Halloween 2010 Episode: Hilltown Family Variety Show (Radio Show/Podcast)

Hilltown Family Variety Show
Halloween 2010 Episode

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
October 30th & 31st, 2010
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Listen Now


Featured Video: “The Day After Halloween” by The Sippy Cups from their EP, One Day Soon. The video is directed by Danny Plotnick, and is a wistful tale of a little boy who refuses to take off his Halloween costume after the holiday is over, and goes about a day full of activities dressed as a ghost.


 

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PLAYLIST

  • Station ID: Steve Weeks [www.steveweeksmusic.com]
  • The Fuzztones – “I’m the Wolfman”
  • Recess Monkey – “Wolfman” [Tabby Road]
  • Mister G – “Ghosts and Goblins”Music
  • Richard Perlmutter – “Here Lies Home Jones” [Beethoven's Wig 3]
  • Jamie Broza – “Trick or Treat” Music
  • Station ID: Charity and the JAMband [www.jamjamjam.com]
  • Rosemary Clooney – “Punky Punkin”
  • Ryan Buckle – “Bats in the Cave” [Swamp Stomp Boogie] Music
  • Caspar Babypants – “Got a Little Ghost” [More Please!] Music
  • Station Id: Peter Himmelman [www.peterhimmelman.com]
  • Justin Roberts – “Trick or Treat” [Jungle Gym]Music
  • Tegan and Sara – “Walking with a Ghost”[So Jealous]
  • Nicholas Hooper – “Wizard Wheezes” [Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)]
  • Ray Parker, Jr. – “Ghostbusters” [Ghostbusters (Original Soundtrack)]
  • Dead Man’s Bones – “My Body’s a Zombie for You” [Dead Man's Bones]
  • Phantom Creeps – “Children of the Candy Corn” [Phantom Creeps]
  • The Hobo Nickels – “The Cottleville Crickety Bridge” [Cooper County]
  • Steve Weeks – “4 Little Girls” [Alphabet Songs Vol. 1]
  • The Sippy Cups – “The Day After Halloween” [One Day Soon]

Suggested Events 10/30/10-11/05/10

Discover fun and educational events happening this weekend in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

The 3rd Annual Surrealist Cabaret and Pumpkin Walk, hosted by the Royal Frog Ballet on Bramble Hill in Amherst, MA last weekend. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Suggest an EventIf you have a family friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

BEST BETS

There are so many terrific community events and activities happening this weekend for Halloween scroll down and peruse the list, and don’t for get to check our list of Rag Shag parades too!

On Saturday, October 30th at 1pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT: Kids Gallery Halloween Quest at MASS MoCA. For kids ages 6-12 and their adult companions. Costumes encouraged. RSVP 664-4481 x8112 www.massmoca.org North Adams, MA ($, FREE FOR MEMBERS)

In the evening on Saturday, October 30th from 5-9pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT: Things That Go Bump in the Night at Old Sturbridge Village. Includes The Trail of Terror (ages 11yo & up), haunted pumpkin patch, trick-or-treating, puppet show with Caravan Puppets, and more. 800-733-1830 www.osv.org Sturbridge, MA ($)

On Sunday, October 31st from 11am-4pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT: Supernatural Sunday: Halloween in at Historic Deerfield. Enjoy the fun of Halloween and the beauty of harvest during the fall season with seasonal hearth cooking, pumpkin decorating, wagon rides, mask-making, and face painting. Wear a costume and enjoy some early trick-or-treating at select historic houses. 775-7127 www.historic-deerfield.org Deerfield, MA (MUSEUM ADMISSION)

MARK YOUR CALENDAR

Next weekend: CHRYSANTHEMUM SHOW: The Botanic Garden Lyman Conservatory of Smith College (15 College Lane) will host a Fall Chrysanthemum Show. A sweet event to take the family to. 585-2740 Northampton, MA (FREE, DONATION)

And, CIDER DAYS: An annual celebration of hard and sweet cider. www.ciderday.org Franklin County, MA

BULLETIN BOARD

SPONSORSHIP & ADVERTISING: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Let us help get the word out about your event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement. Email hilltownfamilies@gmail.com for more information. — Help us help you!

FREE AFTERNOON PROGRAM: Every Tuesday in November, Hilltown Families sponsor, Cup and Top Cafe (1 N Main St.) in Florence, will host a free Puppet Show – Sing Along Time with Anna Sobel of Talking Hands Theatre for families with kids up to 5yo! Meet different puppets every week. Learn hand motions to classic kids’ songs and pick up some catchy new tunes. Anna is a former preschool music teacher and led sing-alongs at Brooklyn cafes for five years. She makes her own puppets and has a magical way of making everything fun and interactive for young children. Donations welcomed. 585-9565 www.cupandtop.com

(Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: Biocitizen is seeking volunteers to begin a long-term stream monitoring project in collaboration w/MA DEP. We use the rapid biotic assessment technique, which involves collecting and inventorying benthic invertebrates (water bugs); the type of bugs we find give us a gauge of the stream’s health. We’re scheduling 4 assessments for these 4 weekend days from 1-3 pm: Oct. 30 & 31, Nov. 6 & 7. Children and families are invited to be trained for free. It’s great for those interested in biology, ecology, environmental protection. It is possible, since this is a long-term project, for families, and their schools, to adopt a stream and watch over it. Contact Kurt Heidinger at bioticitizen@gmail.com.

Leslie Chaison of Greenfield, MA writes: Just Roots, a local citizens’ group, will host a Public Forum in the Town of Greenfield on Sunday, November 7th at 2pm at the Greenfield High School. This forum will be a conversation to help define, as a Greenfield area community, the best use of the Greenfield Town Farm, which includes 31 acres of prime farmland. This conversation will include decision makers, working farmers, community gardeners, social service networks, educators, permaculturists, and you. The forum will be held in the Greenfield High School Cafeteria. The high school is located off Silver Street in Greenfield. Please come and be part of the vision! For more information, contact jaylordjr@gmail.com.

(Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

ENERGY AUDITS: Free energy audits for WMECO homes, performed by Co-op Power. If your electric provider is WMECO, or if your gas heat is provided by Berkshire Gas, call to set up ap free audit, which is much more comprehensive than those offered by utility companies. Contact Jane Anderson, (413) 695-6430, jane@cooppower.coop, www.cooppower.coop

READING MENTOR PROGRAM: The Forbes Library Teen Department in Northampton, MA is looking for tween/teen volunteers to read to younger children once a week or about an hour for their Reading and Mentoring Program. Younger children who may not have older brothers/sisters who would like to spend time with an older friend are wanted too. Call to sign up: 587-1010.

HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW

Tune in every Saturday from 9-10am. Encore episodes are aired every Sunday from 7-8am.

This week is our Halloween Episode, with music by Justin Roberts, Jamie Broza, Recess Monkey, The Hobo Nickels, Rosemary Clooney, Caspar Babypants, Mister G and many others!

Families have several ways to tune in to the Hilltown Family Variety Show:

  • Streaming Audio: Surf on over to ValleyFreeRadio.org on Saturday & Sunday mornings and listen to us live via streaming audio.
  • On Your FM Dial: Tune in to WXOJ 103.3FM if you live near Northampton, MA.
  • HFVS Podcast

    PODCAST: Listen to the most recent episodes of the Hilltown Family Variety Show anytime you wish! Click here to see our current select of episodes, and be sure to subscribe to our podcast too!


    WEEKLY LIST OF SUGGESTED EVENTS

    Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

    Suggest an Event | Local Forecast | Free Museum Passes | Playgroups & Family Centers | Movies in the Valley | Movies in the BerkshiresListen Here

    Events Happening in the Hilltowns

    ♦ On-going Events

    Saturday – 10/30

    Hilltown Family Variety Show6-10am – FAMILY RADIO: Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) offers 4-hours of commercial-free family programing every Saturday, including the Hilltown Family Variety Show and Spare the Rock. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org.

    8:30am-12:30pm – FARMERS’ MARKET: On the town green. Last market of the season and Customer Appreciation Day. Many of the vendors will also be in costume for Halloween. Ashfield, MA (MARKET)

    9am-12:30pm – VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: The Rivulet Trail that inspired William Cullen Bryant to write one of his most famous poems needs your help. Old Growth Trees and Trail Work on the Rivulet at the Bryant Homestead (207 Bryant Rd.). After working to control trail erosion in the morning, take a walk with Bob Leverett and learn more about this historic stand of old growth pines. Please wear sturdy shoes and bring work gloves. Bring your lunch and enjoy a post-work picnic with a spectacular view. Call The Trustees of Reservations 532.1631 x13. Cummington, MA (FREE)

    9:30am-4:30pm – FOOD HISTORY: What’s cooking? Open hearth cooking at the Historic Deerfield. Open hearth cooks will prepare select dishes that are on display as part of the exhibition Dinner is Served!: Dining and the Decorative Arts. Come see “what’s cooking” and learn how these dishes were prepared in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The history workshop: Pots, Pans and Porridge: Children in the Colonial Kitchen, will be offered too starting at 12Noon. 775-7127 www.historic-deerfield.org Deerfield, MA (MUSEUM ADMISSION)

    10am – HIKE: The Deerfield River Watershed Association offers a hike in a different part of the Catamount Hills. Led by Colrain historian Muriel Russell. Hikers will pass beaver ponds and lunch at the south end of MacLeod Pond. 624-3311 Colrain, MA (FREE)

    10am-3pm – CHILDBIRTH CLASS: The Hilltown Community Health Center will offer a free childbirth education class. This day-long format will prepare families for the childbirth experience in one session. Ann Buscemi, certified childbirth educator, will talk about what to expect in labor and delivery, as well as breathing and relaxation techniques. Call Lee at 238-5511 x155 for more information on location and to register. www.hchcweb.org Huntington, MA (FREE)

    10:30am-4pm – HISTORIC TRADE: Made By Hand: Trades-by-Hand-Trades of the Past: Letterpress Printing & Gravestone Carving demonstrations at Historic Deerfield. See historic trades demonstrations of letterpress printing with Carl Darrow, and gravestone carving with Karin Sprague. www.historic-deerfield.org Deerfield, MA (MUSEUM ADMISSION)

    11am-12Noon – HALLOWEEN EVENT: Halloween stories and craft with Robin Foley at the Whatley Library. Children ages 3 and up are invited to come in costume (or not) and share some stories and a craft – decorate a trick-or-treat tote bag! Please call to register 665-2170. Whatley, MA (FREE)

    11am-2pm - HALLOWEEN EVENT: Halloween party at the Huntington Library. Wear a costume and join in games and snacks. 667-3506 www.thehuntingtonpubliclibrary.org Huntington, MA (FREE)

    11am-5pm – TROLLEY MUSEUM : Kids can ride the trolley and take a hand at pumping the handcar. Any child under sixteen gets free candy on Halloween, while supplies last. www.sftm.org Shelburne Falls, MA (FREE)

    11am – HALLOWEEN EVENT: Lenox Library Association Youth Department presents haunted, but not too haunting, tales for the young and young-at-heart, told with puppets, props and audience participation. Families will be treated to ghoulish goodies and boo brew. Come dressed in costume (optional) for a howling good time. This program is appropriate for ages 4 to 10. 637-0197 x105 Lenox, MA (FREE)

    12Noon-Dusk - HALLOWEEN EVENT: Halloween Carnival at Burgundy Brook Farm 3090 Palmer St. (Rt 181). Halloween Egg Hunt (3pm), horse-drawn hay rides and pumpkin picking. Show your Halloween spirit! Come in costume! Games and Prizes! All proceeds benefit the horses at Blue Star Equiculture. http://www.equiculture.org Palmer, MA (>$)

    12:15pm & 2:20pm - HALLOWEEN EVENT: Halloween Express at the Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum. Kid-friendly Halloween train rides with fun decorations, treats for the kids, and free pumpkins to all children 12 and under while supplies last. Come in costume. www.berkshirescenicrailroad.org Lenox, MA ($)

    1pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT: Kids Gallery Halloween Quest at MASS MoCA. For kids ages 6-12 and their adult companions. Costumes encouraged. RSVP 664-4481 x8112 www.massmoca.org North Adams, MA ($, FREE FOR MEMBERS)

    1-2:30pm – READING ADVENTURES: Family Adventures in Reading (FAIR) will be offered at the Indian Orchard Branch Library (44 Oak St.) with professional storyteller John Porcino lerading families and children 6 and older in discussions about children’s stories on topics such as fairness, courage, and dreams. Snacks will be provided. Register at 263-6846 www.springfieldlibrary.org Springfield, MA (FREE)

    1-3pm - HALLOWEEN EVENT: Halloween decorating party at the town hall.  Decorate cookies, make crafts.  Russell, MA (FREE)

    1:30pm – FAMILY CONCERT: No Nap Happy Hour continues with Billy Kelly and the Blah Blah Blahs, along with local band School for the Dead, performing a family concert at Flywheel (43 Main St.). Costumes are encouraged. www.flywheelarts.org Easthampton, MA (>$)

    2pm – THEATER: Picture Book Theatre Presents Tico and The Golden Wings and Geraldine, The Music Mouse in the auditorium at the Eric Carle Museum. 658-1100 www.carlemuseum.org Amherst, MA ($)

    2pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT: Hokey Halloween with Susie Magoozy. Silly scary stories for all. Reg. 562-6158 x5 Westfield, MA (FREE)

    2-4:30PM – RESKILLING: Traditional Pickling at the Cummington Community House kitchen (33 Main St.) with Sarah Stockwell. Preserve vegetables the old-fashioned no-vinegar, no-heat way with friendly bacteria cultures. music@sarahstockwell.com 634-8062 Cummington, MA ($$)

    2-3pm – RESKILLING: Food Preservation 101 at the Hancock Shaker Village. 443-0188 http://www.hancockshakervillage.org Pittsfield, MA (MUSEUM ADMISSION)

    5-6:45pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT: Munchkin Haunted Hay Rides at McCray’s Farm (55 Alvord St.). Gentle, exciting ride for families with children 7yo and younger. 533-0775 www.mccrays-farm.com South Hadley, MA ($)

    5-8pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT: Town of Worthington Rec. Dept. hosts a townwide trick-or-treating, Wicked Wickets, DJ,and food. Click here for more info. Worthington, MA (FREE)

    5-9pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT: Things That Go Bump in the Night at Old Sturbridge Village. Includes The Trail of Terror (ages 11yo & up), haunted pumpkin patch, trick-or-treating, puppet show with Caravan Puppets, and more. 800-733-1830 www.osv.org Sturbridge, MA ($)

    5:30-8:30pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT: Haunted Train and Lights Display at Look Park. Train ride for 5yo+. 584-5457 www.lookpark.org Northampton, MA (FREE ENTRANCE, >$)

    6-8:30pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT: Blandford Recreation Committee will be putting on a Halloween party at the former elementary school with music, crafts, food and magic.848-2459

    6-9:30pm - HALLOWEEN EVENT: Skeleton Crew Theater (SCT) at Camp Kee-Wanee. SCT is a theatrical attraction with a Halloween twist. Think of it as a treasure/scavenger hunt you’ll solve in one evening. Shows are 45/65 minutes long. Dress for the outdoors and bring a flashlight. Not scary or gory, just spooky in a tasteful way. Bad weather cancels. www.skeletoncrewtheater.com Greenfield, MA ($)

    6:30-8:30pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT: Halloween dance and party at Whole Childen (41 Russell St.). 585-8010 www.wholechildren.org Hadley, MA (>$)

    6:30-7:30pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT: Halloween Celebration around the Campfire with Roger Tincknell through songs, stories and dance. Dress warmly and bring flashlights and blankets or chairs for seating. Program meets behind Visitor Center at the Northfield Mountain Recreation & Environmental Center. Pre-registration required (800) 859-2960 Northfield, MA (FREE)

    7-9pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT: Halloween Animals and Night Hike at Arcadia. Learn the truth about animals we associate with Halloween through games and crafts, indoors and outdoors. 584-3009 www.massaudubon.org Easthampton, MA (>$)

    7pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT: Family Friendly Haunted Hayrides at Echo Hill Orchards. 267-3303 Monson, MA

    7pm – 10pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT: 8th annual 3D Haunted Trail at The Panek’s Woods (17 Cedar Glen). Belchertown, MA (DONATIONS)

    Read the rest of this entry »

    A Day at the Botanic Garden of Smith College

    Pet-Free Till Now: The Botanic Garden at Smith Works its Magic

    Koi pond in the Stove House at the Smith College Lyman Conservatory. (Photo credit: Karen Bayne)

    We’ve been a pet-free family for almost 15 years. The first three years of our marriage we worked so much that having a pet would have been animal cruelty. I was finishing my degree, writing some huge thesis and drinking too much Chai. Matt was working a few jobs and writing.

