Bethel's HamletHub Thu, 21 Nov 2019 16:41:31 -0500 Christmas Concert and Tree Lighting at Immaculate High School

Join us on Sunday, December 8 for the Immaculate Christmas Concert and Tree Lighting Ceremony “Sounds and Songs of the Season” beginning at 4pm at Immaculate High School. There will be Christmas carols and songs performed by our student choirs, musicians and bands, treats, a visit from Santa and the Christmas Tree Lighting. This is a great way to begin one of the holiest and happiest of seasons -- bring your family and friends and enjoy the holiday cheer and festivities with us!

]]> (Immaculate High School) Neighbors Thu, 21 Nov 2019 08:50:09 -0500
Read a story to a cat at Bethel's Byrd's Books, Dec 7

What do authors Ernest Hemingway, Joyce Carol Oates, Mark Twain, Jorge Luis Borge, and T.S. Eliot (spoiler alert) have in common? They've all been singled out as cat lovers. On Saturday, December 7th, 10:00am to 12:00pm, reading to kittens and tabbies will be encouraged as author-centric Bethel’s Byrd’s Books hosts the Danbury Animal Welfare Society (DAWS) for a cat adoption morning at the bookstore - and reading a story to a cat is a must-do for cat lovers both young and old. The popular indie bookshop calls the snuggly gathering PAWS to READ. 

Byrd's Books is located at 178 Greenwood Avenue, adjacent to The Toy Room and the nearby landmarked Opera House, across the street from the Bethel Public Library.

Kittens love the attention, so children are especially invited to share a story with them. To sign up for your child to read to an adoptable friend, go to or call Byrd’s Books at (203) 730-2973. The volunteers at DAWS, Bethel’s local no-kill animal shelter, will be on hand to answer questions about cat or pet adoption.

Danbury Animal Welfare Society (  promotes responsible pet guardianship and the humane treatment of animals, and works toward ending animal overpopulation, keeping homeless pets safe, happy and sheltered. Alice Hutchinson, proprietor of Byrd’s Books, supports DAWS, saying “Together we can make a difference in the lives of animals. When we join in DAWS’ commitment, we bring hope to countless animals in need. We seriously encourage responsible adoption and adding a lovable pet to your family.” (Pictured: Mahogany & Maple: For more pet adoptees, visit

Byrd's Books' holiday catalog, providing easy shopping by category, is now available on line by visiting  Beginning Thanksgiving, holiday hours at Byrd's Books are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, 10:00am to 6:00pm, Thursday, 10:00am to 8:00pm.  On-street parking lines Greenwood Avenue, and municipal parking is available at the Bethel Public Library across the street and at the "Old Train Station" which is where Broken Symmetry now resides. There are private lots nearby as well. For more information, call (203) 730 BYRD (2973). 

]]> (Ted Killmer) Events Tue, 19 Nov 2019 06:11:38 -0500
2nd Annual Bethel Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day Benefits Local Nonprofits

The 2nd annual Bethel Turkey Trot will be held on Thanksgiving Day in Bethel!
With a challenging 5K course through the beautiful neighborhoods of the iconic town, the Bethel Turkey Trot is sure to be a great way to start your Thanksgiving holiday weekend!
A portion of the proceeds will go to two local non-profits:

Ability Beyond, a local Bethel non-profit dedicated to empowering every person, no matter their ability, to have the opportunity to live, work and thrive as an integral part of their community.

Bethel Parks and Recreation, which provides Bethel residents the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of active and passive activities for pre-school age through senior citizens.

