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Better Days Ahead

by Valerie Nusbaum

Happy 2020!  To clarify, I’m talking about the new year and not my failing vision.  It’s too early to judge, but I’m hoping this year will be a great one for each and every one of you, and for me and my family, too.

Now, go stand on one foot.  Seriously.  This is an experiment.  Did you do it?  If you follow directions easily and didn’t stop to think about it, chances are that you stood on your non-dominant foot.  This means that if you’re left-handed, you stood on your right foot. This phenomenon is the brain’s way of helping you maintain your balance.  Randy and I tried it.  I am left-handed and I did, in fact, stand on my right foot.  He’s right-hand dominant, and he stood on his left foot without giving it a thought.  Then he did a little dance and fell over.  I’m kidding.  Don’t accuse me of picking on him.  He enjoys his role.

Randy’s theory is that one’s brain doesn’t hear, “Stand on one foot.”  It hears, “Lift one foot,” and therefore the dominant foot is raised so that a step forward will be on the right side (or left if that’s the way one leans).

This little exercise has no bearing on this month’s column, but it did give you something to ponder, and I got the chance to picture you standing up and looking like a flamingo. Well done!

Next, I would like to touch on the subject of shopping.  I’m guessing that we’ve all done our share of shopping recently with the holidays so close behind us.

Does it ever seem to you that going shopping has become both a mental and physical challenge?  Randy and I took a day off to go to Frederick to try to finish our Christmas shopping, and it seemed to take me an extra half hour to gather up all the things I needed:  sale papers, coupons, gift cards, membership cards, not to mention the shopping list.  I had a whole handful of paper to drag along with us, and found that I had to go through my stash at every stop because we needed the coordinating coupons and cards in order to receive our shopping discounts.  Remember when stores just had sales?

Having to drag along all this “stuff” necessitates my needing a large purse or tote bag, which I’m continually fishing around inside.  The stealthy store clerks don’t think I notice them watching me, in case I’m trying to pilfer a tube of lipstick or pair of socks and stash them in my huge bag.  And how many times has another shopper accidentally rammed a shopping cart into your shins?

I know, I know. I could have done all my shopping online. The problem with that for me is that there are some things I actually need to see and touch. If you’re able to buy shoes or slacks without trying them on, then you are one of the lucky ones! There are times when the whole shopping thing is too much for me. I’ve never been a woman who enjoys the experience of shopping. I’m not a looker or browser. I loathe trying things on, but I have to do it sometimes. My personal preference is to go to a store and be in and out in ten minutes. It’s all but impossible to do that these days. Maybe that’s why I love Dollar Tree so much. That store has what it has. It doesn’t pretend to be anything but what it is, and I don’t need coupons or sale papers. I already know what the price of an item will ring up.  If only I could buy my underwear there, I’d be in heaven.

Enough about shopping. Let’s discuss something we all enjoy.  Eating. It’s a new year, and I’m betting that some of you have resolved to eat more healthfully and also to get more exercise. It’s the same here at the Nusbaum house.  Too many cakes and pies have wreaked havoc on my waistline, and too little time for exercise has made me sluggish and crankier than usual. Things need to change around here. I’ll have to subsist on the memory of that melt-in-your-mouth delicious flourless chocolate cake and all those other treats and goodies that popped up in our house during the months of November and December.

My mom will celebrate her 88th birthday on January 19, and I’m sure we’ll use that as an excuse for celebratory food and desserts, but I do plan to curb my enthusiasm for a tasty buffet. I’m resolving here and now to do better so that I feel better.

Did you make any resolutions?  Polls show that the number one resolution people make is to get more exercise and eat healthier.  Most people give it up by February, so we’ve got a few more weeks of this torture and deprivation ahead of us. I’m heading to the treadmill now. That oatmeal I had for breakfast is fueling me. It didn’t taste a thing like dessert, but with any luck, in a few months, I’ll be able to fit into the tiny little underwear for sale at Dollar Tree.  Dream big, I always say.
Happy New Year everyone; and a very happy birthday, Mom!

by James Rada, Jr.

January 1920, 100 Years Ago

Fine Auto Smashed

Last Friday night about 2 o’clock a,m a large Paige Touring Car, said to be about as complete as ever seen in this section of the county, smashed into the concrete side of the bridge over Owen’s creek on the State Road at Franklinville two miles north of Thurmont.

From what could be learned, the car belong to some party in Brunswick, everything done to conceal the identity of the owner. It is stated that there were three men in the car at the time of the accident, and all were injured.

A car following close was forced to turn from the road and plow its way through a bed of large stones near the bridge to avoid trouble.

From reports of those who live near and visited the scene, considerable blood was found in the car, and hat pins, hair pins, quart bottles, and other articles found in and about the wreck.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, January 1, 1920

Death Still A Mystery

During the past week officers of Carroll county have been trying to solve the cause of the death of Miss Mertle Marie Staub whose body was found along the B. & O. railroad at Sykesville, Carroll county, Md., on Wednesday morning of last week, her head and right arm being severed from her body.

Miss Staub for the last several months had been employed as a domestic to the home of Mr. and Mrs. James Hughes of Sykesville. It is stated that the girl was in very good humor all the day previous.

On Wednesday morning when the Hughes family arose they found that the girl was not about the house, and on going to her room found that she had not occupied her bed during the night.

Sometime later her body was found along the railroad.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, January 1, 1920

January 1945, 75 Years Ago

Mr. and Mrs. E.M. Hobbs Married 50 Years

Mr. and Mrs. Edward M. Hobbs celebrated their golden wedding day last Saturday, Dec. 30, at their home on Water street.

The day was spent quietly with their children present throughout the day. In the evening the three-tier bride’s cake was served, with other refreshments to the family.

Mr. and Mrs. Hobbs received sixty cards and many beautiful and useful gifts as well as gifts of flowers and money.

Mr. and Mrs. Hobbs were married in Emmitsburg at St. Joseph’s rectory by Father White, and lived on a farm at Tom’s Creek until 1920 when Mr. Hobbs retired from farming and moved with his family to Thurmont.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, January 5, 1945

Severely Injured 12-Year-Old Girl

Janet, 12-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Calvin S. Lohr, north of town, is suffering from a severely lacerated scalp, sustained last Thursday morning in a sledding accident.

Janet and Betty Ross Smith were sledding back of the Smith home, on a crust almost as smooth as glass, when Janet’s sled headed for the turkey pen. Because of the speed which she was traveling and the smoothness of the ice, she was unable to guide her sled and she ran under the pen. As she did so, her head struck a plank above, which cut a gash across her scalp. Eleven stitches were required to close the wound.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, January 5, 1945

January 1970, 50 Years Ago

12-Inch Snow Paralyzes Area

Frederick County Saturday began the Herculean task of digging out a snowbound populace and several hundreds of miles of primary and secondary roads, some of which had drifted shut by a 50-mile-an-hour wind that piled up snow in some places 12 feet high. One-way traffic was maintained for several days on sections of county and state roads.

All state and county owned equipment was brought into service and several private firms were engaged to complete the task of digging out. One break in the “blizzard” was that power lines and telephone service remained practically intact.

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, January 2, 1970

Four Homeless After Fire

A fire left four members of an Emmitsburg area family homeless late Saturday, when their two-story dwelling on Bull Frog Rd., four and a half miles east of Emmitsburg, was extensively damaged.

They were Douglas Soper, his wife, 12-year-old daughter and eight-year-old son. Soper rented the house from Archie Sipe of Kensington, Md.

Approximately 60 firemen, led by the Vigilant Hose Co. of Emmitsburg, assisted by Harney and Taneytown fire companies, responded at 4:40 Saturday afternoon with eight pieces of equipment.                                      

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, January 1970

January 1995, 25 Years Ago

Tower Truck Arrives

Fire service in the Emmitsburg area has been enhanced with the addition of the new tower truck recently purchased by the Vigilant Hose Company. Chief Frank Davis and several company members went to Wisconsin to bring the truck home.

                          – The Emmitsburg Regional Dispatch, January 1995

Multi-Service Center Planned for Emmitsburg

The Town of Emmitsburg, Up-County Family Center, and the Frederick Community Action Agency are working together to build and operate a new Emmitsburg Multi-Service Center in downtown Emmitsburg, MD. Construction for this new building will begin this summer.

This facility will be built and operated by the Town of Emmitsburg. It will house a variety of nonprofit human service agencies including Up-County Family Center, Catholic Charities, an outreach office for the Frederick Community Action Agency, and others. The new Multi-Service Center will offer “one-stop shopping” for families. It will be the center of a wide range of services that address crises and emergencies. There will also be facilities for teaching preventative skills, adult education, and job training.

                          – The Emmitsburg Regional Dispatch, January 1995

by James Rada, Jr.

Things That Go “Boom” In the Night

January 2, 1887, was a cold day in Frederick County. Thermometers hovered around eight degrees. Fireplaces and stoves were stoked with roaring fires to fight back the cold that was pushing its way through every crack and crevice of a home.

Several inches of snow, hardened with a covering of ice, covered the ground, and sheets of ice coated the roofs of buildings. Moonlight reflected off the frozen snow, giving it a slight glow even at midnight.

“A young gentleman returning home in his sleigh about this time, says the cracking of the ice on a roof, by which he passed, was so loud and forcible, that it scared his horse,” the Emmitsburg Chronicle reported.

Although few people reported feeling anything, doors swung open, and objects toppled over “as if burglars were doing the houses,” according to the Clarion.

Many more people described hearing sounds that sounded like explosions. The Emmitsburg Chronicle compared it to the sound of a well being excavated.

“But mostly the sounds were above, as some describe them—like unto the clatter of tearing off a roof,” the Emmitsburg Chronicle reported.

The Catoctin Clarion reported, “At this point the report was sufficiently loud to suggest to Mr. J. W. Weast, a merchant at that point, that his safe had been blown up and he hurriedly dressed himself and visited his safe, only to find it intact.”

Reports came in from all over Frederick County and parts of Carroll County. Westminster residents seem to have felt the earthquake and experienced damage.

The Frederick Daily News reported that because no one in Emmitsburg felt any tremors, no one actually considered it an earthquake.

The Emmitsburg Chronicle offered a scientific reason for the noises not being an earthquake, writing “to one suddenly awaking in the night, and considering that there have not been received any accounts of clocks being stopped, or household things displaced, as in earthquake manifestations, together with the simultaneousness of the occurrences at points, miles apart, we infer the who matter was purely electrical. Indeed a writer not long ago undertook to prove that seismic phenomena were but electrical manifestations, on the earth’s surface and not from the interior.”

Although the county is not prone to earthquakes and doesn’t sit on a fault line, it was an earthquake—albeit an unusual one—that hit the county that night. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, east of the Rocky Mountains, fault lines are a poor indicator of where earthquakes will hit. The USGS website states, “In contrast, things are less straightforward east of the Rockies because it is rare for earthquakes to break the ground surface. In particular, east of the Rockies, most known faults and fault lines do not appear to have anything to do with modern earthquakes. We don’t know why. An earthquake is as likely to occur on an unknown fault as on a known fault, if not more likely. The result of all this is that fault lines east of the Rockies are unreliable guides to where earthquakes are likely to occur.”