    We added a child, then two more kids, one with some extra needs. Pets are beyond us.

    Theo, my youngest, has some fear of animals. Ever since he was a baby he has seemed unenthusiastic. I remember taking Henry to a little petting zoo farm when we lived in Connecticut. He was a happy three year old running around pointing at goats, sheep, chickens and making all the appropriate sounds. Theo, at age one, just wanted to crawl back inside mama. I had to wear him on my back — he hid under the cape of the Ergo. By the time he was two, it was pretty clear he didn’t like it. “No, no, farm! No, no horses, neigh!”

    As he grew older, I realized he was fearful of dogs, but no more so than my oldest who outgrew it and now loves dogs. I kept thinking Theo would just outgrow it, but this summer I discovered he was afraid of cats, squirrels and chipmunks too. At my in-laws he was refusing to go downstairs alone for fear of a very ancient, sage cat who does not care about his existence. Outside at friend’s house, a chipmunk raced by his feet and he sobbed for 10 minutes.

    In the Succulent House, prickly cacti made the boys stay close! (Photo credit: Karen Bayne)

    We have a problem, which is why nothing surprised me more than when we had our first ever animal breakthrough at the The Botanic Gardens at Smith College, in Northampton, MA.  Theo fell hard for the koi in the pond in the Stove House.  He sat there patiently, kneeling on the narrow pathway, begging, “Fishies, come jump out of the water and say hello to me, Theo. I like you! I will take care of you!”

    We tried to move on, but he kept running back to the pond. Eventually, the big fish, whom Theo called Momma Fish, swam towards the surface near Theo and made a fishy-kissy face. Delightful! Thank you, Momma Fish.

    We were then able to fully enjoy the rest of the Botanic Gardens. Henry and Theo enjoyed pretending to be monkeys as they were able to recognize the jungle plant found in the Palm House. Following the paths, looking the the oversize leaves and blooms was warm adventure on a chilly weekend.  Another favorite spot was the Succulent House, where the prickly cacti made them stay close to mom and dad. We got to show them lemons, oranges, and other fruit hanging off the branches

    We got to show them lemons, oranges, and other fruit hanging off the branches. (Photo credit: Karen Bayne)

    Although it is getting chilly outside, we toured the Rock Garden. These hearty plants like the weather.  It was lovely to explore this outdoor garden before it was snow-covered. — We plan on returning for the Fall Chrysanthemum show in a few weeks (Nov. 6th-21st). In the meantime, Theo and I walk up frequently to the Botanic Gardens sell hello to Momma Fish. We are talking about perhaps a fish of our own. “I will wake up early on Christmas morning, at 6:30 o’clock,” says Theo, “and I will tell Santa I am wanting a fish pet for Christmas today.”

    I hope you decide to visit the arboretum and gardens at the Smith College  with your kids.  The conservatory is open daily from 8:30—4 o’clock. There is no admission fee, but donations are graciously accepted.  If you’re driving in, find out directions and where to park here. A nice idea before you go would be to visit their Kid’s Corner on-line and to take a look at their Conservatory Map and Virtual Tour so you can get your bearings before your visit.


    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Karen Bayne

    Karen grew up in Manhattan and lived in Connecticut before moving to Northampton with her husband Matt to raise their boys. Her sons Isaac, Henry and Theo are 11, 6 and 4,  leaving Karen on a search for all the “just right adventures” that will wow them and wear them out.  She works as a birth doula, childbirth and parent educator in the greater Northampton area. She writes about mothering at Needs New Batteries and about birth in our culture at Gentle Balance Birth.

    PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Eilen Jewell at Memorial Hall

    Eilen Jewell with Special Guests, The Sweetback Sisters
    Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls, MA
    Friday, November 12th @ 7:30pm

    PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT GIVEAWAY: Two Tickets to See Eilen Jewell with special guests, The Sweetback Sisters, at Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls, MA on Friday, November 12th at 7:30pm. Deadline to Enter to Win: 11/10 @ 7pm (EST)

    Continuing our Parents’ Night Out promotions, Hilltown Families and Signature Sounds Concerts have partnered up to offer a pair of tickets for one lucky couple to see Eilen Jewell in concert at Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls on Friday, November 12th at 7:30pm with special guests, The Sweetback Sisters.

    Win a pair of tickets and take your spouse, partner or good friend for a night out. Deadline to enter to win: Wednesday, November 10th, 2010 at 7pm (EST). More details below.

    ABOUT EILEN JEWELL

    Eilen Jewell burst onto the Boston music scene with her 2005 debut, Boundary Country. Reaction to her music was swift, with many comparing her talents to those of Lucinda Williams, Gillian Welch and June Carter Cash. Jewell’s hushed style and intimate grasp of roots music have earned her rave reviews, both nationally and abroad. Her album, Sea of Tears was lauded as “album of the year” by critics, was featured on the New and Noteworthy home page on iTunes, and reached #9 on the Americana Radio Chart staying in the top 10 for 2 straight weeks. MOJO gave the album 4 stars and raved; “The comparison game can hardly get any muddier to suggest Lucinda Williams fronting Chris Isaak’s band, with both singer and accompanists at the top of their game.”

    Eilen’s lastest release, Butcher Holler, is a tribute to Loretta Lynn.  She writes: “Butcher Holler is named for the little Kentucky town where Loretta Lynn was raised. In this tribute to the country star we pay homage to her humble roots and straightforward, hard-hitting performance style. All of the songs in this collection were written by Lynn herself and are a testament not only to her strength as a songwriter but to her personal strength as well. In the 1960s and 70s, Loretta Lynn dared to write songs about topics that were widely considered off-limits, especially for women. The fact that her words still hit a nerve today is proof of their timelessness. And so, a toast: to the woman with more banned songs than anyone can count; to that voice that reaches the very grain of the theater walls around her; to our national treasure. Gratitude is not enough, so I sing these songs for any who will listen.”

    ABOUT THE SWEETBACK SISTERS

    This young group of stellar Brooklyn-based musicians performs an array of traditional old-time & honky tonk rock music reminiscent of the 1940’s & 50’s. Complete with hot licks and sweet girl-on-girl harmonies, The Sweetback Sisters are sure to warm the heart of all you modern day cowboys and girls.  They sing country songs in close, surrogate-sister harmony and matching dresses. Their repertoire combines several of the Sisters’ passions — country music from before they were born and new interpretations of those traditions — to create a fresh take on what it means to be country. Their album Chicken Ain’t Chicken is a sincere ode to the classic styles that inspire the Sweetback Sisters, with an ample dose of their own personality and off-kilter sense of humor.

    HOW TO WIN

    Your chance to win a pair of tickets to see Eilen Jewell in concert at Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls on Friday, November 12th at 7:30pm with special guests, The Sweetback Sisters, is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!  To win simply:

    1. POST A COMMENT BELOW (one entry per family) and be sure to tell us your
    2. FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
    3. LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
    4. ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
    5. We’ll randomly draw two winners and will share the results below.

    IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Wednesday, 11/10/10 @ 7pm (EST).

    If you don’t win you should still go! Tickets are also available at World Eye in Greenfield, Turn It Up in Northampton, Elmers in Ashfield , Boswell’s Books in Shelburne Falls and Signaturesounds.com. 665-4036

    Chocolate Scorecard: 7 Ways to Get Child Labor Out of Your Holiday Candy

    Is There Child Slave Labor In Your Child’s Halloween Candy?

    Get child labor out of your chocolates for Halloween and the holidays. Click on the card to down load this chocolate scorecard from Green America.

    Good news for parents this Halloween: It’s easier than ever to avoid buying chocolate from Hershey, the largest U.S. chocolate company. Hershey fails to ensure that child labor is not part of its chocolate. Two major reports this September called out Hershey’s failure and the prevalence of egregious child labor, forced labor and trafficking abuses in the cocoa sector in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana where Hershey sources much of its cocoa.

    Just in time for Halloween, Thanksgiving and the December holidays, the independent, non-profit Green America has outlined seven ways to find and give Fair Trade chocolate people can feel good about, and take constructive actions to get Hershey to go Fair Trade.

    1. Use the new “Get Child Labor Out of Your Chocolates Scorecard” to shop online. Among the “A” ranked alternatives to Hershey chocolate are Alter Eco, Coco-Zen, Divine, Equal Exchange, Shama, Sjaak’s, Sweet Earth Organic and Theo Chocolate, all of which are Fair Trade. All of Hershey’s competitors have some form of labor certification for their chocolate, leaving Hershey as the only company on the list without one. Confused by what all of those certification symbols mean? The Scorecard includes a short overview of the most widely used labels and explains what they mean.
    2. Shop for Fair Trade chocolate locally. You can find dozens of locations around the U.S. online here. Other places to check in Western MA are River Valley Co-op (Northampton), Cornucopia (Northampton), Whole Foods (Hadley & Williamstown), Green Fields Market (Greenfield), and Berkshire Co-op Market (Great Barrington).
    3. Fair Trade Your Halloween. You can hand out bite-sized Fair Trade chocolates and let parents of Trick-or-Treaters know why Fair Trade matters. In addition, thousands of families across the US are taking part in local “reverse trick-or-treating” to educate other families about the abuse of children in the cocoa production.
    4. Help raise awareness by holding a screening in your home of “The Dark Side of Chocolate.” Filmmakers Miki Mistrati and U. Robin Romano traveled to cocoa farms in Côte d’Ivoire and what they found was dark. Few improvements have been made on the ground and egregious labor rights abuses continue, years after major chocolate companies committed to ending this exploitation. Get more information about how to get involved here
    5. Take Green America’s new action targeting Hershey. Don’t just avoid Hershey chocolates; let this company know what you think. Go here to send your message to a Hershey’s executive now.
    6. Take action on Facebook. You can start by “liking” Hilltown Families or Green America’s latest posts about Hershey, so your friends can see them. You can also go to Hershey‘s Facebook page and leave your own comments for them and their customers to see. Every few days, Hershey posts a new question designed to keep up the chatter on their page, constantly exposing their brand to more eyeballs. That’s where you can add your comments about expecting Hershey to be more responsible.
    7. Send a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. You’ll find all the background information that you need for your letter to the editor by downloading the “Time to Raise the Bar” report.

    Green America Corporate Social Responsibility Director, Todd Larsen, said:

    We understand that parents who may become aware of the concerns regarding Hershey chocolate and abusive child labor may feel powerless to do anything about it. That’s why we want them to know that there are constructive actions they can take to make a difference. While Hershey pays its CEO $8 million annually, the company is doing little to end the practice of forced child labor in cocoa-growing regions, where many children are not paid for their labor and are abused. This corporate giant is hoping that parents will throw up their hands and just go along as they always have in the past. Our message is simple: You can be sure that you are not putting child slave labor in your child’s Halloween bag or those of other children.

    • K-6 Teachers: Click Here for Fair Trade Cocoa Curriculum

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Green Mama: Get Out Of Bed You Rotten Kids!

    Hilltown Families Contributing Writer

    No One’s Ruining My Day

    We marveled at the views as our car made its way to the Mount Greylock summit and then we took the rare family photo when we got there.

    Authors note: This column was originally intended be about all things “green” from learning to be more environmentally friendly to my naiveté as a parent. As knowledgeable as I think I am about parenting (from my former days as a psychotherapist and now mom of three) there are always those days when I realize just how green I still am. The following column describes one of them.

    “Get out of bed you rotten kids you’re ruining my Christmas!”

    Those words were spoken more than two decades ago by my mother to her two teenage daughters who, like many teens, decided to lay nestled in their beds a little longer than she would have liked one Christmas morning. Grunting and groaning, begging for “one more minute please” Tiffany and I reluctantly crawled out of bed to begin the present-opening. And as usual we ended up having a wonderful family Christmas.

    My sister and I still tease our mom about the rude holiday awakening we received that year, but Sunday I found myself on the verge of yelling very similar words from the bottom of the stairs to my pre-teen 11-year-olds; just a glimpse of things to come. …

    Fall has been, to say the least, chaotic. From the slow-paced, unscheduled days of summer, our family of five leapt and bounded into September with force. School, drum and guitar lessons, sports practices and games were just a few of the myriad activities that engulfed the minutes of each day, leaving little time to breathe let alone connect as a family.

    I felt as if my marriage had been reduced to the occasional flirtation via text or e-mail (in between the one’s that described when and who we had to shuffle where, and what needed to be picked up at the grocery store). And physical intimacy, well that consisted merely of the high-fives we gave each other as we passed each other on the way in or out of the house.

    As for the kids … As involved as I thought I was as a parent the family was so busy that I missed the fact that my son’s medication dose for ADHD had long-since stopped working because I never saw him. My husband was usually responsible for getting him where he had to be so I didn’t notice the change in his behavior until my husband went away for a few days and I was carting him all over creation by myself. Poor kid. I also had no idea who the friends were in Shea’s class that he was talking about let alone the kid whose birthday he was invited to and McKenna, well my lack of attention to detail had me missing the fact that for the entire soccer season she (and most of her teammates) had been triple folding the waistbands of their shorts so that there butt cheeks were almost hanging out. What? I guess short-shorts are back in style, but that short. Really? I probably would have noticed what had been going on if I had stopped to breathe even once in the last two months.

