Saturday, December 31, 2022

Happy New Year! Welcome In 2023 With Open Arms!



Happy New Year-January 1, 2023. 

How did the New Year's Day holiday come about? Four thousand years ago in ancient Babylon they began the New Year in March to coincide with the beginning of Spring or the Vernal Equinox following the first full moon after Spring's arrival. They celebrated the New Year with a Religious event called "Akitu" that lasted for eleven days which "involved a different ritual on each of its 11 days" according to's article "New Year's." 

It wasn't until Julius Caesar reign during the Roman Empire that he updated the early Roman calendar of ten months and 304 days. In 46 B.C., Caesar introduced the Julian Calendar "by consulting with the most prominent astronomers and mathematicians of his time," according to This Julian Calendar "closely resembles the more modern Gregorian calendar that most countries around the world use today," from Julius Caesar began the New Year as January 1st "to honor the month’s namesake: Janus, the Roman god of beginnings, whose two faces allowed him to look back into the past and forward into the future. Romans celebrated by offering sacrifices to Janus, exchanging gifts with one another, decorating their homes with laurel branches and attending raucous parties," according to

Christian leaders in Medieval Europe changed the date of the New Year from January 1st to dates that had more religious value such as December 25th-Jesus Christ birth and March 25th-the Feast of the Annunciation. In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII returned New Year's Day to January 1st of each year according to the article "New Year's."

For more information about how the New Year's Day holiday began please see the following website

Wishing Everyone A Happy and Healthy 2023! Happy New Year! 

Enjoy the videos.


Friday, December 23, 2022

Here Is An Answer To An Aged Old Question That Has Puzzled The Human Race For Centuries.


Here Is An Answer To An Aged Old Question That Has Puzzled The Human Race For Centuries. This Classic News Christmas Editorial First Appeared In The New York Sun On September 21, 1897.

“Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus!”

By Virginia O’ Hanlon & Francis Pharcellus Church

"Dear Editor,

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, ‘If you see it in The Sun it’s so.’ Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia O’Hanlon

115 W. 95th Street

VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood."

For more information about this famous news Christmas Editorial please see the following website:

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah & Happy New Year!

Enjoy The Videos!

Monday, December 19, 2022

Oddfellows Playhouse Winter Classes 2023

Oddfellows Playhouse Youth Theater in Middletown has announced its schedule of classes and plays for winter 2023. Programs start as soon as January 5 and serve young people ages 3 - 20.

Young people ages 14 - 20 may join the Teen Repertory Company’s “Actor’s Laboratory Studio”, a weekly class with ARTFARM Artistic Director Marcella Trowbridge. The Actor’s Lab provides a safe place for exploration and discovery without the pressure of performance, including Intermodal Expressive Arts, Stage Combat, Voice, Movement, High Stakes Acting and Psycho-Emotional Literacy. Thursdays, 6:30 - 8:30 pm, January 5, 12, 19, 26; February 2 and 9.

Writers, activists and curious souls ages 11 -16 may join Phase One of “The Middletown Underground Railroad Project” with theater artist and playwright Jacqueline Brown. To celebrate the 200th anniversary of Cross Street AME Zion Church, we will be creating a new performance event exploring the founding of the church, the Beman family, the abolitionist movement and the underground railroad in 19th century Middletown. Phase One will be “research and creation”, as Jacque works with a group of students to explore the history and translate these 19th century events into a performance piece to be staged in May. It will include off-site visits to Russell Library, Middlesex County Historical Society and other Middletown locations. This meets Mondays, 4:30 - 6:30 pm, January 23, 30; February 6, 13, 27.

After-School classes for younger students meet weekly 4:45 - 5:45 pm starting January 9. Classes for ages 6 - 8 include “Creative Movement” on Mondays, “Introduction to Circus” on Tuesdays, “Winter Crafts” on Wednesdays and “Complete Actor I” on Thursdays. For ages 9 - 11, Mondays feature “Play+Write=Playwright”, an introduction to playwriting, Tuesdays “Circus II”, and Thursdays “Complete Actor II”.

Two movement-based classes are offered weekly for ages 9 - 14: “Capoeira”, an Afro-Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics and music, meets Wednesdays, and “Jazz Funk Dance” meets on Thursdays.

Students ages 12 -14, the Junior Repertory Company, will be presenting a mainstage production of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” this winter. Auditions were held in December, rehearsals begin January 9, and performances will be March 16 - 18. Students who missed auditions but are interested in getting involved should call (860) 347-6143 as soon as possible.

All after-school classes offer the “Oddbridge”Extended Day option for Middletown Public School students. Through Oddbridge students can catch a bus directly from school to Oddfellows, where they receive a snack and engage in supervised creative activities until classes start. There is a nominal additional fee for the Oddbridge add-on.