Whatever the reason for the earthquake, it was a disturbing way for Frederick County residents to welcome in the new year on January 2, 1887.

by Anita DiGregory

“A Tribute to Horrible, Awful, No Good, Very Bad Years”

Have you ever had one of those years when you literally could not wait for the clock to strike midnight, the ball to drop, and the year to be officially over?

Well, 2019 has unmistakably been one of those years for me. Don’t get me wrong, there were beautiful moments sprinkled throughout: sacraments made, memory-making trips taken, heartwarming firsts experienced, celebrations of children’s successes enjoyed. But even so, 2019 will definitely not go down in history as one of my favorite years. 

On top of all the regular stressors, the medical visits, the stacking bills, the unplanned car expenses, the children leaving the nest, we suffered the unimaginable loss of five close family members. I witnessed my faith-, family-, and life-loving cousin lose his courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. I said goodbye to two beloved aunts and one gentle and kind uncle. And, then, shockingly, over Thanksgiving break, we suffered the tremendous loss of my brother-in-law, Sam. 

Only 55 when he passed away, Sam was outgoing, full of life, hardworking, and seemingly healthy.  He left behind a wife and two beautiful children, not to mention a mother, three brothers, three sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, and many, many friends. Sam was the kind of guy who knew everyone, and everyone knew him. At his viewing, the funeral home remained packed with people waiting to pay their respects, the line often reaching out of the room, down the hall, and to the entrance.

I was only 16 when I met Sam. The new girl in town, I was happy to make a new friend. He had an infectious smile, and I’d swear he’d get this glint in his eyes when he was about to break the rules just enough to make things interesting for everyone. My friend, my co-worker, my brother-in-law, godfather to my daughter, beloved uncle to my children, and practically twin to my husband, how do you say goodbye when it is way too soon, completely unexpected, and hurts deep down in your soul?

So here I sit, trying to wrap my brain around 2019 and its tremendous losses. Forgive me as I think out loud, trying to make some sense of it all. This year has knocked me over the head and taught me some hard, painful, and priceless lessons.

During Thanksgiving break, when we learned of the passing of my aunt and then my brother-in-law, as we were all walking around in a teary daze, my children looked at me through their pain and asked that hard question: Why?

Why was this happening, and why even when they prayed? Why? Why? Why? This is what I said to them: I don’t know why bad things happen. I don’t understand the reasons. But what I know deep down in the core of my soul is that I love my family, my children, with all of my being. Now, if I can love them so much that I feel it in every fiber of my being, so much so that it controls every single decision I make, and I am a very, very imperfect being, then how much more does the perfect God love each and every one of us? And, I know if God loves us this much, then He wants only the best for each of us. So I trust in that. I may never know “the big picture” or understand why things happen the way they do, but I trust in God and His perfect love for all of us. But, even with this, somehow in the thick of it, we still feel alone or abandoned.

Here again I fall upon that which I know…my role as a mother. One day, when my youngest was still quite little, he was attempting to climb the stairs by himself. I quietly tip-toed closely behind him as he teetered and tottered up the steep steps. I did not physically reach out or help him; in fact, he probably never even knew I was there. But whether he realized it or not, I was there, and the minute he needed me, I would have been there. About halfway up the stairs, I realized that this is how it is with God. No matter how we may feel, He is always there with us deep in the trenches…in the joy and in the sadness…guiding us and helping us.

British writer and lay theologian C.S. Lewis was no stranger to pain, having lost both his mother and wife to cancer. After losing his beloved wife, Joy, he fell into deep sorrow, which left him grappling with his perceptions. From the pit of darkness, his journal, later titled A Grief Observed, is raw and honest about his doubts, his fears, his pain, and his journey through grief. In it, he writes, “You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth of falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you.”

We aren’t promised the next tomorrow or even the next moment.  I know that. Still, I always somehow thought I would have the time to go back and dot all the I’s and cross all the t’s. This year has taught me that sometimes you don’t. Sometimes, you don’t get to say “I love you” one last time.

So, here’s to making 2020 different. Let’s make it a year to be intentional; to put what really matters most first; to work and play hard but to love and pray harder; to be kind; to say “I love you”; to go to church; to say “I am sorry”; to not put off until tomorrow what we should get done today; and to be thankful for all the beautiful, little moments. 

I pray that you and yours have a wonderful and blessed new year.

“Farm Boy to Combat Engineer”

by Priscilla Rall

Robert “Bob” Clifford Mount, the son of Clifford and Violet Mount, grew up milking cows by hand and plowing with a team of horses, named Dick and Queeny. He lived in a home without electricity, phone, or plumbing. Bob was a farm boy, born in 1931 in the Great Depression. He went to a one-room school and knew little about what was going on in the world, as the family could only use their radio when they charged its battery at his grandmother’s house.

In 1948, Bob left school when he turned 18 and joined the U.S. Army.

He went to Fort Belvoir for training at the Heavy Equipment Mechanic School. Then he was sent to Hawaii, where he was able to complete his high school classes and get his diploma. In June 1950, the Korean War erupted unexpectedly, and Bob was sent to Korea in July. His unit, the 72nd Combat Engineer Company, was in the Pusan Perimeter, where the Americans were desperately holding onto a patch of land on the southeast Korean peninsula. When the company was in review one day, the commanding officer asked if anyone could type. No one raised their hand. So, the commanding officer asked again, and this time, Bob raised his hand, breaking the first law in the Army: NEVER volunteer for ANYTHING!
Bob then raced to the camp’s office and yelled, “Does anyone know how to type?” He managed to get a book on learning to type, and he was ready in a few days to become the company’s regimental clerk! But, soon, the company was sent to make roads, sweep for mines, etc. They didn’t have a demolition man, and Pvt. Mount ended up with that job, too.

Once, when they were checking a bridge for explosives, they descended a ravine by the bridge and, without warning, became the target of North Korean snipers. The GIs promptly called for artillery, which quickly ended the snipers’ attack.

Another time, they were passing through a deserted village on a lane with stone walls on both sides when the enemy opened fire on them from behind the walls, resulting in several casualties. The danger was never far away, even in the Pusan Perimeter.

After the successful invasion at Inchon, near Seoul, the troops in the Pusan Perimeter broke out and headed north. Pvt. Mount’s company was part of the 5th Regimental Combat Team that worked with the Turks, the British, the Greeks, the South Koreans, the 1st Cavalry, and the U.S. Marines. Again, they were making roads and also building pontoon bridges. The troops were buoyed by the pronouncement from Gen. MacArthur that they would be “home for Christmas.” The soldiers made their way north with few difficulties until those in on the west side made it to the Yalu River, which divides North Korea and China.

It was mid-November and getting colder by the day. Bob remembers standing guard one night; in the morning, when he was relieved, he got to camp just as the chow truck got there with tasty hot pancakes—the best meal Bob claims he ever had!

Tragedy loomed as the Chinese crossed undetected into North Korea and attacked the Allied troops, just as the soldiers had finished savoring their Thanksgiving dinner. The soldiers located on the east of the Chosin Reservoir and the Marines on its west took the brunt of the enemy’s forces. The northernmost troops in the west were decimated as well. Frederick County lost Cpl. Paul Carty from Thurmont, Sgt. Roy Delauter, Sgt. Joseph Trail (who was captured and died in a POW camp), and Sgt. Norman Reid. Washington County lost PFC Herene Blevins, Cpl. Kenneth Ridge, and Marine PFC Daily Dye, all at the Chosin.

The Allied troops retreated in haste, and most of those killed in the north still lie in that frozen wasteland. Bob recalls that his general ordered a retreat even before MacArthur did. The 8th Army fled in confusion, as did all the Allied troops. His unit finally stopped in Seoul, and they built a bridge next to the destroyed one across the Han River. He could hear friendly howitzers firing north all night long. Ironically, another Maryland boy, Rupert Spring from Dickerson, was with a company illuminating the area to help the engineers building the bridge.

Finally, Bob was sent home and discharged at Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania, in August 1951. Unbeknownst to Mount or the military doctors, he had contracted a case of malaria that didn’t flair up for two months. Few local doctors were familiar with this tropical disease, and it was some time until it was properly diagnosed and treated.

Bob soon crossed paths with a beautiful young lady, Winnie, who he had known slightly before the war. They were married in March 1952 and had two children. The GI Bill helped them buy their first home. Later, they lived on Fish Hatchery Road. Bob realized that to get ahead in business, he had to get as much education as he could. With the help of the GI Bill, he took classes at several different colleges and eventually became the Senior VP Auditor with the Bank of America. Pretty good for a boy who grew up without even electricity!

Bob doesn’t regret his time in Korea. The GI Bill helped him in his career, and his ambition did the rest. Bob has been very active in the KWVA Chapter 142, and he and Winnie now live in Country Meadows, enjoying a peaceful retirement that they have both earned. Bob, thank you for your service!

If you are a Veteran or know a Veteran who is willing to tell his or her story, contact the Frederick County Veterans History Project at

Robert Clifford Mount

by Buck Reed

New Year, New Cooking

So, here we are again; we made it to a new year. And, if we can put politics behind us, we can go about the business of forgetting the past and looking forward to a new year. All we really have to do is make a proper New Year’s resolution.

Most people make the mistake of making their resolution too strenuous. We won’t talk about people who make it too easy. The important thing is to make your New Year’s resolution attainable. Instead of saying you are “going to cook every day,” which is a noble goal, try something like “becoming a better cook.” Assess your current skill-set and find a skill or some skills that will add to your culinary prowess.

Here are a few ideas of some skills I think every good cook should have.

Knife skills. Every good cook has a special relationship with their knives. Learning how to keep them sharp and storing them is a good start. After that, you should get comfortable holding your knives correctly and using them to make uniform cuts.

Make soup. Don’t learn how to make just one soup, but learn the techniques it takes to make any kind of soup. Making soups will help you experiment and use new ingredients, as well as help you to learn how to bring out the flavor in your finished dish.

Learn a new way to cook eggs. A chef’s hat, called a toque, has a hundred folds in it to represent the number of ways a cook can prepare an egg. Start with making a perfect omelet and work your way around the toque.

Cooking with a cast iron skillet. Although cast iron skillets seem to be challenging to deal with, once you get them set up, they can be a joy to work with. They are great for pan-frying, roasting, and even putting a new spin on your baking. The good news is that once you get your skillet seasoned, it is easily maintained with a minimum of work.

Bake a cake from scratch.  Taking the time to measure each ingredient for a cake carefully, and then mixing it all together correctly, can seem a tedious task, but it can teach you valuable skills. After that, learn how to decorate the cake without a pastry bag. Think of all the occasions you could use a made-from-scratch cake.

