Kim

The Great Pumpkin: More than just Jack-o’-Lanterns and pie

Last year’s creation with Buster the bumble bee who  couldn't have cared less about  the scary jack-o-lantern.

Last year’s creation with Buster the bumble bee who
couldn’t have cared less about
the scary jack-o-lantern.

What popular fruit…

  •  is 90 percent water?
  •  was recommended to remove freckles and cure snake bites?
  •  can weigh less than a pound or more than 1,000 pounds?
  •  was used by Native Americans as medicine?
  •  was used as a template to ensure a round and uniform finished haircut?

You guessed it! It’s the fall fruit everyone associates with this time of year – the great pumpkin!

I have to admit, although I hold on to summer as long as I can, once the leaves start to turn and there is a nip to the air, I am all about that orange gourd!  I must have two dozen of them in assorted shapes, sizes and materials that I love to arrange on my fireplace mantle, on my hutch, and every place in between that needs a festive decoration.   Continue reading »

[del.icio.us] [Digg] [Facebook] [Google Buzz] [Twitter]
Tags: , , , ,
Posted in Holiday | | Leave a comment
Matthew

Cybersecurity Awareness Month: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock lately – and we truly hope you haven’t since that doesn’t sound too comfortable – you’ve probably noticed a litany of recent headlines and news stories about data breaches.

We won’t rehash the stories here – that’s what Google is for, right? However, in light of October being Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we thought it would be a good time to provide some tips about keeping your personal information safe and out of the hands of unscrupulous identity thieves.

The harsh reality is criminals are going to continue to develop innovative ways to separate you from your money. While financial institutions and companies are investing millions in dollars and resources into fighting ID theft, there are steps you can take to better protect yourself from becoming a victim in this ultra-high tech digital age. Continue reading »

[del.icio.us] [Digg] [Facebook] [Google Buzz] [Twitter]
Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in Banking Basics, Business Resources, Financial Education, Financial Security, Technology | | Leave a comment
Dale

Frightening Fall Adventures – If You Dare!

scarypumpkinAs fall arrives, thoughts of bright colorful leaves, pumpkin-flavored treats, and cooler weather come to mind.

Last week, Amy discussed family-friendly fall activities.  For those with a bolder sense of adventure, there are a multitude of scary fall attractions in our market area.

We are fortunate enough to be near nationally recognized attractions. It goes without saying but I’ll say it anyway – these activities are NOT family friendly…  you’ll want to leave the kids at home! Continue reading »

[del.icio.us] [Digg] [Facebook] [Google Buzz] [Twitter]
Tags: , , ,
Posted in Uncategorized | | Leave a comment
Amy

Family-friendly, non-frightening fall fun? We’ve got you covered

family fall funDuring the month of October, the last place you’ll find me is at a haunted house, creepy penitentiary, or on a ghost tour. I’m going to blame it on my kids; I don’t want to go to those places because I don’t want to scare them! (wink, wink).

But honestly, the thought of eerie places actually gives me anxiety! I am not a fan of being scared, frightened, freaked out or left shaking with fear!

So, if you’re like me and looking for some fun, family-friendly things to do this month, I have a few ideas that your kids will like and just maybe you will too!  Continue reading »

[del.icio.us] [Digg] [Facebook] [Google Buzz] [Twitter]
Tags: , , ,
Posted in Family, In the Community | | Leave a comment
Kristen

Here’s to Backpacks & Fresh Starts

Susquehanna volunteers join Center for Family Services representatives for Operation Backpack.

Susquehanna volunteers join Center for Family Services representatives for Operation Backpack.

I was always one of those strange children who couldn’t wait to go back to school.

I’d know exactly where my classroom was, who was in my class and would have my school supplies packed and ready to go weeks in advance. Some of my fondest back-to-school memories include shopping with my mom for my brand-new backpack.

As corny as it sounds, my new backpack was the symbol of fresh beginnings for the year. A few of the standouts through the years included the one strap backpack, backpack on wheels and the infamous plastic, see-through backpack (Mom, why didn’t you talk me out of that one?). I always thought having a new backpack was necessary and a rite of passage. Continue reading »

[del.icio.us] [Digg] [Facebook] [Google Buzz] [Twitter]
Tags: , ,
Posted in In the Community, Uncategorized | | Leave a comment
Lauren

Brown Bag Blues: The Return of School Lunch

Kindergarten children eating lunchBack to school has arrived in the Bergman household as we send our little man off to kindergarten. I’m feeling the stress of new schedules, catching the school bus, switching after-school providers and most surprisingly, the dread of packing lunch every day. I’m about 25 years out of practice on that last one!

