This is Ligonier's friendly neighborhood blog and an attempt to recapture our lively opinionated debates in a free speech zone.

Please join our conversations. Contributors welcome.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

My turn...

I remember the noise these made. I think one of them showed up under my tree one year long ago.

Eat n Park Star and Tree

I had the brunette.....

~*My Wish*~

Imagine Peace
Imagine there is peace,
It's easy if you try,
No hate below us,
Above us only sky,
Imagine all the people living for today...
Imagine there is peace
It isn’t hard to do,
Nothing to kill or die for,
Only love for you
Imagine all the people
living life in peace...
Imagine no poverty,
I wonder if you can,
No need for greed or hunger,
A brotherhood of man,
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...
You may say I’m a dreamer,
but I’m not the only one,
I hope some day you'll join us children,
And the world will live as one.
by Goodwin and Lennon

talking about volunteering

On Thanksgiving Day hubby and I met a nice lady in a wheel chair who was lost. We had just left my mom's place in downtown Pittsburgh. While walking out of the building onto Fifth Avenue, we were hailed by a lady who was all dressed up and a young man, probably her son, asking if we knew where Watson Street was.

Neither of us knew, but seeing that these folks were all dressed up and town was deserted, we tried to help. We offered to put it into our navigation system and see if we could find it. Seeing we were willing to help, that's when the lady and the young man started to leave and then we realized they had stopped to help another lady in a wheel chair. She was all alone and lost.

The wheel chair was motorized and so she moved pretty quickly and came over. While we talked, hubby took off in the mini to see if he could find the street.

We were on Fifth where it meets Boyd, down near Robert Morris College, if you know the area. There are all sorts of little side streets and alleys.

The lady explained that she had taken a bus to this area because she was volunteering to help at the Bethlehem Haven.

We poked around a bit waiting for hubby to come back. That's when I spotted the street sign halfway up the hill for Watson Street. She went on ahead to check it out while I flagged down hubby who was on his way back. We worked our way around the one way streets and finally got back to Watson and saw that she was moving in her chair through what looked like a deserted alleyway.

We pulled up and she expressed reservations about safety and whether this was the right spot. Right then I noticed the building about halfway down the block. We went over and yes, it was the shelter. At first she only saw the steps and was afraid she couldn't get in, but I looked and saw that there was a ramp. I waited for her to get across the street and up the ramp. We introduced ourselves to each other while I held the door for her to get safely inside.

She was a university student from Palestine. She wasn't sure if they needed her help that day but she thought she'd stop in and see.

We were happy to have had the chance to help her. I thought she was a pretty brave and kind lady.

suzy snowflake

hardrock coco joe

Keep that spirit!

While we're enjoying the closeness and holiday spirit of Ligonier, let's reach out to other people, even if it's just to hold a door open or smile.  I am appalled at what happened during Black Friday in New York City.  There is no bargain on earth that is worth a human life.  

All the Christmas stories that we watched as kids (and still do), from Mr. Magoo to the Grinch to Charlie Brown, all have the same message:  Christmas is not money or presents.  Christmas is reaching out to our fellow humans and helping each other.  Share some cookies, scrape a sidewalk, make a donation, dry a tear, spend some time on others.  

The most fabulous gizmo in the world isn't worth as much as a hug from a loved one.   I'm not running down good ol' presents.  They're fun to open and fun to give, and Ligonier is a great place to buy them, but each one needs to have a guaranteed, non-returnable hug attached.   Or a smile, a handshake, or a kiss.  

The human element is more precious than all the Pt, Au, or Ag on the Periodic Table.

Sunday Ligonier Liking

I like how Ruthies is the meeting spot for church goers and those that are gathering with family. It's fun to see how people know to stand and wait till they get a table :) I was watching and thought it's just a nice simple thing that is so Ruthies. The food is simple and homecook style and there isn't anything fancy about the place, but for some reason everyone keeps going back. When I take someone there for the first time I later find out how they took someone else there and keep frequenting it. :) 

Lil story: My mother was to accompany the banjo player at Hadley Martin's funeral and I happened to be eating breakfast at Ruthies and the group of older men that gather there were sitting there talking and they mentioned my mothers name (of course my ears perked up, you won't be listening but say your name or a family members and you automatically here it) I said to my friend hey they're talking about my mother. Of course they had been friends/acquaintances with Hadley in the Valley, but it was funny to hear them talking about her. Like my one post it's so funny what you hear when you're NOT listening or trying to listen, but it's a small town. Everyone's related to someone and or friends with. This lil story was amusing to myself to show the close knit town and I actually smiled and laughed and told mum and she did the same. :) 

my mom used to sing this

alright, let's talk thimbles

I wish I had our old sewing machine.  For those who grew up in a house with a sewing machine, remember how wonderful it was to be able to sit down and sew anything you could dream up?  I'm certainly not saying I was very good at it.  In fact, my home ec teacher would likely say I stunk, but as for the pure joy of creating, when the mood struck.....I loved it.

