CONNECTING YOU TO THE COMMUNITY FOR 24 YEARS Harvest Time | Fall Fun & Events | Purify Indoor Air The Commons at Stonebrook Village: A Place to Call Home! Also... September 2023 Passavant Hospital Foundation Honoring a Legacy of Caring in Our Community
Saturday, September 23 2 and 7:30 p.m.
The Fabulous Hubcaps
Saturday, October 21 2 and 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 18 2 and 7:30 p.m.
and The Vogues
Saturday, December 9 2 and 7:30 p.m.
Johnny Angel and The Halos Christmas
TO BUY TICKETS
Located on the UPMC Passavant campus at Cumberland Woods Village. Find us on Facebook: The Legacy Lineup or TheLegacyLineup.com
Thank you to our sponsors!
1 show $39
2 shows $64
3 shows $84
4 shows $96
5+ shows $20 per ticket
1 to 4 tickets for one show $39 each
5 to 9 tickets for one show $31 each
10 or more tickets for one show $26 each
FREE MATINEE MOVIES
MONDAY, 2 P.M.
Everything, Everywhere, All at Once (PG-13, 139 MIN.)
Sept. 18, 2023
Dog Gone (PG, 95 MIN.)
Sept. 25, 2023
Champions (PG-13, 124 MIN.)
Oct. 2, 2023
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Movie (PG-13, 139 MIN.)
Oct. 9, 2023
The Quiet Girl (PG-13, 95 MIN.)
Oct. 16, 2023
Jesus Revolution (PG-13, 120 MIN.)
Oct. 23, 2023
Moving On (R, 85 MIN.)
Oct. 30, 2023
Somewhere in Queens (R, 107 MIN.)
Nov. 6, 2023
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (PG-13, 144 MIN.)
Nov. 13, 2023
FREE EDUCATIONAL SEMINARS
Pittsburgh to the Moon
Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2023
Speaker: Mike Hennessy, Manager of Learning & Programs at the new Moonshot Museum
Bigfoot in Pennsylvania
Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2023
Speaker: Mary Fabian, Founder of the online discussion group, Pennsylvania Bigfoot Project, with over 17,000 members
Lewis and Clark in the Rockies
Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2023
Speaker: Gary Augustine, Historian
Spooky Spots in the Burgh
Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2023
Speaker: Gail Griffith, instructor with the Life Enrichment Program for seniors through CCAC
TheLegacyLineup.com. For information on
for free seminars,
The Corvettes Doo Wop Revue
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7 September TABLE OF CONTENTS
2 SEPTEMBER 2023 | www.northernconnectionmag.com
September is Harvest Time Down on the Farm Ron Eichner 31 Fall Fun Health & Wellness 7 Cover Story: Passavant Hospital Foundation— Honoring a Legacy of Caring in Our Community 11 Campus Counseling Services: How to Utilize Them and When to Seek Help Maura L. Johnson, LCSW, PMH-C 14 How Unprocessed Emotions Lead to Chronic Illness Marla Turnbull, NBC-HWC 16 Expect More From Where You Live! Shenango on the Green 18 A Natural Way to Purify Indoor Air Belinda Burchick RPh, BPharm 21 The Commons at Stonebrook Village: A Place to Call Home! Lutheran SeniorLife Back to School 2023-24 27 The New School Experience PA Cyber 28 Sewickley Academy 29 School Movers & Shakers In Every Issue... 4 Movers & Shakers 5 Mover & Shaker of the Month: Best Year’s Ever Band (B.Y.E. Band) Paula Green 22 Trivia Connection: Stepfamily/Blended Family Trivia Paula Green 23 Support Our Troops: The Pentagon—9/11 and other factual Points Paula Green 26 From the Editor: It’s All Relative Janice Lane Palko 32 September Events
2023 Legacy of Caring Award Winners: (L to R) Maria Dowling, MSN, RN, CSRN, Theodore Vuchinich, III, MD, Virginia Balderston, MD, Suresh Mulukutla, MD, Wende Goncz, DO, Peggy Hayden, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, Liza Gliozzi, BSN, RN, Michael Pagnotto, MD
The Perfect Place for Mom! StBarnabasCommunities.com Schedule a tour with Cindy or Nina today at CBoyd@StBarnabasHealthSystem.com or call 724-444-5568. Be sure to ask about our move-in special! Mom will live her best life with Lucky by her side! The Village at St. Barnabas has it all! • Restaurants • Social Events • Hair Salon • Bank and so much more!
Marcie Baker, RN of the Butler VA Health Care System, was recently honored with The DAISY Award® For Extraordinary Nurses. The award is part of the DAISY Foundation’s programs to recognize the super-human efforts nurses perform every day.
The Allegheny County Library Association (ACLA) announced the launch of the Library Road Trip The new program challenges residents to explore as many libraries as possible, have their library passport stamped and receive prizes based on their participation level. Allegheny County is home to 45 libraries outside of the City of Pittsburgh and each one is different and offers a variety of materials, programs, and services to their respective communities.
Passavant Hospital Foundation’s 11th Annual Run/Walk 4K and 8K Run/Walk took place on August 11, 2023 at the North Park Pool Loop in Allison Park, and the NEW Family Wellness Run/Walk took place on August 12th, 2023 at the UPMC Passavant Sportsplex in Cranberry Township. They had over 160 participants between the two days and raised $15,589 supporting our patients, their families, UPMC Passavant staff and the communities they serve. Northern Connection is a proud sponsor of these two events.
Food21 of Pennsylvania, as a result of its successful Farm to Tap project, has launched a regional malted barley branded as Allegheny Mountain Malt. The malt is produced in collaboration with CNC Malt in Fenelton, PA, and farmers in Westmoreland County. It will be distributed by Zilka and Company, located in Hunker, PA. For more information, visit www.ammalt.com or call (724) 858-8101.
St. Barnabas Charities hosted the 32nd annual Free Care 5K on Saturday, August 5, presented by Paracca Interiors Flooring America. The race was held at the St. Barnabas Gibsonia campus on Meridian Road. Top honors went to first place finisher Jed Christiansen, of Greenville, crossing the finish line with a time of 15:12. Overall female winner is Claire Anderson of Jamestown, PA with a time of 17:58. Followed by: Male 2nd Place: Dale Hall, Allison Park; Female 2nd Place: Meg Griffith, Pleasant Hills; Male 3rd Place: Julian Paul, Pittsburgh; Female 3rd Place: Amy Brown, Valencia; Wheelchair finisher: Andrew Grossmann, Butler.
4 SEPTEMBER 2023 | www.northernconnectionmag.com MOVERS & SHAKERS TO REGISTER GO TO ALLEGHENYVOTES.COM BE A POLL WORKER For the EARN $150 - $175 2023 GENERAL election Online or in-person PAID TRAINING
Best Years Ever Band (B.Y.E. Band) Bands together and gives back to the community
By Paula Green
One Christmas gift purchased several years ago led to bigger and better things for Mike and Shirlene Bungo of Gibsonia. The couple has been performing together for the past year and a half. The name of their group is Best Years Ever Band (B.Y.E. Band). They have a unique and fun story about how things started for them.
“We have a band (duo) that plays around town. I bought my wife, Shirlene, a keyboard a few years back for Christmas. We got ourselves a music and vocal coach and began a journey toward being able to play some songs for our family and friends. After five years, a friend entered us in a talent show, which went quite well. From there, we decided it would be fun to see if we could get good enough to perform. Little did we know that to play a three-hour gig, you need about 40 songs! We started our trek to be the best live local show in town,” Mike said.
B.Y.E Band plays a wide variety of music. The most compliments they generally receive are around their setlist. They have played popular songs from the last seven decades. The couple likes to play songs that people love and can sing along to.
B.Y.E. Band made its debut in early 2022 and has played 24 times. The fantastic part of their story is that they donate 100% of their fees and tips to charity and the staff and venue that host their performances.
“A few charitable causes that we support are The Lori Fund (fallen soldier families), The Izzie Fund (lifesaving medical care for pet families), Hammock Dunes Care (local police athletic leagues), Pennies From Heaven (financial support for families that have hospitalized children), and Treesdale Golf & Country Club Employee Scholarship Fund. We donate all tips and fees and make personal donations. To date, we have only worked with charities that have zero admin fees, and we want to keep it that way,” said Mike.
“We are always looking for bigger audiences at our performances, as a larger audience provides a means to support our charities substantially. The generosity of our fans has been heartwarming. We have been earning our following with great music and have found that the combination of a great night out with the addition of supporting someone in need is what brings people to our shows. We enjoy going to a familiar venue where we know the staff and have the logistics down. It makes life easier, and having a waiter or waitress welcome us back is always great.” Mike added.
The couple has come a long way from their old corporate jobs. Shirlene used to work for Tropicana. She was a computer programmer who then transitioned into Supply Chain Management. Mike worked at Eaton Corp. for 37 years. Since they are retired, they’re snowbirds, so in addition to performing concerts in Pittsburgh, they also play in Palm Coast, Florida. “We head to Florida in mid-October and stay until early May. We came back one year in April, and it snowed! So, our all-go on the weather is now any time after the Kentucky Derby,” Mike said.
For more information on Best Years Ever Band (B.Y.E. Band), visit www.byeband.com. n
www.northernconnectionmag.com | SEPTEMBER 2023 5
MOVER & SHAKER OF THE MONTH
WE’RE PROUD OF OUR COMMUNITY. AND PROUD OF THOSE WE SHARE IT WITH.
Scott Celin, MD Metropolitan Ear, Nose & Throat Associates-UPMC
Philip Iozzi, DO Absolute Primary Care-UPMC
Virginia Balderston, MD
Donna Ottoviani, MSN, RN Vice President, UPMC Community Medicine, Inc.
