Our BerkshireTimes Magazine, Aug-Sept 2016

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Cover Art by Deborah Van Auten / www.vanauten.com

Fine Food & Drink Special / Visit us at www.OurBerkshireTimes.com

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



Our BerkshireTimes

Aug-Sept 2016 vol 27

Our BerkshireTimes™ 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

Contents 4

TO ADVERTISE CONTACT Account Representatives Kevin J. Regan kevin@ourberkshiretimes.com Sheri Ann Biasin sheri@ourberkshiretimes.com Debra Johnson debra@ourberkshiretimes.com Our BerkshireGreen, Inc. P.O. Box 133, Housatonic, MA 01236 Phone: (413) 274-1122 advertise@ourberkshiretimes.com www.OurBerkshireTimes.com _______________ COVER ILLUSTRATION

Sea Turtle by Deborah Van Auten, Artist www.vanauten.com In Deborah Van Auten’s paintings, old world style merges with contemporary images in dreamlike worlds rich with symbolism. Her award-winning work is in many private collections and has been featured in prestigious publications worldwide. She has exhibited throughout the country, and is currently showing with Arden Gallery in Boston, Massachusetts, where she also resides. To view more of her work, go to www.vanauten.com. Email: deborah@vanauten.com.

art, culture & entertainment









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gift guide

health & wellness HEALTHY EYES


education & workshops THE THREE R'S OF RECOVERY





Copyeditor/Proofreader Rodelinde Albrecht _______________ DESIGN Magazine Design/Layout Kathy I. Regan _______________

Aug - Sept 2016



featured advertisers THANK YOU!

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S This publication is printed with soy ink on environmentally friendly Forest Stewardship Council ® certified paper. 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 articles, 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.

Sea Turtle (24” x 36”) by Deborah Van Auten, www.vanauten.com


art, culture & entertainment

The Butler Sculpture Park LOCAL SCULPTOR OFFERS A WALK THROUGH HIS PARK / By Nina Anderson


ff the beaten path, through a large iron gate and up a gravel driveway to a hilltop in the lush southern Berkshires, is the Butler Sculpture Park. Located on Shunpike Road in Sheffield, Massachusetts, Robert and Susan Butler have created a pristine walk through their property laced with contemporary metal sculpture. Next to the parking area is the Summer House Gallery, where large sculptures fit comfortably under the soaring sixteen-foot high ceiling. Beginning your walk outside, you will cross a garden bridge and view your first sculpture, set amid a pool of pebbles nested in a tangled woods. You then cross an arched bridge and climb a trail laced with mountain laurel. At the top you will be greeted by an expansive upper meadow that forms a grassy courtyard overlooking the rolling countryside. Interspersed in the trail system are viewing benches where you can sit and take in the mountaintop views that are framed by curvilinear artwork. The Butler Sculpture Park also displays more than two dozen

of Robert’s smaller pieces in a gallery area above his work studio. His pieces of gleaming stainless steel evoke playful fantasies. Since 1991 the sculpture park has pleased visitors by giving them a memorable experience of art in harmony with natural surroundings. In 1985 the Butlers began creating the park which now encompasses seven of their forty-one acres hugging the westfacing hilltop and offering a magnificent view of the Sheffield valley. A well-equipped cavernous studio, where the sounds of grinders and hammers reflect that there is a work in progress, is bound to delight the visitor. Robert will explain how the welds are polished until they disappear with the steel becoming so smooth it reflects like a deep hologram in the sunlight. Many Berkshire County residents, as well as homeowners throughout New England and New York have purchased sculptures that Robert and Susan have installed for them on their properties. Some works are figurative, some abstract; some are simple, others complex. To accent the various shapes bright color is used while other pieces are burnished. The park is open from May 20 to October 31 and the hours are 11-5. There is no admission charge. The Butlers can be reached at (413) 229-8924 and their blog (www.butlersculpturepark.wordpress.com) allows you to view photographs of some of the pieces.

~ Nina Anderson offers weekday, evening, and weekend charters on her 21′ cabin sailboat on beautiful Twin Lakes in Salisbury, CT. Contact Nashalla Sailing at (888) 217-7233, www.nashallasailing.com.



he interpretive narrative of Deborah Van Auten’s striking images are meant to transport, and to provide a platform for reflection and discovery. Deborah says “My work delves into the intangible aspect of the tangible. I think of my paintings as dreamscapes, or psychological environments. The figure and symbolism are used metaphorically, with a penchant for the absurd, and humor often counterbalances a more serene background, which mirrors my personal point of view.” The Dutch masters and Italian Renaissance painters left an indelible imprint on Van Auten as she explored the personal context of self-expression in her art. A reverence for painters of the past is evident in her work, where old-world style combines 4

Aug | Sept 2016


with contemporary images in dreamlike worlds rich with symbolism. Deborah has spent her adult years in San Francisco, London, Boston, and New York, where she studied at the Art Students League and at the School of Visual Arts, and was awarded a scholarship to the Salmagundi Club. The award-winning work of Van Auten is in many private collections, and has been exhibited nationally. She has been featured in such books and publications as Who’s Who in Visual Arts: 42 Masters of Realistic Imagery, Contemporary Art in Focus: Modern Masters, Art in America, American Art Collector, Art News, Studio Visit, Southwest Art Magazine, and Our BerkshireTimes Magazine, among others. Van Auten is represented by Arden Gallery in Boston. She paints full time in her studio at Boston Center for the Arts in Boston, Massachusetts. To see more of Deborah’s work, visit her website at www.vanauten.com.

art, culture & entertainment

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Charter with Captain Nina on Twin Lakes, Salisbury CT 888-217-7233

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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

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Aug | Sept 2016


art, culture &



very Friday and Saturday the colorful signs go up: Tag Sale. Yard Sale. Garage Sale. Barn Sale. Estate Sale. As early as 7 a.m. avid tag sale shoppers hop into their vehicles in search of treasures. Armed with maps, classified ad clippings, even online listings, bargain-seekers stalk neighborhoods for everything from antiques to clothing. This underground economy of weekend dickering is as much social interaction as it is financial. And the experience has evolved into an art form with participants from a wide range of socioeconomic backgrounds. Modest-income families attempt to acquire quality clothing at bargain prices. Hunter-gatherers search for unique treasures to add to their collection. Pickers and dealers rush from sale to sale, hoping to be first to snag items they can sell at a profit online, at flea markets, antiques shows, or retail shops. Here in the southern Berkshires, there is an informal circuit of friendly competitors who know each other, and individually map out their “plan of attack” with varying degrees of detail. With a bit of playful cajoling, several agreed to speak under the condition of anonymity. Names have been changed. Sally comes over from Columbia County, New York, most weekends to search tag sales in Great Barrington and surrounding towns. “There are more sales in the Berkshires than where I live,” she explained. “I try to find nice items that I can resell at a reasonable profit.” Jake, from Egremont, disagrees. “Many of the secondhomeowners around here are overpricing their stuff,” he claimed. “They have unrealistic expectations. It’s a damn tag sale, not an antique shop! I have better luck searching for sales in rural Columbia County. They are more realistic over there.” A dealer from Sheffield elaborated.“Bargains can still be found,” he said. “But there are a lot more folks looking. The economy is 6

Aug | Sept 2016


tough. People are looking for ways to make extra money. Sellers sometimes think they can get retail prices because of TV shows like Pawn Stars and American Pickers. Then, at the end of the day, they wonder why so little has sold.” Several tag sale aficionados expressed frustration with sellers who advertise “No Early Birds” but then let the more aggressive dealers in early anyway. “We try to be respectful of peoples’ wishes, and then everything good is sold by the time we arrive.” There are also those sellers who advertise an opening time of 9 a.m., for example, and won’t let anybody in one minute early. “It is so frustrating,” explained Jerry, who has been going to tag sales for 35 years. “A few years ago, I drove to this sale in Van Deusenville that was scheduled to start at 9. We arrived at 8:52. The pompous sellers were sitting in their chairs with an obvious attitude – like they were holding court. They rudely insisted we keep off their property until 9. Cars were whizzing by. It was dangerous. They were foolish control freaks. Did they want to sell or not? We left. What a waste of time and gas. I was told later that the sale wasn’t worth waiting for. Everything was overpriced.” At the other extreme, one picker joked about a friendly but aggressive dealer who knocks on doors the day before a sale to get a jump on the competition. “He is charming, and is sometimes successful. It never ceases to amaze me. I don’t advocate doing that, but 20-30 minutes early on the day of the sale is considered the norm. It is a competitive world out there.” Jane, who has been buying and selling at tag sales since the 1970s, offered an additional perspective. “Setting up a good tag sale is a lot of work. So, when I hold a sale, I am there to sell as much as I can, as fast as I can. I don’t mind people coming early. I’m not going to chase people away because it is ‘too early.’ I do explain, however, that I don’t dicker at 7 a.m. when my sale is advertised to start at 9.”

art, culture & entertainment

Many tag sale participants expressed a common frustration with sellers who do not take down their signs when the sale is over. “I have wasted so much gas searching for a sale that took place two weeks ago,” said one tag sale devotee. For some, the selling of used merchandise has become a full-time business. Enter the estate sale manager. For a cut of the profits, estate sale managers will come in, price the contents of your home, and run the sale. Pickers claim that bargains can still be found, but suggest that prices sometime lean more toward retail. Estate sale is a term that is now being overused,” according to Hank, a picker from Lee. “It used to be that an estate sale meant access to a whole house-full of antiques and collectibles. That is still often the case, but more and more people are using the term for their tag sale, with the hopes of drawing in more people.”

