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.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

events by UU Fellowship of Ligonier

Used and Unique Sale...
The Fourth Annual Used And Unique Sale will be held on Saturday, October 2, 2010 from 9-3.  We will start accepting your donations on Sunday, September 5.  This is a major Fellowship project so we hope you will all participate.  New this year--- if you come to the sale and don't see any items that you want to purchase, but still want to give a monetary donation to the Westmoreland County Food Bank, we will have a can at the cashier's table that you can put your cash donation in.  There will also be  signup sheet closer to the date of the sale if you would like to work at the sale.  All proceeds will go to fight hunger. In the past the Westmoreland County Food Bank and the Ligonier Valley Food Pantry have received all of the net profit from these sales.
First Friday Events...
Life of the Amish
Friday, October 1 from 7:30 to 9:30 PM
Our speaker will be Pastor Russell Shope. He will compare the Old Order and New Order Amish churches and describe the challenges the Amish face in maintaining a "Plain" lifestyle in the contemporary world. The Amish are widely known for simple living, plain dress and reluctance to adopt modern conveniences.
Free to the public
The First Friday Series offers the public the opportunity to hear religious, philosophical or other vital topics affecting humankind. The belief set of a different religious tradition or other subject is presented and discussed each month.
How to Find Us
From Ligonier, proceed east on Route 30 approximately 1.5 miles. We are on the right hand side just beyond the Ligonier Valley Beach. Coming from the east we are about 2 miles west of Laughlintown on the left side of Route 30. Look for a large blue sign with white lettering. 
Ligonier Borough Council will vote Monday on four proposed business plans.

The borough planning commission and zoning officer Chick Cicconi have recommended approving plans for:
• Derry resident Gwen Weyandt, who wants to start a dog grooming and pet supply shop at 120 N. Market St.
"I think it's a good fit for that location," Cicconi told the commission. "It's hard for a retail business to be successful there, but with the dog grooming, it's a destination location."
The property is located in the C-1 zone, which requires council approval for any "personal service" business.

Read more in the Ligonier Echo.


Hi Diane.  Attached is a pic of some of the east main merchants having fun on a dreary Thursday..Could you post this on your blog?

Does the format work?  It is just a word doc.



137 East Main Street
Ligonier, PA 15658
Phone: 724-238-2420

it worked.  thanks, Andrew!!

Latrobe Pennsylvania 1900 Antique Panoramic Map

Ligonier Pennsylvania 1900 Antique Panoramic Map

State governments have had to make tough budget choices in recent years. Tax revenues have stagnated as a result of the poor economy, and that has prompted governors to take a variety of fiscal actions to close large budget gaps. Some governors have cut spending to balance their budgets, while others have pursued large tax increases.

That is the backdrop to this 10th biennial fiscal report card of the governors, which examines state budget actions since 2008. It uses statistical data to grade the governors on their taxing and spending records — governors who have cut taxes and spending the most receive the highest grades, while those who have increased taxes and spending the most receive the lowest grades.

Read more on Cato.
The big, big news is that yesterday, the plain language movement scored a major coup. The House of Representatives passed, on a vote of 386-33, the Plain Language Act. (The vote was bipartisan, for sure, but all thirty three nays were Republican.) The Senate passed a very similar bill through committee in December, which means that we're one step closer to the achieving the ultimate goal of requiring that the federal government stop talking in jargon and gobbledygook.

More on techPresident.
The newly redesigned will have, it seems, a new option soon under its "Oral Arguments" tab on its navigation bar, labeled "Argument Audio." The Supreme Court let it be known, reports SCOTUSblog, that with this new term starting in October, the court will release audio recordings of oral arguments before the court on the Friday of each week -- rather than a data dump at the beginning of the following term.

Read more on techPresident.

looks yummy, Heather!

Hi Diane,
I have a few exciting new lines coming in for Fort Days and the Holidays.  Could you post our new Belgium Chocolate line.  Picture attached.  Choc-o-lait Hot Chocolate Sticks.  2010 Sofi Gold Medal Winner for Outstanding Hot Beverage.  We just had the dark chocolate and it was outstanding.
Heather Kuban
Currant Thymes
136 East Main Street
Ligonier, Pa 15658
Don't Miss it!!
Book your tickets NOW!!
Sure to be a fun time for Rat Pack Lovers!!
Bring your friends
Mom and Dad would love to see this show!!

~ ~ ~
Join us for our BIGGEST event yet -- A 'Las Vegas Style' Show featuring

Sat., November 13 at 7:30 PM
Sun., November 14 at 2:30 PM

Enjoy a full orchestra and three of the top performers of our time as they sing the hits of
in this 'Vegas-Style' performance! You haven't heard a REAL Tribute to Sinatra until you've heard THIS one! You'll swear you're listening to the real deal! 'Ole Blue Eyes' himself would be jealous!

