Category Archives: Peters’ Pub

Entertaining at the Peters’ house

Not a Care in the World

Well, the season for Pittsburgh Steelers is officially over. It was fun, and we can thank the Steelers for giving us a couple of extra weeks to celebrate. I was most impressed by a few Steelers who showed us what you can do if you put your mind to it, fighting through the pain of injuries. They’re an inspiration to us all.

What a difference between the two playoff games the Steelers played in. The first was the Pittsburgh Steelers against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals were mean, spiteful and angry football players — just a poor example of bad sportsmanship for us all to see. As the game went on, they played dirty with unnecessary late hits, taking out not only our quarterback, but our best wide receiver — he ended up unconscious with a concussion. And the player who hurt both these players was just so proud and boastful — it was abominable. When Ben Roethlisberger, our quarterback, was wheeled off the field, the Cincy fans were cheering and some of them threw things at him. I never saw such a disgusting display of poor behavior. I honestly think very poorly of Cincinnati right now.

I don’t normally pray for outcomes of football games. But this is one game that I prayed to God that we would be victorious, because it was just not right that the behavior they displayed was rewarded with a win. And then there was an incredible turn of events, as the Steelers were moved down the field to score the win. It was not only unbelievable — it was miraculous.

Steelers Party Selfie (at Peters' Pub)

Steelers Party Selfie (at Peters’ Pub)

What a difference one week makes. The Steelers played the Denver Broncos this past weekend. While we lost the game, the team and fans showed respectful sportsmanship. And I can circle back around to Big Ben, who played his heart out with a painful shoulder injury. It’s the first time in his career that he took a shot for the pain to get through the game. That’s an inspiration to me.

I live my life everyday with managed pain in my hip and pelvis. Some days it’s hard to get out of bed. But then my mind starts running through all the things I have to do that day. It still takes me two hours to get ready, and that’s rushing — being on crutches is just not easy in the morning. I’ve never been a morning person, and now I’m getting up at 6 am! I set the alarm an hour before, because I take some pain medicine, so I can actually get up at 6 am. My daily responsibilities are endless and many people count on me. Some days I dream that I’m snowed in with my husband in a little cabin in the middle of nowhere with the fireplace crackling. I think of it all the time. I have not a care in the world.

But, then I volunteer for everything I can, make time to spend with friends and family, talk to my Mom often during the week and find time for my husband. Life is too short to do any less.

So, always keep the faith and believe that God truly does have a plan for you. I may not always understand the plan I’m on, but I still believe. And for each of the Pittsburgh Steelers, well, somehow the nastiness that goes on with their sport is all part of each God’s plan for them.

Complete Trust in God
Do not look forward to the trials and crosses of this life with dread and fear. Rather, look to them with full confidence that, as they arise, God, to whom you belong, will deliver you from them.

He has guided and guarded you thus far in life. Do you but hold fast to his dear hand, and he will lead you safely through all trials. Whenever you cannot stand, he will carry you lovingly in his arms.

Do not look forward to what may happen tomorrow. The same Eternal Father who cares for you today will take good care of you tomorrow and everyday of your life. Either he will shield you from suffering or he will give you the unfailing strength to bear it.

Be at peace then and put aside all useless thoughts, vain dreads, and anxious imaginations.

Always B E L I E V E !


Another successful Christmas party! As Tom is scraping cooked-on pasta and other burnt nuggets off my crockpots, I thought I’d write an update. We had a fantastic party today to wrap up the Christmas festivities at the Peters’ house. It’s been a busy week of traveling and visiting, eating and drinking — as well as a week of reflection, prayers and blessings.

The week started with a call from my cousin, Kathie on Christmas Eve. My Uncle Frank was rushed to the hospital, awaiting immediate surgery. We sent prayers and I said a Chaplet to St. Jude before we finished the lasagna for Christmas Eve dinner. I also got word to my brother Bob so that he could join us in good thoughts and prayers for a successful surgery. My Mom and I lit candles for him at Christmas Eve mass in both our parishes. We got word after mass that the two-hour surgery took double the time, but was successful. Now the healing would begin. So we continue our prayers for Uncle Frank, as he’ll be in the hospital a bit longer.

