now featuring the
Westmoreland County Guide to Homes
To Be in November Raising Them With Grit Medicine for the Soul Reversing Roles Over the River and Into the Woods Book Reviews Santa Comes to Pennsylvania Angels in Unexpected Places
Your Neighborhood Library on Wheels LAUREL MOUNTAINNovember POST, September2013 2013 - 1
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Medicine for the Soul A Chinese proverbs says: a book is like a garden carried in the pocket. Our garden is a huge part of the heart and soul of my home. It grows the food and flowers for our table, and provides a new story every day. Books hold a similar position in my heart: I can trace my entire life by remembering what I was reading at a given time (see page 2). They provide escape, stimulate our creativity, and ignite empathy. We often get too wrapped up in our own worlds: but reading a book helps us see beyond the self. People often say they feel refreshed, inspired, and happier when they read a good book. You could even say that books are “Medicine for the Soul.” Ramses II had this quote inscribed over the door of his library at Thebes in Ancient Egypt in the year 1250 BC, the same year as the Trojan War. His library was the first known effort to gather together sources of knowledge, making them available in one place for the people. We still have libraries, although they come in many different forms. The digital age has made it so much easier to obtain information and printed material: ebooks, white papers, websites, abstracts, etc. But
POST Editorial Office: 189 Fairview Lane Derry, PA 15627 Mailing Address: PO Box 332 Ligonier, PA 15658
most people still say they like and prefer the feel of a bound book. Our iPads and Kindles are a great convenience, but I never get the same feeling or fullness of experience when I
For Doctor Who Fans Everywhere: This message was authored, chalked and photographed by Adam Peter Scott, 2IC at the store and a well-regarded Perth comedian. Compliments of Kaleido Books & Gifts – Perth, Western Australia. (facebook .com/kaleidobooks)
pecially music), while I still order books and cds. It’s as if they are not totally real or permanent to me without tangible proof. I run my fingers across the pages as if to extract their wisdom through touch. I enjoy the musty smell captured in the pages over time. And I often buy books rather than borrow because I never want to “lose” these great and powerful friends. I reach for books to find answers, often to questions I have yet to ask. Sometimes I am looking for knowledge since forgotten. But every time, it’s a new experience. We bring ourselves into everything we read, and over time the references change. Books I read ten years ago speak to me in a new language now. One visit is never enough. This issue of the Laurel Mountain Post is dedicated to books, and their eternal worth. We invite you to enjoy our stories and consider checking out some of our favorites for yourself. Think of it as our prescription for getting through the dark winter days soon to come.
use them. Perhaps it’s a generational thing: my children have all their libraries stored on internet clouds (es-
The Laurel Mountain Post is an independent, monthly publication produced at Fairview Farm in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. All material printed herein is subject to copyright and permission to reproduce in any format must be obtained in writing from the publisher. This publication is registered with the US Library of Congress, ISSN 2330-6629. Cathi Gerhard, Editor & Publisher • Megan Fuller, Managing Editor Gregory Susa, Co-Publisher • Elizabeth Srsic, Art & Layout Editor Michelle Schultz, Business Manager • Jason Ament, Advertising Consultant Media: Joe Jerich, Eric Pensenstadler, Tiffany Jackson. Circulation: Jason Ament, Nancy Clark, Granny Earth, Gretchen Fuller, Cathi Gerhard, Laurie McGinnis, Victoria Mull, Bob Raho, Doug Richardson, Alice Susa, Gregory Susa, Lindsay Turchetta, Robert Williams, and Jack Wilson. Columnists: please use contact information provided at the end of each article or on our website. Publisher cannot and does not guarantee the accuracy of the matter represented in the advertisements herein published. Please contact the advertiser to verify details. Join us online: Laurel Mountain Post-style stories, links and photos EVERY DAY!
Phone: 724-537-6845 Fax: 724-558-9548 www.LaurelMountainPost.com Every Story Begins At Home.
November 2013 - 1
Lifelong Bibliography by Cathi Gerhard My older sister, Michelle, taught me how to read when I was only three years old using the “Sally, Dick and Jane” series. She didn’t have a choice because I was desperate to do whatever she was doing. And Michelle was ALWAYS reading! She took antisocialism to new levels during our childhood, always choosing an afternoon with a book over playing with others – especially me. But once I learned to read, we had a common interest to share and enjoy. The first title I remember most was from a series of Alfred Hitchcock anthologies: Alfred Hitchock’s Ghosty Gallery. Other titles included: Spellbinders in Suspense, Stories That Go Bump in the Night, and Haunted House. We obviously loved our spooky and suspenseful mysteries, and still do. Our all-time favorite story was “Mr. George,” byAugust Derleth, and it was adapted into a teleplay shown as an episode of Boris Karloff’s Chiller. It was about a little orphan girl being raised by her uncle and two aunts. Her relatives were trying to kill her for her inheritance, but each time she was saved by her secret imaginery friend, Mr. George (the ghost of
her father). We lost track of the actual book, and for years talked about that story and the episode from TV. I finally tracked it down last year (in the author’s out of print 1963 collection Mr. George and Other Odd Persons) and gave it to Michelle for her birthday (and bought another copy for myself, of course). Happy Holidays When I wasn’t reading mysteries with my sister, I was looking at history books on the holidays at the elementary school library. I repeatedly checked out each books in a series, starting with Holly, Reindeer and Colored Lights by Edna Barth. Other titles from her series included: Witches, Pumpkins and Grinning Ghosts, Turkey, Pilgrims and Indian Corn, and so on for each traditional holiday. When I taught preschool in the early 2000’s, I bought the entire set to use in my classroom. I have since gifted them to my daughter, who is now an art teacher. Little Miss Firecracker
By sixth grade, I was reading all of my sister’s books by Stephen King. My favorite then, was Firestarter (before it was made into a movie with Drew Barrymore). The only mistake I made was bringing that book to school. The school librarian took it from me and called my mother, deeming it inappropriate for my age. I whined about being too mature for the school library and that I had the right to read whatever I wanted. As always, my mother stood by me. Arrogant and feeling victorious, I challenged the librarian to find one single book in the elementary library that I had not “outgrown.” After interviewing me on my interests, she eventually won the battle by presenting me with The Door in the Wall, a 1950 Newberry Award book by Marguerite De Angeli. It was a great story about a crippled boy who wanted to be a knight, the backdrop for a tale about overcoming diversity. Sometimes it pays to ask a librarian for her experienced and professional insight! I credit my teachers with introducing me to some books back then, too. In fourth grade, my reading teacher used to read aloud to the class, serializing novels over a few weeks as a reward for good classroom behavior. If we acted up, we didn’t get the next part of the story! She was a clever woman. My favorites were: The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg, and Tales of A Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume. That introduction to Judy Blume led me to seek out everything else ever written (whether age-appropriate or not), and I soon became the playground expert on all taboo subjects regarding puberty and ermerging sexuality (in theory, not practice). Romance Book Club
My daughter, Elizabeth, at age 2 (1993) with her new puppy, Siegfried, who was named for a character from the novels of James Herriot (All Creatures Great & Small series). 2 - November 2013
In junior high, my love of mystery and horror merged together and LAUREL MOUNTAIN POST
found me reading fantasy and science fiction novels. In eighth grade science class I was intrigued by the book a boy at my table was reading. It was one of the Xanth books by Piers Anthony, and he let me borrow it. I was completely sucked into that magical world and quickly read every book in the series, moving on to other series by Piers Anthony. I enjoyed the others, but they never captured the same oddly romantic and exciting feelings I got from the Xanth books. It was the first of many times I found myself being interested in this boy, and by 11th grade he became my boyfriend. I think I developed a crush on him through the immersion and shared experience of those Xanth novels, but it took me a few years to realize it. I moved on from the more juvenile fantasy of Piers Anthony to classics by Stephen R. Donaldson and J.R.R. Tolkien. In Donaldson’s series “The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever,” the most I grasped from that series was a love for the title of Book One: Lord Foul’s Bane. It became a catchphrase for my own bad attitude among my friends. The books were admittedly a bit over my head, so I turned to Tolkien to try again. The Hobbit soon became my favorite: I never got into the spirit of The Lord of the Rings (even after the blockbuster movies were made). My favorite character from The Hobbit was Gollum, the cranky little creature who lived in the dark under the Misty Mountains. For some reason, my adolescent self quickly identified with this third-person speaking Hobbit. He was torn by his love of the ring (he called “my precious”), and his wish to be free of it. I think I sensed the deeper level of that internal struggle at a time when I also discovered the same struggling messages of duality in punk rock. For many years, a print of Gollum in his boat, by reknowned artist Frank Frazetta, hung on my bedroom wall. My boyfriend had given it to me for Christmas in 11th grade. The Introduction of the VCR Every Story Begins At Home.
When I was in high school, technology brought us the VCR, and video rental stores. I used to set my alarm for 5:00 am so I could get up early, take my shower, and watch a movie before it was time to go to school. Not only did we rush out to rent old movies that were favorites, but it opened the door to a catalog of titles we had missed, especially things shown on PBS (Public Broadcasting Stations, locally WQED). My father had read and loved a series of books in the 1970s called All Creatures Great and Small, written by a Scottish veterinarian under the pen name James Herriot. Being a farmer, he loved the stories about cows, pigs, dogs, and the general mischief the characters encountered in the late 1930s and early 1940s Yorkshire. Every year, another one of the books would appear on his Christmas list. We soon discovered that the BBC had made a television series from the books, and they were occasionally shown on PBS here in the United States. Better yet, they were available on videotape! As a family, we gathered to watch the stories that had so captivated my father. Those evenings were some of the most wonderful times spent together, and we revisited them often – most recently on DVD. Movies can never capture ALL the details or tell EVERY story that a book can, and I was hungry for more: so I borrowed Dad’s books. Those characters became imaginery family members to us. In fact, my daughter named her puppy after Siegfried Farnon, the older vet with a gregarious and loud personality. She was only two, but enjoyed the show with us, often reciting scenes from her favorite episodes. Another great literary character brought to my life by the power of television and PBS was Anne of Green Gables. This Canadian adaptation starred Megan Follows as Anne, Richard Farnsworth as Matthew, and Collen Dewhurst as Marilla. Dewhurst said she jumped at the chance to be in the movie (even though her agent suggested she turn it down) because it was the first book her mother ever read to her1. I had always thought that
Anne and other similar literature was too “girly” for a tomboy like me. I was so wrong. This show also became a family favorite, and we scheduled our life around its broadcast episodes, later buying the video tapes and DVDs as they became available. I also collected the novels so I could read more about the characters, much the same as with All Creatures Great and Small. The movies got me hooked and introduced me to some wonderful books. The Victorian Period As a teenager, I was enamoured by the Victorian and Edwardian periods in history. I collected coffee table books of poetry and art, including a favorite set of scented verse editions by Penhaligon’s. (The first was called The Language of Flowers: Penhaligon’s Scented Treasury of Verse and Prosen by Sheila Pickles). The perfumed pages were filled with beautiful artwork and the world’s most romantic words – it was a delightful assault on the senses. I wanted to write and create something that beautiful one day. My first official summer job was working as a clerk in the Latrobe insurance agency my sister managed. The library was a few blocks away, and I often spent my lunch hours there. In the fall I would be going off to college to study journalism, so I decided to spend my free time that summer working on a novel of my own. Each day I would eat my lunch and pour through Victorian poetry and history books to make notes. I had a great idea, but a terrible manuscript that was never finished. A few years later, the novel Possession was published by A.S. Byatt– it was the literary sensation of the year, winning England’s Booker Prize. And it’s plot was almost exactly the same as my unfinished and all-but forgotten first attempt at a novel that summer before college. A Room with a View: Bond Girls continued on page 4
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continued from page 3
I spent my college years learning how to think and write, but it left little time for reading. When my school offered me a graduate assistant position, I had the opportunity to stay for free a master’s degree – in any subject! I chose English Literature for two reasons: I considered being a professor one day, and so needed a more academic discipline; and I really wanted to read and learn more about books – ALL of them, every genre, period and style – with the hopes of becoming a better writer myself. Overall, my graduate school experience was a letdown because the classes were dominated by PhD students who wanted to discuss theory instead of the text. Most of the professors allowed this, and the master’s students were left with little education about the works themselves. However, I did have a few good teachers who taught me a lot. One of my favorite subjects for critical papers and presentations was E.M. Forster, made most famous by the movie version of A Room with A View in 1985. Oddly enough, it became one of my daughter’s favorite stories as well, without any influence from me. I loved Forster’s cultural notations, and uses of language and nuance. Most of all, I enjoyed his strong and intriguing, female characters. Other similar authors I discovered at this time were: Edith Wharton, Isak Dinesen (see Out of Africa), and Jane Austen. My growing interest in female literary figures ironically culminated in my true love of all things James Bond (created by Ian Fleming). Most people immediately equate all Bond Girls with misogyny, but my most successful project in graduate school was titled “I Am Not A Bimbo: Positive Representations of the Bond Girl in Literature and Film.” It was the most fun I ever had researching a paper. Change Always Comes Bearing Gifts Once you become an adult, everything changes. This was also true for 4 - November 2013
me and my reading habits. Reading for fun was replaced by reading for necessity. I had to learn to cook all by myself, and couldn’t call my mother and grandmother every time I had a question. For a while it was just me and my copy of the Betty Crocker Cookbook – and I was frustrated that things were not turning out like they did in my mother’s kitchen. Years later I realized that her 1969 version of the cookbook was not the same as mine. Somewhere along the way, the people at Betty Crocker “updated” the recipes, and in my opinion, ruined them. So I searched out a used copy of the 1969 edition on Amazon, and quickly ordered one for myself and one for my daughter’s hope chest. Things went much more smoothly in my kitchen after that. Gardening became another big interest for me in my twenties, although the climate of North Carolina where I lived at the time was not very welcoming to most things. By July most of my garden had burned up in the heat. It took lots of research in The Southern Living Garden Book to learn abot the native plants and other heat-tolerant varieties of the south. Living in the “Bible Belt” also meant learning more about Christianity. Not only did I work for churches (doing their communications work), but it seemed like church was a huge part of people’s lives down there. One of the best books I came across during my time in the south was The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language by Eugene H. Peterson. I had always enjoyed the beauty of the King James Bible, but admittedly struggled to understand it at times. The Message is incredibly readable for today. Peterson’s paraphrasing uses contemporary language to interpret the original Greek and Hebrew texts, allowing the reader to focus more on the ideas. There will always be debate on whether or not a new text is an accurate interpretation of the ancient writings, but this book is a great read for those interested in an “easier” and more-relatable version of the best-selling book of all time. When I wasn’t reading children’s books to my growing family or teach-
ing them to my preschool class, I found some time to keep up with popular fiction. One of my favorite contemporary writers is Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Russo. I cannot pick a favorite, but the three that stand out are Nobody’s Fool, Straight Man, and Empire Falls, all written in that ten-year period when I was reading his work intently. Not only are his stories interesting (semi-autobiographical and set in small towns of the eastern and mid-western US), but his use of language is amazing. Each word is carefully chosen to capture as much meaning as possible: simply yet eloquently. I believe he is one of the best writers of our day. Other people think Stephen King is the greatest, and I continue to enjoy his work as an adult. My favorite book is Dolores Claiborne, perhaps because it is written phonetically in the vernacular of his characters. They come to life in my head. To Be Continued It is impossible to list every book that held a place on my personal timeline. I tried to pick out some of the highlights for this article. My notable illustrated children’s books would be a story all their own: I love to collect them, admiring their simplicity as well as their gorgeous artwork. Books are full of so many things other than the stories they tell, which are also a bit different for each reader. We bring our knowledge and experience to the book, and it gives us back something brand new and constantly evolving. Books can mark places in time, help us solve problems, or simply provide a much-needed escape. Literacy is one of the greatest gifts I have ever recieved, and one that keeps on giving with each page. I hope you enjoy reading about the many books featured in this issue, and perhaps one of our favorites will soon become one of yours! ***** ENDNOTES: 1. Production Notes: http://anne.sullivanmovies .com/films/anne-of-green-gables/
LAUREL MOUNTAIN POST
Tea and Coffee
at Historic Hanna’s Town and Gift Shop Open House
Escape the inevitable hustle and bustle that comes with preparing for the holiday season by indulging with a friend or two in the ambiance of Historic Hanna’s Town. Sample delicious fare and learn about the popularity and social role tea, coffee, and chocolate played in early America. Reservations are still being accepted for the Westmoreland County Historical Society Tea on Saturday, November 16th at 11:30 a.m. Full tea will be served, which includes tea, savories, scones, sweets and pastries, for $20 per guest. Coffee and Chocolate will be served on Saturday, November 23rd with seatings at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Guests will meet in Hanna’s Tavern for a sampling and a brief history of the beverages. Heartier fare will be served in the Klingensmith House, and dessert in the Museum Shop. The price is $18 per person. Seating is limited and advance booking is a must. Please call 724-532-1935 x210 for reservations. Hot, ‘stimulating’ beverages like tea, coffee and chocolate were first introduced to Europeans in the early 1600s. These drinks were exotic and prohibitively expensive for everyone but the elite. It was primarily the aristocracy who could afford the ingredients, refined sugar, and special equipment, as well as the leisure time needed to enjoy these beverages. By the end of the century these hot drinks were enjoyed by the broad spectrum of society. In America, the popularity of coffee and chocolate increased during the Revolutionary War when many boycotted English products like tea. A special Open House will be held at the Hanna’s Town Shop during the teas from 11:00a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Many regularly stocked items will be on sale and special stocking stuffers and holiday gifts will be available. Visit our web site at www.westmorelandhistory.org and follow our activities on the Westmoreland County Historical Society Facebook page, and on Twitter @WCHistory. Every Story Begins At Home.
This advertisement sponsored by The Toy Box of Ligonier and Twisted Vine Ecelectic Market
November 2013 - 5
Your Neighborhood Library On Wheels The first bookmobile in the United States was introduced in Washington County, Maryland in 1905. Mary Titcomb, the first librarian of Washington County Free Library, Maryland, considered seriously the need for the library to become a County Library. Her task was to get books in homes throughout the county, not just in Hagerstown, the county seat. The first step was to send boxes of books on the Library Wagon to the general store or the post office in small towns and villages throughout the county. By 1904 boxes with 30 volumes each were sent to 66 deposit stations, to extend the reach of the library and manage the practical distribution to the books. But Miss Titcomb was not satisfied. As she wrote in The Story of the Washington County Free Library: Would not a Library Wagon, the outward and visible signs of the service for which the Library stood, do much more in cementing friendship? Would the upkeep of the wagon after the first cost be much more than the present method? Is not Washington County with its good roads especially well adapted for testing an experiment of this kind, for the geography of the County is such that it could be comfortably covered by well planned routes? These and other aspects of the plan were laid before the Board of Trustees - who approved of the idea, and forthwith the librarian began interviewing wagon makers and trying to elucidate her ideas with pen and pencil. The first wagon, when finished with shelves on the outside and a place for storage of cases in the center resembled somewhat a cross between a grocer’s delivery wagon and the tin peddlers cart of by gone New England days. Filled with an attractive collection of books and drawn by two horses, with Mr. Thomas the janitor both holding the 6 - November 2013
The First Book Wagon 1905-1910: “The first wagon, when finished with shelves on the outside and a place for storage of cases in the center resembled somewhat a cross between a grocer's delivery wagon and the tin peddlers cart of by gone New England days. Filled with an attractive collection of books and drawn by two horses, with Mr. Thomas the janitor both holding the reins and dispensing the books, it started on its travels in April 1905. . . ” (From On the Trail of the Book Wagon, by Mary Titcomb.) It was reported that the horses names were Dandy and Black Beauty, and that they were stabled at Corderman's Livery Stable in Hagerstown. Founder of the Bookmobile: Mary Titcomb was the first librarian at Washington County Free Library and the person who originated the idea of a county-wide delivery of books. Mary Lemist Titcomb, 1857-1932, was born in New Hampshire, worked in the Concord, Massachusetts, Public Library, later became librarian of the public library in Rutland, Vermont and secretary of the first Vermont Library Commission. She arrived in Hagerstown, Maryland in 1901 to organize the county's library. The library itself had been chartered in 1898, and the main library in Hagerstown opened its doors on August 27, 1901. Miss Titcomb was concerned from the start that the library was not reaching all of the people it could, that to be a county library, as the name implied, it should reach everyone in the county. Deposit collections were set up in stores, homes, postoffice and Sunday schools throughout the county, beginning in November of 1901. The bookmobile, which first started its travels in 1905, served to further extend the role of the library outside the county seat.