    So, I decided to do something about it… Read the rest of this entry »

    Wicked Wickets in Worthington

    Worthington’s Halloween Celebration

    "This is a chance for people to come down to see all the kids in their costumes," said Janine Modestow, Recreation Committee member.(Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

    This year, the town of Worthington, MA will celebrate Halloween on Saturday, Oct. 30, and offer a new twist, Wicked Wickets, as well as scarecrow-making, a carved pumpkin walkway, a deejay, and an opportunity for residents to give out candy on the R.H. Conwell Community Education grounds. The event is sponsored by the Recreation Committee.

    The fun begins on Friday, Oct. 29, with a free scarecrow-making class at 3 p.m. at the R.H.Conwell Community Education Center (147 Huntington Rd.). At that time, residents can also drop off scarecrows made at home to be judged at the school on Saturday.

    On Saturday, Oct. 30, residents are invited to bring carved pumpkins to either the Town Hall at 160 Huntington Road or the center. The pumpkins will be used to mark a path between the two buildings, which are situated diagonally across from each other. Everyone is invited to participate in decorating the Town Hall, starting at 3 p.m.

    Residents who wish to hand out candy at the center may arrive and set up at 4 p.m.

    “This is a chance for people to come down to see all the kids in their costumes,” said Janine Modestow, Recreation Committee member. The candy handout will give residents who live on the outskirts of town and who are not often visited by trick-or-treaters the chance to join in the fun.

    At 5 p.m., townwide trick-or-treating begins. Children can stop by the center and continue through town. Residents who wish to have trick-or-treaters stop at their home are asked to signal this by leaving their lights on.

    Teenagers are invited to create a wicket, with a scary theme – or not – to play Wicked Wickets, a combination of haunted croquet and miniature golf that will be played on the Town Hall side lawn, weather permitting. Relying on imagination, the wicket can be carved out of pumpkin or a pile of wood with a space large enough for a croquet ball to roll through.

    Then, at 6 p.m. residents will play Wicked Wickets to the sounds of a performing deejay. Prizes for scarecrows will be given out. The Boy Scouts will serve up free hot dogs and burgers, and the Recreation Committee will provide cider, doughnuts and coffee. The cleanup party for the day’s event begins at 8 p.m.

    Top Priorities of a Working Mom

    Finding the Time: When It Is Time to Set Priorities

    It’s time to take back what is mine and begin to enjoy not only the special moments of being a family, but the subtler moments that can surprisingly take your breath away. Like apple picking and just sitting down in the orchard to tell a story or have a snack; or hearing my daughter play the keyboard while singing her favorite song of the week. (Photo credit: Alisa Blanchard

    This past month I did something most of us do sooner or later, I made the choice to eliminate an activity. It was hard at first to even consider the option as it was a group I had assembled together and unofficially, I was the “leader.” I worried about turning to these people and saying “I can’t do this any more, I’m sorry.”

    But I knew quickly it was the right thing to do. On these nights I would go to leave the house and my daughter would turn with wet eyes and say “please don’t go, I want you here with me;” it was absolutely heart wrenching. Quickly it became evident that I was losing much more than my patience from being overextended; I was losing precious moments with my daughter.

    So the day came when I told the group, “I just can’t do this anymore, I am sorry.” At first I thought perhaps my decision was a tad rash; what if I found more time and my concerns were mostly internal, or would they be angry and stop speaking with me? My fears were put to ease when they approached me and said “I had no idea you had so much going on! WOW.” Or “Could you tell me more about that project?” PHEW!

    So now instead of rushing off these nights for another meeting (on top of other regular meeting I have the same night), I am able to schedule in a special family date night. It works out perfectly, as making dinner on these nights is near impossible and we have the chance to work on restaurant etiquette with my daughter. She gets so excited and talks about the fancy restaurant nights (trust me our venue of choice is far from fancy, but it makes it feel special to her.)

    That part was easy, but I am starting to realize perhaps I need to schedule some real solid time home, in the house, doing nothing more than being a family. And as great as it is having family date night, sometimes I just want to stay in and snuggle up to watch a movie after my daughter has gone to bed. I’d even settle for a movie of my husband’s choosing.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT TICKET GIVEAWAY: Michael Franti and Spearhead at the Calvin Theater

    Michael Franti and Spearhead at the Calvin Theater
    Northampton, MA
    Monday & Tuesday, Nov. 1st & 2nd, 2010 @ 8pm

    Hilltown Families and Iron Horse Entertainment Group have partnered up to offer a chance to win free tickets to see adult venues in the Pioneer Valley for a PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT! You pay for the sitter, we’ll pay for the tickets!

    This month we are pleased to offer a chance to win a pairs of tickets to see Michael Franti and Spearhead at the Calvin Theater in Northampton, MA at 8pm on either Monday, November 1st or Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010. Opening act, Bobby Long.

    Win the tickets and take your spouse, partner or good friend for a night out. Deadline to enter to win is Friday, 10/29/10 @ 7pm (EST). More details below.

    ABOUT MICHAEL FRANTI AND SPEARHEAD

    “To play for people and share your songs with them is to make a real connection. That’s why we play outside our shows for those who can’t afford to come inside. They need the songs too – maybe more. That’s the reality. And as a musician I was on tour with put it recently, “Our fans didn’t come to us from a reality show. They came to us from reality.” And so, we mean something in their lives. We’re the music they put on when they drive their little kids to school, or hang out with the person they love at night. There’s no higher honor. So they have an investment in the music. And that means so much because this music is very personal to me too.” - Michael Franti

    For over two decades, the Bay Area born Michael Franti has been bringing our world exceptionally powerful, deeply felt music. Franti first formed the punk band The Beatnigs while studying at the University of San Francisco, and later the far more hip hop-inflected The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy. In the mid-Nineties, Franti created Spearhead. Franti’s music has always reflected his status as a musical citizen of the world. The Sound of Sunshine is Michael Franti & Spearhead’s seventh studio album and the follow-up to 2008’s Top 40 hit All Rebel Rockers. Throughout his career, Franti has earned and maintained a reputation as one of the best live acts in the business. Playing music off of the new album, Franti & Spearhead are sure to deliver an electrically charged, and ultimately unforgettable, musical experience for fans.

    Find out why Michael Franti goes barefoot at his concerts. It’s all for a good cause!

    ABOUT OPENING ACT, BOBBY LONG

    Nu-folkish Bobby Long’s steel string thrumming, much in the vein of London contemporaries Mumford & Sons, Noah and the Whale and Laura Marling, has lent him a million plus MySpace listens prior to any official release. When you listen to Bobby Long, you are reminded of what music is meant to be . . . naked emotion that only knows how to be honest with itself and the listeners. It doesn’t take long to realize you are listening to the next generation of music.In 2009 he played over 100 gigs across Europe and North America and sold over 10,000 copies of his bootleg EP “Dirty Pond Songs” at his shows. The Twilight Soundtrack, which included his co-written “Let Me Sign”, won an American Music Award for Best Soundtrack. Late 2010 or early 2011 will herald the release of a much anticipated first studio album, recorded at legendary ToeRag Studios and produced by Liam Watson (White Stripes, Elephant).

    HOW TO WIN

    Your chance to win a pairs of tickets to see Michael Franti and Spearhead at the Calvin Theater in Northampton, MA at 8pm on either Monday, November 1st or Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010, with opening act, Bobby Long, is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)! To win simply:

    1. POST WHICH NIGHT YOU WOULD PREFER TO ATTEND (one entry per household) and be sure to tell us your
    2. FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
    3. LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
    4. ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
    5. We’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below.

    IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Wednesday, 10/29/10 @ 7pm (EST).

    If you don’t win you should still go. Tickets are available at the Northampton Box office, online at IHEG.com, or by calling 413-586-8686.

    Tale of Twins, Career Ambition and Immigrant Rage

    Having a Baby Changes Everything
    By Saborna Roychowdhury, Hilltown Families Guest Writer

    “You are having twins,” the OBGYN announced. For the longest moment I had stared back at her, my heart beating in my chest, in my throat, and then hammering inside my skull. “I am sorry,” the doctor sighed as if she had betrayed my trust. “You have to be brave now.”

    “So you are not coming back next year?” asked the department head at the Winsor School in Boston. “That is indeed a pity. We were hoping you could teach some of our AP chemistry courses next year”.

    “If it was one baby, I would still try to come back. But with two… things may get complicated. I don’t want the students to suffer.”

    The department head nodded her head in sympathy. Twins, I could detect the Big fear in her eyes. This is the end of your teaching career, she wanted to say.

    Her unspoken words made me wince inwardly. Suddenly, the world seemed so unfair. The words summoned images of undergraduate college life when I worked the whole day to pay for my room and board and studied the whole night to do well in my classes. There was an extra edge to my ambition that comes from coming from a poor country and knowing there is no safety net. I better do well or else…or else the ship is waiting.

    So I was relentless in my pursuit of degrees and good grades. Fear and ambition burnt inside me like a rage, a rage that I liked to call “my immigrant rage.” Getting the teaching position at the prestigious Girls Preparatory School had been dream come true. Forty candidates, three rounds of interviews and I was the chosen one.

    “You are having twins,” the OBGYN announced. For the longest moment I had stared back at her, my heart beating in my chest, in my throat, and then hammering inside my skull.  “I am sorry,” the doctor sighed as if she had betrayed my trust. “You have to be brave now.”

    For the next few months, a battle waged in my head as I watched my body changing shape to accommodate two strange lives inside me. My stomach ballooned up, my spine ached, and my knees almost gave up.  Cocooned inside me like two pea pods, two heart beats started to grow stronger everyday almost determined to de-rail me from my straight path and throw my life in disarray.

    “I am putting them in daycare and going back to teaching. I am an “A” student. I cannot waste time changing diapers and giving tub baths.”

    “Don’t get so worked up,” advised my husband. “Take one day at a time and see what happens.”

    Then came the day of my C-section and the doctors injected an epidural deftly into my spine. The room felt like an igloo cut out of ice and I could not stop shaking even though the doctors told me to calm down. My husband’s kind hand rested on my forehead and I could hear his nervous, uneven breathing. Then I felt pressure on my lower abdomen and the OBGYN’s voice announced, “Welcome sweetheart.”

    I heard a baby cry and my head fell back from the exertion. I closed my eyes. There was more pressure, I heard the doctors talking about a second -baby, and a few minutes later I heard another cry. I kept my eyes tightly shut.

    “You don’t want to miss this,” whispered my husband. “Open your eyes.”

    As I slowly opened my eyes, I was greeted by two sets of bright beautiful eyes. Wrapped tightly in a pink swaddle, the nurses had brought me two exquisite dolls. I stared back at them in disbelief. “Are they real? Is it possible? How can I create something so beautiful?”

    The twins came home and took over our lives. They smiled at us with their big chubby cheeks and reached out to hold our fingers.  One day, when I was happily changing their soiled diaper, my husband asked jokingly, “So where is your immigrant rage now?”

    I smiled back at him and said. “Rage I have known. I have also experienced poverty with all its restrictions and helplessness. But this…this I have never known. I feel very complacent, very contented, completely at peace with the universe.”

    Then bending down to kiss the twins, I said, “Having a baby changes everything.”


    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Saborna Roychowdhury

    Born and raised in Calcutta, India, and moved to the U.S. for her undergraduate work in chemistry, Saborna lives in Massachusetts, and teaches at the Swampscott High School. Her short fiction has appeared in New York Stories and Quality Women’s Magazine U.K. and been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.  Saborna is also the author of the novel The Distance, published in 2009 by Mindscape.

    Bread and Books Benefit Hilltown Libraries

    Bread and Books at Bread Euphoria: A Fundraising Benefit for the Williamsburg Libraries

    Bread & Books, a benefit for the Meekins and Haydenville Libraries. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

    Join local writers and readers for good food and good conversation on Monday, November 8th, 2011, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Bread Euphoria, in Haydenville, MA to support the Meekins and Haydenville libraries. Enjoy hot soup and home-cooked casseroles and of course bread and treats provided by Bread Euphoria and friends, on a cold autumn evening for Bread and Books, a fundraising event.

    Find out what Patricia Maclachlan, Ann Turner, Ellen Wittlinger, Rochelle Wildfong, Erica Verillo, Jack Barry and Jim Cahillane love to read. Talk with them about their books, your books and more books! Come to Bread and Books!

    Do you have a beloved book that you read again and again? Is there a special book that you read to your child or grandchild each night? Have you ever wondered if your favorite author has a favorite book?

    Enjoy hot soup and home-cooked casseroles and of course bread and treats provided by Bread Euphoria and friends. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

    Bring your favorite book and be among the first people to have your picture taken with your all-time favorite book and inaugurate the dynamic “Williamsburg Reads” portraits that will be on display in the Meekins Library in Williamsburg, MA.

    This fundraising evening with our community authors will benefit the Meekins and Haydenville Libraries. Seating is limited.  Neighbors are ready to help with rides so everyone who wants to can come. For information call: 268-7472 or email ddarienzo@me.com.

    Morgan Taylor from Gustafer Yellowgold Guest DJ Episode: Hilltown Family Variety Show (Podcast/Radio Show)

    Morgan Taylor from Gustafer Yellowgold
    Guest DJ Episode

    Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
    October 23rd & 24th, 2010
    WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
    Northampton, MA

    Listen Now

    FEATURED VIDEO: “Butter Pond Lake” from Gustafer Yellowgold’s DVD/CD, Mellow Fever.


    PodcastsRadio Archives Subscribe Myspace Facebook Twitter

    PLAYLIST

    • Beatles – “Fixing A Hole” [Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band]
    • Bread – “The Guitar Man” [The Guitar Man]
    • John Sebastien – “Welcome Back” [Welcome Back]
    • Meco – “Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band”
    • Gustafer Yellowgold – “The Mustard Slugs” [Have You Never Been Yellow?]
    • Hot Butter – “Popcorn”
    • Earth Wind & Fire – “Got To Get You Into My Life” [Best of Earth Wind & Fire Vol. 1]
    • Recess Monkey – “Jet Pack” [The Final Funktier]
    • Paul McCartney & Wings – “Bluebird” [Wingspan]
    • Gustafer Yellowgold – “Pterodactyl Tuxedo” [Wide Wild World]
    • The Captain & Tenielle – “Love Will Keep Us Together”
    • Gustafer Yellowgold & Lisa Loeb – “Quite Easily Lost” [Mellow Fever]
    • Caspar Babypants – “Take The Sun” [More, Please!]
    • Mike Post – “Theme From The Rockford Files”
    • Pilot – “Magic”
    • Gustafer Yellowgold – “My Dragon” [Wide Wild World]

    Big thank you to Morgan Taylor of Gustafer Yellowgold for hosting this week’s episode of the Hilltown Family Variety Show. Our favorite pick from his playlist, “Popcorn” by Hot Butter! Where did he find this song?

    Can’t get enough or Gustafer Yellowgold? Here are several GY related posts here on Hilltown Families.