The stuff I used to make was, well, costume quality.  Perfect for mood making, not so good if you were picky about stitches.  LOL

Anyway, back to the original subject, thimbles.  So, I don't have a sewing machine but I have a rudimentary conf...I was going to say conflagration, but that's apparently a disastrous fire, close but not quite right.....confabulation? , that's not right either....OKAY forget it, a bunch of sewing stuff in a box.

I am shoulder deep in a GREEN project with needle, thread, the thingamabob that helps people who are 50 and over thread needles, scissors, and a...thimble.

I used the thimble once, when the needle needed a good push through a few layers of fabric.  Worked okay and that's what I always thought thimbles for for - pushing when you needed a bit of help.  NOW, several YOWLs later after having pricked my fingers regularly. ... [Hubby had Star Wars on in the other room and I was seriously competing with Chewbacca on the soundtrack.  YOOOWWWL.]....I am starting to wonder if the sewing readers amongst us might not profer advice on the use of the thimble.  Should I be using it more or differently?

I've got one more night of sewing ahead and since my hands are about to don the green on their own, I'd sure like to keep the holes to a minimum.  

Good late morning, Ligonier.

The Sewickley Spa web site isn't coming up.

Just a note in case you're reading, Steph!  ;)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Guess What I'm Watching?!

Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol......We did have it after all! :)

Saturday night....someone's hard at work. ;)

Good evening, Ligonier. Can't get tired of that shot.

10 more things I love about Ligonier

  1. I love that the Ligonier Christmas show is just a bunch of people who show up to sing and have a great time together.
  2. I love that Janet Formato makes that happen every year.
  3. I love that my parents met in Ligonier.
  4. I love that the Diamond is decorated by a bunch of people who show up to help and have a great time together.
  5. I love our Ligonier post office and especially Joe, our mailman.  He's one of the micest people I have ever met.
  6. I love watching Uncle Sam be Uncle Sam and that he has a very close friendship with Santa Claus.
  7. I love that the Main Street Gallery has all that crazy stuff outside and especially that raven on the roof.
  8. I love that Kelly and Bob McCoy sell Poo Pourri and Polish Pottery at The Paper House and get such joy out of doing it.
  9. I love that Butch Bellas has wired every freaking house in the valley,  would fill a hole just cause it needed filling and has such a big heart for the community and everyone in it.
  10. I love our meter maids.

Ten on Liggy's List

1. I like how people know me from the time I was born, my mother from when she was young, and a FEW from when my mammy (grandmother) was young. Gives you a sense of home.
2.I love to pretend I'm a tourist or have someone visiting and check out all the shops to see what is new in each of them.
3. I like going into the shops/restaurants/places and people know me by name and I know them by name.
4. How I've lived in the same house for 25 years of my 26. 
5. People still refer to the stores as their older names, i.e. Erin's Place, Reeds, The Town Pump, The Breniser Hotel, Bergstroms Meat Market, (might not be true for everyone, but when I talk to family and people that are from here you here different names thrown around and it all makes sense.
6. The DIAMOND, not the square, not the circle, no other shape but the diamond. You can tell an outsider by how they describe downtown and how I take pride that we have a diamond. 
7. I like that hunting season is like another holiday and when you go to people's houses you are served some deer meat in different preparation styles. 
8. People know your business (pro and con) and your family business. People also can rally the troops to help you out. 
9. I have favorites at each shop/restaurant and can walk to them all and tell everyone where to go for specific things.
10. It is home and always will be with all its charm and quirks. It always reminds me of the Mitford series of books and how we have our own characters in our own town.

10 things I love about Ligonier

  1. living in the green
  2. lack of anonymity
  3. pedestrian shopping
  4. not quite but close to metro feel for a small country town
  5. French roast at Abigail's
  6. Valley Players of Ligonier
  7. Ligonier Valley Library
  8. beautiful Diamond
  9. people dressed in quirky clothing [like colonial or equestrian] and nobody really pays any attention
  10. interesting houses

love this flickr pic

While looking for a nice little "thinking cat" pic for the next post, I saw this and WOW, it needs to stand alone.  What a nice picture.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Ten Things I Like About Ligonier

There's so much to love about our town and valley, I can't put them all in one post. So I decided to limit myself to 10 this time. And maybe another 10 in the future. In no particular order...