Source material and history provided to the Laurel Mountain Post compliments of: Western Maryland Regional Library - www.whilbr.org LAUREL MOUNTAIN POST
reins and dispensing the books, it started on its travels in April 1905. No better method has ever been devised for reaching the dweller in the country. The book goes to the man, not waiting for the man to come to the book. Psychologically, too, the wagon is the thing. As well try to resist the pack of a peddler from the Orient as the shelf full of books when the doors of the wagon are opened by Miss Chrissinger at one’s gateway. The wagon, driven by Joshua Thomas, covered many miles over the county roads delivering books to remote houses. There was some initial resistance. Miss Titcomb reported: When directions were given as to painting, we had the fear of looking too much like the laundry wagon before our eyes, and the man was strictly enjoined, not to put any gilt or scroll work on it but to make even the lettering, “Washington County Free Library,” plain and dignified, directions carried out only too well, for in the early days of our wagoning, as our man approached one farm house, he heard a voice charged with nervous trepidation, call out “Yer needn’t stop here. We ain’t got no use for the dead wagon here.” Suffice it to say,
that we promptly painted the wheels red, and picked off the panels of the doors with the same cheerful color. In August 1910 the original book wagon was destroyed. While crossing the Norfolk and Western Railroad track at St. James a freight train ran into it leaving literally nothing but fragments. In 1912 a motorized book wagon was introduced, the first of a long fleet of vehicles, taking books to the men, women and children of Washington County, Maryland, not just those in the rural areas, but those in senior citizen homes, head start programs, schools and many other county residences. As Miss Titcomb noted: “Any account of this first Book Wagon work, the first in the United States would be incomplete without the statement that this method of rural library extension has been adopted in many states in the Union, and that new book wagons are being put in operation each year.” Indeed bookmobiles are now found as part of many library systems around the world, utilizing vans and buses, but also boats, camels and even donkeys. From the first “perambulating library” in Warrington, England
Our local bookmobile today at Adams Memorial Library in Latrobe, PA.
in 1858 to the first 20th century book wagon in the United States in 1905, to the more modern book and media delivery systems, libraries are still taking their wares to an appreciative public. ***** The history of the Latrobe Public Library began September 1, 1927 when the first library was opened on the second floor of the Masonic Building on Spring Street. Mrs. Eleanor Bye was the first librarian. In 1929 and 1934 the library expanded continued on page 35
Help Us Support Our Local Bookmobile: Shop the Laurel Mountain Post Link to Amazon.com If you are interested in purchasing any of the titles we have discussed in the November issue of the Laurel Mountain Post, please visit our website first at: www.LaurelMountainPost.com Click the link to Amazon.com from our homepage, and all purchases will generate a small percentage donation back to us in sponsorship of the Latrobe area Bookmobile! Books make great gifts, so please consider this opportunity: any Amazon item purchased will qualify for this reward program.
Every Story Begins At Home.
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Reversing Roles by Gretchen Fuller A while ago I found this poem in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. I cut it out and have had it hanging on my refrigerator ever since. With the permission of the author – Ronna L Edelstein – I am offering it here. Recycled Life I don’t know what happens to the glass, cans, newspapers that I carefully place in separate recycling bins. Do they go to three different factories, where garbage plastic surgeons magically transform them into works of art or empty pages hungry for new words? I don’t know what happens, but every morning I do my civic duty and organize my trash, following the directions written on each bin. I do know what happens to the diapers, chauffeuring keys, neediness that I gratefully buried once my children grew into adults They resurrect as diapers, chauffeuring keys, neediness when dementia and age transform parents into children. I wish people came with carefully written directions.
I have two advanced degrees and certifications from assorted universities in assorted fields but none of them prepared me for the challenges of caring for an elderly parent. I cared for a terminally ill husband and I raised two children mostly by myself but neither of these things prepared me for caring for an elderly parent. It happens so gradually that you almost don’t notice. It begins with 8 - November 2013
them moving in with you because they don’t want to live alone any more. You start cooking dinner but they are still able to grab a bite for breakfast and lunch on their own. They are still your parent and they try to act like it. You still want to be the child and please them. They become unsure of themselves alone in the shower so you become the guardian and stand by as they shower. Then it gets to the point that they forget when it’s time to bathe and you have to remind them and they argue with you about it. You go out to run errands and come home to find them with a bloody elbow because they fell and can’t remember what happened. The sound level on the TV is turned up as far as it will go, but they don’t think that they need hearing aids. You just have sensitive ears. They take the whole weeks’ worth of medicine in a couple of days and don’t remember when they did it. This is when it hits you that you might not be able to handle this alone. It is time to look at Personal Care or Assisted Living Homes where there is twenty-four hour care available, where there is careful control of the medications. We find one close by so that I can visit daily. The time has come that I am now the caregiver and my mom is the needy one. I do her laundry and as I check the pockets for tissues I think that once upon a time she did this for me. I buy her Depends now instead of her putting me in diapers. I make sure she has doctor appointments and I make sure she gets to her doctor appointments on time. The other day she was wearing her hearing aids, probably for only the second time since she got them two years ago, and now she says she can’t hear with or without them. So we go to the Ear, Nose and Throat doctor to see if she has a wax build up that needs cleaned out. She does. Now she can hear again.
Every day I go to visit her at the Senior Living Center where she has been for the last fifteen months. I check to see that she has enough toilet paper, Depends, toothpaste and tissues. I try to remember to do this every day because in the past she has told me that she has gone for a day or two without toilet paper. She can get it from housekeeping but she can’t remember to ask them. She also forgets to flush the toilet regularly and it gets clogged up. Instead of calling maintenance she called 911 to report that it was overflowing. For years I have been telling Mom that she doesn’t drink enough water. She frequently has episodes where she is dizzy and loses her balance easily. Last July, when the temperatures hit 90 degrees she went to the ER twice in one week because she was dehydrated. Every day when I go to visit her I try to get her to drink some water. She will take a sip when I give it to her but I notice that the water level is still the same when I go back the next day. I don’t know how you get an adult to drink water when they don’t want it. There is a water fountain right outside her bedroom door but I don’t think she has ever used it. I am always surprised when I visit her because I never know what I will find. Sometimes she’s napping, sometimes she’s up in the Country Kitchen having a snack, and once I found her still in bed in her nightie at 3:00 in the afternoon. Last week I found her in the community living room while the other residents were doing exercises to music. She was not participating but reading the paper. She thinks she doesn’t have to exercise because of her age. I keep telling her “use it or lose it,” but she won’t believe me. Having observed my mom for many years, I have come to the conclusion that although she is 98 years LAUREL MOUNTAIN POST
old she has retained many of her attitudes from her youth. She was the baby of the family and still has many of the characteristics of the last born. Unfortunately, as an elderly person it has made it all the more difficult to deal with her childish foibles. Caring for my elderly mother really has been a learning experience for me. I so appreciate the staff at the personal care home. They are a special breed who has the patience to deal with all their residents in a kind and nurturing way. I hope some of their patience rubs off on me. Just like we become parents without a clue what we are getting ourselves into, we become caregivers to our elderly parents without knowing what the future will bring. ***** Gretchen Fuller is the Real Estate Tax Collector in Pleasant Hills, PA. She came to that job by a very circuitous route: Gretchen spent many years substitute teaching; in the years when she wasn’t substitute teaching she was making the rounds of all the banks in Pittsburgh. She has a Bachelor of Science from IUP and an MBA from Duquesne University. She is looking forward to retirement soon so she can spend more time with her six grandchildren.
The Emotional Survival Guide for Caregivers: Looking After Yourself and Your Family While Helping an Aging Parent by Barry J. Jacobs Coping With Your Difficult Older Parent : A Guide for Stressed-Out Children by GraceLebow, Barbara Kane, Irwin Lebow How to Care for Aging Parents by Virginia Morris, Robert M. Butler (Foreword) The Complete Eldercare Planner, Revised and Updated Edition: Where to Start, Which Questions to Ask, and How to Find Help by Joy Loverde Daily Comforts for Caregivers by Pat Samples Every Story Begins At Home.
Mapping the British Expedition from Alexandria to the Monongahela The Westmoreland County Historical Society will feature a talk and book-signing by Norman L. Baker, author of Braddock’s Road: Mapping the British Expedition from Alexandria to the Monongahela on Thursday, November 7th, at 7:00 p.m. in the Society’s Calvin E. Pollins Library, 362 Sand Hill Road, Suite 1, Greensburg, PA. In 1755, English Major General Edward Braddock and two regiments left Alexandria, Virginia with the objective of capturing Fort Duquesne, occupied by the French in present-day Pittsburgh. The English first had to build a road across the rugged terrain of the Appalachian Mountains in order to move troops and transport their sizable train of artillery and wagons. The construction of nearly 289 miles of road is considered to be one of the most impressive military engineering accomplishments of the eighteenth century. Join us as historian Norman L. Baker discusses the construction of the road and charts the route – including those sections once thought lost – that lead to the catastrophic collision with the combined French and Indian forces on the Monongahela. The program is free to Westmoreland County Historical Society members and $5 for non-members. Light refreshments will be served. Seating is limited, and reservations are recommended. Please call 724-532-1935 x210 to make a reservation. Visit our web site at www.westmorelandhistory.org. November 2013 - 9
by Clair Ward, Head of School at Valley School of Ligonier
Raising Them With Grit It appears that “grit” is the latest buzzword among educators. The September issue of Educational Leadership is titled Resilience and Learning and includes contributions from Maya Angelou, who talks about resilience, and a University of Pennsylvania researcher, Angela Lee Duckworth, who talks specifically about grit. The concept of grit is interesting because unlike most other places, western Pennsylvania culture in general favors raising children with a bit of grit. Duckworth identifies the common definition of resilience as “a positive response to failure and adversity.” This of course does not mean that a child would not be disappointed or saddened by not getting a spot on the varsity team, but that in the face of that challenge, the child would move past and move on, accepting the spot she did get and committing herself to doing better the next time. If the adversity becomes incapacitating, she will lose energy for facing the next challenge. According to Duckworth, grit is not only the ability to be resilient in the face of adversity, but grit also includes the ability to demonstrate commitment and passion to a pursuit of interest—in other words, a “focused passion over time.” If you love gymnastics, being able to lean into weekly practice is your key to improvement. Talent is simply not enough to create success no matter how you define success. A person must have both talent and grit to be successful. So we need to raise gritty kids. Which means they need to practice being resilient. Which means that they have to occasionally fail and be disappointed by their own perfor10 - November 2013
mances. If they never fail, they never learn the positive and confidencebuilding feeling of resilience. In essence, they never get to practice. But if you take a look at the media right now, you will read and hear your fair share of the phrase, “Parents these days.” New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Time Magazine—they are all taking their shots at modern day parenting. Journalists, researchers and psychologists all have the same lists. They say today’s parents indulge our children. They say we rescue our children. They say we have a tendency to helicopter our children. And while none of us would lay claim to such parenting, we would all likely agree that watching our children face even a small amount of adversity seems to cause us pain. It is not easy to always think about preparing the child for the road and resisting the urge to prepare the road for the child. How are we to know what is just the right amount of adversity to teach our children these valuable lessons? Because it is our job to occasionally rescue our child when the going gets too tough, right? So let’s consider some suggestions: 1 . When your child experiences disappointment, take a deep breath. Give it some wait time before you jump in. See if he can figure out his own path. Ask your child, “Is this something you can handle on your own, or would you like some help from me?” Watch your child for a bit. Why is this important? Sometimes your child’s disappointment weighs more heavily on you than it ultimately weighs on him.
2. Partner with your child’s teacher. Operate with the assumption of good will and intent. Understand that schools do not create failure to reinforce humility or to tear a child down. Failure is a natural part of being a human being. If you check in with your child’s teacher, you will have a better sense of what is developmentally normal for children at that age. 3. Acknowledge your child’s emotions without attempting to own the disappointment as your own. Let your child be sad or angry without feeling as though you have to necessarily fix it. Because if you do jump in to fix it, you will miss the opportunity to show your child that you believe she can do it. And whatever you do, be careful not to let your own emotional response to your child’s disappointment last longer than hers. We simply have to commit ourselves to raising gritty children. If we do not, Duckworth tells us that our children will be talented, but fragile. And while we do not want to manufacture adversity for them, we should understand that giving them opportunities to practice resilience will help them develop a truly important lifelong skill. ***** Clair Ward was appointed in 2008 to the position of Head of School at Valley School of Ligonier (www.valleyschoolofligonier.com). Ms. Ward holds an M.Ed. from Boston College and a B.A. in English/ Classics from Hamilton College. She lives in Rector with her daughter and husband, Bryon Williams, a doctoral candidate at Duquesne University.
The Blessing of a Skinned Knee by Wendy Mogel, PhD LAUREL MOUNTAIN POST
Twisted Vine Eclectic Market
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Every Story Begins At Home.
November 2013 - 11
The Laurel Mountain Post on the Road with Pat Smith and Ruthie Richardson When friends travel the world, we like to send copies of the Laurel Mountain Post along for the ride. The September issue travelled through Europe in the hands of columnst Ruthie Richardson and special contributor Pat Smith. Chronicled here are their adventures.
Pat Smith at the entrance to Auschwitz II concentration camp, known as Birkenau or “the extermination camp,” in Oswiecim, Poland. One in six Jews killed during the Holocaust (part of World War II) died here.
L-R: Tour members Steve Poorman, Tom Rusu, Rose Tennent, Philene Revitsky, and Pat Smith at Utah Beach, the westernmost beach of the five landing areas of the Normandy Invasion of World War II on June 6, 1944 in France. (D-Day of the invasion), by elements of the U.S. 4th Infantry Division Pat Smith and “Radio Rose” Tennent (of the Pittsburgh-based syndicated talk show The War Room with Quinn & Rose) at the American Military Cemetery and Memorial in Luxembourg, where General George S. Patton is buried.
"This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny." – Franklin Delano Roosevelt
LMP Contributor Pat Smith and some friends went on a World War II-themed European Tour (ConservativeTours.com) to Poland, Paris, Versailles, all the D-Day beaches, Reims and other historical sites in the Champagne region. He commented on his experience: “To me and my friends, as World War II history buffs, it is one of the places you have to go . . . a pilgrimage for the Holy Grail, so to speak. Being there gives you a sense of what the Greatest Generation risked to serve their country and gives us a connection to their sacrifice. I have the greatest respect for that generation and all they accomplished. I am in awe of them.”
12 - November 2013
LAUREL MOUNTAIN POST
A Danube River Cruise
The LMP and Ruthie in Passau, Germany.
The LMP visits Mozart’s birthplace– Saltzburg, Austria with Ruthie.
with Ruthie Richardson
Doug and Ruthie pose with their ship, The Sound of Music. (www.gate1travel.com)
Ruthie takes the LMP to Prague, the capital city of the Czech Republic.
Ruthie and her husband, Doug, toast the afternoon at a sidealk cafe in Budapest.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Ruthie is now hard at work on her next full-length article for the December edition of the Laurel Mountain Post! Every Story Begins At Home.
November 2013 - 13
I saw an article on sugar’s effects on the environment. Has anyone compared different sweeteners (artificial or natural) for their environmental impacts? — Terri Oelrich, via e-mail The production of sugar has indeed taken a huge environmental toll. “Sugar has arguably had as great an impact on the environment as any other agricultural commodity,” reports the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), citing biodiversity loss as a result of the “wholesale conversion of habitat on tropical islands and on coastal areas” to grow sugar. WWF adds that the cultivation of sugar has also resulted in considerable soil erosion and degradation and the use of large amounts of chemicals across the tropics and beyond. Some natural food markets now carry sustainably harvested sugar that does not fit this profile, though sugar’s ugly history has led many ecoconscious consumers to look elsewhere to satiate their sweet teeth. Fortunately there are several natural and artificial options that are safe to eat and relatively benign for the environment. Perhaps the most popular choice is stevia, a sustainably harvested herb from Latin America that is 30 times sweeter than table sugar but without calories. Other natural alternatives include coconut palm sugar, barley malt syrup, brown rice syrup, agave nectar, maple syrup and raw honey. These choices may not save on calories like stevia, but they do sweeten without environmental guilt. As for synthetic sugar alternatives, there has been considerable talk of how dangerous they may be for our health, but little evidence of harm has actually come forth and their environmental impacts may be more reason for concern. Aspartame, for example, used in Equal and also in diet sodas, is made by fermenting corn and soy, the two biggest genetically engineered crops in the U.S. Environmentalists are concerned that such tinkering with nature could 14 - November 2013
have unexpected and potentially disastrous results down the road. Another common sugar alternative, sucralose (trade name Splenda) has its issues, too. A study released in 2013 by researchers from the University of North Carolina (UNC) found that the majority of Splenda used around the world ends up in the Gulf
Saccharin (trade name Sweet’N Low) got a bad rap in the 1970s when rats exposed to large amounts got bladder cancer, but it has since been vindicated: The Food & Drug Administration removed warning labels in 2000 and the Environmental Protection Agency removed it from its lists of hazardous constituents and
There has been considerable talk of how dangerous synthetic sugar substitutes may be for our health, but little evidence of harm has actually come forth and their environmental impacts may be more reason for concern. (Credit: abbyladybug, courtesy Flickr)
Stream, the fast-moving ocean current that starts in the Gulf of Mexico and flows into the Atlantic Ocean and beyond into the coastal waters of Europe and Africa. “Sucralose cannot be effectively broken down by the bacteria in the human digestive tract,” reports UNC. “As a result, the body absorbs little or no calories and 90 percent of the chemical compound leaves the body through human waste and enters sewage systems.” Since this sucralose cannot be broken down by most water treatment systems, it ends up in the oceans, where the long-term effects remain unknown.
commercial chemical products in 2010. Nonetheless, saccharin can cause problems for pregnant women and infants who consume large amounts, and also gets a veto as a petroleum derivative. ***** CONTACTS: WWF, www.wwf.org; “Fake sweetener Splenda fills our oceans, scientists find,” www.naturalnews.com/039156_splenda_ocean_ pollution_environment.html, “The Sweet Side of Fair Trade,” Green America, www.greenamerica.org /livinggreen/SweetFairTrade.cfm.. EarthTalk® is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E - The Environmental Magazine (www.emagazine.com). Send questions to: email@example.com. Subscribe: www.emagazine.com/subscribe. Free Trial Issue: www.emagazine.com/trial.
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POSTMODERN TENDANCIES by Megan Fuller
To Be in November “The wild gander leads his flock through the cool night, Ya-honk! he says, and sounds it down to me like an invitation: The pert may suppose it meaningless, but I listen closer, I find its purpose and place up there toward the November sky.” Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass, 1855, I Celebrate Myself, Line 238
When Americans think about November scenarios of Thanksgiving foods and family gatherings may come to mind, others might visualize orange leaves or pumpkins, and others still could focus on the great sales on Black Friday. Just that one word, November, has meaning beyond being the 11th month of the year. This meaning is shared and understood throughout our culture. Even though the menu at Thanksgiving dinner may be different, or a family gathering may include a variety of members, or stores that shoppers are willing to wait outside of at 4 am vary – all of these scenarios would most likely be accepted as legitimate ways of thinking about November by any other American. In addition to conjuring images, I think November evokes certain feelings in Americans. Happiness, love, comfort, anticipation, and gratefulness are emotions that pop in to my mind. November is a time for reflecting on how lucky we are, the good people and things that surround us; it reminds us to be thankful for what we have. It begins the season of giving to others, our time, our skills, and our money. Once we are reminded to appreciate all that we have, the misfortune of others suddenly becomes more apparent. We think of the neighbor who has no family, the single mother who is struggling to afford winter coats for her children, the family who just lost a loved one, and we are motivated to do what we can to ease their burdens. Every Story Begins At Home.
Here we are in November, and I am so grateful for my family and friends. They listen to my grievances and stand with me. They give me opportunities to learn new things and help me find creative outlets. They remind me what’s important. One day, several years ago, I was grumbling about my job situation to a longtime friend, and she commented that when we were growing up I never talked about career or professional success or making money. I always wanted a family – and isn’t that what I have? Her observation was like a November awakening to me: get up, smell the coffee and be grateful for the good husband and kids that I have. With reflection I realized that most decisions I’ve made were based on my idea of keeping my family happy, with little consideration as to developing my “career.” And, upon further thought, not only do I not regret any of those decisions; I will continue to make decisions with the same priorities. Thank you friend, I’m grateful to you for helping me remember what is important to me. When looking for a quote about November to put at the top of this article it became quite clear to me that not all cultures value November in the positive way which Americans do. For instance, “The gloomy months of November, when the people of England hang and drown themselves,” from Joseph Addison clearly indicates a distinctly negative connotation of the month. Or this: “Dull November brings the blast,
Then the leaves are whirling fast,” from Sara Coleridge. Both quotes make November seem horrible. In truth, both these notations were made prior to the 20th century, and ideas about November may have changed among the English since then. Further research would need to be done to determine a present day English point of view. Regardless, the ideas presented in these quotes clearly show that the understandings Americans have about November are not innate. Finally, November in America is inclusive. The scenarios of family and feelings of gratefulness do not discriminate. They are not only for folks of a particular religion, nor based on certain ethnic back-grounds. These November scenarios are for everyone; all Americans, all people living in American society regardless of race, creed, sexual preference, or national origin. In my mind this makes American November uniquely, quintessentially American: the melting pot month. This is another reason why November is my favorite month. ***** Megan Fuller is an applied cognitive anthropologist with postmodern tendencies who grew up in the exciting Pittsburgh suburb of Pleasant Hills and had the distinct pleasure of earning a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from IUP. In 1993, Megan moved out West to get a Master’s Degree. She also picked up a husband and hasn’t quite convinced him to move back to Western PA. To maintain her authentic Pittsburgh accent she regularly watches Pittsburgh Dad and engages anyone wearing black and gold sports gear in conversation.