She’s totally focused. After she has determined that there are no treasures to be had, she will be warm and chatty.” “Sometimes competitive pickers go too far,” explained a dealer from Sheffield. “A few years ago, someone was inserting fake tag sale ads in the newspaper that sounded really good. The ads directed folks to very rural areas in the middle of nowhere. It was a ruse to get the other dealers away from the real tag sales.” “Many of us could probably use a bit of psychiatric help,” laughed one tag sale enthusiast who acknowledged that it is best to simply laugh at the craziness and enjoy the search. “Follow the golden rule,” she added. “Treat others the way you would want to be treated yourself.”

Flea markets are also a good place to find interesting, valuable merchandise in one central location, but customers must be careful. “Inexperienced buyers are sometimes fooled by antique reproductions at flea markets,” claimed one dealer. “The old cliché is true – If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.” For many tag sale enthusiasts, social interaction is as important as the excitement of the hunt. “We have made lifelong friendships,” explained Karen, a part-time dealer from Great Barrington. It’s a lot of fun – free entertainment. I enjoy the idiosyncrasies of both buyers and sellers. For example, one woman I know will not acknowledge us when she is scanning the tables for treasures.

~ Local historian Gary Leveille is a writer, editor, educator, and photographer who resides in the Southern Berkshires. He has written numerous books including the popular Legendary Locals of the Southern Berkshires and Eye of Shawenon, a history of the Egremont area.


Free programs September through July

visit our website for listings ~ all are welcome

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jewelry by design, fine jewelry, watches, repair The Hotchkiss School 11 Interlaken Road, Lakeville, ct 860.435.4423 | hotchkiss.org/arts

 296 Main Street, Williamstown, MA ● (413) 458-7077

www.ateffinejeweler.com www.OurBerkshireTimes.com

Aug | Sept 2016


a art, culture & entertainment

The Great


Watermelon Heist By Allen Timmons


atermelons! Every time I see one it reminds me of my childhood. Growing up in the deep south, watermelon is right up there with grits and fried chicken. A true southerner can’t live without it! And they take their melons very serious down there. When I was growing up in the early ’60s in northeast Alabama, stealing a watermelon was a hanging offense, and if you were a kid, birdshot across the backside was considered justice. You didn’t mess with people’s melons. Plain and simple! So likewise, if you could steal a watermelon and get away with it, you would be legendary among the other kids. You would even be considered cooler than igniting a doo doo bomb or pulling a dead snake across a neighbor’s porch with a fishing line. And so, being the kid that I was, I set my eyes on one of the easiest melon picking patches a watermelon thief could ever hope for: old man Shockley’s place. Now old man Shockley had about a five-acre field with a big patch of watermelons about 50 yards from the back edge of the woods we kids played in. His house was on the far side another 200 yards or so. We had a secret fort hidden in the woods made of bent saplings and twigs woven into a domed igloo shape and covered with leaves and forest debris. From the outside, it looked just like part of the forest canopy, but on the inside there was enough room for six or seven kids to spend the night or hide from someone. It was really cool! You could see everything going on around you but no one could see you. That fort saved my neck more than once from an angry neighbor chasing me through those woods. It was on a Friday night and sweltering hot. About a dozen of us kids from the area were camping out in the woods, like we did every Friday night throughout the summer, planning our raids on the neighborhood and such adventures. Tonight was special, though. It was the night I went from boyhood to manhood. It was the moment that would determine my destiny. A natural course of evolution was about to take place. I never actually met old man Shockley. Only seen him from a distance. And I kept my distance too because I was told he was not one to reckon with. But that watermelon patch he had sure was inviting with all those big ole melons just setting out there all shiny and plump just screaming to be picked! We kids had been planning


Aug | Sept 2016


art, culture & entertainment

this for some time, waiting for the right moment (and courage). I had given everyone a melon-thumping lesson just before, even though we didn’t have a real watermelon to practice with. But I explained to them that it’s all in the thump. You take your index finger and thump the melon on its side, and the sound it makes tells you what’s inside. The deeper the tone the riper the melon, and the riper the sweeter! Our first mistake that night was we didn’t need a dozen watermelons! We only needed one or two. Our second mistake was we told too many kids. Loose lips sink ships! Our ship was sunk before it set sail. Also, someone had strung up a clothesline across the far side of that patch in just the area you would run if you were about to be caught. We waited until pretty late for his lights to go out as we all hid on the edge of that field planning our destiny – each of us picking out which watermelon we wanted and our escape route, and giggling about how good that melon was going to be. Me being the tallest and fastest I was determined to be the first in and out of that field. But there were a dozen kids in that patch and they went thumping like crazy. It sounded like a drunk woodpecker with a dull pecker. Thump, thump, thump, thump, thump! And then the occasional “I got one!” or “Uh oh! That one’s no good!” In other words, there was a lot of racket going on in that melon patch! And wouldn’t you know it, as soon as I laid my hands on the perfect melon, the back porch light came on. Old man Shockley came running out a-yelling my name. “TIMMONS!” he shouted. Then came that familiar sound of a pump-action shotgun followed by a big KABOOM! Kids scattered like a mess of flies being swatted on a dinner plate. Every direction and not a melon among them! Man, I was high-stepping at full speed across that field with a watermelon that was about a quarter my size held tight to my chest, when all of a sudden, my neck found what my eyes failed to see. That darn clothesline! My feet kept going but from my neck up, I stopped dead in my tracks! I stretched out like one of those Saturday morning cartoon charters. I came down flat on my back and a half second later, that melon came bursting down on my chest. It knocked the wind outa me so bad I couldn’t even cry. I felt like my head had just been separated from my body. As I lay there looking up at God in heaven and closer to death almost than I had ever been in my whole entire life, I could hear

that old man laughing so hard he was choking. I remember asking God, “How did he know it was me?” “Where did all my friends go?” “Where’s my brother?” “Oh God, please don’t let me die! I promise I won't ever steal another melon again for as long as I live!” Somehow, by some miracle, I made it back to our secret fort that night. When I arrived I was covered in watermelon juice mixed with seeds and sweaty blood from my neck down. I was truly a sight to see! Only Ricky, Dane, and my brother were there. Everyone else had run home with soiled underwear scared half to death I had been shot and was dead. The walk back had taken me long enough that my imagination had gotten the best of me and I realized this was my shining moment. My golden opportunity! And so, this is how the official story goes; “I wasn’t leaving that patch without no melon, I told myself! So, as I was a-lifting the biggest and most perfect melon I’d ever laid eyes on, old man Shockley blasted that thing right outa my arms. It exploded like a bomb and blew me flat off my feet. Before I could get up and run, he flung a rope over my neck and was a-dragging me towards that ole oak tree in his backyard. He was going to hang me, he was! But I was a-fighting like a wildcat for my dear life, twisting and turning, when just in the nick of time I managed to wiggle myself loose. I jumped to my feet and ran as fast as I could before he had a chance to shoot me again. And here I am barely alive!” Until this moment, I had always imagined my old childhood buddies setting around with their children and grandchildren, telling the story about the bravest and most daring kid they ever knew. Oh well, what can I say? Anyway, it feels good getting this weight off of me after all these years. Sort of like a watermelon being lifted off my chest! So now, every time you see a watermelon, you will think of me. Happy thumping everyone! ~ Allen Timmons designs, builds, and sells one-of-a-kind custom heirloomquality architectural sculptures including birdhouses, doll houses, playhouses, tree houses, and more. His business, Backyard Heirlooms, is located at 525 South Main Street in Sheffield, MA (across from the Wainwright Inn) and is open on weekends and by appointment. You can contact Allen and his wife Nancy at (413) 5283095, atbackyardheirlooms@gmail.com, and on Facebook. See ad on page 5.


Aug | Sept 2016


food & drink

roasted beet & mango salad WITH DRIED APRICOTS, WALNUTS & GOAT CHEESE / From Guido’s Kitchen


ich in vibrant color and antioxidant content, this salad (that serves 4) is not just delicious, but also beautiful and healthy. Dietitian Rachel Alves from Guido’s Kitchen (Guido’s Fresh Marketplace in Pittsfield and Great Barrington), adapted this recipe from www.chabad.org. For more delicious recipes visit www.guidosfreshmarketplace.com.

Ingredients For the Beets

3 to 4 medium beets, washed and trimmed 1 T extra virgin olive oil Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Dressing

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

1 T maple syrup (or honey) 2 T fresh-squeezed lemon juice 1 tsp Dijon mustard ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Salad

4 cups baby greens, such as arugula, spinach, or kale ¼ cup walnuts, roughly chopped 2 large mangoes, peeled and sliced into ½-inch slices 10 dried apricots, diced ⅓ cup golden raisins 4 oz goat cheese, crumbled ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (garnish) Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 400ºF.

For the Beets

Place beets in a large piece of foil and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and close foil to make a sealed packet. Place on a small baking sheet and roast in oven for about 45-60 minutes, or until fork tender. Remove from oven and leave in foil to cool. When cool enough to handle, remove skin, halve, and then slice into ½-inch slices.

