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by Valerie Nusbaum

The Yellow Rose

Randy and I haven’t done much traveling during the last five or so years. Between the COVID pandemic restrictions and all the family obligations and crises, we just weren’t able to do it. I miss that a lot and hope that someday soon we can get back on the road again. It’s always fun and exciting to visit places we’ve never been and to have a change of scenery, but for the time being, I’ll have to be content to fondly remember some of the trips we’ve taken over our years together.

One of my favorite trips was to San Antonio, Texas. We had both done some reading about the River Walk, and we thought that would be a good fit for us. From all my research, I deduced that that particular area was a bit upscale, so when I packed my bags, I went with casual but stylish clothes and chose most of my wardrobe in shades of black and white. Black is slimming, after all, and by sticking with one color scheme, I could mix and match pieces and wouldn’t have to take a lot of extra shoes and accessories. That’s me—a real planner. I helped Randy with his packing, too (blue and tan), and we headed to the airport in mid-March.  I don’t remember what year that was, but I do remember thinking that I’d packed well and would look as good as possible.

Randy had made the reservations and travel arrangements. Nevermind that on the plane, Randy got up to use the restroom, and I moved over into his middle seat so that he could sit on the aisle when he came back. The man in the window seat hadn’t spoken a word to Randy in the two hours they’d sat side by side. As soon as my fanny touched the middle seat, the man turned around and proceeded to tell me his life story for the next two hours. Did I mention that he also took off his shoes and displayed his feet?  We happily got off the plane in San Antonio, and our car picked us up to take us to our hotel. 

Our driver’s name was Benito, but he said we should call him “Benny.” Benny handed me his business card and said that I should call him any time we wanted to drive out of the city. His card displayed a photo of him wearing a long cape, and his smile showed very long, very sharp fangs. I guessed that Benny moonlighted as a vampire, and I planned to promptly lose his card. It worried me a bit that he had picked us up in the dark of night, and I prayed that we’d get to our hotel safely and without being bitten.

I suffer from migraines, and the air pressure in the plane along with stress and the climate change had brought one on. My head was pounding and I was feeling nauseated, but I was so very relieved when we pulled up to a shiny, new-looking hotel in the heart of the city, right on the River Walk. I was pretty sure it was the wrong hotel, though, when we walked into the lobby with our bags, and I saw the gorgeous waterfall in the lobby, along with all the glass, brass, and luxury. But, no, my wonderful hubby had actually booked us into a suite there. We headed up to our rooms just in time for me to throw up. It was late, but Randy got us a case of water to drink, and I took some medicine for my headache. He’s a good guy, that Randy.

By morning, I was feeling more normal, and after a lovely buffet breakfast at the hotel (gratis), we struck out on foot to explore. The first order of business was to visit The Alamo. The historic mission and grounds were under renovation at the time, but we were still able to go inside and see everything. It struck me as absurd that such an important piece of history was directly across the street from a Ripley’s Believe or Not museum, but that’s America for you.

Did I mention that my mostly black wardrobe was leaving me a bit hot and sweaty since the temperature in Texas in March that year was over 90 degrees? I ended up going to the mall, also located on the River Walk, and buying some lighter summer clothes.

It was a fun trip, though. We took the water taxi tour all the way up the San Antonio River, which is hardly more than a stream. We did a trolley tour to all the missions, walked to the arts district and visited the galleries, shopped, ate a LOT of Mexican food and barbecue, visited the church where Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie’s remains lie, and had a very good time. We even managed to find a McDonald’s housed in stucco and brick. I had a craving for one of their southwest salads. I know. At lunch another day at yet another Mexican restaurant, Randy paid a mariachi band to serenade me, and their rendition of The Temptations “My Girl” was definitely something to be remembered.

Would I go back to San Antonio?  In a heartbeat, but don’t tell Benny I’m coming.

June 1922, 100 Years Ago

Union Bridge Bank Closes Temporarily

The doors of the First National Bank of Union Bridge were closed on Saturday by order of the directors of that institution. The Baltimore Sun of Sunday last says:

“E. F. Olmstead, cashier of the First National Bank of Union Bridge, has confessed to the board of directors that he is a defaulter to an unknown amount. He admits that he has used the money in speculation.”

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, June 1, 1922

Should Make Repairs

Raising peach trees along the streets is no criminal offense, but when said trees in wet weather forces pedestrians to the edge of a very bad piece of pavement then somthing (sic) is wrong but not with the trees. This refers particularly to the broken and dilapidated condition of the pavement at the H. & F. trolley (sic) station on E. Main street. Do not remove the trees, but replace a little concrete.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, June 1, 1922

June 1947, 75 Years Ago

Co. Group Asks For New School House

A large delegation of patrons, citing allegedly unhealthy conditions at the Sabillasville school, Wednesday requested the Frederick County Board of Education to consider the construction of a new building at an entirely new location.

                                          – Frederick News, June 5, 1947

Barns Struck, Trees Felled During Storms

…Tons of hail fell in Thurmont Saturday evening, riddling gardens and damaging crops on some farms around the town. The fury of the hailstorm centered in the town. Residents said they could scoop it up in shovels. Potato, tomato, corn, bean and other garden plants were cut off by the large hail stones. Residents said the hail fell thicker in a short time than they had ever seen it fall before.

                                     – Frederick News, June 9, 1947

June 1972, 50 Years Ago

Town Council Hears Flood Complaints Of Emmit Gardens Citizens, Will Act

Former Mayors Guy Baker, Jr. and Samuel Hays were the spokesmen when eighteen residents of Emmit Gardens appeared before the Town Council Monday night. Hays said that eighteen of the thirty-five homes in the development had been affected by Sunday night’s heavy rain and flooding. Seven homes had back up sewage, according to Hays.

The group asked the town council to clean and straighten Flat Run Creek and to assist them to petition the State Roads Adminstration to relieve the bottleneck at the bridge where Flat Run passes under Route 15.

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, June 8, 1972

Mrs. Jones Retires From Town School

Mrs. Alma S. Jones retires at the conclusion of this school year from her position as the librarian of the Emmitsburg Middle School. Mrs. Jones has served Frederick County school 31 years, having begun teaching in 1942. The Emmitsburg PTA gave her a recognition party at which an inscribed silver dish was presented. The school faculty honored her at a party and presented her with the gift of a lounge chair.

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, June 15, 1972

June 1997, 25 Years Ago

“Give Us Back Our Kids!”

A Citizen’s School Committee has planned an open meeting to present and make clear this town’s concern about the future of its school. This open meeting will be held at 7:00 June 12, in the multi-purpose room of the Emmitsburg Elementary School. It is expected that all of the county commissioners will attend and that there will be representatives from the Frederick County Board of Education.

According to committee moderator Mayor Carr, “Our job is to stem the eroding of our kids out of Emmitsburg into the Thurmont School District and then to bring them back to Emmitsburg.”

                                          – The Emmitsburg Regional Dispatch, June 1997

Voter Registration Procedures Changed

At the Public Workshop held May 20th, the commissioners voted to eliminate the Town’s municipal voter registration procedures and utilize the Frederick County voter registration system.

Emmitsburg has been one of 6 municipalities in the county to have their own registration system for town elections.                                                 – The Emmitsburg Regional Dispatch, June 1997

by James Rada, Jr.

1922 – The marines Conquer Thurmont

The U.S. Marines fought valiantly in World War I in places like the Battle of Belleau Wood in France. After the deadly fighting there to drive the entrenched German troops from Belleau Wood, Army General John J. Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Force, said, “The deadliest weapon in the world is a Marine and his rifle.”

However, that didn’t stop Pershing and others from wanting to disband the Marine Corps after the war had been won.

Maj. Gen. John A. Lejeune understood that his Marine Corps needed to fight for survival in the political arena just as hard as they fought on the battlefield. After WWI, as the politicians began speaking about disbanding the Marines, Lejeune devised a campaign to raise public awareness about the Marine Corps.

One of the ways he did this was that instead of going to obscure places to conduct war games and train, he went to iconic places and put the Marines out in front of the public. At the time, the national military parks, such as Gettysburg, were still under control of the U.S. War Department, which meant the Marines could use the parks as a training ground. Lejeune chose to do just that with a series of annual training exercises, which commenced in 1921 with a re-enactment of the Battle of the Wilderness.

Early in the morning of Monday, June 19, 1922, more than 5,000 Marines at the Marine Camp Quantico—more than a quarter of the Corps—marched onto waiting barges supplied by the U.S. Navy. At 4:00 a.m., four Navy tug boats towed eight large barges up the Potomac River toward Washington, D.C. Meanwhile, tanks and artillery pieces towed by trucks rolled out along the Richmond Road, headed for the same destination. Unlike a typical invasion, the Marines gave consideration to any possible damage they might cause to the roads. They removed the steel cleats and spikes from the tractor and tank treads. Only the smooth steel under-surface of the belts would be in contact with the road.

The march involved the entire Fifth and Sixth Regiments, a squadron of the First Marine Air Wing and elements of the Tenth Marine Artillery. The (Baltimore) Sun noted that these Marines were ready for anything and had pretty much cleaned out Quantico of anything that could be moved. “The 5,000 men are carrying the equipment of a complete division of nearly 20,000. In the machine-gun outfits especially the personnel is skeletonized, while the material is complete. Companies of 88 men are carrying ammunition, range finders and other technical gear for companies of about 140,” the newspaper reported.

The Marines spent their first night at East Potomac Park, south of the Washington Monument. Once they had fully set up camp, they marched past the White House and were reviewed by President Warren G. Harding and other dignitaries.

“Observers declared that this is the first time that troops have passed in review through the White House grounds since the Civil War,” the Marine Corps Gazette reported.

It took half an hour for the Marines to pass, as the 134-piece combined Marine bands played music.

On June 20, the Marines marched to Bethesda. The following day, they marched to Gaithersburg, where they spent two nights. On June 23, they marched to Ridgeville. Then the next day, it was Frederick.

From Frederick, the Marines marched 18 miles to Thurmont. It was the longest hike of the entire march. Besides being the longest hike of the week, June 25 occurred on the hottest day of the march. The heat rippled above the macadam road, reflecting, and seemingly baking, the Marines.

A near accident at the camp in Thurmont was an omen for the problems the Marines would soon face. Lt. Goodyear Kirkman flew up to the Thurmont campsite early in the morning in one of the Marine airplanes. He experienced a hard landing on the field and sustained a broken tail skid and air-line to the plane, ruining the carburetor. He needed to return to Frederick, but he had no means of getting there if he didn’t fly. He quickly came up with a daring idea.

 “He took off from Thurmont, controlling his ship with one hand and pumping air with the other, using hand apparatus in place of the broken mechanism. He had to keep pumping furiously all the way. But he made Frederick, landed safely and collapsed from exhaustion,” The Sun reported.

