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November 24, 2014
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Photos by Anya Tikka

As owners of vintage houses know, each house has its own character, often just waiting to be discovered when a renovation project or home addition is planned, according to nationally known architect Mark Alan Hewitt. Along with Gordon Bock, the former editor of This Old House Journal, he gave a presentation about working on old houses at Lumberland Town Hall in early October to a full house. Their talk was based on a book they have co-authored on the subject, “The Vintage House,” which is full of ideas for sensitive additions and successful upgrades.

Who loves moving? Who loves change? OK, I see a few of you out there holding your hand up in the air, but for most of us, moving is more than a little stressful. In my never-ending quest for peace...

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Around Halloween, I spotted what first appeared to be a large spider on the side of my house. As I got closer, however, I saw that it had six legs, not eight as a spider would have, and it took on...

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I wasn’t looking to return to my past life (always a risky enterprise) when we went to my daughter, Lily’s, Junior High All-State choral concert. But it was inevitable when the music festival was...

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I never quite understood the logic:

“Finish everything on your plate, young man; for goodness’ sake, you know there are children starving in India.”

If your parents grew up during...

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You know what they say—“It ain’t over till the fat lady sings.” So far, I have seen no opera divas warming up in the wings. Although I have already moved two fairly large truckloads to my...

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A variety of afflictions affect trees in the Upper Delaware River region, ranging from those caused by insects, like the hemlock wooly adelgid to others caused by fungi like anthracnose. “River...

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‘Double double, toil and trouble’

Over the years, witches have gotten a bad rap. For instance, Shakespeare’s infamous hags that appear in “Macbeth” are discovered in a dark cave lit by flickering flames while lightning strikes and thunder booms. “Double, double, toil and trouble,” they chant, while tossing disgusting ingredients into their cauldron to complete the spell… “Eye of newt and toe of frog, wool of bat and toe of dog.” The well-known incantation conjures up images designed to strike fear of the unknown into the hearts of man… and succeeds.  Read more

What it means to be the working poor

By Margaret Dietrich and Marianne Ofenloch

Recently, a gathering of Pike County residents heard about the state of poverty in our area, when Todd Behr, professor of economics at East Stroudsburg University, spoke at St. Patrick’s Church Hall at the invitation of the Social Justice Committee of the Five Catholic Parishes of Pike County. Behr’s presentation focused especially on a group known today as the working poor.  Read more

The ‘withered tree’

The fast-flying days of flaming fall foliage have held us in thrall lately as the Upper Delaware Region advances toward the cold and inward months of winter. Watching the leaves turn through exuberant expressions of vibrant color is almost dizzying and sets the mind’s eye spinning. It is almost a relief when gusting winds strip the trees of their fiery cloaks, laying bare the artful lines of form and branch.  Read more

Water = life

The great battle of our time will be over water—pure, fresh water in particular. All earthly life depends upon water for survival. The human population worldwide, now 7.3 billion, is projected to be 9.6 billion by 2050. Even today, much of the world lacks adequate water for drinking and sanitation. Almost everywhere, different interests battle over water distribution. We read of dire problems in California where drought has intensified competing demands. Natural resources (made unnatural by human intervention) are stressed to the breaking point. Can the Upper Delaware River be far behind?  Read more

Halloween Events

Friday, October 24

Halloween Party
ROSCOE, NY — Halloween party with live music from When Pigs Fly at Tennanah Lake Wolffs 1910 at Tennanah Lake Golf and Tennis Club, 100 Fairway View Dr., at 8 p.m. Costume contest with $250 first prize and $100 second prize. There will be a 50/50, prize raffles, free hors d’ouevres and drink and room specials. The cover charge is $10.

Saturday, October 25

Halloween Séance
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‘Walk with a Sculptor’

LIVINGSTON MANOR, NY — The Catskill Art Society and Morgan Outdoors will present “Walk with a Sculptor,” an art and nature hike at the CAS Arts Center on Saturday, October 25 at 10:30 a.m.
Naomi Teppich will lead a tour of the 18 artists’ works in the CAS galleries. She will discuss how the river imagery has impacted these artists’ lives and work, and will talk about their creative techniques, using the natural world as a muse for artistic inspiration.  Read more

‘Jeans and Jewels’ fundraiser

HAWLEY, PA — Victims’ Intervention Program’s (VIP) annual fundraising dinner dance, Jeans & Jewels, will take place Friday, October 24 at Ehrhardt’s Waterfront Restaurant at 6 p.m. Come dressed in jeans and jewels or wear a dress or suit. There will be dinner, dancing and a silent auction of themed baskets with goodies, services, dining experiences and luxury getaways.  Read more

New Orleans rhythms meet Appalachian strings

HAWLEY, PA — Roosevelt Dime will play at Harmony Presents in the Silk Mill on Saturday, October 25 at 8 p.m. Roosevelt Dime was called a “perpetual crowd pleaser” by The New York Times. They play rock & roll, Americana and New Orleans rhythms that brings melodic banjo, blues guitar, honky-tonk harmonies, and R&B vocals. The band features players on banjo, gutbucket basses, clarinet and sax.  Read more