Starring Bo Wagner as Sinatra, Bob Morelli as Dean and Buster Maxwell as Sammy!

~ A CASH BAR will be offered~

Tickets $30



Ligonier Valley Library Bus Trip

Ligonier Valley Library is sponsoring a day trip to Washington, D.C. on November 5 to visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the National World War II Memorial. The group will stop at the famous Union Station in Washington, D. C. for lunch.

The cost is $50.00 per person--price does not include meals. The bus will be leaving Ligonier at 6 a.m. with the estimated return at 10:30 p.m.

Seating is limited and payment is due at time of registration. Make checks payable to Ligonier Valley Library
Breaking News Alert: Scientists overcome hurdles to stem cell alternatives
September 30, 2010 12:08:08 PM

Scientists reported Thursday they had developed a technique that can quickly convert ordinary skin cells into cells that are virtually identical to embryonic stem cells, a major advance toward developing a less controversial approach for treating a host of medical problems.

For more information, visit

Hitchens on the race card.

The "race-card" game, when I was young, was a simple one. It used to be George Wallace and Orval Faubus shouting about "n_____s." As the 1960s advanced, this became less respectable and, with the defection of white Southerners to the Republican Party, more a matter of codes and signals. Nixon's "Southern strategy" was a relatively subtle example; George Bush Sr.'s use of the Willie Horton subliminal ad a rather crude one. I would say that this began to change with Bill Clinton, the first politician to play the card twice.

Read more on Slate.

New Hours: The Enchanted Moment

Good morning everyone! Ah, such a soft and wondrous day ;)

Tomorrow Friday October 1, 2010 starts our new hours to help accommodate the Fall and Winter Seasons. Due to Fort Ligonier Days, "Goddess Gossip" on Sunday the 4th and Sunday the10th will be cancelled.

Sunday "Goddess Gossip"...........................4:00-6:00

Don't forget to check us out for Fort Ligonier Days. Professional Massages, Product Testing, Beautiful Hand Crafted Jewelry and More!!! See you then!

The Enchanted Moment located @ 110 N Fairfield Street
"Your Alternative to the Mundane"

724 - 771 - 1186

Mary Miller's got you deliciously covered.

For years, the Fox Chapel dietician has been scouting out the region's most interesting food places, collecting so many stories that she eventually started a blog, Now, she's decided to share some of her favorite food finds in person, through a series of guided culinary tours.
You'll eat, of course -- really, really well. The inaugural trip to the Laurel Highlands ($115) on Oct. 21 will include a two-course gourmet lunch and specially made pumpkin gelato at Jayne's Main Street Cafe in Ligonier. But you'll also learn some new techniques through at least four private cooking demonstrations, and there also will be opportunities to shop.

Read more:

Good morning, Ligonier!!


Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Some initial thoughts, tips, and leads have rolled in on this question I raised yesterday of whether there's anything interesting happening at the intersection of tech and the drawing of political districts. The context is, of course, the 2010 Census and the coming remaking of political maps across the country.

Read more on techPresident.

Lemons lemonade?

Well OBX on vacation windy. Rain. What to do? I make. Fresh. Squeeze. Lime. Triple. -sec. Tequila and make Marguerite s

prison cowboys, a photo essay

Let me be the first to say the Landesman has a point: If my taxpayer dollars are going to be flushed down the toilet that is stimulus spending, I'd just as soon see a rotten version of Once Upon a Mattress or Hamlet set in Battlestar Galactica's world as sit in traffic while ARRA funds are used to pave over streets that don't need a new topcoat.

I stand second to none in my interest in literature, music, visual arts, and more. And I stand second to none in suggesting that the arts, like religion, can only be made docile or complicit or craptacular by getting state funding.

Read more on Reason.

yes, this is how ecology works...good article

The chain of effects went roughly like this: no wolves meant that many more elk crowded onto inviting river and stream banks where the grass is green and the livin’ easy.  A growing population of fat elk, in no danger of being turned into prey, gnawed down willow and aspen seedlings before they could mature. Willows are both food and building material for beavers.  As the willows declined, so did beaver populations.  When beavers build dams and ponds, they create wetland habitats for countless bugs, amphibians, fish, birds, and plants, as well as slowing the flow of water and distributing it over broad areas.  The consequences of their decline rippled across the land.

Read more on The Huffington Post. 

I'm not a tree hugger but I absolutely agree with this phrase:   American public that is mostly ecologically illiterate
The man was filmed carrying the carpet on his mobility scooter by a passenger in a car behind him.

A man has been filmed carrying a long roll of carpet on his mobility scooter along a road in Somerset.

The clip - posted on YouTube - was shot on a mobile phone by Gary McKenna, who was a passenger in a car behind.

Read more on the BBC.

Chad's Corn Maze is BACK!

