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.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Most of all love and peace in your home and heart in 2009.

What Should Drop In Ligonier?

At 12:00 midnight tonight, objects will be dropping all over the country. In New York, they'll drop a ball for the countdown to 2009. In Atlanta, a peach. In Flagstaff, AZ, a pinecone. And over in Hershey, a giant Hershey Kiss (mmmmm - love that smell). And in Bethlehem, PA (home of Just Born Candy), a giant yellow peep.

So I was wondering, if we had a "drop" ceremony in little ol' Ligonier, what would we drop?

A gazebo? Maybe too complicated. A cannonball from the fort? A Mochachino Rocket?

Happy New Year, folks. May divine providence smile on you with many blessings in 2009.

I love these old vintage cards...

Nice job, Patrick Hall.

LIGONIER Laurel Valley’s Patrick Hall had quite the day Tuesday.

With 33 points, he easily eclipsed the 1,000-point mark for his career. He brought home tournament MVP honors and his Laurel Valley squad captured the boys championship of the Ligonier Valley Holiday Basketball Classic with a 61-47 win over host Ligonier Valley.

Read more....

hospice opens in Ligonier

The Bethlen Hospice at 618 W. Main St. opened Dec. 8. Officials accepted their first patient Dec. 17, Ridilla said.

"We are extremely grateful for this generous donation," said Ridilla, 56. "We believe as Mr. Gibson does that hospice is very important in the final chapter of life."

The Bethlen Hospice offers in-home hospice services throughout Westmoreland County and parts of Somerset County, Ridilla said. It also provides in-patient services to the entire community, along with residents of the Bethlen Communities and Ligonier Gardens, Ridilla said.

Read more....

message from the farm....

look for twin pictures later

YEAH! Deere Driver must have two little goaties!

Good morning, Ligonier. Be careful. Those sidewalks are slippy!


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

cute lil log cabin

Don't you just love this?! I want one.

43 Things website for listing goals and dreams

Some of you know that I am getting my masters in instructional design and this will be my LAST semester while I work on my practicum. YAY! Something I am focusing on is social networking services, aka facebook, blogger, twitter, and MANY more. One of the sites that I have been exploring is 43 Things where you can make lists of dreams and goals you want to accomplish. I think this is very appropriate it being the end of the year and new years resolutions will be coming to fruition. You can see other people that have accomplished a goal or that want to do the same thing. Things can be as mundane as making your bed everyday, carrying your own bag to lower your carbon footprint, to the more glamorous ones like living in another country, finishing your tattoo, to the old familiar- LOSING WEIGHT, etc....I started my own, but wish to keep it fairly private. :) Take a look at it and try to make your own. You can set it to remind you everyday, next week, once a month, once a year etc. 

"People have known for years that making a list of goals is the best way to achieve them. Why is that? First, getting your goals in writing can help you clarify what you really want to do. You might find you have some important and some frivolous goals. That is OK. You’ve got space for 43 Things on your list. Not every one of them has to change the world (but save room for the ones that might)."

The Forks Inn

Forgive me if I've said this before, The Forks Inn has the best hamburgers. Want to know why? They are beef raised on the local Matson Farms! So not only are you supporting a local restaurant, but also supporting local trade. It's a win win deal. The hamburgers taste divine and there are many choices to choose from. We get a beef raised for us from Matsons and we are very pleased. The Forks Inn has sandwiches, entrees, soups, salads, appetizers, pasta, hand tossed pizza, desserts, beer, wine by the glass or bottle (locally brewed), and specials throughout the week. My one girl friend works there and gives the best service. You never wait long and the food is worth it. 271 Route 711 North, Ligonier 724 238 7881

Angel Food Ministries at Ligonier Baptist Church, No one should go hungry!

There is no reason anyone around here should be starving! If you know of someone going through hard times or barely feeding their family let them know about Angel Food Ministries.

 "Angel Food is available in a quantity that can fit into a medium-sized box at $30 per unit. Each month's menu is different than the previous month and consists of both fresh and frozen items with an average retail value of approximately $60. Comparison shopping has been done across the country in various communities using a wide range of retail grocery stores and has resulted in the same food items costing from between $42 and $78."

