November 2022 issue • Northern Connection Magazine

Page 12

Limbs and Lives with a Team Approach

CONNECTING YOU TO THE COMMUNITY FOR 23 YEARS Family and Small Business Spotlights | Holiday Guide Also... Saving
The limb salvage team at UPMC Passavant provides world-class vascular surgery, closer to home.
November 2022

Sufferers Have

® One of the largest treatment centers in the country.

® Have successfully seen over 10,000 patients in nearly 10 years offering the most experience in the industry.

® 100% dedicated to treating Peripheral Neuropathy.

® Most powerful technology on the market today.

® Have grown to 7 locations in the Tri-State area.

Peripheral Neuropathy occurs when nerves are damaged or destroyed and can’t send messages to the muscles, skin and other parts of the body. Peripheral nerves go from the brain and spinal cord to the arms, hands, legs and feet. When damage to the nerves takes place, numbness and pain in these areas may occur. A specialized treatment protocol utilizing brand new technologies is available at TRI-STATE NEUROPATHY CENTERS. It includes the combination of very specific, noninvasive, FDAapproved and painless treatments that are designed to get rid of symptoms of peripheral neuropathy.

With over 90% satisfaction rate and the experience of seeing over 10,000 patients, they are able to tailor a specific and successful treatment plan for each individual to provide maximum results. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, don’t wait until they get worse.

Shawn Richey








in the Arms







Pain in the Toes, Feet, Hands, Arms

Numbness and Tingling


on Medications

you are experiencing any of these symptoms, don’t wait till they get worse.

today to schedule your FREE consultation. | Fall 2021 1
symptoms can include: • Sharp
in the
• Burning
in the Legs, Feet or
• Extreme
to Touch • Loss of
or Coordination • Feelings of
• Weakness
• Dependency
Call for your FREE consultation to begin your path to recovery. Call Dr.
at 724-940-9000 to schedule your time. MaryDance D M • (724) 940-9000 HOPE Don’t Give Up! Peripheral Neuropathy

NORTHERN CONNECTION P.O. Box 425 Mars, Pa. 16046

Phone: 724-940-2444

President & Publisher Laura Lyn Arnold

Publisher Emeritus & Contributor Marion Swanson Piotrowski Executive Editor Janice Lane Palko

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Northern Connection is published twelve times a year by Swanson Publishing, LLC (P.O. Box 425, Mars, PA 16046, 724-940-2444) and is distributed free of charge to the northern suburbs of Pittsburgh. Subscription can be purchased from the publisher at $25 for one year.

The mission of the Swanson Publishing, LLC is to connect the northern suburbs of Pittsburgh by publishing the area’s finest community publication, Northern Connection. The publication is dedicated to the people, commu nities, educational, religious, travel, and recreational needs of the area.

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2 NOVEMBER 2022 | NC Features 7 The Foster Love Project 8 Family & Small Business Profiles 29 “Talking Turkey” Down on the Farm Ron Eichner 30 Home Guide Health & Wellness 10 Cover Story: Saving Limbs and Lives with a Team Approach UPMC 12 Feeling Blue After a Viral Infection Belinda Burchick, RPh, BPharm 16 Celebrating 40 Years of Excellence in Senior Living Sherwood Oaks Kids & Education 18 School Movers & Shakers Advertorials 1 Peripheral Neuropathy Sufferers Have Hope Dr. Shawn Richey 10 In Every Issue... 4 Movers & Shakers 6 Mover & Shaker of the Month: The “Boy” Next Door Judi Hindes 14 From the Editor: Prisoners of Our Own Devices Janice Lane Palko 20 MOM2MOMS: November – We Are Family, Get All Your Sisters and Brothers Around You! Sofya Stearns 22 2022 Holiday Guide 27 Support Our Troops: Honoring Our Veterans This Veterans Day Paula Green 28 Trivia Connection: Notable November Trivia Paula Green November TABLE OF CONTENTS The collaborative limb salvage team pictured from left to right: Amber Dobrowski, R.T(R)(CT)(VI), Michael Madigan, MD, Georges Al-Khoury, MD, Karim Salem, MD, Amanda Phillips, MD, Julie Capo, RN, Sean Cardell, R.T(R)(VI), Lauren Tankesley, PA-C, and Judith Stone, R.T(R)(VI).

Movers & Shakers

Isabella Porta, of Gibsonia, and daughter of Laura Valles and Anthony Porta, has earned the title of the 2022 National American Miss Pennsylvania. The state pag eant was held on August 29. Isabella is a senior account ing major at Duquesne University. She will be attending the National Pageant to be held in Orlando, Florida, during Thanksgiving week, representing Pennsylvania, where she will have the opportunity to win her share of over $100,000,000 in cash and prizes.

Memorial Park Church Boy Scout Troop 9329, which was founded two years ago, has grown to include 12 female Scouts, and, as of July 26, their first female Eagle Scout. Anna Yacoviello’s Court of Honor was held October 3. Anna was publicly honored for her hard work and dedication in completing her Eagle Scout requirements and Service Project.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and its Women of Steel platform have collaborated with PNC Bank to launch a Small Business Spotlight program to recognize and support women-owned small businesses in the Pittsburgh area. The pro gram was launched on Sept. 14. It offers four such small businesses with mar keting support, as well as mentorship from Steelers and PNC Bank executives and PNC-Certified Women’s Business Advocates.


To our first year of mending hearts.

AHN Wexford Hospital opened its doors last September, bringing advanced heart care to the North Hills.

From the latest diagnostic testing to minimally invasive procedures, our top-ranked cardiologists offer lifesaving heart care, close to home. See the AHN difference at


The “Boy” Next Door

Long before computers, cell phones, TVs, frozen foods, BAND-AID, traffic lights and cheeseburgers (originally called cheese hamburgers), Hugh Pollon was born on Oct. 6, 1918, and is still going strong at the amazing age of 104, living independently at Masonic Village.

Every month I accompany Hugh, my neighbor and friend, to our off-campus luncheons, and he always enhances his meal with the finest Scotch. Of course, he also enjoys a Scotch most evenings. (Maybe that’s the secret to his remarkable age?)

How surprising, at 104, Hugh not only knows how to turn on his computer but emails his family and friends daily. Further, he loves circling around campus entertaining resi dents with his quick wit. For example, when asked what Hugh did for his 104th birthday, he quickly responded he looked forward to his 105th! He recently said he might need to move up from his rollator to a scooter in a couple of years. How is that for positive thinking? And how remarkable, at this age, he continues to live alone.

My friend loves Klondike bars, and he thinks everyone else also does. So one day, when shopping during our weekly trip to Giant Eagle, he returned to the shuttle with a Klondike for every one. I think they are all still smiling!

To celebrate this birthday, his daugh ter and son-in-law had a gathering in Masonic Village’s Pub, so residents could stop and wish their dad a Happy Birthday. He was delighted at the sur prise of a singing telegram composed especially for him, which of course, referred to his love of Scotch and Klondike bars.

