Mountain Home, February 2022

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HOME Pennsylvania & the New York Finger Lakes

The Nose Knows Laurel Mountain K9 Search and Rescue Plays a Serious Game of Hide and Seek By Gayle Morrow

Ax the Axeperts in Williamsport Boost Your Indoorphins this Winter in Wellsboro Pinky Fingers Out in Odessa


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Volume 17 Issue 2


Wellsboro One-Stop Wellness By Lilace Mellin Guignard

The Nose Knows

When winter gets you down, get down to 299 Tioga Street.

By Gayle Morrow


Laurel Mountain K9 Search and Rescue plays a serious game of hide and seek.

Puppy Love

By Lilace Mellin Guignard

Mary Beth Logue gets mushy about dogs.


Cold Shoulders for Valentine's Day


By Maggie Barnes

Until an enterprising husband generates some welcome heat.



Miss Red

By Karin Knaus

By David Nowacoski

Hatchet House owners hit on a cutting-edge business in Williamsport.


Back of the Mountain By Sarah Wagaman The path to Spring.

18 Oh, Fiddlesticks! By Karey Solomon

Blending tea, scones, and historic atmosphere in Odessa. Cover photo Patriot, courtesy Lisa Rice. Cover design by Gwen Button. This page (top) Lisa Rice with Dude, courtesy Lisa Rice; (middle) by Karin Knaus; (bottom) Deborah Yeager, by Karey Solomon.

20 3

w w w. m o u n ta i n h o m e m ag . co m Editors & Publishers Teresa Banik Capuzzo Michael Capuzzo Associate Publishers Lilace Mellin Guignard George Bochetto, Esq. D i r e c t o r o f O pe r a t i o n s Gwen Button Managing Editors Gayle Morrow Karey Solomon S a l e s R ep r e s e n t a t i v e s Shelly Moore Circulation Director Michael Banik Accounting Amy Packard Cover Design Gwen Button Contributing Writers Maggie Barnes, Lilace Mellin Guignard, Carrie Hagen, Roger Kingsley, Don Knaus, Karin Knaus, Dave Milano, David Nowakowski, Brendan O’Meara, Bob Ross, Karey Solomon C o n t r i b u t i n g P h o t o g r ap h e r s Gary Barrett, Helen Barrett, Michael Johnston, Christy Lamb, Beate Mumper, Jerame Reinhold, Linda Stager, Cathy Straub, Sarah Wagaman, Curt Weinhold

D i s t r i b u t i o n T eam Brian Button, Grapevine Distribution, Linda Roller T h e B ea g l e Nano Cosmo (1996-2014) • Yogi (2004-2018) ABOUT US: Mountain Home is the award-winning regional magazine of PA and NY with more than 100,000 readers. The magazine has been published monthly, since 2005, by Beagle Media, LLC, 39 Water Street, Wellsboro, Pennsylvania, 16901, and online at Copyright © 2022 Beagle Media, LLC. All rights reserved. E-mail story ideas to editorial@mountainhomemag. com, or call (570) 724-3838. TO ADVERTISE: E-mail, or call us at (570) 724-3838. AWARDS: Mountain Home has won over 100 international and statewide journalism awards from the International Regional Magazine Association and the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association for excellence in writing, photography, and design. DISTRIBUTION: Mountain Home is available “Free as the Wind” at hundreds of locations in Tioga, Potter, Bradford, Lycoming, Union, and Clinton counties in PA and Steuben, Chemung, Schuyler, Yates, Seneca, Tioga, and Ontario counties in NY. SUBSCRIPTIONS: For a one-year subscription (12 issues), send $24.95, payable to Beagle Media LLC, 39 Water Street, Wellsboro, PA 16901 or visit www.


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Go, dog. Go! Lisa Rice of Laurel Mountain K9 Search and Rescue is on the training trail with Dude at the Tioga County Fairgrounds.

The Nose Knows

Laurel Mountain K9 Search and Rescue Plays a Serious Game of Hide and Seek By Gayle Morrow


t’s a mid-winter evening at the Tioga County Fairgrounds, clear and cold, with a hazy ring just forming around a three-quarter waxing moon. It’s quiet. There is no wind. The warmth and bustle of Fair Week is months past. The barns, arenas, and midway are empty, the exhibitors, livestock, and fairgoers long gone. But think of the smells that must linger here—scents from food, animals, humans, fuel, machinery, plus the fresh odors of the six people and six dogs who are all here tonight. For an animal with a nose as sensitive as a dog’s, the olfactory stimulation could be something to bark about. See Nose on page 8


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Nose continued from page 7

But odors are why we’re here. Smells are why I’m hiding in the dark in an empty ticket booth at the outer edge of a vacant arena, an unopened jar of baby food in one hand. It’s chicken paté, I think, but it doesn’t matter because, thankfully, I’m not the one who’s going to eat it. It’s Shylo’s reward when she finds me. I’m the “search subject.” I wonder how long it will take. We haven’t met, so, to her, I’m just one smell amidst all those other smells. All she has to go on is a sniff of the flannel shirt I was wearing and her handler’s command: “Find her.” It doesn’t take her more than a few minutes. When I see her inquisitive snout come around the corner of the booth, and hear the chorus of “good dog, good girl, Shylo,” from the attending humans, I pop open the jar of her favorite treat and she cleans it out with a few swipes of her tongue. Her handler/owner, Shay KernsBarr, says that Shylo is, well, a little shy with people she doesn’t know (thus the name), and that they’re working on helping her get over that. As part of her training, could I be the one to lead her back from her successful search and rescue mission? I’m delighted to do that. Love for Community, Love for Dogs Lisa B. Rice is the 911 coordinator for Tioga County. She’s been part of the county’s emergency services system since 1990, including stints as an EMT and as a dispatcher. “I’ve always had a love for serving the community this way,” she says, adding, “I love working with my dogs.” Given the focus on outdoor recreation here, she agrees there have been times over those years when it would have been helpful to have a local contingency of trained search and rescue (SAR) canines. The disappearance of Michael Malinowski twenty-five years ago on the Colton Point side of the Pine Creek Gorge is a case in point. There was no local SAR canine team to be quickly deployed. Whether that would have made a difference is now just conjecture. Michael Malinowski was never found. That has always bothered Lisa. Families need closure, she believes.