Not long after I finished preparing the lasagna, I got a text from Gert. Our dear friend, Ronnie’s sister Rose had been rushed to Presby Hospital with a feared brain aneurysm the evening before. They didn’t expect her to live through the day. I didn’t know that she had passed away until I talked to Ronnie’s friends at Christmas Eve mass, as I was lighting candles for my Uncle Frank, my Dad and Rose.

As I prayed in church, I tried to make sense as to why Ronnie and Marg would have to lose Rose on Christmas Eve. You would always see the three of them in the last row at the 5 pm Saturday evening mass with their other friends. I got to know Ronnie and Marg well over the years as they never missed St. Gregory Super Bingo. And Ronnie had been coming our Christmas Eve parties for quite a few years. My heart went out to her as I heard how hard they were all taking it. Rose was the youngest of them at 81 years old.

And then there was a little bit of fate that evening or maybe it was a little Christmas magic. I hadn’t served as a Eucharistic Minister for a couple of years. Both Tom and I stopped serving shortly after my brother Bob left our parish. My heart just wasn’t in it any longer. Anyways, Sister Patricia had asked me if they needed me to serve if I would mind helping them. I told her I had never served with Father Larry, but if they needed me to please wave me to come up. So there was all kinds of confusion, but it was obvious they needed my help — so after climbing over everyone (the mass was unbelievably packed), I helped give out communion on the side next to the organist.

It just so happens that my line got backed up as people waited for the wine, and I had about 15 seconds to stand there waiting for it to move. And, it got stopped right at my friend, Dona (who also works at MarketSpace), who happens to be good friends with Ronnie. I had wondered when I saw her in mass if she knew about Rose. So I mentioned it to her in line. She didn’t know. Dona text me later on Christmas Eve to thank me, as her family had stopped by to see Ronnie after mass. We couldn’t believe how all the little pieces fell into place — so perfectly-timed — it felt like I served only to get a message to Dona in line in that few seconds. Somehow I imagined that maybe Ronnie had some added comfort that evening on this holy night. And amid a terribly-timed loss, maybe there was a bit of perfectly-timed love.

I reflected on that as I said my prayers that evening. I thought that while we were celebrating good cheer this year, there will always be those that are deeply hurting. And maybe somehow that hurt is perfectly-timed. I fell asleep believing that “God truly does have a plan for us all.”

At church last night, Father Gallagher talked about an eight-year old little girl from Reading, PA who had made national news. I had already read the story online, but the way he told it — in his wonderful tug at your heart strings way — it was difficult not to break down and sob. The story is about Delaney “Laney” Brown who was diagnosed with Leukemia in the spring. None of her treatments had worked and she grew very ill this past month. With only days to live, she had only one Christmas request — to hear the sounds of Christmas. And on December 21st, between 6,000 and 8,000 people surrounded her home and sung Christmas carols so loudly that Laney could hear them inside her bedroom. She couldn’t get out of bed, but posted a picture to Facebook with thumbs up and said, “I can hear you now!! Love you!”

She died on Christmas morning. While other children her age were gleefully rejoicing in their gifts that Santa Claus had brought, Laney had passed away. I can only imagine the sorrow in that home — on Christmas day! I couldn’t recite the Creed. No words would come from my mouth. I think if I tried to produce a sound, it would have been a sob — thinking about what a heart-wrenching story. And then I thought that maybe it was as it was supposed to be. She was no longer sick — she was with the angels in Heaven. And she was having Christmas like no other child would have it this year. These are the moments we must have faith — we must believe. For as we have faith, we trust that everything is part of God’s plan for each one of us. We won’t know what gifts Laney left behind for those who loved her. She was part of God’s plan for them.

So today was our Christmas party, our celebration of my good health, as last Christmas I was in the hospital. Today was Ronnie’s birthday — she is 86. And Rose’s viewing at the funeral home. My Mom and I went to the funeral home before our party began — and Ronnie and her daughter, Chris joined us in celebration between the viewing hours. It took Ronnie’s mind off of things — even if just for a few hours. She had the chance to laugh, eat, drink and be merry amidst her day of loss. And today, we cracked open our expensive bottle of ice wine from Sheldrake Point Winery in the Finger Lakes, NY and we toasted to a year of continued health.