This veteran of World War II is proud of his service to his country, during which time he married the love of his life and celebrated 65 years of marriage. He was also proud of his career at the Pentagon, saying, “I can’t tell you exactly what I did, or I’d have to kill you!” Hugh enjoys his many friends at Masonic Village, who have become more like extended family over his seven years here. Everyone loves and admires him as they wait to celebrate his 105th birthday. n


Foster Love Project

Foster Love Project’s mission is to show love in action to children impacted by foster and kinship care through the provision of goods, services and support. There are several ways the community can support our mission, make a financial contribution, shop from one of our several wish lists, or host a collection drive of our mostneeded items. To learn more about who we are and how we serve children and families, visit our website at n

November 3 at 10AM

Holiday Inn Express and Suites Washington 810 Highlands Meadows Drive., Washington, PA 15301 Reservation Required! Call 724-940-9000

November 7 at 1PM 2100 Georgetown Dr., Bldg 1 Sewickley, PA 15143 (behind the pond) | NOVEMBER 2022 7

Family & Small Business PROFILES

There’s something special about a family or small business. Perhaps it’s because we like to see people working together for something larger than themselves. Perhaps we like to see how generations come together. Perhaps it’s because we like seeing a dream turn into a reality, and the family or small businesses we are featuring all started with someone having a good idea. Whatever the reason, Northern Connection is proud to feature these small and family businesses in this issue.

Katie’s Clay Studio

Katie’s Clay Studio is the North Hill’s premier family and community art center. As a small business, owned and staffed by the members of the community, we provide personal connections and specialized attention to our customers. We seek out new and exciting mediums as well as specializing in old favorites. Let us teach you how to throw a pot on the potter’s wheel, sculpt or hand build with clay, paint on a canvas, break some glass while doing glass fusion and of course glaze some precasted pottery from Pittsburgh’s largest selection of paint-your-own pottery items. This now includes our own line of microwaveable, oven and dishwasher safe stoneware. We offer regular workshops, classes and studio events. We host birthday parties, ladies nights, and corporate events, along with open studio memberships for clay students. Our studio recently moved to Gibsonia toward the 910 in tersection and we are now offering a larger studio with a gallery along with retail gifts and more pre-made craft kits to go. Perfect for quick shopping! Join us over the holidays with your family or give the gift of art with a gift card for painting pottery! Visit our website for more details and how to sign up! Reservations are suggested during the holi day season. Call 724-502-4700 | | 5562 William Flynn Hwy, Gibsonia, PA 15044

The Camelot Event Center

The Camelot has been a part of the community for over 30 years, and Ryan and Valerie Sarel take pride carrying on this local tradition for the past 9 years and into the future. The original Warrendale venue is a charming historic building surrounded by the original stained glass windows, and The Camelot has recently added a larger and newly renovated venue in Wexford into their offer ings. Executive Chef Ryan Sarel has over 16 years of professional, high-end catering and lead ership experience, and Event Manager Valerie Sarel has over 21 years of customer service and design experience. Together, they strive to provide their community with elegant, expertlycatered, professionally executed events ranging from weddings to sports banquets, corporate functions, and everything in between. The Camelot Event Center - Wexford & Warrendale is proud to be a local family-run small business! | 724-935-4550

8 NOVEMBER 2022 |

kat & willie boutique

kat & willie boutique was named after founder, Kathy Wil liams, who has worked in retail her entire life. She started her career by founding a kitchen textile manufacturing business, designing and selling to all the large retailers across the country. Circling back to her first love of fashion and retail, she opened her first kat & willie boutique three years ago and now has two locations, Gibsonia and Wexford. Each store offers different clothing, giving the customer more variety. Due to her manufacturing experience, she is able to source quality items that are unique and trendy as well as affordable. “We love our community and host special events throughout the year. We also offer private shopping events for our customers and their friends,” said Williams. | 724-625-9490

New Wexford Location: 1500 Village Run Road, Suite 316, Wexford, PA 15090 Treesdale Location: 617 Warrendale Road, Suite F, Gibsonia, PA 15044

Jewelry by Alicia & Scott

Jewelry by Alicia & Scott is a husband and wife-owned jewelry business located in Wexford. They have over 21 years’ experience in custom design, fine jewelry, diamonds and gemstones. Modernizing their approach to the industry, Alicia & Scott’s custom jewelry is designed through CAD design with precision and only the finest materials. All setting work and repairs are done in-house so that nothing leaves their showroom. Alicia & Scott’s dedi cation to their craft and their clients shows through in every piece of jewelry they design. They are truly passionate about their clients and are thankful to be a part of their journey through life. Alicia has been designing jewelry and grading diamonds for the past 25 years. Scott has over 16 years in metal fabrica tion from aircraft to jewelry. Together, these two are an incredible team. Check out their Facebook and Instagram profiles to learn more about their designs and services. 724-934-6296 |

Karen Anspaugh | Surrett & Anspaugh, LLC

Karen Anspaugh is a partner at the law firm of Surrett & Anspaugh LLC. She has helped companies form and thrive for over 31 years. Combining her business law practice with her experience in estate planning, asset protection, and wealth management, she helps businesses and individuals implement beneficial tax strategies and safeguard all they have worked for. Karen also operates Adrienne Abstract & Closing Company, where she manages every stage of residential and commercial real estate transactions, from drafting documents to settlement. She routinely works with real estate investors and wholesalers and assists with transactions involving nontraditional financing. 724-831-1410 | |

Bridge City Braces was founded in 2015 by Doctors Jo re and Kat Martin of Dentistry for Kids Cranberry and McCandless. They opened Bridge City Braces in 2015 after recognizing that the pediatric dentists needed a full-time in-house orthodontist to improve patient care.

The vision was to establish a specialty practice that focused on families and was owned by a family. Pediatric dentistry and orthodontics complement each other perfectly in the development of healthy mouths and attractive smiles. The Martins have been fortunate enough to have been married for over ten years and working together for more than seven.

They emphasize the importance of having a bite evaluation from an Orthodontist by the age of seven to aid in the formation and growth of a healthy bite. This fundamental change has helped patients avoid a slew of dental issues that have e ected  prior generations.

The benefit of having this family-focused mindset at both Bridge City Braces and Dentistry for Kids o ces in McCandless and Cranberry is that the care is seamless and the communication between specialists is easy. Even more importantly, the sta are friendly and kind. They all love what they do! 724-553-5554 | 412-837-2224 | NOVEMBER 2022 9

Saving Limbs and Lives with a Team Approach

At UPMC Passavant, vascular surgeons are teaming up with other specialists to reduce amputations through a coordinated limb salvage program.

What Is Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)?

Peripheral artery disease — a form of peripheral vascular disease — is the narrowing or blockage of the vessels that carry blood from the heart to your limbs. The most common cause is a buildup of plaque in the arteries that restricts blood flow.

PAD commonly happens in the legs, since they’re farthest from the heart and those blood vessels are smaller.

The primary symptom of PAD is leg pain and cramping while walking, although some people don’t experience any pain. More advanced symptoms include leg or foot pain at rest, skin discoloration or coolness, and toe and foot sores that do not heal.

In more severe cases, lack of blood flow can cause gan grene. Once tissue dies, it must be removed, sometimes through total amputation.

Janet Collins loves the outdoors. Her greatest joys are riding horses and zipping around her 20-acre Mercer County farm on her util ity terrain vehicle (UTV). But complications from diabetes and hypertension led to the development of peripheral artery disease (PAD) — a circulatory problem that narrows the arteries and reduces blood flow. That led to the amputation of Janet’s lower left leg in 2019. Three years later, she was in danger of losing her right leg when her path led her to the limb salvage team at UPMC Passavant, which is part of the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute.

Lifelong Complications and Poor Circulation

Diagnosed with diabetes in 1975, Janet struggled with lifelong complications, includ ing poor circulation and nonhealing wounds. In 2019, she was diagnosed with PAD in her legs and feet.

