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Emails to Gail

by Valerie Nusbaum

Not many major things are happening in my life these days, due mostly to the COVID times in which we’re still living. Randy and I haven’t taken a vacation or gone on any day trips, haven’t eaten in a restaurant or done much shopping, and haven’t visited family or friends. So, there’s not a lot to write about in any detail. That said, I thought I’d share with you some of the little things that have warranted attention lately.

I exchange frequent emails with my friend Gail, and I decided to look back over the more recent ones to see what Randy and I have been up to. Gail is the friend I go to for a laugh or a smile, and she says I provide the same outlet for her. We exchange frequent emails about the mundane and bizarre things that happen during our daily lives. In an effort to protect Gail’s privacy and that of her family, I’m only presenting my side of the conversations.

Randy now belongs to a very special group. He calls it the Men’s Morning Meanderers. It’s a group of men of a certain age who separately walk all over Thurmont early in the mornings. The men don’t know each other, don’t speak (other than to say “good morning” or nod as they pass one another), and aren’t a formally recognized organization. In other words, they all practice proper social distancing. Randy enjoys his group outings.

I’ve recently had three very strange dreams, though not during the same night. In the first dream, I was baking sweet potato pies with an old friend, and we were planning to give the pies away as Christmas gifts. In the second dream, I was an entertainment television anchor, and Brad Pitt stopped by to have some birthday cake. Apparently, it was Brad’s birthday, and I’d baked a cake for him. Am I starting to see a baking theme here? Do I watch too many shows on the Food Network? In the third dream, Tom Selleck was my father. It was the Magnum P.I. version of Tom, not the Frank Reagan version, and there were no baked goods involved.

We went to Mom’s for lunch one day, and she made marinara sauce with meat. She told me to take care of cooking the spaghetti since she’d done everything else and needed to sit down. As the pasta boiled, I asked Mom if she had a spaghetti fork. She replied that she did indeed have one. I asked her where she kept it because I couldn’t find it in the utensil drawer. She replied that it was in the bathtub. Yes, I asked her why she’d put it there, and no, you don’t want to know. We bought a new spaghetti fork, and it will stay in the utensil drawer.

I’ve been working with a guy whose name is Jim Nasium. I can’t make this stuff up.

It’s like a darned Snow White fantasy around here: chipmunks, squirrels, rabbits, voles, groundhogs, deer, birds, birds, birds. Not to mention the neighbors’ cats who try to kill all the other stuff, and the occasional dog on the run. Two doors down are some chickens, and we sometimes see a fox or wild turkey—a live one, not the bottled kind.

Today is the 29th anniversary of our first date, and I was given a card and a nice gift early this morning. That’s why I keep him.  Randy is a very thoughtful guy. I remembered our anniversary, too, and Randy also got a card and gift.

Here’s my prediction on the mask thing: Since we’re required to wear them during outside group activities without social distancing, and it’s recommended that we wear them even with social distancing, I’m predicting a whole raft of new respiratory symptoms in the coming months from us trying to breathe through the masks in this heat and humidity. Plus, there will be more dehydration and elevated blood pressure events because wearing the mask makes us hotter. No one has mentioned this possibility yet, but when it comes, you can call me The Oracle.

Sometimes, it all gets to be too much for me. I had to call the hospital and schedule a medical test. The associate I spoke with was nice enough. Still, the registration took at least fifteen minutes, and her computer was on the fritz, which didn’t help either of our moods. Then, more questions, most of which didn’t pertain to my visit, and finally, “Are you ambilary?” I asked her to repeat the question, saying I didn’t hear. She said it again. I still didn’t know what she’d said or what it meant, so I said I was sorry, but I didn’t understand. She was frustrated, and she snapped, “It means, ‘Can you walk on your own.’” I had been nice, but I didn’t appreciate being snapped at, so I said, “No, ambulatory means ‘being able to walk on one’s own.’” I don’t know what the *&%# ambilary means. I thought I’d gone too far, but she cracked up.

Tell Jack that low water pressure is better than high blood pressure.

We finally have a gate on the garden! It’s only been three years.  Randy put on a gate. Jack took one off. Do you think they’re communicating on the sly? I hope they don’t discuss their haircuts. I have some texturizing scissors but haven’t resorted to pinking shears yet. Randy wanted another haircut today, so I obliged. When he finally does go to the barbershop, he’s going to get laughed out of there.

My left ear is considerably higher than my right ear, so nothing sits level on my face. It’s particularly annoying with my glasses. That’s why I tilt my head.

What? I told you, dear readers, nothing much has been happening here. Stay well.

by James Rada, Jr

September 1920, 100 Years Ago

Held For Throwing Stone

Clarence Oland, age 17 years, of Emmitsburg, was arrested on a charge of throwing a stone from ambush along the Emmitsburg-Taneytown road. The stone struck Mrs. James Boyle of Baltimore as she was passing in an automobile, and caused her much suffering.

After considerable investigation, Sheriff Wertenbaker arrested Clarence and his brother Guy Oland. At a hearing before Justice Henry Stokes, at Emmitsburg, fines were imposed on the two boys with costs amounting to $21. The recent grand jury took up the case and indicted Clarence Oland. His father gave bail in the sum of $100 for his son’s appearance at trial when the criminal docket is taken up.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, September 23, 1920

Many Women Register

The ladies of Mechanicstown election district, including the towns of Thurmont, Graceham, Catoctin Furnace, and Franklinville, exercised their right of suffrage and turned out and registered in numbers exceeding the expectations of many men who have been taking an active part in politics in the district.