    Suggested Events 10/23/10-10/29/10

    Discover fun and educational events happening this weekend in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

    SUGGEST AN EVENT

    Day of the Dead altar at the Meekins Library in Williamsburg, MA. This year the Meekins Library will have their community altar for the Day of the Dead on display from 10/23-11/3. All are invited to bring a small token of remembrance of a person or animal they have loss, marigolds, sugar skulls, etc. to add to the display. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

    Suggest an EventIf you have a family friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

    BEST BETS

    On Saturday, Oct. 23rd from 11am-4pm - SCIENCE ADVENTURES: “What Is It? Day” at the Springfield Science Museum. Visitors are invited to bring in unusual artifacts or mystery objects they have found for identification and information. Scientists and experts will be on hand to look at and identify fossils, rocks, and minerals as well as prehistoric and historic artifacts. “What is It? Day” has been planned in conjunction with Massachusetts Archaeology Month. 263-6800 or visit www.springfieldmuseums.org Springfield, MA (MUSEUM ADMISSION)

    Later on Saturday, Oct. 23rd from 6-8pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT: Haunted Farm at Red Gate Farm. A festive Halloween Celebration complete with a “not-so-scary” haunted barn, games, food, treats, and a haunted hay ride! Put on your costume and come on over! The only scary part is how much our farm animals are looking forward to Halloween! Ages 3 – 12. No registration necessary. Please call the Farm Office for more information. 625-9503 www.redgatefarm.org Buckland, MA (>$)

    On Sunday, Oct. 24th at 5:30pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT: The 3rd Annual Surrealist Cabaret and Pumpkin Walk, hosted by the Royal Frog Ballet on Bramble Hill (S. Pleasant St.). Starts promptly at 5:30pm. Dancing grannies, hooting from tree tops, and much more. Bring mug, wear walking shoes, dress warmly. www.theroyalfrogballet.com Amherst, MA ($)

    MARK YOUR CALENDAR

    Learn how to make Mexican Sugar Skulls

    Learn to make Mexican Sugar Skulls for Day of the Dead, traditionally celebrated on November 3rd.

    On Saturday, Oct. 30th from 5-9pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT: Things That Go Bump in the Night at Old Sturbridge Village. Includes The Trail of Terror (ages 11yo & up), haunted pumpkin patch, trick-or-treating, puppet show with Caravan Puppets, and more. 800-733-1830 www.osv.org Sturbridge, MA ($)

    On Sunday, Oct. 31st from 11am-4pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT: Supernatural Sunday: Halloween in at Historic Deerfield. Enjoy the fun of Halloween and the beauty of harvest during the fall season with seasonal hearth cooking, pumpkin decorating, wagon rides, mask-making, and face painting. Wear a costume and enjoy some early trick-or-treating at select historic houses. 775-7127 www.historic-deerfield.orgDeerfield, MA (MUSEUM ADMISSION)

    BULLETIN BOARD

    Blazing Star Herbal School in Ashfield, MAHERBAL CLASS SERIES: Herbal Medicine for Children and Babies in Ashfield at Blazing Star Herbal School. The class will begin with pre-conceptive health care and continue throughout childhood, covering pathologies and common and uncommon states. The class will discuss methods to help prevent compromised immune systems and ways to strengthen the terrain. Cultures around the world will be compared and contrasted. Clarity will be given on appropriate dosage for children and methods of administration. Explore creative medicine making and making nourishing condiments. Students will leave with a complete Materia Medica for Children’s Health. Dates: Friday Mornings Oct 22, Nov 5, Nov 19th Last date TBA .Cost for 4 classes $130

    MOTHER-DAUGHTER PROJECT:Anticipating Adolescence: Renee Schultz, co-author of The Mother-Daughter Project invites you to explore many of the commonly held beliefs about mothers and daughters while offering a new model of connection. On Thursday, October 28th at the Anne T. Dumphy School in Williamsburg, MA at 7pm. Geared toward mothers of girls ages 6-12. Childcare will be provided. More info HERE.

    Deadline to enter to win: 11/3/10

    Cherylann Richards is the Outreach Coordinator for the Old Creamery Co-op writes: Your views are critical to our effort. Please take our survey online. or pick up a paper survey at The Old Creamery. As our thanks for completing the survey, we will hold a drawing with a Grand Prize of a $100 Old Creamery gift certificate and 5 runner-up prizes of a Creamery-made pie or cake. The drawing will be held on Nov 1, deadline for responses is Oct 29. To be entered, you must provide your contact information. All responses are confidential, and we will not share your contact information. If you have questions, please contact our Outreach Coordinator Cherylann Richards at cherylann@oldcreamery.coop. Thank you!

    RECYCLING FUNDRAISER: Littleville Elementary School in Huntington, MA is participating in this free fundraiser. Please donate your empty printer cartridges and used cell phones to the school. They will recycle them through the Funding Factory to earn new playground equipment, books and other items for the school. Last year, more than 300 million cartridges were thrown away and 30 million cell phones were tossed or replaced. Help the environment and help Littleville!

    DIY: Halloween Paper-Maché Piñatas

    DIY: Halloween Paper-Maché Piñatas

    VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: The Parent Aide Program (serving Hampshire County) Trained volunteers provide weekly home visits to families in need of support. The program encourages parents to set their own goals, and Parent Aides partner with parents to attain them. Parent Aides provide both concrete and emotional support to improve coping and life skills and connect parents to needed community services. Through their involvement with the Parent Aide program, families become more connected to both formal and informal community supports, enabling parents to experience less isolation, depression and family violence. The service typically lasts about one year. Training forming now. Please contact Katarina at Berkshire Children and Families in Hadley at (413) 584-5690 ext. 140 or knoyes@bcfcma.org

    Bobbie Knox of Williamsburg, MA writes: Friends of the Williamsburg Libraries is having a Move it for Meekins (Library) and Chili Fest on October 24th from 12noon-3pm during the Williamsburg Fall Festival. The Move it for Meekins has a Trick or Treat Walk (in costume) with cookies and cider served at the turn around point, among funny tomb stones, spooky music for families, and a Woodland Trails 2 hour walk for the more hardy walker. Right after the walks starts the chili fest with great chili and corn bread, drinks and desert. Dining is on straw bales on the library lawn. Register before walks at Meekins Library. www.meekins-library.org

    SPONSORSHIP & ADVERTISING: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Let us help get the word out about your event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement. Email hilltownfamilies@gmail.com for more information. — Help us help you!

    HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW

    Hilltown Family Variety ShowTune in every Saturday from 9-10am. Encore episodes are aired every Sunday from 7-8am.

    This week on the HFVS, Morgan Taylor of Gustafer Yellowgold is our Guest DJ, playing excellent tunes from his childhood plus great music from current albums, including Bread, John Sebastien, Caspar Babypants, Pilot, Recess Monkey, and many others!

    Families have several ways to tune in to the Hilltown Family Variety Show:

  • Streaming Audio: Surf on over to ValleyFreeRadio.org on Saturday & Sunday mornings and listen to us live via streaming audio.
  • On Your FM Dial: Tune in to WXOJ 103.3FM if you live near Northampton, MA.
  • HFVS Podcast

    PODCAST: Listen to the most recent episodes of the Hilltown Family Variety Show anytime you wish! Click here to see our current select of episodes, and be sure to subscribe to our podcast too!


     

    WEEKLY LIST OF SUGGESTED EVENTS

    Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

    Suggest an Event | Local Forecast | Free Museum Passes | Playgroups & Family Centers | Movies in the Valley | Movies in the Berkshires | Listen Here

    Events Happening in the Hilltowns | ♦ On-going Events

    Saturday -10/23

    Hilltown Family Variety Show6-10am – FAMILY RADIO Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) offers 4-hours of commercial-free family programing every Saturday, including the Hilltown Family Variety Show and Spare the Rock. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org.

    8:30am-12:30pm – FARMERS’ MARKETOn the town green. Ashfield, MA (MARKET)

    9:30am-4:30pm – FOOD HISTORY: What’s cooking? Open hearth cooking at the Historic Deerfield. Open hearth cooks will prepare select dishes that are on display as part of the exhibition Dinner is Served!: Dining and the Decorative Arts. Come see “what’s cooking” and learn how these dishes were prepared in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The history workshop: Pots, Pans and Porridge: Children in the Colonial Kitchen, will be offered too starting at 12Noon. 775-7127 www.historic-deerfield.org Deerfield, MA (MUSEUM ADMISSION)

    10am-2pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT: Pumpkin painting and scarecrow building with the police and fire departments at the Williamsburg Snack Shack Parking Lot (Route 9). Rain or shine. Haydenville, MA (FREE, DONATIONS)

    10am-12Noon – NATURE STUDIES: Bird banding demo at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary (472 W. Mountain Rd.) 637-0320 Lenox, MA (>$)

    10:30am-12Noon – HALLOWEEN EVENT: Children’s Halloween Party at the Carnegie Library. Refreshments, games, face painting, and arts and crafts. Costumes are encouraged, but not required. 863-3214 Turners Falls, MA (FREE)

    11am-3pm – FALL FAIR/OPEN HOUSE: The Montessori School of Northampton’s annual Children’s Fall Fair and Open House (51 Bates St.). The full day of fun for families will include children’s games, arts and crafts, pony rides, a petting zoo, a bounce house, and more. Entertainment will be provided by Hooping Harmony, singer-songwriter Chris Scanlon, clown Peppermint Pattie and storyteller Tom McCabe (of Paintbox Theater). 586-4538 www.northamptonmontessori.com Northampton, MA (FREE ENTRANCE) Rain dates: 10/24.

    11am-4pm - SCIENCE ADVENTURES: “What Is It? Day” at the Springfield Science Museum. Visitors are invited to bring in unusual artifacts or mystery objects they have found for identification and information. Scientists and experts will be on hand to look at and identify fossils, rocks, and minerals as well as prehistoric and historic artifacts. “What is It? Day” has been planned in conjunction with Massachusetts Archaeology Month. 263-6800 or visit www.springfieldmuseums.org Springfield, MA (MUSEUM ADMISSION)

    1pm – FAMILY CONCERT: Northampton Community Music Series featuring Gustafer Yellowgold in the auditorium at the Eric Carle Museum. 658-1100 www.carlemuseum.org Amherst, MA ($)

    1-2:30pm – READING ADVENTURES: Family Adventures in Reading (FAIR) will be offered at the Indian Orchard Branch Library (44 Oak St.) with professional storyteller John Porcino lerading families and children 6 and older in discussions about children’s stories on topics such as fairness, courage, and dreams. Snacks will be provided. Register at 263-6846 www.springfieldlibrary.org Springfield, MA (FREE)

    1-3pm – DOG PARADE: The Friends of the Dickinson Memorial Library (115 Main St.) are sponsoring a dog show and parade. Bring your dog or come and cheer the contestants on. 498-2455 www.northfieldpubliclibrary.org Northfield, MA (>$, FREE)

    Read the rest of this entry »

    What’s the Alternative to a Sexualized Halloween Costume? Make Your Own!

    Big Box Shops Offering Our Daughters the Perfect Sexy Costume

    At first when I saw this costume I thought it was for a streetwalker, but upon slower inspection I realized it was for a Sexy Native American!(?)! One of our local big boxed stores is suggesting ways our teenage (and tween) daughters can up their sex appeal this Halloween with several costume styles, included a Honey (pot) Bear and a Sexy Angel (Angelicious!). I know what my thoughts are (?!?!) … what are yours?

    • Silas Holesovsky responds: Target should be ashamed!
    • Lori Ann Kelterborn responds: I went into CVS a few years back and was APPALLED by the CHILDRENS costume of a “cheerleader” with midriff exposed and the little shorts under the skirt showing, with a 9-year-old that had a face FULL of makeup. We need to encourage children being children not 9 going on a 19 yr old street-walker… sorry for the huge ramble but this is a big issue for me.
    • Crystal Cooper responds: I’ve been discouraged for years that it’s become difficult to find an adult women’s costume in stores that is not a “sexy” version of normal costumes. I am completely disgusted that these costumes have come into production for girls and teens. As if the media doesn’t already send the message that girls are only valued for their sex appeal… now they have an excuse to dress the part. So so sad.
    • Shoshona King responds: The Halloween store next to Stop & Shop in Hadley has only sexy costumes for women. Not any reasonable costumes.
    • Marianne Bullock responds: I wrote this last year after a confrontation at a local bar with some people dressed with hijabs and suicide bombs … “Dressing up as another “race” or “culture” for Halloween IS racist. — Traditionally Halloween is a time to express yourself through costume as something scary, funny, ironic or otherworldly – that is why portraying a Muslim or Indian is racist. Since when is it acceptable for people to cast native or Muslim people into the realm of the fantastical — wizards, fairies, goblin and ghosts? Who gets to decide that other cultures get to be degraded to a cheap Halloween costume? It’s offensive to reduce the diversity of 500 plus first nation cultures and Indian people’s identities to a cheap plastic costume with tacky feathers — OR WEAR a hijab with a BOMB strapped to you! None of the institutional oppression that people face as Muslims and Middle Easterners comes with the costume. — Messing with concepts of race and identity in the “safe” context of Halloween only allows white people to trivialize and reproduce racial stereotypes while supporting white supremacy and dominance. There is nothing “rebellious” about it, you are not resisting the restrictive social context of our society, you are supporting racism and racial hierarchy. – HERE’S A RADICAL IDEA! Why not portray something not racist, sexist or offensive for Halloween?”

    TAKE ACTION: MAKE YOUR OWN

    If you’re feeling crafty and would rather make your kids non-sexualized costume this year, there are a couple of costume making opportunities this weekend.

    1. On Saturday, Oct. 23rd, ETTA Art Studio in Amherst, MA is offering a three-hour class.
    2. And then on Sunday, Oct. 24th, The Art Garden in Shelburne Falls, MA is having a three-hour Halloween costume making party, providing supplies and sewing machines.

    Birdie Bunny Photography is offering Halloween photo sessions too and taking appointments to capture your kid and costume creation forever in a fine art photograph.

    And if you don’t have the time to make your own, The Toy Stop, an independent, locally owned toy store in Northampton, MA has a few non-sexualized Halloween supplies to choose from — a nice alternative to those big box shops!

    HFVS CD Giveaway: Ferdinand the Bull and Friends

    New CD Giveaway
    Ferdinand the Bull and Friends
    Narrated by David Ogden Stiers

    Deadline to enter to win is Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010, 7pm (EST).

    In the tradition of Peter and the Wolf, North Pacific Music has recently produced a fabulous story CD, Ferdinand the Bull and Friends, narrated by David Ogden Stiers — and we have a copy to giveaway to one lucky family! Deadline to enter to win is Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010. Details below.

    About Ferdinand the Bull and Friends

    Narrator David Ogden Stiers is joined by award-winning cellist Nina Flyer and pianist Chie Nagatani in performing music created and arranged by up-coming composer, Mark Fish — a name in to watch out for in the children’s music world. Together they create an intelligently educational and entertaining sound world of three stories — never pandering, never pedantic, always engaging — alluring to both children and adults.