“A simple blister on my toe wreaked havoc,” she says. Despite several surgeries to improve blood flow, she developed gangrene (dead tissue), lost her toes, and eventually her left leg via an above the knee amputation.

10 NOVEMBER 2022 |
This content is sponsored by UPMC. Georges Al-Khoury, MD, chief of Vascular Surgery at UPMC Passavant UPMC Passavant limb salvage program patient Janet Collins poses with her horse, Stormy, on her farm in Mercer County. Georges Al-Khoury, MD, with Janet at UPMC Passavant–McCandless.

In 2022 when she saw Georges Al-Khoury, MD, chief of Vascular Surgery at UPMC Passavant, Janet had developed nonheal ing sores on her right foot — a gangrenous toe and a large, gaping abscess on her ankle. She had seen multiple doctors, been to various hospitals, and had numerous procedures.

“The pain was terrible. And I was so afraid of losing my other leg,” says Janet, 65.

“I told Dr. Al-Khoury I had to get back on my horse. That’s my passion,” she says. “I needed this leg. It meant I could maintain my independence, be active, and be outdoors. It meant I could balance on a horse, transfer to my UTV, and ride around our property.”

A Multidisciplinary Approach

Led by Dr. Al-Khoury, UPMC Passavant’s collaborative limb sal vage team was able to save her leg. Its members — vascular surgeons, podiatrists, plastic reconstructive surgeons, and vascular medicine and infectious disease specialists — combined their skills to plan and coordinate her care. Specially trained wound care and cardiovascu lar nurses also played a vital role.

“We worked very hard as a team to heal her leg,” says Dr. Al-Khoury. “Because of the complex nature of vascular disease and how sick patients like Janet are, you need mul tiple specialists working together to save limbs and lives. We rely on each other to develop a plan and achieve the best outcome.”

That multidisciplinary approach was comforting to Janet. “It wasn’t just one doctor looking at me, it was a team. That’s reassuring when you’ve got a team of specialists taking care of you, evaluating the situation, and deciding the best route to go,” she says.

Janet’s surgery took place at UPMC Passavant–McCandless in a hybrid operating room (OR) dedicated for vascular procedures. The hybrid OR with its advanced medical imaging equipment can be used for both open surgeries and less invasive image-guided endovascular procedures. If needed, it allows specialists — often from several disciplines — to perform multiple procedures without having to move the patient.

Before coming to UPMC Passavant, Janet had several previous procedures on her foot and leg, including a bypass graft that rerouted blood around a clogged artery. But that vessel was now completely blocked. Dr. Al-Khoury performed an angiogram pro cedure to unclog the graft. He also rechan neled her arteries, using an angioplasty procedure to clean and improve the blood flow to her foot.

In the same OR, another team mem ber from podiatry amputated her toe and removed dead tissue from the ankle wound to control the infection. Although three

Treating Vascular Disease at UPMC Passavant

Vascular disease involves the circulatory system outside of your heart. It’s often called a silent threat because it can strike without warning. Because blood vessels travel through the entire body, vascular disease can occur anywhere.

UPMC Passavant’s highly trained, board-certified vascular surgeons provide comprehensive and personally tailored care for patients with a wide range of conditions. They work closely with specialists in cardiology, podiatry, plastic surgery, infectious dis eases, and wound care to ensure patients get the care they need.

Vascular disease includes any medical condition that affects the circulatory system, such as diseases of the arteries, veins, and lymph vessels like:

• Aortic aneurysm

• Carotid artery disease

• Deep vein thrombosis

• Diabetic foot care

• Peripheral artery disease

• Varicose veins

more toes eventually needed to be amputated, her foot, right leg, and big toe were saved after multiple procedures, including a skin graft to close the wound on her ankle. The limb salvage team followed her closely throughout her hospital stay and after discharge.

Recovery after Surgery

Janet calls Dr. Al-Khoury “a genius.” Everything has healed nice ly, and she’s being fitted for a special shoe. She hopes to be riding her two horses again soon — a big goal of hers.

“It’s a miracle I still have my leg, ankle, heel, and a healthy big toe,” she adds. “That team is a godsend. I don’t have to travel across the country to find the best doctors. I just have to go to UPMC Passavant.”

“I think they’re the best and I think Dr. Al-Khoury is wonderful.” Dr. Al-Khoury also sees patients at locations in McCandless, Sewickley, and New Castle. To schedule an appointment, call 412-748-6484. n

UPMC Passavant Vein Center

Offering cosmetic and medical services for varicose veins and other vein disorders

Bulging varicose veins aren’t pretty. And in some cases, they can cause burning, itching, cramping, swelling, and other bothersome symptoms.

The UPMC Vein Center at UPMC Passavant offers the latest technology and treatments for unsightly and painful varicose veins. In addition to elective cosmetic treatments for spider veins and mild varicose veins, the Center also treats vein disorders, including leg ulcers, swollen legs, and deep vein thrombosis.

Age, weight gain, pregnancies, long periods of standing, and family history are factors that contribute to varicose veins.

Schedule an appointment at 412-802-3333. | NOVEMBER 2022 11
Janet on her utility terrain vehicle that she uses to get around her 20-acre farm.

Feeling Blue After a Viral Infection

Post-viral syndrome is a complex con dition having an impact on cognition, physical abilities and the nervous sys tem. This condition may occur and persist long after the viral infection is over. The symptoms of post-viral syndrome may be different for each person, but the common symptom is fatigue and does not seem to go away even with extra sleep.

Post-viral syndrome may cause addi tional symptoms:

• Difficulty concentrating

• Headache

• Sore throat

• Stiffness in joints

• Muscle weakness

• Sensitivity to pain

• Swollen lymph nodes

• Sleep disturbances

• Inability to exercise

• Depression

• Anxiety

• Cognitive impairment, such as brain fog, forgetfulness or confusion

Research reveals that the cause may be an exaggerated immune system response that results in persistent systemic inflam mation, which includes neuroinflamma tion within the protective barrier around the brain.

Our immune system does an excellent job in helping us fight viruses and other infections, but if this inflammation does not recede or go away after the viral infec tion, it could lead to symptoms associated with post-viral syndrome.

Post-viral syndrome is considered a temporary condition, but recovery time

can vary widely. Depending on the type of virus, these symptoms can last weeks, months and even years in rare cases.

Post-COVID Studies have shown that neurologic and cognitive impairment have been found in some people to exist months after the initial COVID infection. Although there are several suspect causes under investigation, persistent systemic inflammation is a contributor. This inflam mation can cause injury to the endothelial cells that make up the protective barrier to the brain, allowing the infection-fighting molecules to enter the brain. Potential injury in specific parts of the brain may lead to cognitive impairments, spatial memory dysfunctions, impaired executive functions, anxiety, depression, and overall decreased quality of life. The hippocam pus, a brain region involved in learning, memory processes and spatial navigation, is especially sensitive to neuroinflamma tion.

The question still stands as to whether this post viral condition can trigger neuro degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, in the long-term due to a potential injury to specific areas of the brain.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (, those who are not vaccinated against COVID may be at higher risk of developing postCOVID syndrome if infected.

In some cases, it may take extra time to clear the virus out completely and require no treatment. Managing the symptoms until you feel better may be all that you need. Below are some tips that may help

you work through the post-viral blues:

• Get plenty of sleep and rest, even tak ing naps throughout the day may help

• Drink plenty of water

• Conserve energy, only doing mild exer cises at most

• Eat balanced and nutritional foods, especially anti-inflammatory foods

• Practice stress management techniques such as meditation and yoga

• Get a massage

Anyone experiencing symptoms for more than a few weeks after recovering from a virus or other infection should check in with their doctor.