The UPMC Passavant Hospital Medical Executive Committee joins the Passavant Hospital Foundation in extending congratulations to this year’s honorees for the “Legacy of Caring” awards:
Maria Dowling, MSN, RN, CSRN
Liza Gliozzi, BSN, RN
Scott Celin, MD; Philip Iozzi, DO; and Donna Ottoviani, MSN, RN, are honored to be recognized as 2019 UPMC Passavant Foundation Legacy of Caring Honorees. Like the Passavant Hospital Foundation — and all of UPMC — they remain committed to excellence in everything they do.
Wende Goncz, DO
Peggy Hayden, DNP, RN, NEA-BC
Suresh Mulukutla, MD
Michael Pagnotto, MD
Theodore Vuchinich, III, MD
6 SEPTEMBER 2023 | www.northernconnectionmag.com
Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, UPMC
America’s Best Hospitals by U.S. News &
Presbyterian Shadyside is ranked among
UPMC Passavant is recognized as the 2nd best hospital in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area and 15th best in Pennsylvania.
Passavant Hospital Auxiliary provides life-saving grant to control traumatic bleeding
In 1972, the American Heart Association launched its first mass citizen training in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, or CPR — an emergency life-saving procedure performed when the heart stops beating. The goal of this training was to increase the survival rate from cardiac arrest outside of a hospital setting. The result? The use of immediate CPR was able to double or triple the chances of survival.
Similar to how CPR prepared bystanders for a cardiac emergency, a new movement, called Stop the Bleed®, or STB, aims to train non-medical personnel in methods that control traumatic bleeding.
“An adult can bleed to death in three to five minutes,” said Megan Tomaino, MPAS, PA-C, a physician assistant, certified, at UPMC Passavant.
“Essentially, STB is about training everyone to help a victim buy time until
help arrives in the form of EMS (in the community) or the Rapid Response Team (in the hospital),” said Betsy Tedesco, DNP, RN, CEN, NEA-BC, PHRN, clinical director of emergency services at UPMC Passavant. “With traumatic bleeding, time is crucial. So, if we can intervene quickly with the first person encountering the victim, we can save a life.”
The bleeding control techniques taught through STB include the use of a tourniquet, as well as applying direct pressure to the wound and packing the wound with gauze.
Traumatic bleeding injuries are not uncommon. “People suffer massive bleeding from car accidents, pedestrian accidents, work-related accidents, home accidents involving knives or power tools, and recreational activities, just to mention a few,” Megan said.
Megan recently submitted a grant request to the Passavant Hospital Auxiliary to provide STB equipment for UPMC Passavant, opportunities to train hospital staff, and the opportunity to develop a community-based training program. The Passavant Hospital Auxiliary, which funded the grant, is an arm of Passavant Hospital Foundation. With the funding, Megan was able to equip the hospital’s security officers and maintenance staffs with STB kits and training. “Specifically, security officers were concerned about people suffering traumatic bleeding in the parking lots they routinely patrol. These officers were provided with tourniquets they can carry with them on their utility belts while on patrol,” Megan explained. Additionally, STB kits were installed in the hospital’s maintenance workshops, in the event
Continued on next page
Megan Tomaino, MPAS, PA-C (left) and Betsy Tedesco, DNP, RN, CEN, NEA-BC, PHRN, (right) display the new Stop-The-Bleed kits at UPMC Passavant.
www.northernconnectionmag.com | SEPTEMBER 2023 7
Passavant Hospital Foundation provides grant to stop traumatic bleeding, continued from previous page
that a worker sustains an injury. In such cases, hospital personnel can render immediate bleeding control until the hospital’s Rapid Response Team arrives. Hospital registration staff is being trained, as well, in case a bleeding victim arrives in the building with an injury.
“Megan has thought ‘outside the box’ with her training program. She has essentially engaged anyone that could arrive or see the victim first,” Betsy said. The grant provided 15 wall kits for the first- and ground-floor hallways and entrances of UPMC Passavant in McCandless and Cranberry Townships, and 20 kits to be stored on the in-patient nursing units. It also provided 30 tourniquets with belt holders for the security officers and 70 more tourniquets for employees in housekeeping, registration, maintenance, and other non-clinical areas.
Future plans include another grant from Passavant Hospital Foundation to fund STB training kits for use at various community events, where members of the public can be trained in STB techniques.
“I want to credit the Passavant Hospital Auxiliary for the tremendous amount of support they’ve provided,“ Megan said. “I went to them with an idea and they helped me transform my idea into a vision and a mission. Without them, the Stop-the-Bleed project would not have been possible.” n
survivorship celebration continues to serve patients after 12 years
The 12th Annual UPMC Passavant Celebration of Survivorship was held at the Greater Pittsburgh Masonic Center in Ross Township on June 23, and was attended by 190 cancer survivors and 120 caregivers.
The event, for which Passavant Hospital Foundation has provided funding and volunteer assistance every year, included dinner served by oncology nurses and physicians, fellowship with other cancer survivors and their guests, live entertainment, and presentations addressing various issues affecting cancer survivors at all stages of their journey. The evening ended with a candle-lit Survivorship Recognition Ceremony. Bill Hogle, a cancer survivor and registered nurse at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center at UPMC Passavant, served as emcee; Brother Shamus McGrenra, a Franciscan friar at St. Francis University and 10-year cancer survivor, was the keynote speaker.
“My message was about hope. I am living proof of the power of prayer and the modern miracle of ‘medicine UPMC,’” Brother Shamus said.
An avid cyclist for 30 years, Brother Shamus had been shocked to his core when he was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer in 2013. He relocated to Pittsburgh from his home in Loretto, PA so he could be treated at UPMC Hillman
Cancer Center at UPMC Passavant. There, he underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatments five days a week for six consecutive weeks.
“Halfway through, I had to go on a liquid diet. I couldn’t eat real food. I lost 20 pounds. I was in so much pain that two different medications were prescribed to relieve the pain. I was sleeping 18 hours a day. I was not a happy camper,” he said. His treatments ended in August 2013 and he was able to return to his home and job.
Three months later, he learned the cancer had spread to his lungs. “I had the tumor surgically removed but decided I would not undergo any more treatment,” he said. His oncologist, Brian Laughlin, MD, however, didn’t allow him to give up, and persuaded him to try another round of chemotherapy. It worked. Today, Brother Shamus is completely cancer-free and has resumed working and cycling.
“When they asked me to be the keynote speaker at this year’s Survivorship Celebration, it only took me a nanosecond to say ‘yes,’” he said, eager to share his story of hope.
Cancer Survivorship programs like this are now widely recognized as an integral part of comprehensive cancer care. n
Brother Shamus McGrenra, a Franciscan friar and cancer survivor, enjoyed food and fellowship at the 2023 UPMC Passavant Celebration of Survivorship event, sponsored by Passavant Hospital Foundation.
8 SEPTEMBER 2023 | www.northernconnectionmag.com
UPMC Passavant Security Guard Greg Bolar demonstrates the use of a tourniquet he has been equipped to carry.
Bridge to Hope launches free, in-person education series for families with a loved one battling substance abuse
On Wednesday, September 27, the award-winning Bridge to Hope support group will enhance its services by adding a monthly education series aimed at equipping families with the knowledge and insights they need to deal with loved ones who are battling substance abuse disorder.
“Each month we’ll welcome a guest speaker who is an expert on specific issues surrounding substance abuse disorder,” said Bridge to Hope Facilitator Ken Johnson. “We’ll cover topics like the trauma associated with addiction, family concerns, establishing positive boundaries, plus uplifting, positive messages for recovery.”
Bridge to Hope will continue meeting weekly, with the first three meetings
of the month being held virtually. These meetings will offer the same high level of support, with members of the group focusing on their shared ideas, experiences, hopes, and successes. The last Wednesday of each month will feature the in-person education series, held at 7:00 p.m. at the Passavant Hospital Foundation Conference Center located at 700 Cumberland Woods Drive in McCandless Township Every meeting is free and open to all.
Bridge to Hope is a community outreach program of Passavant Hospital Foundation, and has served more than 5,000 local families since its inception in 1999.
For details, call 412-748-6640 or go to Bridge2Hope.org. n
Passavant Hospital Foundation to offer FREE health and wellness programs
Passavant Hospital Foundation is offering a variety of interactive health and wellness education programs to the public at Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) North Campus. All are free, but registration is required by calling 412-788-7546. This fall’s programs include:
Solutions for Hip or Knee Pain
Tues., Sept. 12, 2023 n 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. n
Led by Eric Chen, MD, director, Anterior Hip Surgery at UPMC Passavant.
Updates in Colorectal Screenings
Tues., Oct. 10, 2023 n 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. n
Led by David S. Medich, MD, chief, UPMC Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery, UPMC Passavant
Updates in Lung Cancer
Tues., Nov. 14, 2023 n 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. n
Led by Theresa Celender, MPAS, PA-C, FAPACVS, Physician Assistant, Department of Thoracic Surgery at UPMC Passavant.
Support the mission of Passavant Hospital Auxiliary
Passavant Hospital Foundation assists CRNAs with tuition costs
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) play an integral role in health care, providing anesthetics to patients in every practice setting and for every type of surgery or procedure. Their training includes doctorate-level programs that can cost more than $100,000. To help attract the most qualified and skilled CRNAs to the UPMC Passavant team, Passavant Hospital Foundation has provided a CRNA Tuition Award of $120,000 — or $30,000 each — to four recent CRNA graduates and new hires
at UPMC Passavant. The money is given as a partial tuition loan forgiveness. In return, award recipients have committed to serve at UPMC Passavant for at least the next three years.