    TRADING CARDS: Include are 15 shiny firm CD-sized trading cards. The 15 poems of Ogden Nash are illustrated by Devin Bernard with drawings on the face, and poems on the back. These can be used as novelty conversation pieces or parlor game for children of all ages. Take turns, pick a card, start reading the poem, the first to jump in and finish the poem gets the card - person with the most cards wins.

    Ferdinand the Bull is a musical setting of The Story of Ferdinand, written in 1932 by Munro Leaf and illustrated by Robert Lawson. The book has become a classic. In this version, certain characters or events in the story have musical themes: Ferdinand’s flower-sniffing waltz (played by the cello), fast piano scales depict other young bulls running around and the fanfare is for the parade into the bullring. And there is a part everyone can play, right along with the recording: put a finger in your mouth, tighten your lips, and “pluck” one side just like the reader — it’s the sound of a cork popping off a bottle, for the cork tree.

    The Carnival of the Animals was written in 1886 by the French composer Camille Saint-Saëns. The poems from the 1950s are by American poet Ogden Nash. In The Carnival of the Animals Saint-Saëns’ music imitates many animal sounds. For one animal, not known for any sound, he plays a trick. He makes a really slow dance — the famous French Can-Can for the tortoise. The elephant gets a funny waltz and the fossils… just imagine.

    The Mother Goose Suite: Maurice Ravel loved music and children. With Jean and Mimie, children of his musician friends Cipa and Ida Godebski, he spent hours telling stories and playing games. When they were 8 and 10 years old and learning piano, he composed The Mother Goose Suite for them to play together. Eventually it was so popular he made it into a ballet for a whole orchestra.

    HOW TO WIN:

    Your chance to win a free copy of the newly released CD, Ferdinand the Bull and Friends, narrated by David Ogden Stiers, is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)! To win simply

    1. SHARE YOUR FAMILIES FAVORITE SHORT STORY and be sure to tell us your
    2. FULL NAME and where you
    3. LIVE (TOWN/STATE) Must include your town and state to be eligible. We’ll randomly draw a winner from those who leave a comment (along with their full name and town/state) and contact the winner via email.  So be sure to leave an
    4. ACCURATE EMAIL in the email field of the comment box (we never share your email address).

    IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010 @ 7pm (EST).

    Grow Food Northampton Host Area Premiere of “Fresh”

    Local premiere of Fresh to benefit the Northampton Community Farm!

    The film Fresh celebrates the innovative farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system. Grow Food Northampton hosts the area premiere of this inspiring film at the Academy of Music Theater in Northampton, MA on Friday, November 5th at 7pm.  All proceeds go to buy prime farmland in Florence, MA for the establishment of the Northampton Community Farm.  .


    First few scenes in this trailer could be considered graphic (honest, yet graphic). Please review trailer for appropriateness before allowing young children to view.

    The film Fresh celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system. Each has witnessed the rapid transformation of our agriculture into an industrial model, and confronted the consequences: food contamination, environmental pollution, depletion of natural resources, and morbid obesity. Forging healthier, sustainable alternatives, they offer a practical vision for a future of our food and our planet.

    Among several main characters, Fresh features urban farmer and activist, Will Allen, a 2008 recipient of the MacArthur “genius” grant and recently named one of Time’s 100 most influential people; sustainable farmer and entrepreneur Joel Salatin, made famous by The Omnivore’s Dilemma, the best-selling book by Michael Pollan, who is also featured in the movie; and, Kansas City supermarket owner David Ball, who is challenges our Wal-Mart-dominated economy every day by stocking his stores with products from local suppliers.

    Fresh is more than a film; it is a reflection of a rising movement of people and communities across America who are re-inventing our food system, communities like Grow Food Northampton. Fresh celebrates the food architects who offer a practical vision of a new food paradigm and consumer access to it. Encouraging individuals to take matters into their own hands, Fresh is a guide that empowers people to take an array of actions as energetic as planting urban gardens and creating warm composts from food waste, and as simple as buying locally-grown products and preserving seasonal produce to eat later in the year.

    Throughout the film, we encounter the most inspiring people, ideas, and initiatives happening around the country right now. At the Growing Power urban farm in Milwaukee, Will Allen is turning three acres of industrial wasteland into a mecca of nutrition for his neighborhood. In Kansas City, we witness David Ball revitalize his community, turning the modern concept of the Supermarket on its head by stocking his stores with produce from a cooperative of local farmers. And, we journey to Joel Salatin’s farm in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley to witness his methods for closing the nutrient cycle, allowing cows, chickens, pigs and natural grasses to flourish and produce without ever an ounce of chemical fertilizer or industrial animal feed.
    FRESH tells the stories of real people, connecting audiences not with facts and figures or apocalyptic policy analysis, but with examples of personal initiative and concrete ways to engage in a new food model.

    Mark your calendars: Friday, November 5, 7pm at the Academy of Music. Tickets $8 can be purchased at Serios, Cup & Top, State Fruit Store, Cooper’s Corner, or Broadside Books. Also available at the door. Contact Grow Food Northampton
    for questions: info@growfoodnorthampton.com.

    Rag Shag Parades – A Western MA Tradition

    Is Western Mass Home to the Rag Shag Parade?

    Kids line up for Ashfield’s Rag Shag Parade. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

    A couple of years ago the question on the origins of the “rag shag parade” was proposed to our readers:

    I had never heard of a rag shag parade until I moved to Western Mass. And as far I can tell, this style of parade is a local phenomenon. You don’t hear about rag shag parades happening in Minnesota or Louisiana. Not even Boston! Correct me if I’ve overlooked something, but they seem to take place largely in Western Mass, with at least eleven happening this week. So what gives? How did they originate, and why Western Mass?

    And just what is a rag shag parade? Judging from my limited experience, rag shag parades are free-for-all community events where families dress-up in costume and loosely parade down their local town’s main drag. Sometimes fire engines lead the way, sometimes fire engines close up behind. At at the end of the parade there are typically refreshments, activities and/or a bonfire. The kids run around, the adults hide behind masks, and often times trick-or-treating begins. I’m certain there are variations to this format. We’ve been to a number of rag shag parades since our daughter was born. All in Western Mass and all followed a similar pattern. Share with us your favorite rag shag parade stories.

    The Great Pumpkin sits outside of the Ashfield Hardware Store and Country Pie on Main Street on Halloween night, waiting for the rag shag parade and trick or treater’s to travel by. This one ton beauty was grown in Plainfield and wired to hear and speak to passersby. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

    R. Joshua Mobley posted a great response to this inquiry.  He writes:

    “In response to your inquiry on the history of the Rag-Shag, yes it is a New England, and more specifically, W. Mass phenomenon. This history is a little sketchy, but what I found out was that the actual term “Rag-Shag” is an inverse derivative of “Shag-rag”, which literally means: The unkempt and ragged part of the community. Being that the term has slang origins, the actual point of origin is vague at best, circa turn of the 20th century.

    “Essentially it was the ruffians and derelicts that began the parade, sort of as a protest to the disparity of classism. It was the only acceptable way their voice could be heard from a voiceless group. Over time it merged with Halloween festivities such as trick-or-treating which did not become a widespread practice until the 1930s, with the first U.S. appearances of the term in 1934,and the first use in a national publication occurring in 1939.”

    Driver’s License: A Teen Rite of Passage

    Give Me a D! Give Me an R! Give me an I V E! But Put Your Seatbelt on First!

    Late Breaking News: Aidan Wright, resident 16 year old of the Fisher household, will be taking (and hopefully passing) his driver’s license test on November 2, 2010. All drivers in the upstate New York/ Massachusetts area take note and take caution. Just sayin… Am I nervous you ask? Let me spell it out for you.

    D is for doubt. Can my son really be old enough to operate an automobile…a heavy piece of equipment—a careening cannonball on four wheels-on his own? Without me sitting on the passenger side slamming my foot down on the imaginary brake, barking out orders and white knuckling the handle on the door? Is he ready for the responsibility that comes with not only ensuring his life and the life of the passenger in his car, but the lives of other drivers on the road? D. The doubt is deafening.

    R is for rejoicing. I have never seen my tres chic-tres-cool sixteen year old dance a happy little jig, but I am telling you he came close the moment we made his driver’s test appointment on line this week. The corners of his mouth turned up. His eyes twinkled. His face softened. I mused, “What do you call this look I see on your face dear teen? Could it be that elusive smile I have heard much about? I was told such a thing existed. But until now, I didn’t believe I’d ever see it.” A major 16 year old eye roll followed my teasing. But even that wouldn’t damper his mood. I think I saw him skip as he went down the stairs to his bedroom.

    I is for I-will-soon-have-my-very-own-gofer. “Let’s be positive,” said my ever chipper husband, “whenever you forget something at market, you can just send a very willing driver to do the errands that you hate.” He may have a point. Did I ever mention how I hate the winter cold? This impending license gives me visions of sitting cozily by the fire saying things like, “Aidan, please go pick up your brother.” Or “Aidan, could you please run to the store to buy me some hot chocolate? Run along and don’t dawdle…”

    V is for velocity and verification. Velocity….need I even explain this one. The mere mention of the word makes my toes curl in my new gray cowboy boots. I have visions of a car speeding swiftly down a country road in a game of chicken with perhaps a pickup truck, a van, or worse an 18 wheeler. This nightmare has me thinking about how I can keep tabs on my newly mobile teen, which brings me to VERIFICATION. Some parents, (whom I shall keep nameless lest I give away family secrets) told me about a very nifty gadget that you can put under the hood of your car that acts as a GPS babysitter. Said gadget would come with an application for your cell phone that a parent could check at will to find out the location of the family automobile. Part of me relishes the fact that I can check up on him. That part of me screams… “Run lady! Don’t walk. Where can we get us one of those?” But on the other hand, another part of me feels like that nosy neighbor we used to see on Bewitched, wringing her hands and peering into the front door…saying, “What’s IS going on in there!” And then there’s this: If he ever has a girlfriend, do I REALLY want to know he is parked somewhere on a deserted mountain road or a highway rest stop???? Ummm…I think I’d rather skip that kind of knowledge.

    E is for Eager Earning. On the bright side, all this talk of driving and cars has motivated my usually oh-so-unmotivated teen to work many hours at a shall-we-say very popular sub place. I have been impressed with my son’s ability to save (not a trait he inherited from his shopaholic mother.) His bank account over the summer and fall has grown substantially. He is actually at the point where he is looking at cars that he could possibly purchase off of the internet. Of course there is also the fact that we the powers that be at home insist that he pay for his own gas and insurance. But at the rate he is going, that won’t even make a noticeable dent in his cache of cash. “Ummm hey honey…son of mine…could I borrow a 50? There are these to-die-for shoes I can’t live without calling my name.”

    R is for REALITY. Despite my reservations, (HA! Another R word) I know that every day brings us closer and closer to November 2. There is no way around it, just like walking, kindergarten, or riding a two wheeler, getting a driver’s license is a rite of passage that every human should experience as they journey towards independence. I know in my heart that Aidan is ready to take this next step towards adulthood. There is no question about that. The real question is am I ready? After all, by now you know how vivid my imagination is. So you won’t be surprised when I tell you that on the day my eldest takes his driver’s test, I will be waiting patiently, but sadly envisioning the moment that that boy of mine who takes up so much of my heart will leave home driving down the road that we call life.


    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Logan Fisher

    Logan has lived in Glens Falls, NY all her life. By day, she is an educator with 20 years experience, a mom to Aidan and Gannan, her two teenage boys, a new mommy to a beautiful daughter, Ila, and wife to the love of her life, Jeffrey. By night, weekends and any spare time she can find, Logan writes. She loves memoir and also adores writing essays about the challenges of parenthood. This year she started a parenting blog called A Muddled Mother, an honest place where mothers aren’t afraid to speak of the complications and difficulties that we all inevitably experience. Logan has been published in various children’s and parenting magazines including Today’s Motherhood, Eye on Education, Faces, and Appleseed.

  • Become a Hilltown Families Contributing Writer/Artist
  • A Day at the Westhampton Fall Festival

    Liz Provo writes: This is a little video of the Westhampton, MA Fall Festival and 3rd Annual Road Race which I hope captures the unique nature of this beautiful small town in Western Mass. Thanks especially to the Acoustic Preservation Band, whose music is heard throughout the video.

    Sunny Day: Elizabeth Mitchell’s Newest CD

    Elizabeth Mitchell: Sunny Day

    'Sunny Day' offers "handmade music" which invites listeners to join in. As Amanda Blake Soule, the author of "The Creative Family," notes in the 28-page full-color booklet enclosed with 'Sunny Day,' "These songs bring our attention to the magical, mysterious, fabulous and special simple moments of everyday living." They provide a soundtrack to brighten any day, "inspiring family connection and togetherness," as Sooule says.

    Elizabeth Mitchell’s new CD, Sunny Day, came out earlier this month and at just the right time for my family.

    With the air getting crisper and school back in session, kids will invariably pick up (and bring home) fall colds. It’s no fun for anyone. When both mommy and child are feeling under the weather the best thing for everyone is to relax and take it easy.

    Yes, I realize this is easier said than done, but Elizabeth’s soothing voice and mellow tunes really helped my son to calm down, rest, and focus on getting better rather than on how awful he felt. And that helped mommy feel better, too!

    Elizabeth sings many traditional folk songs from around the world, but combines them in her seamless style. Her voice and arrangements are soft and safe; you can’t help but feel comfortable and comforted while listening to her music. It’s perfect music for after-school-wind-down time, for snuggling, or for just feeling happy and at home.

    To get a feel for Elizabeth’s style, try listening to her version of Mr. Rabbit or the Japanese song Ooki Na Kuri No Ki No Shita De (Under the Big Chestnut Tree), two of our favorite songs on the new album.

    If you’re looking for something easy to listen to, something you can pop in the CD player when you’ve just about had it with all the noise and the distractions, you’ve found it. Relax. You’re entire family deserves it!


    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Amber BobnarAmber Bobnar

    Amber lives with her husband and son in Watertown, MA. Originally hailing from Hawaii, Amber and her family moved to Watertown to be closer to the Perkins School for the Blind where her son attends preschool. She has a Master’s degree in English from Tufts University and spends most of her “free time” writing about being a parent of a disabled child on WonderBaby.org or about the family’s musical adventures around Boston on BostonChildrensMusic.com. But really most of her time is spent caring for and playing with her little boy. info@bostonchildrensmusic.com. (Originally posted at Boston Children’s Music.)

    

    October 16th Episode: Hilltown Family Variety Show (Radio Show/Podcast)

    October 16th Episode

    Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
    October 16th & 17th, 2010
    WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
    Northampton, MA

    Listen Now


    FEATURED VIDEO: The Leisure Society play live at the Union Chapel on 15 May 2010 to launch American Laundromat’s latest charity compilation, Sing Me to Sleep: Indie Lullabies.