The key is to maintain good health and follow preventative measures against viruses and other infections. Remember: disinfect, sanitize, clean, avoid crowded areas and maintain a reasonable physical distance in public. It is still a good idea to have a mask handy for certain situations, especially if you are feeling ill and around others.

Be safe. n

Belinda Burchick, RPh, BPharm, has focused her career on geri atric pharmacy and automated dispensing systems to promote patient safety and improve health outcomes. For the last 10 years, she has served as Chief Pharmacy Officer (CPO) for a long-term care phar macy, servicing the geriatric population in nursing homes, assisted living, independent living, and the senior day programs, such as, Pennsylvania’s LIFE programs and the PACE programs in mul tiple states. Belinda oversees the pharmacy operations in three pharmacies, located in Denver, Philadelphia and headquarters in Pittsburgh.

Most of us feel down during a viral infection, but did you know that you can feel the blues long after the virus is gone?
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Prisoners of Our Own Devices

We write our articles somewhat in advance because of printing deadlines; therefore, I’m writing this only two weeks after the autumnal equinox. I love summer so much, and as we bid this one farewell, I was thinking about what some of the best moments of this one were for me, and although a trip to the beach came to mind immediately, one small thing kept coming back to me.

Sometimes on Friday afternoons, I go to Mass, and one Friday at the beginning of August, I ran into a friend there, Patti. We went to high school together. Although she’s a friend, she’s not one I talk to every week. Nevertheless, she invited me back to her house that afternoon at 4 o’clock, explaining that she often has a few people over for an hour or two on Friday afternoons before dinner just to relax and celebrate the arrival of the weekend. As it happened, I was able to go, and I sat on Patti’s patio with her, and two other high school chums, Donna and Carol. We had simple snacks and iced tea, and we just talked for more than two hours until it was

time to go home for dinner. There were no selfies, no music, no one pulled out a phone; we just sat in the summer breeze and laughed, reminisced, and talked about what was going on in our lives.

I don’t know if it’s because we’ve been so starved for human contact because of the lockdowns that it made just spending time together that much more special, but that Friday afternoon was one of the best times of my summer.

That evening, my hus band and I went out to dinner, and I noticed something that I hope is not a trend. There were two different families at the restaurant and each of them had a small child with them, but what I noticed was that each of those children, instead of sitting and talk ing to their family gathered around the table, they had headphones on and were absorbed into an iPad screen. I know some children have sensory issues and as some one who had twins, I know it can be rough dining out with children, but how do children learn good behavior if they can’t ever be bored? How do they learn to relate to others if their eyes are glued to a screen?

I’m not the only one who has noticed that kids are missing out on the here and now. A Twitter firestorm erupted right after that trip to the restaurant when a woman posted this Tweet: “At Disneyland with the family and probably 50% of toddlers are strapped in their strollers on iPads or phones. At Disneyland. We are so screwed.”

There’s a funny online meme of a group of people seated around a table, and they are all ignoring each other and focused on their cell phones. It has a caption that hearkens back to the lyrics from The Eagles song “Hotel California,” and it says, “The Eagles were right, we are all just prisoners here of our own device.”

We are coming up on Thanksgiving, and I urge you to redis cover the beauty of connecting with others. Don’t become a prisoner of your screen. Sure, I’m going to take a few photos when everyone gathers to commemorate the occasion, but then I’m going to set aside my phone.

That feeling of peacefulness and connectedness I experienced this summer on Patti’s patio doesn’t have to be a rare event. It can happen anytime you are gathered. After long periods of isola tion in lockdown it’s time to unplug and reconnect with others. Thanksgiving is meaningless if we don’t acknowledge and appreci ate those seated around our table. Happy Thanksgiving! n

IT’S A GOOD TIME TO SELL YOUR HOME. Mary Simpson, REALTOR® (O) 724-776-9705 • (C) 412-613-0249 A member of franchise systems of BHHS Affiliates, LLC The current real estate market is hot and inventory is at a record low. I would love to provide a complimentary market consultation and market analysis. FROM THE EDITOR 14 NOVEMBER 2022 | m | NOVEMBER 2022 15 CALL NOW to reserve your advertising space for the Winter issue! 724-940-2444

Celebrating 40 Years of Excellence in Senior Living

Sherwood Oaks, part of UPMC Senior Communities, is marking its 40th year as a premier continuing care retirement community in western Pennsylvania. Spread across 84 acres in a convenient Cranberry Township location, the campus is known for its beautiful landscape, which features walking trails, abundant gardens, green space and a lake.

“Resident-centered” is often used to describe senior liv ing, but Sherwood Oaks takes this philosophy to a whole other level. Resident Frank Finley has served on the Sherwood board, the Sherwood Oaks Residents’ Association (SORA) board, and various committees for many years. He explains, “This goes back to the very people who founded this community. The residents are empowered to decide their interests and to determine how they want to go about it.”

Dynamic resident life is another way in which residentcentered living manifests itself. Residents organize and direct a wide array of activities themselves. The current list of activities numbers more than fifty groups. Some residents are eager to try their hand at something new; others may be revisiting a lost enthusiasm.

As Gary Brandenberger, president, Sherwood Oaks Residents’ Association (SORA) describes it, “The real beauty of Sherwood Oaks is bringing together all these people with so many talents and skills. Each of us has a role. If someone brings forward an idea for an activity, it’s understood that it will include a plan to execute it. There is great satisfaction in watching it all unfold.”

Just beyond the campus’ summer house sits a fenced-in vegetable garden with forty-two raised garden beds. This

area is tended by the resident garden group which consists of around thirty members, each of whom is responsible for one or two beds.

You can often find Betty Eichler tending to her area of the garden. She has called Sherwood Oaks home for the last 13 years. She recalls her parents having a sizeable vegetable garden – a victory garden of the WWII era. It was from this garden that her desire to turn seeds into food grew.

“I enjoy watching that tiny seed become a couple of leaves and a couple more leaves,” she explains. “I feel a connection with the Earth.”

Betty’s favorite vegetable to grow is butternut squash – a new venture since moving to Sherwood. She can grow between 10 and 15 squash from one plant, allowing her to share the produce with her neighbors. In fact, many of the gardeners share their harvest, often leaving extra produce in the mail room for anyone to take.

Technology is another interest around which Sherwood residents have been engaged. In late 2019, the community debuted the much-anticipated Sherwood Oaks App, or “SOapp” as its affectionately known. The app allows residents and families to see the daily schedule of events, access com munity resources and interact with one another from their smartphone or tablet.

Madeline Clements Jean Henderson and Gary Brandenberger Betty Eichler

The app was developed by the community’s Technology Task Force, led by resident Jason Lyle, with the goal of better informing Sherwood’s nearly 350 residents. Not only did the technology keep residents better informed, but it also helped everyone stay better connected, especially when physical dis tancing was encouraged.

“Whether it was the pandemic or bad weather, the app has made life easier,” says Jason. “We can stay in touch and informed without leaving our home.”

The wood shop is also a hub of resident activity. Tucked away on the first floor, you will find an extensive workshop used and managed by the community’s residents. It sealed the deal for resident Dick Zuberbuhler when considering reloca tion to Sherwood in 2020.