November 2013 - 15
THREE PENNIES by Rev. Cindy Parker
Angels in Unexpected Places “I believe that there are angels among us, sent down to us from somewhere up above, they come to you and me in our darkest hours to show us how to live, to teach us how to give, to guide us with the light of love.” The country group Alabama sings these words and they have been on my heart and in my mind lately as I write these stories about my experiences with angels. Have you ever had an experience with someone that you didn’t understand or struggle to make sense of? When I was in my third and final year of seminary, in addition to serving as a chaplain for Redstone Highlands, I was hired by Westminster Presbyterian Church as Director of Programs and Ministries. I helped the Christian Education committee, taught Sunday school, led the youth group and worked with the Rev. Donna Havrisko to gain some handson experience in ministry. One day I offered to go to the hospital to help Rev. Havrisko with visitation. I drove over to Westmoreland Hospital to visit with a parishioner who was ill. I was a little nervous because I hadn’t been to Westmoreland more than once and I was worried about finding a parking space and finding her room. I asked for directions at the front desk and managed to find her room. Before entering, I stood out in the hallway and said a prayer, as I usually do before I enter someone’s room, (that God will give me the words that person needs to hear). I took a deep breath and walked inside. There were two beds in this particular room. The first one was empty, and there was a man sitting in a chair that was positioned at the end of the bed. The other bed was by the window and it held the woman I was there to visit.
16 - November 2013
I walked into the room and as I passed the man sitting in at the end of the first bed, he stood up and introduced himself. He told me his name and let me know that he was waiting for his wife, who was having a test done. I shook his hand and introduced myself, giving him my name only, no other personal information.
I then walked over to the other bed and pulled up a chair. The woman I had come to see startled and woke up. She recognized me and started to tell me how upset she was that she was in the hospital, away from her husband, who was at home and needed her there. (Her husband was suffering from dementia.) I tried to reassure her that all would be well, but my efforts only seemed to agitate her more. She cried and worried and lamented that she
was in the hospital and her husband was at home, probably wondering where she was. I listened to her patiently. I prayed with her. I held her hand when she fell asleep; all the while getting more and more frustrated that nothing I was doing was helping her. After she finally fell asleep I thought to myself, “Great! What a waste of time! Some pastor I’m going to be!” (Compounding my frustration was the fact that I was having troubles passing the exams required by the Presbyterian Church for ordination.) I was questioning my call, “Could God really be calling me into the ministry? Or had I mixed up God’s signals?” I was ready to cry myself as I sat in that chair in that hospital room feeling miserable and hopeless and so alone. “Help me, Lord!” I prayed desperately. “Help me to know what you want me to do with my life. I hate to be so trite as to ask for a sign, God, but I really need some reassurance here!” I waited for a few minutes, listening to the minutes tick by on the clock that hung on the wall. There was no bolt of lightning, no voice from above or within. I looked down at the parishioner, who was still sleeping, and decided I’d done enough damage, I’d better go home. As I stood up, my gaze fell on that other chair. I’d been so wrapped up with visiting and listening and praying and wallowing in self-pity that I’d forgotten all about the man in the room who was waiting for his wife. When I walked over towards the door, he stood up. That’s when I really looked at his face. His eyes were filled
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with unshed tears that threatened to spill down onto his cheeks. “Thank you,” he whispered. “Thank you for coming to visit today. Your prayer was just the reminder I needed to hear. You’re going to be a blessing to a very special church someday.” The tears rolled down his cheeks as he shook my hand and then enveloped me into a hug. I stood there, amazed and astonished as I hugged this stranger back. Dazed and confused I found my way back to my car, unlocked it and sat down, still wondering what I was supposed to be doing with my life. It wasn’t until I went to put my key in the ignition that I realized I had just encountered a messenger from God. I could almost hear the crack of thunder as the lightning bolt of realization hit me right on the head! “How did he know?” I thought to myself. “How did he know that I needed to hear those words, receive that reassurance?” And then I remembered – I had prayed only minutes before for a sign from God. I have come to believe that God does indeed send God’s messengers to us: “they come to you and me in our darkest hours to show us how to live, to teach us how to give, to guide us with the light of love.” This is part two of a two part-or maybe three partseries on angels.
Angels by Douglas Connelly (a Life guide Bible study) to see what the Bible has to say about angels. ***** Cindy Parker came to the United Church of Christ by way of the Presbyterian Church. A life-long Presbyterian, she jokes that she was “predestined to become UCC!” Currently called as the Pastor and Teacher of Christ Church UCC in Latrobe, PA and St. John’s UCC in Darlington; she, her husband Larry and three daughters enjoy traveling all over the world! Cindy also serves as a Spiritual Director for the Three Rivers Walk to Emmaus retreats and was part of the team that brought the Kairos Outside Ministry to Pennsylvania. Kairos (which means special time in Greek) is a prison ministry for women whose lives have been impacted by incarceration. Cindy completed her undergraduate studies at Penn State and her MDiv. from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary along with a year-long internship at Family Hospice and Palliative Care. She enjoys traveling, reading, baking, and photographing her daughters.
Every Story Begins At Home.
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November 2013 - 17
Laurel Mountain Post Bookshelf Staff Picks
Reader Favorites Facebook Poll
Megan Fuller: Stranger and Friend: The Way of an Anthropologist by Hortense Powdermaker; Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen; On the Road by Jack Kerouac
Nancy Sanner: Dr. Seuss books
Ruthie Richardson: The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty. And since it's my genre, I loved Bob Greene's Be True To Your School, A Diary of 1964. And the original Gidget, by Frederick Kohner. All of Steven King's books are way better than the movies. A little secret, I used to love the bodice rippers: Rosemary Rogers was my favorite!
Letitia Berkey: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Gretchen Fuller: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. I've probably read it five times.
Tim Fescemyer: The Stand by Stephen King; followed closely by Medieval Technology and Social Change by Lynn White
Julie Srsic: It by Stephen King; Iâ€™m also quite fond of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy by E.L. James. Christi Miller: I don't think I can pick just one, but The Mists of Avalon by Marion Simmer Bradley, Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver, and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith are some of my favorites. Rebecca Stork: The Egg and I by Betty MacDonald; Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank B. Gilbreth and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey. Jim Miller: anything by Ted Bell.
Gregory S. Susa: The Chronology of the Word from the Big Bang to 1945 by Isaac Asimov; The Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov; The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara.
Brian Geiger: Tim beat me to it, but most definitely The Stand by Stephen King.
Victoria Mull: The Blessing Book; anything by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
Tony Perla: The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara.
Cindy Blonk Parker: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen or the Bible; anything by Shakespeare. I need a top ten list. Carol Gerhard: Heaven Is For Real by Todd Burpo and Linda Vincent; Blood Red Roses by Margaret Lawrence; The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough; anything by Anne Perry. Cathi Gerhard: Woodswoman series by Anne LaBastille; A Woggle of Witches by Adrienne Adams; The Help by Kathryn Stockett; The AP Stylebook by The Associated Press. Elizabeth Srsic: Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Neill Gaiman and Terry Prachett; The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien; Fables by Bill Willingham. Joanna McQuade: Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh; Amerian Gods by Neil Gaiman; The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories edited by Ben Marcus. 18 - November 2013
Devin Winklosky: Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, with A Soldier of the Great War by Mark Helprin a really, really close second. This is simply unfair. Picking one is way too hard! How about a top 10?
Kelly Pynos: Skipping Christmas by John Grisham. Kristen Henigin Pushnigg: At Home by Bill Bryson was really good ... also, Atonement by Ian McEwan. Christine Mastrorocco Huber: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak; A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. I'm with Devin: a top ten list. Louise Tilzey-Bates: Devil's Cub by Georgette Heyer. Heather Haines: The Pact by Jodi Picoult its sad, but really good! Jim Milani: Paleo Manifesto: Ancient Wisdom for Lifelong Health by John Durant. Debbie Loop: Catâ€™s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut. Janelle Edmundson-Hood: When I was younger I loved The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner. I read them to my kids and still have them. Now I read Nicholas Sparks and Clinton McKenzie books. Jennifer Calabrese Taylor: La Bella Mafia by Bella Capo!!!!! Christian Simmons: Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. Mary Fowler: The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch and Jeffrey Zaslow. Heather Rogers Morris: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn is Brilliant! And one can never go wrong with Classic Sherlock Holmes. Reading Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon now. It's a must read. LAUREL MOUNTAIN POST
LIGONIER VALLEY RAIL ROAD MUSEUM TOYS • GAMES • PUZZLES 108 South Market Street, Ligonier, PA 15658
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Showcase Your Listings for Westmoreland County House Hunters Our readers tell us the same thing all the time – they read the Laurel Mountain Post cover-to-cover . . . even the ads! The Laurel Mountain Post has become the unofficial guidebook to Westmoreland County and the surrounding region, providing a slice of life narrative about our people, places and things. With our monthly distribution of 10,000 copies (expanding to 15,000 in 2014), your listings will reach more viewers than ever before. We have added this special Westmoreland County Guide to Homes to the Laurel Mountain Post. Whether in the market for a new home or just curious about neighborhood houses, expanded monthly audiences will look to the Laurel Mountain Post as THE source for listings, feature stories about historic or unique homes, and articles that capture resident as well as visitor interests. Our commitment to quality, local journalism extends to our advertisers as well as readers. The Laurel Mountain Post believes in the strength of “Main Street” communities and strives to provide affordable, quality marketing resources for businesses, large and small: • Flexible contracts, allowing you to change ad sizes monthly • Prices ranging from $75 to $1500 • Free layout and design services • Free color for every ad • Each ad purchased sponsors a FREE 1/8 ad for the nonprofit of your choice If you are interested in taking advantage of this new advertising opportunity in the community, please contact us: (724-537-6845) or firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional information, including demographics, is also now available at: www.LaurelMountainPost.com. Thank you for taking the time to consider the Laurel Mountain Post in your marketing plans for the remainder of the year or beginning in 2014. Your advertising support keeps us in print! Every Story Begins At Home.
Wednesday thru Saturday 11 am to 3 pm
3032 Idlewild Hill, Ligonier PA www.lvrra.org 724-238-7819 – email@example.com This advertisement sponsored by Bob Stutzman
Compass Inn Museum
Nov 2-24 Harvest Candlelight Tours Experience the harvest season in the 1800’s (Saturdays & Sundays only; 3:00-7:00 p.m.)
Nov 29– Dec 15 Christmas Candlelight Tour
The holiday season features wood fires and glow of 100 candles. (Sat. and Sun. only; 3:00-7:00 p.m.)
1382 Route 30, Laughlintown, 3 miles east of Ligonier 724-238-4983 • www.compassinn.com Events sponsored by Ligonier Valley Historical Society This advertisement sponsored by Antiques On the Diamond in Ligonier
November 2013 - 19
DOWN ON THE FARM by Cathi Gerhard & Gregory Susa
“The Olive Farm” by Carol Drinkwater I came across this book because I was a big fan of the BBC one television series All Creatures Great and Small. The character of Helen Herriot was originally portrayed by Carol Drinkwater, an Anglo-Irish actress turned olive farmer and author. She began writing award-winning chil-dren’s books, starting with The Haunted School, which was purchased by Disney. Her commercial fiction works include a series of memoirs about her experiences as an olive farmer in Provence, France. Two travel books from the series (The Olive Route and The Olive Tree) have inspired a multipart documentary films about her 17month Mediterranean sojourn in search of mythical trade secrets, completed in February 2013 and already broadcast on several international networks. According to the GardenConservancy.org, Drinkwater
has also been invited to work with UNESCO to help found an Olive Heritage Trail around the Mediterranean Basin, with the dual goals of creating peace in the region and honoring the ancient heritage of the olive tree – a symbol of life and peace there for thousands of years. The Olive Farm begins as a quest for peace, for respite from the crazy, fast-paced world of an international celebrity. She and her fiance, French TV producer, Michel Noll, find a rundown and overgrown olive farm in the south of France. The abandoned tenacre property was the stuff of Drinkwater’s early dreams: “All my life, I have dreamed of acquiring a crumbling, shabby-chic house overlooking the sea . . . a corner of paradise where friends can gather to swim, relax, debate, eat fresh fruits picked directly from the garden and
Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission Seeking Historical Marker Nominations The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) is seeking nominations of historic properties or locations with statewide or national significance for its State Historical Marker Program. Applicants are responsible for the costs of marker fabrication and installation. The approximate cost, including shipping, for the larger roadside marker is $1,875; the smaller city-type is approximately $1,400. Nominators or sponsoring organizations are asked to carefully consider these expenses before submitting an application. For more information on the marker program or to download a nomination form, please visit www. pahistoricalmarkers.com. The deadline for nominations is December 1. The State Historical Marker Program helps communities throughout Pennsylvania recognize, preserve and promote their history. Since 1914, PHMC has been marking Pennsylvania historical sites, first with bronze plaques and later with blue and gold markers that dot streets and highways. The more than 2,000 markers tell the stories of Native Americans and early settlers, government and politics, athletes, entertainers, artists, struggles for freedom and equality, factories, businesses and a multitude of other topics.
20 - November 2013
great steaming plates of food served from an al fresco kitchen and dished up on to a candlelit table.” That has been my own personal dream, one that Greg and I are now realizing together – but without the seaside and the international circle of friends. I am hooked from the start with this book, especially when the supposed wealth of the rich and famous doesn’t stretch as far as we think. Drinkwater and Noll are living paycheck to paycheck as they make necessary and unexpected repairs to their growing money pit in a language not yet fluent to our heroine. As with Under the Tuscan Sun, a memoir by Frances Mayes, this story is filled with colorful and quirky local characters we all wish could live in our own neighborhood. ***** Best friends, but never quite college sweethearts, Greg and Cathi finally married 20 years later. Together they own and operate Fairview Farm in Derry Township, now an estate winery and community garden in the making, managed by two black cats, two devoted dogs, and a ridiculously bossy young kitten. “Down on the Farm” is a column originally started by Cathi’s father, Shelly Gerhard, about a day in the life of a family farm in western Pennsylvania.
LAUREL MOUNTAIN POST
The Spiritually Perceptive Life:
An Interview with Medium Reverend Marjorie Rivera Reverend Marjorie Rivera has graciously agreed to share some of her spiritual insight with us at the Laurel Mountain Post. Readers probably noticed her words of wisdom relating to the quote from Anais Nin in the October issue. In the hopes of readers getting to know Rev. Rivera, I asked her to share with us a little of her background. Do you have any special Southwestern PA memories or places? I was born in Panama but I have lived my entire life in Pittsburgh. I have a job that would allow me to live anywhere, but I choose to live in Southwestern PA. I have travelled extensively, and there is just nothing better than coming home to the wonderful colors of the trees in this area, and the warm and welcoming people here. I have camped in practically every campground in the area, and these are my favorite times, past and present and hopefully, future. When did you discover/realize you were a Medium and what inspired you to become professional?
proof of the continuity of the soul. Spiritualists believe in the continuity of life. This belief has translated into how I make a living. I compare myself quite frequently to an electrician. I think that energy is a great metaphor for everything in the universe and I am a conduit for a small part of it, or like an electrician, I am helping to manage the flow of universal energy. I just pay attention to the flow of energy that surrounds all of us … all of the time. It makes life interesting to look at the energetics of it all.
balancing how I move through the world. No matter what job you have, there are times you will get it wrong. There are times when you will misjudge, under-perform, and just flat out stink. It’s always humbling when one gets negative feedback, no matter what you do, but I use that feedback to drive me to a better outcome the next time.
What is the biggest challenge in your field and what do you do to overcome it?
Yes, that would be writing a book. I want to leave the world a better place by my having been here. I want to contribute to the evolution of consciousness and I feel that Spiritual development is essential to saving the world. Realizing that we are all connected through this delicate web of life (energy) is what I feel to be key to finding peace.
The biggest challenge I often face is that there are a ton of charlatans in my profession, or that people equate what I do with fortune-telling. My observation has been that there are nefarious characters in every sort of arena and mine is no different. Having a healthy sense of skepticism helped me balance the very unusual things that were happening to me. I use a very practical approach to life when
Are there any personal or professional goals that you are currently working toward?
The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo
That’s What They Say “We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive.” – Albert Einstein
Answering this question is never easy for me, but I will tell you that you Mediums can be born this way. Good and Great Mediums then, at some point, become Spiritual and may even train themselves to become more open and perceptive. My experience encompasses all of these circumstances. I was born sensitive, and then I trained, and then I became Spiritual. What inspired me to become professional is that I had a series of great personal challenges and losses, which lead me to discovering my path in life. I feel as though I was put on Earth to bring messages from the other side that help to heal others who are suffering. I feel tremendous hope when I am bringing through Every Story Begins At Home.
It does not require genius to look around the world at this time and see that we are in great peril and destruction. It does not take much more than brute force to tear apart a society, a family or a relationship. We all know the ripple effect that the air of indiscretion can have upon a company or a political campaign. The state of the planet is delicate at best right now, our rivers and streams are polluted, our land and food are fed by those waters. Man has stretched the limits that the earth is able to give without regard to how the future generations of this planet will be able to live. Einstein was arguably one of the smartest men to have ever lived. His thoughts of over 60 years ago ring ever so true. If we are to survive on this planet and as a race of people, we must rise above the level of thinking that was used to create our current problems. Just as looking into a canyon tells a story of the earth, a society tells the story of the belief systems that created it. What will our society create with our current belief system and values? Can we as a species continue to fight without ruining our ecosystem, our cultures, or our communities? Building community is essential to our survival. Thinking bigger than “What’s in it for me?” would be “How can I be of service to the whole?” Our survival is still at stake and, Einstein was saying we have to start thinking smarter. Reverend Marjorie Rivera
November 2013 - 21
Book Reviews “Weedflower” by Cynthia Kadohata
The Magic of Fillory: Lev Grossman’s Fantastical World
Reviewed by Maya Murillo
By Megan S. Fuller
The historical fiction novel Weed flower by Cynthia Kadohata published in 2006, tells the story of a young Japanese-American girl sent to an internment camp during World War II. The little girl’s name is Sumiko and she is 12 years old. Sumiko and her brother lived with her uncle’s family and her grandpa after their parents died in a car crash. They ran a flower farm in California. When the family heard that the Japanese dropped a bomb on Pearl Harbor they burned everything that made them look Japanese. Still, the government was suspicious of anyone of Japanese decent and the family was sent to an internment camp in Poston, Arizona. Although it is hard to believe, the family was lucky to be sent to this relocation center because it was less like a jail than any of the others. Sumiko is very bored at the camp until she finds her first real friend. Frank is a member of the Mojave Tribe and he is angry that the internment camp is on their reservation and he feels that the Japanese are treated better by the government than the Mojave. Sumiko and Frank meet up in the fields and become friends sharing ice cubes on hot days. Eventually, Sumiko takes Frank into her camp to show him her garden and he gets beat up by the Japanese boys. The fight made Sumiko realize that Frank is her true friend. This story shows many forms of racism, even how oppressed groups can be racist against each other. Frank and Sumiko overcome their fear of each other and anger from discrimination to be friends with each other. They set an example for all of us. Weedflower is a remarkable story that I recommend to young people and anyone interested in Southwestern history.
