing • WeatherTech • Bed Liners • Accessories
• Batteries • Wiper Blades • Tonneau Covers
60 Years Combined Experience • Free Estimates • Competitive Pricing Fast, Friendly, ASE Certified Top Notch Collision Repair ...full Mechanical Services too!
See our work
408 C Somers Rd. Ellington, CT • 860-454-4554 • Hrs: M-F 8-5
Seal Coating Specials! Prices starting at only
for driveways up to 1,000 square feet
Seal Coating | Asphalt Patching Pothole Repair | Crack Filling
Residential | Commercial | Fully Insured
FREE ESTIMATES Sealcoating not only adds curb appeal for cheap but also protects your asphalt surface from the elements, doubling the life expectancy of your asphalt investment!
CALL TODAY BEFORE
32 GO LOCAL DECEMBER 2018
AFTER (1,000 square foot driveway pictured)
From mandala stones and handmade jewelry to soy candles and artisan goods, it’s easy to shop local
this holiday season. You can’t beat local shopping - handcrafted finds are unique, service is unbeatable and local merchants are truly passionate about your business. Keep money in the community and Go Local this holiday season!
NOYES DESIGNS NECKLACE @NOYESDESIGNS • SUFFIELD, CT Nick Noyes is a professional metal smith who creates oneof-a-kind jewelry pieces. He creates necklaces and rings that are hand engraved and set with stunning gemstones. With eye-catching colors against metal, each item created by Noyes is unique and alluring. He can create unique engagement rings and wedding bands, blending the mediums of wire wrapping and metallurgy to continue the process of unique and handmade craftsmanship. Noyes also accepts custom order requests. Shop online at www.Noyesdesigns.com
PLANNER BUNNY PRESS STICKERS ETSY.COM/SHOP/PLANNERBUNNYPRESS • EAST LONGMEADOW, MA
These adorable stickers by Kate Pelletier feature a little bunny and its friends. There are a variety of designs that will fit into planners, notebooks, scrapbooks and anywhere you can think to stick them! A sweet gift for children and grown-ups alike, the stickers complement the numerous planner materials also sold by Planner Bunny Press, which is perfect for getting organized in the upcoming new year.
MANDALA STONES BY LAUREN STONES @MANDALA_DESIGNS_BY_LAUREN • AGAWAM, MA Lauren hand paints mandala stones and is inspired by her personal struggles with mental illness. Through art therapy, she was able to find strength and healing. She paints these symbols, which stand for “unity, harmony and balance.” The result is a mosaic of color schemes, making them a one-ofa-kind gift.
DREAMSTATE BOTIQUE DREAM CATCHER @DREAMSTATEBOTIQUE Erica of Dreamstate Botique offers handmade dream catchers and a selection of raw crystals. Her dream catchers can be custom made in a variety of colors. Erica also incorporates crystals and prisms into her pieces, making them sparkle and shine. These dream catchers add beauty to any room in the home.
HELLO AWESOME SHOP GIRL MUGS ETSY.COM/SHOP/HELLOAWESOMESHOP • ENFIELD, CT
Jacy Pulford of Enfield gives everyone the opportunity to sip their coffee in style with her array of girl mugs, featuring sketches of ladies wearing various updos and glasses. The black and white mugs feature just a splash of gold, giving them simplistic style.
34 GO LOCAL DECEMBER 2018
STAY LIT CANDLES ETSY.COM/SHOP/STAYLITCANDLESS • EAST WINDSOR, CT
Rebecca of Stay Lit Candles started her business while looking for a distraction from her anxiety. The soy candles are hand-poured in East Windsor and come in a variety of scents including balsam fir, apple cider donut, and spiced chai latte.
DZ DESIGNS LLC SIGNS ETSY.COM/SHOP/DZDESIGNSANDSIGNS • SOUTH WINDSOR, CT
DZ Designs creates woodwork pieces including ring holders, change holders, earrings and signs. Using CNC technology to engrave and carve the wood, DZ Designs accepts custom carving requests and can create a gift for anyone you can think of this year.
