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, January 31, 2010

Valentine's Day...

Since I was a small girl, I have looked forward to Valentine's Day like some kids look forward to Christmas. (My birthday also follows shortly thereafter). For many VDs (an unfortunate abbreviation I will admit), I had no special valentine or had poor-to-awful ones. A miserable VD can be really depressing. Freshly, un-valentined in 1997, together with my friend Lily (herself a widow of many years)we decided to have a Valentine's Day brunch for those who had lost their valentines. We picked a very romantic lovely Victorian setting for the Sunday before VD. She and I called all of the friends we could think of who were without a valentine. Twenty-six people showed up all "dolled up" as my grandmother used to say.

There were widows and one widower (my friend Peter, our only guy), divorcees, never marrieds and two people who just plain had crummy valentines and wanted to have a lovely VD. Everyone got a rose and some chocolates. I had ordered a really gooey cake, lots of those big icing roses, and we sat it in the middle of the main table and just dug into it with our spoons. Champagne flowed. It got to be really fun. A string quartet was playing and we requested songs like "New York, New York" and formed a chorus line. Several "outside" people asked to join our party. We grabbed the wait staff and danced with them. Peter was in great demand as a dance partner and was really cheered up as his wife and my dear friend had died just a few months before. It was great to see him laugh and have a good time. We stipulated no sad songs and no music from anyone's wedding. We had an informal contest to see who had had the funniest looking valentine and I won with the child psychiatrist who looked like a Muppet ( he cut his own hair). It was a lot like a wedding reception except, when you left, you were unencumbered (with a big hunk of cake) and did not have all those thank-you notes to write. Also, much less costly.

Brunch times was over but the owner let us stay and she and some of the help joined our party. They seemed glad to have someone to share their VD with. We kicked our shoes off. They brought us a lot of coffee. The next year we had only six attendees (weather was bad) but it was just as rowdy and fun, although there was no dancing. The number of people varied over the years. When I moved no one took it over. They were the best parties I ever "threw". They got a lot of friends over some bad times.

So, if you have a valentine and know someone who does not, send them a card or call and wish a happy VD. Or send yourself a card! Go to the Sweet Shop and buy yourself a decadent bob-bon. It will make your day.

events by Earth Lotus


May this email find you enjoying this sunny, and chilly, Sunday afternoon.  If you're looking for a few indoor activities to stay warm, please check out the upcoming workshops at the Studio: 
** Meditation/Stress Management 6-week Series has been moved from Thursday evenings to Wednesday evenings (4:15pm - 5:15pm) and begins this Wednesday, February 3rd. 
** Yoga for Two
is this Saturday, February 6th.  Pre-register by Wednesday, February 3rd if you are interested in this workshop. 
Detailed information for both workshops is provided below.

Our Sanskrit Word of the Week is Adho Mukha Svanasana/Downward Facing Dog (adho = downward, mukha = face, svana = dog, asana = posture).
* Chaturanga Dandansana/Four Limbed Staff Pose (chatur = four, anga = limbs, danda =staff/spine, asana = posture).
** Bhujangasana/Small Cobra (bhujanga = snake, serpent, asana = posture)
** Uttasana/Standing Forward Bend (ut = intense, tan = to stretch or extend, asana = posture)
** Tadasana/Mountain Pose
(tada = Mountain, asana = posture).

Lastly, I'm teaming up with our friends at Body Elements Massage & Healing Center in Youngstown to continue to collect donations for the Haiti Relief Fund for the following week. 

Have a Wonderful Week,
In Love & Light
Meditation/Stress Management 6-Week Series

Wednesday, February 3rd 4:15 - 5:15pm
Where: Earth Lotus Yoga Studio
When: Every Wednesday beginning February 3rd thru March 10th from 4:15 - 5:15pm
Cost: $70.00/person

Experience the benefits that a mediation practice has to offer.  Meditation is a means to quiet the mind and a powerful stress management tool as well.  Each class is intended to be both instructional and experiential.  We will incorporate different techniques from guided imagery to mantra to discover a technique that works best for you.  Prior experience with mediation is not necessary. 