Saturday classes are geared toward younger children and start January 7, all under the leadership of Children’s Circus of Middletown Teeny Tiny Troupe Director Meg Berritta. “Circrobatics” for ages 3 - 5 meets 9:30 - 10:15 am; “Mixed Up Fairy Tales”, also for 3 - 5, meets 10:30 - 11:15 am, and “Circrobatics” for ages 6 - 8 meets 11:30 am - 12:30 pm. Circrobatics is an original hybrid art form combining circus, acrobatics, creative movement and games. The 8-week winter session runs January 7 - February 25.

Starting a little later in the winter on Saturdays is “Musical Mentoring”, a collaboration with Cardinal Kids in which children receive one-on-one music lessons with a Wesleyan music student. Lessons for ages 6 - 8 will be held noon - 12:50 pm, for ages 9 - 12 from 1 to 2 pm. “Musical Mentoring” will meet February 4, 11, 18, 25, March 4, and April 1, 15, 22 and 29. Space is limited so early registration is required.

All classes are tuition based, but financial aid is available for all programs and it is Playhouse policy that no one is ever turned away for lack of funds. Oddfellows Playhouse is located at 128 Washington Street in Middletown.

For more info, and to register, go to, email, or call (860) 347-6143. Oddfellows Playhouse is a non-profit youth theater, founded in 1975, with a commitment to artistic excellence, inclusivity and social justice. Everyone is welcome here. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Mind & Body Choices--Drugs? Surgery? Joint Replacement? or Life Style Changes, including Exercise?

 These considerations describe why I've gone for the "exercise cure"--it's a better choice for me. So far exercise has given me major relief, but, like other choices in life, it's an everyday commitment to stay pain free.

Considering Joint Replacement?
Why Older Adults Should Think Twice

By Karen Asp | 

Stiff, achy joints are no fun. But before you consider surgery, take these steps to find relief.

joint replacement

Debating getting a new hip, knee, or shoulder? Join the club. You likely need both hands to count the number of friends who’ve already had joint replacement surgery.

In 2018, over 1.2 million primary shoulder, hip, and knee joint replacements were performed in the United States, says Neil P. Sheth, M.D., chief of orthopedic surgery at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia.

The fact that “total joint replacements have demonstrated excellent long-term clinical results” is one reason for the procedure’s popularity, says Dr. Sheth. The aging baby boomer population is another: The older you get, the more your joints may deteriorate, or the more likely a past joint injury begins to limit your mobility.

“As people over 65 become more active and want a better quality of life, more are seeking total joint replacements,” says Stuart J. Fischer, M.D., an orthopaedic surgeon in Summit, New Jersey. “Newer techniques and longer-lasting components have made surgery a good option for active patients.”

The Downsides of Joint Replacement Surgery
As exciting as the prospect of a brand-new joint can be, replacement surgery doesn’t come without side effects. Although rare, complications can include infections, blood clots, heart attacks, damage to blood vessels or nerves, and instability or fracture around the implant, Dr. Sheth says.

Most concerning, the risk for post-op complications goes up with age, according to a study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. It’s not necessarily your age that’s the problem, but the host of chronic conditions that all too often go along with getting older, say experts.

Factors like frailty, smoking, mental impairment, and depression can also increase your risk of adverse outcomes after elective surgery, according to a 2018 report in BMC Medicine.

Other evidence shows that shiny new joints don’t always deliver on their promise. Looking at knee replacements, for example, one study found that up to one-third of those who get a new knee continue to experience chronic pain. While another report found that the common knee surgery had “minimal effects” on quality of life.

And one in 37 women over the age of 85 who opt for a shoulder replacement will need a re-do within five years.

The good news? There are a number of proactive things you can do to stave off getting a joint replacement.

Delay Tactic #1: Go for a Walk
This might sound counterintuitive if you have painful joints, but staying active is important. “Exercise will strengthen the muscles around the joints and take some of the pressure off them,” explains Dr. Fischer. “It will also help preserve motion in the joint if arthritis is beginning to cause stiffness.”

Along with upping your outings, consider booking a series of sessions with a physical therapist. PTs can show you how to exercise safely by modifying moves to work within your range of motion and prevent further joint damage.

Dr. Sheth encourages patients to try joint-friendly exercises, like swimming or riding a stationary bike, or using a stair stepper or elliptical machine at the gym. “These gliding type activities may cause less discomfort,” he says.

Practice patience. Studies looking at the benefits of exercise programs for individuals with hip osteoarthritis, for example, found that it takes about 12 weeks for pain levels to diminish and strength and mobility to improve, according to the Arthritis Foundation.

A good beginning goal, says Dr. Fisher, is aiming for 20 to 30 minutes of exercise three to four times each week. Discover some of the best physical therapist-approved exercises for your knees herehips here, and shoulders here.