LONG HARE SHOP COLORING BOOKS ETSY.COM/SHOP/LONGHARESHOP • ELLINGTON, CT
Long Hare Shop offers both coloring books and single coloring pages. A variety of themes are featured including monsters, cyberpunk, forest, fairies and mermaids. The complexity of the artwork makes these coloring books the perfect gift for adults and children alike.
CELESTIAL BLEACH-DYED T-SHIRTS ETSY.COM/SHOP/TESSIMAL • HAMPDEN, MA
Tess Ahlberg hand bleaches t-shirts in order to make creative designs including octopi, bats, unicorns and even John Lennon! The intricate design of each t-shirt offers a look unlike the traditional tie-dye. For the creative person on your shopping list, Tessimal’s tees are sure to bring smiles.
WILLOW BARN DESIGNS F LO R A L S F U R N I T U R E H O M E AC C E N T S
Located in the Back Barn at 283 Elm Street East Longmeadow Massachusetts 413-301-2929
149 NORTH ROAD, RTE 140, EAST WINDSOR, CT TEL. (860) 623-2100 or (888) 457-7778
ESTATE AUCTION EVERY THURSDAY
AUCTION & EVENT CALENDAR DECEMBER 2018
Thurs Dec 6
Holiday Hours thru Dec. 24th
Wed & Fri 11-7 • Thur 11-8 • Sat & Sun 10-6
Owner - Michele Martinelli
Custom Holiday Wreaths & Floral Arrangements, Fresh Winter Greens, Winterberries, Ornaments, Festive Home Decor & More
Thurs Dec 13
Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to see our new products and upcoming events.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS from
Thurs Dec 20 Thurs Dec 27 Thurs Jan 3
5:30pm 7:00pm 1:00pm
Early Bird Auction Estate Auction Vintage & Collectibles Toy Auction 10:00am Preview 5:30pm Early Bird Auction 6:00pm Enfield Warming Center Benefit Auction 7:00pm Estate Auction 5:30pm Early Bird Auction 7:00pm St Jude & Local Estate Auction 5:30pm Early Bird Auction 7:00pm Estate Auction 5:30pm Early Bird Auction 7:00pm Annual January Antique Auction
1000’s of pictures at www.goldengavel.com Email with questions email@example.com or visit auctionzip.com and search our Auctionzip Auctioneer ID#: 2791 Terms: Cash, Checks, Master Card, Visa, Discover, Debit Cards. Subject to errors and omissions. 18% buyer’s premium, 3% discount for cash or approved check, all sales final.
Fuel Assistance Customers Welcomed Visit our new website: FrascoFuelOil.com 2383 Westfield Street, West Springfield, MA
Think of us this Holiday Season!
Serving CT & MA for 36 Years Complete Tree Care & Removal Service Stump Grinding • Crane Work • Expert Pruning Insect & Disease Control “Working with People Who Care About Trees!” 24 HOUR EMERGENCY SERVICE • Fully Insured • FREE Estimates
AND CARRIAGE HOUSE Come warm up next to one of our 3 fireplaces and enjoy the festive ambiance!
Sing Along with Our Period
Thursday thru Saturday from 6:30-8:30 pm Nov. 29 - Dec. 22
BRUNCH SANTA WITH
Sunday, December 16 from 11 am to 2 pm
Omelette and Waffle Stations, Carved Prime Rib, Viennese Table, Fresh Fruit, Pastries and more!
1305 Memorial Ave., West Springfield (in The Big E – Use Gate 2) 413-732-4188 | storrowton.com
36 GO LOCAL DECEMBER 2018
CT Licensed Arborist #62445 • MA Certified Arborist #1676
860.749.7365 • 413.525.3916 www.mtsne.com
go CREATE DIY INSPIRATION
GLITTERY HOLIDAY ORNAMENT
Clear ornament (that can be opened)
Choosing a unique and fun Christmas tree theme can bring excitement to holiday decorating. Why not create your own original piece to bring it all together? Here is a step-by-step guide to creating your own ornament to trim the perfect tree.
