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Vigilant Hose Company’s (VHC) fire services volunteer, Dave Zentz (pictured above, center), was recognized as the 2017 Frederick County Volunteer Firefighter of the Year on March 13, 2018, along with other Frederick County Public Safety Partners, during the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce Public Safety Awards in Brunswick.

Dave is an individual who has exceeded expectations in his few short years with the VHC. He has expanded his operational knowledge base by completing over 225 hours in courses the last year alone. In addition, Dave serves on the VHC Board of Directors and steers several IT projects around the station. Dave was recognized as the VHC’s Member of the Year for 2017 at the annual banquet in January.

Congratulations, Dave, and thank you for your continued support and contributions to the Vigilant Hose Company and the greater Emmitsburg Community.

On Wednesday evening, May 23, 2018, from 6:30-9:00 p.m., at the Vigilant Hose Company (VHC) Activities Building, located at 17701 Creamery Road (formerly the Emmitsburg Volunteer Ambulance Company facility), a special event, open to all interested, will feature health and safety activities, plus injury prevention information and live demonstrations conducted by the men and women of the community’s emergency services.

None of us wants to see misfortune befall us or others, thus it is critical that all know in advance just what to do should a worst-case event occur. To celebrate “National Emergency Medical Services Week,” an Open House event for the public and area businesses alike will stress family and individual well-being, risk reduction, and emergency and disaster preparedness, intended to help all be ready for the unexpected.

Celebrated annually in May, “National EMS Week’ was established in 1974 to help the public better understand the important roles that First Responders play in helping others in their time of need. National EMS Week also allows the community to honor its EMS providers, too. This year’s event will also allow for the recognition of the successful merger of the personnel, equipment, and facilities of the former Emmitsburg Volunteer Ambulance Company into the Vigilant Hose Company. Much work has been underway for over a year now to bring this to a positive outcome for the benefit of the community.

Emmitsburg’s volunteer and career personnel serve side-by-side together in various emergency services duties like Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), firefighters, hazardous materials technicians, technical rescue specialists, emergency dispatch professionals—all united in service to the community. They are supported by paramedics, area hospitals, medivac helicopters, and law enforcement personnel to deliver the utmost in life-safety services.

All providers must meet stringent state and county training standards and are constantly honing their skills through training, education, and practical exercises. The basic function of their work involves responding to 911 emergencies, which can range from simple ailments, such as severe headaches, to serious traumatic injuries, like broken bones, as well as heart attacks, strokes, and so forth. They also work closely with all area firefighters at emergency scenes to assess, treat, and prepare patients for transport to area hospitals and regional trauma centers.

National EMS Week is a great opportunity for the public to learn when to call 911 and when not to. Additionally, National EMS Week allows the community to thank EMS providers for the physical, mental, and emotional sacrifices they are asked to make daily while serving others. In our community, every business, institution, agency, and individual is critical to our success. The VHC Auxiliary will be serving refreshments on May 23.

by Theresa Dardanell

St. Paul’s Church will celebrate its 250th anniversary in 2019. In 1769, a meeting house was erected near the site of the current church. The original congregation was served by circuit-rider preachers from Evangelical Lutheran, as well as German Reformed, German Baptist Brethren, and Methodist ministries. It was replaced by a brick building in 1838, and then completely rebuilt in 1889. Since the 1960s, it has exclusively been the home of the Lutheran Congregation in Utica. To celebrate this very special anniversary, monthly activities and events will be held next year.

Community service is an important part of the ministry of the church. The most popular fundraiser is the annual Utica picnic, which will be held this year on August 18 at the church’s Miller Picnic Woods, located at 7515 Lewistown Road. It has been a tradition for approximately 170 years and is an opportunity not only to raise money, but to promote fellowship. Lucille Putman, picnic supper co-chairperson, said that the event brings together over 800 people from Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Washington D.C. to enjoy food and fun. The popular menu includes country ham, fried chicken, salads, vegetables and fruit, sandwiches, and cake and ice cream. Along with the great food are games, music, and a pleasant hayride through the Miller Picnic Woods. Proceeds from the event are donated to the Woodsboro and Lewistown Fire Departments and the Thurmont and Glade Valley food banks, and are used to help fund the church’s ministry, as well as the Sunday school and Utica Cemetery Association.  Lewistown Elementary School is also a beneficiary of the church’s generosity. Donations from members provide Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas gifts to families who need assistance. As part of the Thurmont Ministerium, church members contribute financially for local needs and participate in the summer lunch program for children in the community. The Aimee Belle Harper Scholarship program, managed by The Community Foundation of Frederick County and overseen by church members, provides scholarships for eligible students. Groups from the church worked with Habitat for Humanity and helped to build two homes, one in Brunswick and one in Thurmont. St. Paul’s has also participated in the Western Maryland Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

Community outreach is not limited to the local area. Pastor Reverend Albert K. Lane III said that as part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, they are connected to the Christian family in America and beyond. Worldwide support includes financial and prayerful support of missionaries Wendolyn and Eric Trozzo, who are living and working in Malaysia.

The youth of the parish are also very active, supported by the entire congregation. Monthly activities for children and youth include community service, along with events just for fun. Recently, the youth collected “Souper Bowl for Caring” donations for the food banks, and they also prepared and served a meal at the Frederick Soup Kitchen. They regularly visit members and friends of the church who live in nursing homes. Fun activities include ice skating parties, the annual Easter Egg hunt, and a visit to the pumpkin patch in the fall.

Reverend Lane said, “If we understand worship as being central to who we are as a Christian community, you need to have youth involved in your worship life.”

Children who attend the 8:00 a.m. Sunday service hear a special children’s sermon and then participate in Sunday School. On Scouting Sunday in March, scouts were encouraged to wear their uniforms and were recognized during the service.