The Marines sang when they left Frederick to say goodbye to the city, and they were singing as they entered Thurmont and the last mile of the hike around 1:45 p.m. It announced their arrival into the town, which was obvious since there were nearly five times as many Marines as there were town residents.

“Everyone from the small boy to the aged veteran was up and out to await and see the soldiers. Sunday School and church attendance suffered severely, and no doubt the few who did attend wished they were out on the street. Many persons remained in town preferring to miss their dinners rather than miss seeing this great military outfit arrive. Every porch along the State Road was crowded with people watching the passing trucks,” the Catoctin Clarion reported.

The Marines had arrived.

Marines arriving at Camp Haines in Thurmont, June 25, 1922.

Marine Troop movement through town.

“Helping You Find Plants That Work”

by Ana Morlier

Flowers of Pride

Red (Life)

Coleus: Prefers morning sun and afternoon shade (partial shade) and moist, well-drained soil.

Caladium: Medium-bright, indirect light; water when the topmost soil is dry.

Anthurium: Bright, indirect light; moist soil.

Orange (Healing)

Marigolds: Natural pest-repellent; evenly moist, well-drained soil; full sun.

Orange Pansy: Prefers morning sun and afternoon shade (partial shade) and moist, well-drained soil.

Dahlia: Well-drained soil; full sun.

Yellow (New Ideas/Sunlight)

Lily: Keep soil moist; full sun to partial shade.

Carnations: Keep soil moist; full sun to partial shade.

Daffodil: Well drained soil; full sun.

Green (Prosperity/Nature)

Bells of Ireland: Full sun to partial shade; well-drained soil.

Creeping Jenny: Moist soil; partial shade.

Sorrel: Full to part sun; moist soil.

Blue (Harmony/Serenity)

Hydrangea: Moist, well-drained soil; full sun to partial shade. A deeper blue will be present with more soil acidity.

Perennial Geranium: Moist, well-drained soil; full sun to partial shade.

Morning Glory: Well-drained soil; full sun.

Purple (Spirit)

Bellflower: Well-drained soil; full sun.

Moses-in-the Cradle: Well-drained soil; full sun.

Cordyline ‘Tango’: Prefers cooler temperatures; if its leaves turn brown, an excess of fluoride may be present. Use bottled water instead and keep moist.

Black (Diversity) & Brown (Inclusivity)

Black Velvet Petunia: Full sun; well-drained, moist soil.

Black Coral Elephant Ear: Prefers warmer temperatures; full to partial sun; well-drained soil; can endure drought.

Coleus: One of the easiest plants to grow; cool, evenly moist, well-drained soil.

White/Pink (Representative of transgender community)

White Lilac: Full sun; well-drained soil.

Daisy: Full sun; moist soil; tolerant to drought.

Mosaic/Nerve Plant: Indirect light; evenly moist soil.

Bleeding Heart: Part to full shade; keep soil moist.

With these flowers, your garden will be a rainbow of inclusivity and aesthetically pleasing. Thanks for reading, and happy Pride month!

Credit to Almanac, Balcony Garden Web, Birds and Blooms, Bloomscape, Country living, Flower Glossary, Forbes, LGBTQIA Resource Center, Masterclass, Petal Republic, Plant legend, Proflowers, Sunday Gardener, The Leafy Place, The Spruce, and Verywell mind.

By Elle Smith,

Realtor, J&B Real Estate Is it still a seller’s market? That is the question everyone is asking. And, everyone has an opinion on what they think will happen to the market. I don’t have the answer, but I can share with you how the market today is different from the market in 2008. And, I can share what is happening in our market right now.

In 2008, the market was different than today’s market in that the real estate growth was driven by relaxed-lender practices. Low interest rates and extremely low down-payment requirements allowed people who would otherwise never have been able to buy a home to become homeowners (per Housing Capital, The low interest rates and low down-payments created a seller’s market, which, in turn, drove prices of homes up. However, when interest rates started to increase, the buyers who bought on ARMs were now upside down on their mortgages. This caused an influx in foreclosures and resulted in prices crashing.

Today’s market is not driven by these same factors. Low interest rates have certainly played a part in this becoming a seller’s market. The significant difference is the influx of buyers today. We have seen an unprecedented number of buyers entering the market the past several years, causing a strain on the housing inventory. In addition, new home builds are down. Combine this increase in buyers with the low inventory of new builds, and we have today’s market.

So, what will happen with interest rates that have already started rising? It is hard to predict, and I wouldn’t want to even try. What I can say is that interest rates are rising and, at the time of this writing, are at 5.5 percent and are expected to continue to rise through the rest of 2022. There is currently only 11 residential listings in the 21788-zip code. The Catoctin High feeder area has 45 total listings (this number includes land, lease, commercial, and residential). So, at least for the near future, the seller’s market is not ending. It will be interesting to see where the market is when my next article comes out in the fall. Enjoy your summer and support the local carnivals and farmers’ markets.

by Buck Reed

Vegetables On The Grill

Summertime means it is time to get out of the kitchen and start cooking outdoors, that is get out of the kitchen once you prep all the food for the grill. Steaks, ribs, burgers, and leg of lamb are easily the stars of the glorious stage that is flame, but don’t overlook the supporting cast of side dishes. Now is the time to think about vegetables on the grill.

Right off, grilling vegetables is a fantastic method of preparing them. The heat from a grill will give them an enriched flavor that other cooking methods cannot duplicate. The higher heat will also quickly caramelize the natural sugars in veggies giving them a pleasing flavor. It is not uncommon for someone who turns their noses up to eggplant or zucchini to appreciate them when served off the grill.

First, we have the easy vegetables, corn on the cob and potatoes are the more common vegetables you will find at a cookout. Corn is an easy preparation, just pull back the husk remove the silk tie it back up in the husk and soak in water over night. Potatoes you need to scrub them clean poke with a fork in a few places and wrap in foil. You can do make this work with a baking potato or go wild and work it the same way with a sweet potato. It will also help if you have a fancy but simple compound butter to serve it with. Like most cooking the experience is in the details.

Another great vegetable that screams summer freshness is spring or green onions. Like most vegetables, this dish can be propelled to culinary greatness by a marinade. “Propelled to culinary greatness”…..I am such a hack! Just mix some olive oil with some lemon juice, salt and pepper, garlic, and some herbs. Place the marinade over the vegetable, cover and refrigerate at least overnight.

Then there are the smaller vegetables, sliced peppers, mushrooms, yellow squash, and zucchini. Most people will try to thread these on a skewer, but I prefer a grill basket. Just drain the marinade off and toss them around in the heated basket till they are done. This also works well with shrimp and such. If you are going to use skewers it is better to thread them on two skewers. You will be able to turn them easier and you may have fewer pieces falling off in a sacrifice to the grill gods.

Preparing extra vegetables for the grill is never a bad idea either. You can plan whole meals around these morsels. They can be added to pasta or salad dishes, or you can build a soup out of them.

But my all-time favorite is eggplant. Once marinated and grilled it is a whole new flavor for your plate that most will find very pleasing. I always grill extra to make caponata, a Sicilian dish made with red wine vinegar, olive oil, peppers, capers, garlic, and herbs. Recook them quickly with those ingredients and keep in a covered jar in your refrigerator.

Pull them out and add them to any Italian style cold sandwich you are making. It is a game changer for any antipasti plate you might want to make down the road.

By all means, put more than a little effort into your steak or other proteins you plan to serve but do not think of the vegetables as a throw away dish. As with most things a little bit of attention here could make you the neighborhood grill master or mistress.

Seaman John Ballenger

by Richard D. L. Fulton

Four years on the Saratoga

John Ballenger’s adventures aboard the U.S.S. Saratoga, the sixth ship in the Navy that had been named after the 1777 Battle of Saratoga – which marked a turning point in the American Revolution – began in 1960 when he sought to avoid the draft, and thus… the Army, and instead he then volunteered to join the Navy.

It was a close call, soon-to-be Seaman Ballenger stated. Within two weeks of entering basic training, he received a draft notice. The advantage of not being drafted, he said, was that if an individual was drafted, the draftee had to do whatever the Army assigned to them, but if an individual volunteered, “You got to do what you wanted to do.”

Ballenger resided in Laurel at the time with his parents, where his father also owned and operated the regionally renowned Ballenger Buick (Seaman Ballenger worked at the dealership before ultimately inheriting it, upon his father’s death.). 

Following his induction into the Navy at Andrews Air Force Base (the home of “Air Force One” since 1961), he ultimately was assigned to the Great Lakes Naval Training Station, in Michigan, for basic training, and then on to the Mayport Naval Station, Jacksonville, Florida, where he was assigned to the Saratoga

The command wanted Ballenger to serve on the flight deck crew, but he wanted and was approved to serve as a catapult-and-arrest mechanic—the catapults being the means by which the jets are launched from the carrier, and the arresters are the means by which the incoming planes are stopped on the deck. He was also responsible for assuring that jets preparing to take off had the appropriate load of fuel and confirmed that the plane’s load met weight standards.

In 1962, the Saratoga was ordered to proceed to Guantanamo Bay along with two other carriers during the “Cuban Missile Crisis”—a 13-day standoff between the U.S. and the USSR over nuclear missile bases being installed by the Russians in Cuba. Ballenger said the Saratoga and the others were prepared for the worst. They all had nuclear missiles onboard.  If the carriers had been forced to arm the jets and use the missiles, “Cuba (as we know it),” he said, “wouldn’t exist today.”

After the Russians backed down, the Saratoga was off to the Mediterranean, during which time Ballenger was able to witness the kind of things that could happen on deck when things went wrong. 

During one incident which turned out to be more heart-stopping than catastrophic was when an improperly secured bomb dropped off the wing of one of the jets during its take-off and landed on the deck.  Fortunately, it didn’t detonate.

If the catapults did not function properly, a plane could nose-dive into the sea off the bow of the ship, and if a jet—generally coming in at 150 miles-per-hour—missed the arresters, it could result with fatal outcomes. 

Ballenger said that one plane attempting to land missed the arresters, and the pilot throttled up and took off, enabling the pilot and co-pilot to eject (having lost their landing gear). Somehow, he said, the co-pilot was killed in the effort.  During a second incident, another jet came in and missed the arresters and crashed into a line of jets on the flight deck, setting them afire.  Fortunately, Ballenger stated, the planes had their bombs removed and taken below deck before the crash.  “It was a terrible crash,” he said.  “We lost a few people.”

But the Saratoga did avert being deployed to Vietnam during Ballenger’s service, and the sailors aboard, were instead given opportunities to enjoy a number of Mediterranean countries, including Venice, Italy, France, and Turkey.