welcome to In 2018, reflecting on that need, she decided it was time to combine her two loves. She and a small group of like-minded folks started Laurel Mountain K9 Search and Rescue, formed a nonprofit, and began training Lisa’s young golden retriever, Patriot, as the team’s first working search and rescue dog. Freedom, a.k.a. Little Dude, or just Dude, followed—he’s Patriot’s full brother, but a year younger. Patriot is certified in trailing and in human remains detection (HRD). Dude was initially certified in narcotics, and is now certified in area search/air scenting. They’re known in certain circles as the Rice Boys. Lisa confesses that she has a third dog, also a golden retriever, who is something of a couch potato. He’s “not very motivated,” she laughs. Motivation is a critical personality trait for a search and rescue dog. Lisa is the only original member of Laurel Mountain K9 Search and Rescue—the others have gone on to other things, she says. These days she and the Rice Boys team up with six other members and an assortment of canine companions. Kim Piasecki works with Andi, an Australian shepherd certified in air scent, and with Tatum, a bloodhound puppy in training for trailing. In addition to Shylo, who is a Lab/Belgian Malinois cross in training for trailing, Shay Kerns-Barr works with Luna, a young and extremely wiggly little mixed breed—sometimes dubbed “Luna the Lunatic”—who is also in training for trailing. Todd Bourdette works with a border collie named Rayne. Steve Ensminger and his Lab/St. Bernard cross, Chief, are the most recent additions. Denise Drabick serves as the team’s training coordinator, and works, as does Steve Allen, another fairly new member, as a “ground pounder” or search technician. Neither of them has dogs on the team, but are there for the weekly trainings and, when the calls come in, for the searches. “This weekly training is so valuable to the K9s and the team as a whole,” says Steve. “As a relatively new team member, I learned that the team was a close-knit group that quickly accepted me. Their friendship and guidance will help me to become a fully certified member of the team, hopefully by the end of 2022.”



What Motivates Your Dog? Some dogs love to work (not mine, BTW), so, if you want them to work for you and with you, you need to discover what kind of reward will encourage them to do what you ask. Typically that’s food, or a toy, or an activity. After Little Dude found his search subject during the nighttime training at the fairgrounds, Lisa gave him his favorite toy—a ball at the end of a rope. He had a blast with it. Other dogs, like Shylo and Luna, are food-driven. “They have to enjoy it,” Lisa says. “You need a dog with a strong prey or work drive.” Dr. Frank Rosell, author of Secrets of the Snout: The Dog’s Incredible Nose, writes “scent tasks” make dogs happy. How much happier, and how much more willing to do what we ask, if we augment that with an additional something we know the dog really, really enjoys? On the flip side, if a search and rescue operation does not result in a find, or not the find the dog has been asked for, some dogs can get down in the dumps. That happened after 9-11, Lisa explains. There was a period of time searchers at the World Trade See Nose on page 10

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Nose continued from page 9

Center were using “live find” dogs as opposed to those trained on human remains detection, hoping they’d come up with survivors. When that didn’t happen, some dogs actually became depressed. Lisa says it’s important for the dogs to learn about searching such “negative areas” and to reward them in some fashion for their work, even if there was nothing to find. “You have to be thoughtful of your dog,” Lisa states. She recalls one of Patriot’s searches that turned up nothing. When they got home, she gave him something to find in their yard.

(2) Courtesy Shay Kerns-Barr

Gayle Morrow

Smelling and Breathing (Spoiler Alert—They’re Not the Same Thing) A dog’s nose is 100,000 to one million times more sensitive than ours. That range is even greater if the nose belongs to a bloodhound. Dogs can detect odors in parts per trillion. To understand how amazing that is, think of a teaspoon of something odorous mixed in the amount of water it would take to fill two Olympic-sized swimming pools. That’s parts per trillion. Canine nostrils are uniquely suited to smelling and breathing at the same time. Thanks to the structure of their noses, they can sniff almost continuously, breathing all the while but not exhaling away the scent itself. Dog schnozzes have a sort of flap inside that determines the direction of the airstream in and out, which then works to send information about the incoming scent to the appropriate side of the brain. According to Dr. Rosell, “how odorants [smells] The succession to are deposited…plays a role in compound recognition.” success: (from top) After smells get in the nose, “they are transformed into trailing dogs are exposed to the scent an electrical signal that travels via the olfactory nerve to the olfactory center of the brain where the information of human remains to begin their task; is interpreted.” Shylo (with handler The breed with the best sense of smell, according to Shay Kerns-Barr), is the bloodhound. A bloodhound’s long tracks the scent; ears and wrinkly facial skin are also helpful in getting Shylo successfully smells to her nose while she’s on a trail. Others on the ends her trail by best smellers list include the beagle, German shepherd, finding trainer Steve dachshund, harrier, basset, redbone, bluetick, English Allen. foxhound, Labrador retriever, black and tan, treeing walker, golden retriever, Scottish terrier, and Malinois. You may not know this (I didn’t), but cats’ noses are even more sensitive than dogs’. As much as I love cats, I can’t imagine any of the ones I know being convinced to help me find anything. It’s a matter of motivation.