“This is how I got through COVID,” Dick refers to his work in the shop. “There are around six of us who come down here regularly, but we hope more will join us.” The group encour ages others to try their hand at creating simple projects such as picture frames, napkin holders, and book ends.

Madeline Clements is the quintessential Sherwood Oaks resident – vivacious and willing to try new things. In her more than 30 years living on the campus, she says she has tried her hand at most every club. Her experiences are varied, and her memories are fond, made even more so by the time spent here with her husband, Ace

Ace and Madeline founded the drama club, which is still going strong today. Together, they hosted memorable themed parties that spoke to the joy of living. They settled upon the flamingo as the symbol of their life together. To this day, even though Ace is gone, Madeline continues to mark May 1 as “Pink Flamingo Day” with special attire and treats.

Over the course of her years, Madeline has transitioned from the patio home she shared with Ace to personal care and now to skilled nursing. She feels this is a valuable feature of the Sherwood experience, along with the people she has met along the way. “The community has given me so much,” says Madeline. “The care and support from the staff and resi dents create a wonderful community.”

The Sherwood Oaks fitness program, which has evolved since its inception, is another distinguishing feature of the community. What started as an experiment has devel oped into a comprehensive package consisting of exercise machines, a variety of classes, and a swimming pool.

Bill Burtner, health and wellness promo manager, was selected to lead the budding program in 1999. “In the begin ning, we would have some residents come to work out wear ing high heels and other formal attire,” says Bill. “The program has certainly come a long way since its early days when we were working with Great Depression-era folks. Now we are working with Baby Boomers who have been involved in fit ness centers all their lives.”

The program is also a learning opportunity for students of nearby Slippery Rock University (SRU). For nearly 20 years, students enrolled in the university’s Exercise Science program have been receiving firsthand experience through internships. This is the result of a longstanding affiliation agreement between SRU and Sherwood.

The internship program has proven to be mutually ben eficial, helping undergraduates gain experience and receive their required 480 hours needed to graduate while Sherwood residents receive extra support in achieving their individual ized fitness goals. Cassandra Kirsch, the program’s summer intern, enjoyed every minute of her experience at Sherwood. “Everyone is really friendly here,” she says. “I love working with this population.”

That collegial spirit translates to the inviting and welcom ing atmosphere that makes residents, guests, and staff alike feel like they are part of something truly special. As SORA vice president Jean Henderson describes it, “Sherwood Oaks is better than home. It’s a real community of friends and neighbors.”

Learn what makes Sherwood Oaks special. Visit or call 1-800-642-2217 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. n | NOVEMBER 2022 17
Jason Lyle Dick Zuberbuhler Bill Burtner

School Movers & Shakers

Shady Side Academy

Niche, the leading platform connecting stu dents and families with schools and colleg es, has released its 2023 Best Schools rank ings, and Shady Side Academy maintained its No. 1 ranking on its list of the Best Private K-12 Schools in the Pittsburgh Area.

State High School Associations (NFHS)/ Pennsylvania Boys Lacrosse Coach of the Year.

Mars Area High School senior Blake Bertolo earned his first hole-in-one dur ing the first round of the 2022 WPIAL Class 3A Boys Varsity Golf Championship.

Six members of the Shady Side Academy Class of 2023 were named Semifinalists in the 68th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. The SSA Semifinalists are: Ella Gardner, Emma Gardner, Elaine Gombos, Michael McCoy, Savita Thompson and Alexander Todd

Shady Side Academy announced the larg est gift in the school’s 139-year history, a $15 million personal com mitment from alumnus and past parent S. Kent Rockwell ’62 and his partner, Pat Babyak, in support of capital projects included in SSA’s forthcoming cam pus master plan.

Mars Area Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association has named Mars Area High School Boys Varsity Lacrosse Team head coach Bob Marcoux as the 2022 National Federation of

Mars Area Elementary School fourth-grader Madison Do earned sec ond place in the Girls 7-9 Division of the 2022 Drive, Chip & Putt Regional Qualifier.


Gregg Hartung and Michelle Edinger were recognized as Distinguished Alumni at Butler County Community College’s main campus in Butler Township. The Oak Hills Celebration was held on October 1.

Butler County Community College graduate, Sherri Mack has been named dean of the college’s largest academic divi sion. Mack has been chosen to oversee a BC3 business division that offers students 23 associate degree, certificate or workplace certificate options.

On September 24, more than 200 run ners, walkers and community members from nine western Pennsylvania coun ties helped Butler County Community College in an inaugural event to raise more than $16,000 for schol arships. The event was held in memory of nursing graduates who died at ages 23 and 26. Proceeds from the race benefited BC3 Education Foundation scholarships created by family and friends of Sarah Kasunic in 2019 and of Caitlyn Kaufman in 2020.

During the month of October, Butler County Community College students placed pink donation buckets on the college’s main campus to solicit gift cards for a raffle and to sell pink ribbons as part of a BC3 Project Pink campaign that has raised more than $20,000 during breast cancer awareness months since 2010.

BC3 is among first Community College in PA to be designat ed as HungerFree Campus.

Mars Area Middle School eighth-graders Raphael Bencun, Hailey Long, Lucy Balazs, Sam Argotti and Max Argotti took top spots at the 2022 Junior High Cross Country MAC Championships.
18 NOVEMBER 2022 |
Michelle Edinger Sherri Mack Gregg Hartung Ella Gardner Michael McCoy Emma Gardner Savita Thompson Elaine Gombos Alexander Todd
Caitlyn Kaufman Sarah Kasunic | NOVEMBER 2022 19 Feature your school Fin eature your school in NORTHERN CONNECTION NMAGAZINE'S ORTHERN CONNECTION MAGAZINE'S 24TH 2ANNUAL 4TH ANNUAL EDUCATION EISSUE DUCATION ISSUE COMING IN CJANUARY. OMING IN JANUARY. Deadline December 17 • S P E C I A L A D R A T E S • S O C I A L M E D I A A D V E R T I S I N G • C O M P L I M E N T A R Y L I S T I N G I N 2 0 2 3 E D U C A T I O N G U I D E 724.940.2444 Info@northernconnectionmag com www northernconnectionmag com Celebrating over 23 years of connecting you to the community. Magazines are distributed directly into homes and free pick up locations in the northern area of Pittsburgh. The Learning Never Stops


We Are Family, Get All Your Sisters and Brothers Around You!

It’s beginning to look like the holiday season. The stores are fully stocked with holiday decorations and gear, and once we start prepping for the gobble, gobble day, it means in no time, we will be smelling Christmas Trees, hearing Salvation Army bells and marveling at store windows decorated in sparkles. With that, the shopping rush begins.

As a mom, I don’t want my child to think that the holiday season is all about gifts, materialistic things. I want her to know that the holiday season is more about giving, cherishing each other and being kind. For most of us, the holiday season is the best time of the year, but for some, not so much. The past few years have been difficult; a lot of people endured financial and emotional hardships, but then the good news is that there is hope.

What melts my heart is when my 10-year-old Izabella sees someone in despair or not as fortunate as she, and she wants to help. What I have learned is that kids are kind, and kids want happiness for other kids. It’s in their nature; it’s that innocence they are all born with.

Would I be lying if I said Izabella doesn’t get all wrapped up in send ing notes to Santa? Yes, I would be. She loves looking for her Elf on the Shelf and her Mensch on the Bench; however, I also want to make sure that she knows that asking for things sometimes might resolve in not getting them.