It's that time of the year again!  Just letting everyone know....
Please forward to all your friends!
Three women are suing Idlewild & SoakZone, claiming the Ligonier Township amusement park was negligent when it allowed a 15-year-old maintenance employee to sneak into a changing room and secretly take photographs two years ago.

Read more in the Tribune Review.

Good morning, Ligonier!


best. cookie. ever

the ligonier landmark bakery is a true gem.  i always wondered how a quaint small town like ligonier functioned without a bakery for so long, and when they opened last fort daze, we were thrilled.  i think we stopped in three times, for chili, enormous cinnamon rolls, and other goodies.

ohmygoodness, the cinnamon rolls.

their breakfast sandwiches are some of the best around, too, but today i am inspired to wax poetic about their cookies.  their ooey-gooey peanut butter-chocolate-caramel masterpieces are truly decadent, and their chocolate chip cookies are perfection.

now, i love me some chocolate chip cookies--all kinds--but for me, the true holy grail are the thick and soft variety that are exceedingly rare in a sea of over-sized crispy flat ones.

ligonier landmark bakery has achieved chocolate chip cookie bliss:  theirs are soft and chewy, impossibly thick, full of chocolatey goodness, and big enough to be a treat yet small enough so as not to be obscene.

you should probably get one right now.  a delicious cookie, served up by the friendly face of lori, kara, or jill may just be the best $.50 you'll ever spend.

(i had a tempting photo, but blogger will not let me upload!  is anyone else having problems with its new photo uploader?)

Laughter, Laughter, Laughter


This has had me laughing all week
The question is .... has this happened to you

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

But religion, as a force in history and a motivator in present times, "has consequences in the world," he adds, so an intellectual baseline, whatever your faith or lack of faith, can "shape your role as a citizen in the public square."

The top scoring groups were atheists/agnostics, Jews and Mormons. These tiny groups, adding up to less than 7% of Americans, scored particularly well on world religion and U.S. constitutional questions. It's unclear why, although highly educated people overall did best on the quiz, researchers say.

Alice, the missing cat, was found under a manhole cover!!!

Alice has been found!  She was roaming in the sewers of Ligonier when a woman heard meowing from beneath a manhole cover.  We were reunited on Saturday--Life is GOOD!  The woman knew about Alice missing from blogs and signs.  Thanks to everyone who helped bring Alice home.


it's Mellow Mike night!

Ligonier Tavern
6:30 to 9pm

come to sing
come to drink
come to laugh
come to eat
come to read
come to listen
come to get mellow.....
They are good for the environment, but reusable grocery bags are also a breeding ground for bacteria.

Many responsible shoppers carefully choose their groceries and put them into the same cloth or plastic bags over and over again on every trip to the store.“Did you ever wash your grocery bags?” asked Call7 Investigator Theresa Marchetta.

Read more on the Denver Channel.
Disclosures that a sophisticated computer worm, Stuxnet, was uncovered at the Bushehr atomic reactor and may have burrowed deeper into Iran's nuclear programme prompted foreign experts to suggest the Israelis were responsible.

Israel has declined to comment on any specific operations. Analysts say cyber capabilities offer it a stealthy alternative to the air strikes that it has long been expected to launch against Iran but which would face enormous operational hurdles as well as the risk of triggering regional war.

More on Reuters.

And here are the folks that made the grits!

Shrimp and. Grits for breakfast? Yes she got her way again.

Brunch at 0BX

Marianne, Aunt Shirley and joy 


Who does this cat belong to? Contact Carolyn Holland for information---chollandnews at

Honey’s Coming Home! Our cat must recuperate

Honey went home—She’s romping in animal heaven

Should your cat be kept indoors or outdoors?



The “Meow” Chorus: A cat symphony on a Greyhound Bus
Before the closing arguments, one more witness, Victor Sansing, a school board member who voted against closing the school, was called to the stand by Sansone.

Sansing said consolidation was necessary due to declining enrollment and finances. He said the district handled the matter in an appropriate manner of time but should have taken more time.

Under cross-examination by Rafferty, Sansing said that no one or no organization tried to influence him on the consolidation matter.

He said he had not heard of that happening to other board members either.

Sansone called SORE members Kevin McLaughlin and Michael Koch to the stand. Both said they interviewed Sansing last month and were surprised at the answers given by Sansing on Monday.

Sansone offered into evidence the deposition of school board member Raymond Beam, who has not been able to testify due to health reasons.

Caruso said he will issue his decision in a few weeks. He said he has to go over Beam’s deposition plus all the trial’s transcripts.

Read more in the Tribune Democrat.

Jessica ha started a new blog called Honestly Good Food

Victor Sansing, the lone school board member to oppose the consolidation plan, yesterday testified he had changed his opinion. He now favors closing the Laurel Valley school.

