NEWS&VIEWS by Jacqueline Bennett

Arctic Blast Crosses Connecticut

Posted on January 31, 2019

Squalls created near and total whiteouts on January 30 in CT, worse than these snowy conditions seen here from years past.


By Jacqueline Bennett


An Arctic blast has sweep Connectcut with temperatures expected to drop to 24 degrees below zero in parts of the state this morning, January 31. Residents who need to go outside, are being warned to take precautions ~ covering the skin which can freeze quickly in such extreme cold.


Last evening intense snow squalls created near and total white-out conditions, accompanied by whipping winds leaving zero visibility along the way. The squalls arrived in the Greater Hartford area between 5:30-6 p.m. creating a blizzard-like effect. They lasted only minutes as they passed through, followed by calm. 


Anyone who has ever been caught in a snow squall knows it can be scary. Squalls come on fast as heavy snow whirls at a rapid speed making visibility nearly impossible. Fortunately weather reports were on the nose in predicting the oncoming squalls for yesterday giving CT residents time to prepare here.


Meanwhile, in Penn and New York multi vehicle pile-ups and injuries were reported. Severe cold is consuming a wide band of regions across the United States. The polar vortex has brought even more extreme sub-zero temperatures to the Mid-West, 60 degrees below in places. The Super Bowl is slated for February 3 in Atlanta, Georgia, where a cold snap has also hit.

Toss Kindness Like Confetti ~ How to Succeed With New Year’s Resolutions

Posted on January 7, 2019



Live in the moment ~ appreciate the here & now ~ the beauty around you.. Photos by Jacqueline Bennett


By Jacqueline Bennett


There is something about the start of a new year that feels as if it comes with a new lease on life  ~ the perfect time to resolve to change bad habits, accomplish goals and generally make life improvements. The fact that New Year’s resolutions are talked and written about extensively is an indicator that change/self-improvement is important to many people.


Yet it is no secret that it is common to fall short of that resolve. Experts say the best way to stay on track is to keep it simple.


Here are a few tips from the American Psychological Association to help meet success with resolutions:


  •  Start small ~ make resolutions that you can keep. For example – rather than overhauling your entire menu, strive to eat more vegetables and fewer sweets.

    Eat more vegetables 

  • Be more active

    Change one behavior at a time. It is amazing what a difference one small change can make ~ not necessarily aiming to run a marathon but instead resolve to walk at least 10 minutes every day or simply to be more active, move about more in your space. One small change can have a rippling effect on a journey to bigger changes.

  • Don’t beat yourself up over a misstep. Perfection is unattainable notes the APA. Do not give up if you go off track ~ keep going.
  • Talk about your resolutions and ask for support – these ideas are both recommended by the APA, such as support groups. I believe that needs to be a personal decision. Some people do better with quiet resolve. If you finally sign up for that yoga class, you have the option of discussing your self-improvement objective, or keeping it to yourself.

“It is not the extent of the change that matters, but rather the act of recognizing that lifestyle change is important.” ~ APA. The APA adds if you feel professional advise might help – seek it.


Remember, change does not always come easily. It can be hard work to choose an apple for a snack not a cookie or to hold your tongue in a situation where previously you would have verbalized a zinger.


May I suggest a resolution ~ live more in the moment. Appreciate the here and now, the happiness that comes from living each day and appreciation of the people in your life.


Resolutions, I believe, are more palatable to the soul when they include doing something for others, as well as yourself. Along with whatever else you have in mind to improve your life in the new year, how about adding a resolution to “toss kindness like confetti” ? Just one act of kindness from each of us, each day, has the power to improve the world around us, and thus improve our own lives.

Holiday Lights Have Long Tradition

Posted on December 20, 2018

Holiday Light display extravaganza continues in the 2018 season at 130 Felt Road, South Windsor, CT photo by Jacqueline Bennett


By Jacqueline Bennett


It is not uncommon these days for each community to have at least one private home with an extravaganza of holidays lights. According to, as of 2017 a private citizen had put up a record 601,736 bulbs. Here in Connecticut, one of the most elaborate displays of holiday lights can be found at the home of Thomas Delnicki at 130 Felt Road in South Windsor.


An array of characters from Charlie Brown & company and much, much more clad in seasonal wear, are also spread out across his lawn. It is a gradual process that gets underway nearly two months before Christmas until the time comes to flip on the lights !