Ballenger was discharged in 1964, and married his wife, Linda Ballenger in 1977, and sold Ballenger Buick in 1989, subsequently buying the farm upon which they presently reside in northern Frederick County. They have three daughters, Jessica, Cynthia, and Emily, and one son, John III. Ballenger retired from Lonzo Bioscience in 2017 after having been employed at that facility for 12 years.

Seaman John Ballenger

One hundred years after the Civil War, servicemen killed in action in Vietnam were brought home to Gettysburg for their final rest. This Memorial Day weekend, explore some of the lesser-known stories of Gettysburg National Cemetery. Park rangers from Gettysburg National Military Park and Eisenhower National Historic Site will highlight the stories of servicemembers from south-central Pennsylvania who were killed in action or died of wounds during the Vietnam War. 

These fallen servicemembers were buried in Gettysburg from 1965 through 1971. Their stories include individuals who served in the Navy, Army, Air Force, and Marines. As the final resting place for over 6,000 men and women who served the United States in conflicts from the 1860s through the 1970s, Gettysburg National Cemetery is a fitting place to remember the meaning of Memorial Day and how the United States remembers its fallen. 

Join Park Rangers on Saturday, May 28, at 4:00 p.m., for a free 90-minute guided walking tour of the Gettysburg National Cemetery, focusing on stories of some of the last fallen service members buried there. 

Gettysburg National Military Park and Eisenhower National Historic Site are pleased to cosponsor this event. The program will begin at the Taneytown Road entrance to Gettysburg National Cemetery. For additional information and updates, please visit or

Lactose Intolerance

by Dr. Thomas K. Lo, Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center

Lactose intolerance means that you have trouble digesting foods with lactose in them. Lactose is the natural sugar found in milk and foods made with milk. Between 30 million and 50 million Americans are lactose-intolerant.

For most people, lactose intolerance does not require treatment. Instead, you may want to avoid foods that have lactose. Other than dairy products, lactose is sometimes added to prepared foods such as breads, cereals, frozen dinners, instant potatoes, soups and breakfast drinks. You can also find lactose in lunchmeats, margarines, cake, cookie, pancake and biscuit mixes, powdered coffee creamers and salad dressings.

Taking a lactase tablet just before eating foods with lactose can also be helpful. The tablet will give your body the lactase it is missing. You can also choose lactose-free dairy products.

Remember to check the Nutrition Facts label on products you buy to see if they have lactose, milk, or milk byproducts, which may also be listed as whey, curds, or nonfat dry milk powder.


If you have lactose intolerance, your body cannot digest lactose. Most people are born with the ability to digest lactose, but up to 75 percent of people lose the ability, as they grow older.

Lactose intolerance can causes symptoms such as stomach cramps and diarrhea after you eat foods with lactose. Other symptoms may be nausea and stomach cramps. Although it is uncomfortable, the condition is not medically serious. Symptoms of lactose intolerance usually begin within 30 minutes to 2 hours after you eat or drink foods with lactose.

Dairy sensitivities may also lead to chronic symptoms, including headaches, bloating, fatigue, skin problems, and gas. They also increase inflammation in your body and may lead to leaky gut syndrome, digestive troubles, autoimmune conditions, and other chronic health problems.

Lactose intolerance and a milk allergy are two different issues. Lactose intolerance is a problem with the digestive system. It causes uncomfortable symptoms but is not life threatening.

A milk allergy is caused by a problem with your body’s immune system. Milk allergies are more common in children younger than three years old. Symptoms can range from mild (rashes or itching) to severe (trouble breathing or wheezing). A life-threatening reaction caused by an allergy is anaphylaxis and it is a medical emergency.

If you cannot tolerate any amount of milk or milk products, you should find other ways to get enough calcium and vitamin D. Calcium and vitamin D are needed for healthy bones and teeth and essential functions of the body like a steady heartbeat. Alternatively, you can try lactose-free dairy products.

Non-Dairy Alternatives

If you cannot tolerate dairy at all here are some great alternatives to try; coconut, hemp, almond, cashew, and flax milk are great plant based options. Though be mindful if you have a nut allergy.

Coconut milk comes from the coconut’s white flesh. To produce thick coconut milk, manufacturers extract the liquid of the grated flesh of mature coconuts by squeezing them with cheesecloth. To create thin coconut milk, they use the flesh inside the cheesecloth and mix it with water. Thick coconut milk is fantastic for coconut rice, rice pudding, and baked goods. It is also higher in healthy fats. Thinner coconut milk, on the other hand, is perfect for smoothies, shakes, and as a plain milky drink. Coconut is rich in healthy fats. It is also a fantastic source of magnesium, potassium, calcium, and iron and offers anti-inflammatory and antibiotic benefits

Hemp milk has an earthy and nutty flavor. It is made of hemp seeds and water. You can even make it yourself by blending hemp seeds with water at a 1:3 or 1:4 ratio depending on the consistency you prefer. You may want to add stevia for sweetness. Hemp milk is a source of healthy fats, protein, calcium, and iron.

Almond milk is also a popular alternative. It has a creamy texture, which can remind you of regular dairy. It also offers a nutty flavor. You may also make your own almond milk at home. Blend one part raw, soaked almond with two parts of water, then strain to remove any solids for creamy, homemade almond milk. It is low in calories and much lower in carbs than cow’s milk. It is rich in magnesium, riboflavin and thiamin. 

Cashew milk is getting increasingly popular. You may also make your own. Just like with almond milk, blend one part raw, soaked cashews with two parts of water, then strain to remove any solids. It is a great source of healthy fats, protein, magnesium, potassium, and iron.

Flax milk is another non-dairy alternative. You can buy it flavored or plain. It is rich in vitamins A, D, and B12. It is low in calories and sugar. Just like hemp milk, flax offers anti-inflammatory benefits with a good balance of omega fatty acids.

When shopping for plant based dairy, always read the labels as some brands use added sugar and other added ingredients. Try to buy organic, natural, without added sugar or many other additives or make your own.

Best Dairy If You Can Tolerate It or Are Taking Lactase Pills

Some people are simply unable to tolerate any dairy, while others are able to enjoy some healthier options.

Grass-fed raw milk is one of the healthy options out there if you can tolerate dairy. It is rich in protein, enzymes, calcium, vitamin K2 and E, beta-carotene, selenium and other nutritional benefits. It can be difficult to find raw milk in some states, but most stores do carry raw cheese.

If you cannot get grass-fed raw milk from your local farmer, grass-fed pasteurized milk is your next best option.  It is widely available. It offers a good omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acid ratio and is rich in conjugated linoleic acid to support metabolism and immune health.   

Many people who are sensitive to dairy may actually only have issues with cow’s milk. If you are one of these people, goat or sheep milk may be a fantastic option for you. They both offer a rich taste and are much easier to digest than cow’s milk. The form of the casein protein in goat and sheep’s milk is different and more easily digested than cow’s milk. 

They are rich in calcium, magnesium, riboflavin, and phosphorus. Most goats and sheep are pastured and are not treated with antibiotics and hormones like cows are. However, it is crucial that you make sure that you pick true pasture-raised options. Both of these are rich in healthy fats and clean protein, however, sheep dairy is a bit higher in both.

Camel milk has been a dietary staple in the Middle East and a medicinal drink in Middle Eastern, African, and Asian countries. Recently, it has been gaining popularity in the West and is increasingly available in the US at health food stores, family farms, and online. It has a smooth and refreshing taste with plenty of health benefits. It is rich in calcium, potassium, phosphorus, vitamin B1, selenium, and zinc

Final Thoughts

Here are some great ways to manage and support your digestive symptoms other than relying on taking lactase pills on an ongoing basis.

•    Reduce the amount of dairy foods in your diet, or choose only lactose-reduced or lactose-free milks.

•    It is important to include calcium-rich foods in your diet if you avoid dairy products, as well as to get enough vitamin D (from the sun and/or supplements). Eat plenty of foods high in calcium, such as broccoli, leafy greens, beans, salmon, sardines and almonds. Studies indicate that these steps can help protect your bones and support cardiovascular health.

•    You can experiment with eating yogurt and aged cheeses to see if these are better tolerated than milk. Yogurt is fermented and it contains active cultures (beneficial probiotics) that can help with digestion.  Aged, hard cheeses contain less lactose and may be tolerated in small amounts.

If you are struggling with health issues, call the Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center at 240-651-1650 for a free consultation. Dr. Lo uses Nutritional Response Testing® to analyze the body to determine the underlying causes of ill or non-optimum health. The office is located at 7310 Grove Road #107 in Frederick.

Check out the website at

*Sources: Office on Women’s Health (OWH); &

Hitting A Milestone

by Valerie Nusbaum

Randy celebrated a big birthday last week. I won’t tell you how many candles were on his cake, but suffice it to say, he really is the “old” man who lives on the corner now. I’m allowed to say that he’s old because I’m older, but that’s neither here nor there. I’m often told that we both look younger than we are.  Sure, that mostly comes from people who like us, but it’s nice to hear anyway.

Since said birthday was a milestone, I wanted to do something special for Randy. A party was out of the question because my hubby claims that he hates being the center of attention.

I don’t buy that excuse, but given the other things that are going on with us, I did agree that a party might be the straw that would break the camel’s (or my) back.

But, what to do? I reached out to friends and family and reminded them that Randy’s big day was just weeks away. A lot of people promised to send a card, make phone calls and send texts, and some of them followed through.  Randy really enjoyed fetching our mail during his birthday week because there were lots of brightly colored envelopes bearing his name.

We started out on the eating train on the Saturday before the big day.  Randy and I grabbed lunch at Moe’s in Frederick. We enjoy Mexican food, or what substitutes for it at a fast-food restaurant. We also ventured across the street to Crumbl Cookies. It smelled delicious, the line was 30-people deep, but who in their right mind would pay $4.59 for one chocolate chip cookie?  Apparently, Randy would—twice.

I asked Randy what food he wanted for his birthday dinner. He requested pasta. He also demanded cake. Chocolate cake with white buttercream icing. Did I mention that Randy took off from work for the entire week? He planned to do a lot of eating, I guess.

Mom and I talked it over and decided to take Randy to lunch on Monday of his special week. We went to Los Amigos. Yes, Mexican food again, but I can’t complain.  There were margaritas, too. My mother had a doctor’s appointment after lunch. She was a little wobbly but none the worse for wear, and her ENT doctor seemed to find the whole thing amusing.

Our friend, Gail, suggested that Randy and I meet her and her husband, John, for lunch on Tuesday at Modern Asia restaurant in Frederick. I was thinking that we could do different international-themed meals all week long.  Unfortunately, when Randy and I arrived at Modern Asia, we discovered that the restaurant is closed on Tuesdays. I called Gail who was on her way, and she suggested Casa Rico instead. I know. Mexican, again. That’s okay, though, because Randy and I picked up Chinese takeout for dinner that night. After lunch on Tuesday, we had to go to Sam’s Club to pick up the birthday cake. I wasn’t feeling all that great (too many refried beans, maybe?), so poor Randy picked up his own cake. That thing weighed 20 pounds. Yes, he cut it as soon as we got home, and it was totally gone by the following Sunday.