Prepare a hot breakfast. Preparing a morning meal in a timely manner can be an impressive skill for all sorts of situations (enough said).

Becoming a good cook isn’t about finding the perfect recipe, but rather mastering the techniques and expanding on those techniques to create good food.

If you put a little time and effort into enhancing your culinary prowess, it could be a tasty year.

MorningStar Family Church, Thurmont

by Theresa Dardanell

“Feeling welcome” does not begin to describe my visit to MorningStar Family Church.  I was greeted with hugs as soon as I walked in the door. As more members arrived, they also welcomed me warmly. During the service, the members unhurriedly spent time greeting one another with handshakes and hugs. 

Pastor Donna Sandridge and several members met with me before the service.  When asked what they wanted people to know about their church, everyone was eager to share their thoughts. 

Diana Wetklow said, “I love my church. It’s a place where you can come and be with everybody and know Jesus is there.”

Harry Wetklow considers everyone in the church as members of a family. 

Debbie Reckley said, “If you are sick or going through a hard time, let us pray with you and let us help you. When somebody comes here, we welcome them, we disciple them, put our arms around them, and help them anyway we can.” 

Dave Reckley added that the church demonstrates that God’s word is relevant in today’s world.

Mark Olson said, “We are a big family. We love people and are here to serve.”

Jamea Gouker talked about the thank-you cards and phone calls they have received from grateful people who have come to the church and felt so much better when they left. 

Rick Sanders, a member for 20 years, said that he loves the church because they are a family.

Pastor Donna said, “We are a loving, giving church. We endeavor to preach the word and reach the community to let them know that Jesus loves them and that we love them, and that this is a place that they can come and feel at home and feel welcome and feel loved.”

The Sunday service begins with songs of praise, led by a talented group of musicians, and continues with announcements by Pastor Donna. Everyone is then invited to request prayers for those in need or give thanks for blessings received. Songs of thanksgiving are followed by a scripture reading and a sermon.  During the sermon, the children move to another room to participate in children’s church with a Bible story, activities, and a snack. Everyone enthusiastically joins in the final song. 

Bible study, open to everyone, on Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m., is led by members of the congregation, with active participation by all. The Ladies Ministry meets on a Saturday once a month for a meeting, together with a brunch. Along with their charitable work, Diana Wetklow said that they “lift one another up and have a really good time.” Their annual dinner in the spring includes skits, music, and a fashion show. Once a month, everyone is invited to a fellowship dinner after the Sunday service.

Although the congregation is small, their generosity is abundant.  Local organizations that they support include: Catoctin High School Safe and Sane, Thurmont Food Bank, Catoctin Schools supply drive and summer lunch program, Care Net Crisis Pregnancy Center of Frederick, Faith House, and the Thurmont United Methodist Church Clothes Closet. They also help individuals and families in need with food, gas, shelter, and home and vehicle repairs.  During the Christmas holiday, members deliver cookies, candy, gifts, and meals. The Annual Giveaway Day on the first Saturday in June is like a yard sale, but everything is absolutely free. 

International aid includes donations to several of the Samaritan’s Purse outreach programs:  disaster relief, wells for clean water, gifts of livestock to communities in need, and help for injured Veterans through Operation Heal Our Patriots.  Shoe boxes full of small toys, hygiene items, and school supplies are sent to Operation Christmas Child, which distributes them to children affected by war, poverty, natural disasters, famine, and disease.  Several of the members create feminine hygiene products for Days for Girls International, a global project that prepares and distributes sustainable menstrual health products to girls in over 100 countries where these items are not readily available. The church has provided support for mission trips to Russia, Venezuela, Philippines, Nigeria, Haiti, Belize, Portugal, Mexico, and Brazil, and financial aid to a considerable number of charitable organizations around the world.  Military personnel receive special care packages when they are deployed overseas and during the holidays. 

The church has an interesting history. The Reverend Wade Sandridge and Donna Sandridge began by preaching during a meeting in 1979 at the Blue Mountain Inn. As the congregation expanded, they met in many different locations, including a home, a tent, a schoolhouse, and a basement. The church was officially established in 1981. After the current property on Albert Staub Road was purchased, construction of the church began in 1996. The first service in the new building was held in 1999. After Pastor Wade passed away in 2005, Donna became pastor. 

MorningStar Family Church is located at 14698 Albert Staub Road in Thurmont.  Sunday morning worship at 10:45 a.m. follows morning prayer at 10:00. Everyone is welcome to attend services, Bible study, and all activities and events.

Members of MorningStar Family Church.

by Christine Maccabee 

Where Have All the Large Moths Gone?

I will begin this article by asking a question: Have you seen many large moths, such as the luna, cecropia or polyphemus, these days? I am starting to research moth populations in upper Frederick County, and I would appreciate knowing of your sitings of these beautiful, large moths, as well as the slightly smaller ones, such as the gorgeous sphinx in the family of hawk moths.

I guess you might say my research started in high school in my back yard, south of Baltimore. It was there that I discovered a few fascinating green caterpillars of large moths. I put them in gallon jars with appropriate leaves, resupplying with fresh ones as needed. I watched the awesome green caterpillars grow to full size until they spun their cocoons, and I was rewarded for my efforts by seeing them emerge from their large cocoons in the spring. Of course, the best part was freeing them to fly away, back into my yard and sky beyond.

Since then, my personal sitings have been quite rare. Smaller moths of many species—some with colorful patterns, others quite plain—have found sanctuary on my property, yet, no large moths. When I say large, I mean with wingspans up to six inches. Just this past summer, I did see evidence of the luna moth up here in the mountains, but it looked like it had been shredded by either a predator or a mower. Where there is one dead luna moth, there will hopefully be a few more live ones!
Last month, I read an article in the National Wildlife magazine about the importance of litter (meaning dried leaves), dried stem of plants, and general yard debris, for the ongoing cycles of a host of wildlife species. In her article, “Life in the Litter,” Emma Johnson confirmed my understanding by writing about the importance of leaving litter in our gardens, where many insects (including moth pupae) go into a hibernation-like state called diapause, lying dormant until the ground warms. “ I will add that it is likely a death sentence to heap up thick mulch around our plants and trees, possibly inhibiting the emergence of these moths.

Fortunate to own property way off the track, I don’t care if my gardens portray a littered look. Unfortunately, in a suburban or city environment, people feel they must rake up all the leaves and dead stems around their azaleas, trees, and so forth, to have a kept appearance, little knowing that they are likely bagging up more than leaves. I shudder to think of all the moth larvae that are bagged up as well. Doug Tallamy, an entomologist at the University of Delaware, says that 94 percent of moth larvae drop off the tree (or host plant) and immediately dig into the litter and soft soil to pupate.

I also have to wonder if the occasional spraying of the hills and ridges near my property, to control gypsy moths, has killed off other harmless moths as well. Even though I was reassured that the spray was specific for the gypsy moth, I am still suspicious. Did the spraying affect other moths and insects as well? 
    So, I continue to observe and to allow ample habitat on my 11-plus acres, no matter how scruffy it may look to critical eyes. My little offering to the health of ecosystems and endangered species may ultimately count for nothing, or it may serve as a tiny Noah’s Ark for the little-understood and unappreciated creatures under our feet and all around us in Natures litter. By this spring, I hope to see more moths of many species—that is, if I stay up all night with the porch light on!

If you have seen any of these large moths or have any other questions or thoughts about habitat, I welcome you to write to me at

Polyphemus moth is a North American member of the family Saturniidae, the giant silk moths. This moth is tan-colored, with an average wingspan of 15 cm; its most notable feature being its large, purplish eyespots on its two hindwings.

This Is My Story

by Dr. Thomas K. Lo, Advanced Chiropractic

This year marked my 35th anniversary practicing chiropractic and 13 years using Nutritional Response Testing NRT® in Maryland.

After graduating from National University of Health Science, I started my private practice in Crofton, Maryland, in 1984. I continued my postgraduate training and was awarded as a Fellow of the International Academy Clinical Acupuncture, a Fellow of the American Association of Integrative Medicine, and a Diplomate of the American Academy of Pain Management. I served on the medical team for the 1996 Track and Field Olympic Team and as a treating doctor on the U.S Greatest Athlete Decathlon Club in the 2004 Olympic trial. I have also served as the treating chiropractor for the Ballet Theater of Maryland, the only professional Ballet Company in the State. Along the way, I have taken care of many professional athletes, celebrities, and politicians. I was at the height of my career until misfortune struck and resulted in the very reason I got into NRT®

It all began on December 16, 2006. It was the holiday season and our office was very hectic. I was busy treating patients, trying to close the books for the year-end taxes and getting ready for two big Christmas parties at my house, with 50-70 guests. I had no time for lunch and just grabbed a bite to eat from whatever patients brought in—mainly cookies and chocolates.

On that Tuesday afternoon around 4:00 p.m., I broke out in a cold sweat, felt shaky, and experienced vertigo right in the middle of treating a patient. I ran to the bathroom, throwing up, and returned to finish treating the patient. This went on for about an hour, and I finally could not do that anymore. We had to cancel all the patients in the next two hours, and I asked my chiropractic assistant, Tony, to take my blood pressure. It was 190/165, my pulse was 90, and my temperature was normal.

He drove me to my family doctor who tried to stop my vertigo and vomiting with pills and shots, but had no success. The doctor finally gave me a shot to knock me out, and he asked Tony to drive me home. My doctor tried very hard to help me out and had spent over an hour past their closing time. I was thankful and appreciated that very much. They had been our family physicians since 1984, and we were lucky to have them; they are friendly and open-minded.

Just about a week before this, I had bragged about never missing a day of work because of illness or injuries. Now I had to miss two days in a row. For the next two months, I went through a healing journey, with which some of you can identify. First, I saw a neurologist who could not find anything wrong with me. My blood pressure was back to normal, with no medication. I had an MRI to rule out cancer or a stroke, which came back normal.

Next, I visited an ENT specialist who found I had slight hearing loss in my left ear. All the bloodwork came back normal, and he did not know what caused the vertigo. The next stop was the urologist. The PSA was slightly high, but the digital exam and biopsy was normal. A scheduled visit to the GI doctor and a colonoscopy revealed twelve polyps, but none of them were cancerous.

In the meantime, between medical doctor visits, I was seeing three different chiropractic colleagues. They gave me a variety of treatments, including activator adjustment, manual manipulation, cold laser, and nutrition and diet modification. After all the medical testing, the doctors could still not find the cause of my vertigo. Interestingly, a chiropractic evaluation revealed I had a virus in left ear, malfunctioning kidneys, parasites, adrenal fatigue, and multiple food allergies. All of these came from eating too much sugar and my stressed out body just could not handle it, resulting in an immune system breakdown. I did try acupuncture and some herbal remedies, which did not help at all. While the cold laser helped to eliminate the symptom of vertigo, diet change and nutrition support were the proper treatment for me and got to the root of the problem.