The Power of the Pooch The dogs and humans of Laurel Mountain K9 Search and Rescue are trained to find lost and missing people and things via three main methods: trailing, air scent, and human remains detection. Training for air scent and trailing is similar, Lisa says. Dogs trained for air scent detect smells in the air; they often work off-lead and range over wide areas. They are typically “non-scent-discriminating,” as they may not be searching for a specific person. A trailing dog does just that—locates a specific person by following a scent trail. They follow a more direct path than their

welcome to air-scenting co-workers, and are usually kept on a long lead. HRD dogs learn to ignore living smells and focus on human remains odors—even really old odors in really small samples. To put it delicately, Lisa has access to the components she needs to train for HRD, including bits of cotton, stored in glass vials, which have been saturated with those odors. With the top off the vial, and the vial tucked into a corner or on top of something, Patriot can find it. “You have to be sure you’re training on all sizes of source,” Lisa notes. She adds that Patriot will “work through a graveyard of deer bones because he knows that’s not the target.” HRD-trained dogs can help with missing person cold cases, disaster scenes, or crime scenes. Dogs must be certified with an accredited nationally recognized organization before they can be official SAR dogs, or considered to be “field operational.” The National Association for Search and Rescue and the American Working Dog Association are two that Laurel Mountain K9 Search and Rescue work with. Certification typically takes a year; most are then good for two years before renewal is required. It’s a rigorous training. The canine certification from AWDA alone is twenty-six pages of stuff your dog needs to know or be able to do. Handlers also must certify with various search and rescue accredited organizations via written and field-testing. They must know about “scent theory”—how smells move according to how the air moves, how to set up a search area, and how to do canine first aid and canine CPR, Lisa says. While some old dogs can learn new tricks, for SAR training it’s best to start with a puppy, Lisa continues. It helps to be cognizant of what a dog has been through, what her life experiences have been. That knowledge might help you figure out her motivations or the reasons she responds the way she does to certain situations. Once you’ve got the motivation/reward figured out, the trick is “to get him really pumped for the treat,” Lisa says. The training starts small—maybe you let your dog see you hide, tell him to “find me,” and then give the reward. “It’s a progression of constant chains of behavior,” Lisa explains. For the next step, you might hide but not let your dog see where you went. The idea is to focus on one scent, yours, in this case, and get your dog to follow it to its conclusion. Then make it harder by using another person as the search subject, or make a scent trail with an object. Training must include locating the scent source in a variety of places, Lisa continues—above ground, buried, elevated, in a vehicle, in a building, in a container, and always including the “negative area.” Training also includes figuring out what a particular dog’s “indicator” is. How does he let you know he’s found what you’ve asked him to? Some dogs return to their handler and bark or give a “body bang.” Others will sit where they’ve found the scent source. During the night training at the fairgrounds, some of the dogs wore electronic trackers. With that device and a GPS, handlers can overlay the subject’s track and the dog’s path to see how the two coincide. That might help your dog stay on task, See Nose on page 25

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When Winter Gets You Down, Get Down to 299 Tioga Street By Lilace Mellin Guignard


hen temps creep below freezing and your face hurts when you take the dog out to pee, your mood may sag like a pine bough piled with snow. It’s not your fault—it’s biology. Less sunlight means more melatonin, making us sleepy. It also means less serotonin, the hormone that makes us happy. Suddenly we lose motivation to do the very things that cheer us up. Suddenly we growl at our friends who love winter. Suddenly we growl at our dog because he pees outdoors. There’s help in the neighborhood. Chris and Lisa Bull created a new wellness complex in Wellsboro to help put some spring in your winter step. Serotonin levels increase with regular exercise and social interaction, and the businesses at 299 Tioga Street have you covered. Chris and Lisa bought the old bowling alley last year, when they wanted to expand 365 Fitness. “But the building was 12

too big for just the gym,” explains Chris. They found other businesses to rent space and developed a multifunctional building that contains their twenty-four-hour gym, Mountain Life Cycling Studio (MLCS), and Arise Café, all of which are interconnected for easy access indoors. Carol’s Beauty & Glow Salon is housed separately. Carol’s offers a full range of hair services and five levels of tanning. A line of parking spaces stretches the length of the building from Carol’s, on the left, to Arise on the right. There are front entrances to 365 and the café. Drive to the right of the café around to the back to find the main parking area. The double doors in back are handicap accessible and open onto a large room of tables, sometimes full of people playing Euchre and drinking coffee. The back hallway leads left to the café, to the 365 Gym door in the center, and the entrance to

the spin studio on the right. The spin studio is almost 2,800 square feet of space, whose walls are an energizing white, teal, and purple. There’s a platform up front for the instructor, and four rows of four bikes. Sue Webster, owner of MLCS, offers a variety of morning and evening classes. She moved her business from the Deane Center so she could have room to space the bicycles six feet apart. Having shut down for the pandemic, she reopened here in October 2021. Sue had a spin studio in Bucks County before moving here and has worked in the fitness industry for twenty-five years. “Spinning is a non-impact cardiovascular workout on a stationary bike, appropriate for people of all ages and fitness levels,” she says. “Cycling is often used in rehabbing knee injuries.” Though the instructor has a program they lead, it’s up to each person to decide how hard they push themselves—or if