“We’re advancing health and wellness throughout our community, so it’s important that we have the best CRNAs available, and we’re happy to provide this assistance to get the best recruits,” said Anthony R. Savannah, president of Passavant Hospital Foundation. n
Comprised of volunteers, Passavant Hospital Auxiliary conducts fundraising events to benefit the patients, families, and staff of UPMC Passavant. Projects funded by the Auxiliary range from free valet parking passes for outpatients to the establishment of two end-of-life care rooms at the hospital.
One of the Auxiliary’s biggest fundraisers is the Lights of Love Tree, which has been displayed in the hospital lobby for the past 36 holiday seasons. The tree is adorned with lights and dove ornaments, each of which is designated in honor or memory of loved ones. To designate a light or ornament in your loved one’s name this year, call 412.748.6640. n
Passavant Hospital Foundation President Anthony R. Savannah (center) presents a CRNA Tuition Assistance Award to Christine Anthony, CRNA; Meredith Scheier, CRNA; Tyler Schultz, CRNA; and Marissa Palmer, CRNA.
www.northernconnectionmag.com | SEPTEMBER 2023 9
Thursday, September 21, 2023 at DoubleTree by Hilton, Pittsburgh-Cranberry
2023 Legacy of Caring Honorees are:
Virginia Balderston, MD
Internal Medicine, HealthQuest Medical Associates – UPMC
24 Years of Service
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Dr. Balderston reached out to the UPMC Passavant chief medical officer to offer her services in whatever capacity was needed. She and her family provided home-cooked meals for hospital staff and physicians; she volunteered to vaccinate healthcare workers, first responders, teachers, and then the public. When hospital units were struggling, she and her husband, Dr. Ted Vuchinich, brought in treats to boost morale and lend a compassionate ear. She is known for taking her time, listening, caring, and being available to help when needed.
Maria Dowling, MSN, RN, CSRN
Diagnostic Imaging Services; Lung Cancer Screening
Program Navigator – UPMC Passavant
36 Years of Service
In 1992, Maria became one of the first cardiac catheterization nurses at UPMC Passavant. She helped develop several services in the field of cardiology, including electrophysiology. In 2016, she played a key role as the co-chair of the Magnet Committee, contributing significantly to UPMC Passavant’s first Magnet® designation in 2017.
Lisa Gliozzi, BSN, RN
UPMC Hillman Cancer Center at UPMC Passavant
37 Years of Service
Working in gynecological oncology, Lisa is known as being efficient, kind, caring, compassionate, and going above and beyond to help her patients and co-workers. She takes the time to make sure
her patients clearly understand any procedures and treatments and makes sure their questions and concerns are addressed. She also volunteers at the UPMC Passavant Hillman Cancer Center Survivorship event every year and participates in the Ovarian Cancer Walk.
Wende Goncz, DO Vice-Chair and Clinical Director of Anesthesia; President, UPMC Passavant Medical Staff
22 Years of Service
Wende is a highly valued member of the medical staff and medical executive leadership team at UPMC Passavant. She enjoys volunteering for Operation Walk, a Pittsburgh- based volunteer medical service organization that provides free surgical treatment for patients in developing countries. Her volunteer trips expand to Havana, Cuba and she has been the lead physician for Anesthesia four times in Antigua, Guatemala with her fifth lead trip this fall. Dr. Goncz volunteers for and supports the Light of Life Mission in Pittsburgh and is a champion for fundraising and food drives benefiting North Hills Community Outreach. She exemplifies and advances the values of quality and excellence in her leadership and clinical roles both inside and outside of UPMC Passavant.
Peggy Hayden, DNP, RN, NEA-BC Director of Cultural Excellence; Magnet® Program Director; Executive Director of Education – UPMC Passavant
11 Years of Service
When someone or something needs to be celebrated, Peggy is the first person to lead the cheering squad. She is a mentor and teacher to countless Passavant associates and nursing students in doctoral and master’s level programs. She has been instrumental in leading UPMC Passavant to achieve national recognition twice as an ANCC Magnet designated hospital, one of only 8% among U.S. hospitals.
Suresh Mulukutla, MD
UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute at UPMC Passavant
19 Years of Service
Dr. Mulukutla is Chair of Cardiology at UPMC Passavant. In addition to seeing patients and performing surgeries, he mentors fellows who are looking to pursue a career in cardiology and leads the analytical research team for cardiology.
Michael Pagnotto, MD
Tri State Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine
14 Years of Service
Specializing in hip and knee replacement, Dr. Pagnotto started his tenure at UPMC Passavant in 2011. He has led a remarkable change in culture around hip and knee replacement, making UPMC Passavant a destination for total joint care, and a regional leader in orthopaedic robotic surgery. Along with his expert surgical care, he has developed a reputation for adding a personal touch with his patients. Many of his patients are amazed that he personally calls them the night before surgery.
Theodore Vuchinich, MD
Pulmonologist, Pulmonary Partners; UPMC Passavant
21 Years of Service
Dr. Vuchinich has been a key player in instituting improved processes for care of our cardiac, neuro, pulmonary and critical care patients. He and his wife, Dr. Balderston, have provided numerous lunches for the nursing staff and have distributed ice cream via a cart to boost morale. Dr. Vuchinich is someone with strong principles and ethics, and he models the UPMC values daily.
If you would like to purchase tickets or secure a sponsorship, please contact Anthony R. Savannah at 412-748-5788 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Campus Counseling Services: How to Utilize Them and When to Seek Help
By Maura L. Johnson, LCSW, PMH-C
As the final weeks of summer commenced, many families experienced a very different back-to-school season than years past. Whether this was your first child going to college or your fourth, each time leads to a shift in the family dynamics within the home. It’s common to experience a range of emotions, such as overwhelming pride, happiness and excitement alongside sadness and grief. Children provide such a tangible reminder of how quickly time passes and the transitional time after graduation only serves to highlight this further. While so many exciting experiences await them, it’s not uncommon for some students to need extra support while away from home. Campus counseling services can provide a safe, confidential space for students to seek the help they need.
Counseling services at colleges and universities may vary, but they are often an included benefit within the tuition and fee schedule. They are typically staffed with licensed counseling professionals and graduate student interns undergoing supervision. Depending on the size and resources of the college/university, they may offer long-term counseling, group counseling and/or support groups. Many universities will offer shorter term counseling, with a plan to refer to a local therapist for transition of care. Crisis services are also a resource available to most students and are typically staffed 24/7. While 911 is often our first thought in a crisis, mental health crisis lines/support provide an opportunity to talk through what is occurring and develop a safety plan.
So how do you recognize when it’s time to utilize these services? There can be a variety of reasons why one may want or need to engage these supports. The transition from living at home with family/caregivers, seeing long-term friends and leaving athletic teams can be fairly jarring for many students. Adjusting to more autonomy can be amazing but also leave some feeling slightly adrift. Academic expectations may seem more manageable than some high school classes while others far more intense. While all of this adjustment can be exciting, it is very common to struggle with feelings of overwhelm. Campus counselors are trained to support students during this time and work through the growing pains of transition. It’s important for students to know they are not alone in their feelings and things will improve as the semesters progress.
Campus counseling services are also indicated for more serious struggles, such as anxiety and depression. While an adjustment period is expected and feelings may vary, anyone experiencing low mood, low motivation, feelings of hopelessness/helplessness, impaired sleep and appetite and/or withdrawing from friends/loved ones and activities they typically enjoy for a period longer than two weeks should be evaluated for depression. If anxiety is occurring that impairs ability to focus, sleep, eat or otherwise imparting function (including panic attacks), this also indicates a need for more support. If suicidal thinking/ideation is occurring, reaching out to crisis services, in addition to counseling, is often necessary.
I often get asked in my practice whether a student can participate in campus counseling services while also retaining their current therapist. This is generally not an issue, as some students will prefer to have access to in-person appointments. If the student’s current therapist is also licensed in the state, the student is attending college, virtual appointments may occur (this may vary among state licensing boards). Students may also choose to utilize campus counseling while actively living on campus and see their “home therapist” during holi-
days and summer breaks. If possible, collaboration between the treating therapists offers continuity of care and enables both professionals to support the student/client.
Most schools provide information for their mental health services on their website, as well as their crisis intervention services. It can be helpful to locate this information early in the semester and have it on hand, as needed. While some students may struggle with the idea of seeking help, it’s important for them to know that help is available. Counselors are there to provide support, validation and to ensure students have their best chance of success. n
Maura Johnson is a licensed clinical social worker currently in practice at Cranberry Psychological Center. She is a certified perinatal mental health provider, as well as a contributing staff member with Postpartum Support International. While her primary focus is treating PMADs, she also treats a variety of conditions and clients of all ages. She resides in the Pittsburgh area with her husband, Brendan, daughter, Sloane, and dog, Max.
www.northernconnectionmag.com | SEPTEMBER 2023 11
HEALTH & WELLNESS
TICKETS ON SALE NOW
Wednesday, October 25, 2023 at The Westin Hotel
Registration and Reception
Program and Dinner
Greet honorees during a cocktail reception, place bids on items in a robust silent auction featuring nearly 200 items, purchase tickets for a month-long raffle of 30 lavishly themed gift baskets, and enjoy a superb dinner.
To sponsor, reserve a table or tickets, contact email@example.com or call 412-864-3524.