A string, garland or ornament hook Glitter glue Sponge Water Loose glitter Temporary tattoos Scissors
STEP 1: Open the top of the ornament and pour the loose glitter inside (as much as desired.) Close the top. STEP 2: Attach string, garland or ornament hook, looping it so that it can hang off the tree branch. STEP 3: Remove clear outer layer from temporary tattoo and stick directly to desired area of ornament. Gently press wet sponge against the tattoo. STEP 4: Carefully remove the paper backing of the temporary tattoo, revealing image underneath. STEP 5: Continue to apply tattoos around ornament as desired. STEP 6: Use glitter glue to trace around messy edges that may have been left by tattoo and to decorate the ornament as desired. STEP 7: Allow drying for one hour. You now have a complete holiday ornament sure to pop on your Christmas tree!
38 GO LOCAL DECEMBER 2018
Feels Like Home
The Ivy at Ellington is the newest assisted living residential community from The Arbors Assisted Living Residential Communities. Ellington has its roots as an agricultural community as well as a resort community with Crystal Lake within its boundaries. Conveniently located at 123 West Road in Ellington, CT, our community offers 79 one and two-bedroom apartments, as well as Reflections, our specialized memory support environment. In our elegant home-like environment, residents can enjoy many amenities, including dining on local culinary favorites, participating in engaging and enriching social opportunities, and quality personal care services daily. The Ivy Ellington offers many levels of care. Please contact us for more information.
The Ivy at Ellington 123 West Road, Ellington, CT | 860-926-0222 theivyassistedliving.com
Hampden House Café 1 Allen Street, Hampden, MA ♥ (413) 566-8324
Book Your Holiday Event On Site at LaCucina or The Greenhouse
In-home catering service available!
The gift that never goes out of style!
Available in any denomination
See our website for our Banquet & Catering Menu
lacucinahampden.com Lounge Open & Pizza 7 Days • Lunch Served Tues.-Sun. Follow us
H A P P Y H O L I DAY S Sharing with you the foods we love to eat! Offering wings on Sunday during Football Season! Hours: 7am-3pm Breakfast served until 11am 117 Hazard Avenue • Enfield, CT 06082 860-749-0813
60 Windsor Ave – Route 83, Vernon, CT (860) 872-0113 • newenglandskiandscuba.com
SKI JACKETS & PANTS NEW ENGLAND SKI & SCUBA · 860-872-0113 Expires 12/31/18. With coupon. May not be combined with other offers or discounts.
COMPLETE SKI PACKAGE SKIS, BOOTS, BINDINGS, POLES & MOUNTING Reg. $850
NEW ENGLAND SKI & SCUBA · 860-872-0113 Expires 12/31/18. With coupon. May not be combined with other offers or discounts.
SKI PACKAGE Gift Certificates Available 40 GO LOCAL DECEMBER 2018
SKIS, BINDINGS, POLES & MOUNTING
NEW ENGLAND SKI & SCUBA · 860-872-0113 Expires 12/31/18. With coupon. May not be combined with other offers or discounts.
y p p a H ! s y a d i l Ho
Family Owned and Operated Since 1984
105 S. Main St., (Rt. 5) East Windsor, CT 860.623.8296 â€¢ 800.842.8968 www.stantoneq.com GOLOCALMAGAZINES.COM 41
! HO HO HO Let Santa fill your sleigh at
BREAKFAST • LUNCH
HOMEMADE SOUPS, QUICHES & DESSERTS Come in and get 15% OFF on your special someone’s wish list!