For the Dressing

Place all ingredients in a medium jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake vigorously until well blended. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

To Assemble Salad

Pittsfield & Great Barrington, MA guidosfreshmarketplace.com #guidosfresh 10

Aug | Sept 2016


Place the greens on a platter or into a large bowl. Drizzle some dressing over the greens. In a large bowl, toss the beets, mangoes, walnuts, apricots, and raisins with more dressing until well coated. Place the beets and the mango mixture on top of the greens and then top with the goat cheese and fresh parsley.

food & drink

delicious, fresh cuisine

Korean Garden



f you crave delicious fresh sushi in a relaxing, beautiful atmosphere, make the Korean Garden in North Adams, MA, your destination. Run by experienced restaurateurs, husband and wife team Jenny and Young Pae, the Korean Garden offers a high-quality, affordable dining experience. You will find many traditional favorites such as kimchi, bulgogi, tempura, fried rice, hot stone bi bim bab, and sushi and maki combos. Take advantage of the $5 coupon in their ad at right for lunch or dinner.

Korean Japanese Cuisine-Sushi 139 Ashland St., North Adams, MA

$5 OFFand

Spend $25 or more get $5 off your purchase. Not valid with other offers. Expires 9/30/16

413-346-4097 Tues-Thurs 11am-9:30pm Fri-Sat 11am-10pm Closed on Mondays

Be sure to visit us on Facebook!


● Espresso ● Scones ● Hand Pies ● Soup ● 31 main street, stockbridge, ma 413.298.7271 ● info@sweetsavourymain.com www.sweetsavourymain.com


ocated conveniently on Main Street in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, you will find Sweet and Savoury on Main, a cozy, inviting cafe with big flavor. Look up the word delicious in the dictionary and I bet you will find a picture of owner Livia Landry’s apple turnovers, scones, hand pies, soups, and other sweet and savoury delights. And let’s not forget her rich, aromatic coffee, espresso, chai latte, and more. Quick, delicious, and healthy – stop in for take out or eat at their cute outside tables.

food & fun! EVERY THURSDAY, MAY 19 TO OCTOBER 6, 2016


ome visit the West Stockbridge Farmers Market, held every Thursday, rain or shine, between 3pm and 7pm on Harris Street in West Stockbridge, MA (sometimes referred to as Merritt Green, opposite the post office in the center of the town). Make Thursdays a day to remember! You can look forward to finding a nice variety of local produce and foods for sale, tasting the culinary delights of local chefs, and enjoying music as well as the chance of winning our weekly raffle.

country store


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-7p ● Fri-Sat: 6a-8p Sun: 6a-4p

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

Call (413) 528-4796



he historic North Egremont Country Store located in the bucolic town of North Egremont, MA, near Prospect Lake, offers a convenient way to purchase many of the items you need to entertain your holiday guests, including SoCo ice cream, Monterey Chevre, liquor, beer, and wine (including organic), local pure honey and maple syrup, staples like milk, and much more (even Lotto tickets and fishing bait and accessories). They also make excellent sandwiches and coffee, and serve delicious croissants, bagels, and donuts. www.OurBerkshireTimes.com

Aug | Sept 2016


food & drink



airing food and wine is something anyone can learn. My professional advice: You just need to taste lots of wine and eventually figure out what you like! That said, there are some guidelines that can be helpful and when you hit a great pairing something clicks: Your palate soars with pleasure and you know you’re on the right track. For sure, some wines are more food-friendly than others, and we feel that many French wines are largely produced to pair with food in beautiful and transformative ways. We were surprised to realize when we started our restaurant 11 years ago how many guests get a little afraid of ordering French wines. The French tradition of marking the label with the name of the village where the wine is from, rather than the name of the grape, is intimidating – never mind that the names are often difficult to pronounce! Another thing that surprised us was people’s hesitancy to order rosé wines. Maybe because they’re pink, maybe because they were perceived to be


entrées available

sweet, the impression that people seemed to have about rosé was that it was somehow lesser or amateurish to order it. Dry rosé wines, French or otherwise, are absolutely some of the most food-friendly wines out there. And lots of people have been catching on: Since we opened in 2005 our rosé sales have steadily increased and we are able to offer a great range of rosés now. Rosé from Provence is a benchmark for elegant, dry, refreshing wine and the flavors of Provence – tomato, garlic, olive oil, olives, herbs – cry out for the herbal, floral, and fruity notes of a rich Provençal rosé. For your summer meals, be they outdoors or in, lunch or dinner, these two quick and easy recipes for spreads from Marseille are fantastic make-ahead accompaniments to your next bottle of rosé.


1 12-14 oz jar sun-dried tomatoes in oil 1 clove garlic ½ cup pine nuts, toasted ½ cup basil leaves ½ cup olive oil Pinch cayenne or red pepper flakes Salt and pepper Drain the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes and place in the bowl of a food processor with the garlic, pine nuts, and basil leaves. While running the processor, slowly drizzle in the olive oil to make a nice paste. Check seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed. Pack into jars and keep in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Black Olive Tapenade

D-e-e-licious! Tues-Sat dinner only • 150 Main St., Lee 413.243.6397 cheznousbistro.com 12

Aug | Sept 2016


1 cup black olives, rinsed 3 anchovies 1 clove garlic 1 T capers ¼ cup flat parsley ½ cup olive oil Pepper

Place the olives, anchovies, garlic, capers, and parsley in the bowl of a food processor. Proceed exactly as for the tomatade recipe above. Anchovies are traditional, but optional for a vegetarian spread. ~ Rachel Portnoy, Chez Nous Bistro, www.cheznousbistro.com

food & drink

homey & satisfying



f you are looking for a satisfying way to start your day, stop at the Housie Market Café in the heart of Housatonic, MA. A delicious variety of all-day breakfast fare includes chocolate croissants and assorted danish, hand pies, peanut butter and kimchi sandwiches, eggs made to order, yogurt and BOLA granola, and owner Amy Hagerty’s signature Diamond in the Rough muffin pictured at right. See their website or stop in to choose one of their thick deli-style sandwiches for lunch.

photo credit - ruralintellgence.com

226OPENING Pleasant Street, Housatonic, MA | 413-274-0261 SOON Breakfast andHousatonic, Lunch |MA Mon-Fri 7-6, Sat 8:30-5, Sun 8:30-4 226 Pleasant Street, 01236 | 413-274-0261 Breakfast and Lunch | Mon-Fri 6 - 6, Sat 8 - 6, Sun 9 - 4 See our full menu at www.housiemarketcafe.com

chocolate & more

custom gift baskets and party favors

“Life is better dipped in chocolate!” 164 hinsdale road dalton, ma 01226 413-329-5222




weet Occasions is a small locally owned gourmet chocolate and ice cream shop located on Rt 8 in Dalton. Proprietor and head chocolatier, Shelby Hiser, opened her store in June 2015 and has been supplying her many customers with delicious chocolates, Italian cookies, and from-scratch homemade pies ever since. Shelby would love to help you with your wedding, family reunion, birthday, anniversary, or special occasion. You can even have a birthday party on site! Stop in, call, or email Shelby at shelbyhiser2@gmail.com.

restaurant, tavern & inn

Haflinger Haus



rom Wiener Schnitzel, Hungarian Goulash, and Lobster Spätzle to fresh seafood and steaks and pasta, Haflinger Haus brings the best of Austrian and American cuisines to the Berkshires. Dine in their beautiful fireplaced dining room, casual tavern, or outdoor Biergarten where you can catch a glimpse of their vegetable and herb garden. Make it a special treat and stay over in one of their guest rooms located upstairs in this turn-of-the-century mansion. Contact them to host your next special event or occasion.

Restaurant  Tavern  Inn

Austrian-American Cuisine

17 Commercial Street, Adams, MA “Visit Our Award-Winning Restaurant” 413-743-2221 Welcome to the Haflinger Haus! www.haflingerhaus.com LOCATED AT 17 COMMERCIAL STREET, ADAMS, MA 01220

~ The Haflinger Haus Restaurant and Inn was voted Best of the Berkshires two years in a row ~ From Wiener Schnitzel, Hungarian Goulash, and Lobster Spätzle, to fresh seafood, steaks and pasta, we bring the best of Austrian and American cuisines to the Berkshires ~ Dine in the beautiful fireplaced dining room, the casual tavern or seasonal outdoor Biergarten where you can catch a glimpse of our vegetable and herb garden ~ Make it a special treat and stay over in one of our guest rooms located upstairs in this turn of the century mansion

local fresh produce

~ We also host special events Like us on Facebook and see our weekly specials


W Fresh Local Flavors

320 Main Street • WilliaMStoWn Ma 413-458-8060 WildoatS.coop

like us on Facebook

ild Oats Market in Williamstown, MA, features local, organic produce as well as fresh local meat and sustainable seafood. Our onsite deli offers tempting, healthy housemade salads, soups, and sandwiches to go. You won’t want to miss our onsite bakery with fresh, from-scratch breads, pastries, and more. Wild Oats Market is a member-owned co-op (find out about the many benefits of joining at www.wildoats.coop) but anyone is welcome to shop. Also inquire about catering services for your next party! www.OurBerkshireTimes.com

Aug | Sept 2016


food & drink

zucchini ice cream DON'T THINK IT'S DELICIOUS? THINK AGAIN! / Recipe by Kerry Briggs