For more info:


]]> (Steep Endurance) Events Sun, 17 Nov 2019 04:57:56 -0500
On the Children's Shelf: Making Memories

My family makes these cream cheese cookies during the holidays that my grandmother used to make. I know the moment they start to bake, the memory of my grandmother making them will hit, but I still somehow can't mentally prepare myself for the sensory memory that happens when I smell those cookies. It's like they are the magical key to a door that transports me through time and my grandmother is there and the cookies are baking and she's singing a funny made up song. Sometimes I can't tell what I love more about the cookies...the way they taste or the way the memories feel when they flood my heart the moment I smell those cookies.
Books do something similar. There are books that take me back the same way...magical keys to a secret portal back to my childhood. I remember details of my childhood room tied to those stories. I remember details about my childhood room...the clock and the sound of it ticking, the shelves, the stuffed animals on my bed. They are all part of the memories that come racing back when I revisit certain childhood book friends.
Recently, I was waiting for a new release book I ordered to arrive and the anticipation triggered this memory of being in preschool. My preschool was in a library (yes, it was amazing), and we would go upstairs into the children's section to listen to stories being read aloud. While I waited for the book, something about the book anticipation made me remember all of it...climbing the stairs, the door into the children's section, sitting in the read-aloud room listening to books. I remembered details I haven't thought of in years.
Then there are the newer bookish memories...the books I've read to my children and the memories tied to them. The ones they loved, the ones we did funny voices for the characters, the ones that rhymed and sounded like a song, the ones they memorized because we read them so much. But it isn't simply about living in the past. The books I read today are tied to new memories that will someday be "remember when." Earlier this year, I brought home a copy of The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors. The book got passed around my family, everyone laughing out loud as they read it. Recently I've been recommending it to friends, and each time I say the title I remember each person in my family insisting to the next person that it was the funniest book that had to be read.
Sometimes books take us out of our world and into someplace entirely different, but sometimes they tie us to our world more than we realize. The line between the book and our world kind of blurs. We become part of the book, and our world becomes part of the experience of reading the book. Revisiting a beloved book takes me into two worlds...the world inside those pages and the world I remember from previous readings. They connect me to the story, and they connect me to some wonderful memories.
]]> (Jessica Collins) Life Sun, 17 Nov 2019 02:46:00 -0500
Grand Opening of Bethel Business Captured on Film by Sand Dragon Media

Bethel based Sand Dragon Media, a provider of video production and website development services, recently documented the grand opening of Laurent Luxury Lighting, a high-end lighting showroom located in Ridgefield, CT.  

Sand Dragon Media produced the cinematic account of about 100 people in attendance for the opening of Laurent.  Special guests of the evening included owner Nancy and the editor of New England Home Magazine, who featured Laurent in their recent issue.  Guests mingled over live music, delicious hors d'oeuvres and spirits catered by Marcia Selden Catering & Events, while admiring the beautifully unique arrangement of lighting fixtures across the showroom.

Laurent Luxury Lighting is located in Ridgefield, CT and you can get to know them at

Sand Dragon Media, located in Bethel, CT, helps small businesses in the greater Danbury area by providing social media services, video production services and website design to help them grow through engaging online content.  You can visit them at or email them at


Laurent Lighting Ridgefield CT | Grand Opening Cel...

]]> (PC) Places Thu, 14 Nov 2019 02:17:25 -0500
Storytelling Workshop on Nov. 16 at Molten Java

Storytelling Workshop at Molten Java on Nov. 16 from 6 to 9pm.

Offered by Hat Town Story Hour, a joint effort of St. Thomas' and Molten Java. 

Our teacher will be storyteller and workshop leader Linda Schuyler Ford, who has generously offered to present this workshop in exchange for tips. 

Learn more and register =>

]]> (judi) Events Wed, 13 Nov 2019 09:41:48 -0500
Friends of the Bethel Public Library Holiday Sale!

Books, audiovisual, holiday-themed gifts, antiques, and other items will be sold at The Friends of the Bethel Public Library’s annual Holiday Sale on Friday, November 29 from 10 am to 3 pm.

The sale will take place in the Bethel Public Library’s Community Room. Money from the sale helps fund a variety of Library programs as well as purchases like an engraver for the Library’s Project Lab and the recently installed LEGO table in the Children’s Department.

Highlights of the “Black Friday” sale include holiday-themed books, music, and movies; stocking stuffers and grab-bag items; Christmas décor; and a collection of toys from the 1940s.

