Jane Applegate Belzer Photos by Shelly Belzer and author
The holidays are coming and it’s time for me to challenge my baking skills. I know that sounds dangerous because we all want our holiday treats to be just perfect. So why take on a new project instead of relying on tried and true recipes born from family traditions? I am fortunate to have a couple of friends who are very skilled bakers and they never make the same holiday treats twice. Cookies, pies, breads, cakes and candies that dazzle the eyes and the palates. Impressive. So this year I’m taking my cue from them and I’m baking Stollen or Christstollen as it is called in its German homeland. View more
For the holiday season OLLI Connects is featuring food blogs and recipes over the first three weeks of December followed by a discussion of our favorite issues on the final Monday of 2022. Deliciousness is on the menu beginning with Jane Applegate Belzer's beautiful Stollen. And don't forget to visit OLLI Connects on Thursday, December 8th to discover the identity of the To Tell The Truth competition winner.— Editors
Today’s bonus issue of OLLI Connects will test your evaluation skills with the final two entries in the To Tell The Truth contest. Have you been following along? If not, just scroll back to the beginning of November, read through the stories contributed by all the entrants, and add your assessment in the comments: were they telling a true story or simply spinning a yarn? Next Thursday, on December 8th, another bonus issue will bring you the big reveal. The winner will claim bragging rights and a special prize created just for him or her. Today’s two stories are: Surprise by Jan Vaupel and Chenawah by Joan Weaving. Enjoy! — Editor Read more
Well, we have arrived at Week 4 of the To Tell the Truth Contest. How are you doing so far? Do you think you have correctly sussed out truth from fiction? Don’t forget to leave your True/False vote in the comment section below the authors’ biographies. After we compile all the responses, we will select the winner and announce his or her name and reveal the veracity of each of the ten entrants in December. Stay tuned for one more bonus episode this Thursday, but for now enjoy Marilyn Myerson’s The Haunting: Ghosts in my Life and Diane Henrikson Russel’s Pet Cards and To Tell the Truth. — Editor Read more
Welcome back to Week 2 of the OLLI Connects To Tell the Truth Contest. This time your challenge involves two entries by female writers. Strikingly different, yet uniquely emotional and evocative, these stories should hopefully provoke some head scratching. Please enjoy the ride and let us know your vote (True or False) in the comments section below the authors’ biographies. If you happen to be a little late for the party and missed the first installment, never fear! Just scroll back one week to cast your vote on Bob Strozier’s and Pete Terzian’s November 7th edition.
Click here to read My Champion by Patricia R. Antolino and Coloring Santa by Bobbie Muir. Enjoy! — Editor Read more
Many of us in OLLI-USF watched To Tell the Truth on television as we were growing up, and we (OLLI Connects ‘editors) recently invited our readers to participate in our own OLLI Connects “To Tell the Truth” contest. That is, we asked you to submit a story about something that you did or experienced and to tell it as a true story. Whether it was or not. We hoped to get four entries, one for each issue this month. We got even more, so most issues will have two tall (?) tales.
But, wait! There’s more! We want you–yes, you–to vote on the stories you’ll read here during November and tell us whether you think they’re true or false. Just keep scrolling down after the end of the story. You’ll see a “Comment” box. Type in “I think Pete’s story is true!” (or false) and click on Post Comment. We’ll see which of our writers fools the most readers and award them a “fabulous” prize.
We’ll begin with a piece by Bob Strozier who–while a young writer–interviewed the staff and stars of the show.
What in the world might induce a man to invent an instrument of torture? Might it be the lure of riches? Fame for innovative ingenuity? Deeply abiding bloodlust? Or might it be based on some kind of principle?
We are officially in the "spooky season." Tonight, little ghosts and ghouls will wander your neighborhoods on the hunt for candy and other treats. But Halloween's traditional roots belong to the observance of All Soul's Day, a remembrance of all those who have lived and passed on. Most recently this cultural rite was enshrined in Coco, an animated Disney opus focused on the "dia de los muertos." Today's blog features two stories featuring the inner human spirit with an emphasis on the contrast between good and evil. — Editor
Divine intervention is usually a good thing. “Acts of God” often aren’t. Ask any insurance company. Or anyone who has just been told by their insurer that “we don’t cover that”.
We have two stories for you today, both dealing with disasters, though on very different scales, and both reminding us that there are things happening all around us that go beyond our understanding and control.
“Just a week or two, maybe less,” I heard my doctor quietly tell Gillian. She walked him to the door, wished him a good day, and came back to me. “You heard that, right Mom?” she asked, sniffling, holding the embroidered handkerchief her grandfather gave her when she was just a tot. And what a bright, energetic girl she was. She grew to be so accomplished. Married well as the old saying goes. Made me a grandmother to three amazing people. Read more
Like many girls raised in the 1960s, I dreamed that I would marry and adopt my husband’s last name. I even practiced writing my first name followed by the last name of my latest crush in beautiful cursive handwriting.
It’s not that I didn’t like my name. My parents named me Diane Elizabeth Henrikson. I am the fifth generation of women named Elizabeth on my mom’s side of the family.
I am also proud of my Scandinavian heritage. Bernhardt Henriksen, my Norwegian great-grandfather… Read more
We have a challenge and an opportunity for you. We want you to tell us a brief story about something you did--or experienced—in the past. You can tell a true story, or you can make the entire thing up. If your story fools our readers, you'll win a fabulous prize. You will discover further details at the bottom of Diane’s story as well as a link to the official OLLI Connects contest page.
After two days in the care of Carol and Merlin, Beryl had yet to receive permission to return to Philadelphia. A few more adventures awaited her before she was cleared to embark on a flight home. Episode II concludes with her personal reflections and a warm story describing the purpose of her trip to Brussels.–Editor
Day Three and the Journey Home The next day, Thursday, Carol needed to complete her planning with three other ministers for a Prayer Service that evening. Merlin also needed to be away and they allowed Joe, Peg and myself to be at their home for what we thought was going to be the morning. The hotline number had been helpful in providing information about departure times, but the delays began to be the norm. Carol came home and suggested that we might like to get out for lunch as a change. As we drove around, I noticed the many flags at half-mast, which felt like a very supportive gesture on the part of our neighbors to the north!
More television that afternoon plus the opportunity to get on email at the home of a neighbor of Carol’s made the time pass quickly. At 6:30 p.m., Carol needed to be at the church for the service. Read more