After two months of medical testing and alternative care, I lost ten pounds and felt about 80-90 percent better. I started playing tennis again, but had lost the stamina, quickness, and finesse. Therefore, I continued searching for a better answer and went through many seminars. Finally, I attended Dr. Ulan’s Nutrition Response Testing Seminar and found it to be what I needed. The program is simple, easy to follow, thorough, and relatively inexpensive.

Nutritional Response Testing allows me to pinpoint the cause of your problem with laser sharp accuracy and provide you with your personalized, specific nutrition evaluation. If five patients come in with symptoms and diagnosis of hypothyroidism, each one of them may have a different treatment program; it depends on the cause.

Since I have been on the NRT® Program, I regained my quickness and stamina on the tennis court. I started to win games and matches again. As my opponents have said, “He is back!” Since being in Frederick, I have become quite an opponent on the pickleball court as well!

I sold the practice in Crofton last December to concentrate on my practice in Frederick, which I started in March 2017, as I semi-retired with my wife to Thurmont. We enjoy the slower pace of life in this area, In my spare time, I discovered pickleball and play up to six or seven times a week. When not playing pickleball, I enjoy working out and swimming at the YMCA in downtown Frederick. On the weekends, my wife and I enjoy eating out at local restaurants and hiking a couple of miles in the mountains near our home with our dog.

Life is good, but nothing gives me more pleasure and satisfaction than seeing my patients and helping them achieve their optimal health, especially with the conditions their own doctors could not help them with or diagnose. When I figure out the cause of my patients’ ill health and find out what nutritional supplements and diet changes can help them, their body begins healing itself and they begin the journey to regaining their health and feeling better.

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, Frederick, MD. Check out the website at

jEanne Angleberger

Start Your Health Plan

The holidays are over and the New Year is here! January is the time to create a plan for your health. Do you want a healthy lifestyle so that you can enjoy life? Remember, putting a healthy lifestyle as a priority is your choice. You can do this!

There are simple solutions to gaining a healthy body. First, you must pay attention to your health.

Look at what foods are on your plate. Your plate should be full of mostly colorful vegetables. Serving a multi-colored salad covers this. Different colors of vegetables and fruits provide different antioxidants. If you need help with a menu plan, a dietitian can assist with your health goals.

Building and retaining muscle is essential to your physical health. Besides, it is so beneficial to your overall health status. It is incredible how much better you think and feel when you exercise. As you age, you want to be flexible and retain strength, so you can live independently.

Be aware of unhealthy habits. It is a fact that smoking affects every organ in the body. So, if you’re a smoker, you must stop now. Consult with your healthcare provider to find a Smoking Cessation Program.

Always consult with your health provider before starting a new health program.

While you aim to get and keep your body in a healthy status, it is likely that you will see and feel a huge, positive difference. And you should!

Who doesn’t want a healthier and happier life?

The majority of us know the severe risks and consequences of leaving an animal in a vehicle on a hot summer day. However, not all of us are aware that cold weather can pose serious health and safety threats to our pets as well.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), below are some helpful tips to keep your pets safe and healthy this winter.

Cold weather may worsen some medical conditions your pet may have, such as arthritis. Your pet should be examined by a veterinarian at least once a year. If you haven’t already this year, have your pet checked out to make sure he/she is healthy as possible for cold weather.

Know your pet’s limits. Just like us, our pets’ cold tolerance can vary from pet to pet based on their coat, body fat stores, activity level, and overall health. Pay close attention to your pet’s tolerance for the cold, and adjust accordingly. Remember, short-haired pets feel the cold faster because they have less protection.

Provide sleeping choices. Just like you, pets prefer comfortable sleeping places and may change their location based on their need for more or less warmth. Give them some warm, comfy options.

Stay inside. Cats and dogs should be kept inside during very cold weather.

Make some noise & check your car. A warm vehicle engine can be an appealing heat source for outdoor and feral cats, but it’s deadly. Check underneath your car, bang on the hood, and honk the horn before starting the engine to make sure there are no cats seeking warmth.

Check the paws. Check your dog’s paws frequently for signs of cold-weather injury or damage, such as cracked paw pads or bleeding.

Play dress-up: If your dog has a short coat or seems really bothered by the cold weather, consider a warm sweater or dog coat.

Collar and chip: Many pets become lost in winter because snow and ice can hide recognizable scents that might normally help your pet find his/her way back home. Make sure your pet has a well-fitting collar with up-to-date identification and contact information.

Provide shelter: The AVMA doesn’t recommend keeping any pet outside for long periods of time in the cold weather, but if you are unable to keep your dog inside during cold weather, provide him/her with a warm, solid shelter against the wind, with unlimited access to fresh, non-frozen water.

Feed well: Keep your pet at a healthy weight throughout the winter. Outdoor pets will need more calories in the winter to produce enough body heat and energy to keep them sufficiently warm. Discuss your pet’s nutritional needs during cold weather with your veterinarian.

Recognize problems: If your pet is whining, shivering, seems anxious, slows down or stops moving, seems weak, or starts looking for warm places to burrow, get them back inside quickly because they are showing signs of hypothermia.

For more information and helpful tips about how to keep your pets safe and healthy this winter, visit

Tips to Reduce Holiday Stress

As much as we look forward to the fun and festivities of the holidays, the holiday season can also bring with it stress, anxiety, and exhaustion.

Most of us are pulled in multiple directions during the holidays, with shopping, cooking, sending cards, baking cookies, hosting family, attending events, and, well, trying to please everyone. This can wear us down and, sometimes, even cause us to get sick. However, there are several techniques we can try to minimize our stress and anxiety so that we can thoroughly enjoy the holiday season. Here are a few:

(1) Set a spending budget—don’t try to “keep up with the Joneses.” That’s a battle you can’t win. Remind yourself of what the holidays are really about; (2) Get plenty of exercise—being active can elevate your mood and help you deal with stress better; (3) Try to keep it simple—know your limitations and learn how to say “No”; (4) Take some time for yourself—set aside at least 15 minutes of alone time a day; (5) Forget “perfect”—Stop setting unrealistic expectations. Don’t let stress over the house being perfect, dinner being perfect, etc. rob you of enjoying the moment. Those things don’t matter in the scheme of things; focus your energy on enjoying special time with your loved ones…that is what really counts; and (6) Pick your battles—don’t let the actions of others rob you of your joy.

My Hallmark Christmas

by Valerie Nusbaum

Valerie arrived in the quaint little mountain village of Thurmont just three weeks before Christmas.  Never one who enjoyed celebrating the holidays, she couldn’t help noticing that the whole town seemed to be decorated. Festive greens adorned with red bows hung everywhere. There were thousands of twinkling lights and all manner of bright, shiny ornaments hung in trees and around doorways.

“I’ll be glad to get this job done and get out of here,” she thought.  You see, Valerie worked for a Fortune 500 company, and she’d been sent to Thurmont to oversee the buyout of the business that was the town’s main source of jobs and income: the Mountain Top Candy Company. The local business was shutting down and all operations transferred to a big, fancy factory in New York City.

After checking into the rustic inn, which was beautifully decorated, of course, and smelled of cinnamon and spices, Valerie set out to meet with the manager of the candy company. His name was Randy; he loved Christmas, and there were immediate sparks between the two of them.

Now, if this were really a Hallmark Christmas movie, Valerie and Randy would fall in love, eat cookies, have a falling-out over the business closing, and get back together just in time for Christmas and to save the company and the town. Snow would be falling, and Valerie would begin to love the Christmas season and would decide to give up her fancy job and move to Thurmont to help Randy run the candy factory. There would probably be a dog and some sort of magical stocking, locket, or ornament, and maybe Santa would turn out to be Randy’s uncle.

I’m going to go on record here and tell you that I am not a fan of those Hallmark movies. In fact, I pretty much loathe and detest them. I know this will upset some of you, but I’m okay with that because I need to be honest.  Seriously, those movies all have the same plot, there’s nothing realistic about them, and I just don’t see how anyone can watch more than one of them without getting a cavity. I understand that the movies are a way to escape the harsh reality of life. They’re just not my cup of tea. I do love some holiday movies such as A Christmas Story and Elf. I’m not heartless, you know. It’s a Wonderful Life and White Christmas are both classics that I’ve seen more than a few times.

However, if my life were a Hallmark Christmas movie, even though I didn’t want to celebrate Christmas (because of some deep, dark secret like falling down a well on Christmas Eve when I was a child), I’d somehow get coerced into organizing the town’s Favorite Things giveaway.

Speaking of favorite things, Randy and I were driving home from Frederick one day when he said, “I have a question about your friend, Gail.” Then he proceeded to remind me that Gail had mentioned that her family does a “favorite things” gifting at Christmas. 

“How does the song tie into that?” Randy asked. He was serious.

“Do you mean that you think Gail gives her family raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens?” I asked him.

He said he knew it wasn’t that literal but still didn’t understand, so I had to launch into the whole explanation about Oprah and her favorite things and how she used to give all those things to her audiences. Randy was visibly upset over this because he is not Oprah’s biggest fan, and he still couldn’t figure out how this translated to Gail giving gifts to her own family.

“So, the giver picks out things that she likes and then she gives those things to her family and friends? Is that how it works?” he asked.

“More or less,” is what I told him.

Randy shook his head and said it still didn’t make sense because that meant that the giver was not taking into consideration the likes and dislikes of the receivers. I tried to explain that the giver tried to choose things that she thought others would like or could use to make life easier. I also pointed out how gifting this way makes life so much easier for the giver, because since everyone on the gift list gets the same gift, it means only going to one store and not stressing over so many different presents. Randy still wasn’t getting it, but I really believe it’s because I said the “O” word and now Favorite Things is forever tainted for him.

In any case, in the Hallmark movie version, Oprah would come to Thurmont for the giveaway and I’d get a car, he’d get a car, and you’d get a car. The snow would fall gently, the lights would twinkle, and music would play in the background, as the whole town would come together in a warm embrace while Oprah beamed upon us.

Randy mentioned more recently that he might like to try doing Favorite Things this year, Oprah notwithstanding. Oh, goody. I can look forward to a subscription to Field & Stream and a beef stick.  Or a bag of Utz holiday pretzels. I hate pretzels, but I can always eat those while I’m watching an awful schmaltzy movie.

No matter what you enjoy watching this holiday season, we’re wishing you all the merriest and happiest holidays!

by James Rada, Jr.

December 1919, 100 Years Ago

Angry—Commits Suicide

While in a fit of anger, and after having been arrested, Mrs. Daisy Toms Baker, aged about 36, shot and killed herself in the home of Wade Wolfe, Wolfsville, this county, Sunday afternoon last, while deputy sheriff Dutrow was waiting for her to prepare herself to accompany him to Frederick City.