The total number of names placed on the registration books here Tuesday of this week was 201. Of this number, few were men. …The total registration in the district had been about 700. Counting as many women as men, it would appear as though less than one third of the women took advantage of the opportunity to register.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, September 30, 1920

September 1945, 75 Years Ago

County Roads Board is Paid by Government

The Federal government has paid the Frederick County Roads Board $9,950 for damage to roads in the Sabillasville and Emmitsburg areas in 1942 and 1943; it was reported at a regular meeting of the board Monday night.

The Roads Board has been negotiating with the Federal Government for some time in an effort to be indemnified for damage done to roads by army maneuvers in the northern section of the county.

Rural roads across the northern section were used in the earlier days of the war for army vehicle maneuvers. Some roads were considerably damaged, and claims were filed with the Federal government.

                                          – The Frederick Post, September 11, 1945

Truck Crashes Into Coal Firm’s Shed

Seized with a fainting spell while operating a soft-drink truck on East Street, Robert Fitez, Rocky Ridge, was taken to the Frederick City Hospital in an unconscious condition about 4 o’clock, Tuesday afternoon, after his truck plunged out of control, through a coal shed belonging to the Baker Coal Co., this city.

Employed only two days by a bottling firm headed by Roy L. Leatherman, Fitez said last night he did not know what happened. His employer quoted him as saying he had never had a loss of consciousness before. He previously had driven a school bus for some time and held a chauffeur’s license.

Leatherman said the man regained consciousness yesterday evening but could not explain losing control of the truck or crashing the coal shed. Damage to the truck was only a cracked windshield. Leatherman said his firm is fully insured to cover costs or damages of the accident.

                                          – The Frederick Post, September 26, 1945

September 1970, 50 Years Ago

Fort Detrick to Lay Off 300 Employees

The Army plans to proceed with a planned reduction of 295 personnel spaces at Fort Detrick which was announced last March, Senator Charles McC. Mathias, Jr., and Rep. J. Glenn Beall, Jr., announced this week.

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, September 4, 1970

Killed In Action

Word has been received here of the death of Joseph F. Keeney, U.S. Army.

Young Kenney, 18 years old, was reported as killed in action in Vietnam on Friday, Sept. 18. For a number of years, he made his home here residing at the home of Miss Elizabeth Neck.

                                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, September 25, 1970

September 1995, 25 Years Ago

Gone Fishin’

Sunday, August 13, Rainbow Lake, Hampton Valley Road. A beautiful Sunday morning in a tranquil setting. The lake is bordered by kids—small groups, individuals, and kids with parents—intently concentrating on the task at hand: fishing. This much quiet concentration is not what one would expect from such a large group, but there is purpose here: not to miss a bite or nibble.

The day’s fishing expedition is sponsored by the Emmitsburg Youth Activities League consisting of deputies Horner and Hunter, Code Enforcer Bob Koontz, parents, grandparents, and merchants.

Every fisherman was a prize winner. The following were the ones whose deeds matched the tales: 1st prize, Dicky Cool; 2nd Prize, Joe Gentile; 3rd prize, Tammy Cool; 4th prize, Kenny Gentile. 1st fish, Michelle Messner.

                          – The Emmitsburg Regional Dispatch, September 1995

People in the News

Local surveyor Robert F. Gauss has been elected president of the Maryland Society of Surveyors. MSS is a state-wide organization of over 500 members.

Bob Gauss is president of R.F. Gauss & Associates, an Emmitsburg-based firm doing professional land surveying in central and western counties of Maryland for the past 15 years. Previously, he was chief of survey for D.K. Sutcliffe & Associates for 22 years. He has been licensed as a professional land surveyor since 1975 and associated with the Maryland Society of Surveyors since 1960, and as a member for 20 years. He served as chapter chair for 8 years and director at large for 4 years.

                          – The Emmitsburg Regional Dispatch, September 1995

Something Fishy’s Going on Here

by James Rada, Jr.

Marylanders are known for their love of crabs, but they also love fish. In May 1917, W. H. Killian of the Maryland State Conservation Commission “made the startling statement that more fish were destroyed than consumed for food,” according to the Hagerstown Morning Herald.

To fight this growing shortage, the Maryland legislature allocated funds to establish a fish hatchery in the state, where bass, trout, and perch could be raised. Members of the Maryland Conservation Commission began touring possible locations around the state to pick the optimum location. At the time, the state was importing live fish from Iowa and New Hampshire. This was costly, so having a hatchery would also produce savings to offset some hatchery costs.

Killian and Commission Chairman W. Thomas Kemp visited Frederick County in May. They spoke to members of the Frederick County Game and Fish Association during a luncheon. Association members also showed Killian and Kemp direction locations in the county where there were streams, rivers, and ponds.

Killian told the group, “What Maryland needs and must have is a general fish law which will protect this industry which, if properly conserved, would add untold quantities of food.”

The commission tested the waters around Frederick County. The members looked at the temperature and flow of Fishing Creek, the Monocacy River, Hunting Creek, and the spring at Fountain Rock across three visits in the county that ended in September.

J. T. Snyder, a fish culturist with the federal government, helped make the final decision.               

“I have been in the service of the government for years, and in all my investigation of the waters for the location of hatcheries, the place selected in Maryland near Lewistown is not equaled anywhere,” he said.