Wednesday was Randy’s actual birthday, and the phone calls started early. There was a family breakfast and singing. Mom and I had made some truly awful birthday cake cookie balls from a boxed kit, but Randy ate those, too. Randy heard from family and friends far and wide, including his dentist and our bank. Randy’s boss called, too, ostensibly to extend good wishes, but he also asked Randy to work more hours and take on more projects. There were lots of gifts and gift cards—a real abundance of riches. I personally think it’s shameful how much attention was paid to one man.

Mom spent a lot of time working on her gifts. One of them was a big plastic egg filled with candy and slips of paper. On each piece of paper, Mom had written one thing she likes about Randy or one trait of his that she admires. Her intention had been to write one thing for every year Randy has been around, but Mom ran out of steam after 20 things, so she lumped the rest into one thing by saying that he’s the best son-in-law in the world.  Never mind that she called him lackadaisical. Look it up. It’s not a compliment.

At the breakfast, which started at 8:00 a.m. (we’re old, remember?), the conversation went something like this:

“I forgot my teeth.”

“Huh? What did you say?”

“Would you pass me my pills?”

We ended up eating an American salad from Chick-fil-A for the birthday lunch, and I have no idea what was for dinner that night. I was in a food coma by that time.

On Thursday night, we had dinner with the Joneses, and Randy finally had his pasta. We dined at Fratelli’s in Middletown. There were more gifts (age-appropriate), balloons, and we celebrated Wayne’s birthday as well as Randy’s with even more cake—limoncello cake, to be exact.

There was still more celebrating on Friday. I can’t tell you what Steve Fulmer gave Randy for his gift, but I can say that we’re both enjoying them.

I hope Randy had a great birthday this year. He certainly deserves it. My birthday is in August, and after the way I wore myself out trying to make things nice for my hubby, I can hardly wait to see what he does for me.

by James Rada, Jr.

May 1922, 100 Years Ago

Student Government Organized at T.H.S.

Student government has been organized in the High School in order to take care of the grounds of the building.

…At present it is turning its attention to keeping the floors clean, and although student government is entirely new to all of us, it seems to be making great progress so far and we hope this will continue.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, May 4, 1922

Oh Joy! Riches!

Whether some of the Thurmont smoke of several weeks ago just arrived in Frederick and got in the eyes of compositors or linotype operators, proof readers, etc., of the Frederick Post, or a spasm or some violent disease fell unexpectedly on some old typewriter—well, take a breath, then read the figures $555,548,220 given as the total resources of the Central Trust Company of Maryland. If it were, thus many of us would quit work. Mistakes! We all make them. Read the figures in the bank statement in this issue.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, May 11, 1922

May 1947, 75 Years Ago

County Roads Board Awards Contract

The Frederick County Roads Board Monday night heard a request of Ballenger District residents for road improvements and approved the low bid of L. R. Waesche and Sons, Inc., Thurmont, for construction of 1.194 miles of the Rocky Ridge-LeGore road. The bid was $10,518. The bid also has to be approved by the Federal Bureau of Public Roads.

                                          – Frederick Post, May 13, 1947

Ice, Frost Accompany Low of 31

…Near Thurmont and also in the vicinity of Unionville, there were reports of “black frost” which may have done serious damage to garden produce. There were places where tomato plants were frozen, even though they had been covered. The damage undoubtedly extended to strawberry beds, in full blossom, and possibly such produce as potatoes, beans and early corn, just pushing through the ground.

                                     – Frederick Post, May 28, 1947

May 1972, 50 Years Ago

Scouts Keep Town Free of Litter

Scouts from the Emmitsburg area joined literally thousands of other scouters in a nation-wide clean-up event on Saturday. The clean up campaign was a joint effort of the Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. Those participating agreed that the project was worthwhile and something the more than 100 scouts from Emmitsburg should participate in more often as a service to the community.

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, May 5, 1972

Mount Graduates 164th Class Sunday

Mount Saint Mary’s College will confer bachelor degrees on 247 members of its 164th graduating class on Sunday, May 28. In addition, eight Master of Arts degrees will be awarded.

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, May 25, 1972

May 1997, 25 Years Ago

Phil Postelle Wins Council Seat

On April 21, Emmitsburg elected Phil Postelle to be the new town commissioner. Of the approximate 1,000 registered voters, 160 voted in the election.

Mr. Postelle received 59 votes, defeating the incumbent Tom Gingell and Duian Pilch, a newcomer to the area. Pilch received 56 votes and Commissioner Gingell followed with 45 votes. He will serve a three-year term and will be sworn in at the May 5 Town Meeting.

                                          – The Emmitsburg Regional Dispatch, May 1997


Helen Reaver, Emmitsburg Town Office receptionist, received Emmitsburg’s Municipal Government Award at the public workshop on April 21.

                                          – The Emmitsburg Regional Dispatch, May 1997

by James Rada, Jr.

Rural Free Delivery

in Northern Frederick County

Better late than never, as they say.

The United States Post Office started experimenting with Rural Free Delivery in 1891. Despite starting in neighboring Carroll County, the home delivery of mail didn’t reach Frederick County until 1901.

However, it wasn’t as if the county was clamoring for it. The Catoctin Clarion reported in 1900, “The rural free delivery grows more unpopular every day, with our citizens. There are constantly being new disadvantages and inconveniences discovered which will never be made satisfactory under our present system.”

In February 1901, it looked like the system would be instituted in Frederick County in early 1902. The system employed mail wagons and carriers on foot to deliver mail to the homes of residents.

The Clarion reported, “Regarding the proposed extension of the system over the whole of Frederick County. Representative Pearre says, in a letter to The News: ‘It will put into Frederick county about $20,000 a year in the shape of salaries to letter carriers. In a nut shell, the system furnishes to the man in the rural district the same conveniences that the carrier system furnishes to a man in the city. I have absolutely no interest in the introduction of the rural free delivery system, except to give added conveniences and facilities to the people. Convinced as I am that the government is ready to furnish this great convenience to the farmer, I am going to try to introduce it.’”

As the year progressed, so did support for rural free delivery (RFD). In July, a group of Thurmont-area businessmen organized the Sweigart Manufacturing Company of Frederick County. Webster W. Sweigart had developed and patented a mailbox that the government approved for use on RFD routes.

An early problem with RFD was that people set out all sorts of boxes for their mail. The postal service issued a rule that all mailboxes had to be one of 14 approved designs. If a resident didn’t have an approved mailbox within 30 days of the start of the service, they wouldn’t receive mail.

The following month, orders were placed for blue mail wagons that would have yellow running gear and white canvas tops.

RFD came to Frederick County two months earlier than expected, starting on November 15, 1901. The new mail carriers were civil servants. “Appointments of them will be made from persons residents of the neighborhood, wholly for fitness and irrespective of political or personal considerations,” according to the Catoctin Clarion.

Thurmont had one mail wagon and three mail carriers. An additional mail carrier for Lewistown worked with the Thurmont carriers. C. C. Currens drove the mail wagon, and Morris Rouzer served as the Thurmont mail clerk. William H. Damuth, Frank Albaugh, J. H. Freeze, and W. P. Mohler (for Lewistown) were the mail carriers. The wagon’s route took nine hours, running from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The carriers walked their routes from 7:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Emmitsburg had four mail carriers: James G. Bishop, Charles R. Lander, A. E. Weaver, and Vernon Lantz. Charles Gillelan served as a substitute carrier. The average route for the Emmitsburg carriers were 21 miles.

Some of the new regulations that the mail carriers had to get used to were, according to Carl V. Besore and Robert L. Ringer in A Reflection of the History of Waynesboro, Pennsylvania and Vicinity:

•   The mail carriers had to keep a count of all mail picked up on the route each day.

•   Any mail the carrier collected that could be delivered before returning to the post office, first had to have the carrier cancel the postage with an indelible pencil.

•   The carrier had to keep postage stamps, cards, stamped envelopes, and money order blanks with him. “If patrons entrusted him, the carrier could act as their agent, enclosing their money in the stamped addressed envelope given him by the patron,” Besore and Ringer wrote.

•   If carriers met one of the people on their route while they were driving, they could deliver their mail to them if requested, but only if it cost them no time on their route.

•   Carriers had to deliver registered mail and pension to the addressee’s home as long as their mailbox was less than a mile off the route. If the house was further away, a note would be left in the mailbox, explaining who could get the mail and where it could be obtained.

•              Special delivery letters would be delivered to the addressee’s house if it was within a mile of the mailbox. If the house was further away, the letter would be left in the mailbox as ordinary mail.

A mailman servicing an RFD in Pennsylvania.

Tips for Using Salt

by Buck Reed

Properly seasoning your dish can be the difference between a memorable meal and one you will never forget! I know from experience, that if you serve one mistake from the kitchen, they will never let you forget. Learning to use salt properly is a good start to adding flavor to your table.

Unseasoned salt has an endless shelf life. Seasoned salts should be kept tightly capped and used within one year. Humidity and moisture will cause salt to clump and stick together. Adding 10-12 grains of raw rice to the shaker will absorb the moisture and keep the salt flowing freely.

For soups and sauces that have a long simmering time, go easy on the salt in the beginning, keeping in mind that the liquid will reduce and intensify the salt flavor. Over-salted soups or sauces can be fixed by: adding unsalted liquid to dilute it; tossing in a peeled, quartered potato for 15 minutes (discard the potato); can often be helped with the addition of a little cream, brown sugar, or vinegar; adding a bit of unsalted, cooked white rice, pureed with water or broth to a thin paste can also help cure oversalted soups or stews.

Salt pulls liquid out of vegetables, which is good for cucumbers and eggplant in some dishes. If you plan on adding salt to boiling water for pasta or vegetables, wait until the water boils before adding it. Salted water can corrode the inside surface of a pot. The addition of salt to vegetables and pasta results in a firmer texture.

Vegetables naturally high in sodium include beets, kale, chard, celery, spinach, dandelion greens, carrots, endive, corn, and artichokes.

Salt helps develop gluten, which gives the bread structure. Usually, the small amount used in bread, as compared with serving size, is not worth omitting the salt.

A salted hot/warm dish will not taste as salty when cold because chilling dims salty flavors.

Seafood is high in sodium, so use salt sparingly. Also, adding salt will toughen shellfish. When to salt meat before cooking causes more then a bit of debate. Some chefs salt their meats up to 24 hours before cooking, and others will not salt until just before cooking. Substitute one tablespoon coarse or Kosher salt for two teaspoons table salt.