Where did the tradition of holiday lights begin? It dates back to a time when trees were decorated with candles to symbolize “Christ being the light of the world.” In modern Germany the trees were brought inside homes. In the United States, in 1856 President Franklin Pierce put a Christmas Tree up in the White House. However, nearly forty years passed before the White House Christmas Tree, put up by President Grover Cleveland, was lit by electric bulbs rather than candles.


The history of electric light bulbs for Christmas trees followed the scientific advancements of American inventor Thomas Edison. Colored light bulbs came after white lights adoring trees. By the 1870’s reports, Christmas Trees were being sold in Washington Square and pretty ornaments could be purchased at Macy’s Department Store.

Pearl Harbor Day follows George H.W. Bush Farewell ~ Homage to Greatest Generation

Posted on December 7, 2018

“Uncle Bunker” Major Oliver Generous USAF WWII fighter pilot

USS Arizona shown on December 7, 1941 when the U.S. was attacked at Pearl Harbor by the Imperial Japanese Navy ~wikipedia..

Commentary by Jacqueline Bennett


I doubt that they ever met, yet each were young men from Connecticut who set out on the same path – to save the world from tyranny. Former President George H.W. Bush came from a wealthy family in Greenwich, on Connecticut’s “Gold Coast.” My uncle, Major Oliver Generous USAF ~ “Uncle Bunker”, came from a family of modest means in North Windham, CT’s “Quiet Corner.”


Both, however, had much in common. Their lives were significantly impacted by the December 7, 1941 surprise attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese Imperial Navy ~ which led to the entrance of the United States into World War II. They were raised by families dedicated to the principles of decency and integrity, American democracy, the tenets of freedom and liberty. They both became W.W. II fighter pilots – Pres. Bush a naval aviator, Uncle Bunker, Army-Air Force. Both put country before self. Both were part of what has become known as “The Greatest Generation” ~ the generation that saved the world from the tyranny of German dictator Adolf Hitler and the Axis powers of Italy and Japan.


It seems quite fitting that the funeral services for Pres. Bush, in Washington D.C. and then in Houston, Texas where he moved his family, immediately preceded the Dec. 7 anniversary of Pearl Harbor Day. Pres. Bush also served as vice-president of the U.S., an ambassador to China, head of the CIA and in Congress. First though, he was a young American military aviator, a W.W. II fighter pilot who survived being shot down and went on to fly multiple combat missions. Laid to rest at the Bush Presidential Library in Texas next to his beloved wife Barbara, and Robin, the daughter they lost to leukemia at age 3, Pres. Bush is said to have requested a simple marker with his Naval number on it.


Uncle Bunker rose in the U.S. Air Force ranks, reaching the rank of major. He was stationed on Cape Cod where he kept watch over the safety of the Atlantic seaboard. Subsequent to his combat missions, he flew cover for the Berlin Airlift and later he continued to put service first volunteering for risky assignments, testing experimental aircraft. He died in service to the nation during one of those tests and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.


We are losing our W.W.II veterans to the inevitability of aging and death. They, who as young men, stormed the beaches of Normandy and liberated concentration camps. Perhaps it is because we have a family connection to those who served in W.W. II, perhaps it is because both Pres. Bush and Uncle Bunker served as fighter pilots, but watching the farewell to the former president ~ I felt it ~ these goodbyes were more than an honor for a strong leader known as a “gentleman” on the world stage. They were a symbolic final homage to that generation, a generation that exemplified the best of the American spirit, who stood together to fight for what was right. We bid you adieu Greatest Generation with our sincere gratitude.

Brr!! Frigid Temps for Manchester Thanksgiving Day Road Race

Posted on November 24, 2018

Frigid temperatures for the 82ND Manchester Road Race.

by Jacqueline Bennett


Me bundled up for the cold.


Baby, it was cold outside!

On a day usually dedicated to turkey – frigid temperatures were more suited to penguins at the 82nd Manchester Road Race. At race time, 10 a.m. Thanksgiving Day it was 17 degrees but add in a wind chill factor and it felt like single digit weather.

Many runners came dressed for the cold but some elite contestants still wore shorts and sleeveless shirts !! Plenty of costumes too. Both the male and female winners were from Kenya ~ the race is known to attract top competitors from around the globe.