The state leased 15 ponds on Fishing Creek and Hell Run from C. J. Ramsburg. Seven acres of the ponds would be stocked with brood bass. The Lake View pond would be used to winter the brood bass, and two of the ponds would be used for bait fish.

“It will save fishermen from paying high prices that have been charged by the sellers of bait fish and will also save the small streams from becoming depleted of their stock,” the Frederick News reported.

Plans were also made to divert Fishing Creek across land David Devilbiss owned. A 40-foot by 60-foot building would be constructed on land Milton Ramsburg owned on Hell Run. The artificial hatchery was planned for the building.

Snyder envisioned the hatchery being able to produce 50,000 fish a year, which meant that the state would not only be able to supply its own needs, but it would be able to export fish to states that needed them. This would further reduce the costs of running the hatchery for the State of Maryland.

Construction on the hatchery began in late October with plans to raise trout, bass, catfish, crappie, bluegills, and bream. It was somewhat of a new venture for the state because the conservation commission was unfamiliar with raising crappie, bluegills, and bream. The bluegills and bream were fed beef liver while the bass and catfish were fed trout.

“They are to be distributed into fresh-water streams, and as each of these species are fish that readily take the hook and line, it will mean not only furnishing many pounds of food to the country generally, but will furnish devotees of the angling sport an unusual opportunity to ply their art,” according to the Frederick News.

The following February, with the hatchery in operation, it was announced that 200,000 trout had been hatched, and another 100,000 eggs had been sent to the hatchery.

By the summer of 1918, the hatchery was releasing black bass, bluegills, crappie, Mississippi catfish, and white catfish into Maryland’s streams. Pond owners could also get stock for their ponds for a small charge that covered the production costs.

The old Lakeview Pond, which was used by the state fish hatchery when it opened in Frederick County.

Like Father, Like Son

by Priscilla Rall

The first Baker, Henry, came to Maryland in 1742. He settled on a farm near Unionville, where his descendant, Wilbur Baker, farmed in the early 1900s. Wilbur only left the farm to serve in WWI in a supply company, driving a truck carrying supplies and sometimes the wounded in France. When he returned to the United States, he married Emma Glisan. They had two children: William Glisan Baker (born in 1923) and Betty Baker Englar. Betty’s husband, Donald, was a coxswain in a Higgins boat on D-Day in Normandy. William, or Bill, took a different route.

Bill grew up working on the home farm, milking cows by hand, making hay, and husking corn. He remembered the fun young people had at husking parties held at night under the full moon. Then they gathered ears of corn in baskets and threw them onto wagons to take to the corn crib by the barn. His mother was an excellent cook. Bill’s favorite meal was having breakfast after milking. It consisted of pudding and hominy, not the choice of many today. Emma really had her hands full at threshing time when she would have to feed about 18 thresher men.

Bill attended a one-room school, which eventually became the Linganore Grange Hall, and then to Linganore High School. In the fall of 1940, he began college at the University of Maryland, majoring in agricultural education.

Also, Bill’s uncle, Monroe Stambaugh, his cousin, Nevin Baker, and good friend, Warren Smith, served in the war. Warren was captured in the Battle of the Bulge and was a POW. He eventually became a well-respected educator in Frederick County. Nevin, after serving in the Marine Corps, went into banking.

At College Park, Bill enrolled in the Enlisted Reserve Corps. By the beginning of his spring semester in his sophomore year, he was told he was now in the regular Army. After a three-day visit home, Bill took the trolley to Union Station, and then on to Fort Lee, Virginia, where he went through basic training. Afterward, he was sent to Camp Lee for technical training and truck driving school. He was soon promoted to T-5, working in the mailroom. Tiring of this, he filled out forms to either enter Officers’ Candidate School (OCS) or join the paratroopers.

The camp commander, D. John Markey, a good friend of Bill’s father, strongly suggested that a rifle company was not the best place to be and urged him to return to Quartermasters’ School at Camp Lee. Bill took Markey’s advice and eventually was assigned to Camp Campbell with the 4332 Service Company as the 2nd Platoon Leader. The company consisted of four white officers and 212 African American soldiers.

First, they were sent to Fort Devan for two weeks, and then they were placed on a convoy that sailed from Boston in April 1943 to Amsterdam. There was still the danger of German U-boats, and the convoy was guarded by destroyers. After safely arriving in Holland, Bill and another officer had the choice of joining Graves Registration or a supply company for an armored unit. They flipped a coin for it, and Bill ended up in a truck supply company. They rode trucks filled with ammunition for howitzers and tanks. When they got to the Remagan Bridge, they had to wait a few days for the engineers to complete a pontoon bridge to replace the damaged bridge. One day, while staying in a German manor house in the center of town, Bill vividly recalled awaking to the tragic news that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had died. Everyone wondered, “What would happen now?”

When in Leipzig, Germany, his company was tasked with taking truckloads of enemy guns, cleaning and repairing them, and then sending them off. The worst experience Bill can remember is when his convoy, carrying ammo, came to a crossroads. The MP there told them to go one direction…the wrong direction! Suddenly, they were confronted with a German howitzer…and quickly turned around. They ended up stuck in a ditch until they pushed the truck out and drove back to safety. Boy, did they give the MP hell for sending them in the wrong direction!

Once, when Bill’s company had crossed near the Remagan Bridge, he was in a foxhole with one of his men when a Messerschmitt flew up the river, shooting at the Americans. They were lucky that time. Usually, ammo convoys had little protection and were prime targets for the Nazis.

