How a bowl of soup can teach us all a lesson in generosity

soupDo you know the tale of Stone Soup?  It’s a wonderful fable of how those who are seemingly poor can pool their resources and help to take care of one another.

The story goes like this: Three weary, starving travelers come upon a village and ask for food.  The people of the village, wary of strangers and unwilling to share what little they have, tell them they have nothing to give.  So the travelers promise to share a secret recipe for making soup from stones.

They put a pot over a fire, and lay in three smooth stones and some water.  Little by little they mention ingredients that would help make the soup perfect, and one-by-one the villagers “recall” something they have that could add to the pot.  By story’s end, they’ve all contributed to a hearty meal, and the villagers have learned a valuable lesson of generosity. Continue reading »

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Fill Your Year with Inspiration, Beauty and Intrigue – Read a Book!

It's a great time to curl up and read a book. What's on your reading list this year?

It’s a great time to curl up and read a book. What’s on your reading list this year?

It’s that time of year again – make a resolution with the intention of sticking to it 100 percent this year. Among many other things, I’ve made a promise to myself that I will read a book a month in 2015. What better time to start a new habit and a new book than January when it’s certainly cold enough to want to curl up with 300 pages by the fireplace.

For the voracious reader, my book-a-month goal may seem uninspired, but I sometimes struggle to make the leap into a new book. Twelve books for 2015 sounded reasonable, and it was easy to get started. Continue reading »

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Smartphones have made life easier, but at what cost?

silhouettesCell phones. What is your reaction to those two words?

Do you smile and give your smartphone a loving pat for keeping you in touch and entertained during your every waking moment?  Do you eye your flip phone warily, wishing the expectation of constant reachability were not the new norm?  Or do you throw your hands up in despair, bemoaning the bad manners of most of the cell phone users you encounter every day?

As of January 2014, the Pew Research Center reports that 90 percent of Americans own a cell phone, and 57 percent of them have a smart phone.  These hundreds of millions of people use their phones for everything from basic calls and texts to surfing the web, checking stocks, and playing games. Continue reading »

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7 Tips for Pants-a-Fitting during the Holidays

No need to get this extreme, but here are some tips to get you through the holiday eating season.

No need to get this extreme, but here are some tips to get you through the holiday eating season.

I’ll be honest; I have a love affair with all things holiday-food related. I also know that I’m not alone in this love affair, hence why I’m writing this blog post and sharing some new-found knowledge.

As wonderful as it may feel in the moment I’m eating as many chocolate chip cookies, truffles and pieces of fudge I can get my hands on, I know it’s inevitable it’ll eventually land on my hips.

In order to save myself and anyone else who is willing to read this, here’s some advice I’ve accumulated. Continue reading »

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Susquehanna Bank helps Millersville University student by funding summer internship

Evan Rubin at the Lancaster County Courthouse

Evan Rubin at the Lancaster County Courthouse

Background: Susquehanna Bank contributes funds to Millersville University in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, to support students who choose community service-based internships at nonprofits or government agencies. The donation allows the university’s Office of Experiential Learning and Career Management to offer an award to selected students who are completing an academic internship during a summer semester.

This summer, Millersville student Evan Rubin completed an internship with the Lancaster County Juvenile Probation Department. The department is responsible for the guidance and supervision of juveniles, between the ages of 10-17 years old who are referred by local police departments, agencies or private cititzens as a result of having committed a crime.  

Here is Evan’s journal of his experience:

Entry 1: As a student intern, I’ve had a chance to work directly in the field with various probation officers, and learn more about the responsibilities.

As the first three weeks of my internship comes to a close, I have already accomplished many of the goals established during the beginning of the semester. One of the first goals was to become more knowledgeable in the classification process of juvenile offenders, and how a risk level is determined. Continue reading »

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30 Simple Ways to Make Someone Feel Important

Surprise someone with a small gift.
Surprise someone with a small gift.

I’ve always admired the idea that Mary Kay Ash described – “Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, “Make me feel important.””

Even with the best intentions, I don’t think I’ve truly succeeded at implementing this in my life. Too many distractions, too many pressing priorities – too many excuses.

There are certain people I know that are masterful at Mary Kay’s suggestion, and being around them feels really good. More valuable than a grand gesture, feeling valued and appreciated moves the heart and soul in a way that not much else can. What lifts my spirit and mood most readily are when my husband picks me up my favorite candy bar at the store, just because, or when my son tells me I look beautiful today. Or when someone genuinely listens to me, without interruption or without judgment, and with full attention.

So as I traditionally get caught up in the whirl of day to day activities and stresses – especially during the holiday season – I’m reminded this month that I have the power to show appreciation and thanks in those same small but impactful ways. I have the power to make those around me feel valued – and so do you! Here are 30 simple ways to get started, inspired by our 30 Days of Thanks Campaign. Continue reading »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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