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Delay Tactic #2: Step on the Scale
You can be thin and suffer from stiff, achy joints. But if you’re carrying any excess weight, your joints definitely aren’t going to be happy. That’s because being overweight or obese does more than damage your heart, lungs, and liver, Dr. Sheth says. It also harms your joints.

It’s a matter of physics. Every time you take a step, your hips and knees experience additional force across those joints.

“If your joint is already arthritic, this will result in more pain and potentially decrease the time over which your remaining cartilage will wear out,” says Dr. Sheth.

For every pound you lose, you’ll take four pounds of pressure off your bad joints, according to a study in Arthritis and Rheumatology. If you’re about 10 pounds overweight, that could add up to 40 pounds of pressure taken off!

Of course, losing weight after the age of 60 isn’t as simple as cutting calories. Your body has specific nutritional targets that you’ll need to hit in order to stay healthy.

Protein is especially important, since it helps preserve your muscle mass. You’ll also want to make sure you continue to get enough fiber—preferably in the form of vegetables, legumes, and whole grains—for proper immune function and digestive health.

Check out these seven protein-packed vegetables that can help you hit both targets. If you need more help, a registered dietitian can set you up with a personalized meal plan that fits your health needs and your individual tastes.

Delay Tactic #3: Take a Shot
Exercise and weight loss are the first steps to take if you want to avoid surgery, but doctors also recommend taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication and applying ice or heat to help alleviate acute pain.

If those remedies aren’t enough or aren’t safe for you to try, your doctor may suggest a series of injections, spaced a few months apart, for a limited time. There are two main types:

  • Corticosteroid (steroid) injections are used to calm inflammation and minimize pain and swelling in the affected area.
  • Hyaluronic (HA) injections are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat the knee. The gel-like substance lubricates the cartilage to help improve shock absorption, so the joint can move more freely.

These methods don’t work for everyone—and sometimes patients report relief after early injections, but no noticeable relief after follow-up injections. There’s even evidence that people who take the shots may benefit from the placebo effect.

A 2017 study found that people with knee arthritis reported the same pain relief whether they received a steroid or saline shot. Plus, the steroid group experienced additional cartilage damage from the shot itself.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons remains neutral on the idea of injections. The bottom line, experts say, is that injections have a place in the tool kit, but should not be considered a long-term treatment option.

When Should You Consider Joint Replacement?
In many cases, nonsurgical treatment may bring the relief you need. But in others, it may not. Even if you’re following all of these strategies, joint replacement ultimately may be necessary, says Dr. Sheth.

“When you start to limit your life for your joint, which means you’re not doing specific activities of daily living because you’ll end up with pain for the next several days, then it’s time to consider an evaluation by a specialist and discuss the possibility of joint replacement surgery,” he says.

Fortunately, if you’re healthy enough to undergo total joint replacement, the current protocols for surgical technique, post-operative rehabilitation, and pain control are so advanced that most older adults return to a high level of functioning. Check out our guide to recovery after knee replacement surgery.

Take Your Favorite SilverSneakers Classes Online!
SilverSneakers members can access live fitness classes and wellness workshops through SilverSneakers LIVE. See the latest schedule and RSVP for classes here.

Not a member? If you have a Medicare Plan, it may include SilverSneakers—at no additional cost. Check your eligibility instantly here.

*This article is 
excerpted from, and is available without SS login. It was reprinted here in May 2021.


Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Revitalizing Hips and Legs during the Holidays

Do you have Pain & Stiffness
from Sitting Too Much?

Try these targeted exercises to
Revitalize your Legs & Hips

It only takes a few minutes a day to feel better. 

SilverSneakers Desktop Logo

  Here are FIVE Silver Sneakers exercise routines in one link, video demos are included, no login required. You may have seen these when they were shown on The Middletown Eye in 2021.'s-how-to-fix-it/ online has hundreds of on-demand video demos. Many are targeted so that you can easily identify the type of routine you need. Many Silver Sneakers routines are available on youtube, no login required. It only takes a few minutes a day to feel better. 



Friday, December 9, 2022

Godfrey Genealogy Club - Saturday, December 17, 2022


"Finding Your 19th Century Ancestors on Fold3—Is There a Better Way?"

Saturday, December 17, 2022

ZOOM Presentation 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.  

Presenter:  Brian Rhinehart

Ever get confused on Fold3? Learn what records are available for your 19th-century military ancestors there, and pick up some search strategies to narrow down what you’re looking for. Yes, there is a better way to search!

Godfrey Premium members can register for free at the following email:

If you are not a Godfrey Premium member and want to attend the presentation, you can pay $10 via PayPal ( and send to Godfrey Memorial Library. Then register using the above email.

Please register by 4:00 PM Friday, December 16.