So as we hear these sad stories at Christmastime, we hug our families a little more tightly this year. We tell them we love them maybe one more time than we would have. We count our blessings. For they all come from God and are perfectly-timed.

Always B E L I E V E .

I Give Thanks

Thanksgiving is less than a week away, and I’ve been thinking about all the things that I’m thankful for. I’m so thankful for Tom for who he is and all he does, all the time, everyday. Of course, Sid and Ben Ben, my two little cats (and yes, Tom, they come second). I’m thankful for my family and friends — all the fun times we have, and all the things we celebrate all year long. I’m thankful for MarketSpace and all the wonderful family there. I’m thankful for my faith and trust in God. I’m thankful for my health that I’m here today, and for as long as God chooses me to be on this earth.
Four Seasons in Pittsburgh

I’m thankful that I get to enjoy all four seasons — winter, spring, summer and fall. It snowed last night and now feels like Christmas!
Finger Lakes

I’m thankful that Bob introduced us to the Finger Lakes in New York.

I’m thankful for friends, neighbors and celebrations at Peters’ Pub.

I’m thankful for weekends on Tommy’s boat — tubing, wakeboarding and jet skiing.

I’m thankful for our family cabin in Tionesta, PA. Everything about it reminds me of my Dad, and takes me back to those days when he was with us.
CaribbeanI’m thankful for good friends, Caribbean vacations to Aruba, Antigua, St. Lucia, Bahamas and the Riviera, laughter, catamaran cruises and island excursions.

Homemade_PizzaI’m thankful for my Mom. Tom’s Mom. And all the wonderful memories of our Dads. Memories of Grandma and Grandpap Knowlson. Memories of Grandma and Grandpap Miller. Father Bob. Debbie. Debbie’s pizza. My beautiful nieces. Tommy. Dan. Scott. Aunt Mary. All my cousins. Our home. St. Rose of Lima Parish. St. Gregory’s Catholic Church. Humility. Faith. Miracles. Surprises. Birthdays. Great doctors. Creative doctors. New technologies. Friends. New Friends. Old Friends. Lost Friends. Turkey. Homemade noodles. Chicken and dumplings. Steak on the grill, medium rare. Arby’s curly fries with cheese. Pittsburgh Potatoes. Coca-Cola. White sand beaches. Crystal blue waters. Summer rain and liquid sunshine. Diamonds in the snow. Diamonds in the sky. Shooting stars. Rainbows. Sled riding at Mom and Dad’s house. Velour leggings. Amusement parks and water parks. Online shopping. Christmas shopping. Outlet shopping. Christmas caroling. White Christmases. Christmas movies. Super bowl games. Steelers’ parties. Playoff parties. Christmas parties. Giving back. Paying it forward. Photographs. Old photographs. Traditions. Art glass. Typography. Kerning. Handmade papers. Uncoated paper. Letterpress printing. Recycled and up-cycled stuff. Cabins. Camp Fires. Cats. Dogs. Sheep. Cows. Horses. Baby animals. Farms. Hookstown Fair. Canfield Fair. Tear-jerker movies. Slot machines. Lake Erie. Ellicottville. Martha’s Vineyard. Charleston. Nostalgic small towns. Lakes, oceans and swimming holes. Country music and Christmas music. Sixties fashion. I’m thankful for all my memories of all that is good in this world.

I’m thankful for living in the land of the free — one nation, under God. I am thankful for our service men who won’t be home this holiday. And, as we give thanks this coming Thursday, I pray for those who are less fortunate and those who find only sadness this time of year. And will give thanks for all that God has blessed me with in my life.

Always B E L I E V E.

“Stun the World”

The Pittsburgh PenguinsPittsburgh is a sports town — the Steelers, the Penguins and the Pirates — no matter if you love sports or not — you’re sucked into the playoffs when they roll around.

My husband is a sports nut — and has been since the day I met him — knowing trivial statistics that have no real significance to life, but somehow pleases him and all his buddies — they seem to know the same kinds of stuff. It’s really quite intriguing!