NACL benefit at Hennings

HIGHLAND LAKE, NY — Tickets to the second annual Henning’s Local benefit for NACL are on sale now. This year, the benefit will take place on Sunday, November 9 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Henning’s Local in Eldred (on Route 55). Chef-owner Henning Nordanger will prepare a specialty Norwegian luncheon inspired by the cuisine of his homeland, replete with juniper gravlax, lamb and cabbage, gløgg, rømmegrøt, fårikål, and knekkebrød. Another special feature of the benefit will be a silent art auction of The Weather Project art created by 26 acclaimed regional artists.  Read more

Murphy’s Law

I’m sure you’ve heard of it. Wikipedia defines it as “an old adage, typically stated as: ‘Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.’” Ain’t that the truth. At the risk of sounding like a total nut-job, I’m also feeling the effect of Mercury being in retrograde, which, according to many, causes miscommunication, misunderstandings, mistakes and issues with all things electronic. Various astrology sites inform that this latest retrograde period began on the third of October and continues for another few days, ending its cycle on the 23rd.  Read more

Fire on the mountain; Fire towers of the Catskills and their vigilant observers

THE CATSKILLS — Martin (Marty) Podskoch is afraid of heights, but that didn’t stop him from writing “Fire Towers of the Catskills: Their History and Lore.” Fascinated with these relics of our past, he visited all of the fire towers in the Catskills region and talked to the fire tower observers and their families. So how does he get to the top of a fire tower? “I just close my eyes and hold on to someone’s shoulders and follow them up,” Podskoch said.  Read more

Let them eat cake

Apparently there is no evidence whatsoever that Marie Antoinette actually uttered such a callous statement in response to her subjects’ bemoaning their lack of bread. But it has stuck to her shoe for centuries. And cake has henceforth retained its slightly grandiose aura. We do not eat cake every day. It is reserved for special occasions and celebrations. But there is cake of the gussied up, layered and frosted ilk, and there is the more rustic, less labor-intensive stuff. Leaving aside the former to professionals and obsessive amateurs, let’s focus on the latter.  Read more

‘My dog ate my homework’ And other excuses

Fall brings the changing of the foliage to the Upper Delaware Valley. Along with the falling leaves come the “slippery rail” excuse for train delays. It seems, according to New Jersey Transit (NJT), a locomotive hauling seven train cars filled with passengers, can have issues with traction because of leaves falling on the rails. The condition is so serious that trains run at reduced speeds during this time of the year to gain traction on the rail. I asked a seasoned conductor if a train ever derailed because of this “slippery rail” condition. He said “Are you kidding?  Read more

A ‘plum’ you don’t want to eat

A few weeks back, a neighbor told me he was finding what looked like berries on the ground, even though he said no berry trees were anywhere in the area. I asked him about the size and color, and he replied that they were around an inch in diameter and had a reddish hue.  Read more

Smile for the camera!

The past week has been interesting, to say the least. In a near-perfect tribute to the expression “turnabout is fair play,” I’ve spent the better part of the last few days being shadowed by a photojournalist who was assigned to follow me (I mean the dog) as we traversed the Upper Delaware River region in search of arts and leisure. At first, I thought the phone call was about me. Wrong.  Read more

Fall into the Hawley Harvest Hoedown

HAWLEY, PA — A weekend of harvest activities is in store as Hawley rolls out the carpet October 17 through 19. Events include cider tastings, brews, contests, demonstrations, crafts, family activities, day and nighttime entertainment, locally grown fresh foods, local maple syrup, pies and more on the main and side streets.  Read more

Women in the Catskills

GRAHAMSVILLE, NY — A talk and book signing by Town of Woodstock Historian Richard Heppner on “Women in the Catskills: Stories of Struggles, Sacrifice and Hope” will be held on Sunday, October 19 at 2 p.m., at the Time and the Valleys Museum on 332 Main St.

Heppner will give an overview of this often overlooked part of Catskill Mountain history, and detail several inspiring stories of women who overcame the physical challenges of mountain life and obstacles because of their gender to accomplish amazing things.  Read more

Poetry at the Old North Branch Inn

NORTH BRANCH, NY — On Friday night, October 24, members of the Upper Delaware Writers Collective (UDWC) will present original work at the Old North Branch Inn, 869 North Branch-Hortonville Rd. The event is free. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the reading will begin at 7:30 p.m. Members will read from their 2012 anthology “River Rocks,” as well as poetry related to the autumn season, Halloween and the coming of winter.  Read more

Liberty Free Theatre announces fall season

PARKSVILLE, NY — The Liberty Free Theatre continues its tour of Sullivan County this fall with a production of Slawomir Mrozek’s comedy “The Police” at the NACL Theatre in Highland Lake and a performance reading of John Logan’s Tony award play “RED” at Sullivan County Community College in Loch Sheldrake.  Read more

Tinseltown on the Delaware: Milford welcomes 15th annual Black Bear Film Festival

MILFORD, PA — Milford rolls out the red carpet this Friday evening, as the Black Bear Film Festival (BBFF) kicks off its annual three-day tribute to the art of independent filmmaking. Over the weekend, moviegoers will be able to view more than two dozen feature films, documentaries, shorts and more, many of them award winners.  Read more

Wed., Nov. 12 Open mic night at The Cooperage
Thu., Nov. 13 Popular Google Apps
Thu., Nov. 13 Fall Foliage Mixer
Sat., Nov. 15 Fall square dance