"As time went on, I saw two communities tearing each other apart," Sansing testified. "Yes, it needs to be done. It could have been handled differently."  source
Westmoreland County Judge Gary Caruso said he will decide in about two weeks whether to order the reopening of the Laurel Valley Middle/High School.

That facility was closed by the Ligonier Valley School District in April, and students last month moved to consolidated buildings in the Ligonier area in what board members say is a move to improve educational opportunities and save money.

After seven days of testimony stretched over the last five weeks, a nonjury trial on a citizens group's efforts to overturn the school board vote ended yesterday afternoon.

Read more in the Tribune Review.

Melissa Lynn Melville and James Douglas Heming, united in marriage

Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. James Douglas Heming who were united in marriage on Saturday at Trinity Presbyterian Church in New Florence.

They received this Celtic blessing.

May the best you've ever seen
Be the worst you'll ever see.
May the mouse never leave your pantry
With a tear-drop in his eye.
May you always keep healthy and hearty
Until you're old enough to die.
May you always be just as happy
As we wish you now to be.
Wherever you live in the world so wide,
We wish you a nook on the sunny side,
With much love and little care,
A little purse with money to spare,
Your own little hearth when day is spent,
In a little house with heart's content.

photos by Cathy Sherman
Miron and Waldock's paper considers only the budgetary impact of repealing drug prohibition. Many other costs of the war on drugs—including the basic loss of control over one's body and brain, the erosion of Fourth Amendment rights and other civil liberties, interference with religious rituals and medical practice, black market violence, official corruption, lives disrupted by arrest and incarceration, terrorism subsidized by drug profits, and deaths and injuries from tainted or unexpectedly strong drugs—are not so easily expressed in dollars.

Read more on Reason.

Good morning, Ligonier!

But did you know Obamacare is also a stalking horse for imposing a European-style value-added tax (VAT)on Americans? CNN’s Money desk is raising alarms, though not of an approaching VAT kind:
“But under the new rules, if a freelance designer buys a new iMac from the Apple Store, they’ll have to send Apple a 1099. A laundromat that buys soap each week from a local distributor will have to send the supplier a 1099 at the end of the year tallying up their purchases.
“The bill makes two key changes to how 1099s are used. First, it expands their scope by using them to track payments not only for services but also for tangible goods. Plus, it requires that 1099s be issued not just to individuals, but also to corporations. Taken together, the two seemingly small changes will require millions of additional forms to be sent out.”

Read more at the Washington Examiner:

Read more here and here.
History comes alive in Westmoreland County.

The 51st Fort Ligonier Days will be held Oct. 8-10 at the historic fort and on the streets of downtown Ligonier.

The festival commemorates the Battle of Fort Ligonier, a key engagement during the French and Indian War.

Carrie Blough, director of the Ligonier Valley Chamber of Commerce, said this year’s theme is “Community Spirit Past and Present.”

The renowned Quantico Marine Corps Band will return to perform at 7 p.m. Oct. 8 at Ligonier Valley High School.

The band also will participate in a community parade beginning at 11 a.m. Oct. 9.

Read more in the Tribune Democrat.

Ray visits Ligonier

The test of any little town is how the back streets look and Ligonier passes this test with flying colours. Here is a gorgeous barn.

Read more and see more lovely Ligonier pictures on Ray's Retirement blog.
Ronald McClintic, 57, Ligonier, told police that he left his damaged trailer at Watkins Chevrolet and returned the next day with replacement parts to find that it was missing. The trailer is red with stainless steel fenders, dual axles and gray composite lumber as planks for the decking.

Anyone with information regarding this incident should contact state police at 445-4104.

Read more in the Daily American.
At least four people were injured when two full-sized pickups collided at Route 30 and South Market Street in Ligonier just after midnight Saturday morning.

Read more in the Tribune Review.

homicide charges may be filed against driver in GetGo accident

Look for breaking news in the local papers.  One of the passengers in the truck that caused the accident may be brain dead.  The woman whose car was hit may be paralyzed.

Accident investigators are piecing together the accident with the help of video provided by the GetGo station.

You may have already taken a look at the skid marks which go right up to the gas pump.  Thank heavens that truck didn't hit the pump.

Visit the Ligonier Volunteer Hose Co. #1 web site for more info and to see the pictures of the vehicles.

Monday, September 27, 2010

this picture makes me smile



enjoying a meadow

A meadow is an habitat where grasses and wildflowers grow in an open area in full sun.  The wildflowers are at their best in summer and fall.

Meadows can be wet or dry.  The most important factor affecting plant growth in the meadow is sunlight.  Grasses and wildflowers that thrive in a meadow require almost a full day of sunlight.
Meadow plants depend on each other. Tall plants depend on lower-growing plants for support, because there is little protection against winds that blow across a meadow.  Read more here.