1. Light Up Night. Beats the heck out of Pittsburgh's. Such a great turnout for our community.

2. Rachel's flower shop on the diamond.

3. Pathfinder Photo and the wonderful Ligonier souvenirs they have. Also the only place I know where I can get a camera battery and smell chocolate at the same time.

4. Abigail's. Love the Dancing Goats blend.

5. My church. Pioneer Presbyterian (and its predecessors) has been part of the valley for over 200 years.

6. 15 minutes for free on the meters.

7. The Library.

8. Fat Daddy's. Great sandwiches and salads, and a game room the kids can wander off to. (Do I get points for ending that with two prepositions?)

9. People know people. There's probably a lot fewer than six degrees of separation between any two people in Ligonier.

10. Santa Claus knows my name!

That's ten. Time to stop (for now).

Light Up Night


The Idlewild Trolley:

This was after Santa disembarked. "Idlewild" is painted on the side of the trolley, ahead of the doors.

please remember life

I am still in shock about the wal-mart tragedy in new york, I find it disgusting that humans can be so darn greedy and I really hope karma gets the people that trampled the worker and pushed the police giving the worker first aid out of the way. SICK is all I have to say. When will people realize there is MORE to life than stuff. Life is a gift. 

wowee...look at that!

BTW - That's Mr. Roger's Trolly that brought Santa Claus into the Diamond!

I think that's Santa in the center, do you see him?

wish I could hear!


that's gotta be the man coming...

so, how many people do you think are there waiting for Santa?

ohhhhh the suspense is killing me!

just's a little bit dark in that Diamond...

Wanna help decorate that beautiful tree in the library?


Saturday, December 6 at 3:00 pm

Children of all ages are invited to join the library staff with the decorating of the library's Christmas tree.

Hundreds of ornaments will be ready for placement upon the tree, but you are welcome to bring your own hand-made ornament to add to the library's collection!

After the tree is decorated, the Children's Librarian will read holiday stories to the group. Refreshments will be provided.

And you never know, Santa just might pop in for a visit!!!

This program is free and no reservations are required.

Wait until dark.....

Leave the hectic pace behind and enjoy an old fashioned evening in Ligonier as the lights go on and Santa makes his famous entrance.

Then stroll on over to The Ivy Cafe for holiday tunes on the piano by Leslie Bangor. Sit by the fireplace, warm your toes. You may wonder if you're in heaven.'re in Ligonier.

Good afternoon, Ligonier!

Santa Claus is coming to Ligonier tonight!!!

Good morning, Ligonier! Shopping, are we?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

~*Happy Thanksgiving*~

Wishing all of you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!
I posted the story of the woman who is responsible for the Thanksgiving holiday, Sarah Josepha Hale. I'd like to invite you to my blog:
"Home Is Where The Heart Is" to read about her.

beautiful watercolor of Fort Ligonier

In 1758, General John Forbes led several thousand British and provincial troops through the wilderness of Pennsylvania in another attempt to take Fort Duquesne from the French. He learned from Braddock's defeat, and built fortifications as he traveled. This painting illustrates his encampment at Fort Ligonier, about 50 miles from his final destination.  Read more...

Hey, train enthusiasts....and who isn't at Christmas time? ;)

Just in time for Christmas! This is an HO replica of our 1905 "Bobber" caboose. The price is $10. You can order by calling 800-813-8949 or 724-537-2647. OR, go to the Gift Shop page and order online.

interesting site on the attempted purple martin restoration project

Only one returning hacked martin was spotted in 1986, and none in 1987.   Dawnsong was played near the martin house on the rooftop of the Game Commission headquarters in 1986 and 1987.   Read more....

hooked rugs at the Wooley Fox

make your plans

  • Festival of Lights opens 1st Saturday. December 6th, 2008, noon to 7 pm.
    Features decorated trees and handcrafted gift boutique. 

  • Christmas Candelight Tours of Compass Inn - December 6th-7th, 2008 

  • Gingerbread House Contest - December 6th-14th - Ramada Inn

  • Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art - December 6th, 2008 - Holiday Home Tour sponsored by the Auxiliary of the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art at Ligonier Valley. Tour decorated homes in the Ligonier Area. Call 724-238-6015 for more information.

  • Town Wide Open House - December 7th, 2008 - Noon to 5pm. Buggy Rides, Kettle Korn Man, entertainment and stores will offer refreshments in the shops and a festive Christmas atmosphere.

don't forget!

