Our BerkshireTimes Magazine, Dec-Jan 2016

Page 1

Dec - Jan 2016 vol 23




Our BerkshireTimes


Local Events | Art & Culture | Vibrant Living | Home & Garden



Special Holiday Issue / Visit us at www.OurBerkshireTimes.com




December - January 2016

Our BerkshireTimes™ PUBLISHERS Kathy I. Regan publisher@ourberkshiretimes.com Kevin J. Regan kevin@ourberkshiretimes.com _______________ EDITORIAL Kathy I. Regan editor@ourberkshiretimes.com Rodelinde Albrecht rodelinde@gmail.com Copyeditor/Proofreader Rodelinde Albrecht _______________ DESIGN Magazine Design/Layout Kathy I. Regan _______________ TO ADVERTISE CONTACT Our BerkshireGreen, Inc. P.O. Box 133, Housatonic, MA 01236 Phone: (413) 274-1122 advertise@OurBerkshiretimes.com www.OurBerkshireTimes.com _______________ COVER ILLUSTRATION

Photo by Matt McCurdy.

Torch Vessel by Jennifer C. McCurdy, Artist www.jennifermccurdy.com Jennifer McCurdy was born in Newport, Rhode Island, on October 13, 1955. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Michigan State University. Jennifer throws the porcelain on the potter’s wheel, and alters the form while it is still wet to achieve a sense of volume and movement. When the piece is leather hard, she carves designs in the clay to add energy and counterpoint. It is then fired to 2350 degrees, where the porcelain becomes nonporous, translucent, and very hard. Porcelain bisque has long been admired for its purity, brightness, and bonelike smoothness. The cover photo of Jennifer's work was taken by photographer Gary Mirando. To see more of Jennifer's work and a schedule of her upcoming events, go to www.jennifermccurdy.com.

Contents 4

art, culture & entertainment




shop local for the holidays GIFT GUIDE

food & drink RECIPES



26 28

beyond the berkshires health & wellness STAND ON YOUR OWN TWO FEET




featured advertisers THANK YOU!

business services SAVING THE WORLD


education & workshops









This publication is printed with soy ink on Forest Stewardship Council® certified paper.

fashion & beauty THE HOLIDAY HUNT

Our BerkshireTimes™

Like Us On

Our BerkshireTimes magazine was first published in 2009 and is enjoyed by community members and visitors alike. We distribute bimonthly (six times per year) starting each February. Most of our editorial content is contributed by our readers. We welcome your ideas, articles, and feedback, and encourage you to submit original material for consideration through our website. To find out more about advertising and submitting editorial, see our website at left, and join our mailing list to receive our free eNewsletter. All content in Our BerkshireTimes™ is accepted in good faith. We do not necessarily advocate and cannot be held responsible for opinions expressed or facts supplied by our authors, illustrators, and advertisers. We reserve the right to refuse advertising for any reason. For printing errors of the publisher's responsibility, liability is limited to the cost of the ad space in which it first appeared. Unless otherwise noted, we use a Creative Commons License in place of a standard copyright.

Torch Vessel

by Jennifer C. McCurdy www.jennifermccurdy.com Photograph by Gary Mirando

Jennifer's work can be found at the Wit Gallery in Lenox, MA


art, culture & entertainment

winter event sampler

WE WISH YOU A HAPPY & HEALTHY HOLIDAY SEASON AND NEW YEAR! Intro to Beekeeping Date: December 9, 15, 16. See detailed information below about dates and location. Price: Free. Berkshire County Beekeepers presents Intro to Beekeeping. Presenter Russ Wilson will share information with you about how to choose the proper beekeeping equipment to fit your needs. To register or for more information contact berkshirecountybeekeepers@hotmail.com. Meeting: Wednesday, December 9, 2015, 6pm, Evening Star Lodge, 195 Laurel Street, Lee, MA. Next to the State Police Barracks. Meeting: Tuesday, December 15, 2015, 5pm, Mason Public Library, 231 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA. Meeting: Wednesday, December 16, 2015, 6pm, Berkshire Bank, 99 North Street, Pittsfield, MA. Mountain Road School's 17th Annual Holiday Fair Date: Saturday, December 12, 2015, 11am-4pm Place: Mountain Road School, 4565 County Route 9, New Lebanon/East Nassau, NY Price: Free and open to the public. The event features local vendors and artisans, arts and crafts for all ages, and food and drink. From the Pocket Lady to crafts and activities that delight all ages, to beautiful hand-made gifts and foods from local artisans and vendors, the Holiday Fair is the perfect way to celebrate the holidays and buy gifts. www.mountainroadschool.org

Please join us at Ventfort Hall

The Berkshire Children's Chorus Date: Saturday, December 13, 2015, 4pm Place: Old Parish Church, Sheffield, MA Price: Free. Donations gladly accepted. Join The Berkshire Children’s Chorus for their festive holiday concert. Beautiful young people, singing beautiful music. Don�t miss it! The Berkshire Children’s Chorus is a not-for-profit community chorus comprised of children in grades 2-12 from western Massachusetts and northwestern Connecticut. www.berkshirechildrenschorus.org Behold a Star Christmas Concert Date: Saturday, December 19, 2015, 7:30pm Place: St. Stephen�s Episcopal Church, 67 East St, Pittsfield, MA Date: Sunday, December 20, 3pm Place: St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church, 16 Russell Street, Great Barrington, MA Price: $20, children free Berkshire Lyric presents “Behold a Star, a Concert of Christmas Music.” The 85-voice Berkshire Lyric Chorus will be joined by the 35-voice Blafield Children’s Chorus in two identical choral programs of some of the most beloved music of the season. www.berkshirelyricinfo.org The 2015 Elf Express™ Date: Saturday, December 19-20, 2015, 10am, 11:30am, 1pm, 2:30pm, 4pm Place: r. k. Miles Depot Station, 670 Depot Street, Manchester Center, VT Price: Adults (13+) $25, kids (2-12)

for these upcoming events:

Berkshire Concert Choir & Tea, Sun., Dec. 13, 2:00 pm presents Voices of Christmas, led by conductor Paula Nuss and accompanist Aurora Cooper.

“Rapunzel” Marionette Shows, Mon., Dec. 28 & Wed., Dec. 30, 3:30 pm. Puppeteer Carl Sprague returns to charm all ages.

Songs of the Flow of Life and Love: Schubert’s Romantic “Water Music” & Tea, Sun., Dec. 27, 3:30 pm, performed by tenor Doug Schmolze and pianist Larry Wallach.

Hail and Farewell to Downton Abbey Tea, Sun., Jan. 3, 4:00 pm. Please join us for trivia and High Tea.

December | January 2016

Couples Bodywork: Thai for Two for the New Year! Date: Friday, January 1-3, 2016 Place: Eastover Estate & Retreat, 430 East Steet, Lenox, MA - (866) 264-5139 Price: See website for rates. Enjoy a deeper sense of intimacy and appreciation for each other. Couples Bodywork is a healing blend of yoga stretches, Thai massage, and shiatsu bodywork methods, with a slow, meditative, easy-to-learn approach. It’s a reminder to make time for touch in your relationship, and a gift the two of you can share throughout your lives. www.eastover.com/ken-nelson-january.html

“It was her compassion that was so pretty.”

Event seating is limited. Please call for reservations.