Go to the site to get more information. You do need to place your order and then pick it up (Ligonier's location is Ligonier Baptist Church
326 North Grant Street, Ligonier
Imagine the good quality food that will fill the bellies of a family or a senior citizen. This could even be a gift!

Balanced nutrition and variety with enough food to feed a family of four for a week. Below is an example of January's menu:

1.5 lb. Ribeye Steak (4 x 6 oz.)

4 lb. Leg Quarters

1.5 lb. Beef Patties (4 x 6 oz.)

18 oz. Cheese Filled Manicotti

2 lb. Pork Rib Strips

1 lb. Chicken Breast Fajita Strips

1 lb. Ground Turkey

1 lb. Broccoli

1 lb. Peas

6 ct. Oatmeal Variety Box

2 each-Regular, Maple Brown Sugar and Apple Cinnamon

32 oz. 2% Shelf Stable Milk

8 oz. Blueberry Muffin Mix

12 ct. White Corn Tortillas

1 lb. Pinto Beans

7 oz. Chicken Flavored Rice & Vermicelli

One Dozen Eggs

Dessert Item

Did you ever think of Bulls Tavern?

YES, I said Bull's Tavern, for WINGS!!! I had forgotten about them, until now. They have very delicious wings and you might not think of them other than Bulls being a bar, but they have some enjoyable food. This is ONE place you CAN smoke as well. I forget when wing night is, I want to say thursday, but someone gladly correct me. They have several flavors and are always open late :) I think the kitchen tends to close around 9pm but you might beg the bartenders to make you some. They have some of the nicest bartenders around here. Oh and I almost forgot I LOVE their fries. They are those like rectangular sliced ones and a lil pepper on them and shazam!

Ligonier Tavern

I was just reminded about one of my fav things to get around here. Aunt Jessamines Chicken Salad Sandwich at the Ligonier Tavern ON homemade Honey Bee Bread! It's a must. There were two ladies looking for a mystery restaurant and I mentioned LT and they said YES! I said you must try that sandwich. It's never a disappointment! If you go to the website they have a list of their appetizers sandwiches entrees and more! They also have some interesting beers. If you pop in the bar take a look at what's on tap and the actual tap. It is so neat. 

Ligonier Radio:)

What's going on with Ligonier Radio?! That's a general shout out to them. Just been thinking of them:) 

Sales? Deals? Steals?

Any good sales in town? I know we have our Goode Rider wear 25% off! and the 5-in-one jackets 35% off!!! Hurry sizes are limited and going fast!! I'd love to roam around and check out what all the merchants are offering. :)

special Christmas gift...the conclusion

When I bought this book, The Finding of the Blue Feather, from local author Joe Stierheim at Mellow Mike, I did so to support a local artist and with curiosity. I have a friend who follows blue feathers. For her, the blue feather is a spiritual signal of sorts, much like some people find a connection in the dragonfly or hearts, etc. I hadn't heard of anyone else paying attention to feathers, let alone blue feathers, so I was intrigued.

From the moment I started reading the story, I was captivated. Besides being well written, I loved the story. I took my time reading it, bit by bit, so that it wouldn't be over too soon.

Seeing the conclusion, I set the book down and saved it for whenever I would feel like doing the finish. Late on Christmas Eve, actually early on Christmas morn, I picked up the book and gave myself the gift of the end of the story.

You can buy this book on line. I hope you can also buy it at Second Chapter Books. If not, Joe is often at the Ligonier Library with his laptop working at the little tables near the window. He can sell you a copy. Buy it. It's worth it.

Good morning, Ligonier!


Monday, December 29, 2008

speaking of Panettone, here's fun little monkey's recipe...just stumbled on it ;)

pannetone bread pudding is perfect for solstice dessert, christmas breakfast or new years brunch!

What a great find!

The Thrift Shop Romantic uncovered gold at the Fleatique.  I am so loving these cards.  Nice fine!

Why can't we escape tv? Give us the gift of silence please.

making your plans for the New Year's Eve?