Mrs. Baker is a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Toms of Thurmont. Her husband, George Baker, was killed some years ago on the Western Maryland railroad. For some time past, Mrs. Baker has been keeping house for Wolfe.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, December 4, 1919

Clocks Won’t Co-operate

Gettysburg, it is said, is in the throes of confusion over time to an extent which make the daylight savings change pale into insignificance. The citizens are traveling by four separate “times” and Sunday every church service was affected by people coming ahead of time, on time and late.

For a week the town clock in the Courthouse cupola has been speeding its course beyond its normal duty until Sunday it registered 17 minutes ahead of standard time. The Gettysburg College clock by which the northern end of the town governs its movements, is several minutes fast, and the factories have a time of their own by which whistles are blown. Railroads continue to work by their own watches, but aside from them not five per cent of the town uses standard time. The only redeeming feature to the whole mix-up is that nobody misses trains, all of the local time indicators being sufficiently “fast” to give a safe margin.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, December 11, 1919

December 1944, 75 Years Ago

Cpl. Merhle T. Ecker Has the Thrill of a Lifetime

The thrill of a lifetime! That’s what it seemed like to Marine Cpl. Merhle T. Ecker, of Thurmont, now stationed somewhere in Hawaii, when there suddenly was flashed on an outdoor screen before his incredulous eyes the faces and the familiar scenes which he was accustomed to seeing before he left his good old home town.

That is the amazing story which Cpl. Ecker related in a letter home to his family. He was seated, along with hundreds of his buddies, on sandbags, enjoying one of the outdoor movies which the Marine Corps provides for the entertainment of its personnel in remote positions throughout the world. The picture was entitled “Odd Occupations in the United States” and there before the incredulous eyes of the local fighter appeared his townsmen Fred Tresselt, Mr. Tresselt’s son Ernest and Charles H. Anders, who is employed by Mr. Tresselt at his fish ponds near Thurmont. The thrill which the sight of his hometown neighbors and the well-loved local surroundings brought to Cpl. Ecker can hardly be appreciated by the people still at home, he declared.

                                          – Frederick News, December 1, 1944

Two Young Soldiers From Near Here Killed In Action

Once again the war is brought closer to home as a young man from near Thurmont and one from near Creagerstown are reported killed and other from near Catoctin Furnace reported seriously wounded.

          Pvt. Charles A. Rhodes, son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles G. Rhodes, of Franklinville, was reported killed in action in France on November 21 and T/5 Morris E. Hoffman, youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. John Hoffman, of near Creagerstown, was reported killed in action in France on Nov. 15. Pfc. James L. Grushon was reported to be seriously wounded in Germany on Nov. 16.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, December 8, 1944

December 1969, 50 Years Ago

Town Cancels Plan for Water Meters Here

Delinquent water consumer bills were discussed at the regular meeting of the Mayor and Commissioners of Emmitsburg held Monday evening in the Town Office, President of the Board J. Ralph McDonnell presiding. Present also was the Town’s attorney, Fred Bower. Regarding the delinquent water bills, Council plans to adopt an ordinance in the near future which would enable it to add interest charges until the bill has been paid.

… At the suggestion of Attorney Bower, the Council decided that due to the fact that local plumbers had not signed a contract to install water meters in local homes, the meters would be returned to the company from which they were purchased.  To date 30 of these meters have been shipped back to the company and another 20 will be returned just as soon as they can be boxed.

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, December 5, 1969

Mike Boyle Heads Fire Company

L. Michael Boyle was elected to head the Vigilant Hose Company for a one-year term at the annual election of that group held Tuesday evening in the Fire Hall. James E. Fitzgerald, incumbent president, declined to run for the office and Boyle ran unopposed.                                           

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, December 12, 1969

December 1994, 25 Years Ago

2 Sabillasville Teens Charged with Homicide

A bond hearing is scheduled this afternoon for two Frederick County youths charged by Maryland State Police as fugitives from Pennsylvania where they are wanted for the murder of a convenience store clerk early Tuesday.

Clayton W. Faxon, 16, and Jeremiah D. Reynolds, 17, both of Sabillasville Road, Sabillasville, are being held without bail in the Frederick County Adult Detention Center.

State Police arrested the youths Tuesday afternoon in connection with the murder of Gretchen C. Groff, 30, of Fayetteville, Pa. She was killed while working at the High’s Convenience Store in Blue Ridge Summit, Pa.

Both teens have been charged with homicide, robbery, theft by unlawful taking and conspiracy, according to Pennsylvania State Police in Chambersburg. Franklin County District Attorney Jack Nelson said that under Pennsylvania law the juveniles were able to be charged as adults.

                                          – The Frederick News, December 21, 1994

Youths Still Missing from Victor Cullen

An escaped youth and two who failed to return from leave to the Victor Cullen Academy during the holiday weekend remained missing Tuesday, said local police.

The escape of a 17-year-old Prince George’s County teen on Christmas Eve is being investigated by the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, while Maryland State Police are searching for the two who failed to return Monday after holiday leave.

                                          – The Frederick News, December 28, 1994

Meet the “Eternal Litigant”

by James Rada, Jr.

When you consider it, a horse cart rental led to multi-million dollars in lawsuits.

Dr. Harrison Wagner of Woodsboro hired a horse and cart owned by John Flickinger in 1878. When Flickinger paid off his doctor’s bill, he reduced the amount by the amount Wagner owed him for the rental. Wagner denied ever hiring the cart, but he lost his case in court.

Having lost with a weak case, most people would move on. Not Wagner. If something positive could be said about the man, it was that he never gave up.

“He then had Flickinger arrested for perjury, and nine witnesses swore that what Flickinger had testified was true, while many more contradicted this evidence point-blank,” the New York Times reported years later. The case cost Wagner $1,000 with no result reached.

It is believed this loss somehow changed the middle-aged bachelor, who lived alone in his house on Main Street in Woodsboro.

“He would leave town suddenly on horseback, by the back streets, and not return for days. While away, he would visit farmers, and beg them on his knees to hide him in their hay-lofts or garrets, as a crowd of ruffians from Woodsboro were on his track who had sworn not to sleep until they had murdered him,” according to the New York Times.

He had the sheriff in Westminster lock him up for his own safety. He barricaded himself at times in his own house. He told people he had been engaged to a woman, but political shenanigans caused the woman’s family to break the engagement.

In 1876, Wagner went to Baltimore and swore out a warrant before the U.S. Attorney saying his life was in danger in Woodsboro, and he named nine men trying to kill him. “Two deputy marshals, armed to the teeth, were at once sent to Woodsboro to break up the infamous gang. When they get there they found the ‘desperadoes’ all reputable and well-to-do citizens, willing to go with the marshals peaceably if the law required it. Only one of them was taken to Baltimore, and he was dismissed, with the remark that Wagner was undoubtedly crazy,” the New York Times reported.

Undeterred after another court loss, Wagner believed that the nine men were liable for his time spent protecting himself from them. He sued for time lost, day’s labor, injury to business, disturbed peace of mind, and more. He went after not only the men, but their family members and friends.

“When a man goes to bed here at night nowadays, he never knows whether the sheriff will be around first thing in the morning to levy on him or not,” according to the New York Times.

When the local magistrate quickly dismissed the lawsuits, Wagner filed even more in other jurisdictions in the county; over 2,000 in just a few months. The total damages Wagner claimed among all the lawsuits was $6,000, and for this, he sought $100,000. Over half of the lawsuits were against the Adams Express Company “the only cause for any of them being imaginary damage done to a single small package.”

It was thought these suits also came to nothing, but in 1879, it was discovered that 128 judgments of $98 each were still active. Wagner pursued them against the estate of William Shank who had died the previous year.

Although it was conclusively proven Shank had never borrowed money from Wagner, because of the preciseness of the way paperwork had been filed, it still had to go through the Orphan’s Court. This tied up the estate and threatened to leave nothing for Shank’s rightful heirs.

Other Woodsboro merchants had their own problems because of Wagner’s open lawsuits. They found their credit with some Baltimore businesses had been suspended because of the outstanding judgments.

“Wagner was denounced in the severest terms, and if he attempts to prosecute his claims by levying up the property of his victims, there is sure to be trouble,” the New York Times reported. “The imaginary conspiracy from which he had been fleeing for years will become a reality.”

The other plaintiffs in Wagner’s suits had had enough they had Wagner indicted as being a “common barrator.” This was a rare charge with only a handful of cases found on record. A common barrator sounds much like a cross between modern “ambulance chaser” and practicing law without a license. Wagner had one of his rare victories in this case when it was ruled that for the charge of common barrator to be appropriate, Wagner would have had to be encouraging others to file multiple frivolous suits. Wagner was filing his suits on his own behalf.

A few months later, all of his outstanding lawsuits came back to potentially bite Wagner. Although he hadn’t collected on the outstanding judgements as the cases were being appealed, he was potentially the owner of a lot of property on which he had to pay property taxes.

“From his statements it appears that the collector of State and county taxes in making out the schedule of property which is to be the basis of taxation for the year 1880 included the judgements which he (Wagner) had obtained against the estate of William Shank, of Woodsboro for $13,000…,” according to the Baltimore Sun.

Wagner appeared before the county commissioners asking for relief from unfair taxation. They told him that he hadn’t been taxed yet since the cases were still outstanding, but if the courts found in his favor that is the amount he would owe. In essence, the state and county had done the same thing to Wagner that he had done to the citizens of Woodsboro, except that the state and county had a legitimate claim.

During the following year, the cases were dismissed because Wagner was back in court in 1881 trying to get them reinstated.

Wagner soon moved out of the county, but not out of the county newspapers.

In 1883, newspapers reported that he filed more lawsuits against the Adams Express Company in the Washington, D.C. courts. This was another effort to revive some of his earlier Frederick County lawsuits. The total amount Wagner sought from these suits was $101,000. Denied satisfaction in Washington, he met a magistrate in Licksville, Virginia, to convince him to issue a judgment against the express company.

“Justice Alnutt refused to issue, when Wagner became very demonstrative,” the Sun reported. “Several residents of the village standing near told Wagner they would lynch him if he attempted the Woodsboro racket in that neighborhood. One man was especially anxious to at least give him, as he said, his deserts (sic) by throwing him in the canal near by (sic).”

Wagner quickly left.

In 1885, he next showed up in Mecklenburg, North Carolina, filing 11,443 small suits seeking $1,242,850 in unspecified damages. These suits were dismissed.

In 1890, Wagner was finally arrested and charged with a crime. Officials said he forged the name of the late William Dinsmore on a bond of nearly $2 million that he filed against the Adams Express Company.

“He went about it all so quietly, and worked it all in such an underhand way that it was only by the suspicion of the county clerk at Fredericksburg, Va., becoming aroused that the fraud became known,” the Frederick News reported.

Wagner was sentenced to one year in prison for forgery.

By 1897, Wagner was in the U.S. Circuit Court in Baltimore suing Frederick County commissioners for $1.1 million. He lost the case but appealed it to the U.S. Supreme Court of Appeals in Richmond the following year and lost once again.