Place the grated zucchini in a wire strainer and steam over boiling water for 5 minutes to soften. Run cold water through the strainer to cool the zucchini. Press the zucchini to remove as much moisture as possible. Set aside.


last from the past! This recipe was a blue ribbon prize winner in 2005 at the memorable, and very much missed, annual West Stockbridge Zucchini Festival. So if you like zucchini and have an ice cream maker, you must try this recipe! ~ Editor


2 cups zucchini, grated (remove seeds before grating) 2 large eggs ¾ cups sugar 2 cups whipping cream 1 cup whole milk 1 T Baldwin’s vanilla extract 1½ tsp ground cinnamon

Crack the eggs into a medium-size bowl and whisk until light and fluffy. Slowly whisk in the sugar until completely blended. Pour in the cream and milk. Continue whisking to blend. Remove about 1 cup of the cream and egg mixture and put into a small bowl. Add the vanilla and cinnamon to the small bowl and whisk until blended. Recombine the two cream bases and stir until evenly mixed. Turn the ice cream maker on, pour the cream base in, and allow it to run for 20 minutes. Then add the shredded zucchini and allow the ice cream maker to run for an additional 10 minutes or until relatively thick. Remove the ice cream and immediately place into a plastic container. The ice cream will not be completely hardened at this point. Put it in the freezer overnight to serve the next day or thereafter.



erkshire Organics is a local, family-owned business created to bring area residents and local farms together. Our market offers fresh, local, organic, non-gmo produce, meat, farm-fresh dairy, groceries, breads, baked goods, gluten-free foods, personal care and cleaning products, and much more. During the colder months, we continue to work with several local farms that offer root crops or have greenhouses. We also receive certified organic produce from many small family farms in the southeastern U.S. Our goal is to obtain produce as close as possible, reducing the distance from farm to table. Any tropical produce from outside the country (bananas, mangoes, and so on) is Fair Trade certified. Produce baskets are the core of Berkshire Organics service. We offer baskets in several sizes (the contents are updated weekly) to suit singles, couples, families, and businesses. You can count on the freshest variety of fruits and vegetables in season. If a produce basket is not for you, customers can also shop à la carte from our website by creating their own basket. Berkshire Organics offers more than 5,000 local and organic grocery items, and a variety of gift baskets. Customers can place orders online or by phone. There is no contract to sign and you are free to cancel service at any time.


Aug | Sept 2016




shop local gift guide



SUMMER IN THE BERKSHIRES! Forward, take flight! STYLISH Fashion Fall Collection 2016 / Face Haven

Let your style reach new heights in the coming year with the Fashion Forward Collection by jane iredale! New Smooth Affair for Eyes is a versatile cream-to-powder formula that can be worn as an eye shadow or as a primer – available in six versatile buttery-smooth shades for $32. New retractable brow pencils are available in three natural-looking colors. This long-wearing formula is waterproof and stays put, and the easy-to-hold barrel allows you perfect control to create precise hair-like strokes, $20. New Puremoist lipstick Cindy is a beautiful classic red and a must have for fall, $25. Visit Face Haven at 323 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA. (413) 528-4053

Book Houses / Berkshire United Way SMART Berkshire Berkshire Book Houses, created to give 12,000 children

access to the gift of books 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, have been installed at 50 locations throughout the county. Based on the concept of “take-a-book, leave-a-book,” families have the opportunity to pick up or drop off books any time of the day or night, all year long, even when schools and libraries are closed. The book houses, found in more than 20 towns either on poles, attached to buildings, or in open spaces, have the capacity to hold 100 books. For more information and a list of locations for the children in your life, please call the Berkshire United Way, or visit their website. (413) 442-6948, www.berkshireunitedway.org

Chocolate / Chocolate Springs SWEET Gourmet Joshua Needleman, the proprietor of Chocolate

Springs, is a master at the art of chocolate. Treat everyone you care about to decadent chocolate gift box assortments. In addition to classic assortments and themed collections in your choice of dark, milk, and white chocolate flavors, specialty chocolates include truffles, ganache, vegan and gluten-free selections, and chocolate-covered cookies, crackers, fruits, and nuts made fresh every day using only the finest seasonal and organic ingredients whenever possible. And let's not forget the award-winning hot chocolate! Chocolate Springs is a European-style chocolate and dessert café with decades of experience in crafting the finest handmade bonbons. Visit Chocolate Springs Café in person at 55 Pittsfield Road, Lenox, MA, or order online. (413) 637-9820, www.chocolatesprings.com Aug | Sept 2016


home & garden

Sisters Used Furniture


Used Furniture was born. I have three sisters, two of whom live here and help when they can, so that is how I decided on the name. Funny thing is, mom has so many new friends and activities she is rarely in the shop, and our small store idea has become a more than full-time endeavor, working 60-plus hours a week finding great deals.

Q: What do you offer?

A: Our specialty is upholstered goods. We have sofas, chairs, loveseats, all in excellent preowned condition. Most of the time these pieces cost many thousands when new and are custom designed. We also have dressers, dining tables, chairs, desks, side tables, lamps, mirrors, affordable art, and much more. Having a small shop and great prices keeps inventory moving quickly. In fact our inventory moves so quickly, it sometimes proves challenging to get new pieces in fast enough. I often tell my customers, if you see it and you like it, buy it, because more than likely it will be gone the next time you visit.


onveniently located on Route 183 in the artsy village of Housatonic, MA (near Berkshire Pulse and the Brick House Pub right before the center of town driving north), you will find Sisters Used Furniture. Owned by Anastasia Coulombe from Monterey, MA, Sisters Used Furniture offers an ever-changing, eclectic mix of high quality, super clean, gently used, affordable home furnishings. Combined with the store’s comfortable atmosphere and Anastasia’s friendly and helpful service, you will want to visit again and again.

Q: What is your philosophy? A: Buy inexpensively and sell inexpensively. Be honest and fair. To us it isn’t about making top dollar, but passing the savings along to our community. We travel far and wide to find these bargains, crossing many state lines, so you don’t have to.

Q: Anastasia, would you please tell us more about what you do at Sisters Used Furniture? A: Our store buys and sells quality used furniture for every budget. We also deliver locally for a very small fee. All of our furniture on the showroom floor has been cleaned and inspected for imperfections. If something can be fixed, we do it. We also steam clean upholstered furniture when possible with an unscented hypoallergenic cleaner. Our shop is bright and clean and a safe environment to shop. We are also personal shoppers if you are looking for something particular.

Q: How did you get started?

A: I moved here eight years ago and slowly started to convince my family to move to this area. Mom was last to come, and I was nervous about how she would adjust to her new home after spending 70-some years in New York State. She ran a very successful used furniture store in her hometown, and I thought maybe if we started a similar shop here for her to work in, it would help integrate her into the community. We wanted to keep it small, thinking she could assist me in running the shop a few hours a week. We also targeted a real need for an affordable home furnishing store in this area. So, Sisters 16

Aug | Sept 2016


Q: How can our readers find you? A: We are located at 402 Park Street (Route 183) in Housatonic, Massachusetts. We are always posting new items on our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/sistersusedfurniture. The store is open seasonally from May of each year until November. Come and visit us and the fun and funky village of Housatonic. Never crowded or pretentious and always plenty of parking. www.sistersusedfurniture.com. See ad on page 19.

All the Fun Summer Stuff Your● Gazebos Yard ●Could For! Benches ●Ask Picnic Tables ShedsFun ● Swings ● Children’s Gym Sets All ●the Summer Stuff ● Gazebos ● Benches ● Picnic Tables ● Sheds Ask ● Swings ● Children’s Gym Sets Your Yard Could For! ● Gazebos ● Benches ● Gazebos

Picnic Tables ● Sheds Children’s Gym Sets

Picnic Tables Children’s Visit us Gym Sets

Gazebos Swings Sheds Benches ● Sheds Picnic Tables Gazebos ● Benches ● ●Picnic Tables ● Swings ● Play Sets Swings Swings ● Children’s Gym Sets Sheds ● Chicken Coops MA Route 8 Cheshire, Benches (413) ● One & Two743-9964 Bay Sheds

home & garden

Dress Up Your Windows Window Treatments

Hunter Douglas ● Graber ● Norman Shutters Upholstery, Draperies, Fabric & Wallpaper

Toll Free (866) ● One & Two Bay411-7433 Garages www.berkshiresheds.com

8 Cheshire, MA on Route 8 Route in Cheshire, MA (413) 743-9964 (413) 743-9964 ● TollToll Free (866) 411-7433 Free (866) 411-7433 www.berkshiresheds.com www.berkshiresheds.com


Route 8 Cheshire, MA (413) 743-9964 Toll Free 1-866-411-7433 (shed) www.berkshiresheds.com

Route 8 Cheshire, MA ● No Need for Detergent or Hot Water (413) 743-9964 ● Clothes Softer ● Warranty TollMakes Free 1-866-411-7433 (shed) ●www.berkshiresheds.com Clean Without Bleach ● Earth Friendly ● Whiter Whites ● Brighter Colors ● Made in the USA ● No Maintenance ● Better for Sensitive Skin

383 North Street, Pittsfield, MA ● www.aerusonline.com (413) 442-1544 | (413) 743-0985 | (802) 442-9560

Window Treatments

Hunter Douglas • Graber • Comfortex • Norman Shutter For all Your Decorating Needs Upholstery, Draperies, Fabric & Wallpaper

BerkshireFabric Fabric & Wallpaper Berkshire & Wallpaper 274 Wahconah Pittsfield, 274 Wahconah St.,St., Pittsfield, MA MA

(413) 442-4420 413-442-4420

Open daily 10-5:30, Sat closed 10-4, closed Open daily 10-5:30, Sat 10-4, Sunday Sun


Emergency Water & Fire Remediation ServiceMASTER of the Berkshires ServiceMASTER of Columbia County, NY 413-445-5678 800-707-1441 • Licensed • Bonded • Insured



EMERGENCY ON CALL SERVICE ● Emergency Water Damage Remediation Locally Owned ● Emergency Fire, Soot and Smoke Remediation and Operated. ● House Wide and Post Construction Cleaning ● Floor Maintenance ● Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning ● Animal Debris and Odor Clean Up ● Mold and Odor Remediation ● Sewer and Septic Clean Up ● We Will Use Green Cleaning Products Upon Request

Certified & Trained Technicians With More Than 15 Years Experience.