Let's chat about options in Ligonier.  The Ivy Cafe, The Roadhouse and The Ligonier Country Inn all had posts about taking reservations for the evening.  Check them out.  I see Cool Springs Express is selling tickets in advance for their New Year's Eve party.

Hubby and I will be ringing in the new year with a bunch of polar bears.  ;)


This Italian sweet bread was my big discovery this Christmas.  Oh my heavens, is it good.  I don't know if they have any left or they carry it regularly at The Sweet Shop, but it's a treat I highly recommend.  

I'm not a thin slice kinda bread eater so I enjoyed a few big hunks with butter and coffee.  I'm told it's great toasted with melted butter after it goes stale.  Mine didn't make it to that stage!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Buying local - buy Ligonier!

I read the following with interest:

Of every $100 spent in a chain store, $14 goes back into the local economy. For a locally owned business, $45 goes back.
more here

Just think what we could do if we thought about purchasing locally as often as we can!

Chicken Parmesan at Little Italy

One of my favorite things to do on a sunday is go to Little Italy. I just adore their sauce and the italian tastes. I have recently been obsessed with the chicken parmesan. It is to die for! You get a HUGE thing of chicken parm (lasts me 2 big meals) and a side of spaghetti AND garlic bread AND salad! It's around 11.95. It is so worth it. I love to get this or something from there sunday night and take the leftover for lunch the next morning:) If you love italian check out Jioio's Little Italy  on 333 West Main Street, Ligonier. 

blackberry for liggy!

This Ligonierian just got a Blackberry and is in LOVE. Be patient but I think it will be easier to blog/post! :) 
I wish mine was this pretty blue! darn! If you have a blackberry lemme know if you want to bbm (blackberry message) and get me your pin #:)

On the Pond Farm...nice local blog

I'm gonna take some time to go back and read all the posts.  This looks like a blog I'll enjoy.  It's linked in our regional blog section.  Goats and lots of other stuff.....  ;)

Local Soldier heading overseas!

I just got back from luncheon at the church I play piano at in Darlington. We had the luncheon to honor Calvin Clements and bid him farewell for his serving in Iraq. He was a grade ahead of me in High School and an acquaintance. I will keep you all posted and get his permanent address for over there, but once again another one of our "own" serving overseas that would gladly welcome a card, a note, a package, whatever to show you are thinking of him and appreciate what he does. I'm so proud of everyone for stepping up and supporting our locals serving. I did a personal package to 1 ligonier guy and his buddy (they liked how I put 2 of everything in it, and I'm sure enough beef jerky for them to share with the other ones). I was saddened to hear his buddy tell me it would be nice to get a card he hasn't had one since February 2008. Almost a year! I realize $ is tight, but we remember the troops at christmas or holidays but what about those other times? Just keep them in your thoughts and prayers and support! :) 

thinking wings for the game??? think ROADHOUSE


Half Dozen $3.99
Full Dozen $6.99

Breaded Dave's Way or Naked


Buffalo - Bar-B-Que - Seasoned Cajun - Thai Chili - Roadhouse Mix - Buffalo Bleu - Buffalo Ranch - Butter and Garlic - Butter Parmesan

Heat Scale

Mild 1 . . . . . . . . . . 10 Hottest


There's something magic about knitting....

..and Kathy's Kreations on East Main Street seems to be the knitting hot spot for our region.

teaching position open in Ligonier

English - full time permanent position available beginning with the second semester of the 2008-2009 school year.
Send a letter of interest, resume, PA teaching certificate and standard application, transcripts, Praxis scores and clearances to the Superintendent's office. Deadline is January 2, 2009.  
To apply for professional employment opportunities within the Ligonier Valley  School District, please follow the directions provided on the PA-Educator website.

Matt Beckman says, “Hitting people is what I love to do. That gasp of breath from a player when you hit him is what really drives me...”

For his performance, Beckman was selected The Tribune-Democrat’s Defensive Player of the Year.

“I was really surprised and honored when Coach (Roger) Beitel called and told me,” Beckman said about receiving the honor. “The past players who have been players of the year, I remember I’ve read about them and thought that they were all really good. I’m really glad to be included among those players and to be able to represent Ligonier.” 