Light Up Night and Santa's Arrival - November 28th, 2008 - Friday after Thanksgiving 6:00pm 

Happy Thanksgiving

i'm here, i'm here, i'm here, too! i was just not at the computer when y'all called my name..

well, another year has passed and for me it's all measured by the thanksgiving holiday, the gateway to the christmas season. i'm baking pies right now, and while they're in the oven i thought i'd sit here and send out a thanksgiving greeting to all the folks who read and/or contribute to this blog. i've learned there are more lurkers out there than one might think, but in the end, they are a part of this whole. without them, we would not have that great hit score that is so exciting to us!

what's everyone doing for turkey day? i for one am fortunate (or UNfortunate) enough to be expected at three different homes for a meal. it'a a far cry from the time when i prepared the feast and would entertain 50/60 ravenous bodies until the day was gone. i really kind of like this new life, where i am the invited instead of the inviter! my dilemma now is how do i face all this food? i mean, you HAVE to taste everything everywhere, don't you? ooooooooooh, what a chore!

so i guess i'll get up tomorrow (actually in a few hours) and load up my chariot with pies, oyster stew, and brussel sprouts..and head to banquet # 1..then #2, and finally roll myself into #3. i will be sure to take my alka seltzer along.

i wish you all the wonderful joys and blessings that most of have at thanksgiving; the warmth of family and loved ones, (hey, and a stranger will do) and enough food to make you swear off eating for a week! then the day after you can listen to christmas music without a bit of guilt that you are "jumping the gun"...and get ready for the next big thing!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Good evening, Ligonier. Have a wonderful holiday tomorrow. Happy Thanksgiving!

"A Boy's Thanksgiving Day," by Lydia Maria Child

Over the river, and through the wood,
To Grandfather's house we go;
The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh
through the white and drifted snow.

Over the river, and through the wood -
Oh, how the wind does blow!
It stings the toes and bites the nose
As over the ground we go.

Over the river, and through the wood,
To have a first-rate play.
Hear the bells ring, "Ting-a-ling-ding",
Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day!

Over the river, and through the wood
Trot fast, my dapple-gray!
Spring over the ground like a hunting-hound,
For this is Thanksgiving Day.

Over the river, and through the wood -
And straight through the barnyard gate,
We seem to go extremely slow,
It is so hard to wait!

Over the river, and through the wood -
Now Grandmother's cap I spy!
Hurrah for the fun! Is the pudding done?
Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!

just in time for Thanksgiving....will it work? Oh, my yes. ;)

If you are sitting on the fence about buying or refinancing a home, this is a great time to jump off that fence and LOCK. Lenders are reporting unbelievably wonderful fixed interest rates for home mortgages, ALL a result of the planned Fed action to buy mortgage-backed paper.

How low? Try 5 1/2%. How's that?

Depending on credit score and loan program, there's a great chance of getting less than 6% with no points. Start calling around.

Let's compare.

$100,000 at 7% for 30 years......payment $665.30

$100,000 at 5 1/2% for 30 years......payment $567.79

That's almost 100 bucks a month and over say, 8 years, that's over $9000.00 in savings.

get well soon, Liggy!


Hi Diane!

I am rediscovering the Ligonier Living blog page, and I'm pretty impressed with the amount of links on there! I think the whole resource is a great thing. And I noticed some of my photos in the slideshow. One thing to note, maybe this could be a topic or something, but as far as I can tell I have the only podcast in town! My podcast link is here:

I think the podcasts are going well. They have evolved nicely, and they just keep getting better. In fact I'm about to produce another one today, if I can get around to it! Anyway, it's an interesting topic. I hope you have a great Thanksgiving!

Jeffrey Hunt, DC

Thanks, Jeff. Hey, I'll get a separate link up there for the podcasts. I do like them and have listened to a couple.

Hey, Liggy! Didn't you do a podcast a while back on the history of Ligonier? Can we link to it, too?

Good morning, Ligonier!

this looked so pretty this morning.....

...looks kinda bleak right now. LOL!!!

Ligonier Library in the November morning light

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

what a great gift for ornament collectors

gravy gravy gravy gravy


Thanksgiving by George Winston

Christmas movie well worth seeing.

This movie is really wonderful and based upon a true story.  My favorite scene is the singing of Ave Maria.  It's one I'll not forget.

gingerbread molds

Hey, does anyone know anywhere in town that sells Gingerbread molds? I think the Country Cupboard used to. I'm going to check there. I have a request to get them. 

a big thank you to Crystal.....HI CRYSTAL!