The Book Cellar, which is located in the basement of the Library, also will be open throughout the sale. Here, gently used books, CDs, DVDs and vinyl are sold year-round.

For additional information, please contact Jenny Tesar, President, Friends of the Bethel Public Library at 203-792-8237 or email

]]> (Susan Anderson) Events Wed, 13 Nov 2019 09:39:10 -0500
Downtown Bethel Winter Fest on Nov. 29

Mark your calendars for Downtown Bethel's Winterfest on November 29 from 1 to 6pm. 

This is a fun event for the whole family including carriage rides, soup, shopping, music, the tree lighting, Santa and more!

Learn more on the Bethel Chamber website HERE.

]]> (Bethel Chamber) Events Tue, 12 Nov 2019 08:42:00 -0500
Bethel's Byrd's Books kicks off holiday season at Winterfest & Small Business Saturday

When you’ve given thanks with family and friends, then completed your gift list for family and friends, why not enjoy the beginning of the holiday season in downtown Bethel, where Byrd’s Books, a year-‘round hub of good cheer, will join in some good-ole small town get-togethers. Byrd's Books is located at 178 Greenwood Avenue, adjacent to The Toy Room and the nearby landmarked Opera House, across the street from the Bethel Public Library.

On Friday, November 29th, 10:00am to 6:00pm, Bethel hosts Winterfest, a downtown celebration that ends with its official tree lighting. From 1:00pm to 2:00pm at Byrd’s Books, New England author R.J. Theodore will be on hand to sign her book, Salvage, #2 of the Peridot Shift paperback series. "Peridot Shift is Steampunk at its best," notes Goodreads.

On the following day, Saturday, November 30th, Bethel continues celebrating with Small Business Saturday. From 1:00pm to 2:00pm at Byrd’s Books, Newtown author, poet and master gardener Sydney Eddison will sign her latest book, Light of Day: Poems from a lifetime of looking and listening. “Gardens are a form of autobiography,” says Ms. Eddison.

The events are free to the public. Additional author visits and special sales will take place throughout both days. For up-to-date information and sale coupons, visit 

Beginning Thanksgiving, holiday hours at Byrd's Books are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, 10:00am to 6:00pm, Thursday, 10:00am to 8:00pm.  On-street parking lines Greenwood Avenue, and municipal parking is available at the Bethel Public Library across the street and at the "Old Train Station" which is where Broken Symmetry now resides. There are private lots nearby as well. For more information, go to or call (203) 730 BYRD (2973).

]]> (Ted Killmer) Places Tue, 12 Nov 2019 06:36:56 -0500
Rhythms of Grace – special needs Sunday service in Bethel on Nov. 17

Rhythms of Grace – special needs Sunday service at St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church in Bethel on Nov. 17

Rhythms of Grace service for children and families with special needs takes place on the third Sunday of every month, except in August.  The next service is Sunday, Nov 17, 2019, at 12:00 noon. 

Please visit the church’s Rhythms of Grace page for more information and FAQ to ensure the best experience  for your family

For more information contact Norma Schmidt, Pastor at 203.743.1494 or

St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church is located at 95 Greenwood Avenue across from Caraluzziʼs Bethel Food Market
Bethel, CT

]]> (judi) Events Mon, 11 Nov 2019 15:38:48 -0500
Story Hour Open Mic at Molten Java in Bethel on Nov. 15

The 3rd Friday of each month up to 10 story-tellers share a 5-minute true story based on the month's theme.  This month it’s Nov 15 from 8 -9 pm, and the theme is "Thanks, but No Thanks.”

No story to share? Plan to cheer on our storytellers as part of the audience.

Story-tellers are asked to sign up in advance.  Sign-up info and links to story-telling tips and techniques are available at

Molten Java is located at 213 Greenwood Avenue.  The coffee house and arts venue has organized the open mic series with St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church.  

