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The Hudson Valley Parent publishing group has just created a part time position (16 hours @ $10/hr). You would be responsible for updating our calendar of events and developing our online guides. For the first 2 months you are required to work in our Newburgh office and, after that, there may be opportunities to work from home. This is a daytime position.

We are looking for someone who is:

  1. Social media savvy
  2. Knowledgeable about the area including its organizations, schools, health care groups, etc.
  3. Good speller
  4. Detail oriented
  5. Experience with Microsoft Office products.

Interested in this position, then send your resume to

It’s Monday. The hardest day for me to get myself going.  But I had one of those weekends that reminds me how fortunate we are to live in one of the best places in the country.  I went on a “mom” retreat, something we tend to talk about, but rarely act on.  This weekend, two other moms and I finally acted on it, and in a state of ‘glee,’ headed up the Thruway to Woodstock for an overnighter.  Now, Woodstock has this ironic place in the world of tourism for probably being famous for ALMOST being the host town for the famous concert, and business owners don’t help with all their concert paraphernalia for sale in their 1960’s-theme shops.  But, sorry to spoil the fun, but it was held in Bethel, a few miles to the west. (Thank you, Mr. Yasgur).  But, I digress.  We did the traditional massages which were heavenly, had a wonderful brunch and then got onto Route 28 West to the largest kaleidoscope in the world.  Yes, you read right: the largest kaleidoscope in the world. (

Built in 1996, it features such an amazing creative collaboration between a kaleidoscope artist, a pioneer in the ’60s psychedelic movement, and a musical score from a local musician who worked with Bob Dylan.  The kaleidoscope is built into the silo of an old barn in the town of Mt. Tremper, and it is a feat of engineering with its three 37 foot high mirrors, weighing 2.5 tons each.  We saw the ten-minute psychedelic show literally on our backs, eyes glued to the ceiling, and watched colorful twirls and spins of the patriotic-themed show.  But the reason I mention this is the ticket price – $5 per person.  Easy on the eyes AND the pocketbook.  

Before we headed back down the Thruway, back to our families and reality, we stopped at the Country Store, a part of the Emerson Resort and Spa complex — just steps away from the kaleidoscope.  (  There we found ourselves feeling rested and ready to resume our everyday life again.  Breaks from routine are almost required as a parent, and I can’t wait for our next “mom’s retreat.”  TTYL, mj

Cooking for a weekend breakfast is one of my favorite things about a Saturday or Sunday morning.  Over time, I’ve collected a number of breakfast recipes that are delicious but sure to get the day started off right, and this waffle recipe always brings rave reviews.  It has a number of ingredients, but don’t be deterred– they’re all found in your local grocery store, and the few minutes it takes to assemble them are worth the effort.  Recently when making these, I tripled the recipe and was able to make two packages for the freezer in addition to breakfast.  We enjoyed these a second and third time around, by popping them right into the toaster to be crisped, and it was nice to have fresh waffles with no mess.

On this particular morning, I added pumpkin puree to the batter, and paired the waffles with spinach and cheese omelets (with egg whites), and fruit salad.  However, this recipe stands alone without pumpkin, or it could be made with banana, or another favorite fruit.  On other occasions, we’ve added blueberries, chopped strawberries, or even chocolate chips to the batter.

Whole grain (pumpkin) waffles

2 eggs
1 3/4 cups skim milk (low-fat buttermilk can be used instead for a tangy waffle)
2 tablespoons canola oil
6 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1/2 cup pureed pumpkin or other fruit (optional)

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup flax seed meal
1/4 cup wheat germ, OR wheat bran, OR oat bran
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, oil, applesauce, pumpkin, and vanilla.  In another bowl, combine the flours, flax seed meal, wheat germ, baking powder, sugar, and salt.  Pour dry ingredients into wet, and mix until batter is smooth.

Preheat a waffle iron, and coat with cooking spray. Pour batter into waffle iron in batches, and cook until crisp and golden brown. Yield: Five to six large, round waffles.

To find out what’s for dinner at our house, stop by, or become a fan on Facebook.  Happy cooking!

Asparagus!  Fresh, crisp, green and absolutely delicious, asparagus is locally coming into season and ripe for the picking.  This also means its a great value (running now anywhere from $1.99 a lb to $2.99 a lb) and plentiful.  The only downside?  It’s not going to be around for long.

Whether you grill, roast, bake, steam or just blanch this yummy veggie, asparagus is not only delicious, but good for you too.  Did you know 1 cup of asparagus provides you over 100% of your vitamin C and folate for the day and almost 20% of your vitamin A?  Yesterday Chase and I hit the kitchen and made a fabulous asparagus pesto that can be used in many ways.  The best part?  You can store the leftovers in the freezer and use them all season long.  For a printout of this recipe (and lots of other great favorites), visit my website at

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Elbow-to-elbow people at Kaplan Hall

Last night I went to the official opening of Kaplan Hall, the new center for Orange County Community College in Newburgh. Since they were expecting a lot of people, I parked at the library and walked the two blocks.