welcome to they even follow the program. It’s common for someone in class who’s starting out or has joint injuries to have the goal of simply pedaling for forty-five minutes, the length of a class. The Zone is located in the back of the same room, with mirrors, dumbbells, mats, and more for group classes in barre, circuit training, and body sculpting. Group classes are for those who like the accountability of knowing friends will be there, and who like a supportive atmosphere that is not aggressive. Sue says, “With group fitness you get the benefits of the hours of preparation that certified instructors put in creating classes specifically for their students, down to the music. We make it fun.” Join a theme ride, like seventies songs or Christmas in July. Walk back down the hallway to enter the door to 365. Now you’re in 6,000 square feet of cardio and strength training. The locker room offers four private toilet/shower/changing rooms. The red, black, and silver room holds Life Fitness ellipticals, treadmills, stair climbers, arc trainers, bikes, and a rower you can program for your own virtual coach. Or you can watch Netflix or YouTube while burning calories. There’s free Wi-Fi throughout the gym so you can get Spotify or Sirius while using the free weights or selectorized machines, which allow users to choose the amount of weight they move for each exercise. At the front counter, manager Austin Dunham and his staff is happy to show a visitor around or set up personal training sessions. “Not everything is about business here,” Austin says. “We want to build relationships.” Staff are there from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday. But what sets this gym apart is the twenty-four-hour access possible if you get a key fob. Want to come after finishing a graveyard shift? No problem. Can’t sleep and need to blow off some stress? Come on in. After you’ve finished a morning workout and want a power smoothie, or any time you want a warm place to connect with friends, Melissa Owlett has what you need at Arise Café, open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. every day but Sunday. She describes Arise as “a healthier eats café,” then laughs when she considers the popularity of her made-from-scratch maple-glazed pumpkin cookies. Paninis, soups, salads, breakfast sandwiches, and egg bowls use locally sourced ingredients when possible, and always her own recipes (including the Buffalo Chicken sauce). Glutenfree options are available. “The biggest way to beat the winter blues,” Melissa says, “is a cup of coffee with a friend—or two, or three . . . or thirty.” This year, show the blahs who’s boss by getting down to 299 Tioga Street, connecting with folks, exercising at least thirty minutes three times a week, and eating healthy. For more information on these businesses, look them up on Facebook, check out their websites, or give them a call. 365 Fitness:, (570) 724-2485 MLCS:, (267) 446-4452 Arise Café:, (570) 724-1100 Carol’s Beauty & Glow Salon: (570) 404-9615

Lilace Mellin Guignard raises her kids in Wellsboro where she plays outdoors, gets wild with community theater, and shakes things up at Sunday school. She’s the author of When Everything Beyond the Walls Is Wild: Being a Woman Outdoors in America.

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Puppy Love

Mary Beth Logue Gets Mushy About Dogs By Lilace Mellin Guignard


ar y Beth Logue, owner of Cascade Kennel in Trout Run, Pennsylvania, often hears dog sledding compared to snowmobiling, but says, “it’s really more like dairy farming.” She smiles and shares kisses with lead dog Ruby. She gets up at 3:55 a.m. to feed, water, clean, and play with all the dogs. She answers emails while eating, giving the ones going on a run that morning time to hydrate and digest. Then she puts shirts and booties on those that need them, harnessing and attaching them to the lines before they burst into the woods and fields around their home to race the sunrise. After giving snacks and water to the day’s runners, Mary Beth gets herself dressed and heads to Montoursville where she works


as a school counselor. At the end of the day she comes home to her pack. “It’s not about racing,” she says of the training, “though it’s fun to be with other mushers and on new trails. What I like most is being part of a pack of dogs. I’m kind of in charge but not really. They have a say in everything.” Take bedtime, where the analogy with dairy farming breaks down. When the dogs are indoors, they have the run of the upstairs of the timber frame home built like a Pennsylvania bank barn. “There are dogs everywhere,” she laughs. “Most of them are sweet cuddles, especially Bow, Copper, and Triumph. Hurricane and Bonanza snuggle for a while and then jump off the bed to sleep in their own space. I guess I can’t blame them.”

The ground floor is the work area, where the gear, sleds, and food are stored. The basement is the “dog box,” which gives each dog their own space, so they always feel comfortable and safe. Mary Beth currently trains fifteen dogs, but more live there, along with her husband, Chris Logue. She says firmly, “They stay with me forever.” When dogs get too old to run, they remain with the pack. Some develop conditions that mean they can’t run. The vets aren’t sure why, but Rush, only nine years old, gets a couple of seizures a year, so she’s going to be Chris’s hangar dog. Chris is a pilot, and they have an airstrip and hangar he built. “People have asked me if I know my dogs’ names.” Mary Beth shakes her head

Still Blooming Photos, courtesy Ashley Bowen

Lilace Mellin Guignard

Leader of the pack: Mary Beth Logue shares a kiss with lead dog Ruby.

Lilace Mellin Guignard raises her kids in Wellsboro where she plays outdoors, gets wild with community theater, and shakes things up at Sunday school. She’s the author of When Everything Beyond the Walls Is Wild: Being a Woman Outdoors in America.