And all year long, he faithfully and tirelessly follows all his teams, rooting them on whether the team is good or bad. He makes time to watch the games — and actually enjoys them — that always amazes me. To me, it’s somewhat meaningless as players attempt to do the same thing over and over again to score. Tom tells me that there’s all kind of strategy involved and that’s what’s exciting to watch. Okay, I guess there’s that.

In Pittsburgh, there’s fewer of us that don’t watch games than do. Even my girlfriends go to games or tailgate, plan parties and faithfully watch the games with their hubbies. Okay, so plan parties. That’s when it gets interesting for me! To plan the party and the food and enjoy the company while not really watching the game. That’s my kind of game.

And that’s the playoffs for all of us in Pittsburgh. Whether you’re a fair-weathered fan (only when winning) or faithful to the death, everyone roots during the playoff games. Don’t get me wrong, I always root for our Pittsburgh teams — I just don’t care to watch the games. My husband is a happy camper when his teams win — and the entire town is buzzing when our teams are winning. I’d prefer a movie on Lifetime any day. Or maybe read a good book on my Kindle.

So, the Pittsburgh Pens have been in the playoffs for the past month or so. Tonight is the game that will determine the fate of the Pens for the Stanley Cup. The Pens have lost the first three games of the seven game series to the Boston Bruins. And while there’s nothing funny about that, it’s been comical to see the superstitions throughout the season and how fans are changing those superstitions to somehow sway the fate of their beloved Pens.

After the first home game, one guy burned his couch. Yep, he and his friends had used a different couch during the other games — so they burned the new one and went back to the old. After the second game, fans were shaving off their “playoff beards.” Yep, they had to do something to turn around fate. Even this week, my husband and I decided that the Pens lost every time we watched a game in our basement. Tom could name every game that he watched at Peters’ Pub — the Pens losing each one of those games. So we watched this week’s game from our living room — to no avail.

So tonight, I’m going back to old my ways — I don’t normally watch the game — so I’m not watching it tonight. Maybe, just maybe, it’s been me all along.

Tonight we all need a little extra faith. Let’s Go Pens! As one my employees put it best this week, “stun the world!”

One Rainy Day

Shops at Volant Mills, PA as seen from porch of the old Grist Mill.

Shops at Volant, PA as seen from porch of the old Grist Mill (Volant Mill) as I relaxed on a beautiful swing.

Well, I was fortunate enough to be able to take a White Space Friday this past Friday. It was tough keeping my calendar free — but I had already made plans with Gert and Val to go to Volant for the day — which made it easier to keep it open.

Home at Volant Mills

The homes located in Volant are from the 1800’s.

Volant, PA is located about 30 minutes from Zelienople down Rt. 19N, within minutes of the town of New Wilmington, along the Neshannock Creek. This is Amish country, and it’s not uncommon to pass a horse-drawn buggy on your way to Volant or New Wilmington. However, it was such a rainy and cold day, we only saw Amish farms on our way to New Wilmington — and an Amish farmer plowing his vegetable garden with three horses.

Volant is known for it’s little shops — handmade and gifty kinds of things. Although, I was a little disappointed, as it seemed to me like most shops didn’t offer original, handmade crafts, except for a few. I really love a couple of the shops — one called the Purple Paisley and the other, Nifty’s Gifty’s, although I purchased the most things at a shop called A Little Bit of Country (and my home is not country at all).

Purple Paisley had the most awesome fashion scarves. I could have bought a dozen of them, but I managed to pick my favorite — finished with furry pompoms. I figured I’d have to save it until next winter, but who knew it would be 38° on Saturday, and I actually got to wear it now. Her store was so cute too. Everything was purple, including the little trees outside — complete with purple lights.

Nifty Gifty’s was by far the perfect shop for me. It was full of works by various artists. I recognized a few of them, including a favorite artist of mine — Michelle Allen. They carried some really unique pieces that I haven’t seen anywhere before either. Val bought a really cool candle made in an upcycled wine bottle.

It rained the entire day. It started out around 65° and by the time I got home at 4:30, it was 46°. At one point the wind was blowing so hard on the way to the car that the rain was pouring sideways. We were soaked — my right side from my shoulder all the way to my shoes was drenched — the umbrella didn’t help much at that point. Now we were freezing too, so we decided it was time for lunch.