A wildflower meadow is a natural eco-system that is a combination of wildflowers and native grasses growing together. In the traditional European style of gardening, hybridized plants are planted 2 or more feet apart and thus requires repeated mulching, watering and fertilizing. 

Meadows and meadow-styled gardens thrive when wildflowers and native grasses are planted intensively at a rate of one plant per square foot and even closer. Planting close together allows the plants to provide their own shade and water conservation  Thus meadow plantings require no mulching or watering. In addition, wildflowers and native grasses need no fertilizing whatsoever.  Read more here.

Brown's Tree Service in Wilpen

Are these folks still in business?  I've been trying to call since Friday and I either get a busy or a bunch of line noise.
Perhaps the California farmers, who depend on migrant Mexican labor, have got the wrong business model. Instead of paying workers to pick their fruit, they should try another strategy: making customers pay to pick the fruit themselves. Savvy farmers all over the country have discovered a practice that might not work as a nationwide agricultural policy, but that has allowed some economically inefficient orchards to thrive: Encourage yuppies and their progeny to come pick your fruit—they'll pay handsomely for the privilege, buy more than they'd ordinarily consume, and then shell out for all sorts of other value-added products. It's the best use of child labor since Manchester's early 19th-century textile mills.

Read more on Slate.
Essentially, officials want Congress to require all services that enable communications — including encrypted e-mail transmitters like BlackBerry, social networking Web sites like Facebook and software that allows direct “peer to peer” messaging like Skype — to be technically capable of complying if served with a wiretap order. The mandate would include being able to intercept and unscramble encrypted messages.

Read more in the NYT.

Good afternoon, Ligonier!!


the seeds were sown

Croly called for the adoption of Hamiltonian means to achieve Jeffersonian ends. To achieve this synthesis, however, Croly rejected Hamilton's arguments for institutional checks on a pure national democracy, and Jefferson's arguments for limited government. Croly rejected these limits because he saw them as too closely tied to the doctrine of individual rights. Croly wanted to transcend the doctrine of individual rights in order to create a national political community, one that would be forged by a strong but democratic national government. However, Croly failed to see the connection between Jefferson's belief in democracy and his belief in limited government, and he failed to see the connection between Hamilton's belief in a strong national government and his call for institutional checks on democracy. Thus, although many American reform movements have their roots in the rhetoric of Croly's progressivism, to be effective they have had to accommodate the principles of liberal individualism that Croly wished to eradicate.[23]

Read more on Wikipedia.

RIGHT leaning progressive collectivism

Indeed, if there were ever a question whether Democrats are woefully weak on national defense, that question was cleared up on Tuesday. Taking direction from Lady Gaga (evidently Mr. Obama's new national defense czar) Senate Majority Leader and chief surrender monkey Harry "the war is lost" Reid cynically attempted, but fortunately failed, to ram through a repeal of Section 654,Title 10, USC - the law prohibiting homosexual conduct within the ranks of the armed services. Just two Democrats - Sens. Mark Pryor and Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas - voted against repeal.

Read more on the WT.
A civil complaint in the case said two New Black Panther Party members in black berets, black combat boots, black shirts and black jackets with military insignias intimidated voters with racial slurs and a nightstick. A third party member was accused of directing their behavior. The incident was captured on videotape and gained national attention after it was shown on

Read more in the WT.
The Ligonier Valley Shock 16-and-under fast-pitch girls softball team captured its second tournament championship in two weeks at the USSSA 18U Fall Spectacular played in Shippensburg.

Read more in the Daily American.
Updates and your weekly prompt, Sept. 28, 2010
Hi Beanery Writers,
The booklet is done. I hope you are pleased. Again, we thank our anonymous donor. We printed 80 copies.
First scheduled field trip to practice and prepare for Kentuc Knob writing: October 12 and/or  19 at the Ligonier Tavern, 6:30-9:00 during Mellow Mike time.
Don’t expect miracle writing on first try. This is a challenging type of writing. We will have numerous practice field trips with critiques and discussions of results. Two approved but not scheduled are the Compass Inn and the Ligonier Theater. Hopefully the arrangements will be completed this week.
Here is your weekly prompt:
Where does time disappear?
Sit down for 7 minutes and just write. Then, if you feel so inclined, develop your 7 minute writing further.
Email your results (the seven minute writing) to me or bring your results to the next meeting.
Another prompt will come.
Carolyn, your venerable facilitator

laughter is in the air ....


