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Tickets For the Skip Hunsinger Christmas Spectacular
To be Given Out This Saturday, November 28
By Lou Hunsinger Jr.

For the eighth year in a row area youngsters will able to enjoy the fun and excitement of the Skip Hunsinger Christmas Spectacular to be held at the Community Arts Center on Saturday, December 12. Free tickets for this event will be given out on a first come first served basis beginning at 9 a.m. at the Community Arts Center Box Office. They will be given out until the supply of tickets is exhausted. Each child attending the Christmas Spectacular must be accompanied by a responsible adult and the children and the adults will all have to have tickets.
  The Children’s Christmas Spectacular began in 2007 when my uncle, Harold “Skip” Hunsinger and Frank “Whitey” Missigman proposed that the CAC’s volunteers sponsor an annual event called the “Children’s Christmas Spectacular,” which was a revival of the Christmas parties sponsored by the local AFL-CIO held at the then Capitol Theater from the late 1930s until the early 1960s. These events usually included a movie, candy and a small toy for each child, something that was welcome to children, particularly during the Depression years. Skip and a dedicated committee made up of CAC volunteers did all the legwork to make this event possible and as successful as it has been.
  This year’s event will include a holiday-themed movie, holiday musical performances, a “goodie bag for each child, and of course a visit by that overweight and overgrown elf, himself-- Santa Claus and his wife. The event will be held on Saturday, December 12 at the Community Arts Center.

Rockin’ Christmas With The Pops Starring Michael Cavanaugh
Premieres at the Community Arts Center!

Get ready for a holiday treat as Rockin’ Christmas with the Pops starring Michael Cavanaugh premieres at the Community Arts Center in Williamsport, PA on December 5. Tickets range from $45 to $15 and can be purchased now by calling the CAC box office (570-326-2424 or 800-432-9382) or by going online (www.caclive.com).  
  The whole family will enjoy classic Christmas pops standards such as “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” and  “Jingle Bell Rock,” as well as contemporary Christmas favorites like “Wonderful Christmas Time” by Paul McCartney and “Step into Christmas” by Elton John.
  Cavanaugh was playing piano at the New York, New York casino in Vegas on one fateful night when Billy Joel, who was in town to perform a concert, walked in. Cavanaugh had once camped out to get tickets to a Joel concert in Cleveland. So it was a huge deal to get a chance to meet his "musical idol."
  "I'm not the kind of guy to crumble under the pressure, but he's sitting at a table 10 feet away and I'm trying it hold it together," Cavanaugh said.
  The two wound up hanging out after the show. Two months later, the Piano Man called to ask if Cavanaugh would be interested in auditioning for a Broadway musical Joel was putting together.
  Michael appeared in the Broadway Musical Movin’ Out, the musical featuring Billy Joel's songs and Twyla Tharp's choreography, for 3 years and over 1200 performances. The show rocketed Cavanaugh from obscure Las Vegas piano player to Broadway star and earned him a Tony Award nomination. The cast album of the show was also nominated for a Grammy.
  With the close of Movin’ Out at the end of 2005, Michael began touring in his own right, creating a show that reinterprets the modern pop/rock songbook. It wasn’t long before
  Symphony Orchestras discovered Cavanaugh’s talents and audience appeal. He accepted
his first orchestral booking, “Michael Cavanaugh – The Songs of Billy Joel and more” which debuted in April of 2008 with the Indianapolis Symphony and continues to tour today.  In October 2008, he signed with Warner/ADA to distribute his first CD titled “In Color”.
  Cavanaugh made his Boston Pops Orchestra debut on May 8 & 9, 2009, with Steven Reineke conducting. In June, 2010, Michael debuted his second symphony show in the “Generations of Rock” series entitled “Michael Cavanaugh: The Songs of Elton John and more” and then debuted his third symphony show “Singers and Songwriters: the music of Paul Simon, Neil Diamond and James Taylor” in 2012. 