UPMC SENIOR SERVICES
UPMC WESTERN BEHAVIORAL HEALTH
Antoine Douaihy, MD
Senior Academic Director, Addiction Medicine Services
UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital
Achieva Stephen H. Suroviec President and CEO
Jacqueline Dunbar-Jacob, PhD, RN, FAAN
Dean Emeritus, University of Pittsburgh
School of Nursing
12 SEPTEMBER 2023 | www.northernconnectionmag.com
www.northernconnectionmag.com | SEPTEMBER 2023 13 CALL NOW to reserve your advertising space for the Fall issue! 724-940-2444
How Unprocessed Emotions Lead to Chronic Illness
By Marla Turnbull, NBC-HWC
In the Summer of 2022, I was studying for my National Boards Exam. I realized I needed to do a “deep dive” into understanding the effects of unprocessed emotions and resiliency on the body. In December 2022, I became a National Board-Certified Health & Wellness Coach and a Certified Resiliency Coach through Wholeness in Practice, LLC.
After eight years of coaching, I saw the negative effects of unprocessed emotions that led to the breakdown of the immune system causing chronic illness and inflammation. I coached virtually in the corporate environment throughout the pandemic. I thought after the pandemic subsided, the chronic stress and inflammation would lessen for my clients. To my surprise, it only worsened.
The chronic illnesses I saw were now turning into metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome includes high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol levels. The syndrome increases a person’s risk for heart attack and stroke. Aside from a large waist circumference, most of the disorders associated with metabolic syndrome have no symptoms.
High levels of stress-producing cortisol cause inflammation throughout the body. Hidden Inflammation weaves through our deadliest diseases, such as heart disease, autoimmune diseases, cancer, lung and liver disease, poor detoxification, and nervous system dysregulation.
Unfortunately for many, these traumatic experiences are part of their everyday life now. COVID jump-started the process through significant lifestyle changes we were forced to adapt to overnight. I continue to see the effects of COVID on my clients.
So, let’s be clear: your trauma is not to be taken lightly!
As inflammation develops in the brain, the cell danger response is activated. This means brain cells shift from a state of repair and regeneration to warrior mode. Once the cell danger response is activated, it stays activated until the cells receive a safety signal. In this state, we are primed to initiate an inflammatory response. These stressors can trigger cascades of inflammatory signals.
We tend to think of unprocessed emotions as insignificant when they can be a source of lasting trauma. In fact, unprocessed emotions cannot be defined merely by the nature of the event itself but must consider our response. Any time the stress is more than we can handle, with our available resources at the time, the effect is traumatic.
What are some signs that unresolved trauma is taking a toll on your body?
• Constant fatigue, headaches, poor sleep
• Feeling disconnected from your emotions or your body
• Feeling hopeless about the future
• Being angry, irritated, cynical and jumping to conclusions
• Avoiding work or planned events
• Having no interest in activities that used to give you joy
• Avoiding people and thinking they may be avoiding you
• Having difficulty relating to others & continuously keeping busy to avoid reminders of the trauma
• Struggling to improve after making changes to your diet and lifestyle
But the good news is that recovery is possible!
Through my skilled training and implementing the techniques of processing unresolved emotions, I help you develop simple daily methods in moving forward. One tool I recommend is the “Get Attuned” app. This app is now available on Android and is soon being released for Apple customers. Coaching, along with the app, helps our perspective shift that takes place at the heart level.
The app is the first of its kind to help promote emotional health and spiritual rest through increased self-awareness and deep connection.
Don’t suffer alone. We can begin the healing journey together. Please reach out to me for a consultation. n
Marla Turnbull, NBC-HWC Nature’s Divine Healing, Optimal Recovery, LLC Marla@NaturesDivineHealing.com 412-302-4638 14 SEPTEMBER 2023 | www.northernconnectionmag.com HEALTH & WELLNESS ADVERTORIAL
Expect More From Where YOU Live!
Are you looking for independence, well-being and peace of mind? Now more than ever, living at Shenango on the Green is a real advantage. Our residents continuously Expect More from our community. We are proud that they are staying connected, engaged and supported by our compassionate team members. We are a community that is defining engagement, lifestyle and freedom.
“Shenango on the Green residents have a strong foundation of connection. And I have witnessed that connection grow deeper with each other and other members of our surrounding community over the last year,” remarks Shenango on the Green Executive Director Melissa McAdams-Welsh. “From educational classes to creative walking groups and access to the charming town of New Wilmington, our residents continue to prosper with all that Shenango on the Green offers.”
Schedule a personal visit of our welcoming community to explore our retirement living apartments and new carriage home community-StoneCreek of Shenango on the Green-Lawrence County’s first smart-home community. From our model apartment and home, to our newly built clubhouse, our restaurant-style dining room and exercise areas, you’ll be able to get a first-hand look at the Expect More lifestyle that Shenango on the Green offers.
“Shenango on the Green is committed to keeping our residents engaged in healthy practices. Giving our residents and their family members peace of mind is what we do best,” says Shenango Ms. McAdams-Welsh.
“Living at Shenango on the Green, comes with many comforts. Our residents are able to not only enjoy apartments and homes that are styled to their personal tastes, but also live with the confidence of knowing that our team members are committed to help them flourish,” adds Bobbi Jo Haden, vice president of Retirement Living for Presbyterian SeniorCare Network. Shenango on the Green is part of the Presbyterian SeniorCare Network 10-county family of living and service options dedicated to Making Aging Easier®. For more information, visit: www.ShenangoSRCare.org. n
16 SEPTEMBER 2023 | www.northernconnectionmag.com HEALTH & WELLNESS
Where YOU Live Matters: Be Part of Something More!
Looking for independence, security and well-being for yourself or your family member? Shenango on the Green gives you the freedom to ourish—no matter where you are on life’s journey. Our residents stay engaged and live life to the fullest—all while keeping connected by heart!
Our comfortable one- and two-bedroom apartments and our newest expansion of carriage homes, StoneCreek, give residents a full range of services and amenities. Plus, you have priority access to higher levels of care, if and when you may need it, right here on campus.
EXPECT MORE FROM WHERE YOU LIVE. YOU DESERVE IT!
To learn more, call 724.946.3516 or visit ShenangoSrCare.org
A Natural Way to Purify Indoor Air
By Belinda Burchick, RPh, BPharm
It’s that time of year to bring in your plants so you can reap the health benefits all winter long. All summer, your plants have been enjoying the sun and their healthy growth. The fall season is the perfect time to give your plants an annual checkup and bring them inside.
Since indoor plants take in carbon dioxide, filter out pollutants, and release oxygen, they are a great addition to any home. Studies have shown that plants can improve air quality in your home and potentially increase moisture for your skin. The beauty of plants and caring for them may even help elevate your mood and overall wellbeing. Handling soil during gardening may even promote microbiome diversity in your gut. All can contribute to overall good health. Breathing cleaner air can create calmness, mental clarity, and lessen anxiety. When your mind and body are calm, your heart rate, cortisol levels, and even blood pressure are improved. In addition, microbes in the soil have been shown to convert carbon dioxide into organic matter.
Pollution levels can be higher indoors due to Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) which are given off by carpeting, vinyl flooring, composite wood, upholstery, and cleaning products. During the winter months, more people spend time indoors, and it is too cold to open windows for ventilation. Therefore, there is increased exposure to these chemicals. Studies have proposed that millions of people globally have shorter lifespans due to indoor air pollution. Below is just a sampling of indoor plants that can make your home come alive. Please research each plant to determine if it is a right fit for your personality and schedule. Also, make sure to check if the plant is toxic to pets and children if ingested.
Snake Plant is efficient at clarifying sev-
eral toxins from the air and considered the best indoor plant. It is the plant with the most oxygen production.
Dragon Tree is an attractive plant with a personality. It prefers low light and humidified air, so regular misting is important. This plan will freshen the air in any room. Overall, it takes little care.
Spider Plants are great for hanging baskets. Taking care of them is easy. It is adaptable, so it does not react as much to giving it too much water or not enough water and can be grown in any light or low light conditions.
English Ivy is a beautiful and fast-growing plant. It is good with having dry soil which makes it low maintenance. Great for hanging baskets, trellises, or any size container.
Prayer Plant is a small plant that grows in partial shade. This plant puts on a display by unfurling its leaves during the day and closing again at night.
Red Emerald Philodendron is a very decorative vining plant that will brighten any room, and it works hard to purify your home.
Pothos Ivy is most likely the easiest to grow, so it is considered the best plant for beginners. Only water every other week and it can be in rooms with low light.
Kimberly Queen Fern livens up a room and is a natural humidifier.
Succulents and Cacti are droughtresistant, and only need to water a little when the soil is completely dry. A variety of small succulents and cacti make a nice shallow potted arrangement.
Aloe Vera Plants help remove many toxins from your home. The gel from inside the aloe vera plant can help soothe sunburns and other skin conditions.
ZZ Plant is a stylish plant and easily cared for, liking low light conditions and only needing to be watered every other week.
Chinese Evergreen is a slow growing and attractive plant. They thrive in a variety of light settings. This plant can decrease household dust and increase the humidity in your home.
Peace Lily is great for beginners. They can bring a sense of calm. These plants show off their white waxy flowers during springtime. If ingested, can cause vomiting or tongue swelling.
Bromeliads are considered tropical plants that show off flower spikes, which are available in many colors and shapes.
For more information, go online and check
HEALTH & WELLNESS 18 SEPTEMBER 2023 | www.northernconnectionmag.com @ R H W M C C A N D L E S S @ R H W M C C A N D L E S S Do more of what you love. No matter what your "do more" goal is, Restore Hyper Wellness is here to support you every step of the way. C r y o t h e r a p y C o m p r e s s i o n T h e r a p y R e d L i g h t T h e r a p y I n f r a r e d S a u n a I V D r i p T h e r a p y N A D + T h e r a p y B i o m a r k e r A s s e s s m e n t s M i l d H y p e r b a r i c O x y g e n T h e r a p y H y d r o f a c i a l C r y o s k i n M C C A N D L E S S C R O S S I N G , 9 1 8 6 C O V E N A N T A V E ( 4 1 2 ) 8 3 7 - 4 1 6 3
out NASA’s air filtering plant list.