While walking, a woman shuffled behind me calling out to a man on the street. “Hey, come over to the college. People are going there and they will have food.”  I turned and smiled to her and said, “You are right. There will be people and lots of food.”  The guy turned down the woman’s offer so she kept shuffling right beside me. I held the door open for her and encouraged her to come in. “Wow,” she said. “There are a lot of people here.”

Orange County Community College in Newburgh

The new Kaplan Hall, OCCC's Newburgh campus

She was right. The downstairs halls were elbow-to-elbow crowded. A great thing for Newburgh. These are the same streets that people outside of Newburgh are afraid to walk and here they are crowding in to celebrate the opening of this new education center.

Congratulations to the Kaplan family who put up $10 million dollars to make this a reality. Could this be the kick-in-the pants that Newburgh needs?

I have lived in Newburgh for over 25 years and have always wondered why the city has not yet evolved into a destination that the county should be proud of. There was the building of the waterfront property with restaurants, an arts movie theater and much more.  Groups have invested in redeveloping old buildings. And there is Mount Saint Mary College and their ever expanding campus. The city has access roads that other locations cry for…9W, Rte 84 and the Thruway.

But still the city searches for leaders…people who understand the need to attract, what those in the industry call, “rateables”…properties that create income for the city. I know I don’t have the answers, but I wish I felt as positive about the future of Newburgh as those who celebrated the opening of Kaplan Hall last night.

As the new editor at HV Parent, I’d been putting off my “first blog,” waiting for something truly momentous to discuss.  But what am I waiting for?  Momentous does happen, but everyday life is just as fascinating and ‘blog-worthy.’  Like the mail.  Everyday in the mail we get samples of new products for parents.  We “ooh” and “ahh” at a new bag for babies, or cutesy cook books; projects that light up or a miniature greenhouse for kids to start their own tomato plant, and the like. 

Today we spent a lot of time debating the pros and cons of a new “go green” lunchbox for kids.  Was it too elaborate for the age?  Yet, it created a lot less trash.  It kept foods superfresh, but maybe it was tough to open.  It eliminated a lot of extra packaging like snack bags.  The price?  $32 or so.  Interesting concept. It’s definitely the way the world is headed.  Send us what you put in your kid’s lunch box.  And maybe you’ll win our sample of the “go green” lunchbox.  (P.S.  The cover features racing cars, just so you know.) 

And so, that’s first blog.  Is it momentous? Dunno…but it’s the first of many, and I’d like to keep the conversations flowing.  Write me at, and tell me your ideas and comments.  Thanks for being a HV Parent reader.  TTYL, mj

We have always emphasized to our clients the importance of doing their own estate planning before it is too late. At Littman Krooks LLP, we often hear from children who are concerned that their parents may not have an estate plan in place. The children are worried that if something happens to one or both parents, the children will not be equipped to assist their parents, and many times the children have no idea where the parents stand financially. Understandably, these subjects may be hard for children to discuss with their parents. The children do not want to appear greedy, and the parents may fear loss of control or independence. How can you approach your parents about these issues?

First, you should get your own house in order; make sure that you have executed your own will, durable power of attorney, health care proxy and living will. After you finish your own estate planning, it will be a lot easier for you to approach your parents about doing their estate planning. Perhaps you could mention to your parents that you have just recently taken care of these matters and inquire as to whether they have done the same. For many, the goal is to balance the desire to maintain control with the need to plan properly. It is critical to not wait until an emergency strikes to start planning. It might not be wise to first ask your parents if they have done a will; this approach may reinforce any impression of greediness on your part, and it could scare away those parents who don’t want to think about their own mortality. Focus instead on the durable power of attorney and medical decisions for them if they cannot make decisions for themselves. You can give the example of a temporary disability that may require someone to help pay the bills or make medical decisions.

If your parents already have a plan in place, then see if they will let you know where they keep their documents. If you can, ask to review their documents and ask for the name of their attorney. The attorney may not be able to talk with you at that point in time, but you will know where to turn in case of an emergency. If your parents do not have a plan in place, then you should suggest that they make an appointment with an attorney who specializes in elder law or estate planning. Your parents may ask you to schedule an appointment for them, but you need to be aware that the parents, not the children, will be the clients of the attorney. You will also want to know where your parents keep other important documents such as safe deposit box keys, birth certificates, passports, deeds, insurance policies, investment and bank statements, tax returns, Social Security numbers, and medical insurance cards and information.

If your parents do not want to share this information with you, then ask them to prepare a list and let you know where the list can be found in case of an emergency. Nobody likes to think about their own mortality or infirmity. However, you and your loved ones can make things a lot easier for your family by taking the time to plan in advance.

For more information on estate planning, visit or

I am always looking for the next book to read. One night I took a business book off my shelf called Being Digital by Nicholas Negroponte. Just getting through his introduction was a shocker.