Mary Beth Logue

Lilace Mellin Guignard

in disbelief. “I know their bark from inside, I know their different barks and what they mean. I ask them, ‘do you know your friends’ names?’” Pack equals family. If you wonder how her husband feels about all this, well, he’s partly responsible. Chris got Mary Beth her first harness the Christmas after they’d motorcycled to Alaska. In Denali they’d watched a demonstration of what these dogs love to do, and Mary Beth thought, “Scout could do this.” Her dog Scout was part husky and part Labrador, and looked like the Alaskan huskies in the demo. Alaskan huskies are smaller than Alaskan Malamutes—the iconic sled dogs of movies—more marathoner than linebacker. Soon there was a second dog, Ember, from a kennel that trained sled dogs. Ember knew what it was to be in a team and taught Scout. They went skijoring—a sport of cross-country skiing while being pulled by dogs who respond to voice commands. She joined the Pennsylvania Sled Dog Club and continued to learn, gradually growing her team, even breeding sled dogs for a short time. She also switched from skijoring to dogsledding. “I’m not a good enough skier to hook myself to dogs going eighteen miles per hour,” she laughs. She twice ran the Beargrease Dog Sled Marathon Race in Northern Minnesota, which is more than a hundred miles, but mostly does shorter races. She organizes the annual Canyon Sled Dog Challenge, set for February 26 on the Pine Creek Rail Passionate pullers: Mary Trail. Many years the weather has not cooperated, and it’s Beth Logue (bottom) been canceled. So what can all these mid-Atlantic mushers knows her dogs inside and out and views them do when there’s no snow on the ground? Mary Beth has a as family. She plans to four-wheeler she hooks her team to, driving at their race retire and grow old with pace of eleven miles per hour through the woods. But the her pack. dogs like it best when the temperature is in the twenties. Mary Beth also likes winter best. She grew up on crosscountry skis and ice skates in Jersey Shore, but never guessed she’d end up dogsledding. She describes riding a sled as being shot out of a cannon tied to a rocking chair. “You never let go,” she explains. “You crash all the time, but I’d rather crash than lose my team.” She watches the dogs figure each other out, and has learned to tell who wants to lead and who doesn’t, what side they prefer to pull on, and who they like to be paired with. She uses the same approach with dogs as she uses with children she works with—positive reinforcement. “I’ve never had to teach a dog to pull or run. I just have to set them up to succeed.” When pups are too young to pull, she teaches them how to cross water, what a harness feels like, and how to be brave in new settings. “It’s all about them wanting to go. You can’t push a rope,” she points out. What can we learn from dogs? Mary Beth doesn’t hesitate before answering. “Enthusiasm. They are committed to being happy.” Also that work can be fun. Mary Beth has worked hard and looks forward to retirement. She’s done acquiring puppies and sees a day when she won’t be racing or training year-round. She’ll just grow older with her pack. “I’ll always have some dogs,” she grins. For more information, follow the Cascade Kennel Sled Dog Race Team on Facebook.


Cold Shoulders for Valentine’s Day ...Until an Enterprising Husband Generates Some Welcome Heat By Maggie Barnes


appy Valentine’s Day.” I snuggled into my husband’s shoulder and kissed his cheek. “Why is it so cold in here?” The murder of this magic moment was brought to you by a husband with overdeveloped senses. Bob rolled to his feet and looked across the bedroom. “Power’s out. Thought so.” Propped on my elbows, I could see the alarm clock flashing 12:00. The house was completely silent. It is usually peaceful on our hill, but this was the complete lack of any mechanical noise. Reaching for my robe I sighed, “Wonder how long it will be this time?” Like most utilities, the folks who bring us power concentrate their restoration efforts in the areas of highest population. A tiny private road with four houses is never a high priority. We’ve seen some long, dark days. Consultation with our two closest neighbors confirmed the entire hill had lost juice. “Whatever you do, don’t open the


freezer,” Bob said over his shoulder as he left the room. Valentine’s dinner was to include shrimp and steak, now resting in our standing freezer. If we had power for the oven. By the time I dressed in as many layers as I could get on and still move, Bob had a fire going in the front room and was bundled up to head outside. My husband is one of those people who absolutely must have time outside each and every day. His calm and centered demeanor is rooted in spending time in the natural world. It’s one of the pillars of life for him. On days like this, stepping outside also informs his understanding of situations. Ten minutes’ investigation and he was back with a full update. “Most of the region is out,” he said, stomping slushy snow off his boots. “Must be from the high winds last night. We’ve got a wire down. Right in the middle of the road.” “We need to report that to somebody, right?” I checked my phone and was relieved that it was fully charged, though the Wi-Fi was gone.

“Yeah, see if you can get through to NYSEG. Get a restoration time. And keep that fireplace going. I’m going to pull the generator. Check with Scott and Peggy. I don’t know if they can get past that wire.” I set about my duties and listened to the thump of the generator shed being opened. It was a small unit, but able to power some lights, the fridge, the microwave, and, most critically, the furnace. I called the power company to report our outage and learned our road was “out,” along with dozens of others, with a restoration time still “pending.” Then I called back to report the downed wire. It rang long enough that I forgot who I was calling and why. In between tossing more wood on two fireplaces, I kept dialing. No luck. The day wore on, blustery and cold. We had heat and a few outlets worked. In an attempt to salvage our dinner, Bob ran an industrial extension cord through the house and hooked up the freezer to the generator. I tried the power company umpteen more