3 Westview Road, Pittsfield, MA

www.ServiceMasteroftheBerkshires.com www.OurBerkshireTimes.com

Aug | Sept 2016


home & garden

Splendor in the Grass



ntil I looked up the definition of the word, I thought the saying a weed is a plant that grows where you don’t want it was just a bit of folksy humor. But in fact a weed is only a weed if you decide to call it a weed. Admittedly some so-called weeds make you wonder what Mother Nature was thinking when she invented them. They seem to have no earthly use except to annoy and frustrate the gardener. At the very least, they crowd out and overshadow the plants we want; some of them – such as bindweed and bittersweet – even throttle them. Setting those garden thugs aside, though, one person’s weed may be another person’s wildflower. Personally, I admire weeds. For me they exemplify the life force, surviving and even thriving under the most inhospitable conditions of climate, soil, and terrain. How can we not applaud the tenacity of a leaf thrusting up through a crack in a concrete walkway, spreading out, perhaps even offering a colorful flower or two? How can we not be moved by a blaze of buttercups or by the heavenly blue smoke of chicory along the highway’s edge? When I weed my garden (perhaps paradoxically, I thoroughly enjoy weeding!), I often find myself apologizing to those intrepid plants. Not, of course, when I’m muttering curses under my breath as I pull, pull, pull on a particularly tenacious taproot or pursue the seemingly endless roots of crabgrass to their tips beneath the soil. I love to wander through my yard admiring all my wildlings, from the majestic spikes of the woolly-leafed mullein to the

prostrate webs of the purslane with its small green leaves and juicy reddish stems. Although I like to think I know every weed in my yard by name, I don’t. At one corner of our garage, I recently discovered a sweet little plant – I don’t know what it’s called – whose ruffled and scalloped leaves and minute white flowers are low enough to the ground to have escaped the mower’s blade. At another corner we’ve safeguarded a stately stand of milkweed. By the end of June, it produces bundles of blossom with a fragrance to delight the human nose and attract the industrious honeybee. Later in the summer the asymmetrical pods develop, bursting open in the fall, their silver-gilt interiors spilling over with clouds of white down. I loved learning that American pioneers used this silky, waterproof fluff to fill mattresses and pillows. Way back by the apple tree there’s a clump of wild ginseng whose bridal-white flowerheads turn to clusters of big bright crimson beads in the autumn. The meadow beyond the lawn offers an abundance of wild fennel, Queen Anne’s lace, meadowsweet, St. John’s wort, and a variety of grasses. The entrance to the teardropshaped path that leads to the compost heap hosts a small, brave patch of white yarrow. The lawn itself is as far from Astroturf as you can get, with its motley expanses of clover in white and pink and yellow, golden buttercups, purple violets and ground ivy, broad-leafed plantain, the tiny white stars of chickweed, and – of course – dandelion. Ah, the lowly, lovely dandelion! Why is it in such disfavor? Small

home & garden

Sisters Used Furniture Small Shop, Big Savings! Find up to date inventory on our Facebook page.

Always Buying! (413) 274-9900 Summer Hours: Thurs-Sat 11-5, Sun 12-4

children recognize its grace, presenting their mother with a ragged dandelion bouquet clutched in a fond sticky fist or weaving a lopsided dandelion wreath for their brother. Do you remember how to do that, slitting a buttonhole in one short stem with a fingernail and buttoning the next blossom into it? And remember blowing on the puffy seedhead and watching the minute parachutes drift off in the breeze? Many grownups have lost their appreciation for this cheerful plant, fanatically exterminating it from their lawns. A pity because not only is it sweet to look at, but its every part can be used for food or for medicine.

Largely unregarded and frequently maligned, weeds persevere. Is there a lesson here for us mortals? ~ Rodelinde Albrecht lives in a sweet old Yellow House in Lee, MA, where – among other things – she directs Concerned Singles. In the words of one now happily matched former member, this progressive introduction service “makes it possible for those of us with deeply held values to locate the germs of wheat amongst all of the chaff.” (413) 243-4350. www.concernedsingles.com. See Concerned Singles’s ad on page 5.


Open 7 Days

In Business Since 1881


Tent open at Crane Ave location.

Hanging Baskets AUGUST- Our roadside tent in Pittsfield is open! Planters Specializing in native produce and berries. Annuals SEPTEMBER - Pick your ownCemetery apples inBoxes Adams. Farm stand open for native produce• and fruit. Geraniums Perennials In-season & vegetables, BOTH LOCATIONS OPENfruits 7 DAYS A WEEK 9-5 garden accessories & more!


With Yankee Clipper Coupon Only. Expires 9/23/0 736 Crane Ave, Pittsfield  (413) 443-7180 Locally owned 736 Crane Ave., Pittsfield • 413-443-7180 736 Crane Ave., Pittsfield • 413-443-7180

business since 1881!

West Road, West Road, Adams • 413-743-3896 Under the Gazebo on Frank Consolati Way, Lee

Adams  (413) 743-3896 West Road, Adams • 413-743-3896

Under the Gazebo on Frank Consolati Way, Lee Open Fridays Only from 10am - 3pm

Open Fridays Only from 10am - 3pm

Berkshire Photovoltaic Services, BPVS

46 Howland Avenue, Adams, MA 01220 www.bpvs.com 413-743-0152 Berkshire Photovoltaic Services, BPVS Solar Energy Industries Association.

46 Howland Avenue, 01220 Association, Solar Energy Business Adams, AssociationMA New England, MA LIC #’s HIC131996, CSL of 73150 Member: American Solar Energy Society, Northeast Sustainable Energy Tel. 413-743-0152 • www.bpvs.com


MA LIC #'s HIC131996, CSL 73150


Perhaps it’s because they are so abundant that we think weeds and wildflowers have no merit. We might value them more if florists charged lots of money for exquisite bouquets fashioned from these prosaic volunteers!

402 Park Street, Rte 183 Housatonic, MA 01236

efficient and reliable.

electric systems userdesigns, friendly, SBPVS incesolar 1985, recognized for are careful provencomponents componentsand andhigh highquality qualityworkmanship, workmanship, proven Sincesolar1985, recognized for careful designs, BPVS electric systems are user friendly, efficient and reliable.


MA LIC #'s HIC131996, CSL 73150

413-743-0152 • www.bpvs.com Member:Tel. American Solar Energy Society, Northeast Sustainable Energy Association, Solar Energy Avenue, Business Association New01220 England, 46 Howland Adams,ofMA Solar Energy Industries Association.

Berkshire Photovoltaic Services, BPVS

Berkshire Photovoltaic Services, BPVS 46 Howland Avenue, Adams, MA 01220

Tel. 413-743-0152 • www.bpvs.com

Native Habitat Restoration

MA LIC #'s HIC131996, CSL 73150

restoring balance to nature

Since 1985, recognized for careful designs,

 Woodlands proven componentsWetlands and high quality workmanship, BPVS solar electric systems are user Meadows  friendly, Fields efficient and reliable.