Adults have the opportunity for friendship and service as members of the Men’s Ministry and the St. Paul’s Lutheran Women’s League. The Men’s Ministry meets monthly for companionship and to plan activities, especially for holidays. The Women’s League distributes gifts for graduates and confirmation students, provides support for the homebound or the sick of the parish, and serves luncheons and receptions for funerals and memorial services.

All of these many church, community, and worldwide services are accomplished by the approximately 150 active members of the church, who all worship together at one of two services on Sundays. There is an 8:00 a.m. relaxed Communion service and a 10:30 a.m. traditional Communion service. Fellowship time with refreshments, in between the services, is held every Sunday from 9:00-9:30 a.m. and is followed by Bible Study/Sunday School for adults. Music is an integral part of both services. The praise team/ensemble leads the congregation in song at the early service, and the adult choir sings at the 10:30 a.m. service. When I visited the church on March 18, the Frederick Youth Flute Choir played before and during the service.

The joy of music is promoted at the church, with concerts held during the year. The Louise S. Ediger Memorial concert series continues the 2018 season with the GreenSpring Young Artists concert at 2:00 p.m. on May 5. On June 14, Argentinean concert organist Gustavo Andres performs at 7:00 p.m. The 11th annual Summer Harp Concert Series will be held in July with performances on July 10, 11, and 13, by the American Youth Harp Ensemble, led by Artistic Director Lynnelle Ediger.

Visitors are always welcome at St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church of Utica, located at 10621 Old Frederick Road. Join them for the very family-friendly worship or attend one of the many activities or events that they hold. You won’t be disappointed.

Reverend Albert K. Lane III with members of the St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church Utica.

Photo by Theresa Dardanell

by Anita DiGregory

“May Musings and Motherhood”

I love May in Maryland. The sun has returned (for the most part) and has generally decided to stick around for a while. Bulky boots have been replaced with flip flops, or better yet, bare feet. It stays lighter longer, somehow promising a more potential-filled day. Lovingly gathered and gifted dandelion bouquets; the sounds of children’s laughter at twilight; jars filled with magical, glowing lightning bugs soon to be released…stir memories of long, lazy summers almost forgotten.

I must admit, I look forward to May and the beginning of summer, nearly all year long.  Summer’s promises of family-friendly opportunities, breaks in schedules, chances for much-needed reconnections, and occasions for memory-making moments generally sustain me through the long, cold, over-scheduled days of winter.

However, this May promises to be bittersweet for this momma. Two more will graduate and move on to the next exciting chapter of their lives. As proud as I am of them and as excited as I am for them to start new adventures, this momma’s heart will break just a little. I find myself holding on just a little tighter, a little longer, trying to press those memories tightly in my heart, like flowers pressed in a book.

I stumbled upon this quote from Robert Farror Capon: “To be a Mother is to be the sacrament—the effective symbol—of place. Mothers do not make homes, they are our home: in the simple sense that we begin our days by long sojourn within the body of a woman; in the extended sense that she remains our center of gravity through the years. She is the very diagram of belonging, the where in whose vicinity we are fed and watered. She is geography incarnate.”

I think he is right about this. My mother succeeded in creating this. I guess this is why my siblings and I have been known to travel miles and pack our families—nineteen in all—into a tiny little home by the beach for a week. Through the good times and the bad, the fights and tears, the laughs and hugs, family sustains. In that safe space, I exhale.

I hope I have succeeded in creating this for my brood. Recently, on a really bad, horrible, no good day, my oldest (who is soon expecting his own first little one) told my husband and I not to worry; we had created a home where the children will want to return to visit, a safe place filled with love and memories. In that moment, he brought me much-needed peace and hope. I hope he is right.

So as May unfolds, I wish you the happiest Mother’s Day. I wish you long, beautiful days surrounded with family, filled with love, and lots and lots of wonderful memory-making opportunities.

We never know how many moments we have left…seize this moment and make it count!

Moving Mom Musings


“I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.”

                ~ Abraham Lincoln


“Motherhood: All love begins and ends there.”

~ Robert Browning


“[Motherhood is] the biggest gamble in the world. It is the glorious life force. It’s huge and scary—it’s an act of infinite optimism.”

~ Gilda Radner


“My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her.”

              ~ George Washington


“I believe the choice to become a mother is the choice to become one of the greatest spiritual teachers there is.”

~ Oprah Winfrey


“When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.”

~ Sophia Loren

“Mothers and their children are in a category all their own. There’s no bond so strong in the entire world. No love so instantaneous and forgiving.”

~ Gail Tsukiyama


“A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.”

~ Washington Irving


“Having kids—the responsibility of rearing good, kind, ethical, responsible human beings—is the biggest job anyone can embark on.”

~ Maria Shriver



“How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No. A woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness.”

~ G. K. Chesterton

Monumental Mommy Movies

Mom’s Night OutThe Blind Side The IncrediblesBrave

The Sound of MusicAkeelah and the BeeFreaky FridaySteel Magnolias • my mom’s personal favorite: Terms of Endearment.

by Valerie Nusbaum

Summer is right around the corner, and that means that, soon, we’ll all be wanting to wear cooler, lighter, skimpier clothes, and (dare I say it?) bathing suits. Years ago, when I was a younger lady, I and all my friends would have spent the entire month of April trying to get our bodies in shape so that our bikinis would cover what needed to be covered and showcase the rest.  That was then.

Nowadays, we’re encouraged not to put emphasis on being thin or toned, and we’re told that we should appreciate all body types.  A healthy body image is a good thing. I’m not knocking that at all. Women are more than a set of measurements, and we should be allowed to be comfortable in our own skins no matter how stretched out or wrinkly those skins might be. (I’m talking about myself here, OK? Don’t go writing any angry emails to The Banner.)