Beckman, 5-foot-11, 230 pounds, was the area’s second-leading tackler with 142, including 105 solo stops. He averaged 17.8 tackles per game with a quarterback sack from his inside slot.

Good morning, Ligonier!


Saturday, December 27, 2008

We've got a new link list.......LIGONIER ON FACEBOOK

fun stuff...check it out

fun little blog post on Ligonier

Today I am highlighting the architecture of a western Appalachia community named Ligonier, Pennsylvania. While not as outwardly glamorous as Texas or New York, there are very applicable lessons to be found here for larger designs. Read more....

Citizen Journalism!

Citizen Journalism
An interesting article explaining what it is. "For example, you might write about a city council meeting on your blog or in an online forum. Or you could fact-check a newspaper article from the mainstream media and point out factual errors or bias on your blog. Or you might snap a digital photo of a newsworthy event happening in your town and post it online. Or you might videotape a similar event and post it on a site such asYouTube."

Guess what I thought of immediately :-p

Looks like they just wanted to make sure he was okay.

Keith Cramer, 23, was driving a 1997 Honda Civic on Route 271 in Fairfield Township when he crashed into a tree at about 11 p.m. He suffered moderate injuries but fled into the woods before emergency services arrived, police said.

Good morning, Ligonier. It's not raining and it's fifty degrees out there.

a message from Cathi

To my dear Family & Friends,

It is with my heaviest heart that I give you the saddest news that my 'baby' brother, Mark, passed away today around 3:30 PM. He had an asthma attack late Sunday night which resulted in 3 heart attacks. Since he was deprived of oxygen for quite a while, he suffered brain damage as well. He was on life support until today.

He would have turned 51 one month from today, January 26. He was the upright bass player in the Rhodes Brothers Bluegrass Band and also performed with me in six of the ten stage productions of 'Always...Patsy Cline.'

Viewing will be at Barnhart Funeral Home on Monday, December 29 from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 PM. The funeral will be on Tuesday at 11 AM. His short obituary will be in Saturday's paper, with the full write-up on Sunday.

If you know anyone who knew Mark, please let them know about his passing for me. I would appreciate that very much.


Friday, December 26, 2008

We just received some very sad news.

Mark Rhodes, the brother of Cathi Rhodes, has died. Mark has been well known in bluegrass circles, having played the upright bass with his brothers. This is quite a shock. We're still awaiting word on arrangements. For now, we think the Barnhart Funeral Home in Greensburg, will be handling visitation and funeral arrangements.

We know there are many out there who knew and loved Mark and Cathi has asked that we pass the word.

Much sympathy to the Rhodes family.

Thank You Ligonier!

Bill & Lori from your future Landmark Bakery just want to say thank you! Thank you so much for the overwhelming response and support that you gave us through this past holiday week. We couldn't feel more welcome and are anxious to set up shop in town. We look forward to serving you all again soon. Wishing you all a wonderful , happy, and healthy New Year!

playing this weekend at The Ligonier Theater

Wow, this girl's got spunk.

Shadiya Howell's confidence may waver, but her dreams of being a national wrestling champion and 2012 Olympian are intact.

Even if it means working out with, competing against and usually being defeated by boys.

"I'm the girl with enough pride to go out there," said Howell, who at 5-foot-3.5 and 116 pounds is called upon to compete in the 119-pound class for Ligonier Valley's wrestling team.

"It's not fun going out and getting beat by boys. I keep going, though. I always have my eyes set on the future. I keep my head up."


Good morning, Ligonier!


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Well, good night Ligonier and good night to all my little whos in whoville. Let's dream, shall we?

Hey, don't forget to leave a carrot for the reindeer!

Here's a better shot. WOW!

This just in! UFO sighted over Pittsburgh headed to the Laurel Highlands.

Hey kids....could it be?  Why I think it might be Santa!

I have cookies. Phew!

An unexpected turn of events left me cookieless at 3pm today and with two families expecting ME to bring the cookies tomorrow, YOI.....double YOI.