     

    PodcastsRadio Archives Subscribe Myspace Facebook Twitter

    PLAYLIST

    Suggested Events 10/16/10-10/22/10

    Discover fun and educational events happening this weekend in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

    SUGGEST AN EVENT

    Slices of Apple Pie & Cheddar Cheese, a New England tradition, sold to raise funds for the South Ashfield Library during the Ashfield Fall Festival this past weekend. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

    Suggest an EventIf you have a family friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

    BEST BETS

    This Saturday, October 16th from 10am-3pm – DISCOVERY DAY: Arcadia Discovery Day invites you to come explore the sanctuary and its many habitats, take a net and investigate the small invertebrates in the pond and field, build a bluebird or American kestrel box, and see live birds up close with local wildlife rehabilitator Tom Ricardi. www.massaudubon.org Easthampton, MA (FREE)

    This Sunday, October 17th at 12:30pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Westhampton’s 5th Annual Fall Festival with the famous Great Pumpkin Roll (4:15pm). Demos, crafts, 5k, cookout, campfire sing-along. Westhampton, MA (FREE)

    MARK YOUR CALENDAR

    Next Saturday, October 23rd from 3-6pm – OPENING CELEBRATION: Opening Celebration of the Bullitt Reservation (322 Bullitt Rd.). Come see the ongoing green transformation of an old farmhouse into an energy efficient office and meeting space, hike our new scenic trail, stroll through the meadow, and enjoy the view while sharing a potluck dinner with friends and neighbors. Kid’s activities will be available too! 268.8219 http://www.highlandcommunities.org Ashfield, MA (FREE)

    Red Gate Farm in Buckland, MA

    Also next Saturday, from 6-8pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT: Haunted Farm at Red Gate Farm. A festive Halloween Celebration complete with a “not-so-scary” haunted barn, games, food, treats, and a haunted hay ride! Put on your costume and come on over! The only scary part is how much our farm animals are looking forward to Halloween! Ages 3 – 12. No registration necessary. Please call the Farm Office for more information. 625-9503 www.redgatefarm.org Buckland, MA (>$)

    And next Sunday, October 24th from 10am-4pm - CRAFT FAIR: 1st Annual Williamsburg Arts & Crafts Fall Festival at the Willambsurg Grange. Great opportunity to find holiday gifts made by local artisians. There will be many activities happening in the town of Williamsburg on this day, including a fundraiser for the Meekins Library and Hot Air Balloon tethering rides from 3-4:30pm. 268-0074 Williamsburg, MA (SALE)

    BULLETIN BOARD

    Show Circus Studio in Easthampton, MA

    Warm welcome to Hilltown Families newest sponsor, Show Circus Studio of Easthampton, MA - offering after-school classes, camps and workshops in the circus arts.

    Bobbie Knox of Williamsburg, MA writes: Friends of the Williamsburg Libraries is having a Move it for Meekins (Library) and Chili Fest on October 24th from 12noon-3pm during the Williamsburg Fall Festival. The Move it for Meekins has a Trick or Treat Walk (in costume) with cookies and cider served at the turn around point, among funny tomb stones, spooky music for families, and a Woodland Trails 2 hour walk for the more hardy walker. Right after the walks starts the chili fest with great chili and corn bread, drinks and desert. Dining is on straw bales on the library lawn. Register before walks at Meekins Library. www.meekins-library.org

    FREE CHILDBIRTH EDUCATION CLASS: With funding from the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development, the Hilltown Community Health Center in Huntington, MA will offer a free childbirth education class on Saturday, October 30th from 10:00 to 3:00. This day-long format will prepare families for the childbirth experience in one session. Ann Buscemi, certified childbirth educator, will talk about what to expect in labor and delivery, as well as breathing and relaxation techniques. Call Lee at 238-5511 x155 for more information on location and to register. www.hchcweb.org

    Deadline to enter to win: 10/20

    KIDS COOKING: Future chefs, ages 9 to 14, are invited to join Katie Wilton, author of You’re the Cook!, for a hands-on cooking class at the Lenox Library Association on Saturday, October 23rd from 3-4:30pm. Students will make recipes from her cookbook, including Deviled Eggs, Pizza Wontons, Parmesan Pita Triangles, Yogurt Fruit Shakes and Cream Cheese Filled Strawberries. Participants will sample all of the food. This workshop is free. Copies of Katie’s cookbook will be for sale. Registration is required; participation is limited. To register, call 637-0197 ext. 105.

    NEW EXHIBIT: Special exhibit at D’Amour Musium of Fine Arts in Springfield: Season of Joy: Celebrating Childhood in Currier & Ives Prints. Great opportunity for older students and homeschoolers. Now until January 23rd. Currier & Ives is known for its idealized images of life in 19th century America. The images in this exhibit presented an optimistic, romanticized vision of childhood. However, these renditions fell short of reality for many youngsters who worked in American factories and farms from dawn to dusk. These images illustrate the charming side of childhood and can be appreciated both historically and aesthetically as romantic and sentimental depictions of growing up in 19th-century America. For information, call 413-263-6800 or visit www.springfieldmuseums.org.

    Learn how to make Mexican Sugar Skulls

    Learn how to make Mexican Sugar Skulls for Day of the Dead. Click on banner for a studio visit with ArtStar Lounge in Williamsburg, MA.

    NEW EXHIBIT: Oct 15 – Jan 23, Eric Carle Museum and Yiddish Book Center, Monsters and Miracles: A Journey through Jewish Picture Books. The exhibit shows the contributions that Jewish art and storytelling have made to children’s literature, tracing the development of the Jewish picture book from its early cultural roots to its contemporary innovations. The works represent an array of artistic media, including paintings, drawings, computer-generated images, paper cuts, collages, as well as lavishly illustrated Hebrew manuscripts. Texts are mainly in English, but there are also works in Hebrew, Yiddish, and Portuguese. See both the Carle website (www.carlemuseum.org) and the Yiddish Book Center website (www.yiddishbookcenter.org) for more info.

    HOMEWORK HELP: Big Y’s Homework Helpline is a free service, available Monday through Thursday from 4:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. by calling 1-800-866-BIGY or on-line by logging on to www.Bigy.com/homework

    READING MENTOR PROGRAM: The Forbes Library Teen Department in Northampton, MA is looking for tween/teen volunteers to read to younger children once a week or about an hour for their Reading and Mentoring Program. Younger children who may not have older brothers/sisters who would like to spend time with an older friend are wanted too. Call to sign up: 587-1010.

    SPONSORSHIP & ADVERTISING: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Let us help get the word out about your event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement. Email hilltownfamilies@gmail.com for more information. — Help us help you!

    HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW

    Hilltown Family Variety ShowTune in every Saturday from 9-10am. Encore episodes are aired every Sunday from 7-8am.

    This week on the HFVS we’re featuring local music by The Gypsy Wranglers, The Primate Fiasco, and Swing Caravan, and new music by Elizabeth Mitchell, Music for Little People, The Real Tuesday Weld, The Leisure Society, Forest Sun and a couple of cuts off of the Many Hands CD.

    Families have several ways to tune in to the Hilltown Family Variety Show:

    • Streaming Audio: Surf on over to ValleyFreeRadio.org on Saturday & Sunday mornings and listen to us live via streaming audio.
    • On Your FM Dial: Tune in to WXOJ 103.3FM if you live near Northampton, MA.
    • HFVS Podcast

      PODCAST: Listen to the most recent episodes of the Hilltown Family Variety Show anytime you wish! Click here to see our current select of episodes, and be sure to subscribe to our podcast too!


    WEEKLY LIST OF SUGGESTED EVENTS

    Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

    Suggest an Event | Local Forecast | Free Museum Passes | Playgroups & Family Centers | Movies in the Valley | Movies in the Berkshires | Farmers’ Markets | Listen Here

    Events Happening in the Hilltowns | ♦ On-going Events

    Saturday – 10/16

    Hilltown Family Variety Show6-10am – FAMILY RADIO: Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) offers 4-hours of commercial-free family programing every Saturday, including the Hilltown Family Variety Show and Spare the Rock. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org.

    MUSIC FESTIVAL: The sixth annual Pittsfield CityJazz Festival is scheduled through October 21st. www.berkshiresjazz.org Pittsfield, MA

    WOOL HARVEST: Shearing & What to do with Wool, fall wool harvest celebration will be at Winterberry Farm (21 Teawaddle Hill Road). Shearing, spinning, weaving and felting demos. Try your hand at spinning on a hook. 548-3940 www.winterberryfarm.org Leverett, MA

    ART ADVENTURES: Open Studios. www.northadamsopenstudios.com North Adams, MA (FREE)

    8am – HARVEST FESTIVAL: Leverett Harvest Festival happens at the Leverett Elementary School (Montague Rd.) with a pancake breakfast, crafts, games and the Leverett Family Museum will be open to the public. Leverett, MA (FREE ENTRANCE)

    8am-3pm - TAG SALE: The Children’s Museum will host a tag sale in the upper level of the museum’s building (444 Dwight St.) 536-KIDS Holyoke, MA (FUNDRAISER)

    8:30am-12:30pm – FARMERS’ MARKET: On the town green. Ashfield, MA (MARKET)

    9am-1pm – FAMILY CLOTHING SALE: Trinitarian Congregational Church (147 Main St.) will have a huge clothing sale with a large variety for the entire family. Northfield, MA (SALE)

    9am-2pm – TAG SALE: Tag sale fundraiser for the Russell Conwell Community Education Center. Worthington, MA (FUNDRAISER)

    9:30am-4:30pm – FOOD HISTORY: What’s cooking? Open hearth cooking at the Historic Deerfield. Open hearth cooks will prepare select dishes that are on display as part of the exhibition Dinner is Served!: Dining and the Decorative Arts. Come see “what’s cooking” and learn how these dishes were prepared in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The history workshop: Pots, Pans and Porridge: Children in the Colonial Kitchen, will be offered too starting at 12Noon. 775-7127 www.historic-deerfield.org Deerfield, MA (MUSEUM ADMISSION)

    9:30am-5pm – HARVEST DAYS: Talk with costumed interpreters about the harvest and learn about methods of food preservation. at the Old Sturbridge Village Harvest Days. Dig potatoes in the field, pull carrots in the garden, shell corn in the barn and thresh rye on the threshing floor! 800-733-1830 www.osv.org Sturbridge, MA ($)

    9:45am - RAILWAY ADVENTURES: Take a field trip with the Gateway Family Center on the Berkshire Scenic Railway, located in Lenoxdale (a village in Lenox, 10 Willow Creek Rd.). The train goes from there to Stockbridge and back. For those that would like to spend more time in Stockbridge, it is possible to take a later train back (don’t lose your ticket!). Please dress for the weather. You may bring snacks for the Stockbridge station (there is often an ice cream truck there) and there is usually a hot dog vendor at the Lenoxdale station. Lenox, MA (>$)

    10am – FAMILY FILM: A Town Called Panic will be at the International Family Film series at Images Cinema (50 Spring St.). Hilarious and frequently surreal, the stop-motion extravaganza A Town Called Panic has endless charms and raucous laughs for children from eight to eighty. Based on the Belgian animated cult TV series, Panic stars three plastic toys named Cowby, Indian and Horse who share a rambling house in a rural town that never fails to attract the weirdest events. www.imagescinema.org Williamstown, MA (>$)

    10am-12Noon – PARENTING SOCIAL: Color Play is a monthly social and craft for families parenting children of color, supporting parents by addressing the cultural imbalances on their children’s community, encouraging self-acceptance and identity awareness. Providing parents with the opportunity to have open dialogue around the many concerns of parenting children of color, it will include a story hour, healthy snack and seasonal craft; as well as, fun interactive parent-child connecting in a diverse setting. Northampton, MA (FREE)

    10am-5pm – CORN MAZE: Mike’s Maze at Warner Farm (25 South Main St.). 665-8331 www.mikesmaze.com Sunderland, MA ($)

    10am-12Noon - PARENTING WORKSHOP: Breastfeeding Workshop with Melanie Serman. Basics of breastfeeding w a certified lactation consultant. CHP Family Services Building (442 Stockbrige Rd.). 644-0104 www.communityhealthprograms.org Great Barrington, MA (FREE)

    10am-12Noon - PARENTING WORKSHOP: Breastfeeding Workshop with Melanie Serman. Basics of breastfeeding w a certified lactation consultant. CHP Family Services Building (442 Stockbrige Rd.). 644-0104 www.communityhealthprograms.org Great Barrington, MA (FREE)

    10am-12:30pm – ARCHAEOLOGY: At Historic Deerfield, Bob Paynter, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts will lead an Archaeological Walking Tour that families with older students might enjoy. A guided tour of the Old Burying Ground with a guide from Historic Deerfield will be at 11:30 a.m. 775-7127 www.historic-deerfield.org Deerfield, MA (FREE)

    10am-3pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT: Halloween Tricks and Treats at Look Park with arts, crafts, pony rides, entertainment, pumpkin painting, costumes, games, cider, hayrides. www.lookpark.org Florence, MA (>$)

    10am-3pm – DISCOVERY DAY: Arcadia Discovery Day invites you to come explore the sanctuary and its many habitats, take a net and investigate the small invertebrates in the pond and field, build a bluebird or American kestrel box, and see live birds up close with local wildlife rehabilitator Tom Ricardi. www.massaudubon.org Easthampton, MA (FREE)

    10am-3pm – ARCHITECTURE: Harvest Home tour. Explore the architecture and interior design of six of Westhampton’s loveliest homes. 529-2373 Westhampton, MA ($)

    10am-4pm - HARVEST FESTIVAL: 6th Annual Littleville Harvest Festival at the Littleville Fairgrounds (15 Kinne Brook Rd.). Kids Games & Craft Activities, Pumpkin Painting, Farmers Market, Huge Indoor Tag Sale, Bounce House, Pie Eating Contests, Kids Haunted House… 667-3987 Chester, MA (FREE ADMISSION)

    10am-4pm – SCIENCE ADVENTURES: Radical Robots at the Springfield Science Museum with robotics demonstrations. Teams from Agawam, Springfield, and West Springfield will show off their award-winning machines, and meet The Aexeous Robot, an intelligent, heavy-duty robot that walks, talks and interacts with the audience. 263-6800 www.springfieldmuseums.org Springfield, MA (MUSEUM ADMISSION)

    10am-4pm - FALL FESTIVAL: Annual Sunderland Fall Festival with the Taste of Sunderland Food Court, music, demos, crafts, kid activities, Cow Chip Bingo… Town Ball Fields. Sunderland, MA (FREE ENTRANCE)

    10am-6pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Huntington Fall Festival on the town green with food, crafts, family entertainment. 667-5269 Huntington, MA (FREE ENTRANCE)

    10:30am-4pm – HISTORIC ADVENTURES: Made-by-Hand-Trades of the Past: English Factory-Made Ceramics & Broom making at Historic Deerfield. See historic trades demonstrations of English factory-made ceramics with Don Carpentier, and broom making with Bob Aborn. 775-7127 www.historic-deerfield.org Deerfield, MA (INCLUDED W/ADMISSION)

    11am – FRENCH ADVENTURES: Pétanque Day at The Mount (2 Plunkett St.).  Played in pairs or small groups, Pétanque is a popular, fun, easy-to-learn French game and is cousin to both horseshoes and bocce.  Other French-themed activities including readings of popular French children’s stories, art creation, and scavenger hunts.  Light bistro fare will be available for purchase.   5511-5111 www.edithwharton.org Lenox, MA ($)

    11am - LITERARY ADVENTURES: With Norton Juster at the Odyssey Bookshop (9 College St.). Norton will read The Odious Orge, his first collaobration with Jules Feiffer since The Phantom Tollbooth. 534-7307 South Hadley, MA (FREE)

    11am, 1:15 & 3pm – FOLIAGE CRUISE: Quinnetukut II Riverboat cruises. Join Captain Steve Larivee and first mate Sarah Doyle for this 12 mile cruise along the scenic Connecticut River. Cruises depart from Barton Cove. Make a reservations: (800) 859-2960 Northfield, MA ($)

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Library Grand Opening & Westhampton Fall Festival

    Big Weekend in Westhampton!