times with no success. We were less worried about getting power back than we were about the downed wire. A career in emergency services comes in handy at a time like this, and Bob decided to go that route. He called the non-emergency line for Chemung County 911. The pleasant woman on the other end informed us she could not find our address in their system and that we do not live in Chemung—at least as far as police, fire, and EMS were concerned. Bob replied with a level of humor he wasn’t feeling, “Really? We pay Chemung taxes. That doesn’t get us anything?” She was adamant—no such address in Chemung. We live very close to the border with Tioga County, so perhaps we were in their hands? Second call to a county 911 center. “I’m not familiar with that address. Let me—no, it’s not here. You don’t live in Tioga County.” We exchanged a glance. I raised my eyebrows. “Where do we live? Brigadoon?” Bob was describing our situation using some of his “special words,” often reserved for golf and uncooperative tools. Allow me to paraphrase: “Well, what the hot dog is this baloney all about? We have to be in someone’s golly dang system! What the footstool are we supposed to do?” He settled into problem-solving mode, and contacted a former colleague who manages 911 for Bradford County, across the border in Pennsylvania. “Rob, can you get word to NYSEG for us that we have a wire down?” Bob was pinching the bridge of his nose and pacing around the orange lead cord in the kitchen. For only hearing one side of the conversation, I caught the gist pretty well. “No, I tried that…Turns out we don’t live in either Chemung or Tioga counties… “Beats me why the frisbee not!” NYSEG was informed. They sent a guy in a pick-up truck to look at the wire. He agreed it was down and that it was a bad thing. He then spent the night in said truck, as they cannot leave a hazard once it’s identified. And for the moment, no crew could be spared from other areas to repair it. Twelve hours in, with no restoration in sight, we cracked the door of the freezer long enough to grab the steaks and shrimp and headed for the grill. Valentine’s dinner was by candlelight and flashlight while the generator hummed a love song. Ah, the romance. Crawling into bed in two layers of sweats and smelling of wood smoke and not much soap, we resumed the pose the day had begun with. “Thank you for a memorable Valentine’s Day,” I said. Bob held me tighter, probably to stave off the frostbite, and said, “I may not know where we live, but as long as I’m with you, it’s still home.” The outage lasted four days. One gray morning, I looked out to see the warm yellow lights of a utility bucket truck tending to our downed wire. After a bit of a bureaucratic tangle, we were formally declared residents of Chemung for all matters—emergent and otherwise. It was good to be home. Maggie Barnes has won several IRMAs and Keystone Press Awards. She lives in Waverly, New York.

Let The Music





Música Diversa Celebrating Diversity in Classical Music and Music In Our Schools Month®

Sunday, March 6, 2022 at 4:00 PM Clemens Center • Elmira, NY


50, $40, $20—adults $ 10—students with ID Free—children under 18 $

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Florence Price Adoration Bright Sheng Black Swan William Grant Still Symphony No. 1 “Afro-American” Arturo Márquez Danzón No. 2 with the Youth Orchestra and Junior Strings Peter Warlock Capriol Suite Sergei Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 First Movement

Christopher Tillen, Hertzog Competition Tied Winner This concert is sponsored in part by Bonnie & Gary Chollet and the Tripp Foundation. Free Under 18 sponsored by the Anderson Foundation. OSFL programs are made possible in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

For your safety, we will comply with current Clemens Center, CDC, state and local health requirements.

(607) 936-2873 17

Courtesy Marshall Winters

Rousing recreation: owners Marshall and Jennifer Winters wanted to bring something exciting to Williamsport.


Hatchet House Owners Hit on a Cutting-Edge Business in Williamsport By Karin Knaus


hen Marshall and Jennifer Winters began exploring the idea of opening their own small business, the husband and wife had plenty to ponder. As they started kicking around ideas, one critical refrain kept echoing in their heads—“That’s boring.” Until Marshall suggested throwing axes at the wall. The family, whose passions include hunting, hiking, and exploring, considered the friends they’d seen on social media throwing axes in venues closer to larger cities, and inspiration struck. “Why not Williamsport?” Once the conversation commenced about the anything-but-boring idea, it ignited their adventurous spirits. The next Saturday, the pair took their boys on a road trip to give it a try. Their first experience, says Marshall, “wasn’t great.” They tried again at a spot near Harrisburg. After throwing there, they knew


they wanted to give it a shot and immediately began looking for a location in Williamsport. They also learned what they didn’t want to do—leave untried customers without the instruction and direction they needed to have the best experience possible. The Hatchet House opened in July 2019 at 362 Market Street. Prospective amateur lumberjacks are greeted by one of the twenty friendly “Axeperts” employed there. Groups are assigned their very own Axepert, ready to demonstrate how to wield a hatchet safely and heave it accurately in one of the many lanes available. Green throwers first learn the safety rules, including staying behind a line when another is throwing, and never handing an axe directly to another thrower. Instead, you’ll leave it on the stump for the next person to heft themself. At the far end of each lane lies the Everest every guest hopes to conquer—a massive

wooden target tall and wide enough that even someone who doesn’t feel particularly savvy with an axe is sure to get at least a few successful throws in. The thunking of hatchets hitting their marks resonates. If you’re really lucky, you’ll hear the familiar “Kill shot!” chant, signaling some brave soul is going “all in” on a chance at striking one of two special, but challenging, spots on the target. Hit one and it means added points and even greater glory. But should they miss? Well, they score a zero and leave their glory resting on the stump. The Axeperts make the whole experience safe, rel-axe-ing, and memorable. Says Marshall, “We definitely search for those who are outgoing, trustworthy, and reliable. It’s important for our Axeperts to not only keep our customers safe while throwing, but also to engage with them and show them an unforgettable time.”