DECEMBER HOLIDAY HOURS - 7 DAYS A WEEK:
MON-FRI 10-7, SAT & SUN 10-5 • Christmas Eve closing at 2pm 74 Palomba Drive, Suite J • Enfield, CT 860-965-7911 • eclecticpeacock.com
44A Bridge St., East Windsor, CT | 860.623.5056 M-F 6am-2pm, S-S 7am-1pm | FREE Wi-Fi
STIR Let Us Bake for The Holidays! • Holiday Desserts • Cookie Trays • Sweet Bread • Cannoli • Pies • Churros • 3 Milk Cake COUPON • Fancy Cupcakes $ • Birthday Cakes • Wedding Cakes COOKIE TRAY
Reg. 30.00 • Order Early
95 High St #3, Enfield, CT • (860-741-2253
Breakfast Lunch Catering
142 North Rd., East Windsor, CT | 860.386.6726 Catering Available
Thursdays All You Can Eat Pasta $ 10.99 • 5-8pm
Weekend Specials M-T-W 7am-2pm Breakfast & Lunch | Th-F 7am-8pm Saturday & Sunday 7am-2pm Breakfast Only
BEE SCHOOL 2019 Saturdays
January 12, 2019 February 16, 2019 March 16, 2019 Longmeadow High School Auditorium 95 Grassy Gutter Road Longmeadow, MA
Registration: www.hcbee.org (Bee School Tab) Details at firstname.lastname@example.org
SPACE IS LIMITED SO PLEASE SIGN UP EARLY! 42 GO LOCAL DECEMBER 2018
“The Season of Lights is a time to remember those we love.”
Free Personalized Gift Wrapping Join us for our
87 Shaker Road East Longmeadow, MA next to Kitchens by Chapdelaine
Sat. Dec. 8th 10-2
Exceptional Service Worldwide Shipping Available
Mon.-Fri. 9:30am-5:30pm | Thurs. 9:30am-6pm | Sat. 9am-2pm
413.526.9792 | www.reflectionsbyclaudia.com
the Sweet Life
! STEPHANIE TROMBLEY JESSICA VOGELGESANG
hen you walk into Wood Memorial Library and Museum in South Windsor on an average day, the 1926 building is a step into the past, complete with stacks of books and historical paintings. There’s no hint that the vintage structure turns into a winter wonderland. Aside from boxes of holiday decorations, the library and museum keeps up a persona of pure history. That is, up until November, when the location becomes something straight out of a storybook. Colorful gumdrops, gooey frosting and spicy gingerbread blend to make concoctions of gingerbread houses that aren’t your average holiday decoration. For eight years, the Gingerbread House Festival has brought visions of sugarplums to the minds of all who visit the free event. This year’s theme, “Peace on Earth”, reflects an ideal that everyone wants for Christmas.
Jessica Vogelgesang, Communications Director for the Wood Memorial Library and Museum, shared, “This is only the second year we have picked a theme. We liked the idea that people could let their imaginations run wild, but we kept having the gingerbread artisans ask about a theme, so last year, we went with “A Storybook Holiday,” because we are a library and it went over really well. So this year, we went in an entirely different direction with “Peace on Earth”. We follow the theme very loosely, though. We want people to be creative and we welcome all gingerbread masterpieces, whether they follow the theme or not.” Bonnie Grover, a resident of South Windsor and volunteer at Wood Memorial Library and Museum, brought the Gingerbread House Festival to life. Jessica said, “She pitched it to the board and worked tirelessly for the first four years to make it a success. GOLOCALMAGAZINES.COM 43
It was really her vision eight years ago that has grown into the festival everyone enjoys today.” Gingerbread houses were entered into the festival through Nov. 19. The Gingerbread House Festival is not a judged competition, it is all for fun. Over 8,000 guests annually stop by to observe the creations. Beginners and professionals alike are excited to participate with their own houses year after year. Seeing all of the houses lining the large room surrounded by holiday decorations brings magic to all, including Jessica. “The Gingerbread House Festival is my favorite event that we host at the Wood. It appeals to people of all ages and backgrounds, and it is exciting to see such diversity among our visitors.” Jamie Howe, a local college student who interned this fall with Wood Memorial Library and Museum, also feels the magic of the holiday after working alongside the library to make gingerbread dreams come true. After submitting her own gingerbread house creations for display in the