November 20, 2014

11 Facts About Loyalhanna Creek in Southwestern PA



Bridge spans Loyalhanna Creek in Latrobe, PA

Bridge spans Loyalhanna Creek in Latrobe, PA

Loyalhanna Creek is nominated for 2015 River of the Year.

You can make it happen by voting before December 15, 2014.

Vote here.

Help Loyalhanna Creek beat out the Ohio River, the Neshaminy Creek and Watershed,

Conewango Creek, and the Lackawanna River.

Winner receives a $10,000 grant to promote the creek

through various programs and events throughout the coming year.

For more information contact Angela Vitkoski at

Westmoreland County’s Loyalhanna Creek isn’t the nearest trout stream to metropolitan Pittsburgh, but the volume, breadth, minimal overhang, variety of water types and abundance of stocked trout through the Loyalhanna Gorge has made it a invaluable classroom for countless Southwestern Pennsylvania anglers. The natural beauty of Westmoreland County and the water flowing gracefully down Loyalhanna Creek attract people from near and far.^^^^

As one would expect, the Loyalhanna Creek does hold some secrets. There’s one particular boulder — I won’t tell you where — that for decades has remained undercut by the current. Even in the summer when Loyalhanna Creek is low and the water warms, big trout find comfort at the edge of the current a yard or more under the protection of the rock, picking off any Wooly Bugger that passes.^

Below is a quiz to test your knowledge of the Loyalhanna Creek.

Sam Sherry of Wilpen, PA with Bigfeet

Sam Sherry of Wilpen, PA with Bigfeet


  1. What was the original 18th century name of Loyalhanna Creek and what did it mean?
  2. What is the Loyalhanna Creek?
  3. Where is the Loyalhanna Creek located and where does it originate?
  4. The Kiskiminetas River results from the confluence of the Loyalhanna creek and what other waterway? Where does this confluence occur?
  5. What unique siting was made along Loyalhanna Creek on May 17, 1987, and who made it?
  6. What part of the Loyalhanna Creek is stocked with fish each spring?
  7. What is the elevation of the mouth of the Loyalhanna Creek?
  8. When is the Loyalhanna Creek classified as a river?
  9. The Loyalhanna Creek Watershed encompasses how many square miles and how many miles of miles of stream?
  10. Why was the Conemaugh River green, and the Loyalhanna Creek usually orange?


Name the 6 sections of the Loyalhanna Creek, and the mileage of each.

To check (or learn) the answers click on MORE


March 13, 2014

My Sister and I: Cluttered Versus Neat Home


Hug for Nancy



But I won the prizes!

Welcome to my home. It’s spring cleaning time but I’d rather write about it than do it.

“Let me clear this stuff off the chair so you have a place to sit—I’ll turn on the tea kettle so the water can boil while I clear the papers off the table so we can visit for a while. I won’t apologize for the condition of this house, because most of the time it’s even worse. It depends on what’s happening in my life, but if you visit me you often have to wait for me to clear a seat of its coveted clutter before you can sit down.” I kick several plastic bags out of the path as I head to the stove.

As is often the case, my sister is totally opposite. This scenario wouldn’t happen at her house. She is a neat freak. You never have to wonder if you’ll be able to find a place to sit in her home. Clutter is a foreign word in her environs. Although I am sometimes jealous I admire and enjoy visiting her uncluttered, unfettered, home, so unlike my home.

She is so clean you can eat off her floor.

She is going to be angry at me but I’m going to reveal one of her secrets. She doesn’t like to do dishes, so she sets the dirty plates and silverware and glasses on her so-clean floor and turns her cats into automatic dishwashers. The cat’s tongues are so rough the dishes are licked really clean.


However, one of her rebellious cats sometimes jumps on the counter to get to the dishes before she can put them on the floor:

IMG_7831eNo one ever has a clue that she does this. However, she told my husband, her favorite brother-in-law, that she does this. And, until now, she doesn’t even know that I know.

It’s a family secret everyone in the family knows but she doesn’t know they know.

How she manages to be so uncluttered is beyond me. I cannot understand how she accomplishes this feat. I keep removing carloads of stuff from the house, yet the clutter never seems to subside.

