Local Christmas Shopping

Mrs. Elecpencil and I took a ride over to Sharon, Pa. this morning. We stopped on the West Hill at an art gallery/gift shop called, 29 Logan Ave. We then walked down the hill to the Walnut Lodge at 80 S. Irvine Ave. The lodge had about twenty artists set up selling handmade and fair trade wares.  Both places have items that would make great Christmas gifts. They will both be open tomorrow also from 12-4. The Walnut Lodge also gives yoga and dance lessons too.  They seem like great folks who help make our corner of the world a little better.

Tomorrow also check out the display of over 200 nativity sets from around the world. The display is from 12-4 at the Sisters of  Humility – Villa Maria, PA. Talk about making our world better the Villa Maria has some great classes and retreats that are well worth looking into to. Check out their gift shop for some nice Fair Trade items.

I was sad I couldn’t make the Youngstown demonstration against the School of the Americas (SOA) event, as I think it is a very important issue. A special note of thanks to Terry and Vicki Vicars for organizing the PAX Christi USA protest against the SOA. The SOA is a disgraceful place  that every American should know about.  The SOA makes for one of the reasons our country is hated in the world.

This months Catholic Exponent did a nice piece on the new Dorothy Day House in Youngstown. Check out one of our fine libraries for a copy. I went to the Newport Library for the first time last Tuesday and it is a really nice addition to our community.  They were nice enough to invite us Pig Iron Poets to do our open monthly reading which went very well. Join us the second Tuesday of January at Tomasino’s Pizza in downtown Youngstown for next months open reading.

When shopping for Christmas it’s important to not shop at the Satan store. Of course I’m talking about the soulless Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores. Instead try shopping local small businesses. Get a gift card for one of our local non-chain restaurants. Put together a gift basket of local products. You could do a basket of things like: Gia Russa pastas and sauce, Guys BBQ Sauce, Rulli’s olive oil or cheese, White House Fruit Farms produce, Haus Orchards cider,  Miller’s Horseradish sauce, Dirusso Sausage, Rust Belt Brewing beer, Mastropietro wine, Myrddin wine, L’uva Bella wine, Maggie’s Magic Muffins, Schwebels Bread, Handel’s ice cream gift card, Jimmy Chieffo’s  Pasta, etc. Feel free to comment about all the great local products I missed.

Since I mentioned wineries let me tell you about one Mr. & Mrs. Elecpencil visited last Friday for dinner. We went to dinner at the Old Mill Winery in Geneva, Oh. It’s a very old building that is favorite of local folks from Geneva. The Alan Greene Band from Cleveland was playing and they churned out some great blues tunes!  Otie (who resembles George Carlin)  filled in for missing singer, “Mr. Stress” and did a yeoman’s job. Alan is a former guitarist for “Humble Pie” and is as good as it gets on the axe. He is not into 15 minute boring guitar solos but rocks out within the frame work of a tune. This is a real blues band not one of those yuppies through the week blues on the weekend bands.  Mrs. Elecpencil had ribs in a wine infused bbq sauce she said were quite good. I had a wine burger which I’d highly recommend. We enjoyed some red sangria and took home a bottle of Grindstone Red which is a nice sweet wine. We are not wine snobs so we enjoy sweet wines. I have no use for snobby wines that taste like oak or stainless steel.

Cheap wines are just as good as expensive ones in a blind test.

For a holiday green gift that matters see here.

Alan Greene Band: High Cost of Loving

Alan Greene Band: Stagger Lee

[Wine is] poetry in a bottle.”
– Clifton Fadiman


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