Invasive Plant Control  Pollinator Habitat rr Brush Management  Field Restoration Member: American Solar Energy Society, Northeast Sustainable Energy Association, Solar Energy Business Association of New England, (413) 358-7400 Solar Energy Industries Association.

www.nativehabitatrestoration.com Licensed in MA  CT  NY  VT


Aug | Sept 2016


animal talk



number of years ago, a gentleman came into my store to inquire about putting his dog on a raw food diet. After we chatted a bit, he eagerly accepted a sample of a frozen raw food that fit his limited budget. As he departed, he promised to let me know how his dog did with the sample but, sadly, the gentleman didn’t ring back nor did he return, and I assumed that he’d probably decided against raw feeding. However, a couple of years later, the gentleman reappeared at my store asking for advice regarding a dry food (kibble) for his dog, and apologetically reported that he had been feeding a raw food diet from the manufacturer I’d suggested, but had been getting his food from a retailer closer to his work place and whose prices were marginally lower. He was, however, no longer raw feeding. By his report, raw feeding had given his dog pancreatitis. My first thought was that the retailer must have sold the gentleman spoiled product, but then he elaborated on the particular product that he’d been feeding for the past several months. It was a raw diet product that, unbeknownst to him (and apparently to the retailer), was intended only for intermittent use with very high energy dogs, namely hard-working dogs at peak of performance and sporting dogs at peak of competition, whose high caloric needs demanded a diet exceptionally high in fat. It was an entirely inappropriate diet for the gentleman’s couch potato. The diet should never have been sold to him. Any reseller of that product should have known better. Any reseller of that product had an obligation to know better . . . It wasn’t very long ago that raw feeders were just a clique of crazy dog and cat people who drove to their local meat packer, loaded up their vehicles with bulk boxes of frozen body parts and ground meat mixes, and then trekked home to unload the frozen feast into big chest freezers in their basements, garages, and kennels. It was hard work with a tremendous learning curve, but we taught each other what we needed to know about fashioning a complete and proper raw food diet, and the results as seen in the health and vitality of our pets were well worth the effort. We were proud to be raw-feeding revolutionaries, born-again raw feeders, raw feeders and raw believers, feeding our pets as Nature intended. And as I set about opening and operating a retail pet supply store in my retirement, my commitment was to bring that rawfeeding revolution and all of its wonderful health benefits to the pets of mainstream pet owners. Back in 2008, I wanted to bring Mother Nature’s prescription


Aug | Sept 2016


animal talk

Pet Partners of the Tri-State Berkshires

for health and vitality into the light, to educate pet owners and push back against the devolution of commercial pet foods, especially those touted as “prescription” diets. And yet, as I began to see raw food diets gaining acceptance and witnessed the creep of bulk boxes of frozen body parts and ground meat mixes into the freezers of inexperienced resellers who knew nothing about how to advise customers regarding their use and results, I found cause for concern. The revolution did not need, nor could it afford, inexperienced resellers. But now, just a few years later, raw food diets have become a widely accepted feeding option within the pet food industry, and brightly lit glass-front freezers filled with colorful little bags containing complete and balanced, easy-to-feed raw food diets are found in almost every pet food store. Most of those highly processed prefab raw food diets bear little resemblance to the wholly natural diets that born-again raw feeders continue to feed, but, while raw-feeding purists may sniff in disdain, I applaud the arrival of those prefab raw food diets. Those pretty little bags give resellers looking to cash in on the raw-feeding movement something safe with which to work. They require no real knowledge or understanding of raw feeding, and so put resellers at little risk of their doing harm. Even a highly processed version of the natural diet Mother Nature intended can be of enormous benefit to our pets. I celebrate the growing acceptance and appreciation of raw feeding, despite its changing look. That being said, I leave you with one caveat: Beware the butchers who are attempting to recycle their fatty scraps as dog food, and beware of any raw diet product that does not provide proper ingredient and guaranteed analysis information. Keeping an eye on your pet’s blood work for proper calcium:phosphorus ratios and proper pancreatic, liver, and kidney function is an absolute must if you are using any raw diet products that are not AAFCO certified and labeled as being complete and balanced. ~ Kristina “Tina” Dow is sole proprietor of BensDotter’s Pet, a retail pet supply store in Great Barrington that specializes in raw food diets, including those designed as Nature intended. www.bensdotters.com

Provides … Food for needy dogs and cats Reduced rate spay/neuter Assistance with basic veterinary care costs Call Faith 518-781-0362 Call 413.229.8579 or 518.781.0362 or visit www.petpartnersberkshires.org

We are an entirely 501(c)(3) Nonprofit A division of Scientific Allianceall Forvolunteer Education (S.A.F.E.), a 501( c)(3) NonOrganization Profit Organization

Advocates for Community Cats Celebrating10 10years years as Celebrating as Raising awareness through advocacy, education, and action. Champions forCommunity Community Cats Volunteer for ● Donate ● Learn more Champions Cats

413.528.1328 413-997-2287 413.528.1328

P.O.Box Box1073, 1073,Pittsfield, Pittsfield,MA MA01202 01202 P.O.

find us on find us on

www.BerkshireAnimalDREAMS.org www.BerkshireAnimalDREAMS.org

CARING FOR PETS SINCE 1957 Your trusted source for quality foods and supplies. Your trusted resource for raw-feeding information and advice.


Convenient Location with Ample Parking on Route 7 less than a minute south of Guido’s

Mon-Fri 10a-6p

Sat-Sun 10a-4p

www.bensdotters.com www.OurBerkshireTimes.com

Aug | Sept 2016


Now or ng f i l l o r En 17 0 2 6 201 ion s s i m Ad

expl ore 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

The Three R’s of Recovery: A Positive Discipline Approach to Mistakes By K. Meagan Ledendecker


t was the throwaway apology that really started to get under my skin. My four-year-old had picked up the habit of tossing out “I’m sorry” like a used tissue. Completely overused, the expression began to feel devoid of worth. He’d speak the words, but I got the sense that he didn’t actually feel a sense of remorse or regret, must less a desire to make amends. I’ve never been one for insisting that children apologize, especially right at the tail end of a heated moment. For goodness sakes, when I am tired or hungry or stressed and make a snarky comment, I’m not usually feeling particularly sorry – more like ticked off and cranky. Later, after I’ve had time to take some deep breaths, or perhaps tend to my low blood sugar, I feel a deep sense of regret and desire to make things right. Because our children tend to replicate what they see in us, I decided to first make sure I wasn’t just using “sorry” as an easy way out. And to really model a different approach, I took some time to reorient myself with the “Three R’s of Recovery” from Positive Discipline. When we make mistakes, we have an opportunity to make amends and even learn from the experience. In Jane Nelson’s Positive Discipline work, the “Three R’s of Recovery” offer steps to follow after calming down. The first R stands for recognize, and with this we verbally acknowledge our mistake and take responsibility for our actions. To really do this effectively, we must also be sure to keep any hint of blame out of the picture. So if I’ve snapped at my children and later have cooled off, then I might say something like, “I feel really bad about when I snapped at you. You don’t deserve to be treated that way.” Notice that I didn’t weave in any know-it-all finger wagging about things they

had done to push my buttons. Rather than blaming them, I took responsibility for the choice I made in the moment. Next I can reconcile by apologizing. This can be as simple as just saying, “I’m sorry.” I’ve found that when I’ve really taken responsibility, the reconciliation comes from a genuine and heartfelt place. And children are so forgiving and understanding. Perhaps we could learn a few things from them in this regard. Finally, the third R is for when we resolve the problem. At this point, we work together to find a respectful solution. Often after really taking responsibility and reconciling, everyone is feeling open and willing to collaborate. If the time isn’t right for a brainstorming session, it’s important to set and stick to a later date for problem solving. When given the opportunity to share ideas in a safe, respectful forum, children often can help come up with incredibly creative solutions. As I put the “Three R’s of Recovery” into practice, I found that my four-year-old (and my other children, too) were able to be more mindful after their less-than-ideal moments. Our mistakes began to become less about what we had done wrong and more about the kind of people we wanted to be. ~ K. Meagan Ledendecker is the Director of Education at The Montessori School of the Berkshires. Meagan cofounded the school ten years ago with her husband, Todd Covert. Having grown up in a Montessori environment, Meagan internalized at a young age that mistakes are opportunities to learn. She has also found that parenting offers plenty of opportunities for learning! www.berkshiremontessori.org. www.OurBerkshireTimes.com

Aug | Sept 2016


education & workshops



eawaken to nature, community, and your deepest self in this unique three-season program at Flying Deer, guided by expert naturalist mentors. Learn about wild edible plants, the language of birds, animal tracking, lighting fire with friction, shelter building, hide tanning, basketry, and permaculture design. Participants meet one weekend per month (including overnight), from September 2016 to May 2017, in New Lebanon, NY. All experience levels welcome. www.flyingdeernaturecenter.org, (518) 794-6687

Hope Fitzgerald

Wave Energy Center *Intuitive Life Coach *Neurofeedback Practitioner


“Hope Fitzgerald is an amazing, authentic and very powerful spirit - having a session with her is truly life changing!”


infinity wave workshop EXPERIENCE A PROFOUND SHIFT


o you feel the urge to emerge into the next, best version of yourself? Consider this Infinity Wave Workshop on 10/7-10/9 if you want to experience a profound shift in your perception of life and your role in it. Buoyed on the loving energetic of the Infinity Wave, we will dive into the depths of your personal evolution while in the presence of others like you. If you’re ready to plunge deeper in order to thrive now, this workshop will provide a calm yet swift support on your spiritual trajectory. www.we-infinity.com

health & wellness

center for peace through culture Peace from the inside out. Programs for everyone.

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


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Healthy Eyes



etting a routine eye examination is an important part of staying healthy. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that you get a baseline eye examination at the age of 40. This is the time when early signs of disease show as well as slight changes in your vision. Having a comprehensive eye examination is as important as a screening for diabetes or certain cancers. A baseline examination can help identify signs of eye disease at an early stage and can help with preserving vision. Having a comprehensive eye exam is especially important if you have a family history of diabetes, high blood pressure, or eye diseases such as glaucoma or macular degeneration. ● Get an eye exam once a year ● Control your blood sugar ● Maintain healthy blood pressure ● Quit smoking

● Exercise ● Eat healthy and choose a diet rich in fruits and vegetables ● We strongly believe that sun wear is crucial when it comes to protecting your eyes from harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun year round All of the physicians at Berkshire Eye Center specialize in comprehensive ophthalmology eye examinations. We offer complete ophthalmology care, from comprehensive eye examinations to contact lens examinations, and we have a full-service optical dispensary that carries a wide selection of designer frames and sunglasses as well as the most technologically advanced lenses. We are committed to delivering the very best in eye care. Our team of doctors, technicians, opticians, and support staff will work to treat every patient with dignity and respect, provide dependable and courteous service, communicate clearly and honestly, protect patient confidentiality, and earn their trust.