festival, interning only made the event sweeter. “The Wood boasts a warm, cozy environment filled with welcoming people, and the homes are always displayed in a way that draws you into each unique design or concept. As I think of it now, I picture walking in from the cold and being met with the sweet smell of frosting and candy, combined with a true feeling of happiness and contentment that emanates from all those who visit.” The happiness that Jamie described is felt throughout the community during the festival. All year long, residents near and far dedicate their time to making sure the Gingerbread House Festival goes off without a hitch. Jessica shared, “It is a community effort. We have a dedicated corps of volunteers who support the event on all levels from planning to completion. We have found a lot of support not only in the South Windsor community, but across the region.” Jamie agreed, stating, “The library is always bustling with people during the festival that, I feel, have really embraced the Christmas spirit.” Local artisans and musicians joyously join in on the fun of the festival every season. This year, classical guitarist Yosh returned
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to the event to perform for guests observing the display. Jessica stated, “Yosh is the first musical act to volunteer his time every year. He books the same time slot for the next year’s festival right after he finishes playing the current one. We now have people who visit the festival at the same time each year to hear him play while they tour the event.” All-female a capella group, The Sweetest Key, also performs each year and will be back on Dec. 9. As Jessica described, “They are a real crowd favorite.” Numerous vendors are also featured at the event, selling a variety of perfect holiday gifts. Performers are not the only ones who can’t help but be a part of the festival. Jessica shared, “We have a group of ladies who come from Westchester County, New York every year and we have bakers and artisans from all over Connecticut as well as greater New England who contribute to the festival’s success by sharing their talents and entering gingerbread masterpieces for the display.” Jessica believes that the Gingerbread House Festival is a wonderful experience for guests young and old. “As a festival that is focused on artistic creativity expressed in the form of gingerbread, it differs from other Christmas specific events and is more of a seasonal celebration of community that is welcoming to all at this time of year.” Come to the Wood Memorial Library and Museum and see for yourself how the Gingerbread House Festival can skyrocket you into the holiday spirit. Jessica invites everyone to see how spectacular the holiday can be. “I think the Wood itself as a venue is very special and really adds to the ambiance of the event. As a beautiful older building located on a historic street, it lends itself to a feeling of stepping out of the norm and into something unique and magical, something memorable that leaves people smiling and wanting to come back year after year.” A SCHEDULE OF EVENTS DURING THE FESTIVAL CAN BE FOUND AT WWW.WOODMEMORIALLIBRARY.ORG THE GINGERBREAD FESTIVAL RUNS THROUGH DECEMBER 15 AT THE WOOD MEMORIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM LOCATED AT 783 MAIN STREET, SOUTH WINDSOR, CT
Everything Automotive • • • • • • •
Diagnostic Oil Change Maintenance Brake Pads & Rotors Suspension Repairs Upgrades & much more!
On October 24, 1992 we opened our doors for business on Hazard Ave. in Enfield. 25 years later and we are still servicing the cars in the community. Cars have changed a lot and so have our tools. We have all the tools to service most foreign and domestic vehicles. Our mechanics are well trained and certified to work on your vehicle. Since 1998 we have been recognized as a Napa Autocare Center to ensure the quality of our work.
318 Hazard Ave, Enfield, CT
860-749-2277 hazardvillemotors.com Hours: Mon-Fri 7:30AM - 6:00PM | Sat-Sun Closed
Proudly Serving Enfield since 1992
46 GO LOCAL DECEMBER 2018
LET US REPAIR & PAINT YOUR BODY
Thank you for the years of friendship & patronage!