Fantasy readers hunger for magical intrigues and author Lev Grossman serves us a two novel series: The Magicians (2009) and The Magician King (2011), for dinner and dessert. Quentin Coldwater is an awkward teen with an exceptional brain and an unnatural obsession with an imaginary land from the books of his youth, called Fillory. The first installment, The Magicians, charts Quentin’s and his other exceptionally brainiac friends’ progress through magic school and the discovery of other worlds. It took me a while to get interested in the story, for me it was too close to being Narnia fan fiction and the characters were blah-I thought perhaps I was too old to care about the “adventures” of a college student. A friend of mine was raving about the book though, so I didn’t put it down, and I am glad. Once Grossman leaves the copycat story behind and introduces his own take on magical education and experiences, the story came to life for me; which is not to say that I started liking Quentin, because I didn’t. There is a part about geese that is really good but I will not elaborate on due to potential spoilage. While, I was not (and still am not) fond of Quentin, I was interested enough to see what would happen in the sequel, The Magician King. I loved it. In my opinion, the second book is better than the first. Julia, a minor character in the first book, gets a larger role and her story is what made me want to pick up the book whenever I had a free moment. Whereas, Quentin seemed to catch all the breaks and had no appreciation for his gifts, Julia had to scratch, claw, and sleep her way to her destiny. I did appreciate that Quentin was maturing; learning from his mistakes and leaving behind some of his egocentric ways. So if you
22 - November 2013
are looking for some tasty magical bites, I would recommend The Magicians and The Magician King as more than palatable fare for adult fantasy readers. Although the topics of these books make them seem similar to Narnia and Harry Potter, these two novels are not for children. The characters find themselves in very adult situations which I would not feel comfortable allowing my ‘tweens to read. ***** “Catcher in the Rye” by JD Salinger reviewed by Oscar B. Murillo The classic young adult novel, Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger tells the story of a troubled teen. Holden Caulfield, the main character, has been kicked out of four prep schools because he just does not care about schoolwork, anything, or anyone. Published in 1945, the book is set in post-World War II America. Holden is surrounded by people filled with the optimistic arrogance brought on by the War but he finds them all to be phony bastards. He is constantly looking for human connection but refuses to recognize or accept when others reach out to him. The most likely reason that he got this way is because his brother died quite young. As Holden tells his story the reader can see him losing his grasp of reality and understands why he ends up in a sanitarium. Generally speaking, Holden is both a relatable and annoying character. He is relatable because he has so many troubles that any reader is likely to be able to relate to at least some of his problems. On the other hand, it can be annoying the way he refuses to allow other people into his life to help him solve the problems. continued on page 26
LAUREL MOUNTAIN POST
INFORMATION FOR LIFE by Michael Vernon
What Home Is Right for You? Choosing the right house is and should be a bit more complicated and difficult than figuring what kind of laundry soap to buy. Before deciding which house to buy, think about your lifestyle, you’re current and anticipated housing needs, and your budget. You’ll soon discover finding the right house involves striking a balance between what you need to have and what you want to have. Here are some things to consider: 1.) Do I want to purchase a single family residence or is a duplex or multi-unit property a better choice? Many young savvy entrepreneurs start off in a multi-unit and have someone else (the people occupying the other rental units) help them make their mortgage payment and build equity. 2.) Review how you currently live your life and what is important to you. If you love to cook, you’ll want a wellequipped kitchen with plenty of counter tops and storage space. If you’re into gardening, you’ll want a yard. If you’re planning your office at home, you may want a room for a separate library or work space. If you insist on a lot of quiet and personal space then you may want to reconsider that multi-unit that looked so attractive above. 3.) Think about the future and where you want to be five years from now. If you’re newly married, you might not be concerned with a school district right now, but you could be in a few years. However, even if you don’t plan on having kids or if your kids are grown and moved out, a school district is one of the main components of fair market value. Will you need to be near your parents either for them to help you or for you to help them? Thinking beyond the next day regarding this transaction is very important.
Misty Hegan Prudential Preferred Realty • 115 S Market St • Ligonier, PA 15658
OFFICE 4.238.7 600 OFFICE: 72 724.238.7 4.238.7600
CELL 4.9 72.8 41 8 CELL: 72 724.9 4.972.8 72.84
8 Cedarbrook Dr, Greensburg Charming 3br/2ba, lovingly cared for and neutral décor, move right in for the holidays! Custom cherry kitchen, freshly painted, great storage, trex deck for easy care, new roof & newer windows & doors. Large back yard with mature trees. Central to schools, shopping, dining & parks. Won't last, must see! Home warranty, too! $221,900
309 Village Court, Ligonier Lovely condo in town, convenient to everything! 3br/2.5ba, vaulted ceiling in living room with gas fp, open floor plan, patio for outdoor entertaining. Easy care, one-level living with all necessities on main floor such as garage, laundry, master w/large walkin's & bath, den/ office (could be guest br). Don't miss this one! Home warranty included $247,900
Calling All Seller s: Are YYou ou R eady tto o Mo Sellers: Ready Movve?? If you've been on the fence about listing your home, now is the time. With interest rates slowly creeping up, buyers are on the move. Ask any agent; we have buyers, we need listings to sell! Now is the time! Call today for a no-cost market analysis on your home and LIST IT! OFFICE 4.238.7 600 • CELL 4.9 72.8 41 8 OFFICE: 72 724.238.7 4.238.7600 CELL: 72 724.9 4.972.8 72.84
While it is easy to fall in love with a house that seems to be perfect make sure you are checking the whole picture and not just relying on your gut instinct. Take family members with you and make sure you look at as many houses as you can. Visit the neighborhoods during both day and evening hours if you find a house that especially interests you. If you do all of these things the right house for you will come your way. Look out for more of my Information for Life. Every Story Begins At Home.
November 2013 - 23
Any Property. Any place.
Ve r n o n Realty Services
Phone: (724) 238-0443 www.vernon-realty.com 305 W. Main Street | Ligonier, PA 15658 Michael J. Vernon, Broker / Owner
firstname.lastname@example.org • Cell: (724) 331-6858
Ligonier Twp – MLS 964714
This sprawling estate boost oversized rooms, hard wood floors, crown moulding, elegant formal living and dining rooms. A beautiful open kitchen with stainless appliances. Lovely breakfast area with a fireplace! Oversized integral 2 car garage and detached 4 car garage. Just bring your tool's or toy's. Great cul-de-sac location.
– MLS 964032 - Large building could have two store fronts
or one large main floor. Could live on the second floor with a 3 bedroom, Living Room, Dining Room and Kitchen or rental income. Currently rented $350.00 per month. Options: Church, Funeral Home, Day Care, Doctor's Office, Dental Office, Hair Salon, Tanning Salon, Dog Grooming, Store Front, Retail and more.
– MLS 964271
Absolutely Charming Gentlemen's Horse Farm! This spacious three bed room multi-level brick colonial home is in the quiet neighborhood of Rector but has access to all major highways. Come and see the soon to be finished lower pasture or design it for yourself. You will be amazed with the size of this home.
Sold Out This senior community 65+ plan is active, Continuing Care Ligonier Twp – MLS 964728
Retirement Community (CCRC). Included in maintenance fee is taxes, ground keeping, snow removal, maintenance of building, maintenance of appliances and have full use of the Bethlen Home’s amenities. Only 5 Units left and fully accessible.
– MLS 963695
Great ranch home with newer kitchen, interior doors and trim, bath and a covered side porch. The Fenced rear yard is great for kids or pets. This home qualifies for 100% financing.
UNDERCT A CONTR AYS IN 11 D Ligonier Boro – MLS # 981422
This home has three bedrooms and a master bedroom and bath on the main floor. This home will not last long at $109,900.
Sold Ligonier Twp – MLS 970976
This stunning all brick home boasts oversized room's on a great double lot. Located on a private street, in Ligonier East just 6 miles from the diamond. Great home for sitting around the outdoor fire pit or hanging out on the back porch. This home has been priced to sell.
Sold Ligonier Twp – MLS 971851
Sold in 1 day so call today for me to list and sell your home.
24 - November 2013
Ligonier Boro – MLS 975560
Beautiful home on a corner lot in the borough. Large rooms with a finished attic and basement. Great home for a large family of it could be a great B & B as the property is zoned Village Residential
Great business opportunity
this 9 building village nested on almost three acres has many possibilities. The thriving business "The Mountain Shoppe" Gift Shop and Rustic Furniture is located on RTE 711 in Jones Mills. This location boasts over 3500 average vehicle traffic per day. With 338 foot frontage and traffic heading to Seven Springs year round resort and other great local attractions. Owner willing to sell inventory for cost, consider staying on as to transition to new ownership.
Scan here to check out our aerial virtual tour.
Rebecca L. Ridinger Realtor®
Phone: (724) 238-0443 Cell: (724) 771-5335 email@example.com
LAUREL MOUNTAIN POST
Santa Comes to Pennsylvania Kids are getting their wish this holiday season: they can bring Santa to their hometown and watch him explore their favorite sites in SANTA IS COMING TO PENNSYLVANIA! An adorable holiday series from Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, Santa is Coming! invites all Pennsylvania families to curl up together and read about Santa’s journey from the North Pole all the way to Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Scranton, Eerie, Bethlehem, and every city inbetween. At his desk in the North Pole, Santa begins to plan his trip to Pennsylvania, reviewing his unwieldy “Naughty and Nice” list and asking his trusty elves about the little boys and little girls in the Keystone State. When the sleigh takes flight, young readers can trace Santa’s route as he soars over, around and sometimes lands on important locations such as the Delaware River, the Fire Museum, Wildwood Park, the State Capitol Building, and other attractions on his way to their house! With beautiful illustrations of some of the state’s most iconic places, SANTA IS COMING TO
PENNSYLVANIA! is the perfect gift for curious kids and avid SantaWatchers. Readers young and old will delight in all the twists and turns of jolly old St. Nick’s journey, making this festive new picture book the perfect tradition to start with your family and a great opportunity to teach the children closest to you about Pennsylvania landmarks. There is also a custom book for Pittsburghers: SANTA IS COMING TO PITTSBURGH! Jolly Old St. Nick visits neighborhoods such as Shadyside, Squirrel Hill and Mount Washington and takes in some local landmarks like the Mr. Rogers Statue, Phipps Conservatory, and Heinz Field. The SANTA IS COMING books are available for every state and major US cities as well. For more information or to order a special book, please visit Sourcebooks at: http://www.sourcebooks.com/ spotlight/santa-is-coming-totown.html, call (800) 432-7444, or order on Amazon.com using our special link at: www.laurelmountainpost.com
ABOUT THE CREATORS Based in Scotland, Robert Dunn is a freelance illustrator of children’s books. Steve Smallman lives in the UK and is the author of numerous children’s book, including A Hug for Humphrey, The Lamb Who Came to Dinner, and Smelly Peter the Great Pea Eater.
Candlelight Open House Historic Hanna’s Town will be open on Thursday, November 14, from 4 to 8 p.m. for a candlelight gathering at the Tavern, and an opportunity to preview the new holiday merchandise at the Museum Shop. We will be recreating the ambience of an 18th century evening of camaraderie and commerce, and celebrating life in Westmoreland County – then and now. • Roll some wooden dice and learn to play a game of Draughts or Nine Men’s Morris. • Taste some locally brewed (All Saints Brewery) beer, and wassail made from a Colonial Williamsburg recipe and served from the “bar” at the Tavern. • Stroll by candlelight from the Tavern where you will enjoy the games and savory snacks to the Shop where we’ll serve sweets – including Sally Lunn bread with our own private labeled jams and jellies, and freshly brewed gourmet tea. • Browse all our other unique gift items selected with an eye for early American flair and a Made in America label.
Every Story Begins At Home.
The Candlelight event is free and open to the public. For the holiday season, the Historic Hanna’s Town Shop will be open on November 16th and 23th from 11-4 p.m. during the Colonial Teas and Coffees. Special discounts will be given to attendees. In December the Shop will be open from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. on the 7th and the 14th. December 14th will be our last day and our “End of Season” sale. Historic Hanna’s Town is located 3 miles north of Greensburg at 809 Forbes Trail Road. The village was founded in 1773 by Robert Hanna and was the site of the first English court west of the Allegheny Mountains prior to the Revolutionary War. The settlement was attacked and burned by Indians and their British allies on July 13, 1782. Hanna’s Town never recovered and court was moved to Greensburg in 1786. Please visit www.westmorelandhistory.org and follow our activities on the Westmoreland County Historical Society Facebook page, and on Twitter @WCHistory. Call for information about Historic Hanna’s Town and the Westmoreland County Historical Society at 724-532-1935.
November 2013 - 25
Ligonier Valley Real Estate Co.
MON thru FRI: 9:00 - 5:00 SAT: 10:00 - 2:00 PM SUNDAYBYAPPOINTMENT
610 WEST MAIN STREET LIGONIER, PA 15658
FAX: 724-238-9507 PHONE ANSWERS EVENINGS Call Us Today For All Your Real Estate Needs! Serving the Valley Since the 1970’s
Visit our website:
continued from page 22
Salinger’s use of swear words and every day type speech makes the story really come to life. In addition, the situations that Holden finds himself in are both believable and sometimes very funny-like the time he hired a five dollar prostitute. Catcher in the Rye is a book I would recommend to children over age 12 due to the swearing and sexual content. I also recommend that parents of teens read or re-read this novel to remind them of what it is like to be a teen. ***** “The 228 Legacy” by Jennifer Chow Reviewed by Gretchen Fuller Jennifer Chow neatly weaves the lives of her characters by telling the story a chapter at a time from each ones point of view. Lisa is the mom who loses her job because of “budget cuts.” She worked at a personal care home and as she is leaving on her last day she inadvertently takes a folder of one of the residents. It belongs to Jack Chen. We then meet Jack as one of the characters. Jack’s wife has died and he no longer wants to live at the personal care home so he escapes and gets a job as a maintenance worker 26 - November 2013
at an elementary school. We also meet Abbey, who is Lisa’s daughter. Abbey happens to attend the school where Jack is working. Lisa goes to school to pick up Abbey and ends up helping Jack, who has just fallen off a ladder. Thus begins the story of how their lives connect. When we meet Silk, who is Lisa’s mother, she is trying to teach Abbey Taiwanese. Silk immigrated to the United States many years before and is trying to keep the language and culture alive for her granddaughter. Abbey is in fifth grade and exhibits qualities way beyond those of an ordinary ten year old. In the beginning of the book it is difficult to comprehend how the relationship between the characters relates to the title of the book. I was totally clueless about what the 228 legacy might be. For those of us not schooled in Chinese/Taiwanese history it might have helped to have some reference to this historical event on the cover or in the summary. Apparently, there was a shooting of a Taiwanese civilian on February 28, 1947 in Taiwan by the government of Chen Yi. This led to unrest that was suppressed by the military. The estimated number killed during the massacre was between 18,000 and 30,000 continued on page 33
LAUREL MOUNTAIN POST
Over the River and Into the Woods by Nancy A. Clark Traditionally, Thanksgiving Day is a sleigh ride over the river and through the woods to Grandma’s house for roasted turkey and stuffing, cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole, pumpkin pie and football. We gather together to “give thanks” for a multitude of blessings, and we do it in a style that would flip the pilgrims in their graves. Thanksgiving is a celebration, without presents. It’s also a prelude to the next most important upcoming holiday of year – the one for which much of Pennsylvania just about shuts down in order to celebrate. Around these here parts, we’re talking Deer Season. Now before you cut me down for lauding the issue of decreasing the population of those adorable fourlegged, white-tailed, doe-eyed creatures – the species that nibble our shrubs to the nub, annihilate our summer gardens and crash target our moving vehicles, keep in mind that there are plenty more where they come from. Although the season doesn’t officially kick in until 7:00 a.m. the Monday after Turkey Day, avid hunters take seriously the preparations they make to take that pilgrimage into the woods. Many hunters engage their bodies and minds for the hunt by sharing space and encouragement with companions-in-arms at “camp” where they will (ah-um) rest, consume lots of grains and yogurt and meditate day and night to ready themselves for that most important First Day of Deer Season. In our family the Ritual of Preparation begin at the Thanksgiving dinner table somewhere between the last squirt of whipped cream and Dad’s complimentary burp for the “fine vittles.” That’s when he’d turn to his beloved wife and say, “Hon? Have you seen my hunting license holder . . . the one I pin on the back of my jacket?” Every Story Begins At Home.
“And, Hon, have you seen my jacket?” I could mouth my long-suffering mother’s reply as she uttered the same words she’d uttered to that same question at about the same time at the same dinner table the year before. “It’s probably where you left it last year,” she’d say. “I looked,” he’d say, “and it ain’t there.” That’s when the ritual moved from passive to aggressive. While the youngest at the table made mincemeat of whatever pumpkin pie was left unattended, we older ones would join the hunt for the hunter’s hunting stuff. “Hon,” Dad would yell up from the basement. “Have you seen my wool socks?” “Hon…my longjohns? “Hon…my orange hat?” I was in third grade before I knew my mother’s name was Anne. “They’re where you left them the last time you wore them,” Mom would reply from their bedroom where she tore through several boxes stashed in a closet, even though she knew none of what he was looking for would be there.
At our house, the hunt for the hunter’s hunting garb and gear totally decimated any chance for a tryptophan-induced nap. By the time all the clothing, boots, ammunition and related paraphernalia was readied for the Friday morning pilgrimage to “camp,” Mom might have repaired a broken zipper, darned an insulated mitten, located the license holder – and the newly acquired license, and packed a cooler of meals hearty enough to warm the body and soul of any a Great American Hunter. And then she cleaned the kitchen. Lest you think my father was a disorganized man, you should know that hunting season – especially the first day (week) of deer season causes an avid hunter to sort of lose his place on the planet, so focused is he (or she) on The Prize…the Buck with the Biggest Rack, the Most Points. The hunters in my family took the sport beyond sport. A “kill” meant meat in the freezer and in Mason jars . . . meals that would bless our bellies and fill the kitchen with the aroma of sautéed onions with green pepper and mushrooms ladled over venison steaks. The season didn’t end when “the rack” was nailed to the garage wall, either. The tales of how and where and when game was “tagged,” mixed with the fish-tales of the ones that got away grew larger-than-life with each re-telling. “Out there, somewhere in the woods, there’s this 30-point buck with a 10-foot rack spread,” my dad would tell us. “And by golly, I’m gonna get him next year.” To which Mom would utter, “If you remember where you left him …” ***** Nancy Clark and her husband, Tom, rejoice in 50 years of marriage, three children and three grandchildren. She dabbles in freelance and memoir writing when she isn’t baking, knitting, reading, or building a jigsaw puzzle.
November 2013 - 27
Arthritis by Hayley Chemski, Wake up to aches and pains? Many of us do! Do these aches and pains affect your daily habits? Ever wonder if the joint pain could be something else, something bigger? Let’s take a look. Arthritis is a small term for a big problem, one that can be associated with over 100 diseases and conditions. Many diagnosed forms exist such as osteoarthritis, juvenile arthritis, rheumatoid arthitis, gouty arthritis, and others. Herein we will focus on the most common diagnosis, osteoarthritis, as it is believed to affect 1 in 5 adults and nearly 300,000 children. Osteoarthritis is not simply old joints hurting, it is a complex web of muscles and bone issues that may present as debilitating aches and pains. Most commonly, arthritis comes about as the cartilage near or within any joint starts to wear. Many of those afflicted resort to over the counter and prescription medications to ease pain or even joint debridement (cleaning) and joint replacement surgery. But, can you prevent the onset of arthritis? And if so, how? First and foremost, eat well to assist your body in natural healing. Excellent nutrition may enrich the body’s natural healing powers. Omega-3 fatty acids are the inflammation-fighting fatty acids found in cold water fish such as salmon and tuna. Also, as many inflammatory agents are found in heavily processed foods (or those made in a factory), shop on the “outer perimeter” of the grocery store for fresh or frozen items. Use more of these items in your diet to promote the consumption of antioxidants and phytochemcials within veggies, fruits, nuts, tea, and dark chocolate. “Watching WHAT you eat” is also as important as “HOW MUCH” you eat because stored energy, or fat cells, produce cytokines (proteins associated with inflammation); decreasing your fat storage by counting calories, 28 - November 2013
MSN, CRNA and Certified Fitness Trainer
you can decrease inflammation in your body and your joints. Sleeping well rests the body and decreases inflammation. Resting gives your body the ability to heal, decrease muscle soreness, and allow the body its opportunity to fight inflammation as needed. One may object to exercise, citing that movement may seem counter intuitive for those experiencing pain; however, research provides a link between activity and decreased pain and increased range of motion (or ability to move a joint). A recent study concluded that the more physically fit and active you are, the fewer inflammatory chemicals your cells produce. Exercise also improves endurance and heart health, especially those associated with inflammatory conditions affecting the heart and arteries (high blood pressure), as well conditions of the insulin receptors (diabetes). Finally, decreasing your body weight to a reasonable number can also reduce the workload of joints such as your hips, knees, and ankles. It has been found that for each pound shed, a four-fold reduction in the load exerted on your knee joint results. In other words, for every 10 pounds lost, your knees lose 40 pounds of pressure! At Building Bodeez Fitness and Wellness Center, our professionals work with all age groups, physical fitness levels, and injury risk categories. Our modalities offer many options for those with arthritis. Aside from nutritional guidance from our on staff expert, Janine Koutsky, we promote proper and safe exercise. Proven techniques and functional training can result in improved daily living with decreased pain levels. Some of the best activities for those pre-disposed to or afflicted by arthritis are gentle stretches (Tai Chi, Yoga, Pilates, Silver Fitness classes at BBFC), water-based activities (Aqua Zumba, lap swim), strength
training (builds bone density and increases muscle strength and alignment), moderately paced interval cardiovascular training (no ballistic or quick, jumping motions involved), and walking at a brisk pace (running may promote inflammation if overused). A review of current literature reveals that land-based or water-based exercise may be as effective in preventing arthritic pain as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as naproxen (Aleve) or ibuprofen (Advil); exercise may decrease pain by 50% alone! Join us at Building Bodeez, where we understand the importance of PREVENTATIVE health and wellbeing. We are experienced professionals who can help you promote joint health, prevent complications, and manage aches and pains through nutrition, rest, relaxation, and exercise. ** *** Hayley is a Certified Fitness Trainer and the coowner of Building Bodeez Fitness Center, located at 154 Pandora Rd in Derry, PA, as well as a fulltime Nurse Anesthetist with the University of Pittsburgh Physicians, currently based at St. Margaret’s Hospital in Fox Chapel, PA. Hayley offers a wealth of fitness and health knowledge, serving as the Group Fitness Coordinator and Wellness Programs Director at Building Bodeez. She has developed several programs at Building Bodeez including initiation of the first ZUMBA classes in the area, as well as AerobaDANCE and Yogilates (her unique creations), and the wildly successful Building Better Bodeez weight loss intensive program. She has also been a nurse for eight years, and obtained her Masters Degree in Nursing Anesthesia in 2008. Hayley has been recognized by the Westmoreland County YWCA as Sportswoman of the Year (2010) for her dedication to women’s’ health, as well as philanthropic work through Building Bodeez. She also recently won the prestigious 2012 Westmoreland County Winners’ Circle Award sponsored by the YWCA for exhibiting early professional success as well as the potential to obtain marked achievement. Hayley recognizes the marriage of fitness with healthy living and disease risk prevention, and offers suggestions for holistic wellbeing through her blog at Laurel MountainPost.