104 Walker Street, Lenox, MA 413-637-3206 GildedAge.org 4

$20, under 2 (lap rider) free. This whimsical holiday train will leave r.k. Miles Depot Station taking its riders on an enchanting one-hour journey through the Green Mountains of Southern Vermont. Passengers will be entertained with holiday melodies and dance routines by the elves of the theater and dance program of Burr and Burton Academy, under the direction of Broadway and Hollywood song and dance man Jim Raposa. Refreshments will be served on decorated trains. Adding to the memories of this holiday ride, the elves will be reading a special story about Christopher Pop-In-Kins, who will also be hidden on every train in the greenery peeking to see who�s been naughty and nice! Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus will make a surprise visit to provide every child with a special gift. www.manchesterlionselftrain.com


Close your eyes. open your heart. concernedsingles.com

art, culture & entertainment

Free programs September through July

visit our website for listings ~ all are welcome

Fantastic Light-Filled Studio Space Awaits

The Hotchkiss School 11 Interlaken Road, Lakeville, ct 860.435.4423 | hotchkiss.org/arts


Celebrating 25 years of song HOLIDAY CONCERT SUNDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2015 4:00PM Old Parish Church Sheffield, MA


Massachusetts Cultural Council



December | January 2016


shop local for the holidays

holiday giftguide BUY LOCAL


1 Give, receive, indulge, inspire with gifts from these fine local retailers. Enjoy!



January - December 2016



shop local for the holidays







Enjoy calmer emotions, more vitality, positivity, and an overall sense of well-being with daily use of these powerful healing tools. Etheric Weavers are used for meditation; personal, animal, and planetary healing; color therapy, and more. Made with beautiful double-terminated crystals with two strong magnets wrapped in copper, and silver- or gold-filled wire, weavers come in the full spectrum of colors and three sizes. Watch as the weavers magically spin, transmuting negative energy and imbalances. Available at Asending Sherona in Cheshire, MA. See website for video on how to use them at www.ascendingsherona.com. $88-$140



The handblown glass coupled with the aged terra cotta base of these hurricane lanterns charms wherever they are placed. They come in four sizes and are beautiful in arrangements. You can use true candles or artificial votives. This holiday season, stop by Campo de’ Fiori for inspiration and to view their unique selection of mossed terra cotta planters, cast stone critters, forged iron garden accessories, candles and gilded potpourri, furniture, distinctive lighting, and books. Mention this ad now through Dec. 31, 2015, and get a 15 percent discount. 1815 N. Main Street, Sheffield, MA. (413) 528-9180, www.campodefiori.com. $61-$222

BERKSHIRE BASKET / GUIDO'S FRESH MARKETPLACE Love local? Bella Flora�s Berkshire Basket is a standout choice filled with lots of fabulous local goodies. Give Bella Flora’s gift basket pros a call . . . they’ll make sure your gifts are unforgettably delicious. Located within Guido’s Fresh Marketplace in Pittsfield and Great Barrington, MA. Owners Annie and Chris Whalen enhance all their floral work with creativity and freshness. Browse their gift shops, loaded with home accents and personal accessories. Local delivery available. Order today! (413) 442-9912 x 148. See the entire holiday basket collection online at www.bellafloraberkshires.com. $35-$200.



A wonderful gift for your favorite makeup mavens. This limited edition kit by jane iredale holds eight shades to create your favorite smoky eye, from elementary to sophisticated. Five step-by-step looks are included on a foldout how-to guide. The highly pigmented shadows are simple to blend, sensitivity tested, and stay put for gorgeous, crease-free, long-lasting eye color. Packaged in an artful travel box, this kit is perfect for busy women wanting to look their best during the hectic holiday season. Available at Face Haven at 323 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA. (413) 528-4053. $50.


Make a colorful statement in your home with these gorgeous, luxuriously thick, and durable rugs from India. Breathing new life into vibrant saris, curls of the recycled garments swirl and curve to create colorful motifs. Sizes are 2'x3', 3'x5', and 4'x6'. Passiflora offers a treasure trove of exceptional pieces from home and abroad selected for their individuality and affordability. An eclectic mix of all things contemporary, quirky, and chic, they are brimming with great stuff – stuff to give, stuff to keep, stuff for Home and Garden, Mind and Body, Spirit and Soul – stuff you�ll fall in love with! 2638 State Route 23, Hillsdale, NY. (518) 325-6559, www.passiflorahome.com. $68-$250


holiday giftguide BUY LOCAL







10 10


December | January 2016



If you are looking forward to surprising that special someone during the joyous holiday season, Lennox Jewelers is the place to go. You will find a wide selection of stunning, unique, and distinctive rings to choose from in a price range that will suit every budget. Lennox Jewelers is proud to be a full-service jeweler – they are experts at jewelry repair, restoration, and design Whether you are looking for an engagement ring, an important anniversary or holiday gift, or merely a new strap for your watch, you will receive personalized customer service and attention to detail. 165 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA. (413) 717-4239.


Treat your friends, loved ones, coworkers (and yourself!) to decadent holiday chocolates and chocolate gift box assortments this season. Chocolate Springs is a European-style chocolate and dessert café with decades of experience in crafting the finest handmade bonbons. Milk and dark chocolate, truffles, amazing ganache, and award-winning hot chocolate are made fresh every day using only the finest seasonal and organic ingredients whenever possible. Buy online or visit Chocolate Springs Café in person at 55 Pittsfield Road, Lenox, MA. (413) 637-9820, www.chocolatesprings.com. $5-$50


The SmartCat Peek & Play Toy Box requires cats to paw and pull their toys out to play, satisfying their desire to hunt and stalk, providing much-needed mental stimulation. The toy box comes with two toys, but can be used with any appropriately sized toy or treat. Durable wood construction. BensDotter�s Pet carries a full range of foods (including granular and raw food diets for both cats and dogs), equipment, and supplies for dogs, cats, and parrots. 940 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA. (413) 528-4940, www.bensdotters.com. Specially priced for this holiday gift guide at just $20.


Tis the season to give . . . and that�s why we�ve created these irresistible gift boxes and baskets, perfect for showing someone special just how much you appreciate them. Pick one from our list of choices, or customize your own! Delivery available (some restrictions apply). Nejaime�s Wine Cellars is a full-service wine, liquor, beer, specialty foods, and handcrafted cheese shop. Call or stop by either of our stores, or order online. Also be sure to look for our schedule of wine tastings online. 60 Main Street, Lenox MA, (413) 637-2221, and 3 Elm Street, Stockbridge, MA. (413) 298-3454, www.nejaimeswine.com. $24.99-$194.99


Send your friends, coworkers, and loved ones a Berkshire Organics Best of the Berkshires gift basket this holiday season! Berkshire Organics Market & Delivery Service offers several sizes and varieties of gift baskets for the holidays filled with local, organic, and non-gmo items from the Berkshires and surrounding area. Orders can be made online and picked up at our market, or free delivery is available in Berkshire County. Gift baskets can also be shipped across the USA. 813 Dalton Division Road, Dalton, MA. (413) 442-0888, www.berkshireorganics.com. Baskets start at $29.

shop local for the holidays

the gift of health




take pleasure at Sandra Knox Physical Therapy providing services to promote fitness, wellness, and injury prevention for all my clients. Our one-hour sessions will create a balance between mind, body, spirit, and a healthy lifestyle. My primary goal is to offer individualized care and return my patients to an optimum state of well-being and an active lifestyle. You are welcome to get in touch with me to explore your possibilities and reach your goals. Gift certificates available – give the gift of health this holiday season.

Physical Therapy Plus

A hands-on approach to healing

● Spinal pain/dysfunction ● Shoulder/elbow pain/dysfunction ● Hip/knee/ankle pain/dysfunction ● TMJ dysfunction

174 Elm Street, Pittsfield, MA. Follow us on Facebook. office: (413) 358-4740, cell: (413) 329-1120, knox991@gmail.com


carhartt headquarters

Carhartt Gear For Everyone On Your List



tadium System is your Carhartt Headquarters for men�s and women�s jackets, vests, baselayer, hats, socks, sweatshirts, pants, and dog beds too! Muck, Merrell, Kamik, and Red Wing boots and shoes. Purchase $150 worth of Carhartt this season and receive a free gift while supplies last. Join us for a free gift, beverages, food, and chair massages during Men�s Night, Dec. 23, 6 to 8pm. Call to ask about extended holiday hours. 297 Ashley Falls Road (across from Stateline Pizza), Canaan, CT. (860) 824-4300, www.stadiumsystemstore.com



weating is one of the body’s safest and most natural ways to heal and maintain good health. Traditional saunas were invented in Finland more than 2000 years ago. The earliest saunas were dug into an embankment in the ground and later they were built above ground with wooden logs. Saunas were first brought to America by Finns who settled in what is now the state of Delaware in 1638. Modern saunas have evolved quite a bit since that time, especially with the addition of infrared light.