With all that being said, I honestly don’t feel my best, health-wise, when I’m carrying a few extra pounds. My energy level is lower, and I don’t feel comfortable if my jeans are tight. I’m not worried about fitting into a swimsuit, though. It’s been years and years since I even bothered to buy one of those. I would buy one if I spent a lot of time at the beach or the pool, but when I go to Ocean City, it’s not for swimming. I walk along the beach, but I don’t do a lot of sitting out in the sun.

Anyway, I’ve gotten way off topic here, as I’m trying to explain how this conversation got started. I mentioned to Randy that I planned to write about getting in shape for wearing more revealing summer clothing, and that I might suggest some dos and don’ts, but I was worried that I might come off sounding as though I were fat-shaming others. We women need to support each other and not be judgmental.

Randy very seriously looked at me and said, “In this day and age, you have to be so careful what you say about anything. I’m even afraid to use the term “slow cooker.”

At first, I thought he was joking, but he was serious. I asked what he meant, and he said the word “slow” can be a slur and he wouldn’t want anyone to be offended by it. I told him that if he felt concern, he should refer to the slow cooker as a “crock pot.”

“Well, that’s a whole other can of worms because “crock” can be an insult, and “pot” means a lot of other things.”

This conversation was getting sillier by the second, so I asked Randy, “When, exactly, would you ever be talking about a slow cooker in a conversation anyway?”

I had visions of him exchanging recipes with his friends, Wayne, Frank, and Bill.

“I like looking through that Taste of Home magazine your mom saves for us. I like to search for the hidden object each month, and sometimes I come across a recipe that looks good. A lot of them are made in a slow cooker,” was his reply. I asked him if he wanted to try cooking something in one of our crock pots, and he looked like a deer caught in the headlights.

In an effort to change the subject, Randy said, “This whole thing about summer clothes and summer bodies is not the issue at all, and you know it. It’s the shoes that drive you crazy.”

What can I say? He’s correct.  I hate to see warm weather get here because people start wearing sandals and flip flops. While some folks have foot fetishes, I have an aversion to feet, particularly toes.  It runs in my family. We think feet are gross—all feet—even our own.  My cousin, Lou, says that some feet look capable of snatching dinner out of the pond. Randy doesn’t like feet, either. Some feet are like a train wreck: bunions, corns, callouses, and nail fungus, not to mention hammer toes and all those other gnarly toe ailments. No matter how badly I want to look away, I can’t seem to do it. But that’s my problem, not yours. Feet are just plain nasty. I need to change the subject now before I gag.

I’ve thought it over and my advice for getting in shape for summer is this: Take care of yourself and be as healthy as you can be.  Find clothes that make you happy and put them on. Go places and do fun things. Be comfortable and make your own style. You should wear any shoes you like, as long as they’re not dangerous. Just, please, don’t see me out in public and shove your feet in my line of sight. I’m sure they’re very nice, but I don’t need to see them. And give yourself a pedicure once in a while. I’ll be praying that colder weather (and boots) comes soon.

by Christine Maccabee

Land Use

As a land owner, I could not agree with Andy Warhol more (quote above). Personally, I never wanted to turn my 11+ acres into a commercial commodity or a perfect landscape. I simply wanted to grow healthy organic food and allow for wildlife habitat. Back thirty years ago, and even now, more than ever, I feel the same.

There is both poor land management and better management, but I cannot go into every aspect of each perspective in this short space. All I know is that I side on the “better,” if not good management of the gift of the property I own.

After all, it is not really my land. This upper valley in the Catoctins where I live is a part of the earth’s ecosystem, and I am trying my best to honor that by practicing non-chemical warfare, as well as permaculture. So far, we all seem to be doing pretty well—that is, the birds, frogs, toads, bees, wildflowers, and me.

As Andy Warhol said, land is a precious work of art, not to be despoiled, and that includes all the residents here, “all my relations,” as native Americans think of them.

My biggest concern—and the concern of many caring people out there—is the use of the latest in a long line of chemicals developed by corporate giants (not mentioning any names). Back in the 1970s, DDT (a synthetic organic compound used as an insecticide) was banned due to its horrible effect on wildlife, which was brilliantly and sadly depicted by Rachel Carson in her book Silent Spring. Unfortunately, new, just as potent, poisons are out there to devastate wildlife, again. So, what is the real bottom line? For me, it is the health of our planet and its inhabitants, not profits for big corporations. Will we never learn?

According to the latest studies made at the University of Saskatchewan, migrating birds are eating chemical-laden seeds on the large swaths of land, owned by farmers who are using neonicotinoids. According to an article in this spring’s National Wildlife magazine, many U.S. and Canadian farmers plant seeds coated with these toxic chemicals on more than 100 million acres, just as birds are stopping to feed on wild seeds to refuel on their journeys north to breeding grounds. Many of these birds become disoriented and can lose as much as 17 percent of their body weight due to eating from those fields.

Our pollinators, so critical for our ongoing food crops, are also dying in droves. Happily, at least in Maryland, our state, county, and towns are responding to this threat. I am hearing that some large stores are banning neonic pesticides from their shelves, so that gives reason for hope. However, everyone, especially people who wish to have perfect lawns, should be more careful when allowing chemicals to be applied. These are lawns that robins peck on religiously for worms and grubs. Also, bees suck the nectar from clovers and dandelions, two great early native wildflowers. I put both in salads, clipping the petals with scissors. The colors and taste, along with the purple of violet flowers, make a beautifully nutritious salad!

Here is a tidbit for you to chew on: according to Frederick County Master Naturalist Ann Payne, we pour more chemicals on our lawns than farmers apply to their fields. In a new UN report, 40 percent of pollinator species face extinction.