I enjoy doing works of charity for families or for the disabled, and I’m thrilled when my child sees and knows that there are less fortunate kids and adults. I’m also delighted that my child knows that doing charity work is very fulfilling, and that it’s a must to be out there helping others. As a mom, I know I’m teaching her a valuable les son, and thus, she will grow up a better person with an even bigger heart than she already has.

This time of year gives us the opportunity to be good role models and to teach our kids a valuable lesson, that we must care for others. Check on someone you know who might be in despair. Donate to those struggling—it doesn’t have to be monetary. A letter written to a nursing home resident or to someone who needs cheered up may be more valuable than a gift. Remember, we are family, one com munity. Gather all your sisters and brothers around you.

Enjoy this beautiful season of giv ing, love and laughter. n

Sofya Stearns is the proud owner of Izabella’s Gourmet Chow and the mother of a young daughter, and she is brimming with tips and ideas to share with other moms, step-mothers, grandmothers and moms-to-be to make their lives easier. Sometime, being a mom is difficult, and she hopes that she can help to connect others as they care for and raise the little ones in their charge.

Do you have an idea for a feature in an upcom ing MOM2MOMS article or looking for more healthy tips? Feel free to send an email to me at

20 NOVEMBER 2022 |

2022 Holiday Guide

A Visit to Bethlehem 1-4 pm, Dec. 3-4, 10-11, St. John’s Lutheran Church of Highland, 311 Cumberland Road. Interactive walk-through recreation of Bethlehem as it may have existed at the time of Christ’s birth. Features townspeople, craftsmen, shepherds, census takers and live Nativity. Indoor event is free. For info, call (412) 364-1606 or bethlehem@stjohnslutheranchurch. com.

“B.O.B.” Concert – Bells, Organ and Brass, 2:30 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 20, St. Catherine of Sweden Church, 2554 Wildwood Road, Allison Park. Concert is part of the newly-established Saints Martha & Mary Parish Concert Series, which will foster a deeper appreciation of sacred music through high-quality concerts that are accessible and free to all attendees; free-will offerings accepted. Visit https://stsmarthaand

Cranberry Artists Network Holiday Show, Give A Gift of Art, Nov. 11- Dec. 15, at the Cranberry Township Municipal Center. Opening reception, 6-8 p.m., Nov. 15. Artists will be avail able to discuss the art work, and refreshments will be provided. This event is free and open to the public.

Cranberry Township 55+ Club meets 1:00 p.m. the 2nd Tuesday of the month at the Cranberry Township Municipal Center. Members must be residents of Cranberry Township. The Club fea tures activities, social opportunities, and visits to nearby points of interest. For info, contact Bill at (724) 776-1933.

Dressed for Success (DFS) Black & Gold Gala, Nov. 5, at The Westin Pittsburgh. Funds raised will support the purchase of a new mobile boutique, which will allow the DFS team to meet the needs of the community by providing clothing and employment-readiness support to more women across our region. For info, visit, events/the-black-gold-gala/.

Glowland, a month-long festival celebrating art, light and play will run Nov. 18 thru Dec. 17 in Oakland. For details, visit oaklandpittsburgh. com/pages/glowland.

Gingerbread Houses display, 10 a.m.-8 p.m., daily, Nov. 22-Jan. 3, The Block Northway. Over 60 gingerbread houses have been created by individuals, families, Girl Scout troops and vari ous organizations. The sugary exhibit will be in the South Corridor Lower Level between DSW and Lands’ End. Free to the public.

Greater Pittsburgh Civil War Roundtable meeting, 7 p.m., Nov. 21, at the Hampton Township Community Center, 1301 McCully Rd., Allison Park. Jonathon Noyalas will present, “Civil War Artillery.” Masks are recommended. Lecture is free and open to the public.

Holiday Market, Dec. 2-3 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. For details, visit

I Made It! Market, Pittsburgh’s nomadic indie craft marketplace, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Nov. 19, The Block Northway. I Made It! Market features over 100 unique artists for their signature Holiday shopping event at The Block Northway’s South Corridor, which is located at 8013 McKnight Road, between DSW and Land’s End.

Marshall Middle School Kids for Wish Club fundraiser, 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Nov. 2, at Montecello’s Restaurant, 10441 Perry Hwy, Wexford. When ordering, mention Marshall Middle School Make-A-Wish and 25% of your bill will be donat ed to this cause.

Northland Library, has numerous events scheduled for November. For a complete list of events, visit or call (412) 366-8100.

22 NOVEMBER 2022 |

Pittsburgh North Regional Chamber Giving Tree Program will serve 17 nonprofit orga nizations this year. Tags with holiday wishes for children, seniors, and families, will be placed in several local businesses throughout Northern Allegheny and Butler areas begin ning in November. For details, visit pghnorth

Prime Stage Theatre presents Frankenstein, based on the novel by Mary Shelley, Fridays & Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2:30 p.m., Sensory-Inclusive Performance is the 2nd Saturday at 2:30 p.m., Nov. 4-13. For details, visit

Sealarks Women’s Group meeting, 1 p.m., Nov. 9, at Memorial Park Church, 8800 Peebles Rd. This group provides Christian fellowship & social activity for women alone – widowed, divorced or never married. Alone women are welcome to attend. Topic “Stealing Lincoln’s Body” presented by Gary Augustine. For info, call Edie at (412) 487-7194.

Shady Side Academy upcoming Admissions Zoom Information Sessions will be held monthly for each of SSA’s four campuses through December. Families must RSVP in advance at to receive the Zoom link.

Soldiers & Sailors Cannon Ball 2022, Midnight at the Masquerade, a Murder Mystery Event, 5:30-11 p.m., Nov. 5, 4141 Fifth Ave., Pgh., PA 15213. For details, visit soldiersandsailor

St. Matthew/St. Aloysius Rummage Open House, 9 a.m.- 2 p.m., Nov. 5, at Holy Spirit School, 608 Farragut St, Millvale. Dessert, food & refreshments. Grand opening of five new showrooms featuring upscale donated furniture, artwork & collectibles with discounts up to 50%. For the holiday season, hundreds of vintage Christmas collectibles are for sale. For info, call Deb at (412) 337-1713 or Joe (412) 352-8959.

UPMC Passavant Hospital Auxiliary Membership Opportunities, are you looking for a stimulating opportunity for social inter action with other dedicated people in support of our community hospitals—UPMC Passavant McCandless and Cranberry? Join the Passavant Hospital Auxiliary’s long tradition of caring. The Auxiliary meets the 2nd Monday of each month, 10 a.m., Sept. through June. New mem bers are welcome. For info, contact Nicole Kaib at (412) 748-6640 or

Vintage Market is a non-profit store in Shaler that benefits The Blessing Board. Open every 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Th/F/Sat in the Shaler Plaza, 880 Butler St. and Rt. 8 (look for the gray door between RiteAid & Planet Fitness).

Women’s Business Network has meetings scheduled in November at various times and locations. For a details list, visit www.wbninc. com.

Starts Mid-November North & South Park Ice Skating Rinks Ages 5+ Register at Beginner To Advanced Classes Available! | NOVEMBER 2022 23
24 NOVEMBER 2022 |

“I Made It!” Market for The Holidays at The Block Northway

IMade It! Market, Pittsburgh’s nomadic indie craft mar ketplace, returns to The Block Northway on Saturday, November 19, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. I Made It! Market features over 100 unique artists for their signa ture Holiday shopping event at The Block Northway’s South Corridor, which is located at 8013 McKnight Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15237 between DSW and Land’s End.