Starting your week off with laughs

New Hours: The Enchanted Moment

Good morning Ligonier! My how soft and serene. Wanted to up date everyone on our NEW Hours starting Friday October 1, 2010. These NEW Hours is to help accommodate the Fall and Winter Season. Stay posted for our "Goddess Gossip" Classes that will be held every Sunday from 4-6. Each Sunday is a different topic. Please note that some classes will be Pre-registration for product ordering while other classes are FREE. If pre-registration quota is not met. That class will be canceled for that Sunday. Manage this years Winter Blues with "Goddess Gossip"

Wednesday - Thursday.........................11:00-4:30
Friday - Saturday...................................11:00-7:00
"Goddess Gossip"...Sunday ONLY.......4:00-6:00

Privilege, Privacy, Peace,

The Enchanted Moment honoring the Goddess within
110 N Fairfield Street
Ligonier, Pennsylvania 15658


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fort Ligonier Days are almost here!

Fort Ligonier 2006.
Originally uploaded by ryanophilly

Throughout American history, immigrants have been among the usual suspects when looking for culprits in times of economic trouble. In the latest Immigration Reform Bulletin, Cato scholar Stuart Anderson argues that an understanding of how immigrants function in the labor market and an examination of the likely causes of high unemployment rates illustrate why the foreign- born are not at fault for unemployment in America.

"Let's Not Blame Immigrants for High Unemployment Rates," by Stuart Anderson

LEFT leaning progressive collectivism

When it comes to domestic politics, my version of the narrative goes something like this:
  • Liberals have gotten a lot done in the past 80 years. There are plenty of things still left on our plate, but among big ticket legislative programs the only thing left is national healthcare. Link.
  • We now have a good start on that. What's left is constant evolution and improvement.
  • This, along with modest fixes to Social Security, will eventually put total state/local/federal spending somewhere around 40-45% of GDP. That's as high as I'm comfortable with. Link.
  • So we can't spend huge sums on much of anything else, and to spend even modest sums we're going to have to cut some existing programs and figure out ways to make others more efficient. Link.
Read more on Mother Jones.

events by Earth Lotus

Good Afternoon,

It officially feels like Fall today!  And as we continue to move into the reflective nature of Autumn, I'm happy to be able to offer programs that assist with the transition. 

The newest addition to the Earth Lotus Schedule is Integral Yoga with Pam Alexander which is held on Thursday evenings from 6:00pm - 7:30pm.  This gentle approach to Yoga offers you an opportunity to explore your yoga practice on a deeper, quieter level.  This practice is appropriate for both new and intermediate students.  Pam & I are offering this class for FREE this Thursday, September 30th.

Also, my good friend and teacher, Ruth Rittenhouse, will return to the Studio this Saturday, October 2nd from 11:30am - 2:00pm to present the Honor Your Heart and Belly Workshop ($45).  Please call or email me to register for this special workshop.

Further details for both events are provided below.
This Wednesday is our bi-monthly meeting of the Book Club (4:15pm - 5:15pm).  We'll be discussing chapters 9-12 of Pema Chodron's "Start Where You Are" and we'll conclude with a guided meditation.

And lastly, I am considering adding a Beginner's Yoga class on Saturday's starting in November from 10:15am - 11:45am.  Please email me if you would be interested in attending.

As always, have a Most Joyous week & See you on the Mat,
In Love and Light,
Integral Yoga with Pam AlexanderWhere: Earth Lotus Yoga Studio
When: Thursday, September 30th
Time: 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Cost: FREE

The practice of Integral yoga is a gentle and classical approach to Hatha Yoga including eye movements, chanting, pranayama (breathing techniques), asanas (postures), relaxation, and concluding with a one minute meditation.

Honor Your Heart and Belly Workshop with Guest Teacher Ruth Rittenhouse
Where: Earth Lotus Yoga Studio
When: Saturday, October 2nd
Time: 11:30am - 2:00pm
Cost: $45.00

Our hearts are directly connected to our bellies in the physical body and the subtle body and chakras.  The solar plexis is our energy center and the heart helps us open to our world.  This workshop will focus on these connections and discover how they affect our health and well being.  We will practice postures to assist in the homeostasis of the physical and internal practices for the subtle body.  The workshop is appropriate for all levels of practice.

explosion of fall color

Dmitri has a new camera and wanted to share this lovely display of color.  Click on the picture to make it larger. 

Are you a logophile? Do you love quick witty word play?

Lovers of words will thoroughly enjoy Noel Corward's play, Blithe Spirit, which has its last performance today at 2:30 in the Ligonier Theater.

Don't miss it.  

We finally had a chance to watch as the Valley Players threw out line after line of fabulous work play.  I am awed by the ability of the cast to remember their lines.

Note to the director, Patty Rafferty - the set is one of the best I've seen on this stage. 

The question on the lips of many in Ligonier is......

Will the repair work on the Diamond arcade be finished for Fort Ligonier Days?

Good morning, Ligonier!


Organic coffee shop in rodanthe

Right across the from are condo great!

Join Us at the Mother Earth News Fair at Seven Springs Today

Good Morning Ligionier!