So, what can small land owners do? Much!

First, allow certain areas to go wild, perhaps along your fence line, if you need larger turf areas for children and cookouts.

Second, where-ever possible, allow violets, clovers, and dandelions to grow, controlling the seeds of the dandelion if you do not want it to take over. In doing so, you are taking time to enjoy nature, while you pluck the seed heads off the dandelions, perhaps making it a game for your children. I have been doing this for years, and it is easy.  Of course, I always allow some seeds to go for the next year’s growth. I love dandelions!

Third, plant native plants that are the most beneficial to our birds, bees, butterflies, and a host of other smaller insects, which are all a part of the ecosystem. Get curious and learn to identify wild plants coming up in your gardens, before marking them as useless and pulling them out. Of course, I am not opposed to the multitude of non-native beauties that also offer interest and sometimes nectar, such as red petunias for hummingbirds. Also, plant trees such as Dogwoods, which provide berries for birds.

Last, but not least, do not use chemicals on your lawns, or anywhere, as much as possible.

The adventure of allowing wild plants to grow on your precious property will not only benefit wildlife, but will enhance your own feeling of connection with nature. As smaller land owners, I believe we all have to do our part. It is our moral obligation and, if done in the right spirit, can indeed be an exciting artistic project. Thank you Mr. Warhol for your insight and wisdom. May we all be so wise!

by James Rada, Jr.

Indians Capture a Fairfield Family

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of columns about Richard Bard’s escape from captivity and the rescue of his wife.

Hannah McBride, a young girl who was at Bard’s Mill, near Fairfield, Pennsylvania, on April 13, 1758, happened to glance out the door of the house. She screamed when she saw men running toward her. She turned to call out a warning to the others in the house, but it was too late.

Nineteen Delaware Indians rushed the house. Richard Bard, the mill owner, grabbed a pistol from its peg on the wall and fired at one of the Indians. The pistol misfired, but the sight of it must have frightened the Indian, and he ran off. Another Indian attacked Bard’s cousin, Thomas Potter, with a knife. The two men struggled over the knife and Potter managed to cut the Indian on the hand.

However, there were just too many Indians. Bard, his wife, and son; Potter; Hannah; Frederick Ferrick, an indentured servant; two field hands; and a young boy were all captured and forced to follow their captors. Potter was killed and scalped, most likely because he had injured one of the Delawares. The Indians also burned the mill down.

About four miles from the mill, the Indians killed Bard’s son without warning. The party moved over South Mountain to the head of Falling Spring. They moved north of Fort Chambers and onto Rocky Spring, and camped for the night near Fort McCord in present-day Franklin County, Pennsylvania. The prisoners had walked forty miles that first day.

As they entered Path Valley on the second day, the Delawares discovered that a group of white men was pursuing them. The Delawares and their prisoners moved to the top of Tuscarora Mountain and threatened to kill the prisoners if the white pursuers reached them.

Bard and Samuel Hunter, one of the field hands, sat down to rest at the top of the mountain “when an Indian without any previous warning sunk a tomahawk into the forehead of Samuel Hunter, who was seated by my father, and by repeated blows put an end to his existence. He was then scalped and the Indians proceeding on their journey encamped that evening some miles on the north of Sideling Hill,” Archibald Bard, one of Bard’s children, wrote years later.

The group hiked on to Blair Gap in Blair County, Pennsylvania, and while crossing Stoney Creek, the wind blew Bard’s hat from the head of the Indian who had taken it for his own. While the Indian went to recover it, Bard crossed the creek. The Indian returned and saw Bard had crossed. He was so angry that he pistol-whipped Bard and nearly disabled him.

“And now reflecting that he could not possibly travel much further, and that if this was the case, he would be immediately put to death, he determined to attempt his escape that night,” Bard wrote after the ordeal.

Another thing pushing his decision was that half of his face had been painted red two days earlier. “This denoted that a council had been held and that an equal number were for putting him to death and for keeping him alive, and that another council was to have taken place to determine the question,” Bard wrote.

After the Indians laid down to rest, one of them dressed in Catherine Bard’s gown to amuse his companions. While the Delawares relaxed, Richard Bard was sent to get water without his captors paying too close attention to him. When Bard got about 100 yards away, the Delawares realized that he was getting away.

They chased after him, but he was gone.

The Indians spent two days looking for him, but Richard Bard had made his getaway.

The Bard Plantation.

by Denise Valentine

My Mother’s Fruit Cobbler

Hello, everyone. It is with a heavy heart that I send this Mother’s Day message. As I look forward to spending some quality time on Mother’s Day with my own children and their families, I am deeply saddened by the recent passing of my Mom.

She taught my sister and I how to prepare good, old-fashioned food. There usually wasn’t anything too fancy except, for dessert sometimes.  Mom was a full-time farmer’s wife, working at the barn right beside my Dad, and a homemaker. When she made it back to the house, there wasn’t time for a lot of prep work for a meal. But no matter what she fixed, it was good. I can say that now, but as a kid, I’m sure there were a few things that I just didn’t like.

One of my all-time favorites was her fruit cobbler. Mom used to can fruit in half-gallon jars. It was a simple, easy, and delicious dessert. She would dump the peaches (about 7-8 cups) into a large baking pan. In a separate bowl, she would mix together 1 cup of sugar and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, then mix it together with the fruit. The topping was made with Bisquick. Mom made it a little thinner than the package directions, and spooned it over top of the fruit to completely cover it. Bake at 400 degrees for about 25-30 minutes.

The fruit cobbler would bake while we ate dinner, and then we would have a warm dessert—sometimes, topped with ice cream…Yum!