After demonstrating how to throw an axe at the target both one-handed and overhead, the Axepert ensures each thrower has time to hone their craft. Then, let the games begin! It’s not simply an hour of taking turns throwing axes. It’s sister against brother and every man or woman for themself to see who can score highest and walk out with bragging rights. Popular games include High Score, where each thrower gets ten throws, and Cornhole, where the winner is the first to hit twenty-one points without going over. If there’s time remaining, some Axeperts will demonstrate a few trick shots and give customers a chance to try them out. An underhanded “granny” shot, holding the blade instead of the handle, and a two-hatchet stunner spice up anyone’s throwing repertoire. As if the myriad of games and trick shots wasn’t enough, the Winters have remained committed to making sure no one ever gets bored. They’ve added the popular “Glow Throw” on the First Friday of every month. It’s everything you’d imagine—abundant blacklights, hypnotizing neon, and bright, bold bullseyes. They’ve also incorporated Tuesday night doubles leagues in fall and winter. Each session lasts about eight weeks and culminates in tournaments with prizes donated by other local businesses. The Hatchet House offers their own “Snaxe Bar”—what else could they call it?—and customers may bring their own beer or wine to enjoy while competing. Shortly into their tenure with the brick and mortar business, the couple decided to expand to offer outdoor Mobile Axe Throwing. The mobile business caught on quickly and was a great pivot for the team during covid, when indoor businesses were shuttered and people preferred outdoor activities, particularly in warm weather. In 2021, the Hatchet House’s two mobile trailers offered the excitement of axe throwing tomfoolery at retirement parties, weddings, corporate events, and more. Marshall reports they’ll have three trailers available for the 2022 season. “We encourage customers to book as far in advance as possible,” he says. Whether in-house or on a trailer, the business sees bachelor and bachelorette parties and gender reveals. They’ve even seen their share of surprise engagements. Anyone who walks into the Hatchet House, tries their hand at the bright red bullseye, dares to track down the elusive kill shot, or just laughs at their own inadequacy is certain to have a day to remember. That’s exactly what Marshall and Jennifer wanted. But they’re not done yet. The team is planning to launch a catering business, “Dad’s BBQ” for 2022. The Hatchet House will continue to evolve, too, as general manager Cody Park plans to launch a series of new games and “fun new things up our sleeves in 2022.” If you choose to try your hand at the Hatchet House, the Winters can’t promise you’ll win a game or get the bullseye, although they’ll certainly try to help you get there. They can promise it won’t be boring. Learn more on their website,, or call them at (570) 800-AXES. Follow their Instagram or Facebook page to see updates. Karin Knaus prepared for her evening at the Hatchet House early in life, when she chased her sister around the living room with a meat tenderizer. No one was hurt, and now her sister is the clear Axepert of the family. By day, Karin teaches high school English—no sharp tools involved.

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Blended blessings: Deborah Yeager sips on one of her many tea blends while snacking on scones in the former Odessa Baptist Church.

Oh, Fiddlesticks!

Blending Tea, Scones, and Historic Atmosphere in Odessa By Karey Solomon


n the former Baptist Church in Odessa, now the home of Deborah and Daniel Yeager, community members still gather for special events like crafts fairs, retreats, library sales, and tea parties. It’s also the headquarters for Deborah’s business, Fiddlesticks Tea. Deborah’s appreciation of tea began early. She grew up in York, England, where visits with her grandma generally involved chats over a cup of tea. In her teens, she worked at a tea room specializing in teas and coffees sourced from all corners of the world. Fast forward to adult life, and a move across the pond, where for several years she worked as a makeup artist in Beverly Hills. She experimented with making furniture, and acted in live theater. This last was where she met her husband, film actor and writer Daniel Yeager, possibly best known for his 2013 portrayal of Leatherface in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre 3D. When the newlyweds lived in the


mountains outside Los Angeles in 2014, Deborah wanted to start a business that would allow her to express her creative side. After tasting several blends of tea, she thought, “I can do this—and do a better job. It just evolved. I started buying more herbs and spices. I don’t grow my own because I don’t have a green thumb, and I want them to be the best quality. I just throw things together, taste it, and think I have something. Then I have friends test it.” Sounds recreational, but it may take months to come up with a final blend because her palate needs to rest between tastings. The experiment continues. “I will know what it needs more or less of—or maybe I should add that as well.” Her workroom is a sunny office with shelves of glass jars containing tea ingredients, scales for exact measurements, and, of course, a kettle. It’s also where she stores her library of fine china, from delicate floral-decorated cup and saucer sets, to tiered

serving platters for scones and other small delectables, as well as a collection of teapots. She’s learned surprising combinations of flavors may play well together, as in her newest blend, “Dilly Dally,” a mix of the citrussy bergamot of Earl Grey tea with the fragrant tang of lavender. Or the interplay of dandelion, lemongrass, and Assam in “Monk’s Tea,” developed at the request of two friends who are monks. The business got its name because Deborah, ever polite, exclaims “Fiddlesticks!” instead of an earthier expletive when something goes wrong, “and Daniel said, ‘You should call the business that— considering the number of times you say it!’” They moved East in 2017 to enjoy all four seasons. Fiddlesticks ( currently offers a dozen blends, including several herbal teas. Deborah aims to eventually have twenty. See Fiddlesticks on page 24

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The Immortal Miss Red By David Nowacoski


t was February, 2017, when my buddy Jay let me know where I could find her. He knew what I was looking for—and more important, what I wanted to avoid. Those high-maintenance situations never really worked out for me. Living on a farm, I’m all about dependability and hard work. I couldn’t care less about getting “oohs” and “ahs” going down the street. So when Jay messaged me that brisk winter morning, I slipped out of my muck boots and headed for town. As soon as I laid eyes on her, I knew she was the one. Petite would not be the word I’d use to describe her. More like solid. But that’s not to say she was unattractive. Yeah, she’d been around the block a few times, but she looked well taken care of. I bought her on the spot and came home with the slightly used minivan we’d call Miss Red. On a farm full of trucks and tractors, you’d wonder why I’d gone looking for a minivan. Versatility. Miss Red had three rows of seats, which meant my wife could haul a load of kids to soccer practice and still have room to pick up a few things at the hardware store. But Miss Red wasn’t just into the mom type stuff. With the seats folded down, she


gave me a full four-by-eight-foot flat hauling area. And haul we did! Rain was pouring down the day the guys at the feed mill laughed at me when I showed up with Miss Red. But as they struggled with tarps and ropes, I just slid that side door open and smugly started loading feed bags that I knew would stay nice and dry on the trip home. Six hundred pounds later I slid that door closed, tipped the rain water off my hat, and drove away. In the rearview mirror I could see them watching Miss Red, and I knew she had impressed them. Tough as she was, she had limits. She loved kids—but only the human kind. One day, my wife and I came upon a farm advertising Boer goats for sale. We’d been looking for goats to help us clear out a new pasture, so we swung into the driveway. After chatting with the owners of the farm, we struck a deal for four baby goats. They asked when we were going to come back for them. I just smiled, put my hand on Miss Red, and said we could take them them right now. I swear I felt her shudder. The door stuck a little when I tried to open it, and the seats didn’t fold down as easy as they usually did. But I managed to get her ready for her hoofed