The most challenging clutter is plastic bags, dust kittens, and papers. They just clone, and the clones clone, and the clone’s clones clone until I fear they will bury me under an avalanche caused by their free-wheeling multiplication.


January 5, 2014

WordPress Daily Prompt for 8/18/2013: Procrastination


Carolyn’s Online Magazine (COMe) in January 2015.

I invite you to visit the new site.

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONSMovicons2-hugsandkisses(3)

Hug for Joanne


Today’s date: January 5, 2014


 The WordPress daily prompt for August 18, 2013, was procrastination.

I was writing it on November 24, 2013. Today, January 5, 2014, is the day I’m publishing it.

I ask you: Is this procrastination or what?


Question: What have I been putting off doing?

My answer: Responding to this post.

Question: Why was I procrastinating?

Answer: It was filed in an out-of-sight site, which was temporarily abandoned for more recent items that would later receive the same treatment.

Simply put, by filing it out of site I could procrastinate and neglect to follow it through. I do that with many items that cross my desk. In fact, paper items crossing my desk are so prolific it’s easy to procrastinate.

I procrastinate on other things too. For example, bunnies and kittens are adorable. Soft fur, snuggly, good companions. However, their fur contributes to what we, for some reason, we call dust bunnies—or dust kittens. These are not so cuddly as they gather under our couches, along the edges of our floors, under our beds. When I operated a child care home, I found a creative means of dealing with the dust bunnies a. k. a. dust kittens. The children decorated a jar, and every morning they opened it to feed their pet bunny or kitty as many (more…)

October 17, 2013

W-P Daily Prompt for 10/16/2013: Caregivers Deserve Commemoration



Hug for Jim



October 16 is officially declared Person X Day. The WordPress October 16, 2013, prompt asks participants to pick Person X to honor, and write about that person.

I watched as my 74-year-old mother carried a wheelchair from her house, opened the trunk to her car, and struggled to pack the good-sized wheelchair into the small space.

At 53 years old I would be considered younger and stronger, more able to do the task. Furthermore, it would be a good gesture to help.

But all I did was watch.

I had sufficient reason for just watching. My Mother knew what she was doing and how to manipulate the wheelchair into the trunk.

Furthermore, I was an 18 hour drive from home. I needed to be in good shape to continue on, and heavy lifting would jeopardize that fitness.

I think about my Mother often, about her situation. Her husband Hugh, victim of a disabling disease, was over 6 foot tall. She was just 5 foot tall, and was his caretaker.

They had moved to Presque Isle, Maine, from Buffalo, New York, over a decade earlier. A daughter lived in Maine about an hour distant, as did a granddaughter. Basically, my Mother was alone in her community. Old-fashioned pride prevented her from (more…)

August 8, 2013

The Eye of Big Brother Watches You

Filed under: COMMENTARY,OP-ED,PHOTOGRAPHY — carolyncholland @ 3:00 am



Hug for Diane C.


The Eyes Have It…

The eye of the camera is watching you, recording your actions (or inactions). You cannot escape it.


When you hear the phrase “cameras everywhere” your first thought may be of ubiquitous surveillance cameras, watching your every move on behalf of the state, private businesses and corporations.

On second thought it may conjure up the hundreds of millions of cameras, mobile and Internet connections in the hands of ordinary citizens who are filming, sharing and remixing footage — …*


That eye can come from anywhere, from places you wouldn’t suspect. It can come at any time, or all the time. It can come from the air, from (more…)

May 28, 2013

From Holiday Showcase Restaurant to Kensington High School (Buffalo, N. Y.)






Change is Our Most Important Product

“I remember when the waitresses roller skated outside.”

The dove-gray haired women had just entered the Holiday Showcase on Union Road in Cheektowaga, New York. After indulging in a delicious breakfast there Monte was waiting to pay the bill while Kathleen, our surrogate daughter, and I stood aside.

The women overheard Monte telling Kathleen that we used to enjoy the time we spent at the round restaurant while we were dating in 1966. That’s when one of them made the comment about the roller skating.

