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Features

Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Shawnee Playhouse opens the New Year with its Shawnee Original Playwright Series winners.

Each year, Worthington Players will produce and perform the original works of area playwrights, chosen by the executive committee from among submissions received in an open contest.

Plays are listened to during staged readings and voted on by audience members. The resulting winners are the best of the best, and the audience has a chance to see a play before it moves on to other theaters.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

hen his efforts at beer making fell flat, Pat Ayers didn’t get discouraged, he just tried something else.

“I just wasn’t good at it,” says Ayers of Jim Thorpe. “It tasted good, but I couldn’t get any head on it.”

Since beer wasn’t his calling, he decided to try his hand at making wine.

Before moving to the area, he and his wife, Marge, lived in Willow Grove. While at Keystone Homebrew Supply in Montgomeryville, he came upon kits for winemaking.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

 

After the last of the baby boomers become fully eligible for Medicare, the federal health program can expect significantly higher costs in 2030 both because of the high number of beneficiaries and because many are expected to be significantly less healthy than previous generations.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Q. I had to have some minor surgery on my foot and I want to get a cane. What kind should I get?

This is a question that opens up the whole subject of mobility aids, the icons of aging. We’ll discuss canes in this column and save crutches, walkers, wheelchairs and scooters for the future.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015
In this file photo, a plane takes off over a departure board at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta. Caregivers face an assortment of challenges when traveling with a frail relative or friend or with someone with dementia. AP PHOTO/DAVID GOLDMAN, FILE

CHICAGO — Nancy Powers had to adjust her travel routine when her best friend and travel partner, Phyllis Wesley, was diagnosed with a degenerative brain condition that affects her speech and comprehension.

Juggling bags and leaving her 61-year-old friend alone even for a second became too worrisome. Packing too much into a day became problematic.

“I’ve had to learn how to pace her and how to pace myself,” said Powers, 63, of Montgomery, Alabama.

Monday, December 21, 2015

New Jersey residents spend the most money on gifts for their dogs, averaging about $30 per dog. Pennsylvanians aren’t far behind.

According to a study conducted by www.TheNosePrint.com, a pet-focused online hub from Big Heart Pet Brands, makers of Milk-Bone and other dog treats, dog lovers in the commonwealth will spend an average of $28.75 per dog. New Yorkers ranked in second place, with $29.55 per pooch.

Monday, December 21, 2015
In this 2014 file photo, dancer Casper Smart sports a man bun as he attends the People “Ones to Watch” Party in Los Angeles. AP FILE

NEW YORK — Spoiler alert: This is an unscientific look at some popular terms and favorite things of the year that we need to leave behind come 2016 because, frankly, they give us a headache.

Need a warning so an ending or plot twist won’t be spoiled? Just don’t look! Also on our Over It list: adult coloring books, tiny houses, artisanal everything and the notion that cauliflower deserves to be anointed.

For your consideration and in no particular order:

Monday, December 21, 2015

LOS ANGELES — Ugly sweaters aren’t just a Christmas tradition for people. Cats, dogs and even guinea pigs are joining the party.

Zigzilla “Ziggy” and Chopper “Lambchop” got sweaters from PetSmart this year so they’ll be ready when they get an invite to their first ugly sweater party, said the cats’ owner Catie Savage of New York City.

“My non-cat lady friends definitely think I am crazy,” said Savage, who handles her cats’ Instagram site (@life — of — ziggy), with 43,000 followers. She says she enjoys the sweaters more than the cats do, “which makes it even funnier to me.”

Thursday, December 17, 2015

 

When Donna Huston Murray of Radnor, author of seven Ginger Barnes Main Line Mysteries (St. Martin’s Press), decided to switch to mystery/suspense, fate put her together with the perfect prototype for her new main character.

At a Penn/Cornell football game she met a fellow spectator who had sky-dived 43 times, fed sharks underwater and learned to fly retired Air Force planes — all after recovering from a major illness. Channeling the spirt of this amazing woman, the author invented Lauren Beck, a young ex-cop and cancer survivor.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

 

Here’s what’s happening at the Mauch Chunk Opera House, located at 14 W. Broadway in Jim Thorpe.

• Dec 18: Splintered Sunlight’s Grateful Dead Holiday. From its authentic two-drum-set lineup, to Butchy Sochorow’s soaring lead guitar and naturally Dead-on Jerry-like voice, to Dan Leyden’s rhythms and Bob Weir vocals, Splintered can do it all in a big way.

• Dec. 19: Peek-a-Boo Revue Holiday Extravaganza features Philadelphia’s Premier Neo-Burlesque Troupe.