46 Main Street South Egremont, MA Behind Zorn Chiropractic

Convenient | Private | Single Sessions | Packages

Infrared Sauna Health Benefits • Lyme Symptom Relief • Detoxification • Pain Relief

Enlighten Sauna Therapy utilizes infrared technology, which has been shown to raise core temperature, lower blood pressure, and aid in weight loss. Traditional saunas heat the air to extremely high temperatures, which can make it unbearably hot and difficult to breathe. Because infrared technology heats the body directly instead of simply heating the air, infrared saunas are seven times more effective for detoxification. At Enlighten you will experience the deepest, most detoxifying sweat of your life. Sauna therapy is known to deliver many health benefits for many conditions including Lyme disease, weight loss, relaxation, pain relief, improved circulation, skin purification, detoxification, wound healing, and more.

● Pre/post operative patients ● Sports/repetitive stress injuries ● Postural deficits/distortions ● Headaches

• Weight Loss • Relaxation • Improved Circulation • Skin Purification

Treat Yourself! Call or go to our website to make an appointment.

(518) 965-3315 • www.enlightensauna.net www.OurBerkshireTimes.com

December | January 2016


food & drink

raising the bar GLUTEN FREE CAN BE GRAND By Rodelinde Albrecht

W friend offered me a ay back when, if a

gluten-free “treat,” I’d decline politely, suppress a shudder (thinking Bleah! Sawdust!), and thank my lucky stars that I’m not allergic to anything. Matt Albert had the same reaction when he started looking around five years ago for gluten-free goodies to buy. There might have been some out there, but he couldn�t find any that really tickled his palate. Like the man who decided to write his own detective story because he couldn�t find a really good one to read, Matt decided to bake his own treats for a friend who could not tolerate gluten. But let�s go back to the beginning, around 1989, when Matt was in massage school. (When I asked Matt whether he was already learning massage therapy at age five, he just smiled sweetly.) That�s when he discovered he was allergic to wheat. And so began his exploration of other grains – such as barley and corn – that are tasty as well as nutritious. All that research stood him in good stead when he created his first Matt�s Cookie Bar, Chocolate Chunk. His first outlet was Berkshire Organics. Since then he has introduced three more flavors: Triple Chocolate, Peanut Butter, and Oatmeal Chip. (I didn�t sample Matt�s treats until after the interview. What a marvelous surprise! They were tender, moist, and full of flavor. A tasty treat even if there�s nothing you can�t eat.) He’s thinking

about adding other cookie flavors and maybe even some glutenfree breakfast breads such as pumpkin. Matt�s Cookie Bars are made with organic ingredients. Matt believes this is healthier both for people and for the planet, and is more sustainable. Coconut sugar is also used, as a way of reducing the glycemic index while providing important nutrients such as iron, zinc, and calcium. Nowadays, Matt sells his products around the Berkshires and in the Pioneer Valley. You can find retail locations and order online on his website, www.mattscookiebars.com, and sampling dates, times, and locations on his Facebook page. Matt is a charming man. He�s also protean, switching with ease from buying ingredients and supplies to baking, packaging, labeling, marketing, and making deliveries (weather permitting, on his motorbike). And he�s resourceful: When he could not find a knife that would easily cut each large sheet of cookies into bars, he designed and fabricated his own two-handled knives. He bakes the organic cookies in Rod and Tina Clark�s Berkshire Harvest Rental Kitchen. And he�s peripatetic: He lives in Pittsfield with his cats, Moo & Pearl (he�s also the landlord of the duplex where he lives), is a massage therapist at Canyon Ranch and a hiking guide at Kripalu in Lenox, and produces his cookies in Lee. In his spare time (don't ask me where he finds it!) he cycles in warm weather and hikes in the cold, especially around Mount Greylock. Matt sees absolutely no conflict between a healthy lifestyle featuring exercise and weight maintenance on the one hand and, on the other, eating sweet treats when they are made with wholesome ingredients. When I asked Matt where he saw himself five years from now, he had a cogent one-word answer: “Bigger!” ~ Rodelinde

Albrecht, Concerned Singles, www.concernedsingles.com

A Few Words from Matt . . . I am truly passionate about my cookie bars and dedicated to producing the most delicious-tasting, gluten-free cookies available anywhere. I promise to provide you with a high-quality, beneficial treat using ingredients that are organic and as close to whole food as possible. Using the lowest glycemic sugars gives my cookie bars a more foodlike quality with no sugar highs, lows, or headaches. They are just sweet enough for everyone's different tastes. Organic means no hormones, antibiotics, GMOs, insecticides, pesticides, or herbicides. This makes for a healthier YOU, and a healthier Earth. You’ll never find hydrogenated oils, refined sugars, or artificial flavors in my gluten-free cookie bars. But the best part is the TASTE! I have had people of all ages, glutenfree or not, say they love my cookie bars because of how moist and flavorful they are. ~ Matt Albert, www.mattscookiebars.com

food & drink


Wholesome ● Homestyle ● Delicious SoCo Ice Cream ● Local Free-Range Eggs Milk ● Liquor ● Beer ● Wine ● Pastries Lotto ● Post Office ● Fishing Bait Photo by John Phelan

Mon-Thu: 6a-5p ● Fri-Sat: 6a-6p Sun: 6a-3p

Route 71, North Egremont, MA (Near Prospect Lake)

Call (413) 528-4796

Gourmet Olive Oils & Vinegars For your holiday gift giving needs, choose from several sampler packs including our New England, Best Sellers, Foodie, or Sensational Salads. Or create your own, for a personal touch. Oliva! is a family-owned business and we sell only the finest, freshest, extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars from around the world. We personally sample and select each product in our store and we hope that this personal touch is reflected in the quality of our products. Order online or visit our Berkshire store.

Visit our stores at 27A Housatonic Street, Lenox, MA, and in Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, NY.

(413) 637-0080 ● www.olivaevoo.com


entrées available

M-m-m-yum! casual french dining

dinner only • 150 Main St., Lee 413.243.6397 cheznousbistro.com

“V “F

egetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.” ~Jim Davis

ood reveals our connection with the earth. Each bite contains the life of the sun and the earth. We can see and taste the whole universe in a piece of bread! Contemplating our food for a few seconds before eating, and eating in mindfulness, can bring us much happiness.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh www.OurBerkshireTimes.com

December | January 2016


food & drink

coconut pudding pie YUMMY! WHEAT AND DAIRY FREE / by Rebecca Schirber Crust Ingredients 1 cup almonds ⅛ tsp salt ½ tsp almond extract 3 Medjool dates, pitted Pudding Ingredients ¼ cup arrowroot or cornstarch 7 oz water 1 14oz can coconut milk ⅛ tsp salt 1 tsp vanilla extract Maple syrup Crust Instructions Grind almonds, salt, and almond extract coarsely in a food processor or blender. Add dates one by one until incorporated. The texture of the crust can be as rough or fine as desired. Press almond-date mixture into pie plate or other form pan.

Pudding Instructions Dissolve arrowroot or cornstarch in the water. Heat coconut milk and salt in a pan over moderate heat, bringing to a boil. Whisk in arrowroot mixture, lower heat, and cook until thick. Remove from heat, add vanilla, and maple syrup to taste. To Assemble Cool pudding briefly; pour into crust. Serve warm, room temperature, or chilled. This pie keeps well in the refrigerator for some time. ~ This recipe can be found on Guido�s Fresh Marketplace�s website at www.guidosfreshmarketplace.com. Rebecca Schirber is an acupuncturist (with a history as a personal chef) practicing in Lenox, Massachusetts. www.goingbeyondwellness.com

banana bread ORGANIC, GLUTEN FREE, AND DELICIOUS / by Matt Albert Ingredients (organic if possible) 1¾ cup gluten-free flour mix ¼ buckwheat flour 1 tsp guar or xanthan gum 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp salt ½ tsp nutmeg ½ tsp cinnamon ¼ tsp cloves ⅓ cup coconut oil, melted 1 cup mashed banana ¾ cup coconut sugar ½ cup whole-milk yogurt 1 egg ½ cup walnuts (optional) Instructions Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan. In a large bowl, combine flours, guar or xanthan gum, baking soda, salt, and spices. In a separate bowl, cream together the 12

December | January 2016


coconut oil, banana, coconut sugar, yogurt, and egg until well blended. Mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients, add walnuts if desired, and pour into the loaf pan. Bake at 350°F for one hour or until skewer comes out clean. For variety, you can substitute cooked pumpkin, apple, or zucchini for the banana. ~ Matt Albert, www.mattscookiebars.com

food & drink

no-bake linzer cookies DAIRY FREE, VEGAN, HEALTHY, DELICIOUS / Makes 10 Cookies Filling Ingredients 1 tsp fresh lemon juice 2 tsp maple syrup 2 T chia seeds 1 cup raspberries

Cookie Instructions Add the cashews and almonds, coconut flour, and salt to a blender or food processor and pulse until it reaches a fine consistency. Add the honey, coconut oil, and vanilla and almond extract and pulse again until the mixture is well combined.