Finally, the war in Europe was over, and Lt. Baker was sent to Marseilles, where the troops were staging for the next offense: Japan. He was on a ship for one-and-one-half days, bound for the Pacific when they got a change of orders. They were going home. Bill returned to the shores of the United States, and after a 30-day leave, was eventually discharged in the summer of 1946.

Returning to college, Bill graduated in 1951 with a certificate to teach agriculture. He resumed his friendship with Marguerite “Weetie” Stitely from Woodsboro, who graduated from Hood College in 1947. She became a beloved librarian at Thurmont Elementary School for many years. Bill and Weetie were married in September 1947. They had three children: Bill Jr., Becky, and Katrina.

Bill began a long career teaching agriculture at Emmitsburg and then at Catoctin High School until retiring in 1980. Along the way, he attended an auctioneering school and continued auctioneering even after retiring from teaching. One of his proudest accomplishments was forming the Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show, which continues to this day.

No student who took agriculture from “Bulldog” Baker forgot him. He was one of a kind! As a neighbor of the Bakers for 25 years, I treasured their friendship. Sadly, Bill passed away in 2009, and then both Katrina and Weetie followed him in death. William Baker served his country like his father before him, and then spent the rest of his life serving his community. Truly a life well lived.

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

Bill and Weetie Baker

by Christine Maccabee 

Tall Beauties and Late Bloomers

Where I live in upper Frederick County, I get to enjoy the various flowering plants blooming on our roadsides, truly making rides in our cars “scenic,” as many signs say along the roads. For me, it is not just the wonderful wide open landscapes of fertile farmlands and ancient mountains that make it scenic; it is the various wildflowers that bloom at their own pace, in their own time, some in early summer and others in late summer. Unfortunately, most are mowed down before they can bloom.

It is hard to believe we are in late summer with autumn soon to come. Meanwhile, the late-blooming Joe Pye weed and wild evening primrose are blooming here and there, attracting butterflies and bees with their wonderful, essential nectar and pollen. Just today, I saw some of these tall beauties along Hampton Valley Road, very near the Eyler Valley Chapel. It takes a discerning, and interested, eye to see them and appreciate them for what they are. They are mostly misunderstood and underappreciated, much like human late bloomers.

Being a late bloomer myself, I learned to love all the natural plants and animals around me at a young age. There wasn’t a day I did not go out exploring and observing. I was not a popular girl like many others. I was similar to wild plants, taking a long time to grow and bloom. Years later, at a class reunion, my neighbor, Bobby, told me that he and the other boys had admired me for my interest in turtles. I had a Turtle Town, as I called it, composed mostly of box turtles and some mud turtles. His words surprised me. If only I’d known the boys admired me back when…if only

Unfortunately, over the years, I have seen so many wild places destroyed, it makes my head spin. Healthy habitat for wildflowers, which bloom all the way until frost, is essential for our pollinators. So, when I see these wildfloweers cut down before they even get a chance to grow a foot tall, I get depressed. Many people get cut down before they have a real chance to bloom, too. However, humans, as well as plants, are resilient. In between the cracks, we somehow continue to flourish. The mowers cannot always reach beyond the ditch, so the wildflowers can flourish there. And, thankfully, there are also some caring people who nurture and appreciate us and keep us around!

Joe Pye weed and evening primrose will soon fade away for another year, another whole year! I will miss them, as will the bees and butterflies.

However, soon to come, and right on their heels, are the really late bloomers: the goldend rods and wild asters. In this area, there are several varieties of wild aster that I know of: the white wood aster, the panicled aster, small-flowered white aster, and the purple Canadian aster. Of the 16 varieties of goldenrods throughout North America, we have around 4 in Frederick County: the lance-leaved goldenrod, tall goldenrods, stiff goldenrods, and rough-stemmed goldenrods. I’m using the common names, not scientific names, as they are descriptive. I recommend getting a good identification book such as the Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers for greater understanding of these, and other, important wild plants.

Did you know that the pollen of goldenrods is not the major allergy problem? Their pollen is too heavy to travel far. It is ragweed pollen that creates problems for people, with its inconspicuous blooms that develop at the same time as goldenrod. However, in the wild, ragweed seeds have oils that help wild birds survive throughout the fall and winter.

Everything has a purpose, even you and me. Let’s make sure we all honor one another during the trying days ahead. We need to appreciate the diversity of all living entities and their contribution to the health and wholeness of life on our precious planet, Earth, of which we are all caretakers.  

Late-blooming Joe Pye “weed” along Hampton Valley Road.

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Another tall beauty, late-bloomer: wild evening primrose in Christine’s garden.

The Sunshine Vitamin

by Dr. Thomas K. Lo, Advanced Chiropractic

Vitamin D, sometimes called the “sunshine vitamin,” is produced in your skin in response to sunlight. It is a fat-soluble vitamin in a family of compounds that includes vitamins D-1, D-2, and D-3.

Your body produces vitamin D naturally when directly exposed to sunlight. You can also get it through certain foods and supplements to ensure adequate levels of the vitamin in your blood.

Vitamin D has several important functions. Perhaps the most vital are regulating the absorption of calcium and phosphorus and facilitating normal immune system function. Getting a sufficient amount of vitamin D is essential for normal growth and development of bones and teeth, as well as improved resistance against certain diseases.

If your body does not get enough vitamin D, you are at risk of developing bone abnormalities such as soft bones (rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults) or fragile bones (osteoporosis). Muscles need it to move, nerves need it to carry messages between the brain and every body part, and the immune system needs vitamin D to fight off invading bacteria and viruses.