Crystal is a regular reader of Ligonier Living and when she read that Marine Captain Michael Hritz wanted to help his Marines have a nice holiday, Crystal stepped up to the plate, big time.

She went to her employers The Markosky Engineering Group and they agreed that it was a great idea.  Crystal organized, collected, packed and mailed enough stuff to fill three copy paper boxes.

Thank you Crystal and thank you to the nice folks at Markosky for helping to make this holiday season just a bit nicer for Michael's Marines.

We officially crossed the big 40 on Monday.


With 293 hits on the 24th, Ligonier Living, Ligonier's friendly neighborhood blog, passed through the 40,000 hit milestone.

That and a cup of coffee makes me very happy.

You GO, Ligonier friends! 

insufficient blog posts yesterday because.....

  1. I fasted in the morning for the medical screening at Town Hall.  Insufficient caffeine limits brain waves, at least in this cranium.  [heh heh]
  2. Spent the afternoon playing catch up with everything that wasn't done during the big yawn I will call my morning. 
  3. Danced with Pansy, slow mo, all through the town.  ;)
  4. Throughly enjoyed Christmas show rehearsal this evening and was overwhelming impressed with Byron's dexterity on the piano.  He sat in for Debbie and did a terrific job sight reading some pretty tough notes.  NICE JOB BYRON!
  5. Fell asleep early during boring, strike that, I don't know that I saw enough to call it boring.  I think I just konked out.
Course, now I am up in the wee hours of the morn.  Marianne - night owl lady - are you there?'s a middle of the night "you are not alone, Marianne" Ligonier HELLO!

no blogs?

wow! i think this is the first time i've ever logged on and found only one or two blogs...where is everybody? i'm feeling ever so alone!! help!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

I think I bumped into Pansy about five times today!

It could have been choreographed! ;) HI, PANSY!!

Good morning, Ligonier!

Cookielady's cookies arrived really fast!

Ms. Cipa:
Could you please pass this message along to the cookie lady? I am unable to log into ligonier's blog website, or I would post the message myself:
I came in this morning and our Operations Department had scooped up 2 boxes of cookies that you provided. Operations is the focal point of our squadron, where everyone passes through on a daily basis. When I arrived, the cookies were well on their way to being completely eaten. I managed to grab a walnut and chocolate chip cookie for myself, and I must say that it was delicious. My Marines were quite pleased at the unexpected gift. Thank you so very much for taking the time and effort to help out Marines whom you don't even know personally during this holiday season. Happy Thanksgiving and God Bless!
Michael S. Hritz

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Dollar General

Free reusable shopping bag to the first 50 customers on Nov. 27th & 28th. open at 7AM. I love reusable bags! The thing is remembering them when you're going shopping. lol

If the last two days are any indication, people are spending money.

Youngstown Tire was packed with a waiting list on Friday. Yesterday my mother and I gave up trying to get into Costco at the Homestead Waterfront. We couldn't find a parking place. Eat-n-Park on Route 51 in Pleasant Hills was so overwhelmed that waitresses were giving speeches to customers asking them to be patient.

I really think the media should just can it. Most people aren't effected by Wall Street and are living normal happy lives. Let's shake that gloom and doom crapola!


that's GRISHAM, folks! honestly, maybe someday i'll take time to proofread!

Christmas WIth.......John Grisiham

Ahhhhh, Liggy, you've uncovered one of the funniest movies ever made (i think)......actually, "christmas with the kranks " is an adaptation of john grisham's "skipping christmas". I came upon this audio book from our own ligonier library. a time back i was driving alone crosscountry to denver, colorado. i always load up on audio books to keep me entertained when i drive distances. i confess, i had really no idea how hugely funny a grisham book COULD be, as he's certainly one of my favorite "sit on the edge of my seat" thriller writers. well i finally put it in the cd player, and by the time i reached st. louis, missouri, i had tears running down my cheeks from laughing so hard. i literally had to pull off the road for a few minutes. imagine my surprise when i saw a film clip a couple of years ago with a woman chasing a ham out into the street and watching it get squished by trafffic. i thought, "wow! that scene seems so familiar!" ...and then it turned into the promo for "christmas with the kranks". i've watched it at least a dozen times, and will watch it at least that many more! good cheer!

Here's Kathy at The Country Cupboard, ready to serve you.

The Country Cupboard is really homey and Kathy has all sorts of good things for Thanksgiving and Christmas. She'll help you decorate your home with that special country charm.

Be sure to look up for the train!