Filling Instructions In a small pan, cook and mash the raspberries over medium heat for a few minutes until the raspberries soften. Mix in the lemon juice, maple syrup, and chia seeds. Take off the heat and leave to cool. Place the mixture in the fridge for an hour to set.

Place the mixture in a bowl, cover, and place in the fridge to set for an hour. Roll out the dough ¼ inch thick.

Cookie Ingredients ½ cup raw cashews ½ cup raw almonds ¼ cup coconut flour ⅛ tsp salt 4 T raw honey or maple syrup 1 tsp coconut oil, melted ¼ tsp vanilla extract ¼ tsp almond extract Chia jam

Use a star cookie cutter (or other shape if you prefer) to cut out your cookies and place them on a plate covered with parchment paper. Next, use a smaller cookie cutter to cut out the centers of half of the cookies, rerolling the scraps to make more cookies. Place the cookies in the fridge for an hour to firm up. Take the cookies out and spread about 1 teaspoon of the jam onto the bottom part of the cookie sandwich, then place the cut-out cookie on top. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.




December | January 2016


home, garden & landscape



owadays, when a light bulb blows out in your home the once-simple task of just replacing a bulb no longer exists. Beginning January 2015 with inefficient incandescent (traditional) light bulbs being phased out for energy conservation purposes, people are challenged with confusing choices. Energy-efficient options like compact fluorescents, halogens (incandescent), and LEDs combined with color temperatures of 2700k to 5000k (warm/yellow to cool/white) and lumen equivalents (brightness) instead of just wattages make choosing a difficult task, even for those who attempt to research and learn about light bulb specifications. Instead of just one small light bulb section at the store, we now have an entire aisle from the floor to the ceiling with an overwhelming number of lightbulb options. When LEDs first came out, they were not as reliable or as useful as those sold today. Now high-quality LEDs are by far the

most safe, efficient, durable, and beautiful sources of light available on the market. Of course one may still find cheap low-quality options sold on the Internet and in bargain shops that are giving the rest a bad rep. This article will help you better understand the capabilities of well-made LEDs that are finally affordable and paying for themselves in energy savings within their warranted life, as well as lasting 10 years or more. A single LED bulb or fixture can replace, replicate, or improve the lumens (quantity of light), lux (intensity in a specific area), beam angle (light distribution), color rendition (lack of distortion of colors on an object), and degrees Kelvin (color temperature/appearance) of an incandescent halogen, high-pressure sodium, or metal halide light bulb. An LED can be an alternative light source to a traditional bulb, using 80 percent less energy, having 95 percent less heat waste, and lasting an average of nine years longer.

Common Misconceptions LEDs are not safe = False

LEDs for lighting are made from semiconductors such as galliumbased crystal, which is safe for humans and the environment. They also contain phosphorus, which is found in nature in several allotropic forms, and is actually an essential element for the life of organisms. Most LEDs don’t even use glass, making them safer for children if ever dropped or accidentally bumped.

LEDs are made from hazardous materials including mercury = False LEDs do not contain mercury or harmful gases. They can be used without harming humans, animals, and plants. They can also be disposed of without needing to be separated from regular garbage.

or desk lamps and E12 smaller screw-in bases for sconces. They come in MR16, GU10, and other pin-type bases. They even come in single-pin as well as dual-pin connectors and in sizes to replace fluorescent tubes.

LEDs flicker and cause headaches = False

It is a common mistake to confuse swirly CFL (compact fluorescent) and fluorescent tube lighting with LED lighting. LEDs do not flicker at a rate causing headaches. LEDs actually reduce headaches compared to fluorescent lighting. Also, magnetic fields are directly related to the amount of current running through a device; therefore considering the 80 percent wattage reduction in LEDs, magnetic fields are greatly reduced.

LEDs are not as bright as other types of lighting = False

Sources: www.theledlight.com/technical1.html www.lenntech.com/periodic/elements/p.htm www.healthybuildingscience.com/2013/03/25/emf-magnetic-fieldsrecessed-led-lights/

LEDs are all white or blue and harsh on the eyes = False

~ Lotus Energy, located in Hudson, NY, designs and installs solar energy systems to help reduce or eliminate electric bills with clean solar photovoltaic energy. The company began making installations in Nepal and Tibet more than 20 years ago, and now provides residents and businesses of New York and the surrounding states with detailed efficient technology consultation and superior products, including advanced LED designer lighting. You can contact Robert Baerga at (518) 828-3105, ext 2, www.lotusenergy.com.

A small LED bulb can easily shine as bright as a 20–100-watt incandescent. In fact, a 180-watt LED can be as bright as a 400watt metal halide floodlight typically used for street lighting, parking lots, and warehouses. The color emitted from LEDs can range from red to blue including orange, amber, yellow, green, and turquoise with frosted lenses and designer diffusers that are just as soft and in some cases more easy on the eyes than an incandescent.

LEDs will not work with my existing fixture = False

LEDs can be retrofitted for use with any fixture using E39 large or E26 screw-in bases like outdoor HID (high-intensity discharge) 14

December | January 2016


home, garden & landscape

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Celebrate Our Forty-third Year!

Wonderful Things

Largest Selection of Yarns and Unique Handcrafted Gifts in the Berkshires Gift Certificates S Free Knitting Lessons Open Mon-Sat 9:30-5, Sun 12-4 Harry and Debbie Sano 232 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, MA 01230 (413) 528-2473 • www.wonderful-things.com

ServiceMASTER of the Berkshires, ServiceMASTER of Columbia County, NY 3 Westview Road, Pittsfield, MA

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Hartsville Design Woodworking

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our personal New Year’s resolution list is sure to be filled with ambitious goals for 2016, but what about that honey-do list you�ve been putting off for your home? Kevin J. Regan, of Hartsville Design Woodworking, has the professional skills and attention to detail needed to complete the work. You can follow through with your resolution to go to the gym, and let Kevin do the rest.

● Gazebos ● Benches ● Picnic Tables ● Sheds ● Swings ● Children’s Gym Sets

n Quality Work ● Excellent References ● No Job Too Small Calls Returned Promptly

Route 8 Cheshire, MA (413) 743-9964 Toll Free (866) 411-7433 www.berkshiresheds.com

413.274.1122, kevin@HartsvilleDesign.com

www.HartsvilleDesign.com www.OurBerkshireTimes.com

December | January 2016


home, garden & landscape

New England –Where Traditions Run Deep . . . WELL, NOT ALL TRADITIONS / By Jennifer Lilienthal


any Americans are familiar with Norman Rockwel l ’s pa i nti n g o f Stockbridge, Massachusetts, seasonally decked in snow, with brightly lit storefronts. Rockwell’s name conjures up images of quaint, old-fashioned New England. And for many of us in western Massachusetts, the Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge practically epitomizes Christmas tradition, with its blazing hearth, colorful lighted trees, and holiday events. One of the events the Inn embraces is a re-creation of Rockwell’s painting, complete with decorations, shoppers, antique cars, and often plenty of snow. But this scene of Christmas merriment in Stockbridge is actually quite modern. To begin with, there is one detail of Rockwell’s painting that is deliberately not re-created: the outward appearance of the Red Lion Inn itself. Rockwell’s Inn certainly did not exude holiday charm. Its windows were unlit, because rather than being a focal point of holiday celebrations, the Red Lion closed its doors each winter, until 1969. But the dark, somber inn in the painting actually accurately represents how New Englanders traditionally decorated for the season – not at all. Holiday festivity is hardly a New England tradition. The establishment did its best to combat Christmas celebrations throughout most of New England’s history – and not out of humanitarian sensitivity to religious diversity! Quite the contrary: opposition to Christmas in New England was led by the religious elite. In 1659 (long before our Berkshire towns were incorporated) the General Court in colonial Massachusetts officially banned the observance of Christmas, fining those who disobeyed five shillings. Certainly, the fact that holiday celebrations at that time generally involved drinking, singing, and exchanging of gifts, did nothing to encourage Puritan acceptance. Although the Christmas ban was repealed in 1681, Puritan disapproval of both Church observances and secular merrymaking lived on. Good citizens knew they would disgrace themselves by openly condoning a holiday with pagan roots. For almost two more centuries, those with higher social status in New England generally disdained Christmas as a holiday for self-indulgent sinners, for immigrants (such as German settlers in Pennsylvania), for the superstitious. During most of his lifetime, if Charles Dickens had visited the Berkshires, he would likely have found much inspiration for the character of Ebenezer Scrooge. Though many common people attended special church services and/or parties, they could 16