  And now Cavanaugh is creating a new holiday tour that will premiere at the Community Arts Center in Williamsport this holiday season - Rockin’ Christmas with the Pops starring Michael Cavanaugh.  Local orchestra The Commonwealth Pops, led by Williamsport’s own Walt Straiton, will join Cavanaugh on stage as they get you rockin’ and rollin’ into the Christmas spirit.
  “It is a thrill to have a show premiere at the Community Arts Center and be able to incorporate local talent to the mix, making this a must-see show that all who see will talk about for seasons to come as one of the best holiday shows to take our stage,” exclaims Carla Fisher, Director of Marketing and Creative Design at the CAC.
  For more Information on Rockin’ Christmas with the Pops starring Michael  Cavanaugh, please visit: www.caclive.com.

Planet Mom
A Curious Harvest of Thanks
by Melinda Wentzel

  Thanksgiving is nearly upon us—that grand and glorious season of thankfulness. I’d like to think I appreciate the people and circumstances that give me pause year round, but like so many others, I get caught up in life’s hectic pace, losing sight of the tide of goodness that surrounds me each day—even the goodness defined as bizarre. So as this storied November holiday approaches, it makes sense to revisit all for which I am grateful—even the absurd blessings, that are blessings nonetheless.
  For starters, I’m grateful that my kids haven’t staged an ugly protest yet—the one I fully expected to witness since I decided to serve lasagna for Thanksgiving, and not turkey. Maybe it’s because they know I’ll eventually cave after the holiday, slaving over a hot stove for an eternity making their favorite turkey pot pie and potato filling. Or maybe it’s because they know the lasagna is store-bought, and they’re comforted by the knowledge that I can’t possibly screw up dinner.
  Additionally, I’m incredibly thankful that my daughters’ high school hasn’t banned me from the premises yet, despite the fact that I once tried to deliver a fake butcher knife for a skit—or that I’ve dropped off a certain someone’s iPad, sneakers and/or clarinet roughly 47 times since early September. Surely, the middle school warned you I’d be coming.
  What’s more, no one in my immediate family feels compelled to pile in the car at an ungodly hour to go Christmas shopping on Black Friday, nor does anyone think it makes sense to make a wish list in July or to hit the stores on Thanksgiving Day—which makes my tribe all the more endearing to me. For the record, I’ll be shopping local…and probably not until December, unless you count the holiday cards I fantasized about buying because they were on sale. However, since that took place BEFORE HALLOWEEN, I couldn’t bear to put them in my cart. Call me crazy.
  I’m appreciative of neighbors, too, who have tolerated the hideous mass of autumn leaves that filled our lawn seemingly forever. Thanks to Eric and Crew at Slingerland’s Lawn and Landscaping Service, I won’t have to rake another cussed leaf until next fall. By contrast, I do not give thanks for oak trees. The ones in my yard, more specifically. Other oak trees are fine. Sort of.
  Also, I can’t begin to express enough gratitude for our wonderful contractor-carpenter-Mr.-Fix-It-Guy-Extraordinaire, Ed Gair, who has come to the rescue more times than I can accurately recount. He has fixed leaky toilets and replaced a number of archaic faucets, removed the 80’s-inspired pink wallpaper that I loathed with all my being, painted ceilings, walls and woodwork when my brush flatly refused to be lifted, installed to perfection some of the most beautiful cabinetry known to man, planted a 1,200-pound, 34 square foot island in my kitchen (guaranteeing that it would NEVER fall to the basement below), hung lighting fixtures and rewired with ease, ensuring that no one would be electrocuted in the process. Not even my husband, who helped. Lo and behold, the man befriended my neurotic little dog, too, keeping the barking to a minimum while he worked. For that alone, I cannot thank him enough.
  Further, I’m especially grateful that my iPhone still works and that no one died of amoebic dysentery after I dropped it in a toilet at a public restroom at Hersheypark Stadium. Of course, I almost perished from the sheer anxiety I suffered following the event, completely convinced that the photographs I had yet to download would be history. No, I haven’t downloaded them yet. I’ll get to it. Eventually.
  In addition, I’d like to thank the universe for protecting my purse the bazillions of times I’ve left it somewhere unattended. Not once has someone rifled through it, although one time I thought that it might have been tidied up a bit.
  Thank you also to the great multitudes of people who have transported my children hither and yon, to include Mr. Saville-Iksic (i.e. the time I locked my keys in my car at McDonald’s and left my kids to fend for themselves at school). Thanks also to the people who covered for my husband at work so he could fetch my stupid keys. I suppose he deserves some praise, too, since he only mentions the incident once or twice a day. So that’s something.
  It’s all about the small victories, people, and being thankful—at Thanksgiving, and always.
  Planet Mom: It’s where I live, giving thanks. Visit me there at www.melindawentzel.com and www.facebook.com/NotesfromPlanetMom.