LAUREL MOUNTAIN POST
WELCOMING NEW PATIENTS Matt El-Kadi, MD, PhD, FACS, and the staff at Tri-State Neurosurgical Associates– UPMC are pleased to welcome patients to their new office in Monroeville. Look no further for expert spine care and surgery. Our spine surgery team averages over 1,800 spine procedures in a year. We work with pain management clinic and physical rehabilitation physicians and therapists to provide alternatives and tailor treatment plans.
Matt El-Kadi, MD, PhD, FACS Neurological Surgery
Dr. El-Kadi is chief of neurosurgery at UPMC Passavant and vice chairman and clinical professor in the Department of Neurological Surgery at UPMC. He specializes in minimally invasive spine surgery, spinal and disc disease surgery, spine tumors, image-guided surgery, and complex spinal instrumentation and fusion surgery. He is board-certified and a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. Dr. El-Kadi was selected as one of “The Best Doctors in America,” and named one of Pittsburgh’s “Best Doctors,” by “Pittsburgh Magazine.” If you have questions, or want to schedule an appointment, please call 877-635-5234. We have offices in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia. UPMC at Oxford Drive 600 Oxford Drive, Suite 210 Monroeville, PA 15146
Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, UPMC is ranked among the nation’s best hospitals by U.S. News & World Report.
Every Story Begins At Home.
November 2013 - 29
WHAT’S COOKING IN FITNESS by Mark Rullo MS, CSCS, MES
Why Gyms Make You Fat! Wow! What a statement! Who would have thought that belonging to a gym will make you fat? However, for many, that is the case. As an Exercise Physiologist who specializes in weight management and body transformation and has spent over 26 years in the health and fitness industry, trust me when I say there is validity to this statement. Do not get me wrong, exercise is full of unlimited health benefits and can assist in the weight loss process; however, this happens ONLY when nutrition is in control. This is the first rule in the “Hierarchy of Fat Loss”– you cannot out-exercise a crappy, high caloric diet. Industry statistics document that we (the US as a society) have more gyms and more gym members than ever before, yet no change in the number of overweight people (adults and children). If anything, some statistics are showing a rise in the number of individuals who are overweight or obese. Even a recent article from Women’s Health by Kenny Thapoung (October 7, 2013 issue), “How the gym can make you gain weight,” touches on this. In this article, a U.K.-based company polled 1,000 people on their diet and exercise habits and found that 26 percent of the people surveyed actually packed on pounds after they started going to the gym. Why would this be happening? Common logic for many is when they want to lose weight; the solution is to join a gym. But for many, this logic is flawed or incomplete. I believe the following reasons explain why this may happen: • False sense of metabolism • Mixed messages • Lowest risk and ask wrong questions 30 - November 2013
• White lies by gyms • No specific personalized targets False sense of metabolism: This refers to when people start exercising; they think they can eat whatever they want. This is no different than when a young man, for example, gets his first job and because he now has a job, thinks he can buy whatever he wants, no matter how high the price. Just because someone earns a paycheck doesn’t mean he/she can spend more than he/she earns. The same goes with exercise and what we eat. Additionally, it isn’t uncommon to become hungrier as a result of exercising. However, many times the volume of food consumed to satisfy the increase in hunger is not in proportion—but rather greater than—the increase in metabolism created from starting to exercise when joining a gym. Mixed messages: This refers to what is seen on TV. Take the “Biggest Loser™” reality show for instance. On the show, everything is built around the workout; however, trust me, if they were not controlling what they ate behind the scenes, those workouts would not be as effective. More communicators of mixed messages are info-commercials showing exercise equipment that will either spot reduce or cause you to drop weight without mention of controlling caloric intake (unless written in small print or said at the speed of an auctioneer). It is no wonder that the general public would assume that if they need to lose weight, just go to the place with equipment (aka a gym) or where they can exercise like on the Biggest Loser™. Lowest risk and ask wrong questions: This refers to the time when
people do make the commitment to lose weight and go out in search of a gym. Many are hesitant and don’t want to waste any money, so they call around asking for prices and pick the gym that is the cheapest. With this mindset, these individuals are already are thinking they will not be successful, so better choose the lowest price gym rather than actually research what resource (gym, programs, etc...) can actually solve their problem and explain clearly how they will do it. If you are frustrated with your current weight and looking for help, before committing to any program, gym or personal trainer, you should meet one-on-one and ask to hear their plan of attack and how it will fit with YOUR lifestyle. DO NOT ASSUME just because it is a place to exercise you will lose weight. Any safe and effective weight loss program or resource should be able to lay out a clear plan with a timeline of when and how much weight you should lose WITH or WITHOUT exercise. If this isn’t happening and you are in search of weight loss, then you are at the wrong place. White lies by gyms: In the pursuit to sell a membership, many gyms are not completely honest. They know the potential member walking in their door is excited and on the brink of purchasing a membership in hopes of achieving change. If this change is weight loss, seldom do gyms tell those individuals that for any weight loss to occur, it starts in the kitchen with what and how much you eat; and no matter how much exercise you do via your membership, you will not see what you are expecting in terms of weight loss from your membership. Yes, these gyms do tell prospects all LAUREL MOUNTAIN POST
of the positive health benefits associated with exercise; but they do not get specific with regards to how the science works for the goal of weight loss. No specific personalized targets: Bottom line with weight loss: it is simple (expend more calories than you take in); however, it is also personal. The guesswork can be eliminated when it is personalized in what and how much you eat as well as how often and how you move. Nutritionally, for it to win for both short-term and long-term results, a weight loss program must be built upon your food and your terms—NO cookie-cutter meal plans making you shove down food that you would normally never even consider eating. The same goes for an exercise plan— you can’t fit a square peg in a round hole. The plan has to match an individual’s experience, limitations and availability while programming the exercises. It must also utilize a specific hierarchy to maximize not just the workout, but more importantly the caloric burn well after the workout is complete. However, the point to be made is that there is a disconnect with many people in that there is a belief that joining a gym equates to losing weight when in reality a gym membership is nothing but access to exercise and nothing else. Another way to think about it—gyms act as landlords that rent to tenants (members) access to exercise via monthly fees. Face it; unlike generations before us where there was more labor than technology to get their daily fix of activity, we are for the most part a sedentary society. Therefore with this fact of life, we do have to manufacture an active lifestyle via exercise; and gym memberships serve a great function for that purpose. However for those who are looking for weight loss and body transformation, make sure you are at a place that empowers you on the science of weight loss, that will personalize your nutrition to eliminate any guesswork while educating you on how all exercise is good but not Every Story Begins At Home.
created equal when comes to weight loss. Failure to take these variables into consideration when searching for assistance with weight loss more times than not will lead to frustration due to loss of time, energy and money and ultimately to lack of results. For more information, please feel free to consult with any of the fitness professionals at My Fitness Kitchen®. Additionally as an on-going thank you to Laurel Mountain Post and its readers, mention this article for a FREE, no obligation, personalized, metabolic nutritional formula and fitness program that will leverage the hierarchy of fat loss. If you are serious about achieving a body transformation goal then you need a program, as any goal without a plan is really only a wish! As an added incentive for people new to My Fitness Kitchen®, by mentioning this Laurel Mountain Post article and after meeting with one of My Fitness Kitchen’s Fitness Professionals for a private consult as offered above – you will receive $50 “Kitchen Cash” to be used toward any program or service at My Fitness Kitchen® as a courtesy of the Laurel Mountain Post.
Enhance Your Life With Music piano • violin • viola • cello • guitar • voice • flute • lessons weddings • events
Lessons at Vittone’s in Greensburg
***** Something far from your traditional, intimidating gym, My Fitness Kitchen® is where weight loss is made simple. My Fitness Kitchen® is located in Latrobe 30 plaza, Latrobe PA. My Fitness Kitchen® is a weight loss and body transformation center that also happens to have a fitness center connected to it. From the moment you enter My Fitness Kitchen® regardless of your age, fitness level or experience, it’s all about “You.” The supportive staff, welcoming atmosphere, and friendly members combine to create the most unique and comfortable environment for your weight manage-ment and fitness success. Whether it is Nutrition, Fitness or both, you can be confident My Fitness Kitchen® is the solution to a healthier and thinner you. About the Author: Mark Rullo, MS, CSCS, MES is an Exercise Physiologist, Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist, Medical Exercise Specialist, Certified Golf Fitness Instructor and owner of My Fitness Kitchen® www.myfitnesskitchen.com 724879-8523. Mark and his team at My Fitness Kitchen® specializes in weight loss and body transformation helping thousands meet and exceed their goals through evidence-based scientific programming.
Mark your calendars now to support small businesses in our communities.
November 2013 - 31
My Life As one of Britain’s best loved comic and dramatic actors over almost half a decade, Sir David Jason looks back on an incredible career with his new autobigraphy Sir David Jason is probably most familiar to American audiences as Detective Inspector Jack Frost from A Touch of Frost, a television detective series produced by Yorkshire Television (later ITV Studios) for ITV from 1992 until 2010, initially based on the Frost novels by R.D. Wingfield.
National treasure, godfather of British TV, one of the greatest comedy actors of all-time – however you wish to describe Sir David Jason, “living legend” just about sums it up. The 73-year-old has spent nearly 50 years in the entertainment business, from the stage to the radio via the small screen, where as beloved characters such as Granville, Jack Frost and, of course, Derek Trotter, he has become one of the most successful, enduring and adored actors in television history. His roles in Only Fools and Horses, Open All Hours and A Touch of Frost (to name but three) have cemented David’s place in history, and thrillingly for his legions of fans, the London-born star’s personal history is now being told for the first time in his own words via his newly released autobiography, My Life. “I didn’t want it – I didn’t want to talk about myself,” he shrugs. “But I’ve had two unofficial ones done over the years; terrible books that people wanted to cash in on. And I thought ‘this is a rip off!’ It’s not fair. So I wanted the story told in my own language.” Recalling his lengthy career was assisted by the swathes of keepsakes and memorabilia he’s preserved from various roles, such as his first ever TV part in Crossroads in 1964. “I was so pleased with what I was doing,” he smiles, “I wanted to keep a memory of it. Every job that I did, every show I was on I have a programme, reviews which I kept, photographs as well.” He calls the process “a curate’s egg,” some parts more enjoyable than others, and admits there was a bittersweet element to recalling the happy moments of his life. 32 - November 2013
“When you look back on some of the good times and the fun times you had, you realize it has gone. For example, every single episode of Fools and Horses, Open All Hours, Frost, everything that I’ve done… you couldn’t wait to get up in the morning to go to work because you knew you were going to work to make yourself laugh. And because of that, when you remember those good times, you realise that it’s in the past and you can’t grab hold of them, it’s gone. That was the most difficult thing. “But the book tells the story, which is what everybody wanted. Nothing is too serious. There are one or two moments, obviously, like when Myfanwy [his partner of 18 years who died in 1995] was diagnosed with cancer, I had to go through all that side, but then everyone’s life has ups and downs. Nobody wants that to happen, nobody wants their nearest and dearest or a good friend to die, but it happens. But otherwise – at least I’ve told it and nobody else has!” Although he had already enjoyed success as the naïve Granville, Ronnie Barker’s shop assistant in Open All Hours, in 1981 he landed the role that changed his life. David’s portrayal of the underhand market salesman and lovable rogue Derek Trotter in Only Fools and Horses is undisputedly
one of the greatest sitcom performances ever. The show provided so many classic moments that are ingrained in the national psyche. David explains the secret formula: “Well, the first thing is it is funny. The second thing is that it is British, and British humour is something everyone can relate to and they also relate to the struggles of the working man – or the not working man! Someone who would do anything to succeed, to earn a crust, to keep the wolf from the door. All the characters were very funny, silly. But basically it was all about people you recognised.” Fans will be delighted to hear of his new one-off Christmas episode of Open All Hours, with David “playing Ronnie’s part, so I am taking over the shop. And now, I’m really an Arkwright. And I’m looking forward to that,” he smiles. And it’s testament to his longevity as a successful actor, of which he’s only too appreciative. “I never thought until I started to do this book how many successful shows I have been in, right from the theatre into television. There were so many actors I worked with when we were all struggling to make a living, all in love with the business, but so many fell by the wayside. And yet I am still here!”
Rodney Trotter (Nicholas Lyndhurst), Derek "Del Boy" Trotter (David Jason) and Edward "Grandad" Trotter (Lennard Pearce) from the BBC sitcom Only Fools and Horses. LAUREL MOUNTAIN POST
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Taiwanese. Many of those killed were the intellectuals and elites. We find out eventually that Silk’s husband was one of the intellectuals who was killed during the massacre. Ms. Chow leads us to see how this event shaped the lives of Silk, Lisa and Abbey. She uses Jack as a catalyst that effects all three women. The story was interesting and a good read. ***** “The Golden Gems of Life” by S. C. Ferguson and E. A. Allen Reviewed by Cathi Gerhard I received this 1881 volume of “gathered jewels for the home circle” frommy neighbor and dear friend, Pat Lucas, this past summer. I have not had a chance to read the entire book, but each small section is a huge slice of enchanting humble pie. On the subject of success or failure, it advises “He that would win success in life must make Perseverence his bosom friend, Experience his wise counselor, Caution his elder brother, and Hope his guardian genius.” Throughout all topics, it repeats that honor and other virtures are for the humble – and warns against envy. “Open the door to one discontented wish, and you know not how many will follow . . . truly miserable are are those who live but to repine and lament . . .” This book is filled with some huge concepts grouped together in single sentences, and worthy of some long thought. This book is still available in a revised and abridged edition on Amazon.com: “The Golden Gems of Life endeavors to awaken in all the realization that life is a gift to be prized and not wasted. It is a book full of wise counsel (gems) about how to live life to the fullest and with few regrets. The advice is useful for every generation and every season of life.”
Every Story Begins At Home.
ASK GRANNY EARTH Healing with Weeds
Make a ‘Wild-Weed’ Garden the Envy of Your Neighbors! Sheep Sorrel (Rum ex acetos ella) Sheep Sorrel is a medium-sized perennial weed with tiny reddish flowers and arrow-shaped leaves. Once you’ve seen these leaves, chances are you’ll never forget them. The flowers are tiny, reddish and clustered on slender stalks- up to 20” high. You’ll see Sorrel leaves in late spring and its fruit later in the summer. The leaves are good to eat from early spring to late fall. Having an interesting lemony flavor, they’re high in oxalic acid, sodium, potassium, iron, manganese, phosphorous, beta carotene and Vitamin C. Sheep sorrel grows on lawns and in meadows and fields, so you shouldn’t have any problem finding it. It can tolerate partial sun and does well in poor soil. Be careful though, not to pick it where someone’s sprayed any kind of ‘weed-killer’ near by. It would be best to pick from your own ‘unsprayed’ property. Or better yet, grow it in your garden. Sheep Sorrel is one of the ingredients in the Essiac Cancer Remedy. It‘s a mild diuretic, antiseptic and laxative. The purported uses (Sloan Kettering Cancer Center) are: Treatment of cancer, diarrhea, fever, inflammation and scurvy. The anthraquinones (emodin, rhein, physcion) stimulate peristalsis and increase secretion of mucous and water into the intestine. They’re also considered to be antioxidants and free radical scavengers. Sheep Sorrel is a detoxing weed: the fresh juice has a pronounced diuretic effect. It’s also a gentle laxative and is being studied for the treatment of all chronic diseases of the digestive tract. If you’re doing a ‘spring detox’, Sheep Sorrel might be
one of the things you’ll want to add to your morning juicewith it’s detoxing properties and all those minerals, I’m betting your body will love it! Caution: Should not be taken by people who tend to develop kidney stones.
SHEEP SORREL SPREAD- 2 medium-size red onions, peeled- 2 mediumsize ripe avocados (peeled and pitted)- 2 cups Sheep Sorrel leaves- 1/4 cup chives, chopped- One 6-ounce jar black olives, drainedJuice of 1 lemon- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste.- Chop onionsby hand. Add remaining ingredients, use food processor- chop fine. Sheep Sorrel Spread will keep in the fridge for up to 10 days. (Page 141Do It Yourself Weed Medicine)
www.grannyearth.com firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 724-542-9713 Granny’s monthly Natural Health Newsletter- ‘CONNECTIONS’ is available via- Snail-Mail. 12 pages- All good stuff! $25.00 a year (12 issues). ***** Seventy-some years young, and following my life-long passion, which is natural healing and teaching others about weed medicine, I believe that we each must do what we can to get back to Nature. In making your own weed medicine, you’re going to be going out looking and identifying certain weeds that grow around you- you’ll be outdoors, in the sunshine and fresh air- getting back to Nature. Maybe you’ll start growing your own weeds- turning your backyard into a weed garden! Granny Earth has a bachelor’s in Psychology from California University of Pennsylvania (which she earned at age 59), and both a masters and doctorate from Clayton College of Natural Health. Visit her website or all 724-542-9713, or email email@example.com.
“To forget to dig the Earth and tend the soil, is to forget ourselves.” – Mahatma Gandhi
November 2013 - 33
HOMESTUDY by Brian Mishler
Safety Through Maintenance We humans are an adaptable bunch; able to transform ourselves to living in a variety of climates, geographies, societies and conditions that would make other species give up. As we adapt, we also frequently become complacent. Until that is, some tragedy on the 6 o’clock news spurs us to think… “won’t happen to me”! Such is the life of a home inspector; frequently we hear how easy a particular home will be to inspect; because it’s new, or the owner has made many upgrades, and certainly because they are a construction expert as their experience in (fill in the blank) obviously makes them qualified. Rarely do we hear “this is going to be a tough one…” The truth falls somewhere in between, most homes are relatively safe and in decent repair, nearly all have some deficiencies and most have safety issues that pose an active threat to their occupants. Not all of these safety issues are those that cost much to repair; a loose handrail, inoperative lights, defective smoke detectors, damaged garage door components. Why is it these simple yet hazardous issues go overlooked or ignored? We adapt. For example, on one particular home inspection I came across an unusual black handle screwed to the wall at the top of the basement stairs… pondering it, I realized this was the handle off of a barbeque grill brush! The previous elderly resident needed an “assist” as he came up the stairs, so he cut off the brush part, and this little rubber handle did the trick! So we adapt to that crack in the sidewalk; we trip once, then remember it, the handrail breaks, so we put our hand on the wall, we know where that loose wire is, and avoid it, 34 - November 2013
the “stupid” smoke detector keeps going off and we remove the battery… the list is endless. Emergencies can arise when an overlooked issue starts trouble, and are sometimes compounded by another overlooked issue; the lint in the un-cleaned dryer (or my cooking!) catches fire, and the battery-less smoke detector doesn’t alert us. In the world of home inspection, problems are most often the result of either neglect, or improper do it yourself home repairs. Trouble can occur when someone unfamiliar with the property enters and encounters these adapted-to hazards and finds themselves victim; i.e. the home inspector! Most inspectors can tell stories of how an improper screw in an electrical panel caused shock, damaged or uneven stairs caused a fall, weak roofing that a foot (nearly) went through, broken garage door springs, faulty furnaces, etc. The listener might think we work in impoverished neighborhoods, but in reality, we work in houses just like yours and mine. So here it is, the “secret” short list of hazards in no particular order we home inspectors see every day in homes just like yours: Improper electrical wiring – open junction boxes, or wire spliced made outside of or without a junction box. Most often the culprit of a DIYer, wanting to complete a repair, and swearing “I’ll finish this later…” Improper materials used in electrical panels; another DIYer mistake, they lost the screws and used whatever they could find laying around. Wiring is not as simple as “connect black to black, white to white” (yes, I hear that all the time) hire a professional! Disabled smoke detectors – Photoelectric smoke detectors are
less prone to nuisance tripping. The life expectancy of a battery operated smoke detector is 5 to 7 years. If yours is older, or you don’t know it’s age, hire a professional (electrician) to update your smoke detectors to current standards – today. Faulty garage doors and or springs – Many garage doors weigh in excess of 150 pounds; and it’s over your head. The springs that do the lifting are under great tension; when they break, they can cause serious injury or worse. Have your door checked annually, and keep on the lookout for damage; stretched springs, bent door panels or track, missing spring safety cables, etc. Now is the time to have your furnace serviced; birds can nest in chimneys, and other unseen issues can arise with your heating system that can be potentially fatal. Annual servicing is cheap insurance that your heat won’t conk out right before all your guests arrive for Thanksgiving! Gas piping - While your furnace is being serviced, have the technician check your gas piping; no leaks? Great. Is there excessive piping, or piping that’s been abandoned because an appliance has been removed? Why not have it removed and properly capped? The more (unnecessary) piping, the more opportunity for problems. Water heaters – have this checked as well, it’s a common point of issues with home inspectors for many of the same reasons as faulty furnaces. Handrails – the purpose in a handrail is that we can catch ourselves should we fall. If the handrail is loose, damaged or we continued on page 36
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to include other rooms within the building. 1954 marked the beginning of a new building all its own, made possible through the generosity of the late George H. Adams. By opening day, some 4000 volumes were available to the people of Latrobe. Since then the Latrobe library system has grown to include internet access and more than 97,000 items (including books, audio and video tapes, microfilm, newspapers, CD ROMS, software, and more) and five branches: Main
(Adams Memorial inLatrobe), Derry, Ligonier Valley, New Alexandria, and the Bookmobile. Until March 8, 1974, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania had just 40 public library bookmobiles. On that date in Waynesburg, Greene County, the community welcomed the 41st and only bookmobile serving Washington, Westmoreland, and Fayette counties, for a cost of $25,000. Our current local bookmobile, operating from the Adams Memorial Library branch in downtown Latrobe and legally named “Your Neighborhood Library” (with the phrasing
Our Bookmobile Staff: John & Darlene Shaw of Mt. Pleasant.
officially loaned by Mister Rogers) debuted at the Latrobe 4th of July parade in 2001. It was made from a modified Bluebird schoolbus for $250,000. The top was removed and the roof raised to accomodate its tall, wooden bookshelves and provide enough ceiling height for patrons to browse comfortably. Its average life expectancy is about ten years, but has been on the road for 13 already. “Your Neighborhood Library” travels Monday - Thrusday to seven communities and makes approximately 50 stops on a bi-weekly route: Latrobe, Unity Township, Youngstown, Derry Borough, Derry Township, Donegal, and Donegal Township. Sarnelli’s Corner Market in Jones Mills offers a book drop for people who miss one of the bookmobile’s scheduled stops to the area. Twenty percent of the library’s total 97,000-item collecton comprises 80% of the current circulation of 241,000. Those popular 20% are stocked on the Bookmobile along with a selection of classic literature, children’s books, DVDs, audio books, popular magazines (including the Laurel Mountain Post!). There is also an on-board computer for internet access. We invite you to check it out when the bookmobile visits your neighborhood! To see the current Bookmobile schedule and approximate real-time location: www.adamslib.org/libraries/bookmobile
Every Story Begins At Home.