Please refer to any Betty Crocker cookbook to see what adjustments are made to ingredients and flavorings, depending on the type of fruit you use. You will also find the recipe for homemade cobbler topping, but the Bisquick is a delicious and time-effective shortcut.

I hope you enjoy your Mother’s Day.

by Buck Reed

Food Trends – 2018 Update

So, here we find ourselves in May 2018. A full third of the year gone. Let’s take a moment to see how we are doing so far. Food enthusiasts made several predictions as to how we would be cooking today, what new ingredients we would be embracing and how we would be using them. So, let’s take a moment to see how we are doing.

One of the big trends of last year was avocados and, as an ingredient it has carried over into this year as well. I have one online friend who is looking into using them as a healthy fat in his homemade sausage. I do not want to discourage him, and I hope he finds his key to fame and fortune with this or any other ideas he may come up with. Joining the avocado this year was supposed to be the jackfruit as well as an expansion of coconut products. I have yet to see a jackfruit in the stores, but coconut products are trendy and are gluten free and could be used as both sugar and flour in baked goods.

One service that is drifting up is the prepackaged meal kits. Everything for your recipe is delivered to your front door. All the ingredients are premeasured and ready to be mixed and cooked by you. Many are marketed as getting you and your family back together and cooking together. There are more than a few companies offering this service and many want you to enter into a subscription service.

Another popular idea was to get you out of the grocery stores and get you into growing your own food. With the promise of fresher and more nutritious food at a better price, people are going out of their way to make growing their own food a reality. Be prepared for the condescending stories of these wannabe farmers as they tell you how hard they worked to save $10 on those tomatoes on their salad.

Along with the gardening trend is the buy local movement that everyone is embracing. Many restaurants and stores are advertising local produce. It feeds into the idea that local ingredients are fresher and since they didn’t travel by teamster from far away lands, they have a lower impact on the environment.

One product hitting the shelves soon is geared toward the consumer who is not concerned about their health or general wellbeing. Cookie butter is now found in many specialty stores and is bound to bring some joy to your culinary life. If it catches on half as well as I think, it will probably lead to Senate hearings, which seems to be another trend in 2018. Hopefully 2019 will be more palatable.

The secrets to successful weight loss…well, they are not actually secrets, but many people are not aware of these strategies. Many, though, have heard of and fall for the ultra-fast weight-loss claims, such as magic supplements that claim to burn fat, stimulate metabolism, and suppress appetite, or the latest miracle diet craze. So, what has worked for many people?  Here are five good tips:


  1. Get Focused. If current trends continue, half of North Americans will be obese—not just overweight—by 2030, and yet there are around 48,450 diet books on Anyone can lose weight. Severely restricting calories works, but you may not like the way you look or feel, and weight loss alone does not bestow health.

Being overweight can be a symptom of an unhealthy lifestyle, malnutrition, toxicity, excess stress, eating unhealthy food, as well as disconnecting from nature.  Lessening the symptom is like taking a drug to mask the problem without healing the reason for the symptoms. Many health problems can be related to excess weight: hypertension, diabetes, osteoarthritis, asthma, and fatty liver disease, to name a few. Dieting may get the weight off, but you can still be in poor health, have nutritional deficiencies and imbalances, and poor cellular functions. Instead, try focusing on building health. Rather than subtracting calories that “make you fat,” you need to add foods and activities that improve health and well-being. Loss of excess weight and fat will be a positive side effect to changing unhealthy eating habits and increasing physical activity. This is a lifestyle change, not a temporary goal. Your goal should not be to lose weight but to improve your lifestyle.  Cultivate a life-long way of eating and living.


  1. Don’t Count On Just Counting Calories. How many calories should you eat each day? Since a calorie is a measurement of burning, that is difficult to answer. It depends on your age, gender, activity level, hormonal balance, weight-loss goals, and much more. We are told that burning 3,500 calories equals a loss of one pound. However, it is not that simple. If cutting 500 calories a day truly meant losing a pound a week, a dieter weighting 300 pounds would disappear in six years. At some point, weight loss stops, even while continuing the lower calorie intake. In fact, obese people often lose only a small amount of weight on a low-calorie diet. The point is, only lowering calories is not the answer.

It also matters where calories come from. Our bodies distinguish one type of calorie from another.  If you eat nutrient-poor processed food, your body can do little else but quickly “burn” it or store it as fat. On the other hand, if you eat nutrient-dense whole food, your body will use this nutrition to keep the body healthy and to help maintain muscle. Muscle tissue is continually burning energy.

Therefore, by reducing calories with nutrient-poor processed food, you may lose weight, but your body suffers; you lose muscle tissue and it is easier to regain the weight.  People who focus on nutrient-dense whole food tend to consume fewer calories, and the body knows it is getting the nourishment it needs, so you do not need to eat more. If you are overweight, your body is hungry, if you are obese, your body is starving—not for calories, but for nourishment. Gaining weight can result from eating the wrong kinds of calories and not exercising enough.


  1. Don’t Go On a Diet. Dieting implies a temporary restriction of eating. Once weight is lost, the dieter returns to his/her “normal” way of eating and usually regains the weight. Eating well should be a lifetime goal; long-term changes in diet and exercise have shown to have the best effect on weight reduction and maintenance. Drop the “dieting” and go for “eating better.” Focus on consuming and enjoying real nutritious foods that promote health. Replacing depleted, over-processed, altered foods with nutrient-dense foods provides our bodies with what they need to function properly so that we feel satisfied, satiated, and well.
  2. Eat for Quality. Your body needs nourishment from real, naturally nutrient-rich foods, not over-processed foods, low or devoid of nutrients. Overweight usually means under-nutrition, a body craving vital nutrients. Eating more raw foods (vegetables, fruits, raw milk products, nuts, and seeds) can result in dramatic improvements in weight and health.