There are several types of salts available to the home cook and each has its uses: Iodized salt (a.k.a. table salt because it is often kept and used at the dining table). This is salt that is mined from the earth and then refined and mixed with iodine; Sea salt is salt from the sea. When seawater dries up in tidal pools, it leaves salty residue, which is collected and used as table salt; Kosher salt has a coarser texture and has no iodine content or any other additives; Pickling salt doesn’t have any additives to keep it from clumping, so it’s easier to dissolve, even though it’s coarse. This type of salt is used for preserving and canning; Himalayan pink salt is a course, pink colored salt, mined in Pakistan. This is one of the purest forms of salt and is usually used as a garnish or finishing salt in fine dining; Smoked salt is made by smoking salt over applewood or hickory wood under the salt, so the salt soaks up all of the flavors. This is great for a smoky flavor for food on the barbeque; Fleur De Sel translates from French as “flower of salt.” This is a very rare type of salt that is harvested in Britain. It has a delicate salt flavor and is used in fine dining to finish dishes.

  by Ana Morlier

Gratitude Plants

Happy May, everyone! Finally, the time of beautiful weather and even more exquisite blooms is upon us. Not only should we appreciate the beautiful essence of nature, but also the women in our lives that support us. Show your gratitude this Mother’s Day with these plants!


Irises: Express gratitude for hard work.

Plant care: Keep in full sun, with moist, well-drained soil. Flowers bloom from late spring to early summer. Flower colors vary, and include purple, blue, white, and yellow.


Zinnias: Thinking fondly of a person, despite physical distance.

Plant care: Keep in full sunlight for at least six hours, with well-draining potting soil. Avoid placing near areas of extreme temperatures (such as by a vent). Zinnias prefer warmer temperatures. Water soil so that it is moist but not wet (press a finger into the soil, and if your finger is wet/soaking, the plant does not need to be watered). Zinnias bloom between late spring to late fall. Flower colors include pink, purple, yellow, orange, lavender, white, red, and green. 


Pansies: Gratitude and fond recollection of a person.

Plant care: Keep plant in partial to full sun, with well-draining soil. Water to maintain moist (not soaking wet) soil. Pansies’ blooms come in colors such as white, yellow, purple, and blue.


Parsley (an unlikely contender that can accent any bouquet): Gratitude for knowledge.

Plant care: Keep parsley in well-draining, moist soil. The plant requires partial shade to full sun. Foliage grows in all seasons.

Sweet Pea Flowers

Sweet Pea Flowers: Gratitude for fond memories.

Plant care: These flowers bloom from a shrub, so they should be grown outside. Plant requires partial to full sun. Plant in well-drained soil, and water about an inch daily. Try not to let it dry out, but it can withstand 1-2 days without water. Purple and pink flowers bloom from mid-summer to fall.


Daisies: Gratitude for loyal affection.

Plant care: Grow daisies in full sun, with well-draining soil. Water regularly, especially in the evenings or mornings, to prevent soil from drying out. “Deadhead” or remove dying flowers to encourage new growth. These plants should be grown outside. Both their flowers and foliage can make for a stunning bouquet.

No matter how you express your gratitude—through plants or time together—take time to celebrate the mothers in your life. Or, if you’re a mother yourself, take time to look out for your physical and mental well-being and care for yourself! To mothers, aunts, grandmothers, and female caretakers everywhere, know that you are appreciated and are making a major difference in this world. Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication. You “grow,” girl!

My personal favorite flower of gratitude: Pansies.

The “REAL” in Real Estate

By Elle Smith,

Realtor, J&B Real Estate

For this month’s article, I asked friends and clients what they would like more information on, and several said they would like to know what to do to prepare to sell. Even in a seller’s market like we’re currently seeing, there are things you can do to make the process smoother. Houses are still selling quickly and often getting multiple offers, but there are still things you can and should do to make your home shine for listing photos and for showings. These tips will help you get the most for your property.

1.    Keep up on your maintenance and repairs. Keep service records,     receipts, and information on work you have had done to your home.

2.    Keep records on updates you have completed, such as new roof, new windows, new hot water heater, etc.

3.    Declutter.

4.    Take down most of your personal items. For example, removing family photos allows the potential buyers to imagine living in the house.

5.    Touch up paint. Repaint any loud or out of the ordinary colors or designs. A neutral color scheme presents like a blank canvas for potential buyers. Touch up doors, baseboards, and ceilings—these are often overlooked when preparing a home for sale, but buyers notice them.

6.    Make sure all lightbulbs and exhaust fans are working. These are other items potential buyers notice.

7.    Resist the urge to hide things in your microwave, oven, closet, etc. (I’ve seen this). Buyers might look, and you don’t want to appear that these items do not have a home.

8.    Don’t use too many strong scents—plug-in air fresheners, candles, etc. are very noticeable and will make potential buyers wonder if you are trying to hide something.

9.    Don’t ignore the curb appeal—mow, weed, mulch, and prune. First impressions matter.

10.  Clean, clean, clean. Consider hiring a cleaning service before listing photos are taken.

One thing I recommend to sellers—especially those with busy households—is to keep a tub or large bag by the door, and when you have a last minute showing, you can toss anything laying around into the bag and take it with you. This can alleviate a lot of stress when you have multiple showings a day. Also, whenever possible, sellers should leave for showings, being present can make a potential buyer uncomfortable. Remember to put your valuables away and out of sight. And always tell your real estate agent if you need notice for showings or if there are days or times that you cannot accommodate. It is much better to let potential buyers know this in advance instead of declining or canceling showings. These tips can make the showing part of selling your home go a little smoother and hopefully help you get even more for your property.

Everyone is always interested in how our local market is performing. Here are stats from March 2022 for the Catoctin High feeder area:           12 homes sold in March; Average Sales Price = $302,910; 19 residential properties for sale and coming soon as of April 17.*

by Ava Morlier, Culinary Arts Writer

Finally, May brings the warm weather we’ve all been waiting on! This winter was incredibly long. It was a great time to experiment with hearty dishes like chilis, soups, and stews. But with warmer temperatures, comes more fresh dishes that utilize the grill and other outdoor cooking techniques (like roasting over the fire). And, let’s not forget Memorial Day! A time to honor those in the military who died in combat and to celebrate our personal freedoms given to us from their sacrifices. Memorial Day offers the opportunity to exercise our personal freedoms as Americans, as we get to talk to friends and family about whatever we want, dress however we want (let’s hear it for shorts season), and grill whatever we want from the resources readily available from our grocery stores (you want 50 pounds of squid? Go ahead! Your personal freedoms allow you to do that!). Speaking of the famous Memorial Day BBQ, today’s dishes are great main and side dishes that compliment each other nicely: BBQ Pork and Mashed potato fries!

Sweet and tangy, complimented with crunchy and salty, these dishes are easy to make and delicious.

The mashed potato fries may seem confusing. Why go the extra length to make mashed potatoes and then fry them? Boiling the potatoes first ensures that the potatoes will be tender and not undercooked when in fry form. By adding cornstarch to the mashed potatoes, the fries can be more easily shaped (and customized into whatever shape you want) and handled.

Another ingredient that may be questionable is using Cola for the pork. Cola (surprisingly) makes a great marinade for pork. The acidity of the soda helps break down the meat, while the sugars in the soda enhance the sweetness of the BBQ sauce. Cooking the meat in cola also ensures that the meat doesn’t dry out and that it remains both tender and juicy. Enjoy your Memorial Day, flavorfully!

BBQ Pork & Mashed Potato Fries


For the Pork

1 pork shoulder

1 tsp. brown sugar

1 cup BBQ sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray’s)

1 liter Cola (any brand)

¼ tsp. black pepper (more or less, depending on preference)

2 tsp. garlic powder (more or less, depending on preference)

2 tsp. onion powder (more or less, depending on preference)

1 tsp. salt (more or less, depending on preference)

For the Fries

2 potatoes

3 tbsp. cornstarch

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 cup oil (canola or vegetable) for frying

Salt (for after the fries are finished frying)

Optional: cheese, other seasonings (such as onion powder, garlic powder, or chives)

Tools Needed

Crock pot or dutch oven, liquid and dry measuring utensils, pan, bowl, spoon, knife, cutting board, peeler, medium pot (for boiling potatoes), strainer, bowl, mixer or masher, medium pot or fryer, large sheet pan (or clean surface), knife, rolling pin, pan/plate layered with a bed of paper towels.


1.   Make the pork:

a. In the oven: Preheat oven 325o. Place pork shoulder in the dutch oven. Rub top and sides with dry seasonings; then pour half of BBQ sauce and cola on the pork (it should be covered in liquid; this will ensure the pork doesn’t dry out). Cover with the lid and bake in the oven for 2 hours.

b. In the crock pot: Place meat in a medium-heat crock pot. Rub top and sides with dry seasonings; pour half of BBQ sauce and cola on the pork (should be covered in liquid). Cover and let cook 4 hours.

2.   Once finished cooking (the meat should be easy to pull off with a fork), take out of the oven/crock pot and place on a pan. Take as much of the fat off as possible. Place meat in the bowl.

3.   Shred the meat, pulling against the grain. Once shredded, add the rest of the sauce and mix with a spoon. Serve on a bun or alone.

4.   Make the fries: Set water to boil in a medium pot. Peel and cut out the eyes of the potatoes. Dice the potatoes into small cubes.

5.   Place diced potatoes in boiling water and cook until soft, about 15-20 minutes. Strain once cooked and place in a bowl.

6.   Add salt and pepper (and desired other seasonings/ingredients) and mix/mash until potatoes have a smooth consistency.

7.   Add cornstarch and mix until cornstarch is well incorporated.

8.   Take the mixture out of the bowl (it should be the consistency of play-doh) and turn onto a clean work surface floured with cornstarch. Roll out to medium thickness; cut into long strips (you can shape the dough into shapes if preferred).

9.   Start a medium pot full of oil or a fryer on medium heat. Once hot, gently place fries into oil. Cook, flipping the fries after 1-2 minutes (or until golden brown).

10. Place finished fries on a bed of paper towels and salt immediately. Repeat with remaining uncooked fries.

11. Place finished fries on a plate/bowl and serve.

*With credit to With credit to Chef Liddick of CTC and user Kim’s Coca Cola Pulled Pork recipe on for ingredient proportions; information on how cola affects meat gleaned from How Soda Affects Meat, by Kim Grundy, PT on

PFC Clyde Jacob Smith


Photo Credit to Richard Starbird

When I was six months old, my uncle Jake moved in with us. We lived in a small house alongside Rt. 491 in an area called Lantz. At least it was Lantz until the1960s when the Lantz Post office closed, and our postmark became Sabillasville. The truth was we lived in neither. Just out in the country on a mountain saddle between the South Mountain and Catoctin ranges. My grandparents’ farm was a half mile back the road, where, on maybe 15 acres of tillable land, they raised a family of twelve children. Jake and my mom, Mildred, were born somewhere in the middle. And now, Jake had fallen out with his parents and left home.