    “Building the library has brought our community together and all of us have made new friends because of this project, said Thecia Hancewicz, president of the Friends of the Westhampton Public Library, which oversaw the project’s capital campaign. Hancewicz said that more than 400 hundred people, businesses and foundations have donated financially to the project, and she said the number of hours that volunteers have given to the project is overwhelming. “Thousands and thousands of volunteer hours, and I don’t even want to tally up the thousands of emails,” she said with a smile. Although professional crews built the library, local volunteers from Westhampton made the cupola, designed and fabricated its owl weathervane, painted the building’s interior and exterior, and did all the stonework and landscaping around the building.

    After more than ten years of planning, fundraising, and unstinting effort, library supporters in Westhampton, MA will celebrate the grand opening and dedication of their town’s new library on Sunday, October 17th. Aside from Westhamptonites, library supporters from all over the state are expected to attend. Over the last three years, Westhampton’s Library project has gained statewide recognition for its dedicated volunteers and whimsical fundraisers, which have ranged from pumpkin rolling and decorated flamingos to a marathon lounging-for-literacy reading event.

    The new Westhampton library is three times bigger than the former library, ADA compliant, and on track to become LEED Certified. It also has a 60-person community room and the interior is full of local woods, native stone and is modeled after a New England home and barn to blend with the town’s historic center.

    Library Director Lyn Keating says she fully expects a big increase in circulation and visitation. “If you look at library surveys around the county, that’s what happens every time a new library opens or expands,” said Keating. And among the new patrons that Keating is expecting are many students from Hampshire Regional High School, which is just 600 feet away. “We’re hoping that they’ll want to come after school or athletic practice and take advantage of the library’s computer resources, internet access and its comfortable setting.” Which means, she says, that not only Westhamptonites that benefit from the new library, but so will young people from the surrounding towns of Goshen, Williamsburg, Southampton and Chesterfield.

    To celebrate the Grand Opening of its new library, the Friends of the Library and others have organized a number of events during the weekend.

    On Saturday, October 16th, the Friends of Westhampton Public Library is sponsoring a harvest home tour of six of Westhampton’s loveliest homes from 10 am-3pm. Tickets are $10 in advance and are available at the Westhampton Public Library, Outlook Farm, Intervale Farm, Strawbale Café, and North Country Gardens; $12 the day of the tour. For more information, contact 529- 2373.

    Come Sunday, October 17th, the day is full of events to mark the library’s grand opening. At 10:15 a.m. the Westhampton Congregational United Church of Christ is paying tribute to the new library with a special community/interfaith service titled “Celebration of the Word.” The service will trace the history of the written word from Cuneiform and hieroglyphics to the Westhampton Public Library, which for a time in the late 1800s was housed in the church. The service will be followed by a coffee hour and steeple tours that offer spectacular valley views.

    Many more activities will get underway at noon in the fields surrounding the new library. Organizers intentionally scheduled the grand opening to coincide with the town’s 5th Annual Fall Festival, which means there will be plenty of things to interest everyone. The activities include a wide range of traditional and not-so-traditional activities. In addition to a woodsman’s demonstration, Indian corn shucking, cider pressing, and a farm animal petting zoo, there will be a homemade catapult that hurls squash and melons hundreds of feet and rocket launching. At 12:30 a 5K Walk/Run called Run to the Westhampton Hills will begin in the town center. Runners can get registration materials on-line HERE. The final leg of the race includes “running” up a long, steep hill to the new library—which is “somewhat symbolic,” said race organizer and library building committee chairman Phil Dowling with a grin.

    From 2:00-3 pm, the Westhampton Board of Library Trustees will host the official grand opening and ceremony for the new library, with refreshments and tours of the new library to follow.  Following the grand opening, festival activities will resume. Festival organizer Janice Tracy said the local blacksmith museum will be open, and local wool spinners will be on hand to demonstrate their craft. Tracy said other activities at the festival will include an oxen demonstration, scarecrow building workshop, an antique tractor show, a largest pumpkin contest, and a variety of games for young children.

    The 5th Annual Fall Festival is on Sunday, October 17th with great family activities all day. The famous "Great Pumpkin Roll" happens at 4:15pm. A community supper, bonfire and sing-a-long will follow the Great Pumpkin Roll.

    At 4:15 pm, musician and Westhampton resident Jim Armenti will pick up his guitar and sing “The Great Pumpkin Roll,” a song he wrote 4 years ago as a tribute to the event and the efforts to build a new library in town. The Great Pumpkin Roll is the title track of a 10-song CD that Armenti created to benefit the Westhampton Library, and it includes songs celebrating community, the joys of reading and the benefits of public libraries. When Amenti’s last chord dies away, the great pumpkin roll will get underway. Pumpkins will be available for $1 at the event, but people are also welcome to bring their own. “Expect to see more than 250 pumpkins rolling down the main hill in town,” said Laurie Sanders, an organizer of the festival and member of the Library Building Committee. Read the rest of this entry »

    Bullitt Reservation Grand Opening in Ashfield

    The Trustees Encourage Visitors to Dream Big about Making Small Impacts on Local Land

    Farm that Once Swirled Near the Center of History Returns to Community as The Trustees of Reservations’ Newest Property in Ashfield, MA.

    When globe-trotting Ambassador William Bullitt needed a place to ponder the world and relax with family, he retreated to the woods and fields of his farm in Western Massachusetts on the Ashfield-Conway border. Now, visitors can enjoy those same pursuits on a property that once hosted diplomats and dignitaries, as The Trustees of Reservations welcomes the public to the grand opening of its new Bullitt Reservation on Saturday, October 23rd. Festivities begin at 3PM.

    One of 13 Trustees properties located in the Pioneer Valley, the Bullitt Reservation encompasses 262 acres donated to The Trustees in March of 2009. Although most recently part of the estate of Ambassador William C. Bullitt, Jr. —best known for his role as the first U. S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union and for his service as the Ambassador to France at the dawn of World War II— the land has deep community roots. The farm even served as Ashfield’s town poor farm from 1839 to 1874.

    One of 13 Trustees properties located in the Pioneer Valley, the Bullitt Reservation encompasses 262 acres donated to The Trustees in March of 2009.

    Today, the Bullitt Reservation looks largely as it did in centuries past. A quintessential New England agricultural landscape, it abounds with a mix of forests, fields and streams, which provide natural habitat for a wide variety of wildlife and a diversity of species. It was the wish of Ambassador Bullitt’s daughter, Anne Bullitt, that the property be conserved and the legacy of her father be carried on at the site for the community and future generations to enjoy.

    After guidance from local residents and a year of planning, the Bullitt Reservation will now offer a place for the community and visitors to meet, hike, stargaze, and connect with family and friends, providing opportunities for both people and wildlife to interact with and be enriched by the land. In keeping with Ambassador Bullitts’ legacy of looking outward, the Bullitt Reservation will also serve as a resource for learning about ways to lighten our individual and collective impact on land, and to significantly reduce our contribution to the indelible marks that a warming climate will etch on the nature and culture of our local hills and valleys.

    The 18th century farmhouse on the property receives a complete renovation and "deep energy retrofit."

    At the center of those efforts, The Trustees have nearly completed renovation and a “deep energy retrofit” of the 18th century farmhouse on the property, thanks to a gift from the Bullitt Foundation and a recent $100,000 stimulus grant received from the Patrick Administration’s Department of Energy Resources. Slated as the future offices of the Highland Communities Initiative and the Hilltown Land Trust, the renovated farmhouse will combine readily-available electric heat pump technology (with plans to add solar power as funds are available) and super-insulation to increase energy efficiency, cutting energy consumption by more than 50%. Thanks to the creative energy of general contractor Mary Quigley of Quigley Builders in Ashfield, nearly all of the materials from the farmhouse deconstruction have also been recycled or reused.

    Nearly all of the materials from the farmhouse deconstruction have also been recycled or reused.

    When complete, The Trustees hope the new Bullitt structure will have earned Gold LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, (LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is a building rating system established by the United States Green Building Council to measure the “greenness” of buildings), and showcase a viable selection of energy conservation strategies for area homeowners and businesses.

    The grand opening of the Bullitt Reservation will be on Saturday, October 23rd with family activities, pumpkin decorating, cider pressing, live music and potluck. Festivities begin at 3PM.

    Guests are welcome to attend the grand opening of the new Bullitt Reservation on October 23rd and explore The Trustees of Reservations’ newest special place, take a tour, and enjoy the views over a potluck dinner with friends and neighbors. The day will begin at 3PM with tours of the ongoing green transformation of the old farmhouse, a guided hike on the new scenic Pebble Trail (moderately difficult), leisurely strolls through the wildlife meadow, and family activities including pumpkin decorating and cider-making demonstrations. At 4:30PM there will be live music, a potluck dinner, and toasts to the new reservation. The Trustees will provide hot soup and fresh bread. Guests are asked to bring a dish, snack, or beverage to share. The event is free and open to the public and will take place rain or shine.

    For more information and to RSVP, please call 413.268.8219 or email highlands@ttor.org

    More About The Trustees in Ashfield

    In addition to owning 262 acres of conservation land, The Trustees hold a conservation restriction on the majority of the remaining Bullitt estate land, comprising approximately 103 acres on the northern side of Bullitt Road, which was sold with the main Bullitt house and barn to a private buyer late last year. Together, these complete an important missing piece in a large puzzle of connected conservation land in the area. The Trustees also own and manage two other properties in Ashfield – Bear Swamp and Chapel Brook Reservations – both popular community recreational sites and important ecological habitats. The new reservation will add to The Trustees’ diversity of program and property offerings in this corner of the Pioneer Valley.

    A Day at Historic Deerfield

    Historic Deerfield: That Museum Town

    Visitor's center at Historic Deerfield in Deerfield, MA (Photo Credit: Sienna Wildfield)

    My mom and I had a little time on a sunny day a few weeks back and took the kids to Historic Deerfield. To be very honest, I felt like it might be a tough sell. I have three boys. They are 4½, 6 and 11½ years old.  My oldest has been very tween-y lately. My youngest has been very sleepy, running himself ragged at the Parent’s Center and then preschool. He is often heard saying on the weekend, “I just want to do what I do,” in other words, “let me be.” And Henry, my 6 year old, likes to know exactly what everything is ahead of time. Historic Deerfield is a village dedicated to early New England Colonial History. It is also just a neighborhood with homes, streets, sidewalks and a post office. This is a bit much for my 6 year old to take in, but I convinced him to trust me.

    I’ve been meaning to tell you all a secret. My local library has a collection of museum passes. They usually admit 4 or 5 people for free or at a discounted rate. Your local library may have a similar program. It’s incredibly easy to use. You check out the pass with your library  card and return it to the circulation desk 2 days later.

    Making and baking apple pies in the open hearth kitchen. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

    After picking up our museum passes at the Forbes Library, we went to Historic Deerfield.  On our way to the visitor’s center we saw a demo of a craftsman steaming felt hats into shape. The old iron was heated by flame, steam was everywhere. Hat-making looked dangerous and the boys were hooked. We took our pass to the visitor’s center, got our bracelets that would be our tickets for the day and got some very solid helpful advice from the staff about the best spots to visit with the boys. We settled on the Open Hearth Kitchen, the History Workshop and the Apprentice’s Workshop.

    We walked into the open hearth kitchen where cakes were cooking in cake pans inside dutch ovens on the hearth. The kids enjoyed chipping sugar off a cone and grinding it in the mortar and pestle. We poked around the kitchen equipment making a little matching game for ourselves: the whisk was made of twigs, the toaster was a spinning piece of cast iron that was set hearth-side. I will return with Henry to take an open hearth cooking class so he can really get his hands on all the equipment.

    Child-sized loom in the History Workshop. (Photo credit: Karen Bayne)

    The Children’s History Workshop is a play and pretend area for families. There are costumes, an open hearth kitchen with pretend food, a mini one room school house with the type of desk that has a chair attached. My children have never sat in these before, although I remember sitting on its more modern counter-part in my little school as a child. The kids played with the slates and chalks giving each other silly dictations and pretending to write in fancy script. The staff person there helped the kids make a jar with the ingredients for split pea soup which we brought home. She also let them use the child-sized loom. Nothing surprised me more than my boy children loving the loom. They loved the pedals, the yarn, the swift rhythm of moving the shuttle back and forth. It was hard to tear them away.

    We did pull them away to the Apprentice’s Workshop. Seems like we hit a pretty quiet day in the workshop; there was not too much happening. There was  a full size loom which was impressive to see. There was a second smaller loom which Isaac used, hopping on and following the posted pattern. The joiners’ workshop and the pottery studio are places I’d love to go back to; as well as, walk through some of the historic homes – very quickly, I’m sure, with three kids, but I would still love to see the interiors. We pulled them away from weaving for a second time in an hour. Henry asked if we could go back to that museum town again soon – that’d be a yes. When you visit, there is a helpful family guide and schedule of family events on their website. The staff in the visitor’s center were very helpful as we were trying to decide how to plan our time with the kids – so take a minute to ask their advice. We truly had a wonderful time and now I want a child-sized loom in my home for keeping them busy, quiet and productive during the winter months ahead.


    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Karen Bayne

    Karen grew up in Manhattan and lived in Connecticut before moving to Northampton with her husband Matt to raise their boys. Her sons Isaac, Henry and Theo are 11, 6 and 4,  leaving Karen on a search for all the “just right adventures” that will wow them and wear them out.  She works as a birth doula, childbirth and parent educator in the greater Northampton area. She writes about mothering at Needs New Batteries and about birth in our culture at Gentle Balance Birth.

    RELATED POSTS

    Northampton Parents Center Turns 25!