He continued to file lawsuits against government, companies, and individuals in the years following; never winning but continuing to press forward. He even tried to perpetrate a fraud against the U.S. Congress in 1902. The House Committee on Invalid Pensions had “an alleged copy of a bill purporting to have been passed by the Senate placing him on the retired list of the Army as an assistant surgeon has been circulated, and that an equally fraudulent copy of an alleged favorable report on this bill has been palmed off on the committee,” according to the Frederick News. When his case was researched, it was found he had only been contracted as a nurse for a single year during the war.

Wagner was committed to insane asylum in 1907 after filing another fraudulent lawsuit against the late Joseph Reisinger of Rockville. He was convicted in the case, but a lunacy commission found him of unsound mind and committed him rather than send him to prison.

He spend a short time in the asylum and then went to live with his brother in Ohio. For unknown reasons, he returned to Washington, D.C., to be recommitted.

In 1911, Wagner applied to be released saying “he would rather go to the penitentiary than stay in the government hospital,” according to the Frederick News. Frederick County citizens showed up at his release hearing opposing the action and Frederick County government opposed his release writing, in part, “He fraudulently obtained judgments against nearly every prominent citizen in this county…”

The eternal litigant lost his final case and remained in the asylum.

What Christmas Is All About

by Anita DiGregory

Does the time between Thanksgiving and January 2 seem like a blur? Are your holidays unforgettably beautiful but undeniably stressful? If so, you aren’t alone. According to a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, 38 percent said they experienced greater levels of stress during the holidays. And, who wouldn’t? After all, retailers have been stressing us out since way back in July, with visions of Christmas trees, ornaments, and wrapping paper decking the (retail) halls. Soon after, Facebook chimed in with its countdowns to Christmas. Then, the countless pre-Thanksgiving holiday sales booklets distributed by every major retailer from A to W—that is Amazon to Walmart—were delivered (almost making one nostalgic for the good ole’ days of Black Friday). 

Charlie Brown: I think there must be something wrong with me, Linus. Christmas is coming, but I’m not happy. I don’t feel the way I’m supposed to feel. (A Charlie Brown Christmas)

It may be the hap…happiest season of all, but the holidays can also result in excessive stress for parents and children. Holiday programs, parties, and events overfill an already full calendar.  Parents feel the added pressure that goes along with finding the perfect gifts, traveling, visiting extended family, finding a lack of time and money, and providing the perfect holiday for everyone. This can all lead to conflict and distract from the true meaning of the season. 

Ellen Griswold: I don’t know what to say, but it’s Christmas, and we’re all in misery. (National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation)

And let’s not forget, ‘tis also the season for those flawless, photoshopped images to flood our social media and those picture-perfect Christmas cards to be delivered to our doors. This creates added pressure. According to a research study conducted on holiday stress, 41 percent of Americans surveyed, and 49 percent of the moms surveyed, acknowledged they stressed over creating the perfect holiday. So, how do we strive to reach above the Griswold’s Christmas Vacation without overstressing about providing the perfect Norman Rockwell Christmas? Here is some advice from the experts.

Take time for planning. Talk to your family about what is important to them to accomplish and what their favorite things are to do. Reflect and prioritize.  Whether it is drinking hot chocolate while watching a favorite holiday movie, cutting down the perfect tree, making Christmas cookies, or caroling with friends at the local nursing home, whatever it is, make a plan. Schedule the time to do those things together.

Enlist help from the kids. The holidays are family time. Getting the children to help with chores, decorating, and planning gives them a sense of pride, helps unify the family, and gives everyone more time to enjoy fun activities.

Be intentional. The holidays can be a time of overspending and overeating. Overindulging is proven to cause physical and emotional stress on individuals. 

In fact, a survey conducted by the Principal Financial Group found that 53 percent of those polled acknowledged that holiday spending stresses their finances.  Approximately, 11 percent added that it results in a “great deal of stress” on them financially. Talking with your spouse about spending limits and establishing a budget can be helpful.

Slow down.  With all the added demands of the holiday season, it can be difficult to take the time to reflect, relax, and enjoy. Research has shown that spending quality time with family is key to reducing stress. 

Narrator:  It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ‘till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more. (How the Grinch Stole Christmas)

Nurture an attitude of gratitude. Modeling gratitude for our children is vital. Research continues to show the positive health effects of counting and reflecting on our blessings. 

Remember others. The holiday season is the perfect time to teach our children the importance of thinking of and helping others.  Doing so helps them to learn compassion and empathy. Visit an elderly neighbor; go caroling at a local nursing home; send a Christmas card to someone who may not get another card. They can even donate toys to Toys for Tots or to another community aid organization. The possibilities are endless, but the results are priceless. 

Above all, strive to remember and celebrate the Reason for the season. May you and your family have a safe and blessed holiday season and New Year.

Linus Van Pelt: Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about. Lights, please.

“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, ‘Fear not:  for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.’”

That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown. (A Charlie Brown Christmas)

by Buck Reed

Onions, A Layer of Flavors

All over the world, almost every cuisine is defined not only by the types of food they eat, but how they prepare them. Of the many different ingredients used throughout the world, the one that seems to find its way to everyone’s table is the onion.

Although essential in cooking, sometimes onions get a bad rap. As far as bad breath that is caused by onions, well, that is temporary; and, let’s face it, if you are not willing to kiss someone with onion breath, did you ever really love them in the first place? As a chef, and not a relationship specialist, I say you can actually find room in your life for onions and the stinky breath they bring to the people you love. Hopefully, only one will fade with time. And, like most relationships, onions can bring tears to your eyes, but can also be avoided.

Onions pack a punch of flavor, as well as a lot of nutritional value, coupled with a low calorie content. They provide potassium and vitamin C, as well as being an antioxidant and antibacterial.

Although there are literally hundreds of onions used in cooking today, here is a quick guide to six common onions found in every grocery store and how to use them.

White Onions

High in water content, these onions are mild in flavor and are good raw in salads, salsas, wraps, and sandwiches. To add another dimension to them, try pickling them.

Yellow Onions

Yellow onions (also known as cooking or Spanish onions) have a pungent flavor that are not good raw but are best when cooked into soups or stews, and really shine when they are caramelized.


A staple of French cuisine, these small, elongated onions have a unique, mild flavor that is good raw as well as chopped and cooked in a saute and stir fry. Caramelized shallots can also add a unique flavor to your dish.

Red Onion

This purple fleshed onion is pretty and works best raw in sandwiches, wraps, and burgers. They can also be used in quick cooking methods.

Green Onions

Green onions (also known as scallions) come in two parts: the long green stem that is chopped and eaten raw and the white bulbous part that should be cooked. For a real treat, try grilling these onions whole and serving as a side dish.

Sweet Onions

A sweet onion is a variety of onion that is not pungent and actually tastes sweet. There are several types, but Vidalia is the most popular. These are very mild onions in flavor and are best eaten raw.

You may find that most recipes don’t specify what type of onion they call for in the recipe. While using any onion in your recipe won’t necessarily ruin your dish, using the best onion for the recipe your cooking will definitely make your food taste better. Purchasing and using the best onion for the specific type of dish you are preparing is a great way to step up your culinary game.

Victory Tabernacle, Thurmont

by Theresa Dardanell

“A hand of friendship will be extended. A heart of worship will be found. A Biblical message will be heard.” 

My recent visit to Victory Tabernacle confirmed the quote that was in the handout I received before the service.  The church, originally named Catoctin Gospel Tabernacle, was established in 1961 as an independent Pentecostal Church by Reverend Arnold Gooden. Pastors David and Hope Reynolds have served the congregation since 1983. Pastor David said that the church is currently a fully chartered member of the Pentecostal Church of God and that, “Victory Tabernacle serves as the Capital District Church, serving nine churches in the tri-state area. We also serve 69 military chaplains all across the globe as an Assistant Ecclesiastical Endorser.”

Their uplifting Sunday worship service begins at 10:00 a.m. The musical team leads the congregation in joyful contemporary music throughout the service, which includes a Scripture reading, a message, and prayers. The congregation participates with prayer requests and thanks for blessings received; there is also plenty of time to greet one another with handshakes and hugs. A special children’s church is held during the worship service. Communion is offered at Christmas and Easter.

There are plenty of opportunities for study and social interaction during the week. Men meet for Bible study on Thursday mornings; women gather for Bible study on Wednesday evenings; grandparents are invited for “table talk” to support and help one another.

The youth group meets on Fridays, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Along with Bible study, they enjoy games and snacks and work on community service projects.

Family events include grandparents night, gingerbread night, paint night, and more. A new College and Career Group for young adults has just formed,  and they will begin their community service with a nursing home visit in December. 

Outreach to the local community includes donations to the Frederick Rescue Mission, Thurmont Food Bank, Hospice, Catoctin Pregnancy Center, and a prison ministry.  Operation Christmas Child is one of the international organizations supported by Victory Tabernacle. Boxes of personal care products, toys, and craft items, along with personalized objects made by the children of the church, are packed in boxes and sent to children around the world by the Samaritan’s Purse International Relief organization. Missionaries in the Philippines are also the recipients of the generosity of the congregation.

Victory Tabernacle is located at the corner of Kelly’s Store Road and Catoctin Furnace Road in Thurmont. Paul Jenkins said that the members feel like family and that, “we look after each other. Guests are always welcome to become part of this family of God.”  Pastor David Reynolds shared the hope that, “people know that Jesus is alive and he loves them, and we love them and we want to worship together.”

Members of Victory Tabernacle.

The Holly and The Ivy

by Christine Maccabee

The Holly

There are about 15 native hollies in America, which, if grown in moist soil, are quite beautiful if you are fortunate enough to have one around your home. They can grow tall, but tend to be more shrub-like. Hollies are famous for their reddish berries, which only the female bears, and shiny green leaves. Cuttings are sometimes used at this time of year to decorate our homes, churches, and businesses. Most importantly, the female’s white flowers provide nectar for pollinators, and the berries are an excellent source of food for birds throughout the fall and winter into spring.

Ironically, the raw berries are poisonous for humans, though I do not know about cooked ones. I don’t think I will try it!

In the 1990s, I found my holly tree, half dead in a large pot at a roadside stand where the owner was shutting his business down for the winter. Selling it to me at half price, since it was half dead, I brought it home with great hopes that it might thrive at the corner of my house where the soil is consistently moist. Over many years, I watched with joy to see it become a thriving, and very tall, holly tree. However, disappointingly, it bore no berries.

This tale could have a sad ending since over time it looked like it was dying, its leaves turning brown and dropping off, with no sign of new life. It was becoming an eyesore, so sadly I cut it down. However, the following spring I noticed new growth, beginning at the base of the stump. I watched with great interest and excitement, as over the summer the holly resurrected itself into what is now, after many years, another gorgeous tree. It is even producing some berries!