  1. Don’t Eat Low Quality. If you eat a lot of processed food, fast food, takeout, or supermarket-prepped meals, then you do not know exactly what you are consuming. The food industry adds many types of fillers to make the food go further. Typical processed food diets result in an “alarming prevalence of obesity.” Removing nutrients and fiber, adding refined sugars or toxic fats, and other prevalent aspects of food processing, “have created an environment in which our foods are essentially addictive,” says Dr. Robert Lustig, University of California.

If you are interested in switching to a whole-food diet and gaining back your health, then contact Dr. Lo at his Frederick office at 240-651-1650. If you are interested in seeing what the practice is about then join Dr. Lo for a free nutrition seminar, offered on alternating Tuesdays and Thursdays. Call the office to make an appointment. (Article source: Nutrition News and Views, Judith A. DeCava, CNC,LNC.)

Emmitsburg Presbyterian Church

by Theresa Dardanell

I recently visited The Emmitsburg Presbyterian Church and met with the minister and some of the members. During the meeting, Rev. Dr. Peter Keith said, “Anyone coming to worship with us would hear a message of inclusiveness, love, and forgiveness, not about judgement,” and everyone agreed.  The small tight-knit congregation enjoys Sunday services that combine uplifting music; prayers of thanksgiving, sharing, and petition; and sermons described by Lynda Lillard as giving them “some very thought-provoking ideas about God/Jesus/Christianity that carry us through the week.”  A “Wee Sermon” for the children is given during the service. Organist Christine Maccabee plays classical and contemporary music, as well as the hymns during the service. Christine said that “the harmonies of music are a glorious expression of the harmonies of heaven, and so both the playing and singing of them is uplifting for the soul.” Also, twice a month, everyone is welcome to join the discussion group before the Sunday service to talk about a particular book and share thoughts and ideas.

The members are very proud of their contributions to the local and the worldwide community.  As members of the Emmitsburg Council of Churches, financial assistance is provided to local families through the Seton Center Outreach. They also have a scholarship fund set up to benefit a student at Mount Saint Mary’s University. The entire congregation is involved with the youth group projects, which benefit organizations around the world. School supply kits and hygiene health kits were collected and sent to Church World Service, where they were distributed to communities where the need is great. Money collected from fundraising projects was sent to the Presbyterian Mission, which then provided blankets for refugee families, chickens for a family to raise food, and gardening tools and a water filter kit for people who do not have access to clean water.

The church has a long history that began in 1760. It was originally a meeting house, known as Tom’s Creek Presbyterian Church, and was located about a mile north of Emmitsburg. In 1839, it was moved to the current location on Main Street in Emmitsburg, and the name was changed to Emmitsburg Presbyterian. The building was remodeled in 1869, and then rebuilt again in 1879. Unfortunately, it was struck by lightning in 1902 and was destroyed. The church was rebuilt in 1904 and remodeled in 1950. The stained glass windows are magnificent, and the interior design is warm and welcoming.

Emmitsburg Presbyterian is located at 415 West Main Street in Emmitsburg. Everyone is welcome to join them for the 11:00 a.m. Sunday service.

Rev. Dr. Peter Keith and members of the Emmitsburg Presbyterian Church.

Photo by Theresa Dardanell

“Helping Our Children Cope in Times of Trouble”

by Anita DiGregory

To say that I am not a media news person would be an understatement.  My family and I actually avoid it like the plague. Being a communications media graduate, I guess that may seem to be a somewhat ironic fact.  However, with its incessant negative spin and masked agenda, mainstream reporting has become the opposite of all I studied. These days, I tend to agree with Luke Bryan, “I believe if you just go by the nightly news, your faith in all mankind would be the first thing you lose.” With today’s technology and the internet, the media is nearly impossible to escape. When the news is tragic and devastating, as we sadly witnessed again with the most recent school shooting, acts of violence in school and heartbreaking loss of life way too young, it is incredibly hard for us, as adults, to get our bearings. How do we help our children cope with the news of tragedy and loss?

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) via its website (Helping Your Child Cope, 2015), “a child’s reaction to a new situation varies greatly, depending on his or her developmental level, temperament, experience, skills, and the support that is provided by parents or caregivers. When children are exposed to circumstances that are beyond the usual scope of human experience…, they may have difficulty understanding and coping with the events and may develop a range of symptoms, including trauma symptoms, depression, anxiety, or, if deaths are involved, bereavement.”  No matter their age, it may be hard for children to understand these events or to verbalize their feelings.  It is quite normal for them to feel a wide range of emotions, including fear and sadness. Here are some ways to help your children cope with this trauma.

Get Involved

Speak with leaders at your children’s schools. Find out the school’s safety plans. Offer support and volunteer on different committees to help with safety.

Talk With Your Children

Regardless of their age and stage of development, you know your children best. Whether they have access to the internet or not, they have most likely heard from others about these recent events. Be proactive and ask them what they may have heard. Quietly listen to what they have to say. When they finish, address any misconceptions they may have. For example, younger children may hear about isolated events and think they are happening at their school. Don’t avoid their questions. Address their concerns honestly, but refrain from graphic details. Offer reassurance that you have contacted their school, and that the school is taking every safety precaution. Keep lines of communication open. Continue to “check-in” on how your kids are doing with regard to this for days, even weeks, after. Assure them that you are there for them, whenever they want to talk.

Limit Exposure to Media

According to an article published by the AAP in 2016 (Media Use in School-Aged Children and Adolescents), “today’s children are spending an average of seven hours a day on entertainment media, including televisions, computers, phones, and other electronic devices.” Media images can be especially disturbing and threatening to children.

