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Why people skip Thanksgiving, and why you shouldn’t

The holiday season for most people starts around October 1st and ends right after New Years day. The great amount of wonderful holidays that fill this time of  year is what makes it so special and anticipated. Everyone loves dressing up and decorating as spooky as possible for Halloween, but we all know Christmas is America’s number one holiday. However most people either give little importance, or just forget about the very important holiday in between the two. That holiday would be Thanksgiving.

Turkey day is always downplayed in terms of holiday importance. You can tell because once November 1st hits, Halloween decorations come down, and the Christmas decorations go up. The only real decorations for Thanksgiving are homemade and cut-outs of cartoon turkeys. Thanksgiving plays a major role not only in American history, but also as a day that families come together despite their busy schedules. Halloween and Christmas take precedence over Thanksgiving in the average American household, but why? This could be simply because Thanksgiving is not a gift giving holiday.  On Halloween we give out candy, and other treats. On Christmas we exchange gifts. These are more important to most people because most would prefer receiving gifts, over spending time with family. Christmas and Halloween are fantastic holidays don’t get me wrong, but it feels like Thanksgiving is always forgot. In fact most people spend it working and preparing for the nightmare that is black friday.

Thanksgiving deserves more appreciation, and here is why. This day is one of the few days throughout the year where families can get together, even if they live far apart. Another obvious reason is the food. Thanksgiving food is basically its own genre of food, and family recipes are an important thing that is passed  from generation to generation. Although Halloween and Christmas are fun and exciting Holidays, we should never go straight from one to the other. Thanksgiving should be a celebration of the non-material aspects of our lives.

Moll Derry, The Witch Of The Monongahela

As this time of the year approaches, it puts us in a festive mood to listen and hear spooky stories and listen to tales of ghosts. Being located in Pennsylvania we have no lack of such stories. It has even gone as far that Pennsylvania was voted the most haunted state. The most familiar haunted grounds would probably be the Gettysburg battlefields, but it is always interesting to hear stories about local paranormal activity. One story that we have to share with you is the story of Moll Derry better known as “The Witch of The Monongahela”.

Moll or Mollie Derry was born in Germany around 1760 and came to what would become the United States during the Revolutionary war. Her husband served in the British Army, but they would end up deserting and joining up with the Colonial forces in what would become Charleston, West Virginia. After the war they would go to settle in what would become Bedford County and after some years they would go to settle in Fayette County just south of Uniontown. The couple lived off of the countryside, and Moll’s husband, Valentine was a great hunter, but salt and other provisions were hard to find so she had to pick up some form of employment. Legend has it that she was a local fortuneteller and healer. She helped many of the locals with any issue they may have from lost items to livestock issues to sickness.

One of the better-known stories about Moll was one where a young woman named Pollie Williams came to her to hear her fortune. Much to her dismay Moll told her to beware the man who was her fiancé at the time saying that it would be the end of her. Pollie ignored Moll’s advice and she would go on to be murdered by her husband throwing her off of the White Rocks near Fairchance in Fayette County.

Even though Moll was well respected in the area as a kind and caring person she was not one to be angered or taken advantage of. One other story about Moll was where a few locals were mocking and tormenting Moll. She told them that if they did not stop they would face a death by hanging as their fate. They did not stop and they were all later found hung as Moll said. There are other stories involving livestock perishing and other things along those lines, but the story of the three men is one of the better-known tales.

Moll would go on to live in the age for the remainder of her days until she passed away in 1843 at an old age of 83. She had at least five children as well, many of who would move out of the area. Moll would go down remembered as a kind hearted witch however, and most people referred to her as a healer instead of a witch. This is probably because of all the good things she had done for the locals. Moll’s cabin stood in Georges Township in Fayette County. It is likely that some of her descendants still live in western Pennsylvania, and perhaps Moll’s spirit still roams the grounds.

Easter Egg Dying Tips

Easter is approaching quickly! It is time to start dying your eggs! We have found some great tips to perfect your egg dying this year. Follow these tips to have the best looking Easter eggs at the table.

Checkered Dyed eggs:
Inspired by a classic basket weave, these dyed Easter eggs have a modern two-tone effect. To create the pattern, apply vertical and horizontal lines of graphic art tape to hard-boiled eggs. Dip once and let soak for about five minutes. Remove tape and repeat in a lighter shade of the same dye.

Shaving Cream Easter Eggs:
Use an ordinary product to decorate an entire batch of marbleized Easter eggs. It’s easier than it looks! Use natural food coloring or dye to create a design on a bed of plain shaving cream, then roll hard-boiled eggs over the surface to transfer the colors. Let the eggs dry, then gently clean to remove any excess shaving cream. Dyeing eggs with shaving cream is a fun activity for bunnies of all ages!