Yoga for Two Workshop

Where: Earth Lotus Yoga Studio
When: Saturday, February 6th from 12:30 – 2:00pm
Cost: $15/per person, $30/couple
Sharing yoga with a partner can deepen your practice as you assist each other in anchoring, lengthening and discovery.  We'll integrate common Hatha Yoga postures and add some twists & turns on the traditional poses.  Your partner can be a spouse, friend, sibling or anyone who shares your love of yogaYoga experience for both partners is highly recommended.

winter reading, courtesy of Carolyn Holland


Attached is a photo of the moon over Laurel Mountain Borough at just after midnight, January 31, 2010.

To read about blue moons, click on: A Blue Moon On New Year’s Eve 2009

Ligonier area residents: Are you ready for winter to end?

February 2nd is the great groundhog prediction date. Punxsutawney Phil will report to us whether we will have six more weeks of winter.

Here are some direct links to posts on Punxsutawney Phil---


And, looking into February---FEBRUARY DAYS TO CELEBRATE

And finally, the Republic of Nauru celebrates its 42nd anniversary today. It was a country made wealthy by bird guana (poop) and poor when the natural supply ended.

Meanwhile  during this chill weather, there is more pleasant reading at and

Carolyn, this photo is beautiful.

Good morning, Ligonier!


Saturday, January 30, 2010

All my little garden helpers are busy...even in winter. ;)

"January is the quietest month in the garden.  ...  But just because it looks quiet doesn't mean that nothing is happening.  The soil, open to the sky, absorbs the pure rainfall while microorganisms convert tilled-under fodder into usable nutrients for the next crop of plants.  The feasting earthworms tunnel along, aerating the soil and preparing it to welcome the seeds and bare roots to come."
-  Rosalie Muller Wright

"While molehills and tunnels may be an inconvenience, they are evidence of a healthy ecosystem. Where possible, mole activity should be allowed. They eat large numbers of grubs and other insects, and they help aerate the soil." Source 

nothing like staying in on a cold weekend and making quilts ! having a Labatts with makes it even better ;)

Wine Tasting Dinner at The Ivy

If you didn't have the opportunity to taste various wines paired with food selections all delightful sensations to your palate last evening at The Ivy missed a not only a taste sensation but a most enjoyable evening with old and new friends.

Chef Anthony and Lisa (Awesome Pastry Chef) out did themselves in presentation and outstanding food.

Not to be outdone was Clay who introduced each California wine with flair, knowledge and outstanding interaction with all diners.

Megan our server added her ever present smile as well as outstanding service in a warm, friendly manner.

From the applause, positive comments, chatter, and ever present laughter it was evident all of us enjoyed every aspect of the event.

"When is the next wine tasting dinner?" was the question of evening. What a compliment to Lisa and Anthony.

The group at my table decided we want to sit together at the next wine tasting as we had so much fun together.

If you haven't experienced The Ivy have missed a culinary delight in a romantic admosphere.

A mini Triathlon @ the YMCA

I took Grace to show her what mommy is training for.... she was inspired to workout!!! That was my goal- she was excited...I AM TOOO- thanks for leting us share in the moment...
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Good morning, Ligonier! Anyone get a good picture of the moon last night?