I know of a few female hollies in our area, mostly brought in by a kind arborist or naturalist. Two of those hollies were planted at the back of the Presbyterian Church in Emmitsburg (where I am an organist), and they are thriving beautifully. I love seeing their many berries turn slowly through the season from green to orangish red (see photo above).

There are several holly forests in Delaware, and one near the Bay Bridge, which I visited a few decades ago. I can only hope it is still in existence; one day in the future, I will explore that possibility. I worry that it may have been demolished to make way for more development, as has happened to many wild areas in my lifetime.

The Ivy

There are at least two ivies that most people are familiar with: the English ivy and the dreaded poison ivy. English ivy is not a native to America and by many naturalists is considered an invasive. Even though some homeowners value it as a ground cover, it sadly does its job all too well. It is an unstoppable creeper, taking over habitat where fern and other wild plants would ordinarily grow. Also, English ivy is very vulnerable to spider mites, scale and mealy bugs, fungus, and so forth, all of which are easily transferable to other wild or domestic plants. Thus, it is a good idea to avoid planting it in your yard.

Some homeowners like to have English ivy creep up the walls of their homes, and it does look beautiful to some eyes. However, its strong roots work their way onto mortar of bricks or cracks in wood, thus damaging the house. I try not to be in judgment of other people’s choices, so I can only make my recommendations, then let it go. This is true of many other facets of life, be they political or lifestyle choices. We cannot control everything, but we can try to help with damage control.

As far as I am concerned, the holly does indeed take the crown with its beauty and usefulness. The French carol “The Holly and the Ivy” is all about the thorns and blood inflicted upon Christ. It is not my favorite carol, but I do love its melody! As for ivy, it is not my favorite plant.

 I suppose we can find the desirable and undesirable in everything in life. May you find true joy this season in many desirable and lovely things.                                                                            

Food Safety Tips for the Holidays

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

Holidays can be a time for family, food, and fun. While getting together for the holidays can be enjoyable, the food may be contaminated and friends and family may become ill. The U.S. food supply is among the safest in the world, but organisms that you cannot see, smell, or taste (bacteria, viruses, and tiny parasites) are everywhere in the environment. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 48 million illnesses, 128,000 hospitalizations, and 3,000 deaths in the United States can be traced to foodborne pathogens every year.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimates two to three percent of foodborne illnesses lead to serious, secondary long-term illnesses. Unfortunately, the nonprofit Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) has reported that zero risk of microbiological hazards is not possible and no method will eliminate all pathogens or toxins from the food chain (“Food Safety and Fresh Produce: An Update,” 2009).

Despite progress improving the quality and safety of foods, any raw agricultural product can be contaminated. Bacteria may survive, despite aggressive controls at the processing level, or the food may become contaminated somewhere along the way during transport, preparation, cooking, serving, and storage.

For these reasons, food safety and public health officials agree that along with aggressive efforts to identify, access, and control microbiological hazards associated with each segment of the food production system, teaching everyone about safe food handling is a priority. Consumers have an important role to play in reducing their risk of foodborne illness.

Here are some tips to follow to help you avoid foodborne illnesses.

Keep it clean. Wash your hands with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds before preparing, eating, or handling food. Also, wash your hands after using the bathroom and touching pets. Wash your cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and countertops with hot, soapy water after preparing each food item.   Wash or scrub fruits and vegetables under running water—even if you do not plan to eat the peel—so dirt and germs on the surface do not get inside when you cut into the food.

Cook it well. Cooking food to the proper temperature gets rid of harmful germs. Use a food thermometer to check for the proper temperature of the meat you are cooking. Make sure chicken wings (and any other poultry) reach a minimum internal temperature of 165°F and that ground beef items reach 160°F. Cook all raw beef, pork, lamb and veal steaks, chops, and roasts to a minimum internal temperature of 145°F before removing meat from the heat source. For safety and quality, allow meat to rest for at least three minutes before carving or consuming. Follow frozen food package cooking directions when cooking in microwave.

Keep it safe. If preparing food in advance, divide cooked food into shallow containers and store in a refrigerator or freezer until the party begins. This encourages rapid, even cooling. Keep hot foods at 140°F or warmer. Use chafing dishes, slow cookers, and warming trays to keep food hot on the buffet table. Cold foods should be kept at 40°F or colder. Use small service trays or nest serving dishes in bowls of ice. It is okay to refreeze meat and poultry defrosted in the refrigerator before or after cooking. If thawed by other methods, cook before refreezing. If you are getting takeout or having food delivered, make sure to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Separate raw meats from ready-to-eat foods like veggies when preparing, serving, or storing foods. Make sure to use separate cutting boards, plates, and knives for produce and for raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs.          Marinate meat and poultry in a covered dish in the refrigerator.                 Place cooked food on a clean plate. Do not use a plate that had raw or uncooked food on it—especially raw meat, poultry, or seafood. Offer guests serving utensils and small plates to discourage them from eating directly from the bowls with dips and salsa.

Store and reheat leftovers the right way. Divide leftovers into smaller portions or pieces, place in shallow containers, and refrigerate or freeze. Refrigerate leftover foods at 40°F or below as soon as possible and within two hours of preparation or one hour when the temperature is above 90°F. It is okay to put hot foods directly into the refrigerator. Refrigerate leftovers for three to four days at most. Freeze leftovers if you will not be eating them soon. Check the temperature of your refrigerator and freezer with an appliance thermometer. The refrigerator should be at 40°F or below and the freezer at 0°F or below. Cook or freeze fresh poultry, fish, ground meats, and variety meats within two days; beef, veal, lamb, or pork, within three to five days.

Wrap perishable food such as meat and poultry securely to maintain quality and to prevent meat juices from getting onto other food. To maintain quality when freezing meat and poultry in its original package, wrap the package again with foil or plastic wrap.

Canned foods are safe indefinitely as long as they have not been exposed to freezing temperatures, or temperatures above 90°F. Discard cans that are dented, rusted, or swollen. High-acid canned food (tomatoes, fruits) will keep their best quality for 12 to 18 months; low acid canned food (meats, vegetables) for 2 to 5 years.

Thawing. The refrigerator allows slow, safe thawing. Make sure thawing meat and poultry juices do not drip onto other food. For faster thawing, place food in a leak-proof plastic bag. Submerge in cold tap water. Change the water every 30 minutes. Cook immediately after thawing. Cook meat and poultry immediately after microwave thawing.

Food poisoning. Some signs of food poisoning include upset stomach, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever.

Signs of food poisoning can start hours, days, or even weeks after eating bad food. Usually the effects only last for one or two days, but they can last up to two weeks.

The treatment for most cases of food poisoning is to drink plenty of liquids to stay hydrated. For a more serious illness, you may need treatment at a hospital. Get medical help right away, if you have a fever higher than 101.5°F. Also, seek medical attention if you have blood in your vomit or in your stool; and you are throwing up many times a day for more than two days, if you can’t drink or keep down any liquids for 24 hours, have a very dry mouth, are peeing much less than usual, are feeling very weak, dizzy, or lightheaded and if you have diarrhea that lasts more than three days.

Anyone can get sick from eating bad food. However, food poisoning is a serious health risk for some people. Higher risk categories include pregnant women, babies, young children, older adults, and people with certain health conditions (including AIDS, diabetes, liver or kidney disease, and cancer).

You cannot see, smell, or taste harmful bacteria that may cause illness. In every step of food preparation, follow these four steps of the Food Safe Families campaign to keep food safe: (1) Clean: Wash your hands and the surfaces food is prepared on often; (2) Separate: Keep meat and vegetables separate, so you do not cross-contaminate; (3) Cook: Cook food to the right temperature according to the meat thermometer; (4) Chill: Refrigerate food promptly.

Dr. Lo wishes you a happy and healthy holiday. If you are interested in a free consultation, contact the Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center at 240-651-1650. 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, Frederick, MD. Check out the website at

Jeanne Angleberger

2019 Recap of Healthy Tips

Well, I hope 2019 had many highlights for your health. Committing to a healthier lifestyle is a choice! Let’s recap some of those choices yours truly shared throughout the year.

Vegetables are an essential part of a healthy diet. They are low-calorie and provide a rich source of antioxidants. Aim to consume two to three cups daily. Variety is the key!

February is American Heart Month. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women. You can lower your risk by: quitting smoking; monitoring blood pressure and cholesterol; watching your weight; getting active and eating healthy.

Essential oils offer many health benefits. An aroma spray can revitalize the mind, body, and spirit.

Sprouted grain breads are packed with vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber. These breads do not contain added sugar, preservatives, or artificial ingredients and may be easier to digest.

Boost your health in the summer time by eating a nutritious diet, wearing eye protection, and applying sunscreen.

Chia seeds are filled with fiber, antioxidants, and healthy omega-3 fatty acids. You may find them in your favorite muffins, energy bars, and breakfast cereals.

Celery is a low-calorie, nutritious, and antioxidant-rich vegetable and snack.

Cauliflower is high in vitamin C, K, and beta carotene. Serve it raw with your favorite hummus or steamed as a side dish. Read the top eight health benefits of cauliflower at

Remember, nutrition is for everyone. Take a healthy step now.  Your body and mind will thank you.

May you and your family be blessed with healthiness and happiness in 2020.

Rescued: Furry and Furever Loved

Michele Tester

Pam Ryan of Thurmont has adopted from shelters many times before, but she had never adopted through a rescue organization. That is, until Josie. The main difference between shelters and rescue groups is that shelters are usually run and funded by local governments, whereas rescue groups are funded mainly by donations and most of the staff are volunteers.

“These people, like all the other organizations, save so many animals from overcrowded shelters, as well as those that have been lost, abandoned, and abused. There are groups that fly the animals in from shelters all over the United States and beyond, as well as groups that arrange for transports state by state until the animals arrive at their destinations to hopefully find good homes. The volunteers work very hard in whatever spare time they have and operate through donations to give these animals the good care they need until, hopefully, they find their loving and forever homes,” said Pam. 

Josie, a dilute calico, approximately a year old at that time, came to Pam from Sarah, who is the owner of Furever Love Rescue in Hedgesville, West Virginia. Josie was a stray that showed up one day at the rescue, sitting on top of their fence. She was brought inside with the other cats and dogs that were up for adoption. Sarah considered keeping her, but Josie was very rambunctious and a pest to all the other animals, many of whom were older and wanted no part of this exuberant cat. So, Sarah decided that Josie would be better off in a loving home of her own.

“Let me just say…..she is a real pest and very mischievous, and, luckily, her dog sister Lexi puts up with her!” laughed Pam.

A home visit was made to see the environment in which Josie would be living. Pam’s loving home passed, and the adoption went through. Josie was brought to live with Pam the following weekend. 

“Josie was a perfect fit and has been with us for almost three years now. My dog, Lexi, and her are best buddies and play together all the time. I think Josie thinks she’s a dog. She chases us through the house and fetches her little pom pom balls, just like a dog would,” said Pam, smiling, “Josie doesn’t let Lexi out of her sight, and vice versa. They are truly best friends. She is very vocal and loves to talk, purring loudly. I would say she is a very happy cat and loves her home.” 