December | January 2016


only do so on their own time. Employers expected workers to labor all day on Christmas Day; commerce continued unabated. Not until 1856 did December 25th become a legal holiday in Massachusetts; it became a federal holiday in 1885, finally gaining legitimacy from the leadership. Even so, an 1861 Berkshire County Eagle article noted that Christmas celebrations had been scarce in most of the country just 25 years before. Further, the article’s discussion of the holiday seemed to be trying to convince those in doubt that Christmas was worth the sacrifice of a workday. A major promoter of a new, improved Christmas season was Charles Dickens himself. With the publication in 1843 of A Christmas Carol, more emphasis was placed on the “spirit” of Christmas, shifting the image away from Bacchanalian gluttony and towards familycentered celebration. Clement Moore’s 1822 poem “A Visit from Saint Nicholas” had focused attention on children and the giftgiving aspect of the season; Stockbridge author Catharine Maria Sedgwick built on this image. But Dickens’s story gave “Scrooge” a bad name; commerce on Christmas Day became despicable. And the Church-related aspects of the celebration of the Nativity – condoned by most sects except a stalwart few – were blended nicely into the secular traditions of feasting, giving, and making merry. Finally, by the 1860s, it was common for both rich and poor to celebrate openly, since a wreath on a door, or a lighted tree, was no longer targeted by the pious. Whether you celebrate Kwanzaa, Chanukah, Christmas, or the winter solstice, may your holiday be merry – and may you not be judged by your wreath or the lack thereof. Sources: “Christmas in New England,” Winter-Spring 2004, p. 2, historicnewengland.org “Christmas in Puritan New England,” https://en.wikipedia.org “Christmas,” the Berkshire County Eagle (Pittsfield, Mass.) 19 Dec. 1861; image viewed on newspapers.com “Christmas Celebration Outlawed, December 25, 1869,” Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities: massmoments.org “Our Story: Historical Timeline,” The Red Lion Inn: www.redlioninn.com. ~ Jennifer Lilienthal is a genealogical researcher and writer. Doing business as JLL Family Stories, she helps people discover and write their family stories, as well as house histories. With a BA from Mt. Holyoke College and further studay at the University of Heidelberg in Germany, she specializes in procuring and translating German vital records. She also completed Boston University’s certificate program in genealogical research and advanced forensic genealogy. Contact her at jllportraits@live.com for a free estimate

home, garden & landscape

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This four bedroom meticulously maintained farmhouse offers bright and generous sized rooms, most with hardwood floors. But, there’s more. This magnificent property offers land, land, and more land, along with low, low taxes. Set on 559 gorgeous pastoral and wooded acres, this property abounds with wild flower fields, a pond that is home to a variety of birds, walking trails, Pat Melluzzo Gladys Montgomery and Walnut Hill, at a delightful 1700 foot elevation. A must see! Lynda Mulvey 413.446.1146 Pat Melluzzo Gladys Montgomery 413.822.0929

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P.O. Box 388, 95 Marble Street, Lee MA www.valleyrolloff.com  (413) 243-6655

Complete Vehicle Detail With quality and convenience you can trust, our Service Department offers the best in automotive service to our customers . . . Hyundai | 413-997-2277

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December | January 2016


home, garden & landscape

Discover Passiflora, a treasure trove of exceptional pieces from home and abroad selected for their individuality and affordability. An eclectic mix of all things contemporary, quirky, and chic. We are brimming with great stuff – stuff to give, stuff to keep, stuff for Home and Garden, Mind and Body, Spirit and Soul – stuff you'll fall in love with!

(518) 325-6559 2638 State Route 23, Hillsdale, NY


MOUNTAIN Window & Siding

Siding  Windows  Decks  Remodeling  Additions  LP Smartside Products We do it all, not just windows and siding! Proudly offering LP Smartside products for your home. A certified Gold Installer by LP Corp. Your installation will be done right and have LP’s backing. A sustainable company with engineered siding components to enhance and beautify your home. Residential & Commercial | Fully Licensed & Insured | Major Credit Cards Accepted MA CSL #CS-076464  MAHIC #176873  CT HIC #0636695

Visit LP’s website to view products. www.lpcorp.com


December | January 2016


(413) 281-2156


business services

saving the world ONE LIGHTBULB AT A TIME By Robert Baerga


oday, nonresidential National Grid utility consumers have a time-sensitive opportunity to combat climate change. During what is being referred to as the “Lighting Incentive Sweet Spot,” National Grid’s Lighting Systems Retrofit Program, in combination with an upstate New York lighting distributor�s rebate, can replace aging, inefficient lighting equipment at 80 percent to 100 percent off. This is because in 2015 the prices of LEDs have gone down faster than the utility incentives can catch up with adjustments. Adjustments to lower the incentives are predicted to be made starting January 2016. According to the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC) “power plants represent the single-largest source of carbon pollution, spewing two billion tons into the air each year.” Awareness of this fact is growing but now effective solutions to reduce energy are easily available and can be quickly implemented.

Sources: www.nrdc.org/climate/default.asp www.energy.gov/eere/femp/energy-incentive-programs-new-york www1.nationalgridus.com ~ Lotus Energy, located in Hudson, NY, designs and installs solar energy systems to help reduce or eliminate electric bills with clean solar photovoltaic energy. The company began making installations in Nepal and Tibet more than 20 years ago, and now provides residents and businesses of New York and the surrounding states with detailed efficient technology consultation and superior products, including advanced LED designer lighting. You can contact Robert Baerga at (518) 828-3105, ext 2, www.lotusenergy.com.

Lotus Energy, as a National Grid Energy Solutions Partner, will provide LED products and lighting upgrade services for nonresidential utility customers and assist with incentive applications. Small business owners are rushing to take advantage of this nocost offer to save up to 80 percent on energy costs with designer LED bulbs lasting 10 years or longer; while improving the lighting conditions of even the most upscale retail and office environments. Just in Hudson, NY, alone, more than 50 antique shops, art galleries, and office spaces have begun eliminating 141 tons of carbon emissions annually without investing a single dollar. Lotus Energy’s website has a user-friendly referral program to allow any person or environmental organization to pass along this knowledge while offering commissions and acknowledgments with carbon saving certificates. Other utility companies may also offer significant incentives. Lotus Energy will be available to process these as well as provide product consultation. To find out if this program is available in your area with your local utility company, share this opportunity now. Direct website link for lighting upgrade applications: www.lotusenergy.com/index.php/shop/incentives-rebates-form Testimonials and case studies: http://www.lotusenergy.com/index.php/shop/incentive-testimonials www.OurBerkshireTimes.com

December | January 2016


fashion & beauty

Take Her Breath TakeAway! Her Breath Away!

the holiday hunt!

for those who love a

Fine Jew s ’ n ele a i b rs Est. 1985 Za 15 Main Street, Lee 413-243-0508 www.zabians.com

Open 7 days a week until Christmas.