“Early in the next millennium your right and left cuff links or earrings may communicate with each other by low-orbiting satellites and have more computer power than your present PC…the digital planet will look and feel like the head of a pin.

As we interconnect ourselves, many of the values of a nation-state will give way to those of both larger and smaller electronic communities. We will socialize in digital neighborhoods in which physical space will be irrelevant and time will play a different roll.”

This was published in 1995…sixteen years ago.

 I was so fascinated by rereading Negroponte’s book I went online to see what other pronunciations he may suggest. And there it was… “The physical book will be dead in five years.” He shared this bombshell at the August 6, 2010 Techonomy conference in Lake Tahoe, CA.  

Over the past three years, I have worked with author Gloria Smith Zawaski, publishing our first children’s book called The Trunk in the Attic. We are about to print our second book in the series called Mongolia Bound. Our purpose is to introduce kids to other kids around the world, first Holland and now Mongolia. The series helps kids learn from other kids’ adventures. But I now think I have to consider another way of delivering the information, one that will be meaningful to this new generation of youngsters who may no longer use books as I did.

 This revelation really hit me when Eliot and Amy took to me to this huge used book warehouse in Washington, DC.   I looked at the 1,000s of books surrounding me and realized that I was looking at the death of an industry as I know it.  

It’s time to embrace the new ways and see how to make this online system of sharing information and books a more encompassing way of learning.

 For someone like me who loves books and the written word, catching up is not going to be easy. Not only do I have to stop thinking linearly but have to learn new skills. Who will I turn to in order to learn how the new computer widgets work?

In planning family dinners, it is easy to feel that meal is not a “real meal” if it isn’t, a) hot and b) involve lots of raw ingredients, measuring spoons, and at least a few pots and pans.  I’m the first to admit that I don’t always make my life easier, and often ignore the shortcuts out there.  With the unusually hectic life we’ve been leading around here lately, I challenged myself to plan a dinner that was still nutritious and desirable, yet quicker, and resulting in less mess than usual.  Especially with the warmer weather approaching, it’s nice to have a few meals in your repertoire that won’t heat up the kitchen or cause you to spend lots of time there, and instead allow you to get out and enjoy those gorgeous blue skies.

A recent “No-cook dinner”

This dinner was extremely quick to prepare and one of my favorites of the last few weeks.  Starting with a whole-grain sandwich thin roll (any roll will do), I added sliced deli turkey, sun-dried tomatoes, baby spinach, and fresh mozzarella cheese.  I like my sandwiches toasted, so I popped this into the toaster oven, but it could easily have been eaten cold, or even put in a microwave or conventional oven if desired.  While the sandwich was toasting, I cut up an apple, pear, and grapes, and tossed them together.  I was about to steam some vegetables when I remembered I wasn’t “cooking,” so I decided to slice some red peppers, pair it with baby carrots, and call it a day.  In less than ten minutes, dinner was made, I had only a cutting board and knife to wash, my kitchen was cool and clean, and the food was ready to eat.  A simple meal, yes, but less expensive than take-out, quicker than a frozen pizza, and healthier than many pre-packaged alternatives.  Most importantly, everyone liked it, and I had more time to relax with my family.  I’m looking forward to my next no-cook night!  Knowing what your crew likes, feel free to try this one using leftover chicken, deli ham, skip the tomatoes (as I did for my children), or add a more exciting cheese.

To find out what’s for dinner at our house, stop by, or become a fan on Facebook.  I’d love to hear your “no-cook” ideas.  Happy cooking!

Hudson Valley Parents and teachers are welcome to take advantage of this special educational offer. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) has designed this program specifically for Middle and High School teachers, counselors, social workers, youth advisors, and after-school program directors to help their students recognize depression in themselves or their friends, and to encourage them to get help for this common and treatable problem.

This free 60-minute webinar on Teen Depression and Suicide Risk is designed to show school personnel how they can effectively incorporate depression education into the classroom, using AFSP’s ground-breaking new film, More Than Sad: Teen Depression.

The film features vignettes of four teens that will help students recognize the varied signs and symptoms of depression, reduce their misconceptions and apprehensions about treatment, and promote help-seeking behavior. Each participant will receive a free copy of the film More Than Sad: Teen Depression (valued at $49.99)*

To accommodate your busy schedule and give you more options, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s New York chapters have joined together.   Please note that: registration is mandatory for this event, you may enter the event up to 15 minutes before the start of the event but you cannot enter 15 minutes after the event has started

March 28th, 3pm

Register for March 28th Webinar

March 30th, Noon

Register for March 30th Webinar

April 4th, 3pm

Register for April 4th Webinar

April 6th, 11am

Register for April 6th Webinar

April 7th, Noon

Register for April 7th Webinar

April 8th, Noon

Register for April 8th Webinar

April 12th, Noon

Register for April 12th Webinar

April 19th, 9am

Register for April 19th Webinar

Please note that each offering of the webinar is limited to 250 registrants, so register today!

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