Tissue Paper Eggs:
Create pretty Easter egg designs by cutting your own patterns from colorful tissue paper. Try decorative edges, floral looks, or basic zigzags. Brush a thin coat of decoupage medium onto an egg. Position the tissue paper cutouts and gently pat into place, starting in the center of a design and working your way out.

String Wrapped Easter eggs:
Tie eggs tightly with string, then plunge into colorful dye baths. Let eggs dry before removing the string to reveal white lines. To make stripes that are a lighter shade of your desired color, dye eggs first, then add the string and dye again.

The More Affordable Housing Option

Looking for affordable off campus housing? Best University Properties is the place for you!
Living in a traditional dorm style room on campus can cost you almost $7,000. If you include a 14 meal plan, that would add an additional $3,594.00 onto that. This comes to a total of at least $10,000 just for room and board, and that is not including tuition!!!

Best University Properties offers many different types of affordable off campus housing options for students in our 2,3, and 4 bedroom apartments or townhomes. For example, if you would choose to live in a 3 person townhouse with two bathrooms, the cost per semester would be $2,400. This would mean that your housing would cost a total of $4,800 per academic year. Already saving you a ton of money! If you choose to live off campus, you have the option to either have a meal plan or not. Why would you need a meal plan if you live off campus in luxury townhouses that offer state of the art appliances? With BUP, you only have to pay for electric and a small monthly Wi-Fi fee. We also have 24/7 maintenance people on call to assist with any major issues.

Call the office or stop in anytime to hear about our many other options of AFFORDABLE off campus housing. Our address is 457 Second St., California, PA 15419. The number to call to set up an appointment is 724-938-3036 and ask for Megan! We look forward to assisting you.

The History of Saint Patrick’s Day

Who was St. Patrick?:
St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, is one of Christianity’s most widely known figures. Although he is very famous, his life is somewhat of a mystery. It is known that St. Patrick was born in Britain to wealthy parents near the end of the fourth century. He is believed to have died on March 17th. Hence, “Saint Patrick’s Day.” He was taken prisoner by a group of Irish raiders who were attaching his family’s estate. They transported him to Ireland where he spent six years in captivity. Saint Patrick’s day is celebrated on March 17th, his religious feast day and the anniversary of his death. The Irish have celebrated this holiday for thousands of years.

The Legend of the Shamrock:
Long ago, when Ireland was the land of Druids, there was a great Bishop, Patrick by name, who came to teach the word of God throughout the country. Long ago, when Ireland was the land of Druids, there was a great Bishop, Patrick by name, who came to teach the word of God throughout the country. This St. Patrick—for he was indeed a saint—was well loved everywhere he went. One day, however, a group of his followers came to him and admitted that it was difficult for them to believe in the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. St. Patrick reflected a moment and then, stooping down, he plucked a leaf from the shamrock and held it before them, bidding them to behold the living example of the “Three-in-One.” St. Patrick used the shamrock to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The simple beauty of this explanation convinced these skeptics, and from that day the shamrock has been revered throughout Ireland. A four-leaf clover has always been considered a symbol of good luck in Irish culture. According to legend, the leaves of a four-leaf clover represent hope, faith, and love, and God added another leaf for luck.

The Irish flag explained:
The orange on the flag stands for Irish Protestants, green is signifying Irish Catholics and the Republican cause, and the white represents the hope for peace between them.

The Leprechaun:
The original Irish name for these figures of folklore is “lobaircin,” meaning “small-bodied fellow.” Belief in leprechauns probably stems from Celtic belief in fairies, tiny men and women who could use their magical powers to serve good or evil. In Celtic folktales, leprechauns were cranky souls, responsible for mending the shoes of the other fairies. Though only minor figures in Celtic folklore, leprechauns were known for their trickery, which they often used to protect their much-fabled treasure.

Packing tips for Spring Break!

Spring Break for Cal U students is from March 9th – March 17th. For those of you who are traveling we have provided some helpful packing tips for you to help make your packing go a little bit smoother.