November 2013 - 35
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Holiday Gift Ideas for Special Readers on Your List! For Nurses & Midwives: Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth. The author recalls her time spent working as a nurse midwife in London’s East End during the 1950’s. Also available on DVD as a PBS television series, seasons 1-3. For Dog Lovers: The Art of Dancing in the Rain by Garth Stein. A story of love, hope and reincarnation as told by the family dog. For Cat Lovers: Dewey: the Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron and Brett Witter. An abandoned kitten transforms a library and the town of Spencer, Iowa. For Crafting Novices: The Chicks with Sticks Guide to Knitting or Crocheting by Nancy Queen and Mary Ellen O’Connell. Learn to knit or crochet with more than 30 cool, easy patterns. For People Who Love Christmas: Christmas on Jane Street by Billy Romp with Wanda Urbanska, illustrated by Robbin Gourley. A sentimental memoir about selling Christmas Trees in New York City. For Bored Travelers or Avid Explorers: Secret New York: An Unusual Guide (Local Guides by Local People) by TM Rives. Discover secret gardens or have your bicycle blessed among other odd opportunities to leave the beaten path. For Downton Abbey Fans: Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle by Lady Fiona Carnarvon, the 8th Countess of Carnarvon. The true history of the castle through diaries, letters and photographs collected by the current family. For Brown Thumbs: The Complete Houseplant Survival Manual by Barbara Pleasant with Photography by Rosemary Kautzky. Essential kn0w-how for keeping, not killing, more than 160 indoor plants on a budget. For Those Interested in Amish Culture: An Amish Christmas: December in Lancaster County. Four Amish Christmas Novellas by Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, Barbara Cameron and Kelly Long. Celebrate Christmas in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Includes reading group guide and authentic old order recipes. For the Novice Homesteader: Barnyard in Your Backyard: A Beginner’s Guide to Raising Chickens, Ducks, Geese, Rabbits, Goats, Sheep and Cattle edited by Gail Damerow. Barnyard basic for today’s hobby farmer.
36 - November 2013
cannot grasp it, (close our hand around it) it is virtually useless. If you have a piece of wood installed on its side or no handrail at all, have one installed. If you do have one, make sure it is anchored properly and securely. Uneven stairs – stairs are supposed to have an 11 inch deep tread (the part we walk on) and a 4 to 7 3/4 inch rise. The rise between any two stairs is not supposed to differ by more than 3/8 of an inch. The stairs should be well lighted, unobstructed, and secure. The “stuff” the kids were supposed to take up last week; get it off the stairs, secure any loose treads or carpet, and if necessary hire a contractor to fix the issue that make folks “fall up” the stairs. Dryers – The unsung heroes of our laundry room, and one of the most common causes of residential fires. Day after day, collecting an incredibly flammable substance – lint. If you keep yours clean, congratulations you’re in a very small minority. If you’re like the rest of us, do not pass go, do not collect $200, go straight to your laundry room clean your dryer, vent pipe and exit point.
In his book My Home, Tom Fieza makes simple basic home operation and maintenance. An easy to read book with plenty of illustrations, it provides an inexpensive checklist of things we can look out for and do to get and keep our homes safe for ourselves and our visitors this Holiday season. (www.htoyh.com) ***** Brian Mishler is the owner of HomeStudy Inc., and a 20 year veteran home inspector. He began performing home inspection after 15 years in the construction industry convinced him that his body wasn’t made for hard labor. Brian is the former president of the Pittsburgh Regional Organization of the American Society of Home Inspectors (PROASHI), and currently sits on the board of Rebuilding Together Pittsburgh, a non-profit that rehabilitates homes for disadvantaged seniors and veterans, assisting them with pre-renovation inspection and selection. Brian also teaches a variety of real estate related classes, and has mentored other seeking to become home inspectors. He currently resides in Latrobe, with his better half Carol, their Boston terrier Gizmo, three cats, and three transient college students. When spare time is to be had, Brian can be found on a motorcycle, in a kayak, or hiking in the area. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LAUREL MOUNTAIN POST
LOYALHANNA REALTY 201 S. Market Street Ligonier, PA 15658 (Across from Fort Ligonier)
BUYER & SELLER AGENCY JEAN M. CASE
Owner/Broker, GRI, ABR
ATTRACTIVE RANCH $223,900 #964547. Three-bedroom, 2-1/2 bath brick ranch on Main, Ligonier. Partially-finished lower level. Storage abounds. Central air, fireplace, & 2-car garage. LORRAINE LOYALHANNA REALTY 724-238-3663 LIKE NEW! $256,900 #975719. Eight-year old, two-story home, 5 bedrooms, 3 1/2 baths, with hardwood and ceramic tile floors, first-floor laundry room, spacious eat-in kitchen with doors leading out to deck which overlooks private back yard, dining room, great room with gas fireplace, wonderful mastersuite with spacious masterbath with jet tub, game room and fifth bedroom with full bath on finished lower level. LORRAINE LOYALHANNA REALTY 724-238-3663 ING LIST W E N
COMPLETELY REMODELED $104,500 #983195. Two-bedroom, 1-1/2 bath Cape Cod in Ligonier Boro. Den could be 3rd bedroom. New kitchen appliances, large yard. LORRAINE LOYALHANNA REALTY 724-238-3663
SOLID BRICK BEAUTY $214,900 #968516. Country-like setting. 4-bedroom, 3-bath colonial on large lot in Ligonier. Hardwood floors, new kitchen & appliances, & garage. LORRAINE LOYALHANNA REALTY 724-238-3663
Every Story Begins At Home.
Lorraine DiCecco: 724-953-2356 Associate Broker Kathy Johnston: 724-995-1013 Colleen Pritts: 724-493-7734 Amy Stoner: 724-238-4134
HISTORIC COLONIAL $259,900 #946289. Three-bedroom, 2-bath home on 4.72 acres in Ligonier Twp. Refinished wood floors, updated baths, fireplace, built-in bookcases, open staircase, patio, enclosed porch, new roof, & newer garage. Location, charm, privacy! Motivated Seller! JEAN LOYALHANNA REALTY 724-238-3663 ING LIST NEW
CARE-FREE LIVING $249,500 #962734. Three-bedroom, 2-1/2 bath condo in Ligonier Boro. First-floor master suite w/walk-in closet, master bath w/jet spray tub, vaulted ceilings, patio, gas fireplace, office/den w/french doors, & garage. LORRAINE LOYALHANNA REALTY 724-238-3663
JUST LIKE NEW! $124,900 #983011. Two-bedroom, 2-bath manufactured home in Ligonier Twp. Oak kitchen, new carpet, newer roof, 2 walk-in closets. Private yard. JEAN LOYALHANNA REALTY 724-238-3663
ING LIST NEW
AMAZING & UNIQUE! $1,150,000 #984906. Perfect Bed & Breakfast! 68 acres w/6-BR, 4-1/2 bath home, heated pool, beautiful pool house, separate house w/ bath, lighted tennis courts, pond. Gas & mineral rights. Fairfield Twp. MAKE AN OFFER LISA LOYALHANNA REALTY 724-238-3663 ING LIST W E N
OWN YOUR OWN BUSINESS! $299,900 #950576. Grocery, deli, bakery, & building. Everything goes "As is." Successful business for 35 years! Ligonier Twp. JEAN LOYALHANNA REALTY 724-238-3663
Lisa Davis: 412-596-1028
Susan Ransel McBroom: 724-309-3395
SALES & APPRAISALS
Jean Case: 724-600-5182 Tracy Case-Pelesky: 724-238-3954
CHARMING DUPLEX $109,900 #979643. With 2-bay detached garage. Unfinished area above garage would be perfect studio apartment. Separate utility meters. Great investment! Laughlintown. LISA LOYALHANNA REALTY 724-238-3663
CHARMING FARM! $569,900 #962314. 46.74 acres w/beautiful 5-bedroom home, large barn, & outbuildings. Very workable farm in Cook Twp., but minutes from Seven Springs. Mostly pastures, some woods. Fabulous location! JEAN LOYALHANNA REALTY 724-238-3663 ING LIST W E N
WONDERFUL RANCH $124,999 #983008 Solid 3-bedroom home w/garage on beautiful large corner lot in New Alexandria. Large finished basement. TRACEY LOYALHANNA REALTY 724-238-3663 November 2013 - 37
219 EAST MAIN STREET LIGONIER, PA 15658 724.995.8116 SCAMPSTOFFEE . COM 877.848.6371 INFO@SCAMPSTOFFEE.COM
Second Chapter Books New and Used Books • Children’s Gifts Jewelry • Greeting Cards • Neat Stuff 139 East Main Street Ligonier, PA 15658
Deadline for the December Issue of the Laurel Mountain Post is November 15.
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Fair Trade Gifts from Around the World 38 - November 2013
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Mary Jo Culbertson Proprietor (724) 238-0497
LAUREL MOUNTAIN POST
THE LIGONIER CHEF by Scott Sinemus
The Gold Standard So many people ask me what cooking books I use. I do admit to having an extensive collection; most have been gifts, although thoughtful, more often than not useless. I usually always keep them regardless; the only exception: Any Hors d’ oeuvre book that contains an “s” at the end of the word. (The “s” is unnecessary: the apostrophe makes the word plural). Those books I donate to the thrift store. Fortunately I’m still under the volume for the need of a card catalog, but I’ve had to categorize them according to country/ ethnicity, specialties, reference, baking, etc. Quite frankly, though, I only really use a handful. My favorite is an out of print book called, The Gold Cookbook. It’s from the chef at the Waldorf-Astoria in the 1940’s. It’s written in a style that most people aren’t comfortable with: the ingredients aren’t compiled in a list, rather they’re in a paragraph preceding the recipe. There are also many recipes most folks wouldn’t consider in a lifetime; but, classical cuisine is still my favorite. I will always contend that cooking is more about method than recipe and this cookbook epitomizes that. There are also poems and stories included at the beginning of each chapter. “Oh what an art a stew is to make… for anyone can broil a steak” is one of my favorite stanzas. Of course everyone expects me to say Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child. Julia will always be my goddess and the reason I decided to devote my life to cooking. The book is definitely a goto for me, but I am quite familiar with methods in the book; I use it more for proportion reference. After seeing the movie Julie & Julia I almost burned my copy of The Every Story Begins At Home.
Joy of Cooking. Knowing that most of the recipes weren’t ever tested disgusts me; but also explains why when I was first starting to cook, sometimes the meal wasn’t the best. The only thing that kept me from doing it was the recipe for Whipped Cream Cake. It is to this day the only recipe I will use for a white cake.
Any of the “D-K” series of books are outstanding. The photography alone is magnificent. The canning and preserving book is a wealth of practical information, and the recipes simple and easy to follow. At work we also look at recipes in current magazines. One thing we’ve noticed is that quite often they’re nothing more than a re-hash of what was printed five or more years ago with minor adjustments or sometimes none at all. I was chatting with a friend recently about how her cooking book is coming along. Her publisher told her that so many people are using the internet to find recipes that cooking books are becoming obsolete, even though it seems everyone that has had a flash in the pan show on the Food Network has a litany of books. That being said my most useful cooking books are the Good Eats
series by Alton Brown, perhaps the only reason to tune in to the food network. His science inclusions, quips and recipes are an absolute thrill and joy to read and try. His episode about mushrooms changed my life in the kitchen. I absolutely cannot wait to meet him in Pittsburgh this February at the Benedum. I do admit it’s often easier to log on and Google a recipe than to sift through my books. My friend, Douglas, has binders full of recipes he’s printed out and tested. She also told me that publishers are looking more for a coffee table book of food or a keepsake style rather than a bunch of recipes about how to cook. My hands down favorite cooking book, however, is my Grandmother’s copy of The Cooks Catalog, I’ve never seen another one. It seems to be akin to one of the fundraiser cookbooks churches and organizations put together. Plastic-ringed spine and cardstock paper cover with not a photo in sight. It is incredibly easy to use, but it’s her hand written notes and recipes that make me cherish it. I still keep the supplemental recipes she collected or wrote down along the way, folded between its covers. I can’t really advise a specific book that everyone should have; rather I can advise: when you make a recipe from any book, always follow the directions exactly. Then make notes on the recipe regarding what you would amend or alter the next time after enjoying your meal. This is especially true for baking. ***** Scott Sinemus is a Chef with a degree in Culinary Arts from the Pennsylvania Institute for Culinary Arts in Pittsburgh. He’s continued his education with classes from the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone and The Greenbrier; and has travelled internationally in search of authentic cuisine.
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Where Can I Find A Copy? Laurel Mountain Post Distribution List Seventy-five percent of our distribution remains within Westmoreland County, while the remaining 25% is circulated throughout key locations in the surrounding counties. The Laurel Mountain Post can be found free of charge at hundreds of local shops, office waiting areas, restaurants, museums, and festivals. We keep up-t0-date location and delivery information on our website: www.laurelmountainpost.com. If your business would like to carry the LMP, please contact us at 724-537-6845 or complete the online distribution form. Derry Area Action for Animals Allison Chiropractic Barkley's Derry King Building Bodeez Caldwell Library Chef Dato's Derry Medical Dr. Scott Morgan First Commonwealth Bank Hansen & Torba - Dentists Jean Marie Flowers & Gifts Laundromat Mastrorocco's Market New Derry Municipal Authority Palombo's Restaurant S&T Bank State Farm Insurance Sugar Bears Sunoco Delmont, Murrysville, Export Delmont Public Library Eat n Park First Commonwealth Bank Drs. Hilliard & Tarnoff Holiday Inn Express King's Family Restaurant Kunkle's Auto Dr. Matthew Levin Lamplighter Restaurant Manordale Service Center Martello Hair Care Murrysville Library Panera Bread - Murrysville Salem Crossroad Apothecary Shields Chiropractic Teri's Place UPMC Rehab Services Wagon Wheel Restaurant Donegal BP/McDonald’s - turnpike Brady’s Dairy Queen Days Inn Donegal Pharmacy Holiday Inn Express Honeybear Tall Cedars The Inn at Ligonier Sarnelli’s Greater Latrobe Adams Memorial Library
40 - November 2013
Barnes House Buchanan Tag Chestnut Ridge - Bursch Division Chicora's Chris Pakos, CPA Christ UC Church Coffee Bean Commercial Bank - Downtown Commerical Bank - Route 981 Dainty Pastry Denny's Doggie Divas Dunkin Donuts Eat n Park Excela Health Quick Draw The Eyeglass Shoppe Fantastic Sam's Four Seasons Brewing Co. Fringe Gino's Pizza Gyno Associates Hanna Insurance Dr. Scott Hudimac Jaffre's/Tin Lizzy, Youngstown Jerald Jewelers Joe's Store - Lawson Heights Kids Care Pediatrics L&L Quik Lube Dr. Patrick Lally Latrobe Animal Clinic Latrobe Art Center Latrobe Athletic Club Latrobe Hardware Latrobe Hospital Latrobe News Stand - Downtown Latrobe News Stand - Laurel 30 Laurel Highlands Village Laurel Nursery Latrobe Post Office Little Shop Loyalhanna Care Center Marge’s Hair Salon - Tara Stowers The Medicine Shoppe Drs. Mucci & Campfield, DDS My Fitness Kitchen Pizza Siena ProAdjuster Chiropractic Roadman's Country Living Rose Style Shoppe Rusbosin's Furniture S&T Bank Scotty G's Senior Center Shop n Save SpringHill Suites St. Vincent De Paul St. Vincent Gristmill Store Total Service Unity Township Building, Library
UPMC Vascular Institute Valley Dairy - downtown Valley Dairy - Route 30 Vasco Federal Credit Union WCNS/Unity Building Westmoreland Federal Westmoreland Historical Society Wigs n More Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve Wingate Greensburg Aww Else Boutique Barnes & Noble Berkshire Medical Offices Cafe Barista Courtyard by Marriott Eat n Park Frye Farm Road Medical Offices Greensburg News Greensburg YMCA Hampton Inn Hampton Office Products Jioio's - Carbon Dr. Matthew Levin L&S Machine Nature's Way Market The Palace Theatre Palmer Pavilion - Mt. View ProAdjuster Chiropractic RaggZ Fiber Art Dr. John Ridinger Seton Hill University University of Pittsburgh Vittone's Music Westmoreland Dermatology Westmoreland Hospital Ligonier Valley A Touch of Grace Abigail's Coffee Amica BP Insurance Barb's Market - Rector Bo Peep Fine Yarns Carol & Dave's Roadhouse Celtic Culture Connections Cafe Darlington Inn Davies Real Estate Diamond Cafe Diamond Hair Cuts Diamond Rug Gallery Dovecote Equine Chic Excela Health Flavors Cafe
Fox's Pizza G Squared Get Go Giant Eagle Gino's Granny Earth Howard Hanna Real Estate Ligonier Chamber of Commerce Ligonier Country Market Ligonier Library Ligonier Outfitters/Newstand Ligonier Tavern Ligonier Valley Railroad Museum Ligonier Vallery Real Estate Loyalhanna Realty Mack M. Darr Martins Mommy Gear On the Diamond Antiques The Paper House Persnickety Post and Rail Prudential Preferred Realty Ramada Inn Rosalia Jioio's Little Italy Rosary Acres Royal Welsh Winery Rustic Country Treasures Ruthie's Diner Scamp's Toffee Second Chapter Books Song of Sixpence Subway The Strawberry Crow Thistledown at Seger House The Toy Box The Twisted Vine Tree House in Ligonier UU Church Vernon Realty Services Valley School of Ligonier Wicked Googly YMCA Laughlintown Compass Inn/Historical Society First Commonwealth Bank Ligonier Country Inn Pie Shoppe Washington Furnace Inn New Alexandria First Commonwealth Kaufman's Chiropractic Keystone Pharmacy Keystone State Park Kids Care Pediatrics
LAUREL MOUNTAIN POST
Library Roadhouse Quik Stop Sheetz Speal's Tavern Stahlstown Flax Scutching Festival Loyalhanna Veterinary Clinic Main Street Wine Bar Mt. Pleasant and Southern Westmoreland County Market Crystal Concepts The Frick Fun Services The General Store Herbalicious Kraisinger's Market Lenox Leo's Mericonda Beer Distributor Mt. Pleasant Library Nino's Orourke Crystal Sandhill Berries Speedy Meedy's Vicky's Crossroads Volero Gas West Overton Deli West Overton Quilt Shop YMCA Allegheny County Allegheny General Children's Hospital Downtown Hotels Manchester Bidwell Monroeville Library Pleasant Hills Library Strip District merchants Squirrel Hill businesses UPMC Hospitals: Monroeville, Presbyterian, Mercy, Children's
Indiana 119 Professional Center, The Artist's Hand Book Nook Cafe Amadeus Cucina Mia Diamond Drug Downtown Indiana Association Eat n Park Hampton Inn Dr. Hilliard Indiana Chamber of Commerce Indiana County Tourism Bureau Indiana Hospital Lobby Indiana Free Library Indiana University of PA Jimmy Stewart Museum Rustic Lodge Starbucks Dr. Tarnoff Saltsburg exclusively at: Saltsburg Pharmacy Somerset County Jennerstown Green Gables/Mtn Playhouse Our Coal Miners Cafe Three Rivers Dental Somerset Area Comfort Inn Eat n Park Econo Lodge Hampton Inn Holiday Inn Express Mountain Craft Days Oakhurst Tea Room Sheetz (route 31) Somerset Family Eye Care Somerset Historical Center Summit Diner Quality Inn
Honoring Westmoreland County Civil War Veterans A memorial program honoring Civil War Veterans interred in Unity Cemetery will be held on Saturday, November 9th, at 2:00 p.m., and is part of a series of events commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, and the soldiers from Westmoreland County who served. It is sponsored by the Latrobe Area Historical Society and the Westmoreland County Historical Society. Unity Cemetery is located at the intersection of McCullough and Unity Cemetery Roads in Unity Township, Pennsylvania. The memorial begins in the Unity Chapel with a prelude of Civil War era music by the 11th Regimental Band. Welcoming remarks will be delivered by Mary Lou Townsend of the Unity Cemetery Association. The Reverend Clark Kerr will give a memorial meditation, and Alfred Young will present a brief history of the 53rd Pennsylvania. A recitation of the Gettysburg Address and Taps will also be featured. Participants will then have the opportunity to visit a selection of Civil War veteran grave sites and hear some background information about those individuals. The program is free and open to the public, but seating is limited, and reservations are required. Please call 724-532-1935 x210 by Wednesday, November 6th to make a reservation. Visit our web site at www.westmoreland history.org and follow our activities on the Westmoreland County Historical Society Facebook page, and on Twitter @WCHistory.