passengers. You’d swear these goats had never ridden in a vehicle before. They bounced from side to side and up and down. While we kept them from chewing on anything long enough to leave marks, it was their other end that we didn’t have an answer for. That evening I took out a bucket of soapy water and tried to clean up the mess they made. It must have been an optical illusion, but those headlights glared at me as I walked by. Miss Red is still with us, mellowed out a bunch since our (human) kids are grown and gone. We hardly ever have her seats up anymore, but she seems happy picking up veggies and stuff from local farms. We don’t ask her to haul anything heavy now. Heck, with the miles she has on her, we’re just happy she still gets up and goes. If you see her going by, give Miss Red a wave. She likes that. David Nowacoski grew up on a farm in East Smithfield and lives just down the road a bit from it still, where he runs WindStone Landing Farms and Delivered Fresh with his wife Marla. He made his kids pick rocks from the garden and believes that sometimes a simple life is a more wise way to go.

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Fiddlesticks continued from page 20

Not surprisingly, Deborah is precise about brewing tea. No fan of teabags dunked in just-boiled water, she most often uses an infuser immersed in a digital kettle, which brings the water to a pre-programmed temperature, then holds it there while herbs and tea leaves steep. At its peak, the brew is served immediately or decanted into one of her beautiful teapots. She is expert in the aesthetics of a proper English tea. When she caters a tea party, an enterprise she’s done many times on both sides of the country, she prepares English scones—round ones, not triangles. These are complemented with homemade clotted cream and her signature blood orange marmalade. For those who need more sustenance, there may be egg, smoked salmon, or cucumber-and-cress sandwiches presented on crustless triangles of buttered bread. Sometimes there are little cheesecakes, coffee kisses, or macarons. But you won’t see ordinary cookies, nor crumbling chunks of cake. Deborah puts her aesthetic to use at the tea parties she caters for large and small

groups. The former sanctuary can seem to cradle guests in an intimate space near the crackling wood stove, or accommodate a large group seated in cushioned oak church pews drawn up to long tables elegantly draped with the vintage white linen tablecloths Deborah collects. She recently catered a tea party for a family’s birthday. Pre-pandemic she put together several historical teas, including a Downton Abbey-themed party in California and events for Stourbridge Line Train Excursions in Honesdale, Pennsylvania. She always encourages guests to dress up in period costume from a gentler time—at least from the tea table on up—complete with fancy hats. Her last large-scale tea event was in February 2020, organized for the Schuyler County (New York) Historical Society to commemorate Susan B. Anthony’s 200th birthday. “It was a wonderful experience to gather in this former church,” says Glenda Gephart, executive director of the Historical Society. “Deborah offers a unique experience. I’m glad we were able to enjoy it right before the shutdown.” Jean Hubsch, president of the Historical

Society’s board of trustees, agrees. “It seemed quite authentic,” she says. “To use a cliché, people were dressed up in their Sunday goto-church clothes. It was very lovely and well done, and her tea is delicious.” During the party, the Historical Society unveiled a letter they’d found in their holdings, written by Susan B. Anthony to one of her Schuyler County supporters. “It was one of my favorite events,” Deborah says. She’s now hoping to host future tea parties, including an Easter event. And, “I’d like to do something for children,” she says. “I think it could be a cultural introduction to tea. And many children do like tea, and using pretty china.” She’s also developing two new blends of tea. “I’m hoping to have them available by the summer,” she says. Look for the Fiddlesticks Tea Company on Facebook for announcements of upcoming events and new tea releases. You can also give her a call at (607) 923-8009. Karey Solomon is a freelance writer and needlework designer who teaches internationally.

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Mountain Home

Nose continued from page 11

but it might also be revelatory to you. “An odor may not be exactly where a person walked,” Lisa notes. That’s one reason for the tattoo on her inner arm, the one that says, “tuum canum confide.” It means “trust your dog,” and it’s a critical component of the dog/human search and rescue team. The ability to “read” your dog, his body language, his nuances, enhances the bond that develops between the two of you, and enables you to trust his nose, and him, even if he’s going in what you believe to be the wrong direction. Remember, he’s got about a zillion more olfactory sensors than you do. So Far… The Laurel Mountain K9 Search and Rescue team had fifteen active searches in 2021 and six availability notices. Patriot was out on six human remains detection calls and was involved in a criminal case downstate. “My team doesn’t typically deploy on criminal investigations, or when the person we’re looking for could be dangerous,” Lisa says. “We’re search and rescue, not law enforcement.” She notes that while the team, of course, wants to be in on the find, it’s the find that’s the thing, not who does it. What’s important is “knowing that we can give a family answers, maybe not the answers they want, but answers.” All in all, it’s a great deal of work, time, and, yes, money. Training and equipment are expensive. “We do a lot of fundraisers and grant work, but the vast majority comes out of pocket,” says Denise Drabick. “You either love it, and are willing to put the money into it, or not.” For information about becoming a team member or a volunteer—you don’t have to have a dog—contact Lisa at or visit laurelmountaink9. com. If you do go to the website, be sure to check out the memorial to team member Chris Williammee, who died December 12, 2021. Keystone Press Award-winning columnist Gayle Morrow is a managing editor at Mountain Home.

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