“I don’t remember that,” Monte said, “but then we frequented it at night.”

I worked nights until 10:30 to midnight, so our dates began late,” I explained.

“I remember coming here the night I was engaged,” the woman said. “That was over forty years ago.”

“What year?” Monte asked.

“1966. That’s the year we were married, too.”

“Oh,” Monte said. “What month was that?”


“That’s amazing,” Monte said. “We married in September 1966.”

I stepped to the wall to look at the framed old photographs framed hung there.

“Look at this photo,” I said, pointing to one showing the skating waitresses. “I never knew that existed.”

“They must not have worked at night,” Monte and the woman agreed.

Another photograph showed the groundbreaking of the restaurant.

“They built this in 1963,” he said, surprised. “It was pretty new when we were frequenting it.”

The clerk appeared behind the restaurant and Monte went over to the counter to pay the bill.

“We used to come here a long time ago,” he said to the young dark-haired girl. She seemed (more…)

August 14, 2012

A Rude Driver’s Apology



What is that car doing? Is the driver nuts????

A white van had suddenly cut in front of us, so close that even Monte jumped.

We were traveling west on the Lincoln Highway (Rt. 30 East) between Laughlintown and Greensburg, Pennsylvania. Monte was driving  in the left lane of the two-lane highway. And, for the split second the event took, he feared being involved in an accident.

Not far down the road we passed the van, which had returned to the right lane. He noticed that it was a woman driving.

“I’ve known that woman drivers are getting aggressive,” he said. “But you don’t expect them to cut in like she did.”


We came to a light and stopped. While waiting for its red to change to green I glanced out my window. The white van was sitting adjacent to us. Its driver, an attractive woman with neatly fixed dirty-blonde hair, was trying to get our attention. Her face had a stricken look.

“I’m (more…)

February 5, 2012

Societal Dilemmas Posed by a Fire and a Dog



Firemen stand by at a distance watching a mobile home burn to the ground, as did the owner from her mother’s nearby trailer.

     It was not because it was impossible to access the trailer. It was because the owner had not paid the $75 annual fee required for fire companies to battle the blazing fire.

     The fire company defended their actions with the argument that, if they (more…)

January 19, 2012

Is Your Table Big Enough? If not, add a leaf…



If not, add a leaf…

     Are you seeking persons to whom you can demonstrate God’s love?

     STOP! You don’t have to seek. In fact, if you are seeking you might just miss the persons that God intends you to give love to.

     Unless you are a hermit living in a cave, isolated from communication with any other human being, a multitude of opportunities to express God’s love crosses your path each day. You don’t have to seek them…they are ever present: the grumpy waitress, the mother maneuvering two young children and multiple shopping bags, the bored face in the doctor’s waiting room, the person in a wheel chair who is unable to reach the item on the shelf, the isolated and the lonely, the overworked and overstressed…


     Recently, I was in Cleveland Heights “window” shopping at an upscale mall. I wandered into a store to be greeted by a clerk asking if I needed help.

     “No,” I said. “I’m just passing through.”

     Then I hesitated.

     “You know, there is one thing I’m looking for. I don’t know it you have it, but I’ve looked everywhere for it, and just cannot find it.”

     “Well, perhaps I can help,” she said. “What is it?”

     I paused before answering: (more…)

January 17, 2012

Lung Cancer in Non-Smokers



     Aah, the crisp autumn weather, the warmth of a fire created by the autumnal festival of burning the formerly colorful but now deathly-brown leaves and debris that fell in plentiful amounts off the oak, maple, and apple trees.

     Aah, the homey smell of the cigar smoke as my grandfather read the evening newspaper.

     Aah, the feeling of being grown up as I trooped to the corner store to pick up cigarettes for my mother.

     The not-so-aah smell of cigarette smoke while riding in a car with one or more smoking adults, windows closed against the cold air.


     These were typical experiences in my life as a child in the late 1940s and early 1950s. I’m certain I was not alone in having these experiences of existing in extreme circumstances of air pollution.

     People who have never smoked, but who live in areas with higher air pollution levels, are roughly 20 percent more likely to die from lung cancer than (more…)

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