Now that you know how important these plants are to purifying the air indoors, it is time to prepare them for their move inside. Below are some quick tips to consider:
• Plants should come back indoors before the temperature goes below 55°F at night. Plants can easily go into shock, and you could lose your plant.
• Clean your tools with rubbing alcohol, so not to transfer disease between plants.
• Hose off your plants to rid them of any pests, then spray the leaves with diluted neem oil.
• If you want more of the same plant or to give to a friend, you can put the plant cuttings into a small vase with water and watch the roots grow. You can plant them in a pot in the spring. Succulents are even easier to propagate. You can just insert the leaves into the moist soil and most succulents will begin to sprout.
With the right indoor plants, you can make your home your sanctuary, and the perfect place to recharge. n
Belinda Burchick, RPh, BPharm, has focused her career on geriatric 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 pharmacy, 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 multiple states.
Belinda oversees the pharmacy operations in three pharmacies, located in Denver, Philadelphia and headquarters in Pittsburgh.
www.northernconnectionmag.com | SEPTEMBER 2023 19
• Residential Living • Vibrant Communities • Social Activities • Chef Prepared Meals • Housekeeping and More! LIFE ENGAGING SERVICES for your Abundant Life® Find More of What You Want Passavant Community, Zelienople St. John Community, Mars The Commons at Stonebrook Village, McCandless Enriching lives for over 100 years! For more information or to schedule a tour, call, scan or visit lutheranseniorlife.org (724) 742-2249
The Commons at Stonebrook Village: A Place to Call Home!
Lookingfor a comfortable, relaxing and convenient senior living experience in the heart of McCandless Township— look no further than The Commons at Stonebrook Village!
The Commons at Stonebrook Village is a 55 plus residential living community operated by Lutheran SeniorLife. It offers a wide range of amenities and services that make daily life easier and more enjoyable.
When it comes to location, The Commons at Stonebrook Village can’t be beat. It’s located just minutes from shopping, dining, and entertainment options, as well as major highways for easy access to downtown Pittsburgh and beyond.
Just think, no more lawns to mow or snow to shovel. “We take care of the maintenance of the property, explained Doug Smith, manager of residential communities.
Enjoy a worry-free life style with light housekeeping, and a chef prepared meal served every evening in a spacious and attractive dining room. “The food here is quite good,” added resident Pat Rzokiewicz.
The community features a fitness center, a resident lounge, and a business center. The floor plans include studio, one-and two-bedroom apartments with individual temperature settings. Most apartments have private balconies or patios and come equipped with appliances.
The Commons at Stone Brook Village is a smaller senior living community and offers weekly activities for residents.
“When you live in a community with people who are at a similar stage of life, you’re more likely to find common interests and experiences,” noted Smith.
“We do chair exercises three times a week, bingo once a week, a group of residents say the rosary once a week,” explained Linda Ondrey. “We also have a coffee group, brunch once a month, a happy hour once or twice a month and a movie once a week.”
The Commons also hosts community events such as a resident picnic, holiday parties and other events throughout the year.
For residents living at The Commons at Stonebrook Village, the picturesque setting offers beautiful views while the amenities make this a vibrant senior living community—a place worth calling home!
“The residents are all very friendly and you also get to know everybody. It’s affordably priced, very clean, well decorated and I like the activities.”
– LINDA ONDREY
To schedule a tour, call 412-630-2200, or email Commons.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stepfamily/Blended Family Trivia
The Perfect Combination
By Paula Green
National Step Family Day is celebrated on September 16. It is often called a “blended family,” where parents, siblings, and extended family members work together to try and create a happy environment.
This month, we’ll look at a few blended families in films and on television. Yours, Mine & Ours is a 2005 film starring Dennis Quaid and Rene Russo with a blended family of 18 children. It is a remake of the 1968 movie of the same name. It was based on the 1965 book Who Gets the Drumstick?
In the movie, The Parent Trap, identical twin girls are separated at birth but meet at a camp unbeknown to their divorced parents. The girls switch places to meet the parent they never knew.
Step Brothers is a 2008 American comedy film that follows Brennan (Will Ferrell) and Dale (John C. Reilly), two grown men have to live together as brothers after their single parents marry each other.
On the TV front, The Brady Bunch revolves around the life of a blended family, which comes together when Mike Brady (Robert Reed), the father of three sons, marries Carol Martin (Florence Henderson), the mother of three girls.
Step by Step was a sitcom that starred Patrick Duffy and Suzanne Somers as single parents Frank and Carol, who have three children who wed and formed a blended family.
Drake & Josh was a sitcom about two step-brothers, Drake (Drake Bell) and Josh (Josh Peck), whose parents married one another. ABC’s TV series Modern Family follows the adventures of the extended Tucker-Pritchett-Dunphy clan.
The book My Blended Family is about five-year-old Carter. It revolves around Carter’s life and his friends who are in blended/ stepfamilies. Since we’ve glanced at blended families, we must step into this household mixture query. Get set to don those thinking caps because it is time to get a little trivial.
1. Lucille Ball starred in the 1968 film Yours, Mine & Ours . Who was her male costar?
2. The 1993 movie Step Monster starred Robin Riker and Corey Feldman, and this actor portrayed the father.
3. Doris Day and Brian Keith starred in this 1968 film, where a widow with three son marries a widower with a teenage daughter.
4. Drake & Josh aired on television from 2004 to 2007, what network did it run on?
5. In the 1998 film Stepmom, Susan Sarandon and Ed Harris star as a divorced couple, Jackie and Luke Harrison. Who portrays the stepmother, Isabel Kelly?
6. What is Frank’s (Patrick Duffy) last name in the TV show Step By Step?
7. In 1995, The Brady Bunch movie was released. Gary Cole played Mike Brady; who portrayed the role of Carol?
8. Mary Steenburgen and Will Ferrell star in Step Brothers . The duo also both star in this holiday film about a blended family.
9. In the TV show Full House a widower’s brother-in-law and best friend move in to help him raise his three girls. What was the name of its spin-off series that involves family blending?
10. Name the television show that ran for one season about a grumpy New York cop and his wife who adopt five rowdy foster children.
11. This TV sitcom was similar to The Parent Trap movie, identical twin sisters separated at birth are reunited as teenagers.
12. In this film, Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore are single parents who go on a lousy blind date. They end up at the same safari resort with their kids and are forced to stay together.
13. The TV show, My Two Dads starred Greg Evigan, Staci Keanan, and this actor.
14. Name the TV drama that follows the lives of siblings Kevin, Kate, and Randall, and their parents Jack and Rebecca Pearson.
15. Major Dad revolves around a Marine who marries a reporter, he becomes the stepfather of her three girls. Who stars as Major Dad? n
Sources: nationaldaycalendar.com/national-step-family-day-september-16/, blendedforlife.com/tv-shows-about-blended-families/, tvovermind.com/shows-that-celebrate-blended-families/, www.families.com/ great-movies-for-blended-families, themoviedb.org/keyword/212795blended-family/tv
22 SEPTEMBER 2023 | www.northernconnectionmag.com
Answers: 1. Henry Fonda 2. Alan Thicke 3. With Six You Get Eggroll 4. Nickelodeon 5. Julia Roberts 6. Lambert 7. Shelly Long 8. Elf 9. Fuller House 10. Fish 11. Sister, Sister 12. Blended 13. Paul Reiser 14. This Is Us 15. Gerald McRaney
The Pentagon 9/11 and other factual points
By Paula Green
The Pentagon is one of the world’s largest office buildings with five sides, five layers, and five floors. It houses the Department of Defense of the United States of America, which oversees the United States Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, and Army. It was built to solve a space problem for the War Department, which was spread out over 17 different buildings.
Groundbreaking for its construction began on September 11, 1941, in Arlington County, Virginia. Sixty years to the day, the tragic terrorist attacks happened on September 11, 2001. American Airlines Flight 77 was hijacked and flown into the western side of the building, killing 189 people (59 victims and the five perpetrators on board the airliner, as well as 125 victims in the building).
The crash penetrated three of the building’s five rings. Fortunately, several offices in that area weren’t occupied because of the ongoing renovations. One of the sections had just finished being upgraded with improved security features, including walls and windows with more blast resistance. An initial analysis after the attacks suggested that those improvements helped to save many lives.
The Pentagon Memorial Chapel was built within a year and dedicated on the first anniversary of the attacks. In addition, a memorial honoring those killed at the Pentagon on 9/11 opened to the public on September 11, 2008. The memorial features a bench for every life lost at the Pentagon that day. Some benches point toward the structure, signifying those killed from inside the building, and others point away to memorialize the people who perished from the plane.
Following the September 11th attacks, the Pentagon underwent an extensive renovation project called the Phoenix Project. The cost was five times the original construction cost, totaling $5 billion. It was completed in February 2003.
Inside the Pentagon is a room dedicated to the brave people to honor them for their services and those who received the Medal of Honor. This is the highest award one can ever receive during their lifetime for their bravery in the U.S. This room is called the Hall of Heroes.
The shape of the Pentagon was chosen because of its size requirements and height restrictions, as well as the site. It took only a mere 16 months to finish this massive construction project. The Pentagon was named a National Historic Landmark in 1992 because of its history and unique architecture.