We drove into New Wilmington to grab a bite to eat. If you’ve never been to New Wilmington, it’s a college town where Westminster College is located. They hold an annual 4th of July fireworks at Lake Brittain, located on the campus. My Mom and Dad used to go to this every year and my brother would meet up with them. Dad loved the River City Brass Band, and they always played patriotic music during the show. One year, Tom and I went with my Mom and Bob, and we sat on chairs and blankets on the grassy hillside beside the Lake. If you’re from western PA, you know that fireworks is pretty popular in Pittsburgh — because it’s home of two of the largest fireworks providers in the nation. And we’ve worked with Pyrotecnico at MarketSpace — who I believe puts on a better show Zambelli — plus they’re still family-owned — I like that. We live in an area that’s about the same distance to the fireworks downtown Pittsburgh or here — and it’s much more enjoyable to drive into the rural area than in the rat race of the big city. I’m thinking we’ll have to make this trip this year for sure.

We left a note in the books on the tables — what a great idea!

We left a note in the books on the tables — what a great idea!

So anyways, we go into New Wilmington and someone had recommended that we eat at The Tavern on the Square. They are best known for their famous Sticky Buns. It has the feel of the same shops we just visited in Volant — a huge, victorian home converted into a restaurant. Gert, Val and I had a hard time narrowing down what we wanted, because the menu just had so many awesome options — it was fantastic. They provided these hardbound notebooks on the tables and guests could write a story or a note in there. So, of course I had to write in the book. We read through the other posts — it was such a great idea to hear what people were celebrating, who they were with or why they were there. I tried to draw pictures of three drowned rats — I was so cold during lunch that I had to put on my winter coat. We leisurely ate lunch and by the time we left, the rain had let up a bit and my sweater was finally a little drier than damp. Leaving the restaurant, we saw the beautiful Easter flowers that we missed on the way in — tons of bright yellow Daffodils and bright pink and purple Hyacinths. I could only imagine that those would all perish by Saturday morning with the frost on Friday night.

We had planned to stop a few more places before heading back to Zelienople. We stopped at the Amish Peddler and the Volant Mill Winery. Val needed to get a bottle of Gewürztraminer for her son, Matthew. But they didn’t have that, so she got something else. And then we slowly made our way back to Zelienople as we all had plans for Friday evening — the Pittsburgh Penguins were in Boston playing the Bruins — Tom had the guys coming over to hang out in Peters Pub. But we learned on the way home that with Boston still on lockdown, the Pens game was being moved until Saturday afternoon.

This was the most walking I’ve done since my surgery in December. I have no pain in my hip anymore at all — so I can walk much better — but I did rest if there was a nice bench on a covered porch. I was so sore after I sat for an hour when I got home that I could barely walk into the kitchen. My feet, ankles and calves were in pain — and I must have favored my right side, because I could barely put any weight on it at first — pathetic!!!  But, I know I need to slowly get back to full mobility and that is the only way that’s going to happen — by getting out and walking. I assumed I would have cramps in my legs all night (like I did after my Mom’s retirement party), but I didn’t. And that made me sooooo happy!

For most people, Friday was a washout. It went from a warm morning to winter temperatures in a matter of hours. But for me, Friday was a great day — despite the rain, despite the return of winter, despite the rough week of terrorism and other horrific events. It was a day for me to step away from my office, from my email, from my worries for just a day — and spend that day relaxing with best friends. To do something I enjoy and for myself. We all need a little white space in our lives. And, I hope that I can design my life with more white space, louder typography and more colorful images.

Always B E L I E V E.

Whoop Whoop “To Tom”

I love this man!

I love this man!

Saturday night went by like a blur. So to back up a bit, we planned a big party to celebrate my good news. I spent the day making pulled pork, Pittsburgh Potatoes and a spice cake. Tom helped too, cleaning up and sweeping the rooms, doing a few dishes for me. We went to mass at 5 pm at Saint Gregory’s and then Tom helped set up for Bingo for the next day. The party kicked off at about 7:30 pm when we got home from church.