Friday, January 29, 2010

Ligonier Valley YMCA Seeks CEO

"The Ligonier Valley YMCA's Board of Directors seeks a skilled and experienced individual to build on the past, promote a culture of excellence within the YMCA and continue to enhance the image of the YMCA in the communities it serves. The CEO is responsible for the development, implementation and articulation of the mission, vision and goals of the YMCA."


events by the Colonial Inn

Fri. Jan. 29th-Bookendz 8-11pm
Fri.Feb. 5th- Shirley 8-11pm

Make your Valentine's Reservations (Specials all weekend!)
Fri. Feb. 12th- The Reality Band 8-11pm

February 27th- Murder Mystery dinner-"Yellow Hat Murder" Reservations Required

Lucky in Ligonier

We are so lucky to have such a wonderful museum hosting such an important show right here in Ligonier! Don't forget to stop by the
Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art at Ligonier to see the Southwestern Pennsylvania Council for the Arts 14th Annual Regional Juried Art Exhibition. It ends February 13. The exhibition features 75 works from 75 individual artists from the 19 southwestern counties of Pennsylvania. Featured work will span a variety of media, including oil, acrylic, watercolor, collage, pastel, sculpture and photography. So much local talent! Support local arts!

cash bash update



Well tomorrow is the big day, the Cash Bash is finally here.  For all who have volunteered to work the event Jim and Pete need you to be at Stonehenge Lodge by 12 Noon.  At that time your duties for the day will be explained to you.  Please come well rested and ready to work. From what we are hearing we are expecting a larger crowd than last year.

For those of you who were assigned to bring Pop, Chips and Pretzels in lieu of selling tickets please make sure these items are turned into Amy Gaynor by 6PM tonight.  

Several of you wanted to know if tickets will be sold at the door.  There are some tickets for the event still available and yes they will be sold at the door.  Please note they will be sold on a first come first serve basis.  

If you have any questions please let me know right away.  Keep your fingers crossed that tomorrow’s fundraiser is a success, the more we make tomorrow the less we have to do the rest of the year.  


Football Booster Meeting Schedule for 2010.  Note: All meetings start at 7PM but the locations may change, see schedule below:
February 9th in the High School Library
March 9th in the High School Library
April 13th in the High School Library
May 11th in the High School Library
June 15th at Weller Field
July 13th at Weller Field
August 10th at Weller Field
September 14th in the High School Library
October 12th in the High School Library
November 9th in the High School Library


I need to have my external hard drive looked at, possibly repaired, or have the files saved. ComTech told me they work on them, but has anyone had this done to theirs at their shop? Do they do good work there, and do they have a "clean room" for the recovery of files? I have a bunch of music that I don't want to lose (some of it's unreplaceable), and I'd rather be safe than sorry. Honest responses please. Thanks in advance.

Holy Trinity Catholic School Education is Affordable

Holy Trinity Catholic School offers many different scholarships for students to make the cost affordable.

Call the office at 724 238 6430 for more information.

Check out the website


There are "thousands" of books still available for sale at Ligonier Valley Library's Winter Book Sale. The sale is located in the library's basement. All items for sale are only 25 cents each.

The sale is open during regular library hours. Saturday is the perfect day to spend some time browsing through the titles. It is open on Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

New items are being added daily! The sale continues through February 27.

Good morning, Ligonier.....bbbrrrrrrrrr! ;)


Everyday Therapeutics has got your BACK...

Donna's mind is on... Use your talent (everybody has one) in anyway you can. Don't keep it for yourself like a miser- SPEND IT like a MILLIONAIRE!!! Lucy MacDonald

Visit me @

Personal message me:

There is sooo much hidden talent in this town- I love everything I see or hear....
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Grace isn't buying it...

Took Grace to see CRAZY DAVE- he danced,sang to her and gave her his Dave"ism" advice- I have to hire him for my business to make people laugh...laughter is healing....
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Thursday, January 28, 2010

events by Ligonier Country Inn

Jimmy Buffett Weekend
Friday, January 29, 2010
Great music and friends. Margarita's and cheeseburger bar Friday night.
Music starts at 8pm

Moonlight ski Tour
Friday, January 29, 2010
Enjoy a moonlight cross country tour in the Laurel Highlands. Starts at 7pm at the warming hut. $10. for sandwiches and soup and hot drinks after wards at the Inn. The fee for rentals is only $10. Please call to let us know you are coming

Jimmy Buffett Music Weekend
Saturday, January 30, 2010
John Mcdonald and the Mango Men start playing at 8pm. Key West Dinner specials and lots of fun, dancing,
Parrot Heads unite

Home Wine Competition
Saturday, March 27, 2010
You bring your homemade wine, and we get to try it. Music, snacks, and wine from the cellar will also be provided. $5.00 per person for off the street "judges" Winemakers get 4 free admissions.
Do not drive home package is available

Holy Trinity Catholic school

My student and sort of my writeup.