December | January 2016



avvy shoppers appreciate the opportunity to buy fabulous fashion, attractive accessories, jazzy jewelry, distinctive decor, and bountiful building and remodeling materials at bargain prices. From the old to the new, from the unique to the divine, there are tantalizing treasures hidden all over Berkshire County and the surrounding area. Resale shops come in all shapes, styles, and sizes (as do the items they contain), but the one constant you can count on is the thrill of the hunt!

Catwalk is an upscale women’s resale boutique that was founded to benefit the Berkshire Humane Society. The clothing, accessories, and jewelry are hip, fashionable, and affordable, with all proceeds going to help the homeless animals of Berkshire County, MA. Shopping at Catwalk is the ultimate guilt-free shopping experience. Follow them on FB. Visit them at 325 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, MA, (413) 717-4005, www.catwalkboutique.org

If you are looking for a curated collection of fashion, art, jewelry, antiques, and more, you won�t want to miss exploring NEXT! Select Consignment, featuring quality labels such as Chanel, Gucci, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Hermès, and more. 684 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA, (413) 248-7778, www.facebook.com/ nextconsign

fashion & beauty

good treasure hunt, explore these fine resale shops below


“Our focus is on service and providing the ultimate jane iredale mineral cosmetics experience. I guarantee we can transform your look in minutes and transition you from day to night in seconds.” ~ Sherie K. Ross, Proprietor

Located in the newly renovated historic Althouse-Higgins House in Hillsdale, NY, you will discover Mirror Mirror Clothing, a consignment and resale shop offering pre-owned and new clothing, shoes, and accessories for women, men, and teens. In today’s economy, consignment shopping is a fun and ecofriendly way to put “green” in your pocketbook while adding quality, creative clothing, and accessories to your wardrobe! 2666 State Route 23, Hillsdale, NY, (518) 325-4000, www.mirrormirrorclothingshop.com

(413) 528-4053 323 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA Mon-Sat 10am-5pm

Nature�s Closet is an outdoor specialty retailer that carries only the highest quality brands designed to make the most of every minute you spend outdoors. You will find new and used clothing, footwear, and accessories for active lifestyles. “The Gear Den” at Nature�s Closet sells clean, gently used brand name outdoor-inspired apparel and gear when available from Patagonia, Prana, L.L. Bean, Teva, Eddie Bauer, and more. 61 Spring Street, Williamstown, MA, (413) 458-7909, www.naturescloset.net Berkshire Baby has created a year-round consignment boutique for children that offers sale prices every day. Their comfortable and convenient child-friendly environment, where young ones can stay and play, makes shopping a pleasure. As one happy customer said, “This was such a nice store, and everything was in beautiful condition! I will definitely shop here again!” 8 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, MA, (413) 329-7208. You can follow Berkshire Baby on Facebook. Babies in Bloom, a children�s clothing and consignment store, offers quality, gently used clothing at an affordable price. Sizes range from preemie to junior. Babies in Bloom also sells maternity wear and nursing items as well as a variety of baby gear and toys. Their inventory is ever changing and they enjoy helping their customers find exactly what they are looking for. 11 Maple Avenue, Sheffield, MA, (413) 229-8022, www.babiesinbloom1.com.



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December | January 2016


11/11/15 12:01 PM

animal talk

unraveling the history OF MODERN CANINE NUTRITION - PART 2



o one should ever fault Hill’s Pet Nutrition for its marketing savvy. Its early capture of public trust through the introduction of veterinary “prescription” diets sold only through licensed veterinarians, its multi-million dollar support of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and its annual conventions, and its steady flow of donated equipment, supplies, and foods to veterinary schools and rescue organizations, has poised Hill’s Pet Nutrition with maximum leverage over the veterinary and pet-owning communities, holding great sway over what is learned (and what is not learned) about companion animal nutrition. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, a Colgate-Palmolive holding, has, to their maximum advantage but not necessarily to the advantage of our pets’ health, deliberately co-opted an important element of basic veterinary education and care, namely how our pets are best nourished. One is hard pressed to find a veterinarian (or even a board-certified veterinary nutritionist) who knows much of anything about companion animal nutrition beyond that which Hill’s Pet Nutrition has taught them or has published on the subject. And the very sad fact is that Hill’s Pet Nutrition dog and cat food, sold and endorsed by countless veterinarians and veterinary clinics, isn’t food fit for long-term maintenance of a dog or a cat.


December | January 2016


While somewhat grudgingly accepting that cats are carnivores, dogs, by Hill’s standards, aren’t. Hill’s observes that dogs are omnivores with flat-crowned teeth for grinding grains and vegetables. The problem with that assessment is that dogs do not have flat-crowned teeth, nor do their jaws move side to side for grinding. Yes, our dogs can eat pretty much anything and manage to survive, but, without a diet rich in meat, they cannot thrive. Our companion dogs are indeed carnivores, but Hill’s Pet Nutrition, through its generous “Diamond Sponsorship” of AVMA annual conferences, has been allowed unchallenged authority to convince countless veterinarians and their staff otherwise. Money grants access, and access grants influence. But Hill’s Pet Nutrition is not the only industrial player to whom the AVMA has bowed for funding, and to whom it has granted access and influence. In addition to Hill’s Pet Nutrition, the AVMA has had a number of “Platinum Partners,” including Fort Dodge Animal Health (vaccine producers) and Meriel Pet Products (producers of vaccines and parasite control). Together, the big P3 of Hill’s, Fort Dodge, and Meriel have pledged a total of $4.5 million dollars in support of AVMA programs and services. In return for their $4.5 million dollars pledged, Hill’s, Fort Dodge, and Meriel each have received unprecedented opportunities to

animal talk

Nature Brings You Joy, We Bring You Nature

birdfeeders ● birdseed ● gifts ● and more! 783 South Main Street Great Barrington, MA

(413) 644-9005 interact with AVMA members, leaders, and staff, as well as having been recognized as “elite partners” with the AVMA while benefiting from promotional efforts on the AVMA website, at the AVMA�s annual convention, and in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA), with spotlight advertorials. One can only guess how those elite partnerships have affected what veterinarians have learned (and have not learned) about the necessity, efficacy, safety, and side effects of products and treatments.


Love them more, worry about them less. We can help brought you discover to you by a lifestyle of peaceful pet ownership by designing brought broughttotoyou youbyby Boundaries Boundaries solutions that protect your pets. brought to you by

Boundaries For Pets Boundaries For Pets Does any of this sound like the AVMA has conducted its brought to you by For Pets For Pets 800-732-3181 800-732-3181 not-for-profit business in a manner befitting an organization ©2015 Invisible Fence, Boundaries Inc. All rights reserved. ©2015 Invisible Fence, Inc. All rights reserved. 800-732-3181 800-732-3181 brought to you by acting as a collective voice for its members and their clients? ©2015 Invisible Fence, Inc. All rights reserved. For Pets ©2015 Invisible Fence, Inc. All rights reserved. Boundaries www.boundariesforpets.invisiblefence.com Is this an organization that is prudent in avoiding potential 800-732-3181 For Pets ©2015 Invisible Fence, Inc. All rights reserved. conflicts of interest as it conducts its business? Can there be B4Pets_1_5x2_5_MAR2015_Pawprint.indd B4Pets_1_5x2_5_JUN2015_Pawprint.indd 6/1/201513/6/2015 8:10:32 AM B4Pets_1_5x2_5_MAR2015_Pawprint.indd 3/6/2015 1 2:57:53 PM 1 2:57:53 PM 800-732-3181 any reasonable assurance that our pets will be protected fromB4Pets_1_5x2_5_MAR2015_Pawprint.indd3/6/2015 ©2015 Invisible Fence, Inc. All rights reserved. 1 2:57:53 PM prejudicial conduct, unbiased judgments of scientific research, CARING FOR PETS SINCE 1957 B4Pets_1_5x2_5_MAR2015_Pawprint.indd3/6/2015 1 2:57:53 PM and fair, honest, and balanced presentations of all facts and debates? Can we trust such an organization to function in the B4Pets_1_5x2_5_MAR2015_Pawprint.indd3/6/2015 1 2:57:53 PM best interest of our pets? I think not. Your trusted source for quality foods ~ Kristina “Tina” Dow is sole proprietor of BensDotter�s Pet, a

and supplies.

pet supply store in Great Barrington that specializes in raw diets. www.bensdotters.com.