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Opioid Abuse in the Berkshires

HOW DID WE GET HERE? / By Ralph Brill


am not a doctor, a medical scientist, or a medical reporter. However, I am a Berkshire County community member who is very concerned about the drug abuse problem present in this area. Our county not only has the highest elevation in the state (Mt. Greylock at 3,492 feet), but it has more people getting high than the national average. In fact, the death rate from opioid abuse in Massachusetts is more than twice the national average. In the Berkshires it is number five in the nation. Not the fifteenth or twenty-fifth, but fifth! How could drug abuse get so out of hand in this mecca of museums and culture? The Berkshires are located in the picturesque Taconic Mountain Range about 150 miles from the “unsafe” Bronx and about 3,000 miles from “dangerous” Tijuana, Mexico. But curiously, at almost no time are residents more than a few miles away from a drugstore and their endless supplies of opioids under the cover of the many major drug company brand names. Spread out over 946 square miles of scenic country landscape, our 130,000 residents are able to purchase opioids legally within minutes from their front doors. And for years hardly anyone has really monitored this very dangerous situation. Examples of prescription opioids are painkillers such as morphine, methadone, buprenorphine, hydrocodone, and oxycodone. Opioid drugs sold under brand names include OxyContin®, Percocet®, Vicodin®, Percodan®, Tylox®, and Demerol® among others. Heroin is an illegal opioid.

A Brief Recent History ► In 1950, oxycodone became widely available by prescription when it was approved by the FDA as Percodan®. Since the early 1960s, abuse of prescription opioids has been a continuing problem in the U.S. In 1973 President Nixon noted that America has the largest number of heroin addicts of any nation in the world. ► In 1978, Vicodin® (hydrocodone and acetaminophen), was introduced to the U.S. by a German pharmaceutical company 26

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called Knoll, and in 1983 it became available as a generic formulation. Still, in the early 1980s doctors, being aware of their addictive properties, prescribed opioids sparingly, reserving them for the most severe forms of pain, such as late stage cancer. ► In 1984, physicians began exploring the use of prescription narcotics/opioids to treat cases of pain that were not due to terminal illness. By 1990, millions of prescriptions for opioids were filled in the U.S. Opium or morphine pills were prescribed for patients to manage severe pain. The easy access to these pills brought most of the big international pharmaceutical companies into the marketplace. Many thousands of nonmedical use prescriptions of these painkillers began to generate billions in revenues for big pharmaceutical companies. Connecticut based Purdue Pharma was a small player in this world until they rebranded oxycodone as OxyContin® – “an almost safe addictionproof opioid painkiller.” Purdue was able to accomplish this by inventing the first time-release opioid painkiller pill. Purdue made more than 30 billion dollars with their OxyContin®. Did they know that, without too much trouble, drug addicts were able to bypass the time-release structure by crushing the pill and snorting it or adding water to the powder and injecting it? Typical OxyContin® warning: “swallow OxyContin® extendedrelease tablets whole; do not chew, break, divide, crush, or dissolve them. If you swallow broken, chewed, or crushed extended-release tablets, you will receive the entire dose of OxyContin® at once, instead of slowly over 12 hours. This may cause serious problems, including overdose and death.” Even though Purdue continued to promote OxyContin® as safe, they must have known that hundreds of thousands of new users became addicts – which indeed they did in the Berkshires and around the country. Purdue continued to market their drugs aggressively. Thousands more were hooked and died of overdoses. In 2007, the feds finally fined Purdue more than 600 million in penalties for

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“defrauding and misleading the public.” Yet all of the big pharma companies continued to sell the benefits of their painkillers to physicians around the world, generating more billions. It is believed that Purdue and other pharmaceutical companies offered (and may still offer) incentives to pain management centers and physicians, including trips, money, cars, and more. Purdue’s salespeople provided free coupons to physicians and left boxes of samples in their offices. These incentives seemed to have been habit forming to our healthcare providers. Why weren’t our local health systems monitoring things, or were they somehow benefiting? It is clear to me that we have not been good about monitoring the pain management ecosystem in the Berkshires.

department of psychiatry, the added stress of poverty in the Berkshires is another reason for our high rate of drug abuse. There is low-self esteem among a large part of the population with low-paying seasonal jobs. In 2013, the U.S. Department of Health declared the prescription opioid overdose deaths an epidemic. For some strange reason, it took Governor Deval Patrick another year of overdose deaths in Massachusetts before he declared a public health emergency. We had/have substance abuse centers and hospitals in the Berkshires. What happened? Why did they not put out bright red flags in 2012 with a death rate from opioid overdoses that is more than twice the national average?

► By 2010, the number of opioid prescriptions across the country had grown to 254 million. By 2015, that number matched the population of the U.S.. More than 30 million Americans had used pain relievers for nonmedical purposes. About 2 million Americans suffer from opioid abuse and more than 500,000 suffer from heroin dependency or addiction.

A Few Thoughts Worthy of Consideration

A Sad Truth In Massachusetts, in 2000, there were 338 unintentional opioidrelated deaths. By 2015, that number jumped to 1,526. The total number of deaths from 2000 through 2015 is 10,743 (more than the population of Williamstown). According to the MA Dept. of Public Health there have been 200,000 nonfatal overdoses. It is an epidemic in Massachusetts, and in the Berkshires alone there have been at least 142 recorded opioid-related deaths. On the positive side, in some parts of the U.S., there are reports that local and state interventions are reducing the abuse and diversion of prescription opioids, and this is having a positive impact. Massachusetts laws and their prescription-drug abuse intervention strategies are now in place. These laws are just weeks old and we will see how things progress in the Berkshires! It appears that there are two main populations in the Berkshires who are addicted to opioids: the professional class and the underemployed. The professional class typically receives pain-killing opioids from their doctors after an injury or surgery. Often doctors prescribe 100 pills when their patient only needs 10 pills. Often, well after the pain is managed, the patient takes the extra pills because their brain remembers the good feelings. Now, they are hooked and go back to their doctors for another 100-pill prescription! The underemployed, feeling useless and depressed, typically get their first pills from friends, and over time become hooked.

How Did We Get Here? The National Institute of Drug Abuse includes the following as causes for the drug abuse epidemic: large increase in prescriptions written by doctors, aggressive pharma marketing, and increased social acceptability of drug use. Much of today’s opiate epidemic stems from the aggressive shady marketing tactics used by pharmaceutical companies over the past two decades. In addition, according to Dr. Alex Sabo of Berkshire Medical’s

● Neighboring cities seem to have managed their opioid abuse problems better than the Berkshires. Our doctors are highly educated. So, why are the Berkshires suffering so? ● All Massachusetts counties saw a rise in opioid abuse deaths in 2015 – except one: Hampshire County. It is believed that the fact that Northampton has a needle exchange program has made this difference. Shouldn’t the Berkshires learn from Northampton? ● Healthcare is the biggest industry in the Berkshires. Tourism is second. While we are winning awards as having some of the top opioid abuse centers, very little has been done to stop the addictions before they start. There are no incentives! ● Massachusetts has some of the top medical schools and hospitals in the country. Why is it that in 2016 our highly educated medical professionals are still one of the main problems in our opioid abuse ecosystem? Is it the education? Big pharma incentives? Too little time spent with each patient? ● Medical marijuana was approved in Massachusetts in 2012, yet our Berkshire leaders have prevented a legal dispensary from being established here. Those who are suffering from various health problems and pain have to travel to Northampton. I don’t get it. Opioid use has been allowed to explode in the Berkshires, but they are worried about the recreational use of marijuana in the area? Two of the healthiest millennial growth states, Colorado and Washington, have approved recreational marijuana without any major problems. Further, the Castlight report points out that the states with medical marijuana have about fifty percent fewer opioid abusers than those states prohibiting medical marijuana. ~ Ralph Brill was professionally trained as an architect and urban planner with studies in the U.S. and Denmark. Ralph’s firm Brill, Kawakami & Wilbourne, had offices in NY and CO and participated in several award-winning and published projects including some of the first solar residential projects in the 1970s. Since then, Ralph has had his own real estate development firm, an organic Scotch Highland cattle farm in Vermont, and investments in medical device technologies and alternative energy projects. Ralph is also director of Project Pangaea. In 2006, he opened the Brill Gallery in the Eclipse Mill in North Adams, MA. www.brillgallery109.com. www.OurBerkshireTimes.com

Aug | Sept 2016




t’s in the news. Day after day we hear about the opioid epidemic – it’s national; it’s a crisis – everyone agrees. And it is becoming all too clear that a conventional medical approach relying upon opioid medication falls very far short of meaningfully helping people in chronic pain.