Jake had knocked around after leaving school. He worked at Victor Cullen Sanitorium as a dishwasher and occasional projector operator, but, mostly, he had worked on the family farm and for his brother-in-law, Glenn (Junior) Willard, on his farm a mile back the road.

But, Jake was dissatisfied. He wanted to do something more with his life. He wanted to see the world and start a career. It was 1951 and there was a war in Korea. He wanted to join the Army. Trouble was, he was only 17. And, at 17, you needed your parents to sign off, and they refused. Likely, my grandmother put her foot down. She ran the roost. So, Jake moved in with my parents.

Jake was persistent, however, and after six months, tempers cooled, and his parents reluctantly agreed to sign.

He took basic training at Fort Meade and then shipped out to Germany. Unhappy with his assignment there, he requested a transfer to Korea and arrived there on July 14, 1952.

On August 7, 1952, he was assigned Fire Direction Liaison Operator with the 57th Artillery Battalion, Charlie “C” Battery. Finally, he requested to join a Forward Observe Team and was assigned to the 31st Infantry Regiment 3rd Battalion “K” Company as a Wire Corporal. His duties were to keep communications open via radio between his Forward Observation team and the gun battery.

Per a letter received by Jake’s parents from Colonel R.A. Risden, Major General Wayne Smith’s chief of Staff:

“On 17 October 1952, (during the battle of Triangle Hill in the Iron Triangle), friendly forces engaged in an extensive offensive action against a strategic enemy-held hill, were subjected to an intense enemy mortar and artillery barrage. Private Smith was with the Forward Observer Party relaying vital communications when the radio suddenly failed. Ignoring the fierce enemy fire, Private Smith left his position of relative safety, and, moving through the impact area, secured additional batteries so communications could be restored. Upon his return, Private Smith, noticing several wounded men in danger of falling over a cliff, rushed to their aid and helped in evacuating them. Again returning to his position, Private Smith, with complete disregard for his personal safety, answered a call for volunteers to help defend the friendly positions and moved in to the forward trenches (with Riflemen of the Infantry units), where he valiantly fought off numerically superior enemy forces until he was mortally wounded by enemy fire (an artillery shell landing close to his position).”

He received the Silver Star and the Purple Heart, posthumously. He was buried January, 8, 1953, in Germantown Bethel Church Cemetery.

 According to Lt. Richard Starbird and Sgt. Howard Nease, who served with him, “Smitty was a good soldier, well-liked by his buddies. He chewed Plow Boy brand tobacco and loved the Hershey Bars in his rations. Clyde was a strong man who was good at “Tapping the Box” (keeping the radio working). He loved being a soldier. He looked forward to mail from his family and a girl named, Jennie.”


by Dr. Thomas K. Lo, Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center

Endometriosis is one of the most common health issues experienced among women and one of the leading causes of infertility.

It may affect more than 11 percent, more than 6½ million women in American between the ages of 15 and 44. It is especially common among women in their 30’s and 40’s. 

For women with endometriosis, the lining tissue of the uterus grows outside of the uterus. The misplaced tissue responds to the monthly hormones by thickening and shedding with every menstrual cycle; however, the thick tissue is outside of the uterus and is unable to pass through the vagina and out of the body. The endometrial flow is then trapped and may cause inflammation and pain. Adhesions, or scar tissue, may form and stick one organ to another. It can even cause the fallopian tubes to close, which can lead to infertility.

Most often, endometrioses is found on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, tissues that hold the uterus in place, and outer surface of the uterus. Other sites for growths can include the vagina, cervix, vulva, bowel, bladder, or rectum. Rarely, endometriosis appears in other parts of the body, such as the lungs, brain, and skin.

Symptoms of Endometriosis

With many women, the progression of endometriosis symptoms is slow, developing over many years. Each woman experiences a different range of pain, which can make a diagnosis difficult. The pain typically begins in the lower abdomen and intensifies during a women’s menstrual period or sexual intercourse. As the pain becomes more severe, it may begin to radiate through the lower belly, back, and legs—it is often described as cramp-like pain.    

The most common symptoms of endometriosis can include very painful menstrual cramps, chronic lower back and pelvis pain, painful periods, irregular periods, painful intercourse, increased pain during bowel movements, increased pain during urination, excessive bleeding, spotting and bleeding between cycles, painful digestion, constipation, nausea, abdominal pain, infertility, joint pain, nerve pain, chronic fatigue, and bloating.

Inflammation is also an issue and the forming of scar tissue and adhesions (type of tissue that can bind your organs together) can be a problem. The scar tissue may cause pelvic pain and make it hard for you to get pregnant.

Causes Endometriosis

No one knows for sure what causes this disease, but possible causes are problems with menstrual period flow. Retrograde menstrual flow is the most likely cause of endometriosis. Some of the tissue shed during the period flows through the fallopian tube into other areas of the body, such as the pelvis. Genetic factors can be a reason because endometriosis seems to run in families.

A faulty immune system may fail to find and destroy endometrial tissue growing outside of the uterus, and research shows that the hormone estrogen appears to promote endometriosis.

Treatments for Endometriosis

While there are many conventional treatments for the symptoms of endometriosis, there are also many natural ones as well.

A healthy diet is a great way to start when attempting to relieve symptoms naturally.

Begin by eliminating foods that lead to inflammation. This includes dairy, processed foods, refined sugars, caffeine, and carbohydrates. Eliminate these foods from your diet for at least three weeks, paying close attention to your body. You may also want to eliminate alcohol, soy, and other high-estrogen foods from your diet because of their estrogenic effects.

A 2004 study published in Human Reproduction found that there is a significant reduction in the risk of developing endometriosis in women who consume green vegetables and fresh fruit.

So, try to add these beneficial anti-inflammatory foods to your diet: green leafy vegetables, celery, beets, broccoli, blueberries, salmon, pineapple, walnuts, coconut oil, chia seeds, flaxseeds, turmeric, ginger, and bok choy.

Magnesium-rich foods also help soothe the uterus and reduce pain. These include pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, black beans, avocado, almonds, bananas, chard, and spinach.

Iron-rich foods are important as well because they replenish the loss of iron in the body, which is a result of excess bleeding. Some foods containing iron include liver, beefsteak, navy beans, black beans, spinach, egg yolk, prunes, artichokes, and collard greens.

In addition, you can help to reduce inflammation, relieve joint, and muscle pain, and regulate hormone production, with omega-3 foods.

Add flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, salmon, trout, tuna, sardines, anchovies, and mackerel to your diet.

If you are suffering from constipation as an endometriosis symptom, eat high-fiber foods like quinoa, vegetables, berries, coconut, figs, artichokes, peas, okra, brussel sprouts, turnipsand acorn squash.

Acupuncture may also be effective, safe, and well-tolerated as an adjunct therapy, according to a study conducted at Harvard Medical School for endometriosis-related pelvic pain. For the study, 18 young women, ages 12–22 with laparoscopically diagnosed endometriosis-related chronic pelvic pain, were analyzed. Participants in the active acupuncture group experienced 62 percent less pain after four weeks, which differed significantly from the control group’s average reduction.

In addition, the essential oil, clary sage, was found to help balance hormones naturally and has been found to effectively reduce pain and cramping when applied topically.  You can apply two to four drops added to a carrier oil, then apply it topically over the abdomen, and then apply a warm compress over the area to relieve the pain.

Can You Prevent Endometriosis?

You cannot prevent endometriosis. However, you can reduce your chances of developing it by lowering the levels of the hormone estrogen in your body. Estrogen helps to thicken the lining of your uterus during your menstrual cycle.

To keep lower estrogen levels in your body, you can exercise regularly (more than four hours a week). This will also help you keep a low percentage of body fat. Regular exercise and a lower amount of body fat help decrease the amount of estrogen circulating through the body.

Avoid large amounts of alcohol because it raises estrogen levels. No more than one drink per day is recommended for women.

Avoid large amount of drinks with caffeine. Studies show that drinking more than one caffeinated drink a day, especially sodas and green tea, can raise estrogen levels.

Does Endometriosis Go Away After Menopause?

For some women, the painful symptoms of endometriosis improve after menopause. As the body stops making the hormone estrogen, the growths shrink slowly. However, some women who take menopausal hormone therapy may still have symptoms of endometriosis.

If you are struggling with health issues, call the Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center at 240-651-1650 for a free consultation. Dr. Lo uses Nutritional Response Testing® to analyze the body to determine the underlying causes of ill or non-optimum health. The office is located at 7310 Grove Road #107 in Frederick. Check out the website at


by Valerie Nusbaum

We’ve had crazy weather, good food, and too many medical appointments. We’ve run errands; sent birthday cards; watched TV shows and movies; and talked with family and friends via email, text, and telephone. Mom and I made a floral arrangement for the coffee table. Randy and Steve solved a lot of the neighborhood problems during their man-meetings at the back door, and we’ve paid way more for gas and groceries than we should have.

None of these things, however, warrant an entire newspaper column. Randy hasn’t done anything that has caused me to shake my head or roll my eyes, at least nothing that I can write about publicly. That said,  I have a few quick things I can share with you.

As you know, my mother is staying with us while she recuperates. At her own home, Mom doesn’t have as many TV channels or streaming services as Randy and I do, and she had even fewer channels at the “home” during her stay in rehab. She’s been enjoying a variety of new programs and shows while she’s here. Last week, after hearing her complain (again) that she’s seen everything on the Hallmark and Lifetime channels, I asked if she’d like me to queue up an HBO series for her. That seemed like a good idea, so I put on episode #1 of The Undoing, knowing that Mom likes Hugh Grant. She doesn’t know Hugh Grant personally, mind you, but she thinks he’s dapper and amusing. Not so much so in this series. After viewing the entire first episode, Mom disgustedly pronounced to Randy that, “That girl was naked! I saw ALL of her.”  I told Mom that she didn’t have to watch any more of the series and that I’d find something else for her. 

“Well, I have to see how it ends now, don’t I?” Mom said. She proceeded to binge watch the rest of the series in two days and is now halfway through Big Little Lies.  This one, she said “is not as good as the other one.” Well, Hugh Grant can’t star in everything.

Our friends Loberta Staley and Susie Gaither both celebrated birthdays, as did Dolly Long. Dolly is my friend Peggy Stitely’s mother, and she had 90 candles on her cake this year. If Peggy and I take after our mothers, we have some good years ahead of us.