Your trusted resource for raw-feeding information and advice.


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December | January 2016


Now or ng f i l l o r En y r a u n Ja ion s s i m Ad

explore Engaged learning for children ages 15 months through 8th grade Call or visit online to schedule a tour. 413.637.3662 BerkshireMontessori.org

education & workshops

Connection before Correction


By K. Meagan Ledendecker


recently watched a video parody* of three moms in conversation, periodically talking to each other as if to their children. The effect, although humorous, was also disturbing. After watching the video, I began to pay closer attention to what we sound like when we communicate with children. Are we issuing directives or asking for cooperation? Are we forging relationships or cutting off connections? Are we belittling or kindly reminding? One way to become more aware of talking with our children, rather than to our children, is to practice the Positive Discipline principle, Connection before Correction. Connection before Correction means that we create closeness and trust instead of distance and hostility. If I notice my child has left his coat on the floor, it’s most effective to connect with him first in a loving way before reminding him to clean up after himself. Basic brain science explains why this is the case. Scolding, nagging, lecturing, blaming, shaming, yelling – all cause the recipient’s brain to shift into “flight, fright, or freeze” mode. Children (and adults, too) function best when they feel safe, trusted, and accepted. Connection before Correction can be as simple as first getting to a child’s eye level and smiling before addressing the need at hand. Or perhaps it’s saying, “I love you, and the answer is no.” Other ways of making a connection include really listening, spending special time together, validating feelings, asking questions, and giving hugs. Effective connections are made when everyone involved feels significance and belonging. I recently had a chance to practice Connection before Correction with some older students who hadn’t been the best role models during a class meeting. Although I was upset about their choices, I took time to reflect upon how I would want to be treated if I hadn’t been my best self. In the process, I sheepishly realized that I had, in fact, been snippy during a recent administrative meeting. If a colleague were going to talk to me about my behavior, how would I like the conversation to begin? With a humble heart, I took each student aside and privately checked in about what was going on. I acknowledged each student’s kindness and sense of responsibility, and wondered aloud how their choices had affected others. Rather than lecturing, accusing, or punishing, I came to the conversations with compassion and concern. As a result, the students didn’t shut down, offer excuses, or point fingers. Their hearts were open and we could problem-solve together.

When children feel a connection, their sense of belonging and significance increases. Often this connection is enough to stop misbehavior and facilitate cooperation. The real bonus is that when we take the time first to connect rather than correct, we actually end up feeling better ourselves. Everyone benefits.

*Video from The BreakWomb: “If Moms Talked to Each Other the Way They Talk to Their Kids” ~ K. Meagan Ledendecker is a Certified Positive Discipline Educator, Director of Education at The Montessori School of the Berkshires, and is always on that seemingly unattainable quest to become a better parent. www.berkshiremontessori.org

December at Hawthorne Valley Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School Yuletide Fair & Gingerbread Auction Saturday, December 5 10 am to 5 pm

The Magical Puppet Tree Presents Winnie the Pooh Goes Visiting

Saturday, December 5 Performances at 11 am, 12 pm, 1 pm, & 2 pm

Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School Winter Concert featuring selections from Handel’s Messiah Thursday, December 10 at 6 pm Friday, December 11 at 7 pm St Mary’s Church, Hudson


www.hawthornevalleyschool.org 330 County Route 21C, Ghent, NY 12075 | 518-672-7092


December | January 2016


beyond the berkshires

Interview with Ken Rohla

Part 1 / By Kathy I. Regan


en Rohla is a natural health educator and inventor from New Smyrna Beach, Florida, specializing in rejuvenation and cellular regeneration using raw and sprouted vegetarian food, herbs, food-based natural supplements, detoxification, emotional healing, reprogramming of limiting unconscious beliefs, ancient esoteric techniques, and cutting-edge science. With a background in electrical engineering and computer science, Ken worked for 23 years in the medical industry. In 1993, at the age of 32, Ken was first exposed to natural healing in a search to cure severe hypoglycemia and other health problems he had acquired from a lifetime of poor diet and lifestyle. Eight years and many thousands of dollars later, after trying a litany of diets, products, potions, and pills, he found permanent success with living food nutrition and detoxification. Ken has studied with many pioneers in the natural health movement, including Gabriel Cousens, MD, Drs. Brian and Anna Maria Clement, David Wolfe, Dr. Robert Morse, Viktoras Kulvinskas, Brenda Cobb, and many others. In 2005, Ken became certified as a natural health educator by Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach, Florida. Currently his focus is developing natural solutions for new severe threats to our health such as nuclear radiation, geoengineering pollutants, genetically modified foods and microorganisms, electromagnetic pollution, nanotechnology, biowarfare agents, depleted food, and other issues. A tenacious researcher and experimenter, Ken uses and tests everything he recommends to find the most effective solutions for the least amount of money. I consider him to be one of the luminaries of our time and appreciate his generosity in spending time with me for this interview. Please look for other interviews with Ken on www.gaia.com, Red Ice Radio, and on his website, www.freshandalive.com. 26

December | January 2016


Q: Ken, one of the things that impresses me most about your work is that you seek to empower people. What do you feel is the most rewarding thing about what you do? A: It�s when I see people who are in dire circumstances, typically with life threatening diseases, get well. It changes their lives and then they go out and do things like help humanity themselves, either by sharing what they�ve learned, or by creating natural heath centers, or healing retreats, or raw food restaurants, or similar things. I know that if I empower and teach other people they are going to spread it. Q: Because of the pace and structure of our society and the increase in Schumann resonances [the resonant frequencies of the Earth], many people live in various states of fight or flight [acute stress response] on a daily basis. Why are the Schumann resonances speeding up and what can we do to help restore balance and harmony within ourselves? A: We are passing through a part of the galaxy where these energies are accelerating and creating shifts on the planet. Overall it�s a shift in consciousness that�s a beneficial one, but it can cause our physical destruction if we don�t raise our vibration enough – to the point where we can counteract the negative effects that occur from this cosmic radiation. But we have to be aware enough to do so. Here are some very simple practical things you can do to help. Get off your cell phone or keep it away from your head, minimize its use to about 90 minutes a month or so, and put an electromagnetic frequencies (EMF) protector on it to help reduce the effects from it. Also protect yourself from EMFs everywhere you go by wearing a static EMF (scalar) pendant. And then in

beyond the berkshires

your home or wherever you spend a lot of your time you need to have a [scalar-emitting] device like the Rest Shield* [a powered scalar-energy device that promotes deep sleep, stress reduction and relaxation, and increased energy; note the pyramid-like device in this article header]. This shield puts out a field that will protect you from EMFs and the increased Schumann resonances. So, if you do these kinds of things, as well as maintaining health and proper diet, this will help. There is also a technology called Holosync® and Hemi-Sync®, known as binaural beat audio CDs. Listening to these will slow down brainwave states to help destress and relax you. In addition, comprehensively detoxifying your body physically a couple of times a year will go a long way towards improving your stress levels. Detox emotionally, detox physically, and protect yourself from electromagnetic frequencies. Q: Please tell us exactly what scalar energy is and how we can use it to our advantage? A: Really what it is, is God Consciousness. It�s this faster-than-light energy [also known as prana, chi, radiant energy, zero point energy, qi, or orgone] that is flowing from the center of galaxies through our entire universe and we are transceivers of it – we are receivers and transmitters that pick it up like an antenna and rebroadcast it. So in that sense we are the hands of God. Practical things you can do to utilize it are the old tried-and-true ways we already know about, like meditation and yoga – kundalini yoga in particular – doing energy work, bodywork, reiki, and other similar modalities. With all of these kinds of methods you can capture scalar energy with your biology, and with your focus and intention you can use it to manipulate matter and energy. You can, for example, heal the body by restructuring matter. These are very simple and empowering things you can do that are ancient, tried-and-true methods, but they take a lot of time and discipline. Q: I would imagine that scalar-producing products like your Scalar Energy Rest ShieldTM, OrmusitTM discs, and pendants would be very helpful to people? A: Exactly, because we are all living in this modern life. If we were monks living in Tibet and we had 12 hours a day to meditate we could take very good care of ourselves completely with that, but we don�t, so we need these cheats to get done what we need to get done. When you are able to get the physical and emotional toxins out of the body and you�re immersed in the old Schumann resonances, you are like Forrest Gump: you�re happy all the time for no particular reason. This does not necessarily make logical sense but you just are – and that�s our natural state. Q: For someone interested in using your scalar-energyproducing products, where is the best place to start? A: The best place to start is to get EMF protection on your cell phones and cordless devices [Aamoraa Balancer*]. We also have an Aamoraa device you can put on the main breaker of the electric panel of your building that will help reduce EMF fields immensely. Cell phones are a major, major health threat these days. Cell phones accelerate brain waves, heat tissue, and interfere with cellular communication, so you can wind up with a serious disease and shortened lifespan. Putting these EMF protectors on