Nearly 30,000 military and civilian personnel work inside the Pentagon each day. It covers approximately 6.5 million square feet and consists of one dining area, 284 rooms, 17 restaurants, six cafeterias, several libraries, and eight fast-food bars. There is a massive parking lot, a shopping center, 28 restrooms, a heliport, and a subway. Because of its size, the Pentagon has six zip codes.
The best thing about the Pentagon is something we all already know: the people who work there keep America safe and we salute their diligence in supporting our country. n
Sources: www.arlingtontours.com/pentagon, ohfact.com/interesting-facts-about-pentagon/ kidadl.com/facts/pentagon-building-facts-secrets-mysteries-and-many-more, www.softschools.com/facts/us_national_landmarks/pentagon_facts/1193/, www.defense.gov/News/ Feature-Stories/Story/article/1867440/pentagon-history-7-big-things-to-know/,www.factmonster.com/pentagon,
SUPPORT OUR TROOPS www.northernconnectionmag.com | SEPTEMBER 2023 23
September is Harvest Time Down on the Farm
By Ron Eichner
Hi folks, September is the month when summer fades into fall. It is the peak month of farm harvesting, timely sowing, or planting seeds or transplants in gardens or farm fields.
The first Monday of the month of September each year is Labor Day, and for decades, school started after Labor Day, but not in recent times. Labor Day was first celebrated on Tuesday, September 25, 1892, in New York City, planned by the Central Labor Union. Oregon was the first to declare Labor Day an official holiday in 1897.
The average American worked 12 hours a day, seven days a week, at the height of the Industrial Revolution. There are discussions for a four-day workweek, pushing for more personal and family time. Most family farms are stuck in the past with, as I say, “a life sentence and no parole!” The trade unions and labor movements proposed a day to celebrate labor, which should also be a sign of thank you for all the labor everyone does daily.
September 10 is National Grandparents Day, and the following day, September 11, is Patriot’s Day for those that lost their lives on September 11, 2001, and even later years due to health-related issues. September 17 is Constitution Day, when the U.S. Constitution was adopted. Without our God-given Constitution, which should be protected, we would be a totally different country.
This September’s Harvest Moon in the northeast of the United States is the fullest moon of the year. When you look at the full moon, it appears to look very large and bright if the sky is clear. The Harvest Moon reaches peak illumination on Friday, September 29, at 5:58 p.m. EDT. The first day of fall each year is either September 22 or 23. This is when the hours of the day are almost equal to the hours of the night. This year’s Autumnal
24 SEPTEMBER 2023 | www.northernconnectionmag.com
FACTS FROM THE FARM
Equinox occurs at 2:50 a.m. EDT on Saturday, September 23. With fall frosts lurking each year, a farmer’s joy is to go frost-free until the fall harvest is over. However, that never happens. If a frost or freeze is predicted, then covering the crops or irrigating the crops until the ice melts off the foliage is needed. Unfortunately, irrigating loads the soil with water, and cold, damp soils aren’t friendly to crops. My grandfather always reminded my dad and me “that if we can get through the September full moon, we should go frost-free until the next full moon cycle.” As a fourth-generation farmer, I have seen a first frost in August and as late as November. Having a farmstead and some fields in a valley, you always get the last frost in the spring and the first frost in the fall.
Interestingly, clear nights are the coldest, and it is always important to pay attention if a frost is forecasted. Will it be clear or cloudy overnight? Clouds on a frost night are a farmer’s friend.
Each year September is harvest time and harvesting and preserving go hand-in-hand. What is seemingly a lost art is the importance of preserving fruits and vegetables. Before having the convenience of what grocery stores offer the public, most families had extensive gardens for several reasons. Canning, drying, and freezing allowed you to control your preserving foods to eat healthy year-round. Preserving foods with a plan will enable you to stock your shelves or freezers with the harvest. Much information is available; a handy one is Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving
The oldest edible food in the world is honey. Honey was found in an ancient Egyptian tomb over 3,000 years ago. The honey hadn’t spoiled due to its antimicrobial properties. Honey has a low water content and contains a bit of hydrogen peroxide; bacteria and other microbes can’t grow on it.
The cheapest modern method of preserving is pickling. You pickle foods with vinegar and other acidic liquids. You wash, trim, and soak fresh vegetables in an acidic liquid in the refrigerator. Fermented foods like fermented sauerkraut are necessary for good health, especially your gut.
One of the world’s oldest man-made foods is cheese. Unlike many foods, ancient cheese was recently excavated in Poland; it dates back 7,500 years. Our farm market offers four types of farm products; raw milk cheeses made by Adam Dean at Pasture Maid Creamery in New Castle. You can purchase them in half-pound cheese block sizes.
Just to let you know, my two flocks of turkey poults are doing great, and my role for six months as Mother Hen is to express, “the joy they will bring to the table.” Feel free to stop by Eichner’s Whole Farm and Greenhouses at 285 Richard Road in Wexford. Bring a friend and be a friend and get “the rest of the story.” n
www.northernconnectionmag.com | SEPTEMBER 2023 25
It’s All Relative
By Janice Lane Palko
Back in February, a friend sent a group text to me and some of the other girls I went to high school with saying, “Hey, want to go to an Oldie’s Dance? My church is having one in March. If you want, I can get the tickets.”
That sounded like fun, but one thought came to mind: Who are the oldies now?
In 1973, the hit movie American Graffiti debuted. I was in eighth grade then, and the movie not only introduced us to a grown-up Opie (Ron Howard), Richard Dreyfuss, Cindy Williams, Suzanne Sommers and Harrison Ford, but it also introduced a new generation of teens to what the world and music was like before The Beatles, hippies, and the Vietnam War.
By the time I hit my freshman year of high school in 1974, American Graffiti had become so popular that it led to the debut of the hit show Happy Days, which debuted that year and revived classic early Rock and Roll songs that my mom and dad knew like Blueberry Hill, Rock Around the Clock, and At the Hop. Oldies
became so fashionable back then that a few times throughout the school year, the dance at North Catholic, where I would often go, would be deemed a Sock Hop Oldies Dance, transforming attire from bell bottoms, Earth shoes, and girls with long, parted down the middle hairstyles to rolled up jeans or poodle skirts, saddle oxfords and ponytails to dance to music that came out before any of us were born.
I texted her back. “Sounds like fun, but one question: Are we the oldies now?”
She texted back a laughing emoji. “You’re the third person to ask me that!”
This dance at least was still calling the Oldies the music from the Rock and Roll era of the 1950s and early 60s.
But I’ve recently noticed a shift in perspective. I’m seeing on social media and hearing people in their late 40s and early 50s talking about the 1980s with nostalgia, as how that decade was the “best time ever.”
Really? Only a few years ago, most people were talking about what a great time the 70s were. What hap-
pened? Where did the longing for those times go? I mean we had the British Invasion in music, The Rolling Stones, super groups, muscle cars, The City of Champions. In truth, we also had stagflation, war, and race riots.
The 80s had prosperity, designer jeans, and Punk rock, but it also had the Iran hostage crisis, AIDS, and The Challenger explosion. I believe that in a few more years, we’re going to be hearing people longing for the glory days of the 90s.
It seems that as time goes on, each new generation looks back longingly to the time when they were young, putting a gloss over the bad times and accentuating the good times. That’s OK; it’s only natural.
I’m fine with the 70s generation becoming the Oldies. Time moves on. So, when it becomes time for my generation to replace the 50s and 60s as the Oldies Dance, I’m ready. After all, I still have my mood ring—it’s been sitting in my jewelry box since 1976 waiting for just such a time. n
26 SEPTEMBER 2023 | www.northernconnectionmag.com
Wendy and Kirk talk all aspects of classic film in their reviews of films from The Golden Age of Hollywood. Search for Silver Screen Time Machine on Itunes, Spotify or your favorite podcast app. and follow us on facebook We provide entertaining and in-depth conversation on a variety of classic film from all-time greats to hidden gems - you won’t want to miss an episode!
FROM THE EDITOR
The New School Experience
The Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School (PA Cyber) offers students in grades K-12 an alterna-
tive to traditional education. Families look beyond their local school district for a range of reasons, and sometimes
it’s necessary to try a new school experience. After 23 years of perfecting online education and with a legacy of 21,000 graduates, PA Cyber has demonstrated that learning online works for many students.
At PA Cyber, your child will benefit from a personalized, flexible, and interactive education that meets their individual needs and interests. As a public school, PA Cyber is open for enrollment to any school-age child residing in Pennsylvania and does not charge tuition to students or families. Across the state, nine regional offices serve as hubs for enrollment, orientation, and enrichment activities. With Family Link field trips, two proms, and two graduation ceremonies, your child can enjoy a traditional school experience in a new way. PA Cyber provides every student with a laptop, printer, and all the necessary textbooks and support materials to enrich the educational process.
Enroll your child in PA Cyber today and watch them thrive. Visit pacyber. org or call (724) 643-1180 to find out if PA Cyber is a perfect fit for your student. n
www.northernconnectionmag.com | SEPTEMBER 2023 27
STOPS Discover new K-12 education opportunities waiting for you at the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School! Call (724)643.1180 or visit pacyber.org to start your PA Cyber journey today. KIDS & EDUCATION
THE LEARNING NEVER
Sewickley Academy students maximize their potential in academics, athletics, and the arts with a curriculum that includes leadership, character, social emotional development, and experiential opportunities. Our legacy of premiere academics has ensured that our graduates continue to make an impact in college and beyond.
With a history of 100% college acceptance among graduating classes, the Class of 2023 matriculated at 46 schools including 10 of the top 25 plus eight of the top 50 national universities as ranked by U.S. News and World Report. Advanced Placement exams in 2023 resulted in the Academy’s highest percentage of students receiving AP Scholar recognition
with 55% of these students earning the esteemed AP Scholar with Distinction award.