Years ago, I gave Randy a restaurant-style waffle maker. He’s perfected his waffles and treats us to them at least once a month. We had some this morning. I did a corned beef brisket in the oven, along with cabbage, potatoes, and carrots in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. My family misses celebrating the holiday at The Shamrock, though. It’s not quite the same thing when we dress up like leprechauns at home.  Honestly, my mother has been with us for three full weeks, and I’ve cooked everything in my repertoire: meatloaf, chicken, ham, mac & cheese, burgers, chow mein, seafood, fruit and vegetable salads, soups, pasta, and everything else I can think of. We’ve also had quite a bit of takeout recently, and either Randy or I have made a grocery run nearly every day. How can three people eat so much and why, oh why, don’t my pants fit anymore?  If I may, I’d like to recommend the Cobb salad from Chick-fil-A, the pizza steak sub and fries from Rocky’s, and pretty much anything from Los Amigos.

It’s also income tax season, and Randy and I have been working on getting ours filed. We did Mom’s taxes, too. I always get a good feeling when that chore gets checked off the to-do list. I get an even better feeling if there’s a refund involved.

There were two visits to the cardiologist during this month.  Randy questioned the practice of a cardiologist putting a patient on a treadmill and raising the heart rate and blood pressure, thereby stressing the heart, just to see if anything bad happens. He has a point.

We also had a freak March snowstorm. Plans were canceled and a tree fell and caused some damage.  Never fear, though, because the weatherman predicted 70-degree weather in a few days. The older folks are probably saying, “That’s why so many people get sick.”

A few weeks ago, I received an envelope from The Catoctin Banner addressed as “Fan Mail for Val Nusbaum.” Inside the envelope was another envelope, beautifully printed, and a card from Grace Borell. What a lovely surprise! Thank you, Grace, for your kind and gracious words about my column and writing style, and for taking the time to write such a thoughtful note. And, thank you, Deb Abraham, for forwarding it to me. If I haven’t said it enough, a handwritten note has the power to uplift spirits and to brighten even the darkest day.

We did some cleaning, although my spring cleaning hasn’t begun yet.  Usually, by April, I’ve done windows, blinds, and curtains in at least half of our rooms. Now I’m finding myself thinking that they don’t really look all that dirty.

I did do a couple of new paintings, and I released prints of them. They’re selling pretty well.  Most importantly, I managed to write nearly 900 words about nothing of any importance. 

Happy Easter and happy spring to all of you!

by James Rada, Jr.

April 1922, 100 Years Ago

Right-Of-Way Assured

The last obstacle standing in the way of constructing a modern highway, leading from the Emmitsburg state road at St. Anthony’s, and running to Motters Station, on the Emmitsburg Railway, has been removed. Daniel E. Callahan, through whose land the road will run, and who had hitherto refused to permit a road to be built across his land, has announced that he has come to an understanding with the State Roads Commission and will yield right of way across one of his fields.

The highway, which is between three and four miles in length, runs for about 1000 feet through Mr. Callahan’s property. It is to be of concrete.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, April 20, 1922

Wind Damage

The high winds of last Thursday overthrew the temporary exhaust pipe at the power house; the stack buckled and confined the gas from the exhaust. The gas took fire and was communicated to the engine, and this put the engine out of business for a few hours.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, April 27, 1922

April 1947, 75 Years Ago

Governor May Not Sign Two County Bills

Indications were Wednesday night that Governor Lane may not sign Frederick County local bills recently passed by the Legislature to license mechanical devices in incorporated clubs and to provide $1,000 annual expense account for the State’s Attorney….

Many local bills were among those signed into law Wednesday by the Governor. They include: Authorizing Thurmont Commissioners to establish a Police Department and provide for parking meters.

                                          – Frederick Post, April 17, 1947

Last Night’s Low Was 27

A moderately heavy frost was reported early today in some sections as the mercury descended to a minimum of 27 degrees in the city, coldest since April 4, but it was not believed there was serious damage to budding fruit trees….

A very light frost was noted at an orchard near Thurmont where there was also thin ice. The mercury dropped to 32 degrees there. No damage was reported.

                                     – Frederick Post, April 28, 1947

April 1972, 50 Years Ago

State Highway Administration Offers Benefits If Rt. 15 Dualization Plan Used

Officials of the Maryland State Highway Administration Wednesday night offered three general plans for solution to the controversy over the U.S. Route 15 dualization through the Catoctin Furnace area.

An audience of 250 concerned citizens and officials from federal, state, and local agencies gathered at the Lewistown Elementary School to hear the presentation, and offer views and comments for consideration of the officials.

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, April 6, 1972

Adams Bros. & Dad Win Talent Show

With an enthusiastic crowd of 200 on hand, the Sunrise Singers of Emmitsburg sponsored a talent show Sunday evening in the Mother Seton School auditorium when first place of $100 was won by the Adams Brothers and Dad of Gettysburg, while a trio from the Hoffman Home, near Littlestown, carried off second honors and $50 prize.

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, April 2, 1972

April 1997, 25 Years Ago

Committee Seeks Residents’ Views on Speed Limit

According to Streets and Transportation chairman Brian Brotherton, committee members will poll the citizens of Emmitsburg on the question of a uniform 30 mph speed limit through town. We would like to see the 30 mph speed limit extend from Tract Road to Harney Road,” said Brotherton.

                          – The Emmitsburg Regional Dispatch, April 1997

New Candidate Makes It a Race For Commissioner’s Seat

Duane Pilch, Northgate resident, announced that he will seek the upcoming open position on the town council.

When it rains,It Pours

by James Rada, Jr.

A freak storm hit Frederick County and Adams County in Pennsylvania on June 18, 1996, and stalled over the region as it dumped rain. When the storm ended on June 19, it had dropped 11 inches of rain in Northern Frederick County.

“A series of storms, like boxcars, followed the same line, dumping all their rain on the same spot,” the Gettysburg Times reported.

Rivers and creeks overran their banks. Water covered bridges and flooded into basements. The Frederick Post reported that residents near the Monocacy bridge at Bridgeport “woke to find their homes in the middle of an ocean.”

Farmers lost crops that were inundated in water and mud. Even some livestock in fields were floated away, often being found in neighboring farms, if found at all.

Police, fire, and ambulance units spent a busy day responding to calls. Both of Emmitsburg’s ambulances were disabled in the flooding, and one was missing for a while because the radio shorted out in the water, and the crew was unable to communicate.     

The Monocacy River reached a high-water mark of 24.45 feet, a record.

“In our nomenclature, it’s much greater than a 100-year flood,” USGS hydrologist, Bob James, said in an interview.

A Maryland State Police helicopter had to rescue one man stranded on top of his car at Flat Run. Four young women ran into a similar problem when their car stalled trying to cross over Owens Creek at Annandale Road. The helicopter was unable to reach them because of tree cover, so an air boat was sent to them. The water was 28 to 36 inches deep on the road. One firefighter was swept away during a rescue and had to be rescued himself.

“The entire town of Emmitsburg was closed to traffic for several hours Wednesday morning (June 19th) as overflow from Toms and Flat Run creeks virtually surrounded the Frederick County town,” the Gettysburg Times reported.

At least 47 basements reported flooding in Emmitsburg. Some had water as deep as five feet. Emmit Gardens, the lowest point in town, had to be evacuated.

“This place was like a little island to itself,” Art Damuth told the Gettysburg Times.

Four people died in the flood, but only one from the north county area.

The Red Cross set up at Mount St. Mary’s to provide food and shelter to displaced families.

As the water receded, people assessed the damage to their homes. The Town of Emmitsburg estimated that $100,000 to $200,000 damage had been done to municipal properties. Although the amount of damage didn’t reach a threshold for federal aid, the north county death apparently was enough for Congress to waive the threshold and offer aid to the north county area.

In the aftermath of the flood, officials from Emmitsburg and Frederick County looked at ways to mitigate future flood damage, such as dams or dredging Flat Run. In the end, the most cost effective option that helped the most people was to flood proof 20 homes in Emmitsburg by elevating the homes and building walls around them. The Frederick News reported it “is among the first and largest flood-control proposals advanced in western Maryland after three severe floods in the mountainous region this year.”

The plan also included the regular clearing of brush, fallen trees, and debris from Flat Run. The estimated cost for this plan was estimated to be around $100,000.

“Moving people out of their homes or building a dam are both impractical. This is a good plan,” Emmitsburg Mayor William Carr told the newspaper.

The Shape of Pasta

by Buck Reed

Italian pasta comes in many shapes and sizes, just as the people who eat them do. The shapes and sizes are not only regional, but also reflect greatly on the regional ingredients used in the dishes they help create. You will find stuffed pastas all over the country but, in the north, you will find raviolis stuffed with butternut squash and served with a butter sage sauce; whereas further south, you will find them stuffed with meats and vegetables and paired with a tomato sauce.

The following is a basic idea of some various pasta shapes, as well as where they are from and how they are used.

Penne, Campania: Classic shaped pasta Penne means “pen” or “quill,” which describe the shape as a tube cut on a slant to look like a writing instrument. Like most tubular pastas, these go great in baked dishes or thicker sauces that are not chunky.

Rigatoni, Lazio: Lazio is home to meat, so it stands to reason that this larger version of Penne with ridges would pair very well with sauces loaded with chunks of chopped meat (also great as a baked pasta dish).

Ziti, Sicily: Ziti is tube-shaped like Penne and works great in baked dishes, and since it is often produced with ridges, works well with thick, meaty sauces that the chunks of meat latch onto the pasta.

Orecchiette, Puglia: Puglia is well known for olive oil, so it stands to reason this ear-shaped pasta easily holds onto sauces based on this oil. It is often prepared with sauce of broccoli rabe, chilis, and olive oil.

Gigli, Tuscany: Home to Florence, this pasta is shaped like a lily, which is the emblem of this city. Its ruffled edges make it perfect for holding onto thick, creamy sauces. It should be noted this is one of the newer pasta shapes and is just now gaining in popularity.

Farfalle, Lombardy: In the United States, we call it a “bow tie,” but in Italy, its name comes from the Italian word for butterfly or “farfalle.” This pasta works well in soups and salads, and served with smooth sauces as there are no ridges or crevices for chunks to latch onto.

Bucatini, Lazio: Bucatini is a close relative of spaghetti, long and thin, but unlike its cousin, it is hollow inside. It has a versatility that makes it a great partner to almost any sauce it is matched with.

It is not so much memorizing the different pasta shapes and then knowing how to prepare and serve them in the correct way. Like anything else in life, it is a matter of knowing what you are looking up, the information you need to find, and using that information to get the results you want. Taking it a step further, you will be able to create a new sauce using totally different ingredients and then working backwards to find the correct pasta to serve your new creation with. Look at you…getting all creative in your kitchen!

  by Ana Morlier, The Crazy Plant Lady

A freak storm hit Frederick County and Adams County in Pennsylvania on June 18, 1996, and stalled over the region as it dumped rain. When the storm ended on June 19, it had dropped 11 inches of rain in Northern Frederick County.