If you aren't busy, join me and Carol Wingert from today at the Mother Earth News Fair. We were there for 10 hours yesterday, and will be there all day today!

If you love nature, love the earth, love yourself you will have a blast. It's just $25 for the whole day, with plenty of speakers, presenters, and cool people to meet.

I will be wearing my black indiana jones hat and a sport coat. If you see me - grab me for a handshake, a hug or a whooo yah! It will be great to see you!

Here's a post from Beverly....she says it's about butterflies. I think it's really about mowing and liberty.

As I was walking down my drive this lovely September Saturday - I spied in the early morning Sun- a very interesting looking Caterpillar trying to look like a flower stem!

I had my trusty mobile phone in hand....

( I still can't REALLY fathom I can take a picture with my phone and then send it to my wireless laptop computer and then send it all on to you good folks...BUT.....I digress).....

And got down to " BUG level" to see what I could see...

What a dapper looking Future Butterfly !

All sleek neat and shiny black body with two shades of lime green rings and sunny yellow dots symmetrically adorning the pre- Chrysalis stage of the Black Swallowtail Butterfly-

THIS is even MORE fascinating than the phone/camera technology!

The METAMORPHOSIS of the Butterfly....
Stop to ponder if you will...
From little eggs..
 to larva ...
to Caterpillar..
 to Cacoon BUTTERFLY!!
And sometimes the Caterpillar sheds and grows a few time before it cacoons!!

That is about 5 costume changes in less than a growing season!!!

The Black Swallowtail Butterfly Caterpillar diet includes Queen Ann's Lace- of which I had plenty growing in my yard this year-

 much to the dismay of the neighbors...
and the police...
who said my yard had "weeds" and was a health hazard
......and charged me with a non traffic violation...

I plead not guilty-
and am in a "compromise "process with the Magistrate-
to save some of the meadow/ and wildflowers...which is a good thing.

But I feel  sad for all the caterpillars that I mowed over as I had to "clean up" the Queen Ann's lace/aka weeds to  keep everyone else happy....
But what about keeping the Caterpillar happy and safe..with a food source and a home ?

What an amazing thing this Caterpillar can do- Metamorphosis-

I hope man can do the same  someday soon....
from the attachment to mowing grass!

Blessings...... B

Hey, Sue. Thanks for the link!!

The gardens are filled with iris, hosta, daylilies, ornamental grasses, ferns, sedum and a stand of huge red cannas. Garden ornaments, many of which were "found" objects, pepper the plantings, further adding to the whimsy of the garden and the delight of visitors. While most of the plants are common varieties, Ms. Sarkin proves that these old garden stalwarts can be combined in interesting ways.

Then there's the other amazing thing about her plot: All the plants have been given to her by friends, dug from her previous home, taken from nearby woods (nothing protected) or "recycled" from castoffs she gets from a landscaper who lives close by.
Not a dime was spent on plants.

"No point in buying things," she says, "If it's not going to live, I don't want it."
Which is why there are no vegetables. According to Ms. Sarkin, the bugs eat them right up and she quit bothering with them.

Read more:

Saturday, September 25, 2010

thanks to anonymous reader for sending this link to video on the crash

Head-On Crash Injures 4 - News Story - WPXI Pittsburgh

I heard on the street this morning that the speedometer on one vehicle was frozen at 130.

And right on bay OBX rodanthe

Beautiful condo we are staying at wow I could live here!

Good morning, Ligonier!


this is a must read...... ;)

Long before Stephen Colbert added congressional witness to his resumé, Samuel L. Clemens—better known as Mark Twain—testified before a congressional committee. He did so in 1906 not within character, but as an author, for the topic at hand was copyright legislation. And as one of the most successful best-sellers of his day, he (and his heirs) had a direct interest in this bill. Clemens played it straight, noting his fondness for copyright and contending that ideas are property.

Read more on Mother Jones.
Those three organized a demonstration during the 2008 GOP National convention in St. Paul, and had announced plans to do the same if the 2012 Democratic National Convention ends up in Minneapolis.

Read more on Salon.
So this ballot measure is no public health threat. If anything, it would give the millions of citizens who want to use inebriating substances a safer alternative to alcohol. Which, of course, gets to what this ballot initiative really endangers: alcohol industry profits.

That truth is underscored by news this week that the California Beer and Beverage Distributors is financing the campaign against the legalization initiative. This is the same group that bankrolled opposition to a 2008 ballot measure, which would have reduced penalties for marijuana possession.

Read more on Salon.
TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — A federal judge ruled Friday that a decorated flight nurse discharged from the Air Force for being gay should be given her job back as soon as possible in the latest legal setback to the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

Read more in the WT.
Superlobbyist Paul Magliocchetti, who specialized in getting defense earmarks for his clients, pleaded guilty Friday to federal charges of making hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal campaign contributions to members of Congress.