They add, “Children today are growing up in an era of highly personalized media use experiences, so parents must develop personalized media use plans for their children that attend to each child’s age, health, temperament, and developmental stage. Research evidence shows that children and teenagers need adequate sleep, physical activity, and time away from media.” These basic needs are even more essential in times of stress.

Enable Your Children

When children are faced with stress, they may feel they have no control, which may result in even more feelings of anxiety. By helping your children to be proactive, you will be giving them back that sense of control. Help them start or attend a prayer group. Encourage their involvement in positive student leadership activities.

Watch for Signs of Excessive Fear or Anxiety

According to the scientific community, signs of stress in children can include trouble sleeping, difficulty concentrating on school work, or changes in behavior or appetite. If these symptoms last for more than a week or two, consult your pediatrician.

 Create a “Culture of Kindness”

According to the AAP (Kindness: How a Simple Act Can Make a Big Difference, 2018), “Teaching and modeling kindness gives children a life skill they will take with them forever. In a world where media bombard us and our children with talk of dislike, impatience, and intolerance, teaching kindness to children is an important part of their healthy development—and their role in our communities. And the first lessons on this skill start at home.”

They recommend modeling kindheartedness by cultivating a “culture of kindness” in the home, where everyone is treated with fairness and respect. Get involved with groups and activities that promote kind acts, talk with your children about the importance of being kind to others, and offer concrete suggestions for ways to demonstrate kindness to others, whether it be sitting with them at lunch or simply smiling and saying, “Hello.”

They further state, “Now more than ever, learning to be kind to others is an important lesson and an ongoing process that should take place throughout your child’s life. Teaching children to be kind creates a supportive, positive environment, making children—and those around them—feel better about themselves and others.”

The Repopulation of  Turkeys in Maryland

by Hayden Spalding

Despite the abundance of wild turkeys that currently reside in Maryland, before the late 1960s, turkeys could not be found in Maryland and many other states. Turkeys were native to Maryland until the colonization of North America, throughout which native turkeys were overharvested and decimated. It wasn’t until the late 1960s when the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) started a program to revitalize the population of turkeys in Maryland that turkeys once again spread throughout the state.

Before DNR took part in restoring the population of turkeys to Maryland, turkeys could only be hunted in Western Maryland, where they were raised and released for sport. This original practice proved to be too expensive to be practical. Maryland’s DNR took steps to remedy the decline of the population in the state by trapping wild turkeys in populated states and releasing them in unpopulated states. For example, turkeys that were trapped in West Virginia were released into the Catoctin Watershed in Frederick County. Twelve turkeys were first introduced and monitored for two years. The relocation proved to be a success, and the population of turkeys in Frederick County expanded. After the first two years, twelve more turkeys were released to increase the reproduction further. DNR created the population of turkeys seen today through the trapping and transplanting of those few turkeys in the late 1960s.

The first official Maryland turkey season was held in 1973. Gobblers, or mature male turkeys, were the only turkeys allowed to be harvested during the season, and the season was ultimately a success. Seminars about the hunting and conservation of turkeys were held at Frederick Community College to educate the public of their new opportunities with the newly developed population. The National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) was formed in 1973, and has since supported the conservation and healthy harvesting of the birds throughout Maryland and other states. Our local Monocacy Valley Chapter of the NWTF hosts meetings at the home of Thurmont residents, Gene and Shirley Long. If you would like to become a member with other sportsmen, women, and youth who care deeply about our natural resources and advocate for programs of conservation, please call Secretary Shirley Long at 301-898-7004 or President Russ Leith at 443-677-3669. Current programs include a Mentored Hunt Program, National Archery in the Schools Program, and Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry.

Frederick County was the first county of many to receive the transplant of turkeys from other areas. Today, every county in Maryland is populated with turkeys. Every state, with the exception of Alaska, has a population of trapped and transplanted turkeys due to conservation efforts. Robert Abraham, Sr., a retired regional wildlife manager for the State of Maryland, who was involved in the original trap and transplant program, along with State employees, Buddy Halla and Joe Shugars, said, “It was a conservative effort of many states to get turkeys from one another.” The trapping and transplanting of turkeys has not only rejuvenated the population of turkeys, but expanded the population of them to record highs and created an ongoing heritage.

Maryland’s spring wild turkey hunting season will take place from April 18 to May 23, 2018. Junior Hunt days take place on April 14 and 15. Maryland also has a fall and winter wild turkey season. Check out for more information.

A large flock of turkeys graze in a field.

Photo by Barbara Abraham

by Valerie Nusbaum

Your friend Randy has decided that it would be a great idea for us to star in our own reality television show. He thinks that having a camera crew follow us around all day, every day, would make for some terrific TV. I’m pretty sure that’s not going to happen. First, because the people from Hollywood wouldn’t consider us interesting enough, and second, I’m not doing that.

No way do I want someone documenting my every move and conversation. Can you imagine what that would be like? I’d be getting sued every week for saying something politically incorrect, not to mention the fact that my appearance first-thing in the morning would scare off the crew.

Since the hubby isn’t going to get his own show, he says that he’ll settle for getting a slot on an already existing program. Randy likes Survivor, and he’s pretty sure he could make it the entire thirty-nine days out in the wild, even though he’d be the “old” guy on the tribe. He can make fire. I know this because he yells at the TV when the show is on and calls the contestants bad names when they can’t do anything right. Randy can hunt and fish, so he’d be responsible for feeding his tribe. That’s an important job because the tribe members need to eat to keep up their strength. The only drawback that I can see to Randy being on Survivor would come during the episode where the family members visit. I don’t think any of Randy’s family would show up. I know I certainly don’t want to travel halfway around the world to spend the night in some hovel, filled with dirty, stinky people, even if one of them is my husband. I can sleep with him at home when he’s dirty and stinky if I want to, but I don’t. There’s also that whole “eat a bug” thing. Contestants’ family members are usually put on the spot in some kind of challenge to win a reward. I’m not eating any bugs, nor am I eating any intestines or other gross animal parts that are considered delicacies in other parts of the world.  That’s not gonna happen; therefore, Randy would lose the game.