Cambria County (Johnstown) Comfort Inn & Suites East Hills Family Pharmacy Holiday Inn - Downtown Holiday Inn Express - Richland Nature's Habitat - Galleria The Sleep Inn Fayette County Adrian's - Hopwood Braddocks Inn Restaurant Chalk Hill Flea Market Summit Hotel - Route 40 Nemacolin Inn - Farmington Ohiopyle Falls Ohiopyle Pub Indiana County
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Every Story Begins At Home.
November 2013 - 41
NOVEMBER COMMUNITY CALENDAR
“Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.” – Mark Twain
11/1/2013 to 11/3/2013 Smicksburg Old Fashioned Country Christmas Open House Smicksburg 138 E. Kittanning St., Smicksburg, PA 16256 724.463.7505 http://www.smicksburg.net/events.html Favorite Christmas food samples, beautiful decorations, and don’t forget light-up night. A special visitor might even be in the area for the young at heart.
An American Marketplace, the Shop at The Westmoreland is transformed for the holidays! Featuring one-of-a-kind items created by contemporary American artists, craftsmen and designers, the Marketplace is the perfect stop for unique holiday shopping. 20% off purchases, complimentary refreshments and free gift-wrapping are provided throughout the evening. All purchases support the Westmoreland Museum of American Art and its programs.
11/1/2013 to 11/2/2013 25th Annual F&I War Seminar and Bus Tour Hopwood 887 Jumonville Road, Hopwood, PA 15445 800.463.7688 http://www.braddockroadpa.org/ The Braddock Road Preservation Association was formed in 1989 as the Jumonville Preservation Association. Its first meeting was attended by a few interested history buffs, and has grown in size every year since then. The annual French and Indian War seminar at Jumonville, held the first Friday and Saturday of November, is now the largest such annual gathering in Pennsylvania and one of the largest in the country.
11/7/2013 to 1/12/2014 Plaid Tidings The Cabaret at Theater Square 655 Penn Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15222 412.325.6769
11/1/2013 to 11/24/2013 Pop-up Exhibition: Wade Kramm Westmoreland Museum of American Art 4764 State Route 30, Greensburg, PA 15601 724.837.1500. http://www.wmuseumaa.org/ 11/2/2013 to 11/24/2013 Harvest Candlelight Tours Compass Inn 1382 Route 30 East, Laughlintown, PA 15655 724.238.4983 www.compassinn.com Experience the harvest season in the 1800’s. Saturdays & Sundays 3-7 pm 11/2/2013 Fall Festival Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve 744 Walzer Way, Latrobe, PA 15650 724.537.5284. http://www.wpnr.org/ Come enjoy the crisp air along the trails and visit the vendors inside the barn walls for the tastes and creativity the season brings. Free to all visitors and all ages welcome. 11/2/2013 Mud on the Mountain Seven Springs Mountain Resort 777 Waterwheel Drive, Seven Springs, PA 15622. 800.452.2223. www.7springs.com Mud on the Mountain offers athletes a chance to get down and dirty atop the beautiful Laurel Highlands. The seven mile mud run course winds its way up, down and through some of the most challenging terrain in Pennsylvania. This event will take place on Saturday, November 2, 2013 with the first wave of participants going out at 8 a.m. 11/3/2013 The Chef’s Table-A Chocolate Lover’s Dream Westmoreland County Community College 145 Pavilion Lane, Youngwood, PA 15697 724.925.4083. www.wccc.edu WCCC’s Center for Culinary Arts and Hospitality faculty and students are searching the globe for gourmet trends and the best quality chocolate to subtly incorporate into this year’s cuisine. Prepare to experience the silkiness and complexity that just a small amount of chocolate can add to savory dishes. 11/6/2013 to 11/10/2013 Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey presents DRAGONS Consol Energy Center 1001 5th Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15219 412.642.1800 http://www.consolenergycenter.com/ Dragon tribes from the far reaches of the earth are brought together in a single performance, displaying their breathtaking skills in a circus tournament of champions. Each tribe must prove that they have virtues of Courage, Strength, Wisdom and Heart to arouse dragons which appear right before your very eyes! 11/6/2013 Holiday Marketplace Preview Westmoreland Museum of Art 4764 State Route 30, Greensburg, PA 15601 724.837.1500. www.wmuseumaa.org
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11/7/2013 Holiday Fashion Fantasy Greensburg Garden & Civic Center 951 Old Salem Road, Greensburg, PA 15601, 724.836.1123. www.westmorelandculturaltrust.org 11/7/2013 Braddock’s Road: Mapping the British Expedition from Alexandria to the Monongahela The Westmoreland County Historical Society will feature a talk and book-signing by Norman L. Baker, author of Braddock’s Road: Mapping the British Expedition from Alexandria to the Monongahela on Thursday, November 7th, at 7:00 p.m. in the Society’s Calvin E. Pollins Library, 362 Sand Hill Road, Suite 1, Greensburg, Pennsylvania. Seating is limited, and reservations are recommended. Please call 724-532-1935 x210. 11/7/2013 Lunch a l’art Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art One Boucher Lane and Routh 711 South Ligionier, PA 15658 724.238.6015. http://www.sama-art.org Lunch and lecture program with scherenschnitte (paper cutting) artist Kathryn Carr. Cost is $13 or $12 for members. R.S.V.P. by November 1. 12-2 pm 11/7/2013 Greater Greensburg Civil War Roundtable Meeting Westmoreland Bar Association 129 N. Pennsylvania Ave., Greensburg, PA 15601 724.834.6730. http://www.westbar.org/ Rick Bowen will host a program about Lookout Mountain and Chattanooga. 11/8/2013 to 11/23/2013 Three Rivers Film Festival Pittsburgh. www.3rff.com The Three Rivers Film Festival is the largest film festival in western Pennsylvania and takes place in downtown Pittsburgh, Oakland and Regent Square. This exciting two-week celebration features over 40 films and brings the best in independent and international cinema to Pittsburgh. 11/8/2013 Evening Lecture Program Ft. Ligonier 200 S. Market St., Ligonier, PA 15658 724.238.9701 http://fortligonier.org/events_calendar.php Commemoration of George Washington’s Friendly Fire Incident 11/8/2013 to 12/31/2013 CRAFTED-Opening Reception Society for Contemporary Craft 2100 Smallman St., Pittsburgh, PA 15222 412.261.7003, http://www.contemporarycraft.org/SCC/Calendar.html 11/8/2013 A Tribute to John Denver Palace Theatre 21 West Otterman Street, Greensburg, PA 15601 724.836.8000, http://www.thepalacetheatre.org/ Peaceful Blue Planet Foundation presents A Tribute to John Denver with Chris Collins & Boulder Canyon, $35, $30, $25 11/8/2013 to 11/9/2013 Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe Saint Emma Monastery 1001 Harvey Avenue, Greensburg, PA 15601 724.834.3060, http://www.stemma.org/ Hand-made exquisite gift items! Homemade food! Meet St. Nick!
LAUREL MOUNTAIN POST
11/9/2013 Smicksburgh Cookie Tour Smicksburg 138 E. Kittanning St., Smicksburg, PA 16256 724.463.7505 http://www.smicksburg.net/events.html Stop by local businesses and sample treats made with love just for you. 11/9/2013 to 11/17/2013 The Magic Flute Benedum Center for the Performing Arts 237 7th St., Pittsburgh, PA 15222 412.456.2600, http://www.trustarts.org/visit/facilities/benedum/ 11/9/2013 Insider Tour of Meadowcroft Rockshelter with Dr. James Adovasio Meadowcroft Rockshelter & Historic Village Avella, PA 724.587.3412 www.heinzhistorycenter.org Meadowcroft Rockshelter, the oldest site of human habitation in North America, is located in Avella, Pa., 35 miles southwest of Pittsburgh. The National Historic Landmark features a massive, 16,000-year-old rock overhang used by the region’s earliest inhabitants for shelter, and was recently named one of the “Five Great Places to See Evidence of First Americans” by Smithsonian magazine. Reservations are required, as space is limited. Admission to this special event is $20 per person. 11/9/2013 Memorial Service in Honor of Civil War Veterans Unity Cemetery 154 Beatty County Road, Latrobe, PA 15650 724.532.1935 www.westmorelandhistory.org A public ceremony 2 PM honors Civil War soldiers buried at Unity Cemetery; personal stories of selected soldiers presented at grave sites; handout listing all Civil War soldiers detailing their rank, service unit, and location in the cemetery. 11/9/2013 Cast & Blast Adventure Stonycreek Shooting Center 326 Vanyon Road, Berlin, PA 15530, 814.279.3020, http://www.stonycreekshooting.com/ Stonycreek Shooting Center Inc. will provide a guided pheasant hunt these beautiful birds are the most popular of all upland game birds. Our expert guides and well trained pointing dogs will provide you with an enjoyable hunting experience that you will remember for a lifetime. Our fields are planted with excellent cover crops and groomed specifically for upland bird hunting. Your harvested birds will be cleaned and packed for your trip home. Ripples on the Water will provide guided fly fishing on Laurel Hill Creek, one of Somerset County’s premier trout streams, for Rainbow and Brown Trout. Laurel Hill Creek is a diverse fishery that supports mayflies, stoneflies, caddis flies as well as a good assortment of baitfish. The stream is nestled in a pristine hemlock setting within Laurel Hill State Park. This time of year Nymph, Wet Fly and Streamer fishing are good producers. 11/9/2013 to 11/10/2013 Holiday Candlelight Tours Compass Inn Museum 1386 Route 30 East, Laughlintown, PA 15655 724.238.4983, http://www.compassinn.com/ Experience the beauty of Compass Inn decorated for the holidays with all natural accents. Cheery wood fires in three fireplaces and the glow of nearly 100 candles enhance the informative and entertaining tour. An 1862 addition is opened that displays many interesting items that cannot be seen any other time of year. In there, you can relax by a crackling fire with a cup of hot mulled cider and a cookie, and enjoy the gracious hospitality of a 19th century inn. 3 to 7 pm. Reservations required. 11/13/2013 Beer Dinner Historic Stone House 3023 National Pike, Farmington, PA 15437 724.329.8876, http://stonehouseinn.com, Starts at 6:30pm 11/14/2013 Candlelight Open House Historic Hanna’s Town 809 Forbes Trail Road, Greensburg, PA 15601 724.532.1935. http://www.hannastown.org/ 11/14/2013 to 1/10/2014 Christmas in America Foster and Muriel McCarl Coverlet Gallery 300 Fraser Purchase Road, Latrobe, PA 15650 724.805.2188, http://www.mccarlgallery.org/ Join the McCarl Gallery for an exploration of American Christmas Traditions and our beautiful display of decorations and one of a kind coverlet collection.
Every Story Begins At Home.
11/14/2013 Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center 450 Schoolhouse Road, Johnstown, PA 15904, 814.269.7200, http://upjarts.org/ Touching on the life and times of one of the world’s most legendary musical artists, Johnny Cash, the musical revue RING OF FIRE is considered one of the best “jukebox musicals” of our time. Show starts at 7:30pm and 8:00 pm. 11/15/2013 Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash State Theatre Center for the Arts 27 East Main Street, Uniontown, PA 15401 724.439.1360, http://statetheatre.info/ Touching on the life and times of one of the worlds most legendary musical artists, Johnny Cash, the musical revue Ring of Fire is one of the best jukebox musicals of our time. Although Cash himself is never impersonated, Ring of Fire features a company of performers that guide you on a journey through Cash’s storied life and celebrated music, from the cotton fields of Alabama to the Grand Ole Opry. Ring of Fire features more than 35 of his hits from his long career including “I Walk the Line,” “Jackson,” “If I Were a Carpenter,” “I’ve Been Everywhere,” “Folsom Prison,” “A Boy Named Sue” and the title track “Ring of Fire.” With smashing medleys and guitar driven energy, this show will have you stompin’ your feet and asking for more. Show starts at 8pm 11/15/2013 Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo Palace Theatre 21 West Otterman Street, Greensburg, PA 15601 724.836.8000, http://www.thepalacetheatre.org/ Pat Benatar; rule-breaker and trail-blazer, she remains a block and distinctive artist both on stage and on record. Song like Love is a Battlefield, Hit Me With Your Best Shot, Heartbreaker, Promises in the Dark and We Belong are as unforgettable now as they were at the dawn of MTV. Neil Giraldo changed the face of the pop charts throughout the 1980s with his collaborator, muse and wife, Pat Benatar. His impressive back catalog includes more than 100 songs written, produced, arranged and recorded for Benatar, as well as many hits he helped create for other legends. 11/16/2013 to 12/21/2013 “Snowflake Showcase” Holiday Sale Greensburg Art Center/Rowe Gallery 230 Todd School Road, Greensburg, PA 15601 724.837.6791, http://greensburgartcenter.org/ This annual event features fine and practical crafts, jewelry and ceramics, affordable drawings, paintings, and prints for gift-giving and one-of-a-kind artisan snowflakes. 11/16/2013 Colonial Teas Historic Hanna’s Town 809 Forbes Trail Road, Greensburg, PA 15601 724.532.1935, http://www.hannastown.org A full service tea will be served in a colonial style with costumed volunteers to serve your sweets and savories on china plates and your freshly brewed tea in china tea cups - poured from vintage pots. Two seatings are offered - at 11:30 AM and 2:00 PM. Reservations are a must. 11/17/2013 Pedal Cars Through the Years Baltzer Meyer Historical Society 642 Baltzer Meyer Pike, Greensburg, PA 15601, 724.836.6915, http://baltzermeyer.pa-roots.com/Pages/index.html Explores the evolution of the popular toy from the early twentieth century to today. 11/17/2013 to 11/24/2013 Time for Fun Byham Theater 101 6th St., Pittsburgh, PA 15222 412.456.6666 http://trustarts.culturaldistrict.org/production/38681/time-for-fun Hailing from St. Petersburg, performers literally roll up their sleeves to create a captivating–and quite unique–magical world. Wonderfully choreographed, hands and arms interlock and entwine to create trains, sailboats, ticking clocks, flocks of birds and more. With clever lighting design, the limbs dance in space and assemble into recognizable shapes and words. 11/18/2013 Travelogue Series: “Lure of Alaska” with Dale Johnson Greensburg College Club. Greensburg Salem Senior High Auditorium. 7:30 pm. Series Admission is $20; single admission, $10. Benefits Scholarship Fund. Alaska is one of the few places where sizable fragments of the natural world still exist, unfettered by any human influence. This is not the Alaska frequented by tourists, but it is an Alaska which is more like the way it once was everywhere in this state. We will see grizzlies fishing for salmon, and black bears choosing to eat only the caviar. Forty miles north of Anchorage is the Matnuska Valley, where they produce some amazing crops in 22 hours of sunlight everyday– cabbages that weigh up to 127 pounds.