45 YEARS & STILL KICKIN’!
Car Sales & Service Bob Mercier, Owner & Licensed Used Car Dealer
Mercier’s Kustom Auto Body, Inc. Visit us at our new location 231 Field Road, Unit 1, Somers, CT
860-749-0055 Open to the Public
No Medical Card Needed
Don’t Forget Your Holiday Treats! #1 Locally Grown/Produced CBD Tinctures, Vape Oils, Edibles All Natural CBD (Cannabidiol) products available for purchase online or at our cafe! CBD Infused Teas & Coffee • Baked Goods • Honey • Chocolates Tinctures • Lotions • Soaps • Grow Supplies • Apparel • Cooking Classes Massachusetts State Hemp Cultivation licensed All Naturally Produced - No Pesticides State tested plants/products
@ Eastworks - 116 Pleasant St. 413-203-5354
878 Sumner Ave. 413-747-1863
oracare.squarespace.com GOLOCALMAGAZINES.COM 47
WINTER BEAUTY “Kindness is like snow – It beautifies everything it covers.” Kahlil Gibran
48 GO LOCAL DECEMBER 2018
GIFT CERTIFICATES AVAILABLE
36 South Road, Somers, CT transformationsmedical.com
Dysport 3 areas
Sugar Threads Non-Surgical Facelifts
starting at 995
Tues-Thurs 9am–7pm Fri: 8am–5pm | Sat: 8am–2pm
We don’t create beauty... We reveal it.
FRIEDA B. HERSELF, BY RENATA BOWERS
Frieda B. Herself
Although our generation is enticed by the convenience of e-readers and websites, there’s nothing that made me happier as a child than a good picture book read to me by my parents. Renata Bowers, a resident of Somers, CT, is the creator of Frieda B., a girl with her head in the clouds and a wild imagination. Still looking for the perfect gift for the child on your list? Look no further than “Frieda B. Herself”
WHAT’S IT ABOUT? Frieda is a young dreamer. She imagines she can be anything she’d like to be. But one night, she loses her dreams. The book follows her adventure to gain them back.
FUN FACT: The Frieda B. collection of picture books was voted Best Picture Book Series by the National Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards.
WHY SHOULD I READ IT? This book is the perfect story to read to a child to encourage them to believe anything is possible. WHERE CAN I GET IT? The book can be purchased at the Frieda B. website, www.friedab.com, or support your local library and check it out today! 50 GO LOCAL DECEMBER 2018
Finding be(er ways to help the community for over 30 years!
Flagship Dental Services
• State of the Art Technology • Crowns in a Day • 3D Imaging • Restora've & Cosme'c Services • Oral Surgery • Endodon'cs • Implants • Dentures & Par'als • Emergency & Evening Appointments • Comfortable & Private Treatment Rooms • Friendly Professional Staﬀ Who Really Care! • Online Social Media Monthly Contests
QUALITY DENTAL PLAN SAVINGS PLAN
YOUNG EXPLORERS CLUB
No Insurance – No Problem! For those pa'ents who can’t aﬀord dental insurance and premiums. Just $325 a year (1st member) $300 (any addi'onal family member) Beneﬁts include: • Complimentary cleanings • Complimentary exams and all necessary x‐rays • Complimentary Whitening Kit or Oral B Electronic Toothbrush • 15% savings on general and major dental procedures
Mo)va)onal ac)vi)es for children of all ages to enjoy den)stry. • Dental report cards • Point System for things like no cavi'es, A’s on school report cards, showing up on 'me for appointments, etc. • Interac've wai'ng room ac'vi'es that award points • Points earn rewards/prizes of their choice
123 Dwight Rd, Longmeadow, MA • Phone (413) 5671221 • www.ﬂagshipdental.com
STOP IN OR APPLY ONLINE
ECFCU VISA Credit Card Benefits • • • • •
No Annual Fee No Balance Transfer Fee Cash Advances Fast Credit Approval Cards Made On Site
Extra Awards Earn points for each signed purchase! Redeem points for cash, travel, gift cards and more! Remember, we're here for all your loan needs… Vehicles • Mortgages • Refi's (Home & Auto) • Personal VISA • Bill Consolidation • Tax Liabilities
*Cannot be used 10 refinanace existing ECFCU loans. Promo can be cancelled at any time. Actual rate may vary depending on individual credit worthiness.