I have baked myself a few times and the cookies were actually good much to my family's surprise. LOL My mom is the baker in the family. My sisters and I are decent cooks but forget about the baking. Anyway, my mom rarely bakes anymore and so since I always go in to Pittsburgh for the holidays, I bring the cookies.

The last few years I've ordered from Moio's Italian bakery in Monroeville. Their cookies are wonderful but last year I had to wait in line over an hour just to pick up an order and so that wasn't going to happen again.

This year I tried another source and I do feel badly because it seems this person had some bad luck and things got out of hand. So, facing a challenge once I realized I was cookieless pretty darn late on Christmas Eve, I first secured the Champagne while thinking---- I might be forgiven for no cookies but we like mimosas for Christmas brunch and that would've been ----woooo, don't want to go there. LOL

Anyway, on the way up West Main I remembered that The Finishing Touch had great cakes, sort of like pound cakes soaked with Amaretto or something. I pulled over and ran in. It was 3:45pm and they were getting ready to close. NO cakes in stock. CRAP.

I jumped in my car and with fingers crossed, saw that The Sweet Shop was still open. I figured there had to be something interesting in there and I WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED!

These cookies trays might not look fancy but there are several kinds of unusual cookies in there. I added their "to die for" dark chocolate stars and milk chocolate covered pretzels. Hubby says the iced ginger cookies are excellent. He grabbed one that was broken. I added a few Giant Eagle Christmas Star and chocolate chip cookies for the kids or those who need a safe old standby.

In addition, I picked up some Walker [you know their shortbread, right?] mincemeat tarts. They are supposed to be heated just a bit. Hubby's family has the Scottish blood so they'll go with us there for Christmas dinner.

I also picked up a Panettone Classico cake. I've never tried it but am told it is wonderful. My mother should love it. Here's the legend:

The Legend: It was Christmas and the court cook for the Duke of Milan, had no dessert to offer. So the guests were given a sweet bread baked by a mere kitchen boy, named Tony (Antonio), which won exceptional praise. Rather than steal the praise for himself, the cook congratulated his assistant and named it after him Panettone – “pane” a loaf of bread and “tone” (pronounced “tonay”). Panettone is literally the “bread of Tony.”

So, this year we'll be trying something different and I am looking forward to it. Should be fun!

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;

And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,

Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow

Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!

On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!

Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,

So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,

With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,

Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,

And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;

A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,

And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;

He had a broad face and a little round belly,

That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,

"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night."

Good afternoon, Ligonier!

livecamI know it's hard to see from this vantage point, but I know you are all out and about and doing all those last minute very important errands for Christmas. I've got just two left on my list. Lori at Ligonier Bakery is having the cookie trays delivered here so that's a big help. After work, I've got to pick up some Champagne for Christmas brunch mimosas. Hope there's some left!

the gift on Laurel Mountain

Some folks are probably saying, “Here we go again.” And who can blame them? 

But we’ll continue to get excited every time someone mentions the prospects for a return of the ski industry to the Laurel Mountain ridges along Route 30 between Jennerstown and Ligonier.

Good morning, Ligonier. It's Christmas Eve and I can feel the presence of Christmas, can't you?

live cam

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Birthday Diane!!! Looks like Whoville!:)

need some wrapping paper and ribbon?

You can find it in town at The Paper House and The Finishing Touch, both on West Main.  You can also find it at the Dollar General and Giant Eagle.  

I bought three nice rolls at Dollar General along with gift tags - the stickie kind - and tape.  I was a bit leery about buying Dollar General tape, having been a Scotch tape kinda gal all my life, however I took a chance.  [What drama!]  Anyway, it's great, once I figured out how to start it.   DUH!

Poorman's Mountain Pet Lodge & Training Facility

Got this e-mail yesterday to which I replied ABSOLUTELY!

I love the Ligonier Blog.  Great work.  Could you please have our business added to the site? (training & lodging for dogs).
Thank you and Happy Holidays.
Heather McDowell 

Heather, thanks for sending the link.  We love to add Ligonier links to Ligonier Living and remember, it's FREE!!