How Much Vitamin D Do I Need?

The amount of vitamin D you need each day depends on your age. Average daily-recommended amounts are listed in micrograms (mcg) and International Units (IU). Life Stage Recommended Amount: Birth to 12 months—10 mcg (400 IU); Children 1–13 years—15 mcg (600 IU); Teens 14–18 years—15 mcg (600 IU); Adults 19–70 years—15 mcg (600 IU); Adults 71 years and older—20 mcg (800 IU); Pregnant and breastfeeding women—15 mcg (600 IU).

What Foods Provide Vitamin D?

Very few foods naturally have vitamin D. Fortified foods provide most of the vitamin D in American diets.

Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel are among the best sources. Beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks provide small amounts, and mushrooms also provide some vitamin D. Almost all of the U.S. milk supply is fortified with 400 IU of vitamin D per quart, as are many of the plant-based alternatives such as soymilk, almond milk, and oat milk. Foods made from milk, like cheese and ice cream, are usually not fortified.

Can I Get Vitamin D From The Sun?

The body makes vitamin D when the skin is directly exposed to the sun, and most people meet at least some of their vitamin D needs this way. Skin exposed to sunshine indoors through a window will not produce vitamin D. Cloudy days, shade, and having dark-colored skin cuts down on the amount of vitamin D the skin makes.

People who avoid the sun or who cover their bodies with sunscreen or clothing should include good sources of vitamin D in their diets or take a supplement. Recommended intakes of vitamin D are set on the assumption of little sun exposure.

Am I Getting Enough Vitamin D?

Because vitamin D can come from sun, food, and supplements, the best measure of one’s vitamin D status is blood levels of a form known as 25-hydroxyvitamin D. In general, levels below 30 nmol/L (12 ng/mL) are too low for bone or overall health, and levels above 125 nmol/L (50 ng/mL) are probably too high. Levels of 50 nmol/L or above (20 ng/mL or above) are sufficient for most people.

By these measures, some Americans are vitamin D deficient, and almost no one has levels that are too high. In general, young people have higher blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D than older people, and males have higher levels than females. By race, non-Hispanic blacks tend to have the lowest levels, and non-Hispanic whites the highest. The majority of Americans have blood levels lower than 75 nmol/L (30 ng/mL).

Certain other groups may not get enough vitamin D. These include breastfed infants, because human milk is a poor source of the nutrient. Breastfed infants should be given a supplement of 400 IU of vitamin D each day. Older adults, because their skin doesn’t make vitamin D when exposed to sunlight as efficiently as when they were young, and their kidneys are less able to convert vitamin D to its active form. People with dark skin have trouble because their skin has less ability to produce vitamin D from the sun. People with disorders such as Crohn’s disease or celiac disease who don’t handle fat properly, because vitamin D needs fat to be absorbed. Obese people, because their body fat binds to some vitamin D and prevents it from getting into the blood.

What Are Some Effects Of Vitamin D On Health?

Vitamin D is being studied for its possible connections to several diseases and medical problems, including diabetes, hypertension, bone disorders, cancer, and autoimmune conditions such as multiple sclerosis.

As we age, millions (mostly women, but men, too) develop, or are at risk of, osteoporosis, a condition in which bones become fragile and may fracture if one falls. It is one consequence of not getting enough calcium and vitamin D over the long term. Supplements of both vitamin D3 (at 700–800 IU/day) and calcium (500–1,200 mg/day) have been shown to reduce the risk of bone loss and fractures in elderly people aged 62–85 years. Many men and women supplement vitamin D (and calcium) as part of an overall plan to prevent or treat osteoporosis.

Can Vitamin D Be Harmful?

Yes, when amounts in the blood become too high. Signs of toxicity include nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, constipation, weakness, and weight loss. It can cause confusion, disorientation, and problems with heart rhythm. Excess vitamin D can also damage the kidneys.

The daily upper limit for vitamin D is 25 mcg to 38 mcg (1,000 to 1,500 IU) for infants; 63 mcg to 75 mcg (2,500 to 3,000 IU) for children one to eight years; and 100 mcg (4,000 IU) for children nine years and older adults, and pregnant and lactating teens and women. Vitamin D toxicity almost always occurs from overuse of supplements. Excessive sun exposure does not cause vitamin D toxicity because the body limits the amount of this vitamin it produces.

Are There Any Interactions With Vitamin D That I Should Know About?

Like most dietary supplements, vitamin D may interact or interfere with other medicines or supplements you might be taking. Here are some examples:

Prednisone and other corticosteroid medicines to reduce inflammation impair how the body handles vitamin D, which leads to lower calcium absorption and loss of bone over time.

Both the weight-loss drug orlistat (brand names Xenical® and Alli®) and the cholesterol-lowering drug cholestyramine (brand names Questran®, LoCholest®, and Prevalite®) can reduce the absorption of vitamin D and other fat-soluble vitamins (A, E, and K).

Both phenobarbital and phenytoin (brand name Dilantin®), used to prevent and control epileptic seizures, increase the breakdown of vitamin D and reduce calcium absorption.

Tell your doctor, pharmacist, and other healthcare providers about any dietary supplements and medicines you take.

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,

Do you ever wonder why many people in their 80’s and 90’s seem to be aging well? Are they doing something differently? I believe they are. Their generation is different from today’s. Perhaps their traditions and values play a key role in their lifestyles and their health. They grew up in a kinder time. They had time to listen. They talked to their friends about pleasant things. They gained wisdom from their elders. They had an understanding of how to live well. Life was not always easy. They learned to work through situations. Solutions were well thought out and implemented to fix problems. Relationships were developed over time. Couples had long marriages. I believe kindness and respect build the solid foundation of relationships.