Is it me, or was packing a lunch 25 years ago so much simpler? With less focus on nutrition, I could joyfully relish my ham and cheese loaf sandwich on white bread, juice box and Zebra Cake with no worries from mom and no complaints from me. As a parent today, I feel the weight of the ’must be organic, whole grain, non-GMO, non-nitrate, non-hormone’ pressure guiding each decision as I reach for items on the grocery shelf. How can I pack a nutritionally sound meal that is still appealing to a picky 5-year-old – all in the fog of the early morning ’get-out-the-door’ dance? Continue reading »

[del.icio.us] [Digg] [Facebook] [Google Buzz] [Twitter]
Tags: , , ,
Posted in Financial Education, Health and Fitness | | 1 Comment
guest

Susquehanna, ice cream parlors and Make-A-Wish chapters partner in Stellar effort to help make wishes come true

Reese on her trip to Hawaii.

Reese on her trip to Hawaii.

Six-year-old Reese loved everything about the water, and dreamed of the beach as she battled leukemia.

When she learned she would be granted a wish, Reese knew exactly what she wanted – to go to Hawaii! On her wish trip, she went swimming, paddle boarding, snorkeling and enjoyed plenty of fun in the sun.

“It was the perfect tropical getaway”, said Megan of Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic, the organization that helped make Reese’s dream come true.

That’s what Stellar Ice Cream is about – helping grant wishes for children like Reese – through partnerships with local ice cream parlors and chapters of Make-A-Wish, a national nonprofit that grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions. Continue reading »

[del.icio.us] [Digg] [Facebook] [Google Buzz] [Twitter]
Tags: , ,
Posted in In the Community, Uncategorized | | Leave a comment
Kristen

I do or I don’t. Being a bridesmaid can come with a hefty pricetag

iStock_000007502831SmallThe phone rings, and all I can hear through the speaker is “I said yes…”

In typical situations, you might ask, said yes to what? Ordering a grilled cheese for lunch? Doing someone’s laundry?

However, I’ve reached the age where engagements are being announced on a seemingly daily basis and taffeta will soon become a consistent part of my wardrobe, so I know exactly what’s coming. My best friend is getting married and I’m officially a bridesmaid!

Becoming a bridesmaid is an amazing opportunity. I’ll get to participate in all of the activities surrounding a wedding from the engagement party all the way up until the final “I do.” Memories will be made that I will hold with me for the rest of my life. As wonderful as this sounds, I can’t get rid of the nagging feeling in the back of my mind asking, “Can I really afford to do this?” (I blame this on being in the banking industry for the past six years).

As any good banker would do— it’s time to crunch the numbers.  Continue reading »

[del.icio.us] [Digg] [Facebook] [Google Buzz] [Twitter]
Tags: , , , ,
Posted in Financial Education | | Leave a comment
guest

‘The best gift I have ever received’ Emily and her service dog, Dash

Emily with her service dog, Dash.

Emily with her service dog, Dash.

When Emily Cikra got the call inviting her to Team Training at the North Central Regional facility, her initial reaction wasn’t one of joy.

“The embarrassing thought that came into my mind was that having a service dog would be another accessory to add to my arsenal of things that make me stand out,” she explains. “I already have a wheelchair, trach with occasional ventilator and sometimes a brace on my hand. It felt like a lot for people to take in as is and adding a dog to this mix felt over the top.”

But Emily chose to ignore those feelings and she is so thankful she did. Emily explains, “My service dog, Dash, from Canine Companions for Independence, has done the exact opposite of what I feared. He has not added to my ‘disability accessories,’ he has actually detracted from them!” Continue reading »

[del.icio.us] [Digg] [Facebook] [Google Buzz] [Twitter]
Tags: ,
Posted in Dog Days of Summer, In the Community | | Leave a comment
guest

Pals For Life: Nonprofit brings pet love to those who need it most.

Lucy provides love as part of the Pals for Life program.

Lucy provides love as part of the Pals For Life organization.

The following blog post is written in the style of a journal by Paula Kielich, President & Founder of Pals for Life in the greater Philadelphia area. Pals For Life is one of the four organizations benefiting from Susquehanna’s Dog Days of Summer campaign.

Every day I bring pets to visit the residents of nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and mental health facilities.

Yesterday’s visit was to the Veteran’s Administration Nursing Home, where I brought our small white resident therapy rabbit, Bubbles. Volunteers came with their setter mix, Golden Doodle and Yellow Lab.  A resident who doesn’t speak walked alongside the lab, and quietly talked about the dog he used to have.

At a previous visit there, I brought Muttley, a 12 year old Shepherd/Husky mix to visit the residents.

In one of the bedrooms a man was laying in bed.  I asked him if he liked dogs.  He didn’t say anything, but sat up in bed.  We went in, and Muttley knew just what to do – he put his paws right up on his bed.  The man still didn’t say anything, but wrapped his arms around the big dog’s body, and buried his head in Muttley’s neck.

A few minutes later, he looked up at me.  Tears were streaming down his face.  He said, “I never thought I’d see a dog again.”

Pals For Life also offers a Read to Pet Pals program to libraries and schools.  In addition, we go to colleges during exam time and help students with stress reduction.

PFL pets can help and heal when no one else can.  They make a difference in the lives so many.

For more information, visit www.palsforlife.org.

[del.icio.us] [Digg] [Facebook] [Google Buzz] [Twitter]
Tags: , , , ,
Posted in Dog Days of Summer, In the Community | | Leave a comment