will help immensely, but it does not give you carte blanche. You have to use your phone [and wireless devices] smartly – don�t use it as a computer, don�t use it to surf the web or do email [or to watch videos or play games]. Avoid them as much as possible and keep protection on them. It is just as important to protect yourself from cordless phones these days, because particularly the DECT 6 phones, which are the standard now, are just as bad as cell phones. Using EMF protection on these devices is one of the most important things you can do to see an improvement in your health, particularly with focus, memory, and sleep issues. And when you are out and about, pretty much anywhere you go these days in a public place, it is going to be immersed in multiple Wi-Fi fields. Keeping an EMF pendant [Aamoraa Balancer Pendant* or Quantum Balance Crystal Pendant*] on you is very important to help with that. Another important place to put EMF protection is in your car, especially if you have a hybrid car, because these vehicles are very high in EMFs. The next thing is sleeping with a device like the Scalar Energy Rest ShieldTM. This will actually have the most impact on people because they will be protected from EMFs and will also be able to get into deep brainwave states of delta, theta, and gamma when sleeping. As a result, they will be really well rested and refreshed, and need less sleep. This has a positive impact on relationships, work, brain function, and everything else in life. Q: How do theses devices work? A: The way these pendants and static devices work is that they act like an antenna, much like a pyramid, to capture the scalar energy that is flowing around us, bringing it into a localized field. That field structures the electromagnetic waves that are chaotically bouncing around through the body, interfering with the cells� communication. The pendants and static devices make all of those waves become parallel, which is known as coherence. And when those waves are coherent, they are much quieter when they pass through the body. Q: Some people do not feel comfortable purchasing EMF protection devices that cannot be measured with handheld meters. Can the therapeutic value of your products be measured in any way, and if so, how? A: It is true that you cannot measure these types of EMF protective devices with a handheld meter, but there are biological tests available, varying in degree of simplicity and expense, to confirm their therapeutic value. The effect of the Rest Shield is very obvious, though. When people use one they don�t need any tests because they can easily tell that it works!


*These products can be found on www.freshandalive.com. ~ In Part 2 of this interview, coming in the February - March issue of Our BerkshireTimes magazine, we will pick up where we left off with more about the lowdown of testing these devices, along with additional wisdom from Ken Rohla. I will also share with you my own personal experience with the Rest Shield and other products. In the meantime, to learn more about Ken Rohla, to order his products, to watch informative videos on his blog, or to sign up for Ken�s free eNewsletter, go to www.freshandalive.com. www.OurBerkshireTimes.com

December | January 2016


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gol dm an / tripp osteopathic healthcare As osteopathic physicians, we use our comprehensive knowledge of anatomy and physiology to promote health and healing. We work gently with our hands to help your body restore optimal function – based on optimal structure – to help solve musculoskeletal problems and health issues of all kinds. As fully licensed physicians, we have all of the full and current medical pharmacopeia, nutritional science and medical training at our disposal. Your individual treatment may include a wide range of approaches, but is always founded on our gentle hands-on work. Andrew M. Goldman, DO, Osteopathic Physician Kim E. Tripp, DO, PhD, Osteopathic Physician www.goldmantripp.net Great Barrington, ma 413-528-3334 | Sharon, ct 860-364-5990


December | January 2016


health & wellness

Stand on Your Own Two Feet By TAMIR

“Alignment is skillfulness in action that brings equanimity.” B.K.S. Iyengar


he quote above, by the founder of the Iyengar school of yoga, sums up my love affair with this method. Iyengar yoga, in particular, is about posture, the way we live inside our skin and get comfortable with who we are physically. Lack of alignment creates imbalance, which leads to compression, causing stress on the nervous system – the connection between mind and body. With proper alignment, the nervous system becomes peaceful. Iyengar classes begin with basics – our immediate and concrete contact with the floor, which develops stability and balance. How do I stand? What is my stance in the world? Are the four corners of my foot pressing down? What about the toes? Feet are the fundamentals – the foundation of alignment. In a show I performed, I played a character whose thinking is circuitous, and she weaves a spiral pathway across the stage. This was difficult because her rhetoric was similar and the mazelike pathway I traversed made me wobbly. To my surprise, after several Iyengar yoga classes my walk was solid and my thinking coherent. I was grounded and secure, in spite of the circuitous monologue and staged walking pattern. Iyengar yoga emphasizes a deep awareness of precision, using a fastidious and dynamic approach to correct alignment. The classes are safe, and there is a systematic progression with clear demonstrations, precise explanations, and individual correction. Although based on ancient traditions (yogis practicing headstand hanging from branches of trees), Mr. Iyengar’s approach is uniquely his own. The use of props, for example, allows all students to practice safely and instills confidence even in difficult poses. The props are guides for accuracy and self-learning. Not everyone can do a full classical

pose, but by using props and individual modification, the benefits of the full pose can be experienced. We use blocks to assist, for example, in Uttanasana, a forward-bending pose with straight legs and an elongated spine. Not everyone can touch the floor, so it is raised. By placing the hands on blocks, one can reap the benefits of a semi-inversion, loosen the hips, lengthen the hamstrings, and extend the front body. Likewise, we use chairs, blankets, and belts to improve the asanas and make them appropriate to each individual. We practice yoga for different reasons. When I was a student of Martha Graham dance, I needed yoga to soften, loosen, and stretch in order to balance the contractions of her demanding style. Much later, as an actress, I found that, of all the methods I sampled, Iyengar addressed my intention to be sure-footed, centered, and aligned with my purpose. The Iyengar teacher training is a twoyear program, and candidates are accepted only after demonstrating their commitment by studying the method for several years. The certification covers asanas, anatomy, pranayama, and philosophy. The depth of knowledge required, and the time and dedication it takes to become certified, appeal to my passion for integrity in movement and approaching life with a zeal for personal best. Mr. Iyengar always emphasized that learning to stand on one’s own two feet is the gateway to yoga.

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December | January 2016


mind & spirit

intentional giving



e’ve heard of “random acts of kindness.” What if we take that concept one step further and try “intentional acts of kindness” this holiday season? Take a moment to reflect on the last time you gave something to someone – and remember how good giving feels. Linda Barten devoted her life to giving, and through giving she realized how true it is that we receive. Once, as a labor of love, Linda helped her friend, Doris Karsell, share her God-given gift of painting and language, literally, with the world. Doris painted artwork and gave it to Linda, never asking for anything in return. Linda transformed the artwork into beautiful inspirational 5" x 7" note cards made of quality vellum-like cardstock, fulfilling Doris’s lifelong dream of displaying her artwork. Doris wanted to be anonymous, but Linda and her husband convinced her to receive credit for her


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works. Doris expressed herself through painting and Linda shared that gift through an inspirational card business. Unlike other businesses, Linda’s bottom line was not in making a profit, but in sharing these gifts. Upon Linda’s death, her husband, Al, donated those cards to another friend in need, Sheri Biasin, . . . and the gift continues to give. Al gave the cards to Sheri, a self-employed friend from Cheshire, MA, so that she can continue to share Linda’s passion while augmenting her income during a time of illness. The giving doesn’t stop there. Sheri is now also donating cards to raise money for cancer survivors, religious organizations, and to a friend who is raising money for a formerly homeless autistic artist. If you would like to purchase one of these beautiful note cards online you can go to www.ascendingsherona.com, or you can contact Sheri at (413) 822-2070, sheribiasin@hotmail.com.

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