Socializing is vitally important for good physical and mental health. Disconnection from others can lead to unhealthy lifestyles. According to The National Institute on Aging, research has shown a link between social isolation and loneliness to higher risks of high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, depression, cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s, and more.

One’s mental state can play a critical role in their overall health. It’s what you think that dictates your actions.

Even though life can present challenging and often painful situations, you can still think about helping others. Be aware of the needs of family, friends, and neighbors. You may discover a way to help them.

So, be proactive about your health. Do what you can to have a happy and healthy life. Learn from others. Listen. Stay connected. Never underestimate the effect that kindness has on your well being.

by Valerie Nusbaum

During these difficult times, it’s more important than ever that we take care of ourselves—our health, our bodies, our minds. Many doctors and scientists recommend that humans walk at least 10,000 steps every day, which is roughly the equivalent of five miles. Lots of people use pedometers and/or FitBits to track steps and mileage, as well as to monitor and track things like heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature.  We shouldn’t need to be told that sitting a lot and leading sedentary lives is detrimental to our health and well-being, but most of us do need to be reminded of this from time to time.

With COVID-19 still out there, we must do all that we can to stay well. Being at home more often, doing more cooking and baking, and overall malaise and depression may have triggered overeating and weight gain in a lot of us. I know that I’ve been less careful about what foods I’ve been putting into my body. Ice cream is now my best friend, and it’s usually served with hot fudge, whipped cream, and a Little Debbie Swiss cake roll.  Don’t judge me. Life is hard.

I still religiously walk two to three miles per day on my treadmill. Every day, without fail, I put on my sneakers and go at it, and I walk at a brisk pace and on a steep incline. One might even refer to it as “wogging.” This takes care of around 4,000-6,000 of my daily step requirements. My compulsive walking isn’t to lose weight. It’s to maintain my current weight and health, and it keeps me relatively sane. I feel lucky that I (so far) haven’t gained the COVID fifteen or twenty.

 The other half of my walk load isn’t so easy to accomplish. In order to log another 4,000-5,000 steps each day, I’ve come up with some little tips to help, and I’m sharing them here with you. I know you’re not really interested in my exercise regime. You would much rather read a recipe for chocolate cheesecake or have me write about Randy’s antics, but as I keep telling you all, Oprah has left the building, and I feel a responsibility to pick up the slack.  If I don’t look out for you, who will?

Tip #1 – Stand up. Standing is supposed to help clear your mind and make it easier to think.

Tip #2 – Move. If you put something in your microwave to heat, instead of standing in front of it and waiting for it to finish, walk around your kitchen or your house. It’s easy to log at least 100 steps during a one-minute microwave cycle. I do this every time I make a cup of tea. If I’m heating a piece of cobbler, well, it just seems silly to exercise.

Tip #3 – Pace while you’re on the phone. My mother always tells me that I sound out of breath when we talk on the telephone.  It’s because I’m moving.

Tip #4 – Take a walk outside. I do the treadmill because I don’t enjoy heat, cold, wind, humidity, rain, or bugs. However, when the weather conditions are perfect, I head out the front door and take neighborhood inventory.  A change of scenery is always good, and I can grab Randy and force him to get some exercise as well. Truthfully, though, Randy has been really good about walking on his own every day. I think it gives him a chance to get away from me for a little while.

Tip #5 – If I need to move five things from one room to another, I make five trips if I have the time. Some days, time is limited, and it’s not possible to do this, but I do it when I can.

Tip #6 – Do exercise in increments. If I don’t have time for a full 45 minutes on the treadmill, I break it up. This has another benefit for me because I’m not a lady who perspires daintily. I sweat like a pig and am completely soaked when I do get off the treadmill after doing all my miles at one time. I’m then obligated to bathe and wash my hair, which requires applying all the lotions and drying and styling my hair. I don’t have time for this some days, so I opt for shorter, less sweaty walks and quicker clean ups.

Tip #7 – Take the stairs. If you have stairs in your home and are able to go up and down them easily, do this as often as you can.  Sometimes, I stand on the floor and go up and down the bottom two stairs for ten or twenty reps.

In general, just add steps wherever you can. I count mine sometimes because I’m anal and have mild OCD, and it helps me to feel that I’m making progress or accomplishing something. If, like me, you walk on a treadmill, I’d recommend watching something mindless on television as you walk. Lifetime movies are great, but my personal favorite is The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.  Randy won’t admit it, but he enjoys watching that with me. I think it makes him realize just how lucky he is to have me. I know that’s what he’s thinking about when he’s out walking.

by James Rada, Jr

August 1920, 100 Years Ago

Famous Men In Fruit World Will Visit Nearby Orchards

A party of nationally known fruit and orcharding authorities are now on an automobile tour that will carry them thru the great orchard districts of our state.

The object of the tour is to become acquainted with the men responsible for the magnificent orchards that are one of the glories of this and adjoining counties and to see with their own eyes the orchards that are the pride of their owners.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, August 5, 1920

Another Freight Wreck

The Western Maryland railroad wreck crews and section men were kept busy Wednesday of this week clearing up a wreck that occurred about one mile east of Graceham at a point where the Graceham-Rocky Ridge public road crosses the railroad.