We had a ton of great food — and certainly our fair share of alcohol. Jess and Spencer had fun playing bartenders, making all kinds of crazy drinks and shots with all the selection of bottles in our bar. I would be having a conversation and we’d hear “Whoop, whoop, ‘to Pam!'” Both Tom and Spencer raising their hands high into the air and everyone around the room would salute and cheer. It’s a saying from our vacation last year to Antigua. You’d hear “whoop, whoop,” at any given time in celebration, usually involving alcohol. They must have done this 10 times or more. It makes me smile just thinking about it.

I think it’s always good to celebrate the good times. And while I’m not out of the woods yet, the news we got was certainly worth celebrating. When you’re living with something like cancer or any other disease, you have to find those special moments in life and really appreciate them. It not only fills you with joy, it fills all those around you with the same beautiful light.

This celebration wasn’t just about me. It was just as much about Tom. Tom is the most important person in my life. He’s with me everyday. He hears when I cry myself to sleep. He listens to me when I break down. He takes days off work to go and hold my hand when we go to the doctors to get news. He’s always there for me — he always makes sure I’m okay — if I’m happy, if I need anything. And, he constantly reassures me. How did I ever find a man like this? He is the epitome of selflessness.

So today, I raise my glass to Tom, “whoop, whoop, ‘to Tom!'” and to all those friends who make this journey with me — I love you all. Cheers!

Happy Birthday to My Boys!

Happy Birthday Tom and Benny!

Happy Birthday Tom and Benny! Card from Night Owl Paper Goods.

Happy birthday to my wonderful husband Tom! May your day be filled with all kinds of wonderful moments — it’s owl about you! We’ll toast to you on Saturday!

And happy birthday to my little kitty, Benny! I’ll save some extra treats for you little guy.


Moments in Time

Peters' Pub

Belated Christmas Party at the Peters’

Well, feeling almost fully recovered, Tom and I decided to have our annual Christmas Eve party on January 27, 2013. We invited the immediate family (we hadn’t even exchanged gifts since I was in the hospital over Christmas) and a few close friends from St. Gregory’s parish.

I made an orange dreamsicle jello salad and two banana cream pies on Saturday. I cooked most of Sunday, making Pittsburgh Potatoes, an Italian, three-cheese pasta dish, a ham, pepperoni rolls and pretzel bites. I spent most of the day on my feet and paid for it with cramps all night long in bed. But it didn’t matter, it was worth it!

My mom got me two bottles of my favorite wine (Well Hung from the 3 Brothers Winery in Finger Lakes, NY). I asked her how she managed that, and she had my brother make a special trip to that winery when he was there over Christmas. And he got me another favorite of mine, Niagra from Lakewood Winery. Oh, if you’ve ever been the Finger Lakes, there’s no place like it. My brother, Bob goes to the Finger Lakes every year at Christmastime to get an ornament from each winery for a wreath — it’s a holiday tradition at the wineries in the Finger Lakes.

Tara, Megan, Tom and Debbie opening gifts at the party.

Tara, Megan, Tom and Debbie opening gifts at the party.

My brother, Tom got us a queen-sized mink blanket for our bed. It’s a very interesting blanket with giant leopards on it. It has that 1970’s vibe (I think it belongs on a water-bed). I joke, but the last few days have been so cold that I am loving it! Not to mention, I have to wrestle it away from Benny who curls up on it every chance he gets! It hasn’t even made it to our bedroom — I am using it right here on the leather couch.

My sister, Debbie got me this crystal that you hang in a window and it shines rainbows all over the room. How amazing is that? The side window in the dining room has morning sun and it’s absolutely magical. She also found this beautiful art glass sculpture that I’ve already added to my mantle.

Megan and my Mom stop to smile at the camera while opening gifts.

Megan and my Mom stop to smile at the camera while opening gifts.

I loved all the gifts and there’s too many to list here. But this year, more so than any other year, were not important. I sat on the chair watching my family — my sister and her girls and my brother all crammed on the couch, just joking and laughing and it was a moment frozen in time. For me, I caught a little tear in my throat, because I know how lucky I am to have moments like this. It could have been so different. And it’s why this year is the year of renewed faith in life. And this event — our Christmas, in January — was the first of many celebrations. I owe so much gratitude to God. I thank him for carrying me when I was weak, and here I am — on the other side. He saw me through. If you don’t believe — B E L I E V E ! For God works miracles every day.

I am wishing everyone a healthy and prosperous new year.