Student interest and regional demand for STEM education prompted Sewickley Academy to open new computer science and robotics facilities in January 2023, expand Pre-K through Grade 12 computer science offerings, and add an e-gaming suite.
1Unique Global Studies certificate program
2Opportunities for tuition assistance: merit awards and financial aid
Dedicated deans who are college counselors
4Years of college preparation that starts in Grade 9
16 Advanced Placement courses
Robotics & advanced computer science
State-of-the art facilities, including E-Sports
7:1 student-to-teacher ratio
19 varsity athletic teams
Over 4,000 alumni worldwide
100% college acceptance rate
185 years educating tomorrow's leaders
In the arts, SA offers more opportunities for stage performances annually than any other school in the region, as well as chorus, music ensembles, and dance. Visual arts span drawing, painting, printmaking, fiber arts, sculpture, and ceramics.
More than 80% of Middle and Senior school students participate on at least one athletic team annually. During 2022-23, the Panthers were section champions in boys soccer and girls tennis and WPIAL champions in boys golf and boys tennis.
Committed to the global competency of its students, Sewickley Academy offers a unique Global Studies program in which successful participants earn a certificate of completion in addition to their high school diploma. Groups in 2023 visited Puerto Rico, Belize, and Israel on service trips and nine students traveled on a Civil Rights tour through Alabama and Georgia.
Current enrollment is 34% students of color, 50/50 male/female, and represents 42 school districts. We proudly offer partial and full tuition merit scholarships. n
28 SEPTEMBER 2023 | www.northernconnectionmag.com KIDS & EDUCATION
School Movers & Shakers
Butler County Community College received a $3 million gift, the largest in its 58-year history and the seventh of at least $1 million in the past nine years. The late Tim Shaffer, a former state senator from Prospect, left half of his estate to the BC3 Education Foundation. Shaffer also contributed $1 million to the foundation in 2018.
Executives of two institutions of higher education in Mercer County announced the launch of a feasibility study that could result in the first Pennsylvania community college site to be located on a Penn State University Commonwealth Campus. The feasibility study will be led by academic and financial representatives to be selected from Butler County Community College’s additional location of BC3 @ LindenPointe in Hermitage and Penn State Shenango in Sharon. The study will explore opportunities for shared resources while educating each institutions’ students separately at Penn State Shenango.
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Founded and sponsored by the Sisters of Divine Providence. Open House October 15, 2023 1pm - 3pm To register visit AlphaSchool.org Celebrating 98 years of developing innovative thinkers and servant leaders, Providence Heights Alpha School is proud to be a diverse community that welcomes students of all faiths and cultures from PreK to Eighth grade.
: The Frank Farina Foundation Welcomes donations of Music Instruments
Consider donating your musical instruments to the Frank Farina Foundation. Your generous contribution can make a significant difference in the lives of those passionate about music but unable to afford the proper equipment. Your kindness can help inspire and nurture the next generation of talented musicians.
If you have a musical instrument you no longer use, consider donating it to the Farina Foundation. Established in 2015, this nonprofit organization carries on the legacy of Frank J. Farina Jr., a beloved music icon in the North Allegheny area. Through its Play-It Forward program, the foundation aims to provide underprivileged children in the Tri-State region with access to music education by accepting donated instruments. By donating your instrument, you can help these children fulfill their dreams of learning to play an instrument and discovering the joy of music.
The Farina Foundation accepts almost any playable instrument, but they are particularly interested in brass and woodwind instruments. The foundation partners with various organizations, such as the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association, the Children’s Hospital Music Therapy Department, and Goodwill Industries, to distribute the instruments to those who most need them. All donated instruments are repaired and sanitized before distribution, ensuring they are in good condition for the children who receive them.
To donate your musical instrument, you can drop it off at Brighton Music Center, which is located at 2110 Babcock Boulevard in Ross Township. For more information on how you can help make a difference in a child’s life through this excellent program, please visit farinafoundation.org n
KIDS & EDUCATION 30 SEPTEMBER 2023 | www.northernconnectionmag.com
www.northernconnectionmag.com | SEPTEMBER 2023 31 1130 Perry Highway (Behind Shop N Save ) 412-364-9400 email@example.com Get ready for an out-of-this-world Experience! Mini-Golf 23FS52393-NC *Valid off regular priced admission only. Coupon / Offer cannot be combined with any other discounts / offers / coupons Buy One Get One Mini Golf Pass www.funslidespark.com Valid for one use only www.funslidespark.com must mention when booking * expires 11 / 29 / 23 Weekday Upgrade to All-Day Admission with Purchase of admission expires 11 29 / 23 Free JOIN US AS WE CELEBRATE FALL! October 7, 2023, 1:00-4:00 PM There will be a pumpkin patch, the Not So Haunted Trail, antique tractors, costume contest, crafts for all ages, trick or treating, musical entertainment, food trucks, vendors and more! 134 Shenot Road Wexford, PA 15090 mywoodlands.org FALL FEST Woodlands Fallfest Ad 3.5x4.75 final.indd 1 8/17/23 11:44 AM 2023 Fall Fun Get out and enjoy everything our area has to offer!
Cannon Ball, 5:30-11 pm, Friday, Nov. 3, at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum. For details, visit www.soldiersandsailorshall. org/.
Chamber Music Pittsburgh (CMP) concert, Songs of Black America, a collaboration between flutist Brandon Patrick George & pianist Aaron Diehl, 7:30 pm, Monday, Sept. 11, at the Pittsburgh Playhouse in Downtown Pittsburgh. For info, visit www.chambermusicpittsburgh.org/2023-2024-mainstage-live/.
Clear Thoughts Foundation (CTF) “Roll for a Reason Gala,” Monte Carlos Night, doors open 5:30 pm, gaming 7:30 pm, Nov. 4, J. Vernos Studio, 3030 Jane St, Pittsburgh. For info, visit www.clearthoughtsfoundation.org.
Cranberry Township 55+ Club meets 1 pm the 2nd Tuesday of the month at the Cranberry Township Municipal Center. Members must be residents of Cranberry Township. The Club features activities, social opportunities, and visits to nearby points of interest. For info, contact Bill at (724) 7761933.
First Annual Free Drive-Up/Take Out Spaghetti Dinner, 4-7 pm, Sept. 30, Ascension Lutheran Church, 8225 Peebles Rd., Pittsburgh, PA 15237. For details, call (412) 364-4463.
Free Matinee Movies on Mondays: 2 pm, Sept. 11, Maybe I Do; Sept. 18, Everything, Everywhere, All at Once; Sept. 25, Dog Gone; Oct. 2, Champions, at the Legacy Theatre at Cumberland Crossing in McCandless Twp. For details, visit TheLegacyLineup.com.
Glenshaw AARP 3744 meets at Elfinwild Presbyterian Church, Mt. Royal Blvd. 2 pm, second Tuesday of the month. Sept. 12, first regular meeting of the season. (412) 487-1041 for more info.
Harvest Home Dinner, 12:30-6:30 pm, Sept. 10, Saint Aidan Parish, St. Alphonsus Church, 221 Church Rd, Wexford. Homemade meal, raffle baskets and more. For info, visit saintaidanparish.org, or call (724) 935-4343.
Hope Grows, “Here’s to Hope” Harvest Moon Raffle, 5:30-8:30 pm, Sept. 21, Grist House Craft Brewery - 10 E. Sherman Street, Millvale. For info, visit hopegrows.org.
Ingomar Garden Club monthly meetings 10:30 am meeting, light lunch and guest speaker, March through November at Northmont Church, 8169 Perry Highway, Pittsburgh 15237. For details, visit www. ingomar-garden-club.com for additional information.
Mars Applefest, hosted by Rich-Mar Rotary Club, 10 am-4 pm, Saturday, Oct. 7, downtown, Mars.Over 150 vendors selling fine jewelry, quality arts & crafts, paintings, quaint decorations and trinkets. Nearby grown foods from local farms. For details, visit www. marsapplefest.com.
National Conference on Cortical Visual Impairment, Wed., Nov. 1, and Thurs., Nov. 2 at the Sheraton in Station Square, Pittsburgh. Sponsored by The Children’s Home of Pittsburgh & Lemieux Family Center. To register, visit https://bit.ly/CVITCH.
Ninth Annual Pumpkin Fest & Flea Market, 8 am-1 pm, Saturday, Oct. 14, Ascension Lutheran Church, 8225 Peebles Rd. Homemade apple and pumpkin pies for sale. Flea market, vendors, crafts, reserve your spot, contact vickig@zoominternet. net or 724-816-0413.
Northland Library has numerous events scheduled for September. For a complete list of events, visit northlandlibrary.org. Northland Public Library Foundation presents The Children’s Gala, A Storybook Circus presented by AHN Wexford, 6-8 pm, Saturday, Sept. 30, at Northland Library. For info, contact Alexis (412) 366-8100, ext. 104, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Northland Library Mystery Fundraiser Murder in the Stacks, 7-9 pm, Sept. 9, Northland Library, 300 Cumberland Rd., McCandless Twp. This is a 21-years old & over event. For tickets, visit northlandpubliclibraryfoundation.salsalabs.org/ MurderMystery2023.
Pittsburgh Dragon Boat Festival, 8:30-3:30 pm, Sept. 30, North Park Lake, 10301 Pearce Mill Rd., Allison Park. For details, visit www. pghdragonboatfestival.org/
Pittsburgh Irish Festival, 4-11pm., Sept. 8; 11 am-11 pm, Sept. 9 & 9 am-5 pm, Sept. 10, Carrie Blast Furnaces National Historic Landmark, 801 Carrie Furnace Blvd., Pgh, PA 15218. Celebrate the richness of Ireland and discover Irish culture firsthand with live music. For details, pghirishfest.org.