The wreck occurred soon after seven o’clock, and was caused by the heating and breaking of a wheel on the front truck of the thirteenth car of a train of forty, all loaded with soft coal. After the wheel broke, the truck left the rail and ran about 700 feet before the final crash came. Fourteen cars were derailed, smashed and twisted into junk, just west of the crossing, and coal blocked the public road. For a considerable distance, nothing but ballast remained, the ties and rails being broken and shoved along under the cars. It was estimated that 300 new ties and 16 rails would be needed to replace the track.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, August 12, 1920

August 1945, 75 Years Ago

Emmitsburg Grange and Women’s Club Will Sponsor Community Show In Fall

Emmitsburg housewives will have an opportunity to display their choicest home canned and fresh fruits and vegetables, garden flowers, pies, rolls, and cakes at a Community Show to be sponsored jointly by the Emmitsburg Grange and the Women’s club the first week in October at the American Legion hall.

Those fortunate enough to have the most beautiful and tempting foods and flowers according to the judges, will be awarded a share of the $200 offered as prizes.

                                          – The Gettysburg Times, August 2, 1945

Break Ground For High School in Emmitsburg

On Sunday afternoon at 3 o’clock, ground was blessed and broken for the new St. Joseph’s high school at Emmitsburg. The ground is located next to St. Joseph’s rectory on Green street. The Rev. Francis J. Dodd, C.M., director of the Community of the Daughters of Charity and president of St. Joseph’s College, blessed the ground. Sister Isabelle Toohey, sister visitatrix of the province, broke the ground. The provincial treasurer, Sister Mary Loretta, turned the second spade full.

                                          – The Gettysburg Times, August 2, 1945

August 1970, 50 Years Ago

Request Action For Relief From Floods

Twenty Emmitsburg citizens appeared at the meeting of the Burgess and Commissioners August 3 to support a petition for immediate relief from flooding conditions.

The formal petition complains that during recent storms, many Emmitsburg houses, especially in Emmit Gardens and along DePaul St., experienced severe flooding and backing up sewers.

Emmitsburg’s officials agreed with the citizens and said corrective action has been started.                                     

                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, August 14, 1970

Husband of Former Local Woman Found Dead From Gunshot

David R. Gebhart, 27, Gettysburg R5, husband of Sarah Springer Gebhart, formerly of Emmitsburg, suffered a fatal gunshot wound at 2:25 a.m. Sunday while seated in his car on S. Franklin St., Gettysburg, just south of the W. High St. corner. Dr. Robert S. Lefever, deputy county coroner, said Gebhart’s death was instantaneous from a shotgun wound of the neck and a compound fracture of cervical vertebrae.

According to police, Gebhart’s body was found slumped in his 1965 Chevrolet coupe by a passerby shortly after a loud “explosion noise” like a gunshot was heard in the neighborhood.

At 1 o’clock Sunday morning, police said they had been called to the front of the Dorsey Stanton American Legion Post home, W. High St., where Gebhart has been involved in a fracas.

According to police, Gebhart was shot in the left side of the neck, apparently by an assailant who aimed a weapon through the victim’s open car window on the driver’s side of the car. The shot was fired at close range, police said.

Two Gettysburg men were committed to the county prison by borough police Tuesday evening, and a third was committed Wednesday morning in connection with the shotgun slaying.

                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, August 14, 1970

August 1995, 25 Years Ago

Babes In Arms…

Karl and Katie Lorenz of Carroll Valley, with more than a loving armful of triplets, issued a call for help. They appealed for “extra hands” in the St. Anthony Parish church bulletin, and ten volunteer “rockers” now share time to hold, feed, and rock the children. Volunteers have come from Emmitsburg, Thurmont, and Gettysburg. “People have been so nice,” Katie said.

          The boys Kieran and Nicholas weighed 4 pounds and 15 ounces at birth. Maria weighed only 2 pounds and 13 ounces. Maria required some developmental time in the hospital, and now she is home with her brothers.

                          – The Emmitsburg Regional Dispatch, August 1995

Rosensteel Wedding Photo Wins Award

Local photographer Bob Rosensteel won an Award of Merit for a wedding photograph during the Annual International Competition held by the Wedding and Portrait Photographer International in Los Angeles recently.

“It’s nice to be able to say your work is among the best – awful nice,” said Rosensteel.

“To have your photograph hung in the convention gallery, the photograph must be awarded a score of over 70 points,” said Rosensteel. Scoring depends upon a myriad of small details other than exposure: background, balance, finish, even the title is important. This year it took 9 ½ hours to judge the entries. “The control judge was Monte Zucker, an internationally renowned wedding photographer who is one of the best…if not the best,” said Rosensteel.

                          – The Emmitsburg Regional Dispatch, August 1995

The Year is…1918

by James Rada, Jr.

The Pandemic to End All Pandemics — Part 3

Spanish Flu rampaged through Frederick County and the world in the fall of 1918. During October 1918, the State of Maryland shut down public venues and businesses, and those places that could still open had trouble finding healthy workers.

On October 11, the Frederick Post reported that 50 people in the county had died from the flu; however, this seems too low just looking at the daily numbers it was reporting. The newspaper noted on October 12, “There are homes in this city where entire families are ill and bed-ridden with influenza and nobody to help care for them.”

County Health Officer T. C. Routson and the Red Cross called on student nurses to help care for the sick. They only had mixed success because many young women were afraid to help. Afterall, they didn’t want to catch the flu themselves.

On October 14, the Frederick Post tried a good news, bad news thing. New cases of the flu had “slumped.” Yea! However, more people who already had the flu were dying.