Our beloved bakery nice ad!

crazy dave at the ligonier tavern

What a cast of characters! You KNOW this play will be a hoot. ;)

We always look forward to the Valley Players mid-winter production because it's timed to make you laugh just when you are getting seriously tired of the snow.  Knock em Dead is almost sold out for Valentine's Day so if you want to see this show, heads up!  ;)  Here's a note from Cathi Rhodes.....

Pictured are (front): Erin Rutledge, Tim Jacobs and Curtis
Caldwell. Standing (back): Barry Shirey, Mary Keim, Jen Appleby-West and
Bernie Sherry. Directed by Debbie Gruss and Stage Managed by Michelle Clise,
this show opens Friday, February 5 at 7:30 PM. Additional performances are
Feb 6, 12 & 13 at 7:30 pm and February 7 & 14 at 2:30 PM, however, the
Valentine's Day performance is nearly sold out! We would highly recommend
making reservations for another performance date.

Hope to see you at the theater!
Thank you very much!

Oh, man, does this look good!

Thanks so much to our food blogger friend, Dani, for sharing this post......

In between antiquing along Ligonier, PA's route 30 West, set down your stash of milk glassware and rest your bargaining chops to envelope yourself around a filling meal at Fat Daddy's Place. On the outside, this daddy-o comes off looking like granny's little brick house, but inside, it's a lively pub and grill festooned with tin beer signs and without further ado, trinkets, posters and plaques celebrating Western PA sports teams.

Read more on Romancing the Scone. 

Fat Daddy's Place
Route 30 West
Ligonier, PA
Ph: 724-238-7776
Web site: N/A








Mardi Gras

What's going on in town for Mardi Gras? Feb. 16th...

I want a king cake, some good music, beignets, beads, boas, masks...

~♥ Old-Fashioned Goodness ♥~

Good morning, Ligonier!


NBC- Discussing Manners

They are discussing manners of the modern world. The one lady was dead on with saying your children model what you do, they learn from the parents. BINGO!

Morning Thoughts from Everyday Therapeutics

Donna's View: "The only worse thing then being talked about is NOT being talked about"

Remember that your thoughts are the creation of your reality....
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Minnie the Moocher-Cab

Be of good cheer...

Last week, I started in earnest a practice I have had for years. I give strangers small gifts to wish them well and give them a smile. Years ago, I started to, for example, pass out candy canes at Christmas to toll booth workers on the turnpike, bus drivers, police officers, store clerks and anyone else who may have looked like they needed some cheer in their lives. I regularly leave appropriate seasonal items in my mailbox for Emil, the best mail carrier I have ever had. When I lived in Pittsburgh, I had a large, lavish flower-filled yard. I very often gave flowers to passers-by and you would have thought I had given them gold.

Well, during an insomnia-wracked night recently, I was cruising eBay for charms for my goddaughters bracelet and I came across bags of small charms for use in crafts. I ordered a bag of charms that said "My Garden" and I have started passing them out. My first was to a clerk at Wal-Mart (n0 WM bashing intended) who was pregnant and had been assigned one 8.5 hour shift after another. Her legs were swollen and she still had morning sickness. I listened to her and then reached into my wallet and pulled out a "My Garden" sign. I told her she was a flower in my garden. At first she looked a little puzzled (why is this lady giving me this and what does it mean?) and then the most radiant smile crossed her tired face. There were tears in her eyes. My spidey-sense told me that she had not had a lot of kindness in her life.