With Survivor no longer an option, my dear husband has decided that we should team up for The Amazing Race. Unfortunately, there are disgusting eating contests on that show, too; as stated before, I draw the line at eating things I’m not familiar with. I also don’t want to do any of the water challenges, and I am scared to death of heights. Randy has my blessing to find another partner for this show, but he seems to think that him going off with Steve or Andrew for several weeks defeats the purpose of us becoming reality stars together. It’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make to allow my husband’s dreams to come true. Plus, I’d get a whole month of “me” time, and I could take baths in my tub and sleep in my own bed.

We can’t become contestants on either The Amazing Race or The Voice because neither of us can sing. Dancing With the Stars should exclude us due to the fact that neither of us is a star; although, in recent seasons of that show, the actual stars have been few and far between, so we might actually stand a chance of making the cast. Randy is a pretty good dancer, but don’t ask him to do the tango. Seriously.

American Ninja Warrior would be the ultimate challenge. We both love that show. The problem is that the only way we’d make it there is if the producers were looking for two really old and rickety examples of what not to do.

We could try out for Naked and Afraid, but I’m afraid to be naked and there’s that whole dirt and bugs thing again.

This leaves us with the Real Housewives franchise. If Andy Cohen ever comes to Thurmont and puts out a call for auditions, I’m all in. Can’t you just picture it? A real housewives show with REAL women! There’d be no swanky parties, no hair and makeup people, and no jets or limousines.  Instead, I and the other “housewives” would get together and discuss our very real problems, while we shopped for groceries and put gas in our cars. We’d go to work, and then we’d go to dinner at Mountain Gate and eat real food with nary a drop of alcohol in sight. When the name-calling and hair-pulling commenced, we couldn’t blame it on intoxication. The best part is that Randy would love being a trophy husband. Sadly, I don’t see “The Real Housewives of Thurmont” happening any time soon, even though a lot of my friends and neighbors have the potential to become overnight sensations.

My only other option is to relent and make a real reality show with Randy. My vision is of the cameraman being set up behind our couch, filming the backs of our heads as we watch television and make fun of everyone on the “reality” shows. I think it could work.

We Are All Connected

by Christine Maccabee

At a very young age, children have a connection with the natural world in ways we, as adults, sometimes forget, perhaps never learned, or no longer have time for. The magic of tiny butterflies in a grandmother’s flower garden can touch the heart of the youngest of children, as it did mine, and the memory remains with me to this day. My world was very limited then—small you might say—and yet so very large with wonder.

As we grow older and learn just how large the earth is, and our understanding of the world expands, hopefully so does our empathy, our feeling of connection. If we are fortunate enough to study the science of ecology in depth, we begin to understand what the Native Americans called the “web of life.” We begin to feel the connections all living creatures have with one another, including ourselves. We also begin to see how our behaviors and activities as human beings impact the natural world, in large and small ways. Yes, we even begin to see that it is really not such a large world after all, but rather a small world, where absolutely everything affects everything else. Consider the butterfly effect.

We are all touched one way or another by the many wars our country has been engaged in, and still is, not to forget the war faring nature of other countries. The trauma of war is very real in all our lives. We feel it, even if we are not personally engaged. No one is exempt from the so called “toxic stress” created by our warriors coming home crippled, be it physically or mentally, or both. We read it in the news, in books, and hear it on the TV. And now, yes, the war is continuing here at home in our cities and schools. So, is it any surprise that in our country, we are experiencing more deaths due to drug overdoses, mass shootings, and suicides? No surprise at all, in my mind, though very sad.

Another more subtle type of war is being conducted against our precious planet, which is indeed our mother. Mothers provide the sustenance and caring needed for a child to grow, and, of course, fathers provide protection and nurture as well. But, not always. Broken families are a symptom of something gone very wrong. The same can be said about political strife and ecological damage, created by both war and consumerism. We want to provide and protect our own, but at what cost? It seems the world is getting smaller all the time.

However, as these various symptoms of greed and dysfunction come out of hiding, hitting us hard in the gut, people are waking up. At least, that is every caring person’s hope. As our worlds intersect and consciousness grows, better solutions are giving birth as well. One case in point would be the solar and wind industries, the expansion of which will play a huge part in the transition we direly need away from life-killing technologies, which have been—and still are—polluting and damaging essential natural ecosystems.

Our earth is one huge network of interconnections. The melting of the Arctic icecap and Greenland’s icy protection is already affecting the Gulf Stream, which is creating a much colder Europe. Just this winter, it made the water so cold that beaches in North Wales, England, are witnessing miles and miles of dead starfish and other small aquatic creatures, which depend on the Gulf Stream warmth. A recent photo of these beaches sent chills up my spine. Yes, dear friends, climate disruption is real, and I believe there is no answer in sight so long as we continue to live our consumeristic lives to the hilt as though there is no tomorrow. Some day there may be no tomorrow. Just sayin’.

A very wise man long ago warned us not to heap treasures up on earth. But we went ahead and did it, anyway. Living simply, with less, and closer to the web of the earth, recognizing our place in it as well as the importance of other entities besides the human being, are the first steps we must all take in order to turn this immense problem around. Then, of course, the next step is to be better stewards of the earth’s resources and to problem solve.

We are all war weary. We are all traumatized. We are all interconnected in this very small world that we once thought was so huge. I wish you all well on your journeys through these wild and difficult times.

My apologies for such a wild essay, but I do tend to be a bit “On The Wild Side.”