Pam has always adopted through shelters and now through a rescue. “I’ve had some amazingly wonderful cats and dogs over the years. I truly believe that just because an animal ends up in a shelter, it doesn’t mean that they have something wrong with them or can’t be loved. I believe they are all so very special and seem to know that you saved their life and gave them the loving home they so deserve. They love you unconditionally.” It doesn’t get much better than that. 

by Buck Reed

Apple Season

Although apples are now readily available year-round because of the voodoo science has provided for us, we tend to look at apple season as being in November. This is because, traditionally, apple picking starts in July and, depending on the climate, ends about now. So, November is when we take the last of the apples and start the traditional work of preserving them into apple butter or sauce or prepping them for storage for the winter.

This time of year, apples are traditionally sorted and then wrapped in paper before placing them in a crate or basket and storing them in the cellar where it was cool enough to keep the apples from spoiling. The paper was used to keep a bad apple from coming into contact with the others and ruining the rest. As the Osmonds taught us, one bad apple won’t spoil the whole bunch. Is there nothing a 1970’s Mormon family pop group cannot teach us?

Today, apples are picked before they are ripe and stored in rooms with higher levels of carbon dioxide to keep them from ripening. When the apples are needed for sale, the room is flooded with oxygen and the apples ripen naturally. And, if they need the apples sooner, ethylene gas is used to super ripen the fruit. This method ensures that we will have fresh, crisp apples all year round.

 This modern method also ensures that apples do not lose any of their nutritional value, which, of course, we all know “an apple a day will keep the doctor away.” One apple has about 95 calories and provides a good source for soluble fiber, which will help lower your cholesterol as well as blood pressure and risk of stroke.

Eating an apple with the skin will also provide ursolic acid, which will activate a calorie burn in the body and help fight obesity. Although apples do contain carbs, which can cause a spike in blood sugar levels, the fiber in apples can actually help stabilize sugar levels in diabetics.

Since we now know apples are good for you and they are readily available all through the year, why not cook with them more?

Baking with apples is a no-brainer. Apple dumplings, apple turnovers, apple crisp, and of course, the all-American dessert, Apple pie, easily come to mind. But why not change it up with something different like a new spice or seasoning. I am finding ground cardamom to be a nice new ingredient to add to my baked products and would encourage anyone looking for something new to give it a go. Of course, baked or sautéed apples would make a fine side dish to almost any entree, and adding sliced apples to a stir fry might add a pleasing surprise. If you have a food dehydrator, slice the apples thin and make some apple chips for a quick snack.

With an ingredient packed with so much nutritional value and an all-year availability, why not keep a bag in the pantry?

Challenge yourself to eat one apple a day and give the doctor the day off.

Around the House

by Valerie Nusbaum

I have a new appliance/gizmo that’s guaranteed to make cleaning a breeze, giving me all sorts of free time. It’s called a Clorox Scrubtastic, and Randy gave it to me for my birthday. Now, ladies, before you get all incensed about my husband giving me a cleaning tool for my birthday, know that I asked for it. In his defense, he was only doing what I requested. He also gave me a beautiful piece of jewelry, so it’s all good. 

Anyway, this gadget came in a big box and has several attachments. It has to be assembled, and, when fully extended, is about three-and-a-half-feet long. It has a charger and several brushes, depending upon the job to be done. I forgot to mention that the day Randy ordered it, there was a “buy one, get one free” deal, so I have two of them. That’s not a bad idea in our house, as I tend to break things.

I was a little wary about trying it out on my own since the thing is so big and kind of heavy, but what the heck? I’ve never run away from a challenge, so I decided to use it on my bathtub. Normally, I scour the tub with a cleaning pad, and I do a pretty good job, if I do say so myself. Well, I applied some bathroom cleaner to the tub, made the brush a little wet and turned on the Scrubber. Did I mention that it has a very powerful motor?  It was all I could do to hold onto it as it scooted around my slick bathtub. I finally got a good grip on it and held on for dear life, but I do believe that my own elbow grease does a better job on the tub since I had a hard time holding the brush at the proper angle. Maybe with practice, I’ll get the hang of it. I have to say, though, that the Scrubber did a fantastic job on my bathroom floor.

When the time came to scrub Randy’s shower stall, I gave him the honor of using the scrubbing tool and I stood outside the bathroom to observe, and to hopefully have a good laugh. I wasn’t disappointed.  Randy applied the spray cleaner to the stall walls and floor and turned on the motor. It was hard to hear all the bad words coming out of his mouth because the motor is pretty loud. Just as well. We both started cracking up and neither of us could decide if the Scrubber worked as well or better than our previous cleaning methods. Maybe we’ll stick to using it on the tile floors and find some other uses as well.

We’ve also been redecorating our living room. Ten years ago, we thought it would be a great idea to paint two of the living room walls a deep forest green since the décor in there was rustic. At that same time, I bought some lined drapes for all the windows (there are five and one of them is a big bay) in a red, gold, and green plaid fabric. We moved the green area rug from the dining room into the living room, and we were happy with the look. Well, I was happy for about a year. At that point, I was tired of the drapes and sick of the walls. Life got in the way of my decorating plans, and I lived with that color scheme for another nine years.

Finally, in September of this year, I could take it no more. We looked at paint samples and decided to go with a greige (grey/beige) color on the walls. Randy really liked a floral-patterned drapery fabric, so I agreed to his choice and I matched the drapes with a new area rug as closely as I could. We did all the taping, painting, and touch-up in one weekend, and I’m happy with the transformation. The room is a little more elegant now and not so rustic or North-woodsy.

The kitchen still isn’t finished. Two of the bathrooms could use new floors and fixtures, and the basement needs a total makeover, especially since Randy has an office down there now. Do you ever look around at your home and feel overwhelmed with all the jobs to be done? I sure do.

We’ve been cleaning out and trying to downsize, because after twenty-five years here, we’ve accumulated a lot of stuff. Randy and I had our first Colorfest weekend yard sale, and we did manage to get rid of a lot of things that other people said they could use. I even sold my Karma Chameleon plaid drapes. (Get it?  They’re red, gold, and green.) I was happy to see some old friends at our yard sale, too. Kathy Myrick and her daughter, Amy, stopped by, and I got to chat with Sharon Baker. Sharon’s dad, Jimmy Danner, I’m told, is a Banner reader!

That’s what we’ve been up to. Owning a home is a never-ending series of projects and jobs. It’s exhausting, hard work, and a lot of expense. Things break or wear out (I know just how those appliances feel), and I’m always itching to change something.

When it gets to be too much, Randy looks at me and says, “Pack a bag. We’re getting out of here.” I think he’s trying to save himself.

by James Rada, Jr.

November 1919, 100 Years Ago

Mt. St. Mary’s Items

The annual procession of St. Anthony’s parish to the old cemetery on the hill was held Sunday after the 10 o’clock Mass. The procession was largely attended. Rev. Father Wheeler of Thurmont gave a very beautiful sermon at the cemetery upon the arrival of the procession.

Forty hours devotions begins at St. Anthony’s on Nov. 16th and will terminate on Tuesday evening.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, November 13, 1919

Lad, 16, Patents Device

Waynesboro can probably qualify as having the youngest inventor in the State. Allen J. Gardenour, 16 years old, has just been granted letters patent upon a combination electric lock system. The invention relates to an electric switch, controlled by a combination, the primary object of which is the prevention of closing of the circuit by any other then the authorized person. The combination device does away with all need of keys and is especially adaptable for automobile ignition systems. He expects to have it placed on the market.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, November 20, 1919

November 1944, 75 Years Ago

Awarded Air Medal

Sergeant Harvey Eiler, 19, of Thurmont, Md., radio operator and gunner on a B-17 Flying Fortress has been awarded the Air Medal at this Eighth Air Force base in England. Sgt. Eiler is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Newton E. Eiler of Route No. 1, Thurmont.

Prior to entering the Army Air Forces in March, 1943, Sgt. Eiler was graduated from the Frederick High School. He received his gunner’s wings in March, 1944, at Fort Myers, Fla.

                                          – Frederick News, November 24, 1944

Mother of 24 To Give Her Ninth Pint of Blood Monday

Mother of 24 children, 12 of whom are still living, Mrs. Charles H. Clarke, Sr., Thurmont, will donate her ninth pint of blood to the Red Cross Monday when the Mobile Blood Donor Unit returns to Frederick. Mrs. Clarke, who manages a 17-room house, and helps her husband farm their six-acre tract, had already become a member of the Gallon Club of Baltimore. She says she expects to go on giving her blood “as long as the doctor says it is okay.” This despite the fact she had undergone five operations.

                                          – Frederick News, November 25, 1944

November 1969, 50 Years Ago

Thurmont Bridge To Be Erected

Work on relocated U.S. 15 in Frederick County has moved forward as the State Roads Commission received bids on construction of a bridge on the highway over Maryland Route 81 at Thurmont, Regional Commissioner John J. McMullen said this week.

The 3-span bridge, totaling nearly 170 feet, will be built on a site approximately 200 feet north of the existing intersection, Mr. McMullen said.

Apparent low bidder, he said, was Wolfe Brothers Construction of Myersville with an offer of $247,332.

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, November 7, 1969

Softball Champs To Be Honored

St. Anthony’s Parish Softball Team, champions of the Thurmont Church Softball League, will be honored at the annual banquet of the Thurmont Church League, Friday, November 28, 6:30 p.m., at the Cozy Restaurant, Thurmont. Jim Palmer, pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles, will be the guest speaker.

The St. Anthony’s team will receive the league’s first place trophy and the Weller United Methodist Church of Thurmont will receive the second place trophy.

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, November 14, 1969

November 1994, 25 Years Ago

For 25 Years…Seton Center Serves the Needs of People

In the beginning, when Seton Center opened its doors a quarter of a century ago, there were 20 pre-schoolers enrolled.

It was a very small beginning. Some people said, “No matter. There’s really not much need for day care in the Emmitsburg area.”

Last year the center provided 23,822 days of care for nearly 300 youngsters age 2 to 12.

There was a need for day care and for more than day care. Seton Center grew rapidly. Adult education classes got underway. Day care expanded to include both before- and after-school and full-day summer programs for older children. The Thrift Shop, the food bank and the outreach program all began in the ‘70s and are flourishing today.

                                          – Frederick News-Post, November 2, 1994

Exhibitors Win at All-American

Fairhill Enhancer Song-ET was named the grand champion Holstein female and the All-American supreme champion during the Pennsylvania All-American Dairy Show recently held in Harrisburg, Pa.

… Mark Valentine of Thurmont exhibited the grand champion Ayrshire in the junior show with Vales-Pride Olympic Rose.

                                          – Frederick News-Post, November 29, 1994