The Bookworm Sez
By Terri Schilichenmeyer

“The Little Kids’ Table” by Mary Ann McCabe Riehle,
Illustrated by Mary Reaves Uhles
c.2015, Sleeping Bear Press
$16.99 / $17.99 Canada
32 pages

Grandma is the best cook ever!
  She’s second only to Mom, who makes your favorite foods every day. Oh, what about Dad’s special mashed potatoes, and you really love Auntie’s sprinkle cookies! You’ll get to taste every one of those things soon – but where will you sit while you’re eating? Find out in “The Little Kids’ Table” by Mary Ann McCabe Riehle, illustrated by Mary Reaves Uhles.
  It’s always fun visiting Grandma, especially at the holidays. That’s when you get to sit at a special place for kids only.
  Everything at the grown-ups’ table is nice. They have sparkly silverware, shiny glasses, and pretty dishes. The grown-ups’ table has washable napkins to put on your lap, a tablecloth, and even a vase of flowers.
It’s not like that at the little kids’ table. Where you all sit, it’s loud and messy. Your brother may be crying. Someone might be trying to hang spoons off her nose (or teaching somebody else how to do it), while your twin cousins play a joke on another kid. There’s always a grown-up to fix your plate, to give you another helping of foods you like, or to try to make you taste something that’s “totally icky.” It’s easy to be goofy at the little kids’ table.
  And when you do, that’s about the time when Mom gets annoyed and makes you “Stop it now, please!” You should behave at the little kids’ table – more or less. You should eat what’s on your plate – more or less. And you should always pay attention to what the grown-ups say – more than not!
  Grandpa probably wishes he was sitting next to you, poking his finger in your pumpkin pie. Uncle wishes he could hang spoons from his face. Mom would surely laugh until milk came out of her nose if she was at the little kids’ table. Grandma probably hates shiny glasses because paper cups are more fun. Truth is, all the grown-ups wish they were you because everybody knows which table is the best!
  Grumble, grumble, grumble. Is that what you hear every holiday when the kids are sent to a satellite seat? Well, they’ll never feel deprived again, after you’ve read aloud “The Little Kids’ Table.”
  Through a fun rhyme that’ll make your child look forward to this years’ holiday, author Mary Ann McCabe Riehle turns the banished feeling around to make it fun to sit at a table away from the adults. Even the family dog gets involved, and the chaos that follows will make kids giggle. It helps a lot that illustrator Mary Reaves Uhles adds silly details in her drawings – details that, once you start looking for them, can make this book seem fresh no matter how many times you’ll be asked to read it aloud.
  For 5-to-8-year-olds, this is a great holiday book and a nice reminder that sitting away from the adults is something even the adults want. And if that sounds tasty, then “The Little Kids’ Table” will be a feast for you both.