Read more in the WT.
Six people were injured in a two-vehicle head-on crash in Ligonier early this morning, an emergency dispatcher said.
The accident occurred at Route 30 and South Market Street (Route 711) just after midnight.

Read more:

Good Morning...

Just a reminder that The Enchanted Moment will be CLOSED today due to our participation for Juvenile Diabetes.

Please join us in this wonderful cause ZUMBA STYLE. This is YOUR chance if you ever wanted to know what heck Zumba is and all hype. Come and meet my instructor Hope Bray and the amazing women who lives have changed due to Zumba. My Fitness Kitchen in the Latrobe Plaza on 30 at 1:00.

To date (starting March 8, 2010) I have personally lost 50lbs. and a lot more in inches. My goal is a 100lbs. lost by my 1 yr. Zumba Anniversary. 50lbs gone, 50lb to go.

Have a GORGEOUS weekend!!

Sunrise. OBX DAY 1


Cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares about you. (1 Peter 5:7 Revised Standard Version)

6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. 8Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 9whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. 10But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. 11To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 5:6-11 King James Version)

“Nobody Cares!”

How often have you heard that statement? In our own ego-centric view of the world, how often we conclude that everyone around us could not care less what happens to us. And we’re often right. Everybody is (to continue reading click on:
26 Devotions Based on the Alphabet: The Letter C)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Valley Players pics of Blithe Spirit playing tonight and thru the weekend

Brown Grass: Lack of Rain or GRUBS

Over the last week I have noticed a number of lawns in Ligonier with brown patches. Many people will assume that this is because it has been so dry. In some cases this is true. However, in many other cases it is due to grubs eating your grass roots. Grubs can quickly do major damage to a lawn. Read on to tell if the brown patches are from lack of rain or grubs.

Detecting Grub Problems

During late August through mid-October, watch carefully for signs of irregular patches of brown turf. Grab a handful of the brown grass and see if the turf pulls loose from the soil like lifting a carpet. If it does not pull up easily, the problem is usually related to localized dry spot, female dog damage, fertilizer burn, subsurface rocks or possibly a disease. If it does pull up like a carpet, then look at the soil surface. Read more here.

Unless birds have already stolen the grubs, the C-shaped white grubs, from 1/4 to ¾ inches long, will be obvious on the soil surface and the soil will be very loose. Check several suspected spots.

If you have had serious turf damage from grubs in the past year or so, they are likely to return to the same turfgrass areas.

If white grubs damaged your turf this year, then consider a preventative treatment next July.

Call Wilcox Lawn Services for more information or a free estimate if you think your lawn may have grub damage.

League of the Empty Chair

Barracks J
Originally uploaded by Soupflower
How bizarre and interesting. Call me blind but I just noticed that Flickr has groups devoted to oddities, like this one - photos of empty chairs.

You can contribute. Just go to and look for the League of the Empty Chair. If you post any from Ligonier, be sure to tag it!
Breasts, as a source of food, are life-sustaining, and now they are potentially even more so in emergency situations. Ladies and gentlemen, the Emergency Bra, an invention that won Dr. Elena Bodnar the 2009 Ig Nobel Public Health Prize, has officially hit the market. The brassiere, which quickly converts into two gas masks, is available online for 29.95. Also: There are t-shirts reading, "Emergency bra under here." (Personally, I was hoping for one reading, "Break bra in case of emergency.")

Read more on Salon.

Good morning, Ligonier!

DR. PRESTON MARING was striding along a hospital corridor at double speed on a recent Friday morning, his tall frame, white hair and frequent gesticulations prompting waves of greetings from colleagues, who also took care to sidestep his forward momentum. His destination was the weekly farmers’ market he started in 2003, just outside the front door at the Kaiser Permanente medical center here.

“Since it’s mine, I made the rules — all organic,” he said as he skimmed by a line of stalls where fresh fruits and vegetables are sold to hospital workers, passers-by and even, he said, those bringing patients to the emergency room.

Read more in the NYT.
A wrenching government spending review has pitted Britain’s army against its navy, spawned a series of leaks to the British media and raised the question of whether the military that emerges from the budget cuts — expected to be 10 percent to 20 percent of current outlays — will be a strategically agile force that can join the United States on major combat operations.

American and British officials said that they did not expect any cutbacks to curtail Britain’s capabilities to fight in Afghanistan over the next five years. But some American military experts question whether the British military will be capable of undertaking future ground operations that are as demanding as those in Afghanistan or to carry out simultaneous operations, including risky humanitarian missions, effectively.

Read more in the NYT.
Census analyst Rose M. Kreider noted that while the number of cohabiting couples has generally been on the rise for some time, "most shifts in family composition happen relatively slowly" and that a 13 percent increase in a single year is surprisingly large.

Read more in the WT.

Thursday, September 23, 2010