I gave one to a Subway worker who made a great sandwich for me, very helpful in explaining the different types of bread available. I have worked these kinds of jobs and they are not easy, especially with the rudeness (Liggy!) that seems to predominate now. She showed it to her co-workers and each of them got one.

I was checked-out at Delallo's by a young woman with an obvious arm deformity; she got one. One of the really nice pharmacy techs at Giant Eagle got one (I tell them their slogan should be "Nice people--cheap drugs").

Last night, I order more charms from eBay--suns, lady bugs, stars. An artist friend had given me some milagros, small charms Hispanics use to pray for intercessions. I checked them today: there are babies, dogs, cats, ears of corn, and various assorted body parts--arms, legs, kidneys and the lower back. I have added these to my stash of charms. I had once given a foot milagro to my orthopedic surgeon (a pretty cool guy) who taped it in my chart.

So, when you see someone, and there are a lot of them, who seems a little down, or who does a good job (even the smallest one), smile and say thanks. Leave the charms and candy canes to me!

help for homeowners who lost a job

Pennsylvania's Homeowners' Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program was created in the 1980s in response to job losses in the steel and coal industries. With funding tight, the approval rate for new loans in the Pennsylvania program has fallen to about 22% from a high of more than 40% in the 1980s. Roughly 80% of loans involve one-time payments, with just 20% going to borrowers who need continuing help with their mortgage payments for up to three years.
Karen and John Steele applied for a loan last year after Mr. Steele lost his job at a Pittsburgh bank. A 5.25% loan from the program will cover about $400 of their mortgage payments for up to 36 months, with the Steeles responsible for the remaining $284. "Knowing that there was help out there provided us with major relief, both emotionally and financially," Ms. Steele says.  Read more in the Wall Street Journal.

Currently @ G Squared Gallery

Looking for something different for your love this Valentines Day?
These unique little beauties are hand made by siblings Kristen and Eric Wornson.
Each pendant is made using traditional stained glass techniques and each one contains a real wild flower. Let us know what you think of these!

Walk in Jerusalem

First time I heard this song was in the movie "Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood" and have loved it since.

Mahalia, my girl- I'm on my way

I adore the piano part in this. Can you guys tell what music I prefer lately :) I find so much soul in this stuff.

Mack the Knife by my man, Louis

St. James Infirmary-Janis Joplin

St. James Infirmary-Joe Cocker

Super dark video, the style makes me wish Janis Joplin did her own version of it.....lemme look. OMG would it be good.

St. James Infirmary-cartoon

St. James Infirmary-Louis Style

Istvan you MADE my night playing this. It's an all time favorite of mine. It's so dark though once people realize what it's about. I always wish I was a male singing it, a deep voice does it justice.

I'm Alive- this says it all. Be thankful you're alive.

I can't get enough of this, the lyrics speak to me and for some reason this has been with me all week. I choose to thank my lucky stars and my Lord for being alive and seeing all the miracles around me.

My chair @ your business for 10-15 min massage

Donna's thoughts: everyone can afford massage once a month...

Starting everyweek @ Bo-Peep Fine Yarns...that is where I start - not where I end.

Call 1-877-213-3173
Email me with question

My site has a built in online schedule- I will have town as a group be able to schedule your day with me. Until I replace my laptop we are doing it the old fashion way.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Good morning, Ligonier! and good morning, Gracie.. ;)


Grace's Michael Jackson Moves

This is what we do in our home- dance is healing....

The school let's the children bring in music to play during recess- they all dance & they all showed off their yoga moves.....
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The happiest worker at the tavern :-)

This message was sent using the Picture and Video Messaging service from Verizon Wireless!

To learn how you can snap pictures and capture videos with your wireless phone visit

Note: To play video messages sent to email, QuickTime� 6.5 or higher is required.

Photography by bt

This message was sent using the Picture and Video Messaging service from Verizon Wireless!