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Denali National Park is the crown jewel of Alaska’s park system. But the Wrangel-Saint Elias is America’s largest. There are moose, eagles, fishing, receding glaciers, and more in this gigantic land! 11/21/2013 Lincoln Highway Holiday Bus Tour Lincoln Highway Experience 3435 Route 30 East, Latrobe, PA 15650 724.879.4241, http://www.lhhc.org Join us Thursday, November 21 for a trip along the Lincoln Highway to Pittsburgh to see the CLO Cabaret Musical Production of Plaid Tidings We’ll start in Latrobe with a pick up in Irwin then a stop at the Big Mac Museum. Do some early Christmas shopping in Pittsburgh’s Strip District followed by lunch and the show at the CLO Cabaret Theater. 11/21/2013 Pop the Cork Latrobe Art Center & Café 819 Ligonier Street, Latrobe, PA 15650 724.537.7011, http://latrobeartcenter.org/ Grab your favorite friend…Grab your favorite beverage…and tap into your inner muse for an evening of unbridled creativity. How much fun can you have with a paintbrush in one hand and a wine glass in the other? Wine and art combine for a relaxing evening of amusement and imagination. 11/22/2013 53rd Light Up Night Downtown Pittsburgh, www.downtownpittsburgh.com Every downtown building lights up to celebrate the start of the holiday season. The city’s skyline comes to life with a number of holiday activities, culminating in a spectacular fireworks display. 11/22/2013 to 11/24/2013 Greater Pittsburgh Arts & Crafts Festival Monroeville Convention Center 209 Mall Boulevard, Monroeville, PA 15146 724.863.4577, http://www.familyfestivals.com/ Friday 10am-9pm, Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday 10am-5pm. Don’t miss over 270 booths in two huge exhibit halls. Pittsburgh’s biggest arts and crafts show! Jewelry, clothing, wood working, florals, candles, photography, decorative paintings and more! Sample delicious prepackaged foods - dips, mixes, nuts, candies, chocolates and more! Kids will enjoy Santa, clowns and a puppet show! The Carrola Brothers will provide musical entertainment. Acres of free parking! Don’t miss the area’s biggest Christmas craft show! 11/23/2013 Holiday Tea Trax Farms 528 Trax Rd, Finleyville, PA 15332 412.835.3246, www.traxfarms.com Join us on Saturday, November 23rd at 11am & 2pm for our Holiday Tea at Trax Farms. A pleasant tea is the perfect, healthy way to relax during the stressful holiday season. Enjoy a beautiful spread of our delightful tea sandwiches, tea breads with flavored cream cheese, scones, Devonshire cream, fruits, desserts and many varieties of flavored teas. A beautiful holiday gift basket is raffled so come and try your luck! Make sure to come early or stay after the tea to browse our beautiful holiday displays. Reservations required. 11 am and 2 pm 11/23/2013 Coffee in America Historic Hanna’s Town 809 Forbes Trail Road, Greensburg, PA 15601 724.532.1935, http://www.hannastown.org/ This is a new event for Historic Hanna's Town as we boycott tea and offer a look at coffee service from the 18th to the 20th century. Period appropriate food will be at each of three stations (at the Klingensmith House, The Tavern, and the Museum Shop.) Coffee tours will start at 11:30 AM and again at 2:00 PM. Reservations are a must. $20 per person. 11/25/2013 to 12/13/2013 Holiday Mansion Candlelight Tours Hartwood Acres 200 Hartwood Acres, Pittsburgh, PA 15238 412.767.9200 www.alleghenycounty.us November 25, 26, 29, 30 and December 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, and 13 Candlelight tours begin at 5 pm. The last tour will start at 8 pm. Every room in the Mansion is decorated in keeping with the season! Advance reservations required. Tours fill quickly so reserve early! Cost is $6 per guest. 11/26/2013 to 12/1/2013 Elf The Musical Benedum Center for the Performing Arts 237 7th St., Pittsburgh, PA 15222 412.456.2600, http://www.trustarts.org/visit/facilities/benedum/ 11/28/2013 YMCA Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot PNC Park 115 Federal Street, Pittsburgh, 412.471.9622. ymcapgh.org
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All races begin and end at PNC Park where runners can compete in the fivemile or five-kilometer run. Walkers and noncompetitive joggers can participate in the one-mile fun run. There is the chance to win in 14 age categories and participants from all walks of life are encouraged to attend. Proceeds benefit the Downtown YMCA’s programming, which provides scholarships for memberships and programs to ensure all members of the community can participate in YMCA programs regardless of their income level. 11/29/2013 to 12/15/2013 Christmas Candlelight Tour Compass Inn 1382 Route 30 East, Laughlintown, PA 15655 724.238.4983 www.compassinn.com The holiday season features wood fires and the glow of nearly 100 candles. Saturdays and Sundays 3 to 7 pm 11/29/2013 Nemacolin Woodlands Resort’s Annual Light Up Night Nemacolin Woodlands Resort 1001 Lafayette Drive, Farmington, PA 15437 866.344.6957, http://www.nemacolin.com/ Our Light-Up Night festivities celebrate the beginning of the holiday season at Nemacolin. Catch the holiday spirit with a Choral performance, introduction of Santa, Mrs. Claus and the Elves and the much anticipated countdown for our lighting ceremony. For more information, contact a Resort Sales Specialist at 866.344.6957. 11/29/2013 Santa’s Arrival in Ligonier Ligonier 120 East Main Street, Ligonier, PA 15658 724.238.4200 http://visitligonier.com/ Santa comes to town! Join us in the countdown to light up the Diamond. 6:30pm 11/29/2013 The Shoemaker & The Christmas Elves Palace Theatre 21 West Otterman Street, Greensburg, PA 15601 724.836.8000, http://www.thepalacetheatre.org/ Westmoreland Cultural Trust presents The Shoemaker & the Christmas Elves at 11am and 2pm! Theatre IV’s yuletide spin of the Grimm Brothers’ classic (music, book and lyrics by Paul Deiss). A heartwarming holiday musical; delight in the magical story of a poor Shoemaker and the magical elves who show him the true meaning of Christmas! 11/30/2013 Ligonier Country Market at the YMCA Thanksgiving weekend - Ligonier Valley YMCA, 110 West Church St in Ligonier. 724-238-7580, www.ligonierymca.org The Y will once again host the Ligonier Country Market’s Christmas edition. Both gyms will be full of local foods, crafts and fun. After your workout, be sure to stop by and shop for your favorite local fare! 11/30/2013 Light Up Night Trax Farms 528 Trax Rd, Finleyville, PA 15332 412.835.3246 www.traxfarms.com Trax Farms invites you to kick off the Christmas season at our Annual Light Up Night on Saturday, November 30 from 5pm to 8pm. Santa and his elves arrive at 5:30pm. Help Santa light our huge tree, and then stop at the Kids’ Corner to tell Santa what’s on your Christmas Wish list. There’s plenty more to do with our Christmas crafts, coloring contest, Christmas trivia and our reindeer scavenger hunt game. Complete the scavenger hunt, browse beautiful Christmas displays, try samples for holiday entertaining and enjoy special discounts all available for one night only! Submit your finished scavenger hunt form for a chance to win one of three gift card prizes of $100, $75 & $50. Winner will be announced that night at 7:30pm. Winner doesn’t need to be present. Refreshments and treats are available for purchase. 11/30/2013 to 12/1/2013 24th Annual Festival of Lights Mount Pleasant South Church Street, Mount Pleasant, PA 15666 724.423.3275 http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~pabtcdar/home.html Saturday and Sunday, November 30 and December 1, 1:30 pm to 9:00 pm. Visitors can tour the historic Samuel Warden Victorian-era mansion decorated with dozens of holiday trees. The trees are for sale and we also have a raffle room. There are also door prizes. 11/30/2013 Family Day Westmoreland Museum of American Art 4764 State Route 30, Greensburg, PA 15601 724.837.1500, http://www.wmuseumaa.org/ Fun day for families featuring scavenger hunts, art activities, cookies & punch, and a few surprises to entertain you! 11am to 3pm. FREE
LAUREL MOUNTAIN POST
11/30/2013 Holiday Show Rockwood Mill Shoppes Opera House 450 Main Street, Rockwood, PA 15557 814.926.4546, http://www.rockwoodmillshoppes.com/ This 84-member ensemble is comprised of students and community members from a variety of occupations and backgrounds who love to sing. Come see them at their holiday best as they perform a variety of your favorite Christmas classics. The show is sure to get you in the holiday spirit! 6pm 11/30/2013 to 12/20/2013 2 Pianos 4 Hands City Theatre Company 1300 Bingham St. Pittsburgh, PA 15203 412.431.2489 http://www.citytheatrecompany.org/play/2-pianos-4-hands/ For anyone who ever dreamed big—and then didn’t quite make it, this is the riotous story of Ted and Richard, childhood friends who spent years chasing the same goal: concert pianist stardom. Two actors, two pianos, and dozens of characters grace the stage in this hilarious portrayal of pushy parents, eccentric teachers, and the triumphs and tortures of being extraordinarily good (or failed?) musicians. 12/1/2013 Gingerbread House-Family Fun Afternoon Latrobe Art Center and Café 819 Ligonier Street, Latrobe, PA 15650 724.537.7011, http://latrobeartcenter.org/ Start off the Christmas season with the kids by making your own decorated gingerbread house. Use the candy provided or bring your own favorites! Children must be accompanied with a parent. Pastry Chef Lisa Brown of Little Lisa’s Pastry Shoppe will bring all materials and show you step-by-step how to make your own unique Gingerbread House. At the end of the day, enjoy gingerbread cookies and hot chocolate from our Neighborhood Cafe. 12/1/2013 to 1/5/2014 Candlelight Evenings Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens One Schenley Park, Pittsburgh, PA 15213 412.622.6914, http://phipps.conservatory.org/ Winter Flower Show is even more enchanting at night as glowing candles light the walkways and live music fills the air. 12/4/2013 Christmas with Cash Rockwood Mill Shoppes Opera House 450 Main Street, Rockwood, PA 15557 814.926.4546, http://www.rockwoodmillshoppes.com/ Yes, we all need a little “CASH” for Christmas. With his striking resemblance and voice similarities to that of legend Johnny Cash, Bill has become one of the region’s most popular Johnny Cash tribute artists. He and the Tribute Band will be performing a variety of music including Johnny Cash hits and your favorite Christmas songs. 12/5/2013 to 12/8/2013 24th Annual Festival of Lights Mount Pleasant Corner of South Church and Walnut Streets, Mount Pleasant, PA 15666 724.423.3275 http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~pabtcdar/home.html Visitors can tour the historic Samuel Warden Victorian-era mansion decorated with dozens of holiday trees. The trees are for sale and we also have a raffle room. There are also door prizes. 12/5/2013 The Temptations’ Christmas & Hits Palace Theatre 21 West Otterman Street, Greensburg, PA 15601 724.836.8000, http://www.thepalacetheatre.org/ Latshaw Productions presents The Temptations’ Christmas & Hits. Starts at 8pm! 12/6/2013 Australia Wine Tasting Green Gables Restaurant 7712 Somerset Pike, Jennerstown, PA 15547 814.629.9201, http://www.greengablesrestaurant.com/ The wine tasting series consists of five tasting events each focused on a single Southern Hemisphere country. You will taste six wines at each event that display the quality and variety of wines produced in each. The complete tour will educate you and your palate about Wines from the Southern Hemisphere. The tastings of the series occur from 6 to 9 pm on the first Friday of every month, August through December. 12/6/2013 to 12/22/2013 A Musical Christmas Carol Byham Theater 101 Sixth Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222 412.456.6666 http://www.pittsburghclo.org/ The holidays would not be the same without Pittsburgh CLO’s A Musical Christmas Carol!We’ve taken the spirit of the season, wrapped it in your
Every Story Begins At Home.
Continue Your Business Education Every Wednesday with Laurel Leaders All local business leaders are invited to attend a weekly meeting of BNI (Business Networking International) held each Wednesday at the Ligonier Country Inn, Laughlintown, from 11:30 am until 1:00 pm. Visitors are welcome, free of charge, and encouraged to come learn more about a variety of important topics:
November 6: Car Sales Tom Farabaugh, Independent Consultant 724-289-6660
November 13: Banking Briana Tomack, First Commonwealth Bank 724-238-6131, www.fcbanking.com
November 20: Real Estate Misty Hegan, Prudential Preferred Realty 724-972-8418, www.PrudentialPreferred.com
November 27: Baking Mary Carlson, Batter-Up! Cakes 724-237-9732, facebook.com/BatterUpCakesAndGoodies
December 4: Commercial Insurance Scott King, BP Insurance, Inc. 724-238-2148, www.panichelleagency.com
December 11: HVAC Mike Trimboli, Highlands Heating, Plumbing, AC 724-238-6889, www.highlandsheating.com
December 18: Life Insurance Jessica Shawley, Estate Assurance, Inc. 724-532-1884
December 30: Magazines & Print Advertising Cathi Gerhard, Laurel Mountain Post 724-537-6845, www.LaurelMountainPost.com
favorite yuletide melodies and tied it with all the holiday magic and wonder of your childhood. Join Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim and a host of colorful characters for a remarkable CLO holiday presentation of A Musical Christmas Carol. With dazzling special effects, holiday charm and ticket prices even Scrooge would approve of, this Charles Dickens classic is a wonderful way to celebrate all the tradition of the season. Please Note: Children under the age of 3 will not be admitted to the theater. 12/7/2013 Norwin Historical Society Christmas House Tour Norwin Public Library, www.westmorelandheritage.org The event runs from 3:30 to 8:30 pm. This is a self-guided tour. Tickets must be purchased in advance at the Norwin Public Library or the Norwin Chamber of Commerce. 12/7/2013 to 12/8/2013 A Ligonier Christmas Ligonier Theatre 208 West Main Street, Ligonier, PA 15658 724.238.6514 http://ligoniertheatre.com. December 7 at 2:30 & 7:30 pm, December 8 at 2:30 pm 12/7/2013 Breakfast with Santa Ligonier Country Inn 1376 Route 30 East, Laughlintown, PA 15655 724.238.3651, http://www.ligoniercountryinn.com If you love our famous breakfast buffet, you will love getting the best of both worlds. Bring the entire family and enjoy a delicious breakfast buffet followed by a visit from the big man himself, Santa Claus! Reservations are required for guaranteed seating. Please call to make a reservation. 12/7/2013 Falls Light Up Ohiopyle State Park 171 Dinnerbell Road, Ohiopyle, PA 15470 724.329.8591, www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/findapark/ohiopyle/ Experience the falls lit up.
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12/11/2013 to 12/16/2013 2013 PirateFest David L. Lawrence Convention Center 1000 Fort Duquesne Blvd., Pittsburgh, PA 15222 412.565.6000, http://pittsburgh.pirates.mlb.com Past PirateFests have featured free autographs, Q&A sessions with players, Pirates alumni and broadcasters, and information on the upcoming season ticket packages, youth baseball and softball clinics, games, contests, prizes, and much more.
Weekend Matinee Schedule Saturdays & Sundays at 1 pm, 3rd Floor November 9 & 10 1939 production of It’s A Wonderful World November 16 & 17 1941 production of Pot O’ Gold
9th & Philadelphia Streets
November 23 – January 2, 2014 All matiness will feature the annual holiday showings of 1946’s It’s A Wonderful Life. Closed November 28 for Thanksgiving. Join us for some great holiday shopping in our gift shop! www.jimmy.org • 724-349-6112
12/7/2013 Breakfast with Santa Ligonier Valley YMCA, 110 West Church St. in Ligonier. 724-238-7580. www.ligonierymca.org. Breakfast includes pancakes, sausage, coffee, juice and fruit cup. Children may visit with Santa for FREE and receive a small complimentary gift and photo. RSVPs for breakfast are due by Monday, December 2. Please call for reservations, and leave your name, phone number and number of people in your party. Seating is limited! 12/7/2013 to 12/10/2013 Festival of Lights Ligonier Town Hall 120 East Main Street, Ligonier, PA 15658 724.238.4983 http://www.compassinn.com, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm 12/7/2013 Holly Jolly Christmas Latrobe Art Center and Café 819 Ligonier Street, Latrobe, PA 15650 724.537.7011, http://latrobeartcenter.org/ Start your holiday off right by spending a holly jolly day in Latrobe. Holiday Open House at the art center will gallery artists displaying and selling their work. This is an excellent time to shop for unique Christmas gifts. Live entertainment and a visit from Santa and Buddy the Elf! 12/7/2013 - 12/15/2013 Gingerbread House Contest Ligonier Valley Chamber of Commerce. 724-238-4200. visitligonier.com Create your own gingerbread house, or bid on your favorite! Donations go to local charity. 12/7/2013 to 12/8/2013 Holiday Open House Fort Ligonier 200 South Market Street, Ligonier, PA 15658 724.238.9701 http://fortligonier.org/ Museum and Store open from 12:00 – 4:00 PM. Free admission. Outside Fort area will be closed. 12/7/2013 Santa’s Barnyard Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve 744 Walzer Way, Latrobe, PA 15650 724.537.5284, http://www.wpnr.org/ Children ages 2-9 are invited to attend a story time and visit with Santa and his animal friends. Holiday crafts and activities will be provided. Registration Required: $6.00/child Registration Deadline: November 27. 12/8/2013 Annual Ligonier Valley Writers Christmas Party St. Michael’s Church, Rector 12/8/2013 Town-Wide Open House in Ligonier Enjoy the carolers as Christmas shop in Ligonier! More than 60 specialty shops and restaurants! 12/9/2013 Christmas in Hawaii Show Ligonier Theatre 208 West Main Street, Ligonier, PA 15658 724.853.4050 http://www.latshawproductions.com/
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12/11/2013 A Christmas Carol Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center 450 Schoolhouse Road, Johnstown, PA 15904, 814.269.7200, http://upjarts.org/ Returning to the Pasquerilla stage this season is A Christmas Carol. Written in 1843, it was destined to become one of the most beloved holiday traditions of all time. Twenty-eight performers bring Dickens’ fable of redemption to life with a full array of traditional Christmas woven into the classic story of Ebenezer Scrooge. A Christmas Carol remains one of the most powerful and vivid illustrations of the necessity of good will in human conduct. Charles Dickens believed that the ills of a greedy world could be healed by brotherhood and unselfishness. The Nebraska Theatre Caravan brings this principle to life. Show starts at 7:30pm 12/12/2013 “Sound Series”: Nellie McKay The Andy Warhol Museum 117 Sandusky St. Pittsburgh, PA 15212 412.237.8300, http://www.warhol.org/ The Warhol welcomes back the inimitable Verve recording artist Nellie McKay, for a unique solo performance in the Warhol Theater. In contrast to her first appearance at the Museum in 2010 with a full band, performing two sets (Doris Day classics from her Normal As Blueberry Pie album, and original material from her last release, Home Sweet Mobile Home), McKay returns for an intimate performance on piano and ukulele, spanning a range of her material. 12/13/2013 Art on Tap 5.2.7 Westmoreland Museum of American Art 4764 State Route 30, Greensburg, PA 15601 724.837.1500, http://www.wmuseumaa.org/ Join us for a casual happy hour at The Westmoreland the second Friday of every month! Relax and enjoy music, scavenger hunts, and fun with friends! What a great way to end your work week! 12/13/2013 Christmas with the Celts State Theatre Center for the Arts 27 East Main Street, Uniontown, PA 15401 724.439.1360 http://statetheatre.info/ This is the popular PBS show which aired across the U.S. and Ireland on 222 PBS channels in Dec. of 2011. Christmas with The Celts is a production hosted by the world renown Irish music group The Celts with Irish dancers, theatrics, children’s choir, spontaneous Irish humor, and inspirational goose bumps. Described as “Ancient meets Modern” you will hear haunting, heart-stirring, Irish & Scottish Christmas Carols that go back as far as the 12th century combined with the modern drum loops, synth work and vocal pop sensibilities of today. Plus carols that everyone knows with Celtic instrumentation. Christmas with The Celts is a perfect blend of the old and new. 12/14/2013 Be a Superhero Art Class Westmoreland Museum of American Art 4764 State Route 30, Greensburg, PA 15601 724.837.1500, http://www.wmuseumaa.org/ How do comic book artists come up with superhero names and alter egos? We’ll take a fantastic and fun voyage into the world of superheroes and heroines and brainstorm some fabulous names for our own super alter egos. Then we’ll design and draw our ideas before we create our very own ultimate art superhero alter ego! 12/14/2013 to 12/15/2013 The Nutcracker Ballet Palace Theatre 21 West Otterman Street, Greensburg, PA 15601 724.837.1850, http://westmorelandsymphony.org/ Revel in the magic of the Nutcracker as the WSO and Laurel Ballet commemorate their 20th Anniversary production of this delightful holiday tradition. Presented on Saturday, December 14 at 2 and 7 p.m. and Sunday, December 15 at 2 p.m. For tickets call the Palace Theatre Box Office 724.836.8000 or visit http://www.thepalacetheatre.org Family-friendly, cultural, and nonprofit events take precedence when print space is a consideration: email@example.com Laurel Mountain Post Calendar: PO Box 332 Ligonier PA 15658
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Every Story Begins At Home.
November 2013 - 47
END NOTES by Cathi Gerhard
“Life Is Full of Obstacle Illusions” The latest link in my unfortunate personal health chain was a diagnosis of cataracts last month. I have seen the eye doctor faithfully since 2nd grade, when I got my first pair of little goldrimmed Granny glasses in second grade for eye strain. Hearing the words “cataracts” and “surgery” at my annual check-up was shocking to say the least. I am only 44 years old, and no one in my family has had that kind of problem until well into their 60’s. The idea of going blind has me rattled. The day after my diagnosis, my hands were shaking as I read aloud from a “blurry” document during a weekly business meeting. I had typed it myself on a super big computer screen in good light, but the printed version was full of problems for my cloudy eyes struggling in the poorly-lit room. The reality of my situation began playing tricks with my emotions. So I’ve been doing a lot of thinking again. I have been having a lot of trouble seeing lately, but assumed it was just time to update my prescription again. My son was born legally blind in one eye, which just means both eyes are vastly different in strength, with one eye severely farsighted). As a baby he used to wink a lot, which actually meant he was compensating in order to see more clearly. He still prefers the wink method to a corrective lens. We all have our methods of compensation for poor vision: holding papers far away or super close, squinting, enlarging type – even using audio books instead when available, which is a favorite technique for my son. 48 - November 2013
So often it is easier to work around obstacles (real or imagined) than to actually deal with them. Circumvention is a temporary solution, prone to repetition. At what point, however, do all our avoidance methods and accommodations get in the way of our original vision or objective?
I will do almost anything rather than return a phone call sometimes – it’s a frustrating phobia. In the end, my circular responses typically take five times longer than just picking up the phone and facing the unknown at the other end. Email and texting have become convenient crutches for many people with similar problems. Other people hate to wait in traffic. They will go 15 miles and 25 minutes out of their way to avoid a red light or two, looking for a “short-cut.” Fad diets and pills are like that too. We spend money and waste time on everything but the simple regime of
eating sensibly and getting some exercise. We’ve all done it, creating these imaginary and complex obstacles to be navigated with our cleverness. A simple problem becomes much harder when we try to avoid it. And yet, there is nothing quite like the satisfaction and security I feel after having tackled an issue. The dread, fear and outright numbing anixiety are finally gone, and I move forward with my life. Fear seems to cripple us, but bravery is empowering. I have learned that venture must follow vision, no matter what lies in its path. We can’t always see what is coming next, but that shouldn’t stop us from continuing on our journey. With age I am more able to face obstacles directly and with less delay. By the time you read this issue, I will have already had my first eye surgery. For the next several months, my daily life and work will require a ton of adjustments and the help of many. My vision will continuously change over the next 6-8 weeks until my brain and new lens find a common point of view. And then I get to do it all over again with the other eye. By next spring I hope to have reached my goal of restored vision and health. It might be a long winter for me, full of frustrations and little set-backs, but in the end it will be worth it – a sentiment I hope to remember more often, in both theory and practice. “Life is full of obstacle illusions.” – Grant Frazier
LAUREL MOUNTAIN POST
Happy Thanksgiving from the Laurel Mountain Post!
Join us for Happy Hour, Monday through Friday, 5:00 - 7:00 PM Live Entertainment every Tuesday and Friday, 6:00 - 9:30 PM. Enjoy the Fall foilage in the mountains of the beautiful Laurel Highlands. Let us pack you a lunch complete with an insulated lunch box you can take on a hike and visit one of a kind scenery. After a beautiful day exploring, return to the hotel and enjoy a bottle of Arnold Palmer wine awaiting you in your room. End your day relaxing around the fire pit under the stars.
115 Arnold Palmer Drive Latrobe, PA 15650 Phone: 724-537-7800
Laurel Mountain Post, a magazine from the heart of western Pennsylvania, where every story begins at home.