]]> (judi) Events Mon, 11 Nov 2019 14:25:31 -0500
Words from RVNAhealth Hospice Nurse: Hospice is for Living

Hospice is for Living 

The following essay was written by Keri Linardi, RN, BSN, PHN, CHPCA, Chief Clinical Officer of RVNAhealth. Keri is, has been, and always will be a hospice nurse -- in addition to the other roles she assumes. Hospice care is part of Keri’s being, part of her heart and the key to how she approaches her life.


This month, November, is Hospice and Palliative Care Month. In her words below, Keri shares her perspective on how hospice has impacted her and her children’s lives, and what we can do this month to plan for our own futures.

Children raised in the home of a hospice nurse, like me, live in a world where death and dying, and ending suffering are talked about freely. During my years of night shifts, my young children would ask over breakfast, when I returned home, how many people had died last night, and we would talk about the beautiful deaths I was privileged to bear witness to.

Some of the stories were funny, like the husband who called me when his wife had passed in the middle of the night, only for me to discover, when I touched her and she sat up, that she was still very much with us. To the ones that touched too close to home, like the children near to my own children’s ages, so that when I went to the car after leaving their homes, I sobbed uncontrollably for what seemed like forever, for a life lost too soon and for families who would have holes in their hearts that would never be repaired, just healed with memories over time.

We are a country that has plans for everything from birth, to vacations, yet we don’t plan for our own mortality. Dying sneaks up on families and throws them into decision making in moments of crisis -- a time when decisions should not be made!

Being a child of a hospice nurse is a double-edged sword: we never hang up the phone without saying ‘I love you;’ I have never sweated the small stuff with them, you want magenta hair?, it’s your head, go for it! The flip side is we talk about mortality – particularly my own -- over family dinners. This bothers my children a little, now ages 22, 19 and 13, but I need them to understand in simple terms what my wishes are if anything were to happen to me, and I need them to know that they will not be making decisions but simply honoring my wishes, decisions I have already made. They also fully understand that dying is a natural part of living, the circle of life.

In times of crisis, these ‘already-had conversations’ can be the greatest gift you give your loved ones, the gift of them knowing exactly what you would want to do. The gift of them knowing that they are not making the decisions for you when you aren’t able, they are honoring you one last time by following your wishes.

As a hospice nurse, who has seen families grappling with decisions at critical times, this is a gift I would like everyone to give their loved ones.

But we aren’t there yet.

In this country we have disparities in care that interfere with individuals’ abilities to access hospice care when it is needed most. A study from Duke University in 2018 outlines that African Americans, 13.4% of the population, make up only 8% of hospice patients in America and are more likely to suffer from untreated pain; Hispanic patients, who represent 18.3% of the US population, make up 7% of hospice patients nationally. There are cultural barriers that interfere with their access to hospice care.

We need to work together to change this and to provide culturally competent care at the right time – and we need to dispel the many myths around hospice care.

The hospice Medicare benefit is a six-month – approximately 180 day -- benefit of care that provides support from a whole team of professionals who wrap themselves around the patient and family to help them through one of the most challenging times of their lives. In my 26 years of nursing, I have never had a family tell me they came on to hospice too soon. I have had many families tell me, “If I had only known what hospice was, I would have called sooner.”

Despite the 180-day benefit, the national average length of stay for hospice care in the country right now is 21.5 days; for the state of Connecticut it is 14 days. This means that as a state, we aren’t doing a very good job at acknowledging life-limiting conditions head on — in a direct, kind, caring manner. We are introducing hospice care too late in the process and we are denying patients and their families care, comfort and treasured time when they need it the most.

Often when hospice is offered as an option, it is presented in negative terms – “There isn’t anything more to do;” Do not resuscitate,” -- when in fact there is a lot of living and a lot of joy that occurs in hospice.

When life-limiting conditions occur, we in hospice care talk about allowing natural deaths, managing symptoms, and living every day to its fullest. Imagine if you knew you only had six months left to live -- would you do anything differently?