People Like You and Me Leslie, in her 50s, had a routine surgery 10 years ago that went wrong. A dozen surgeries later, she is in severe pain all of the time. She sits in my office and starts to cry as she tells me the story. She apologizes, saying she has learned not to cry in doctors’ offices because it makes doctors uncomfortable. With a hand on the door handle, the doctor will often say something like, “Well, it couldn’t be that bad all the time – perhaps you should talk to a psychiatrist. There’s really nothing I can do for you.” The tone is dismissive and hurtful. She has seen more doctors than she can count on two hands. She takes opioid medication every day. “I can’t really tell if it’s doing anything until I try to go off it and then the pain becomes unbearable.” Jane is the single mother of two kids. She had a car accident and got some physical therapy, but the low back pain and severe headaches still plague her years later. She, too, is prescribed opioids. She is on disability and can’t make ends meet financially. She worries all the time and doesn’t know where to turn. With the epidemic of opioid addiction facing our country and demands that physicians stop handing out opioids like candy, her doctor is cutting her back. She feels betrayed and abandoned because he has nothing to offer her instead. Martin was exposed to a chemical spill at work many years ago. The chemicals severely damaged his nervous system. At 72, he can’t even sit while I talk to him. He says it feels like his whole body is on fire. He’s up and down, in and out of that chair, every few minutes, trying to escape, his body shaking. The company where he was exposed never took financial responsibility for the costs of his health care. He doesn’t want to take opioids, so he just suffers, all of the time. “My wife is wonderful and my kids text me about 50 times a day,” he says with a gentle half smile.

The Greatest Sadness As an integrative physician, I hear stories like these all too often. The stories of suffering are heartbreaking, but the greatest sadness is that I know there are ways to help with pain that are not considered standard of care by conventional medicine 28

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and are therefore not recommended nor covered by insurance. Many though certainly not all doctors either don’t know about an integrative approach to pain or dismiss it as ineffective, unsafe, unproven, impractical, and too expensive. The fact is, there is good data for a number of modalities. Though there are fewer studies of programs integrating a variety of modalities, the results are very promising. One successful program is in our own backyard.

A Ray of Hope Volunteers in Medicine (VIM), a free clinic in Great Barrington, has been a leader in treating chronic pain using an integrative approach without resorting to opioids. Because of its innovative program and excellent track record, Berkshire Health Systems chose VIM as one of three sites offering an integrative, nonopioid approach to pain management as part of a study. This pilot program offers nutritional counseling, acupuncture, a gentle exercise class called Integrative Movement Therapy, and Pain School or Mind-Body Skills Groups to teach an approach to handling stress, which is known to exacerbate pain. The preliminary results are encouraging and even stunning in some cases. Marcia, who suffered from several migraines a week, has not had one in three weeks. Pain is complex and very personal. Mind, body, and spirit are all affected by pain and in turn all these aspects of ourselves can influence the level of pain. By addressing the needs of the whole human being, we increase our chances of restoring balance and reducing pain. This personalized and holistic approach to care honors the delicate and subtle ways we respond to our environment with equally subtle yet powerful treatments. Opioids as the sole treatment take a hammer to these delicate systems, wreaking havoc on every level when used for an extended period of time. The science fundamental to an integrative approach to pain is clear. Though the biochemistry and physiology of the human body are infinitely complex, understanding the approach to optimizing health or in this case to relieving pain is quite simple. Pain is mediated through the nervous system, which is beautifully designed to process everything going on around us and everything going on inside us. The brain then decides whether we are in danger and need to fight, flee, or freeze, or we are safe and can relax. That decision leads either to a state of stress, which increases inflammation and exacerbates pain, or to a state of relaxation, which mitigates pain. Until relatively recently, we believed that we couldn’t influence this process, but now we know we can train our mind to weigh in on these decisions. In other words, every thought, feeling, word,

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and action moves us towards pain of some kind or toward health even if we’re not aware of it. The treatments below address the stressors (junk food, sedentary lifestyle, negative self-talk, and so forth) and also teach us to recognize these stressors when they occur, and address them in constructive ways through learning how to relax and nourish ourselves.

An Optimal Treatment Plan An optimal treatment plan is created when patient and doctor work together as partners. Your doctor should take an extensive and comprehensive history to understand your situation well. Here are things to consider in creating a comprehensive plan:

JAN HEALEY, RN Palliative Planning Animal Communication Mediumship

(646) 284-5992 ● janhealey2@gmail.com ● www.janhealey.com

1) Your relationship with your healthcare providers should be warm, supportive, and helpful. A good honest, open, and empathetic relationship is a placebo and will make you feel better and actually reduce pain. 2) Personalize your plan - Everyone is different biochemically with a unique personality, history, likes and dislikes, and readiness and ability to change. Your plan should be realistic for you and it can change as you improve. Start with acupuncture or massage and when you feel better, you may be ready to look at your diet. 3) You are a powerful partner in carrying out the plan. The more you participate, the better you will feel. Effective treatment for pain is not a spectator sport. If you are overweight and you have back pain, losing weight will be one of the most powerful interventions for long-term alleviation of pain. If that’s hard (and it almost always is), learn about mindfulness practices that have been shown effective in addressing emotional eating. 4) Optimize the good stuff - Make a list of the things that nurture you in mind, body, and spirit, and put them on your calendar.


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5) Minimize the bad stuff - Your health professional can help you determine the major stressors in your life and develop strategies with you for resolving, minimizing, or learning to accept them.


6) Join a support group - Groups enhance healing and well-being.


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A Sampling of Modalities to Choose From ● Nutrition - Inflammation causes pain. Learn about and follow an anti-inflammatory diet – basically fresh fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and protein – no processed foods and sugar. It’s best to work with a nutritionist/dietician who can evaluate you for possible food sensitivities (such as dairy or grains) that cause inflammation and who can develop a personalized diet for you. One size does not fit all. ● Movement - There are many ways to bring movement into your day and this, too, should be personalized. The Integrative Movement Therapy is an extremely gentle system of using props to open and relax the body, restoring circulation and range of motion, thereby reducing the pain of muscles in www.OurBerkshireTimes.com

Aug | Sept 2016


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spasm. Swimming or walking in a heated pool is a great start. Yoga, tai chi, and qigong are also gentle ways to start moving the body and can have profound results over time. ● Try mind-body medicine to learn to deal with stress and live with more joy. All of these modalities elicit the relaxation response and increase self-awareness, resulting in more resilience and thoughtful and positive responses to stressful situations. Examples include meditation and mindfulness training, guided imagery and hypnosis, diaphragmatic breathing, progressive relaxation, body scan, writing and journaling, autogenics and biofeedback, and HeartMath. ● Be in nature - Many people find time in nature a natural destressor. Beauty and the ensuing appreciation and gratitude relax the mind and body. ● Do something creative that you love - Giving your full attention to creating something beautiful (painting, writing, sculpting, knitting, cooking, gardening) calms the mind and body and brings meaning to life. ● Join a group you enjoy - Ideally the facilitator will allow for honest expression and release of emotions without too much focus on the negative (however justified), which can be counterproductive. ● Herbs and natural supplements that have been skillfully selected for your individual body’s requirements can support your health without the side effects of medications. ● Reduce chemical toxins as much as possible in your food, your cleaning products, and your environment. If you can’t pronounce it, it’s best to stay away from it. Consider utilizing safe methods to help detoxify and relax the body, such as using an infrared sauna. ● Improve your 30

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musculoskeletal alignment with osteopathy or chiropractic treatments. If muscles are in spasm, the bones of the skeleton will not be aligned properly, causing pain and affecting the nerves that regulate all your organ systems. Consider getting adjustments and doing massage as well. This combination is more likely to have lasting results than just one or the other. There are many kinds of manipulation and massage – find the right ones for you. ● Bodywork - There are many kinds of massage, Trager® therapy, and so forth. See www.massagetherapy.com/glossary ● Energy work such as reiki, polarity, craniosacral therapy (essential after spine and head trauma), and others. ● Psychotherapy - Many people in chronic physical pain carry unresolved emotional trauma from the past. Dealing with these issues with the help of a psychotherapist can have a profound effect on physical pain. ● Medical marijuana should be made available in the Berkshires. Now that it has been proven safe and effective, chronic pain patients should have reasonable access. Many in need cannot tolerate the long drive to Northampton. ● Excessive exposure to electromagnetic fields from all our gadgets is detrimental. Do this experiment: Minimize contact with screens, don’t carry your phone on your body and use it on speakerphone, use a landline whenever possible, and turn off your WiFi when not in use (place cell and tablet in airplane mode). ● Reassess your list of medications regularly - Many people with chronic pain are taking so many drugs that it’s reasonable to wonder if this chemical soup isn’t causing symptoms and discomfort. Using this integrative approach will improve overall health so that many medications can be discontinued. The good news is you don’t have to do everything perfectly. Just using a few carefully chosen modalities that work synergistically can make all the difference. This highlights the importance of finding someone well versed in integrative medicine to guide you in developing a plan. Healing is always a journey with false starts and unexpected help coming your way. For some people this approach will resolve their pain; for others, it will help in a meaningful way. For Leslie, Jane, and Martin we have to do better. We need open minds and open hearts – and insurance companies need to open their checkbooks. ~ Susan B. Lord, MD, is the director of the Center for Peace through Culture (see ad on page 24) that provided the Mind Body Skills Group curriculum for the pain study. Dr. Lord would love to hear from you. She can be contacted at susan@drsusanlord.com.

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