Outfits Not Just Clothes ...
Laundry Hacks
By bernadette Ulsamer

I wouldn’t say I enjoy doing laundry, but if I had to pick one chore that I disliked the least, it would hands down be laundry. My philosophy with washing clothes, linens, etc. is that the machines do all the actual work, I just organize/facilitate the process. So unlike, sweeping, scrubbing, raking, weeding, there’s not much physical demand. But, beyond just putting it all in a machine and pressing some buttons, there are some tricks and tips to make your washing process a bit more effective. Here are some recent laundry hacks I’ve started to implement in my routine.
  Add an aspirin to a load of whites to keep them bright. This is especially great if you have white towels and sheets. There’s nothing as refreshing, during the colder months in particular, then bright and fresh white linens to wrap yourself in.
  Keep dark clothes from fading with a cup of salt during the rinse cycle for the first time you wash items to set the color. I hate it when my black clothes start to fade. Worn out black apparel looks cheap, tired, and sad, which is even more frustrating if the pieces are new. A bold black t-shirt is a wardrobe staple and the longer it can stay darker the more often it will look graphic and chic.
  Add a tablespoon of pepper to the washing machine to keep colors bright and prevent bleeding. Just like darker colors, faded, once bright colors are also sad looking, and when colors bleed onto each other it can ruin multiple pieces.
  Pre-treat ink stains with hand sanitizer; let it set for 10 minutes, then wash using hot water. I always seem to get ink on my work clothes, no matter how careful I am. So this trick is a life saver, especially on my lighter-colored button-downs. Plus, it’s another chance to sanitize your hands during flu season!
  Scrub sweat stains with equal parts lemon juice and water, then wash as usual. Again, another way to keep those t-shirts lasting longer and looking newer. There’s nothing more off putting then donning a “clean” shirt that has visible sweat marks, no matter if it smells like a field of lavender it never really FEELS clean.
  Keep a list of what items should NOT go in the dryer. This could be posted clipboard style next to your washer and dryer, or written in dry-erase marker ON the washing machine or dryer. I usually double-check tags while I’m sorting and make mental notes. But it would be a long-term time saver to just have a physical list posted to reference, and add to with new purchases.
  A ball of aluminum foil can sub for a dryer sheet in a quick pinch, and it cuts down on static. Of course, don’t think you can just trade sheets for foil all the time, but when you’re in a jam this is a quick alternative.
  To make your clothes dry faster, toss a fluffy town in the dryer for the first 15 minutes. This won’t magically make a load that usually takes an hour to dry 20 minutes to dry, but you’ll knock off about 10 or so minutes, which can add up if you have multiple loads.
  Wool, silk, and cotton pieces labeled “dry clean only” can be gently washed by hand instead. Granted at some point you DO want to get them dry cleaned, but a simple swish and rinse in the sink will be sufficient after a one or two light wears.
  However, rayon items should be dry-cleaned even if the tag does read machine washable. This fabric is prone to shrinkage and better to be safe than sorry. Of course, check the tag before you purchase a rayon item and ask yourself if the garment is worth the dry cleaning.
  If your washer doesn’t have a “Delicates” setting try permanent press light, or short cycles with cold water. This is especially important if you have a multiple unmentionables to clean, and don’t want to spend the time and energy handwashing them. Usually, if I have less than five pieces of intimate wear to wash, I’ll just do them in the bathroom sink, but more than that they’ll go in the machine.
  Be sure to measure out the appropriate amount of detergent. Using too much will wear out your machine, leave garments stiff, and is a waste of money. A normal load is about half a cap, bigger loads 3/4 of the cap. Rarely, will you need a full cap’s worth of detergent, unless you have a very dirty/heavy duty load. After a camping trip when you may be washing mud-stained jeans and sleeping bags, now that’s a full cap’s worth indeed!
  Of course, there are laundry days when I just throw everything in together, set the rinse and wash to cold water, and let the chips fall where they may. But, taking the time to put in a bit more care when doing laundry will make things last longer, which not only saves money, but also keeps favored garments, blankets, and slipcovers in rotation for years to come.

FLY – First Love Yourself
by Buffy Basile

As a child I can remember my mother teaching us to be respectful of our elders, always make eye contact, tell the truth, work hard and expect nothing.
  If you were a dinner guest never expect to be waited on, clean the table for your host. Say your prayers on your knees every night and for heaven’s sake, when someone calls you, appear! Never say “what!?” Always match your outfits and dress with pride for the day. Not to be confused with being wealthy and showy.
  Simply stated mom would declare, “It is not a sin to be poor, it is a sin to be dirty.” The list goes on and on. So much emphasis was spent on how we loved, respected and treated everyone else but not ourselves.
  I created a small list of self-love goals to consider. My hope is that I help at least one person to learn to love the raw and flawed side within. After many years, my mirror finally reflects a light and genuine smile. I often sit in silence and simply let my mind float back to painful experiences to search for a deeper lesson. A special thank you to my children for helping me find my own light.
• Family must always come first.
• Be fearless but not irresponsible
• When closing your eyes each night, ask yourself who you helped that day
• Maintain a moral minded lifestyle
• Never misplace loyalty
• Own your choices
• It is more important how you lose vs how you win
• If you want something in life, work for it but never change to obtain it
• Remain connected to your inner child
• Focus and cultivate your own inner beauty

Weekly Wise Words
by Paige Smith

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