“This family-friendly one-day pop-up experience offers a diverse mix of craft and vintage vendors for our community and guests to browse, shop and enjoy,” said Jamie Pavlot, Director of Experience of LRC Realty. “While at The Block Northway, guests and visitors can enjoy the variety of shops and eateries throughout the center and visit this Holiday Shopping Spectacular mar ket at the south end of the shopping plaza.”

Shoppers will recognize some artists from previous I Made It! Market events. New artists will be in attendance as well. In addition to offering a craft marketplace, I Made It! Market cultivates a community of local makers by including a mix of 70% returning and 30% new artists at each event.

Shoppers can expect to find a juried mix of exclu sively handmade products, including 2-D art, clothing and toys for infants and children, bath and body products, ceramics, fiber art, glass art, homewares, jewelry, leather goods, pop culture and fandom gifts, pet treats and gifts, and wooden wares. Ready to eat and packaged food and beverages will also be available.    This family-friendly event is FREE and open to the public. n

34th Annual Holiday Train Display

Open Nov. 12–Jan. 15 at the Western Pennsylvania Model Railroad Museum. Open Saturdays & Sundays, 11 a.m.- 5 p.m., and Fridays 6-9 p.m. Every Friday night there is a special “Steam at Twilight” session. Special extended hours on Fri., Nov. 25 & Fri., Dec. 30, 11 a.m.–9 p.m. Located at 5507 Lakeside Dr., Gibsonia. WPMRM is closed Dec. 24, 25, and Jan. 1. For more information, visit

Christmas Worship

Come walk the streets of this historic village. Meet the people who live there. Experience the Live Nativity indoors.

Dec. 3 - 4 & 10 - 11 1- 4 pm

311 Cumberland Rd. Pittsburgh PA 412-364-1606

Join us for Christmas Worship

December 24 Family Service 4:00 pm

Traditional Candlelight Services 7:00, 9:30 pm December 25

Service of Lessons and Carols 9:30 am | NOVEMBER 2022 25
26 NOVEMBER 2022 | 2022 HOLIDAY GUIDE F e a t u r i n g e v e r y t h i n g f r o m t r e e s , t r e a t s , h o l i d a y e v e n t s a n d g i f t s g a l o r e ! N O R T H E R N C O N N E C T I O N M A G A Z I N E I N V I T E S Y O U T O P A R T I C I P A T E I N O U R I N T H E D E C E M B E R I S S U E S p a c e i s L i m i t e d , c a l l t o d a y f o r s p e c i a l h o l i d a y r a t e s 7 2 4 - 9 4 0 - 2 4 4 4 i n f o @ n o r t h e r n c o n n e c t i o n m a g . c o m n o r t h e r n c o n n e c t i o n m a g c o m

Honoring Our Veterans This Veterans Day

Veterans Day is celebrated every year on November 11, which is the anniversary of the signing of the armistice that ended World War I. It is a patriotic time in our county when we thank those who have served in our armed forces. There are some upcoming local military events to celebrate our veterans.

Operation Troops Appreciation (OTA) is having its Annual Veterans Day 5K Race. The event will be held 9 a.m.-11 a.m., November 6, at Hampton Community Park, 3101 McCully Rd., in Hampton Township. To sign-up visit,

OTA supports active-duty troops serving us around the world. They are head quartered in the South Hills Industrial Park in West Mifflin. For more info on OTA, visit

Our city will observe a 103-year-old tradition on Veterans Day. The annual Veterans Day Parade will be held at 10:30 a.m. (rain or shine), on November 11, in downtown Pittsburgh. The purpose of the Pittsburgh Veterans Day Parade is to honor veterans, raise awareness about those who serve them, and salute members of our currently serving military. This year’s parade theme is “Honoring a New Generation of Warriors.” The United States Marine Corps is this year’s fea tured military branch. The Army, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard will also be represented. The annual parade is one of the largest in the country. Be sure to mark this on your calendar and join the hundreds of active-duty service mem bers as they march down Liberty Avenue.

Join the Soldiers & Sailors team this Veterans Day & Fill the Hill. This annual patriotic event pays a beautiful homage to military members. Imagine a sea of stars and stripes from 5th Avenue to Soldiers & Sailors on front doors throughout November for a month-long salute to service members. With every $20 donation, a flag will be placed on Soldiers & Sailors’ front lawn, with a special illumination on Veterans Day. For details, visit product/2022FTH/2022-fill-the-hill.

Soldiers & Sailors is also hosting a Veterans Days Open House: Celebrating Post 9-11 Defenders. The special event will be held at 6:00 p.m. and is sponsored by Allegheny County Veteran Services. Soldiers & Sailors will unveil a new statue dedicated to those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. The life-size bronze monument is called America’s Defenders, and it features a male and female soldier represent ing those who served since 2001 in the Global War on Terrorism. It was sculpted by Soldiers & Sailors curator Michael Kraus.

Northern Connection magazine salutes all of our service members, and we thank you for your sacrifice and bravery in serving our country. Happy Veterans Day! | NOVEMBER 2022 27

Notable November Trivia

Welcome to November. The name comes from the Latin word nonus, which means ninth. In the original Roman calendar, November was the year’s ninth month. How ever, it became the eleventh month when the Romans added January and February to the start of the year.

November is considered to be a transitional month because spring gives way to summer in the southern hemi sphere. In the northern hemisphere, it’s the autumn season, but winter is approaching.

The beginning of November starts with the Christian celebration of All Saints’ Day on November 1. It is followed by All Souls’ Day on November 2. Election Day is always held in November. It falls on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November. So, it will fall somewhere between November 2-8 each year.

There are two zodiac signs in this month. If you were born before November 23, then you are a Scorpio. Those born on November 23 or later are Sagittarius. The third Thursday of November is the Great American Smokeout. Smokers are encouraged by the American Cancer Society to stop smoking on this day.

A few significant historical events occurred in November. On November 19, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln delivered the famous Gettysburg Address. Veterans Day falls on Novem ber 11 every year in the United States in honor of the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918 that signaled the end of World War I.

On a sad note, many people in the U.S. can recall what they were doing at 12:30 p.m. on November 22, 1963. On this date, President John Kennedy was fatally shot in Dallas, Texas.

We also commemorate Thanksgiving this month, and it is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. We thank the good Lord for our many blessings on this significant holiday. We dine on turkey and the trimmings, and yes, there is plenty of football on that day. It is followed the next day by the busiest shopping day of the year, “Black Friday.”

Some awesome observances in November include Adop tion Awareness Month, Diabetes and Epilepsy Awareness Month, National Healthy Skin Month, National Scholarship Month, and Veterans and Military Family Month. November is also Good Nutrition Month.

November 6 is Nacho Day. The 14th is Pickle Day. And the 28th is French Toast Day. And the most random of all, Novem ber 29th is Lemon Cream Pie Day.

Since we’ve noted November moments, we must now leaf through this 11th-month query. So, get set to don that thinking cap because it’s time to get a little trivial.