“A series of storms, like boxcars, followed the same line, dumping all their rain on the same spot,” the Gettysburg Times reported.

Rivers and creeks overran their banks. Water covered bridges and flooded into basements. The Frederick Post reported that residents near the Monocacy bridge at Bridgeport “woke to find their homes in the middle of an ocean.”

Farmers lost crops that were inundated in water and mud. Even some livestock in fields were floated away, often being found in neighboring farms, if found at all.

Police, fire, and ambulance units spent a busy day responding to calls. Both of Emmitsburg’s ambulances were disabled in the flooding, and one was missing for a while because the radio shorted out in the water, and the crew was unable to communicate.     

The Monocacy River reached a high-water mark of 24.45 feet, a record.

“In our nomenclature, it’s much greater than a 100-year flood,” USGS hydrologist, Bob James, said in an interview.

A Maryland State Police helicopter had to rescue one man stranded on top of his car at Flat Run. Four young women ran into a similar problem when their car stalled trying to cross over Owens Creek at Annandale Road. The helicopter was unable to reach them because of tree cover, so an air boat was sent to them. The water was 28 to 36 inches deep on the road. One firefighter was swept away during a rescue and had to be rescued himself.

“The entire town of Emmitsburg was closed to traffic for several hours Wednesday morning (June 19th) as overflow from Toms and Flat Run creeks virtually surrounded the Frederick County town,” the Gettysburg Times reported.

At least 47 basements reported flooding in Emmitsburg. Some had water as deep as five feet. Emmit Gardens, the lowest point in town, had to be evacuated.

“This place was like a little island to itself,” Art Damuth told the Gettysburg Times.

Four people died in the flood, but only one from the north county area.

The Red Cross set up at Mount St. Mary’s to provide food and shelter to displaced families.

As the water receded, people assessed the damage to their homes. The Town of Emmitsburg estimated that $100,000 to $200,000 damage had been done to municipal properties. Although the amount of damage didn’t reach a threshold for federal aid, the north county death apparently was enough for Congress to waive the threshold and offer aid to the north county area.

In the aftermath of the flood, officials from Emmitsburg and Frederick County looked at ways to mitigate future flood damage, such as dams or dredging Flat Run. In the end, the most cost effective option that helped the most people was to flood proof 20 homes in Emmitsburg by elevating the homes and building walls around them. The Frederick News reported it “is among the first and largest flood-control proposals advanced in western Maryland after three severe floods in the mountainous region this year.”

The plan also included the regular clearing of brush, fallen trees, and debris from Flat Run. The estimated cost for this plan was estimated to be around $100,000.

“Moving people out of their homes or building a dam are both impractical. This is a good plan,” Emmitsburg Mayor William Carr told the newspaper.

Teacup Planter

Set the mood for a spring tea party with this planter! You can find many floral or patterned teacups in thrift stores. This craft is, in essence, a mini-fairy garden, but with Easter-themed sentinels. 

Materials needed:

    Small to medium-sized teacup (floral or nature pattern)

    Any small plant, preferably succulents (I recommend Purple Waffle, Calico Kitten, Pink Polka Dot Plant, Pink Splash Plant, Pink Nerve Plant, Purple Shamrock, and Boat Lily)



    Easter/Spring themed figurines, such as a rabbit, gnome, or a bird

    Small decorations, such as mini Easter eggs, mini flowers, etc.

Directions: Coat the bottom of the cup with gravel, then insert the plant. Next, coat the surface with enough gravel to cover the roots, allowing at least an inch of space from the gravel to the lip of the cup. Finally, place your garden figurine on top of the gravel however you wish, as well as any additional decorations you prefer. If using a grass-like plant or a plant with many leaves, consider hiding the figure within for a more playful aesthetic.

Hoppy Bunny Planter

Materials needed:

    Washed tin can or other small-medium sized containers (that can be painted and hot glued)

    White paint

    White foam

    Pink foam


Googly eyes

    Any plant (I recommend daffodils or paperwhites)

    Potting dirt

    Medium-sized stones

Directions: First, paint the exterior of the container white. Let dry. Meanwhile, cut ear shapes out of white foam and slightly smaller ear shapes with pink foam. Hot glue pink foam over the tops of the white foam. Next, create the hands and feet: cut out two white oval shapes for feet, then cut out one medium-sized pink oval and three small pink circles per foot for the paw pads. Once cut, glue the pink paw pads to the two-foot shapes. Glue the ear piece on the back of the container when dried, with the pink side facing the open mouth of the container. Next, glue the feet to the base of the can, facing you. Cut out a small white oval shape as a nose, and glue in the middle of the can, facing you. Glue eyes on top of the nose, then draw a nose on the white foam and a mouth under the nose with a sharpie. Next, pot your flower of choice: line the bottom of the container with medium-sized rocks, layer with dirt, place the plant over top, then cover roots with dirt. Your rabbit craft is complete!

Upcycled Rabbit Planter


     2-liter soda bottle (washed)

     Paint (white, teal, pink, pastel colors)

     Crafting Scissors

     Any plant (I recommend kalanchoes, button poms, and statice)

     Potting dirt



Directions: Sketch the outline of a rabbit’s head, including ears, on one side of the bottle, leaving the bottom three inches of the bottle free. Carefully cut the bottle around the lines drawn and cut the circumference of the bottom half of the bottle, creating two pieces: the head of the bunny (including the ears), and the planter portion of the planter, the bottom portion of the bottle. Next, paint the entire exterior of the cut-out bottle with teal or pink paint. Let dry. Sketch out the rabbit’s face, including ovals for the ears, eyes, whiskers, heart-shaped nose, and mouth. Paint the inner ears and nose pink, white or teal, or any color that contrasts with the overall color of the rabbit. Draw on whiskers, nose (when dried), and eyes with a sharpie. Let dry, then plant selected flora. Your hoppy planter is ready to celebrate the holiday!

I hope you enjoy making these crafts! Even if your house is already chock-full of Easter decorations, these planters can make great gifts for loved ones who lack Easter cheer. Who knows? Maybe your rabbit sentinels in your teacup planter will do so well at hiding an Easter egg that your egg will stay hidden until next year when candy has expired, but the festivities continue with your thriving plant. In any case, I hope you have fun with these crafts, dear reader. Have a happy Easter!

Want more photos of this article’s crafts? Look for the crazyplantladybanner profile on Instagram.

Finally, come show Catoctin High school some support by coming to see a show! This year’s theater production, State Fair, is accompanied by a miniature carnival. Bring the whole family for a grand night of fun, amusement, and singing! Performances will be held on April 8 and April 9. Can’t wait to see you there!

Credit to We Know Stuff, Flowerups, Leafy Place, Petal Republic, Good Succulents, Urban Succulents, and Crystal Allen from Hello Creative Family. Additional shout-out to my editor, Ava Morlier, and the Banner editors!

The “REAL” in Real Estate

By Sandi Reed Burns,

Realtor, Climb Properties Real Estate

Happy spring, everyone! Let’s spring right into what’s going on in your area as of March 22, 2022, according to Bright MLS data.

Thurmont: 29 total listings—made up of land, leases, commercial, and residential. If we only look at residential sales, there are a total of nine and four of them are “coming soon.” (This excludes the new builds under construction, as they are not on the MLS).

Emmitsburg: 16 total listings—made up of land, leases, commercial, and residential. Again, if we only look at residential sales, there are four active listings and zero “coming soon.”

Rocky Ridge: 7 total multiple listings types.

It certainly doesn’t look like much of a “Spring Market,” does it? This low inventory remains to keep the prices higher and limits buyers’ options of available homes.

Here’s a snapshot from National Association of Realtors: “February 2022 brought 6.02 million in sales, a median sales price of $357,300, and 1.7 months of inventory. The median sales price is up 15% year-over-year, and inventory was down 0.3 months from February 2021.”

I’m going to spring right to the point. We need more inventory in order to balance out the market. So, if you’re thinking about selling, please contact your local Realtor® for advice, and thank you for being part of the solution.

by Ava Morlier, Culinary Arts Writer

Ah, Easter! The holiday everyone has been waiting for. The Easter dinner is all set up, everyone has brought a dish for others to enjoy, and everyone seems to be present. But, wait! What about the Easter Bunny? Isn’t he tired of the same old basic carrots? That’s where today’s recipe comes in: Carrot Cake Cupcakes!

Sweet, spicy, textured (thanks to the shredded carrot), and tangy (with a rich cream cheese frosting), this cake definitely gives carrots a good name.

Additionally, these carrot cake cupcakes are great for celebrations and Easter activities. Kids eagerly awaiting Easter can have a great time creating and decorating cupcakes with you. Easter Bunny meet-and-greets can be made all the sweeter with these small and portable cupcakes.

Enjoy creating these delectable cupcakes (whether alone or with a helper or two) and have a happy Easter!

Carrot Cake Cupcakes


For the Cake

1 c. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

¾ tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. ginger

⅛ tsp. nutmeg

¼ tsp. salt

¾ c. vegetable oil

2 eggs

¼ c. apple sauce

½ tsp. vanilla extract

¾ c. brown sugar

¼ c. sugar

1 ½ c. shredded carrots

For the Filling

4 oz (1 c.) cream cheese

½ stick unsalted butter

1 c. powdered sugar

½ tsp. vanilla extract

Green food coloring

Orange food coloring

Tools Needed

Liquid and dry measuring cups, 3 bowls, mixer and beaters, spatula, cupcake bag and liners, piping bag, tips, two small bowls, and two forks


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In 1 bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and spices. Mix until well combined.

In a separate bowl, combine oil, eggs, apple sauce, and extract. Beat until well combined. Add sugars and shredded carrot to the wet ingredients and mix until well incorporated.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula; add the dry ingredient mixture to the wet ingredients mixture. Beat until everything is well combined, intermittently scraping down the sides of the bowl.

Line cupcake pan with liners (or grease the cake pan). Pour in batter.

Place in oven and bake 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake/cake comes out clean.

Meanwhile, make the frosting: Place butter and cream cheese in a bowl and soften them (the surface should give to pressure but should not be melted). Add sugar and extract and beat until smooth. Once done, take out and let cool.

Separate into 3 separate bowls: one bowl should have very little and the other bowls should split the rest of the icing equally. Put each color in a piping bag and fit with a tip.

In the bowl with the least icing, add green food coloring. In another bowl, add orange food coloring. One bowl should have completely white icing.

Icing the cupcakes: making sure the cupcakes are room temperature, pipe on (or put on with a knife) the white icing on the entire surface of the cupcakes (including the edge; this ensures the surface doesn’t dry out).

Pipe on an orange carrot (a simple triangle will work, but be as creative as you want!). Pipe on the green leaves at the top. Serve.

*You can also use candy to decorate the cupcake if desired.