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32 SEPTEMBER 2023 | www.northernconnectionmag.com
www.northernconnectionmag.com | SEPTEMBER 2023 33 Saturday, October 7, 2023 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Ladies Trees Manor at St. Barnabas 660 Warrendale Road Gibsonia, PA 15044 You’re Invited! Prizes Food Shopping Signature Cocktail Raffles & More Tickets on Sale Now! 724-625-3770 StBarnabasCharities.com Proceeds benefit the St. Barnabas Free Care Fund Contact me to get started. BUYING OR SELLING? Mary Simpson, REALTOR® (O) 724-776-9705 (C) 412-613-0249 MarySimpson.TPRAgent.com A member of franchise systems of BHHS Affiliates, LLC Enjoy hayrides, giveaways, barnyard petting zoo, face painting, inﬂatables, balloon artist, puppet show, magician, games and more! SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 30 11:00 AM-3:00 PM SOUTH PARK FAIRGROUNDS For more information, visit: alleghenycounty.us/specialevents FLAG FOOTBALL SOCCER DEK HOCKEY MOUNTAIN BIKING Allegheny County Parks Fall Sports TENNIS LEARN3RIDE KAYAKING PADDLEBOARDING FLYCASTING ARCHERY GOLF GUIDED HIKES To register, visit AlleghenyCounty.us/ParkPrograms
2023 Fall Fun
Prime Stage Theatre, The Miracle Worker, Nov. 3-12. For info, visit primestage.com. Rock Against Cancer, 6 pm, Saturday, Sept. 16 at Cadence Clubhouse and Taproom in McCandless. The musical lineup is Center Stage, The Serious Moonlight & The Hip Waders. Proceeds benefit Cancer Bridges, a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit that provides free supportive services for cancer patients & families. Tickets are $40 and includes dinner & two drink tickets. Cancer Bridges board member Mike Fitzgerald business owner (Frontiers International Travel) is The Hip Waders bass guitarist. For details, visit, cancerbridges.org or call (412) 338-1919.
Rummage Sale, 8 am-2 pm, Sept. 9 & 11 am-2 pm, Sept. 10, St. Matthew Parish at St. Aloysius Church, Mt. Troy Rd., in Reserve Twp. Huge selection of kitchen items, jewelry, books, seasonal items, clothing etc. Bake goods available on Saturday. If you have furniture to donate, call Deb at (412) 337-1713 or Claire at (412) 360-9866.
Sample, sip, and shop your way through an evening with Cancer Bridges as they welcome local vendors to Pittsburgh headquarters, 5-8 pm, Sept. 22. Each guest receives a swag bag and you can mix & mingle while enjoying samples from some of our area’s
restaurants, distilleries & breweries, and local craftspeople - all in support of Cancer Bridges. For ticket purchase and info, visit page: //bit.ly/2023LocalFlavor.
Sealarks Women’s Group meeting, 4 pm, Sept. 13 at Memorial Park Church, 8800 Peebles Rd., McCandless. This group provides Christian fellowship and social activity for women alone. All women alone are welcome to attend. The event is the season’s Kickoff Dinner, $10 for guests and $5 for members. Contact Karen, at (412) 366-3109 for info and reservations.
Tunnel2Towers Foundation 5K Run & Walk, 8 am, Sept. 9, Canonsburg Memorial Stadium, 1 N Jefferson Ave, Canonsburg. Register at: runsignup.com/Race/PA/Canonsburg/ TunneltoTowers5KRunWalkPittsburghPA
UPMC Passavant Hospital Auxiliary
Membership Opportunities! Are you looking for a stimulating opportunity for social interaction with other dedicated people in
support of our community hospitals—UPMC Passavant McCandless and Cranberry? Then join the Passavant Hospital Auxiliary’s long tradition of caring. The Auxiliary meets at 10 am the 2nd Monday of each month (Sept. through June). New members are always welcome! For more info, visit passavanthospitalfoundation.org/. Call (412) 748-6639 if you plan to attend a meeting.
Vintage Market is a nonprofit store in Shaler that benefits The Blessing Board. Open 10 am-3 pm every Th/F/Sat in the Shaler Plaza, 880 Butler Street & Rt. 8 (look for the gray door between Rite Aid & Planet Fitness).
Western PA Mushroom Club 23rd annual Gary Lincoff Mushroom Foray on Saturday, September 30, at The Lodge in North Park. Guest speaker, photographer Noah Siegel and biology professor Barrie Overton. Registration at: wpamushroomclub.org/lincoff-foray/.
34 SEPTEMBER 2023 | www.northernconnectionmag.com
Send us your Events, Movers & Shakers & School News. Email email@example.com. Deadline for submission is the 15th of the month.
Cheeseman Farm Portersville, PA
CHEESEMAN FARM 2023 PUMPKIN FESTIVAL
We are celebrating our 24th year and invite everyone to come and celebrate with us! Start a family tradition with a hayride to the pumpkin patch to pick your own. Lots of activities for the entire family!
Saturdays & Sundays from 11am-5pm Saturday, September 16 through Sunday, October 29
CHEESEMAN FRIGHT FARM
Don’t be afraid! Or maybe you should be!! Come to Cheeseman for the haunted hayride and haunted trail...featuring the haunted corn maze. Reserve your night and time online or just come to the farm! Cheeseman Fright Farm opening night: Friday, September 15. Fridays and Saturdays in September. Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays in October. 12 years and younger must be accompanied by an adult. Visit us at: www.cheesemanfrightfarm.com to purchase tickets and reserve a private bonfire.
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www.northernconnectionmag.com | SEPTEMBER 2023 37 Autumn at McIntyre Square! Ace Hardware At Home Choice Medical Chuck E Cheese’s Citizens Bank CosmoProf Crunch Fitness Dollar Bank Dunham’s Sports Edible Arrangements Fine Wine & Good Spirits Gabe’s Giant Eagle GNC Great Clips H&R Block Huntington Bank KidStrong Laurie’s Hallmark Life Uniform McIntyre Beer Mission Veterinary Partners Nails Center National Tire & Battery Once Upon A Child Original Pancake House PNC Primanti Brothers Seasons of America Subway Ting’s Kitchen Tropical Touch Valley Pool & Spa Weight Watchers McIntyre Square McIntyre Square Drive Ross Township / Town of McCandless I-279 McKnight Road Peebles Road Ross Park Mall To Downtown Pittsburgh To Wexford McIntyre Square Route 19
Aaand We Are Back to School with Its Madness
By Sofya Stearns
In the blink of an eye, summer is over, and we are back to madness. No time for anything but school, after-school activities, but most importantly, no family time. Anywhere you go, the fall colors are everywhere. Stores are filled with fall and Halloween house decorations that you probably thought you needed more of but don’t. To be honest, I’m very much guilty of buying more decorations than needed myself. The coffee places have their pumpkin-flavored coffee in place and the farms are happily advertising the Fall Fests.
But what if we step away from it all and explore what September, the beginning of fall, can bring us. I hear so many moms say to me, “Once school starts and the activities are in a full swing, the family time is all forgotten, which is quite sad because I was accustomed to that during summer.” Well, I say, “I feel the same. I love my
In my family, we love going for a short bike ride. Finally, it’s not too hot outside anymore, and we are not drenched in our own sweat. Biking is a great form of exercise and provides healthy family time, and if time permits, it’s a great opportunity for sharing a quick bite right after together or
BRITISH CUCUMBER SANDWICH WITH A TWIST
• 8 Slices of Sourdough or Whole Wheat Bread, very lightly toasted
1-1/2 Large Cucumbers, thinly sliced
½++ Package of Cream Cheese, whipped or regular OR
• 4 Tbs Mayonnaise. My preference, Mayonnaise made with avocado
• Salt/Pepper to taste
Dill, chopped (optional)
• Caramelized Onions (optional)
Spread cream cheese or mayonnaise on 2 pieces of toast.
Spread ¼ of Avocado on each toast.
Place 4 slices of cucumber on only one toast.
Salt/pepper to taste.
Place another toast on top.
Slice the sandwich 4 ways, making sure each ¼ has a cucumber.
having a little picnic—nothing fancy, just a few healthy dips with veggies. My go-to is Izabella’s favorite CUCUMBER SANDWICH and thirstquenching drinks. Or if riding a bike is not your forte, go for a walk in the neighborhood and enjoy that crisp air.
Another thrilling activity my family really enjoys is climbing walls at the Public Lands. “Your daddy will do it with you,” you say. It’s quite amusing to watch monkey one and monkey two climbing up and down, hearing them laugh and challenge each other.
So, the family time post summer and during “back to school” doesn’t have to be all forgotten, it just needs to be weaned slowly to a shorter time. It’s like a bandage, don’t rip it off quickly, do it slowly, otherwise it will hurt.
Even though we are back to school with its madness, ease off on forgetting the good old family times all together, remember, it’s the quality of time spent together not the quantity. HAVE FUN!
La Dolce Vita! n
MOM2MOMS 38 SEPTEMBER 2023 | www.northernconnectionmag.co m
UPMC Magee-Womens Specialty Services in the northern region of Pittsburgh is home to comprehensive care for women of all ages. We offer preventive care, advanced testing, diagnosis, state-of-the-art surgery, and advanced treatment options. Life changing is…seamless access to women’s care. Find and schedule care at UPMC.com/MageeNorth. Care that keeps women strong. IT’S ALL HERE IN THE NORTH.