    Northampton Parents Center
    25th Anniversary Fundraising Concert
    Saturday, October 16th, 2010

    Jay Mankita is a touring songwriter, an internationally recognized recording artists and a local dad. Join him on Saturday, October 16th at a fundraising concert for the Northampton Parents Center. Click on flyer to see larger image.

    Northampton Parents Center is having a 25th Anniversary Fundraising Concert with Putumayo recording artist, Jay Mankita, Saturday, October 16th, at 4 pm in the upstairs of Edwards Church.  Everyone is welcome – the whole community is invited! A sliding scale donation is suggested, but  not required.  Please come celebrate music for the whole family with the Northampton Parents Center!

    ABOUT THE NORTHAMPTON PARENTS CENTER

    Northampton Parents Center is a nonprofit cooperative drop-in site for children (birth to kindergarten) and their caregivers. Since 1985, Northampton Parents Center (NPC) has provided a safe, nurturing environment for families with young children to socialize. Open Monday through Thursday 9:30 to 11:30 am, mid September to late May. Located in the lower level of Edwards Church at the corner of Main and State Streets in Northampton — entrance on State Street. Generously supported by Cooley Dickinson Hospital, Edwards Church, and partially funded by a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care administered by Collaborative for Educational Services and Northampton Public Schools. www.northamptonparentscenter.org

    100 Links (Summer/Fall 2010)

    100 Links (Summer/Fall 2010)

    Nearly every day we add recommended links to the Hilltown Families bank of on-line resources.  Some of you might find these links well suited for your family, others, maybe not so much.  But it’s a fun and useful list worth perusing!  If you have a link you’d like to share, post it in our comment box below.

    Where are these links? You won’t find them on your blog reader nor via email if you subscribe to our newsfeed.  Sometime we share these links on the Hilltown Families Facebook page, with members of our listserv, or even Tweet about a few – but if you visit Hilltown Families on-line and scroll half way down, on the left you will find the column, “Links We Recommend.” There you’ll find our bank of the most recent 25 recommended links.

    Archived Lists of 100 Links: If you’d like to peruse our list of 100 Links from months past, click HERE and then scroll down.

    100 Links (Summer/Fall 2010): If you haven’t been visiting the site regularly to peruse these great resources, not to worry – below is the most recent 100 links we’ve shared: (you will need to use the “back” button to return to this page):
    

  • One Hungry Mama Guide to Halloween
  • Daddy Issues: How Can I Keep My Daughter Loving Science? (article)
  • Science Experiments You Can Do At Home or School
  • Booklists for Teens (Boston Public Library)
  • AAASpell.com – Practice Your Spelling
  • The wisdom of teenagers (article)
  • Raising Your Spirited Child: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, Energetic
  • Out in the Berkshires (LGBT Life in the Berkshires)
  • Day of the Dead: History, Facts, and Resources
  • Maths Teaching Ideas
  • Sidekicks: Graphic Novel Reviews for Kids
  • HauntedHappenings.org (Halloween in Salem, MA)
  • Banking Curriculum
  • Best Documentaries on Eating Green
  • Math Game: 100s Grid
  • Glow in the Woods (For Babylost Parents)
  • My Science Box
  • Ashfield Local Goods Catalog
  • Johnnie’s Math Page
  • RECOMMENDED DVD: Life in the Undergrowth w/ David Attenborough (Nature Science)
  • ArtsVivants/ArtsAlive
  • Kids Caving
  • Online Spelling Course
  • Virtual Skies
  • Smithsonian Education for Students
  • Read the rest of this entry »
  • Suggested Events 10/09/10-10/15/10

    Discover fun and educational events happening this weekend in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

    SUGGEST AN EVENT

    Click on image to learn how to make a Halloween Paper-Maché Piñata

    DIY: Halloween Paper-Maché Piñatas—The history of piñatas is rich, with historical traditions found in China, Europe, and Mexico, and are made out of a variety of materials, including clay pots, tissue paper, ribbons and paper-maché. In Mexico, piñatas were originally clay pots filled with sweets and treasures, later transformed into a seven-point star with religious symbolism. In today’s modern world, piñatas come in a menagerie of traditional and commercial characters and icons. Click on the image above to learn how to make your very own Halloween Paper-Maché Piñata with Hilltown Families Guest Artist, Kara Kitchen. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

    Suggest an EventIf you have a family friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

    BEST BETS

    On Saturday & Sunday, October 9th & 10th from 10am-5pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Ashfield Fall Festival takes place on Main Street (rain or shine). A fabulous family event. Arts & Craft exhibits, local food, live music and dance, many kid activities, book & tag sales, seasonal foods. A showcase of Ashfield artisans and businesses. No dogs. www.ashfieldfallfestival.org Ashfield, MA (FREE ENTRANCE)

    On Saturday night, October 9th from 6-9:30pm - HALLOWEEN EVENT: Skeleton Crew Theater (SCT) at Camp Kee-Wanee. SCT is a theatrical attraction with a Halloween twist. Think of it as a treasure/scavenger hunt you’ll solve in one evening. Shows are 45/65 minutes long. Dress for the outdoors and bring a flashlight. Not scary or gory, just spooky in a tasteful way. Bad weather cancels. www.skeletoncrewtheater.com Greenfield, MA ($)

    On Sunday night, October 10th at 7:30pm – CONCERT: Sonya Kitchell will be in concert at Memorial Hall. Joining her for this special evening is the Brooklyn String Quartet with opening act, Rusty Belle. 665-4036 Shelburne Falls, MA ($$)

    MARK YOUR CALENDAR

    On Saturday, October 16th from 10am-3pm – DISCOVERY DAY: Arcadia Discovery Day invites you to come explore the sanctuary and its many habitats, take a net and investigate the small invertebrates in the pond and field, build a bluebird or American kestrel box, and see live birds up close with local wildlife rehabilitator Tom Ricardi. www.massaudubon.org Easthampton, MA (FREE)

    On Sunday, October 17th at 12:30pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Westhampton’s 5th Annual Fall Festival with the famous Great Pumpkin Roll (4:15pm). Demos, crafts, 5k, cookout, campfire sing-along. Westhampton, MA (FREE)

    BULLETIN BOARD

    SPONSORSHIP & ADVERTISING: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Let us help get the word out about your event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement. Email hilltownfamilies@gmail.com for more information. — Help us help you!

    KID’S CONSIGNMENT SALE: On Saturday, October 9th, come shop The Green Turtle’s Fall/Winter Children’s Consignment Sale at Richmond Town Hall (1529 State Rd.) in Richmond, MA from 10am–5pm. The Green Turtle is an upscale Children’s Eco Boutique showcasing high-end gently loved items ranging from clothing (newborn to preteen); including boutique apparel, shoes, books, toys, CD’s and DVD’s, baby and kids gear, furniture, décor, hand crafted items and more. Get deals on boutique brands and name brands such as: Mini Boden, Hanna Andersson, American Girl, GAP, Gymboree, Naartjie, Polo, LL Bean, Talbots as well as Carters, Old Navy, Children’s Place and more! Shop the Green Turtle Dollar Rack! greenturtlekid@gmail.com

    PRIVATE MUSIC LESSONS: Scott Halligan of Ashfield is currently offering in-home private music lessons for students of all ages in the Hilltowns. Lessons are available by the half-hour or hour in piano, guitar, string instruments, and brass instruments. Discounts are available for group lessons and households wishing to host lessons for multiple students. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned player, Scott can help you reach your goals in music! For rates, schedule, and other information please write to scotth@doubleedgetheatre.org. Scott holds a MM from the New England Conservatory of Music, and is Director of Instrumental Music at Double Edge Theatre in Ashfield, MA

    Deadline to enter to win: 10/13

    JOB VACANCY: Executive Director, Hilltown Community Development Corporation (CDC). The Hilltown CDC has been working to address the economic, housing, educational, social and community needs of a ten-town rural region since 1981. The ED will supervise Hilltown CDC’s professional team and the management of all programs. Preferred candidates will have strong leadership and organizational skills and will have experience in financial analysis, budgeting, resource development and grant writing. Candidates with at least 3 years experience in non-profit management strongly preferred. Position requires an ability to understand and manage compliance with federal and state regulations. Full job description is posted at www.hilltowncdc.org.

    Jenn Drumm of Williamsburg, MA writes: Please join us at the 1st Annual Williamsburg Arts & Crafts Fall Festival on Sunday, October 24th from 10am – 4pm at the Williamsburg Grange. Williamsburg will be a hub of activity with a fundraiser for the Meekins Library and other events scheduled, including Hot Air Balloon tethering rides from 3-4:30pm. If you’re a local artist/craftsperson looking for a new opportunity, give us a call. Tables are only $20. If interested, please contact: Jenn Drumm Schmitt @ 268-0131 jenndrumm3@gmail.com or Lori Burns @ 268-0074 villagehillroad@msn.com Hope to see you there!

    Deadline to enter to win: 10/13

    FIELD TRIP: This weekend is the Cranberry Harvest Celebration. Pack up the car and take a road trip to Wareham, MA, for cranberry bog tours, helicopter rides, pony rides, cooking demonstrations, juried crafters and artisans, musical performances, games for children and much more. The Cranberry Harvest Celebration is a great way to see and learn about the picturesque cranberry harvest, while enjoying some old-fashioned family fun. www.cranberryharvest.org

    NEW EXHIBIT: October 2nd through February 27th: Color Forms I: Pink and Blue Projects at KidSpace at MASS MoCA in North Adams. First of a two-part series of exhibitions that explore how color can become form and how it can be connected to social constructions of meaning such as gender. Artist Portia Munson will use paintings, photographs, and everyday objects to discuss the mixed messages sent to children about gender and about mass consumption. The sheer mass of collected pink and blue material goods displayed will make plain how children are indoctrinated into the world of materialism and are taught social rules for gender identity from an early age. kidspace.massmoca.org

    Deadline to enter to win: 10/20

    PARENT SUPPORT GROUP: Parents Together Support Groups are happening in both Northampton and Amherst, a FREE alternative support group for parents who learn best in non-traditional ways and have kids 5yo or under. Come play games, learn parenting skills, create art, go on field trips/picnics and discuss ways to keep your family happy and healthy. Transportation, childcare, games, prizes, food and coffee will be provided. Groups meet at the Amherst Family Center (Tuesdays from 9:30-11am) and the Northampton Parent Child Development Center (Time TBD). To learn more about this program and register, call Kris Larson at 834-3344 or email krislarson@unitedarc.org

    COAT COLLECTION: The Girls Scouts in Hadley, MA are collecting gently-used coats to donate to local shelters this winter. Coats can be dropped off at the Hadley Park & Rec and the Hadley Elementary School through October 8th. More info call Kate at 531-5415

    HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW

    Hilltown Family Variety ShowTune in every Saturday from 9-10am. Encore episodes are aired every Sunday from 7-8am.

    This week on the HFVS we’re continuing with our fundraising efforts.  Donate now to Valley Free Radio, YOUR community radio station!

    Families have several ways to tune in to the Hilltown Family Variety Show:

  • Streaming Audio: Surf on over to ValleyFreeRadio.org on Saturday & Sunday mornings and listen to us live via streaming audio.
  • On Your FM Dial: Tune in to WXOJ 103.3FM if you live near Northampton, MA.
  • HFVS Podcast

    PODCAST: Listen to the most recent episodes of the Hilltown Family Variety Show anytime you wish! Click here to see our current select of episodes, and be sure to subscribe to our podcast too!


    WEEKLY LIST OF SUGGESTED EVENTS

    Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

    Read the rest of this entry »

    New Orleans Meets New England at the Ashfield Fall Festival

    Ashfield Fall Festival!

    Crawfish Pasta and Pulled Pork Po-Boys will be sold by Elmer's at the Ashfield Fall Festival. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

    Wait—Last Sunday in the middle of the 183 people coming in for breakfast, someone said to me, “Do you have those little individually wrapped butters?” And I said, “yes, we do.” And that’s all I remember about the conversation. I don’t remember who it was who asked, but if you are reading this now, did you get what you wanted? Did I just walk away? Did I complete the transaction? Are you a satisfied customer? Can I help you now?

     

    (Those are the things you think about in the middle of the night.)

    I just dropped a huge sunflower seed into the keyboard of this computer and I can’t get it out. We’ll see what happens next.

    You know what this weekend is — it’s Fall Festival at Elmer’s! (Well, it’s not just at Elmer’s, but here’s what is happening during Fall Festival in Ashfield at Elmer’s):

    I remember that someone told me, “You know, you can’t do chili or hamburgers for Fall Festival because people are already doing those.” So I tried to think of something that no one in Ashfield would be doing and I thought of crawfish pasta! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

    For breakfast Saturday and Sunday we’ll be serving pancakes and breakfast burritos from 7am to 10:30am (only pancakes and burritos—we figure that covers a number of desired food groups). At 11:00 we’ll start serving Crawfish Pasta and Pulled Pork Po-Boys made by Shayne Walker Brunet—the daughter of Skippy and Wanda Walker, who made them for our Bluegrass Festival! (If you missed them there, Skippy and Wanda are the people who have the Cochon-de-Lait booth at Jazz Fest in New Orleans. Their “Cochon-de-Lait” (pulled pork) is the sandwich Esquire Magazine listed as one of the top sandwiches in America. And we got it right here!) We will not run out! We have a butt-load of pork-butts for this!

     

    We actually got the recipe for the Crawfish Pasta from Skippy and Wanda, as well, the first year we did Fall Festival. I remember that someone told me, “You know, you can’t do chili or hamburgers for Fall Festival because people are already doing those.”

    So I tried to think of something that no one in Ashfield would be doing and I thought of crawfish pasta! I called Wanda, because she made the best crawfish pasta anywhere around, and she gave me the recipe and here we are to this day. And now her daughter’s coming to make Cochon-de-Lait po-boys for us!


    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

     

    Nan Parati - Elmer's StoreNan Parati

    Nan is the proprietor of Elmer’s Store in Ashfield, MA. A New England transplant from the Deep South, Nan shares her southern wit, wisdom and charm in her column, “Notes from Nan.”  nanparati@aol.com

    Blood & Guts: Hands-On Science for Families

    Baystate Frankiln Medical Center Presents …

    Blood & Guts: A Hands-On Science Learning Experience

    Blood & Guts is a free hands-on science experience where students will be able to interact with real x-rays, microscope, bones, models, and more. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

    On Friday, October 15th from 6:30 – 8:00 pm, the Sunderland Public Library (20 School St.) will be hosting Blood & Guts, an interactive learning experience for students and families, suitable for preschoolers and older.

    • See actual patient X-rays
    • Look at cells under a microscope
    • Touch real human bones
    • Learn about healthy eating
    • Test your balance on a physio ball or rocker board
    • Test yourself on how well you wash your hands
    • Talk with Baystate Franklin Medical Center professionals about their careers in health care . . . and much more!

    This event is free and open to the public. Free Refreshments. For more information, contact Sheila McCormick at 665-2642.

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