Hospice care has filled my cup these past 20 plus years in nursing. I am appreciative and 

grateful to the patients whose hands I have held; to those whose windows I have gazed out of, together enjoying their favorite hydrangeas; the families whose strength and grace I have marveled at as they cared for their loved ones through to the end. The kindness they have shown me as guests in their home.

I am amazed daily at the wonderful team of hospice people at RVNAhealth that come to work and give of themselves every day for our community and patients and families. And to you, our RVNAhealth hospice families. I am in awe of you and thank you for allowing us to be guests in your home and into your lives during this very private time. I honor you during this special month.

In closing, I would encourage anyone who has not yet started their Advanced Care Planning conversations to use this November as your springboard to make the move! Start the conversation about Advanced Care Planning, visit our hospice and palliative care team at RVNAhealth. Let us help you start the conversation during non-crisis times. We have educational handouts to guide you, as well as team members to speak with. Nobody has ever regretted the decision to plan in advance. On the contrary. It’s a gift to yourselves and your loved ones.

To learn more, contact 203-438-5555 or visit



]]> (Keri Linardi,) Neighbors Mon, 11 Nov 2019 11:41:14 -0500
Seven Hallmark and Lifetime Holiday Movies Filmed in Connecticut Towns

Holiday movies are on the horizon and, according to CT Visit, many of the season's Hallmark and Lifetime movies have recently been filmed in small Connecticut towns! 

Please click on the links below to be taken to the official movie website to view showtimes and watch movie clips.

Kicking off tonight, Friday, November 8 beginning at 9pm is Hallmark's "Holiday for Heroes" starring Melissa Claire Egan and Marc Blucas. Stonington, Mystic, Colchester, and Norwich provided the backdrop for this romantic film.

Lifetime's Rediscovering Christmas will air on December 15 at 8pm and was filmed in Wethersfield and Hartford.

Christmas on Honeysuckle Lane, a Hallmark movie, was filmed in Wethersfield.

A Very Nutty Christmas, Lifetime movie, was filmed in Mystic and Centerbrook. 

Christmas at Pemberly Manor, a Hallmark movie,  was filmed in Essex at the legendary Griswold Inn as well as a private residence in Old Lyme.

Hallmark's Romance at Reindeer Lodge was filmed in North Haven and Branford.

A Very Merry Toy Store, a Hallmark movie, was filmed in New Britain at Amato's Toy and Hobby and Miss Washington Diner.

 While many of the movies' premiere in the next few days, lucky for us, they will be repeated throughout the holiday season!

]]> (HH) Places Fri, 08 Nov 2019 06:22:21 -0500
2019 Ann's Place Festival of Trees November 22, 23, and 24

17th Annual Festival of Trees Benefiting Ann's Place November 22, 23, and 24 at Danbury Sports Dome

Festival of Trees is a full, exciting weekend in the Dome, with holiday trees, raffle prizes, artisan vendors, hand-fashioned quilts, and Holiday Marketplace, concluding with the Grand Raffle Drawing Sunday evening. Spirits soar, especially on Saturday and Sunday, when children and families take the field for fun activities, shopping, and non-stop entertainment.

Purchase your ticket here.

Through your support, you make the Festival not only a wonderful community event but help Ann’s Place to provide the services to the cancer patients, their families and caregivers within our community as they struggle with cancer.

The Festival of Trees is Ann’s Place most popular and sustaining event. The Festival raises the essential funds needed to provide compassionate care, help and hope to thousands in our community who are living with cancer. At Ann’s Place, patients and their families from Connecticut and parts of the Hudson Valley receive professional counseling, engage in support groups, wellness activities and educational resources, all at no charge.

Learn more and purchase your ticket here.

]]> (Ann's Place) Charities Wed, 06 Nov 2019 05:49:00 -0500
Coffee with a (Bethel) Cop on November 12

Join the Bethel Police Department for a real conversation about issues that matter on November 12 at Molten Java!

No Agendas. No Speeches. Voice your concerns.

Molten Java 213 Greenwood Ave, Bethel

]]> (HH) Events Wed, 06 Nov 2019 05:13:49 -0500