1. The flower for November is the chrysanthemum. What is its radiant birthstone?

2. Name the 2001 romantic movie featuring Keanu Reeves and Charlize Theron?

3. Two U.S. presidents were born on November 2; one was James Polk. Who was the other one?

4. Veterans Day used to be called Armistice Day. Which U.S. president changed the name to Veterans Day?

5. What is it called when men grow mustaches in November to raise money for charity?

6. This popular former CBS news anchorman was born on November 4, 1916.

7. The full moon in November is traditionally called what in the US?

8. Name the popular board game introduced by Parker Brothers on November 5, 1935.

9. What date in November is World Kindness Day?

10. This romance drama film debuted on November 26, 1942. It is based on the play Everybody Comes to Rick’s

11. What Lewis Carroll children’s book was first published in November 1865?

12. National Sandwich day is held during the first week of November, on what date?

13. On November 18, 1963, this company introduced the pushbutton phone to the public.

14. This Guns N’ Roses song focuses on this “fall” month and its precipitation.

15. Name the famous American author and humorist was born on November 30, 1835. n

Sources:,, ultimate,, readers-ask-why-is-veteran-day-nov-11.html,, group, es-in-november,

28 NOVEMBER 2022 |
Answers:1.topaz2.SweetNovember3.WarrenHarding4.Dwight Eisenhower5.Movember6.WalterCronkite7.Beavermoon8.Monopoly 9.the13th10.Casablanca11.AliceinWonderland12.Thethird 13.BellTelephoneCompany14.NovemberRain15.MarkTwain

“Talking Turkey” Down on the Farm

Hey folks, November is an important month for our family farm, and it’s all about the joys brought to the table. November starts with the two-day celebration of the Communion of Saints. All Saints Day on November 1 and All Souls Day on the 2nd.

November 6 is when standard time returns, and we fall back one hour. The time changes in the fall and spring, affect not only people but also animals, livestock and pets. I would like to have daylight savings time all year round. November 8 is mid term election day. The cash cow of advertising for the media comes to an end until the next election cycle. Voting is a right that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Fast forwarding past my birthday on November 21, we have Thanksgiving, the last Thursday of November, and this year it is on the November 24. There is much media talk about the increased prices of turkeys this year. That is because the avian flu has reared its ugly head this fall across the United States, and fewer turkeys will be available for the holidays. In addi tion, higher feed, fuel, electricity, fertilizer, and labor costs have driven up the price per pound of turkeys for the holidays.

Most turkeys are raised on large factory farms, which are cheaper for several reasons, most importantly, what they are fed. The federal agriculture programs are heavily subsidizing field corn and soybeans. Our government is scheduled to pay about $134 billion over the next decade to support farmers growing field corn and soybeans. The specialty growers pro ducing fruits and vegetables will only receive $4 billion over the next decade. The federal subsidies are not paid to the small, average family farms but to the large corporate farms and for eign companies owning farms here in the United States and China.

American families eat about 46 million turkeys for Thanksgiving. Getting the turkeys processed and distributed to stores around the country is an operational challenge. Turkeys are raised year-round, processed, frozen and put into storage for mass distribution for the holidays.

For decades, turkeys have been sold by stores at the retail level at cost or at a loss for one reason—to get the customers into their stores with the hope that you will fill your grocery carts with other products. The difference between fresh and never-frozen turkeys can be confusing because fresh turkeys can be stored at 24 degrees below freezing, but the turkeys are not considered frozen. I often think there is a fine line between improving a hit into a flop by overcooking the turkey. Using a meat thermometer is an excellent instrument for several rea

sons. You want the breast on the white meat to hit 165 degrees and the dark meat to hit 180 degrees. The roasting time is another overlooked factor in producing a juicy turkey. Low temperatures can create a dry turkey, and too high a tempera ture can incinerate a turkey. Bake a turkey like you are check ing on an infant. The number one factor for taste is the feed program.

Brining turkeys is becoming popular. There are a lot of mass-produced, pre-brined turkeys available, but keep in mind you are paying a higher price per pound of water. To bring turkey raising and processing full circle, it all started with my grandpap raising turkeys 80+ years ago for one reason, to offer his year-round customers a fresh turkey for the holidays. As a kid on our farm, I learned valuable lessons, and Grandpap said, “Turkeys are a six-month challenge, and pay attention to what I do cause these are my girls.” As Mother Hen Grandpap did it for 40 years; Dad was a 40-year overlap, and I have been doing it for 21 years. It’s said most turkeys have months of sheer bliss and have one bad day! Processing turkeys takes two days with a team of 18 to 24, with the focus each year on contributing to processing 550 fresh turkeys for our valued year-round custom ers who support our family farm. Bagging and weighing is the third day, and it is a long day for six people each year.

Our Thanksgiving turkey count has been at 550 for decades, and we could quickly sell 5,000 to 6,000 turkeys, but doubling to over 1,000 turkeys, would mean that I would have no family and no friends, so we would be out of the turkey business.

When people stop in our farm market in October and inquire about ordering a turkey, what can they do? I respond, “Be a year-round customer.” My grandpap’s respect for his val ued customers is our current model today. Our family farm is open year-round with a farm market producing fresh eggs, pork products, fresh seasonal vegetables, a bakery, a smokehouse and greenhouses. Our year-round valued customers are the foundation for our family farm. For generations, our family farm has been here to support our community. All we need is community support. We welcome all our family farms to be a year-round destination.

My family and I want to wish you all, family and friends, a blessed and happy Thanksgiving, and always thank God for what we all have. So, if you want to experience what I shared, you are welcome to stop by Eichner’s Whole Farm and Greenhouses at 285 Richard Road, Wexford, and get “the rest of the story.” n



30 NOVEMBER 2022 |

IF YOU’RE THINKING about building a home on your own land, you’re faced with the blank canvas that is a custom build. It helps to start with inspiration and that means a great floor plan.

Local builder, Wayne Homes, lets you choose from a portfolio of over 50 fl oor plans and one of their most popular is the 1,848-square-foot, three-bed Franklin. It’s a fl exible, fl owing ranch with plenty of space for a growing family. Yet, since it’s a single-fl oor plan (with minimal stairs) it also allows empty-nesters to age in place.

The great room, open-concept kitchen and dining room invite thanksgivings with extended family and friends. The den,

just off the welcoming foyer, can serve as a home office. The owner suite is an oasis, complete with dual walk-in closets and a luxurious bathroom. Other advantages include a laundry room just off the owner entry, and a full, ready-to-finish basement.

But how can you get a sense for how a fl oor plan lives just by looking at a blueprint?

At Wayne Homes’ Pittsburgh Model Center, their Franklin model with Legacy exterior features lots of custom upgrades to inspire creativity and conversation.

Like the kitchen’s quartz countertops and subway tile backsplash, the great room’s shiplap fireplace accents, the den’s custom bookcase and

window seat, the finished basement’s football-themed entertainment center, wet bar and powder room, and big back porch … for instance.

So not only can you imagine building this great fl oor plan, you can experience it in person any day of the week.

Stop by for a tour and a conversation at the Pittsburgh Model Center. And learn more about building a custom home on your own land at

Pittsburgh Model Center: 7116 State Route 22 Greensburg, PA 15601 866-883-2852 | NOVEMBER 2022 31
A great custom home starts with a great floor plan.


32 NOVEMBER 2022 |

You from the ground up.

The American dream can’t simply be bought. It has to be built. From the ground up – on land you own. So it’s personal and a perfect reflection of you. Wayne Homes has been helping families just like yours build beautifully crafted custom homes for five decades, in just about every style you can imagine. Because this dream is for everyone.

Now what’s yours?

Learn about building a custom home on your land at | Pittsburgh: 866 883 2852

Model Shown: Columbia Farmhouse

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