To learn how you can snap pictures and capture videos with your wireless phone visit

Note: To play video messages sent to email, QuickTime� 6.5 or higher is required.

Photography by bt

This message was sent using the Picture and Video Messaging service from Verizon Wireless!

To learn how you can snap pictures and capture videos with your wireless phone visit

Note: To play video messages sent to email, QuickTime� 6.5 or higher is required.

On the road again

This message was sent using the Picture and Video Messaging service from Verizon Wireless!

To learn how you can snap pictures and capture videos with your wireless phone visit

Note: To play video messages sent to email, QuickTime� 6.5 or higher is required.

Artist at work

This message was sent using the Picture and Video Messaging service from Verizon Wireless!

To learn how you can snap pictures and capture videos with your wireless phone visit

Note: To play video messages sent to email, QuickTime� 6.5 or higher is required.

Trying to take a picture like some people "try" to sing :-P

This message was sent using the Picture and Video Messaging service from Verizon Wireless!

To learn how you can snap pictures and capture videos with your wireless phone visit

Note: To play video messages sent to email, QuickTime� 6.5 or higher is required.

a mellow mellow mike night

This message has been sent using the picture and Video service from Verizon Wireless!

To learn how you can snap pictures and capture videos with your wireless phone visit

Note: To play video messages sent to email, Quicktime@ 6.5 or higher is required.

Good morning, Ligonier!


Ligonier woman was trapped in her car.

LIGONIER TOWNSHIP (KDKA) ― With some streams and creeks spilling over their banks, high water caused problems this morning in Westmoreland County.

Read more on Pittsburgh CW.

Good Morning Ligonier!

Thank you to everyone for making this year's Ice Fest a success!
We've re-stocked the milk coolers, and we're ready to go!
House Brew: Dancing Goats (Don't know the story behind the name? Just ask!)
Coffee of the Week: Italian Roast
Flavor of the Week: German Chocolate (You should stop in just to smell it brewing!)
Drink of the Week: Nuts and Berries (Amaretto, Irish Cream and Raspberry)
Sandwich of the Week: The Rachel (Think Reuben made with turkey)
Call or stop for our soup of the day.
Gold Award Coffeehouse Winner for Trib Total Media's 2009 "Quest for The Best"

Destress with Everyday Therapeutics

For fast-acting relief, try slowing down-Lily Tomblin
Choose to send a personal email

Donna's thoughts: I have a friend who just told me a story about not having a choice but to sit & hold her grandchild for 2 hours. She said it was the best rest she has had & it felt good!!! She never does this type of thing.....

WHO IS SHE??? HINT: she works in town- free 5 min massage this WED when I am in town for the 1st correct guess...or maybe the 2nd correct guess
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Monday, January 25, 2010

Presentation available on LVSD website

Glad to see the Ligonier Valley School District has posted Dr. Oldham's Jan. 12 PowerPoint presentation on the LVSD website in "pdf" format, so anyone can view it. It makes a fairly compelling case for merging the high schools, especially when you consider that nearly a third of the high school classes at Laurel Valley have fewer than 10 students enrolled, compared with just 2 percent of the classes at Ligonier having such small numbers.
Enrollment trends are also eye-opening, indicating this disparity is likely to widen. "Separate but equal" doesn't seem to be working out here. All students in the district should have the same opportunity to partake in the same course offerings, which certainly isn't the case when operating two small high schools with declining enrollment.

keep eyes open for flooding...

Heavy rainfall in Pittsburgh mixed with melting mountain snow, causing rivers and streams in the region to rise and shutting down the Mon Wharf, along the Monongahela River, to parking. Sections of Route 381 western Pennsylvania were closed due to flooding and rescuers were trying to rescue a motorist from flood waters in Ligonier.   More on Pittsburgh CW.

images of the Ligonier Ice Fest courtesy of Bill Pribisco - thanks, Bill!