Packing tips for Spring Break:

– Develop a packing list to make sure that you don’t forget anything, especially the essentials.
 By developing a packing list, it will help you stop over packing and also so you don’t forget anything important! And of course make it less stressful.
– When packing outfits, choose outfits based on activities that you will be doing.
If you know what you are going to be doing on your trip, pack for exactly for that! This type of packing strategy will help eliminate over packing. For example, if you know you will be going out to dinner pack an outfit for that!
– Wrap your jewelry around Q-tips to prevent it from tangling.
There is nothing worse than unpacking tangled jewelry. To help prevent tangled jewelry, wrapping it around a Q-tip is what you need to do!
– Keep an “emergency” bag in your suitcase.
You never know when life is going to happen so use this emergency bag to pack some medicine and band aids just in case! Basically a mini drug store in your suitcase. You could also pack some silverware or even some cleaning wipes for those “just in case” moments.
– Instead of folding your clothes, roll them!
Rolling your clothes is a great way to open up a ton of space in your suitcase.
– Cling wrap any toiletries that could spill and destroy your clothing.
It is better safe than sorry. By putting cling wrap around anything that could possibly leak it will avoid your clothing from getting damaged or ruined. Additional, you can put the toiletries in a plastic bag. 
– Pack a “snack pack” for the airplane
Airport food is extremely expensive so bringing TSA friendly snacks will help you save a couple dollars when traveling.
– Electronic essentials:
Portable cellphone charger, headphones, phone charger, laptop, tablet 


3 bedroom 2 bathroom open concept apartment

Spacious one level living

Fully equipped kitchen, including dishwasher and garbage disposal

In home laundry with front loading washer and dryer

Wall mounted flat screen television in living room

Tons of natural light with big windows

2 large bathrooms

3 generously sized bedrooms

Loads of closet space


$1200/month plus electric


Water, trash, sewage AND WiFI included!



Our Vacancies



Thanksgiving Day Favorites

We all have our Thanksgiving Day Favorites.

What is yours? I have compiled a list of side dishes and desserts that everyone should try, some are traditional and some are not. I have include links to recipes for some of the nontraditional dishes and topped it off with a few ideas of how to spend your time unwinding after dinner.


Side Dishes:


After all the work and prep of making your delicious Thanksgiving Day Favorites, don’t forget to spend time unwinding and relaxing with the family!

Thanksgiving Day Football, game time with the family or a craft for the kids make for great post dinner activities. Don’t forget to squeeze in a nap before the primetime football game! Thanksgiving is a day to relax and unwind, make memories and eat a good meal, so enjoy yourself and don’t stress over the small things! As long as your day is spent with family and friends, it will be a perfect day!!! Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Halloween Safety

Halloween Safety

Halloween weekend is upon us! The holiday filled with fun and creativity, tricks and treats, parties and parades, whats not to love about Halloween? With all things joyful in life, there are dangers and worries. Halloween safety is so very important for adults and children alike. Here are a few simple and easy ways to keep your family and friends safe on Halloween night.

  • Put down your electronics! It is impossible to pay attention to your surroundings, whether you are driving a car, crossing a street or simply trying to trick or treat….you need to be aware of your surroundings.
  • If trick or treating after dark, where some sort of reflector on your costume or carry a flashlight, keeping it on at all times so you are visible to traffic.
  • Avoid masks and costumes that cause tripping hazards
  • Older children not accompanied by an adult should always travel in groups, on well lit streets and avoid unfamiliar areas
  • Do not eat any candy until you have gotten home and see that it is visibly safe to eat
  • Motorists need to drive slow and proceed with caution through all intersections
  • Discourage young drivers from being behind the wheel on Halloween
  • Do not drink and drive!


Halloween is a lot fun but only if everyone is kept safe. Please keep in mind the safety of yourself, your family and friends and those around you at all times. If you ever see something or someone out of the ordinary, don’t cause a scene, immediately call 911 and seek safety. Lastly, have fun!!!


Furnished Apartments

Furnished Apartments now available at Best University Properties!

Are you in transition? New job, in a new town? Suffering the loss of a home from unforeseen circumstances? College student looking to live away from home but can’t afford to furnish a new place? Well, look no further! Best University Properties now offers Fully Furnished Apartments!

Available are 2 and 4 bedroom apartments. All apartments come with complete furnishings including living room television, all kitchen appliances, big and small, all bed and bath linens, everything you would need to call it “home”. Every apartment comes with its own washer and dryer, no need to save quarters for the laundry mat!

Unit capacity will vary by apartment. Most furnished apartments have 2 full size beds in each room, with the exception of our 4 bedroom option.

Utilities are all inclusive so you never have to worry about transferring utilities for a short term or temporary stay. Parking is off street, in private lots! Conveniently located in the small town of California, PA but close to all the major highways.

Pet friendly community, although some restrictions and fees may apply, we welcome pets with open arms! On site maintenance staff available 24 hours a day in the case of an emergency and a friendly, attentive property manager make Best University Properties a great place to call home!


Office: 457 Second Street   California, PA 15419

(724) 938-3036

Open 5 days a week, WALK INS WELCOME

Weekends by appointment only

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