More than 12,000 runners were registered but reportedly about 2,000 did not finish – likely due to the cold. Plenty of spectators still lined the streets of downtown Manchester, Connecticut however for the town’s signature event.

Manchester Road Race Adds Veteran’s Row to Thanksgiving Day Event

Posted on November 18, 2018

Manchester Road Race, from start ….

to heading towards the finish line on Main Street.












Write-up & photos by Jacqueline Bennett


New this year to the Manchester Road Race is a Veteran’s Row. According to race organizers, veterans will gather between 8-9:30 a.m., the morning of the race on Thanksgiving Day at the Vietnam Memorial. The memorial is located at the top of Main Street, near East Center Street. Runners who indicate they are veterans on their registration form with be given more details.


As of 7:30 a.m. 11/18, the total number of registered runners was 11,788. In its 82nd year, the MRR is a popular holiday tradition attracting elite runners from across the globe, as well as, generations of area families who continue to participate. at least 12,000 registered runners are expected plus unregistered runners typically blend in once the event gets underway. Thousands of spectators line the streets to watch this 4.748 mile footrace. Organizers note that the safety and security of participants and spectators remains a priority. The Manchester Police Department will reportedly have virtually all of its officers on duty.


As usual, the race is slated to begin promptly at 10 a.m. Good luck runners!

Mom’s Recipe Box: Great-Great-Granddaughter Sofia’s Award-Winning Apple Pie

Posted on November 15, 2018








Mom/Nana’s great-great-granddaughter Sofia’s award-winning apple pie has been added to Mom’s Recipe Box.



Great-Great-Granddaughter Sofia’s Award-Winning Apple Pie


Inspired by the love of her grandmother Deb Landeck’s baking and cooking, Sofia, Mom/Nana’s great-great-granddaughter, recently decided to enter a pie contest. Her first ever baking contest. Sofia won a red ribbon and a $35 award!


Praising her grandmother, Sofia told her,”I want to learn from the best.”


A member of our “West Coast family,” Sofia entered the Fall City Apple Festival contest in September 2018, in Washington state. Sofia, who turns 13 in December, loves horses. A very compassionate young lady, Sofia was also motivated to take part because the contest was sponsored by the Northwest Natural Horsemanship Center (NWNHC), that is located in Fall City. The center offers equine therapy to folks such as our American military families.


“The NWNHC Family Fund was founded to help families in need experience the healing power of the horse without worrying about the costs,” it is noted in a brochure about the event.


The entire process from beginning to red ribbon was wonderful, added Deb, because of the time she and Sofia spent together. And because of the memories it brought back of Mom/Nana.


“Couldn’t help but think of Nana and I in the kitchen,” said Deb.


Congratulations Sofia! – Jackie 

Sofia shows the red ribbon she won for her homemade apple pie! 

Fall City Apple Fest




Sofia Landeck-Williams Fully Loaded Apple Pie

Pie dough – 2 and a half cups flour, 2 Tbsp sugar, 1 tsp salt, 6-8 tsp ice cold water. Once made, divide dough into two equal parts, wrap dough with plastic wrap and let rest for 1 hour

Egg Wash – 1 egg beaten, 2TBS water, 1 TBS cream or whole milk

Crumb Topping – three quarters cup packed brown sugar, one half cup unsalted butter-softened, 1 cup flour, 1 tsp cinnamon, one half tsp nutmeg, pinch of salt

filling- 6-7 Granny Smith Apples peeled and cored, 3 Tbsp cornstarch, 1 tsp cinnamon, one half tsp nutmeg, 1 cup granulated sugar, 2 tbsp butter

Combine dry ingredients, set aside. Peel, core, half, and slice apples approximately one fourth inch thick. Roll out one 12-inch crust and place in pie plate. Trim.

Use decorative cutters to make shapes for top crust if desired. Mix dry ingredients with apples and fill prepared pie plate. Fill one and one half to two inches above top of pan forming a dome. Next, dot the apples with 2 Tbsp of butter. Cover the top of the pie with an even layer of crumb topping. Place top crust or cut-outs of dough as desired. Cover edge of pie with foil to prevent crust from over browning.

Bake in preheated 375-degree oven on the lowest oven rack for 60 minutes, or until filling is bubbly and crust is golden brown. Allow to cool before serving.



Look for Mom’s Recipe Box as an occasional feature on as family members add to and celebrate my mother’s collection of recipes – the Cecelia G. Bennett Collection – JB