Dzen's Christmas Trees
Your Local, Family Owned Kitchen Experts. Kitchen • Bath • Laundry • Home Office Quartz • Granite • Corian • Laminate FREE Design, In-Home Measuring & Estimates • Full Remodeling
Fraser Fir and Balsam Fir, up to 10 feet! Open at ns 3 Locatio
Choose and Cut Your Own (Saws Provided)
• 575 Barber Hill Road, South Windsor • 174 Barber Hill Road, South Windsor • 20 Sadds Mill Road, Ellington Open 7 Days A Week ———— Call for hours ————
860-644-4575 Visit us at DZENFARMS.COM
Kitchen Encounters offers friendly, local service. We will help you visualize your new kitchen or bath with our expert design service and we are ALWAYS a better value than the big box stores. You can trust Kitchen Encounters because our families are local, just like yours!
Visit Our Beautiful Showroom
Over 20 Years in Business!
15 RAILROAD AVENUE, WILBRAHAM 413-596-6535 | WWW.KITCHEN-ENCOUNTERS.COM
413•566•8015 PIZZERIA & LOUNGE
Unwind, Relax and Celebrate During the Holidays! FREE Delivery to Hampden, Wilbraham, East Longmeadow, Sixteen Acres, East Forest Park and parts of Longmeadow, Enfield & Somers, CT! Grinders • Giant Calzones Seafood • Salads Wings & More
Gift Cards Available
9 Allen St. • Hampden Mini Mall • Hampden, MA (413) 566-8015
67 South Road, Somers, CT | headsupandbodyworks.com
Open 7 Days | www.giospizzeria.com
860.763.2235 Mon-Fri 8:30 AM - 8 PM | Sat 8:30 AM - 3 PM
52 GO LOCAL DECEMBER 2018
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE - NO GOOGLING!
THE PUREST TYPE OF WHAT OIL SHOULD BE USED FOR A HANUKKAH MENORAH?
IN “THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS” HOW MANY DRUMMERS ARE DRUMMING? [A] 10 [B] 9 [C] 12 [D] 8
WHO PLAYED THE DRUMS IN BAND AID’S 1984 “DO THEY KNOW IT’S CHRISTMAS?”
WHO COMPOSED THE MUSICAL MASTERPIECE, “THE MESSIAH?” [A] Johannes Brahms [B] George Frideric Handel [C] Franz Schubert [D] Johann Sebatian Bach
[A] Ringo Starr [B] Tommy Lee [C] Phil Collins [D] Don Henley IN WHAT MOVIE DID JUDY GARLAND DEBUT THE SONG “HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS?”
WHERE IS CHRISTMAS ISLAND LOCATED?
[A] The Holly and the Ivy [B] The Good Ole Summertime [C] Holiday Inn [D] Meet Me in St. Louis
[A] Pacific Ocean [B] Indian Ocean [C] Atlantic Ocean [D] Arctic Ocean
WHICH OF THESE CHRISTMAS-THEMED TOWN NAMES ISN’T REAL? [A] Santa Claus, Indiana [B] Mistletoe, Kentucky [C] Frosty, Alaska [D] Rudolph, Wisconsin WHO NARRATED THE 1966 TV SPECIAL “HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS?” [A] Burl Ives [B] Charlton Heston [C] Thurl Ravenscroft [D] Boris Karloff
THE NAME KWANZAA COMES FROM THE PHRASE “MATUNDA YA KWANZA” WHICH MEANS WHAT IN SWAHILI? [A] Peace and Love [B] First Fruits of the harvest [C] Thanks and Praise [D] Happy Life
7-9 5-7 2-4 0-1
160 110 50 3
Prodigy Egghead Meh Simpleton
1)C 2)A 3)B 4)C 5)B 6)D 7)C 8)B 9)D
[A] Olive Oil [B] Coconut Oil [C] Macadamia Nut Oil [D] Avocado Oil
The Final Countdown
7 Sweet Tooth Satisfying Bakeries One of the best parts about the holiday season is enjoying a delicious selection of sweet treats. Our community is full of
great small businesses to get your fill of tasty desserts. Here are 7 that will bring joy to your holiday get-together!
ENFIELD, CT FACEBOOK.COM/CAKEPOPMAMII Melissa Molina of Cakepop Mami creates cake pops in all varieties. She custom designs each one to make sure it fits the theme of your event. Try one of her handmade cakepop arrangements for a piece of cake without the round pan!
THE HAPPY CUPCAKE BAKERY
SOMERS, CT THEHAPPYCUPCAKEBAKERY.COM The Happy Cupcake Bakery has cupcakes for guests young and old, including unique flavors like coconut lemon and strawberry lemonade. For grown-ups, try their margarita cupcake, complete with real tequila.
32 SHAKER ROAD • EAST LONGMEADOW, MA PETESSWEETS.WEBS.COM It just wouldn’t be the holidays without frosted sugar cookies, and there is no shortage at Pete’s Sweets. Find custom decorated creations such as bells, trees and mittens. If cookies aren’t your thing, Pete’s Sweets offers delicious cakes, chocolates and other baked goods! 54 GO LOCAL DECEMBER 2018
LOLA AND PHIL'S
STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT LOLAANDPHILS.COM Cupcakes are the perfect grab and go treat everyone in the family is sure to love, especially from Lola and Phil’s! Break the mold of chocolate and vanilla with offerings such as cider donut, caramel apple spice and campfire s’mores. Pupcakes and Pony Pies too!
548 MAIN STREET, HAMPDEN, MA CUPCAKECAFE.ME Cupcake Café can not only bring something delicious to the dessert table this year, but under the tree. Cupcake Café offers cupcake gift trays, pies and party favors, making it the perfect small business to satisfy your sweet tooth.
LUANN'S BAKERY & CAFE
238 SOMERS ROAD, ELLINGTON, CT LUANNSBAKERY.COM LuAnn’s offers a delicious array of treats including apple crisp, muffins, cookies, pies and breads. Why not stray away from sweets and try some of LuAnn’s delicious café foods?
POP'S BISCOTTI & CHOCOLATES
2341 BOSTON ROAD • WILBRAHAM, MA POPSCHOCOLATES.COM Looking to skip the pies this holiday? Try Pop’s Biscotti & Chocolates. Their famous peanut butter pyramids, filled with peanut butter crème in a chocolate shell, are sure to steal the show. Pop’s turtle-shaped Turtles are always a hit and of course, their biscotti!
FLOWERS FOR EVERY OCCASION
HOLIDAYS GOURMET FRUIT BASKETS SYMPATHY • WEDDINGS • EVENTS CORPORATE • DISH GARDENS 1052 EAST ST. S., SUFFIELD, CT
flowers and gifts
860.623.8774 • 888.710.5202 KANDPFLOWERS.COM
Let Me Help You BUY, SELL or INVESTin Real Estate
32 Shaker Road • East Longmeadow, MA • 413.525.6062
“Energetic & Grateful”
REALTOR® – Licensed in MA & CT
Let PETE'S SWEETS do your holiday baking this year! Place your special order today or come in to browse our selection of Holiday Classics!
Roma Restaurant 358 Burnside Ave., East Hartford, CT
Breakfast All Day • Great Food Catering • Full Bar Service
Welcome Home to the Kitchen GIFT CERTIFICATES AVAILABLE!
791 Williams Street | Longmeadow 4137543770 thekitchenlongmeadow.com
Emilia Capaccio I Frank Capaccio
All Natural Marinara Sauces
VOTED BEST PASTA SAUCE IN CT by the CT Specialty Food Association.
See our products at your local grocery store.
56 GO LOCAL DECEMBER 2018