By October 17, Mount St. Mary’s College alone had 160 students and faculty sick with the flu, after first appearing on campus the previous week. Two Daughters of Charity were on the campus trying to help, but it wasn’t enough. The situation at the college was so serious that Monsignor Bradley, president of the college, asked Maj. Dwight D. Eisenhower at Camp Colt in Gettysburg for medical assistance. The camp was experiencing its own problems with the flu, but Eisenhower did send two doctors to help. The doctors placed the college under military quarantine, and no one was allowed off the grounds.

The Mountaineer noted, “In consequence of this quarantine, all students who were free from any sign of the disease were sent to their homes early in December and did not return until January was well advanced.”

With only eight deaths on the 17th, the Frederick Post declared that the flu was “waning.” It noted in the article that the death rate was lower, but you don’t see the higher death rates in the paper except for the one instance. The paper reported on October 18, “With only four deaths yesterday, the average death rate per day, which is usually about nine or ten, has been cut down less than half.”

A week later, the newspaper reported that there had only been two flu deaths in the county the previous day. “This is the smallest number of victims for a single day since the influenza became an epidemic.” Sadly, the doctor in charge of the main Red Cross hospital had fallen victim to the flu and died.

The Perfect Storm

Many communities were already shorthanded medically because doctors had been drafted to serve in WWI. Then, along came the flu, which intensified by the shortage, making many of the remaining doctors sick at a time when the workload was drastically increasing. The remaining doctors found themselves working longer hours with contagious people. This would wear them down and make them susceptible to flu and the process would repeat.

One example of this can be seen with Dr. Brown and Dr. Kuhlman in Jefferson. They had 30 patients sick with the flu, but they were sick themselves and bedridden. Dr. Brown tried to help his patients over the phone without much luck.

Routson noted that Thurmont’s efforts to fight the flu were hampered because all of the doctors there were sick with the flu. At its peak, Thurmont doctors were seeing 50 to 60 patients a day.

Other professions faced similar problems. An ad in the Frederick Post urged residents not to make unnecessary phone calls. “The influenza epidemic had brought a heavy overload of calls to our wires. It has caused a serious shortage in our operating force. Calls other than those concerning important government work, and those compelled by the epidemic, embarrass the country’s war program and place lives in jeopardy.”

Even newspaper delivery was affected because many of the carriers were sickened with the flu. In Brunswick, rail service was crippled because “about half of the population has the flu,” according to the Frederick Post.

The Third Wave

Halloween passed on October 31 without any celebration.

Maryland listed its closure order on November 4. There was a resurgence of the flu in December in Washington County, but it didn’t kill anyone. Parts of Frederick County also saw a resurgence. The Catoctin Clarion in late December reported, “Influenza, a disease dreaded by a big majority of people, is not disappearing very rapidly at this time, the number of cases increasing rather than decreasing in various communities.”

The third wave of Spanish Flu hit particularly hard in the Fairfield, Pennsylvania, area, as well as the eastern part of the county. One doctor was quoted in the Star and Sentinel as saying, “I have just come from four homes. Three or four people were sick in every one of them. One of the families had both parents and the two children ill. I have another family in which there were six cases.”

Reports said the second outbreak wasn’t as pervasive, but it could still be deadly. This is typical of locations where there was a third outbreak.

Christmas 1918 was somber. A lot of people had lost someone they knew to the flu. Officials urged people to do their shopping early when fewer people would be in the stores. Church Christmas programs were canceled for fear of having too many people in a confined space.

Determining Impact

Maryland conducted a door-to-door survey in March 1919 in Baltimore, Cumberland, Lonaconing, Frederick, Salisbury, and three rural districts in Frederick, Washington, and Wicomico counties. The information is useful, but not conclusive, something that the survey noted when it acknowledged some of the shortfalls.

Although deaths in Maryland didn’t exceed births in 1918, it came close with 32,183 deaths, which was about 10,000 more than five years in either direction. The death rate was 2,257 per 100,000 or about 700 more than the years on either side. No other year from 1902 to the present day comes close.

The U.S. Census also reported that the decade between 1910 and 1920 is the only decade since 1900 that Frederick County lost population, to which Spanish Flu certainly contributed.

Looking at the Maryland survey, newspaper reports, surrounding county information, and county reports, it appears about 350 people or .7 percent of the county’s population died from the flu. However, this might be underestimated because it is known that during the pandemic’s peak, some doctors were so overwhelmed that they couldn’t fill out death certificates until days later, sometimes leaving the cause of death blank.

What is known is that Spanish Flu was the worst disease to hit Frederick County.

Employees needed to wear facemasks while at work during the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918.

The 39th Regiment on its way to France, marching through Seattle, Washington. The Seattle Chapter of the Red Cross made masks for them. 

Joseph Hooker Clabaugh

20 Years of Service

by Priscilla Rall

Joe Clabaugh’s life is woven into our community’s history beginning with his grandfather, J. Hooker Lewis, from the Garfield and Foxville area, who owned five local orchards. He bought one from a German family whose house was located where Mountain Gate Restaurant is now. It was part stone, part log, and the German family kept their animals in the lower level of the home! When J. Hooker’s daughter, Carrie, married Joseph Elmer Clabaugh, this young family moved into the old farmhouse. J. Hooker and his wife moved into a home where the Kountry Kitchen is now.

The farmstead had a smokehouse where the Clabaughs cured hams and bacon from the hogs they raised and butchered, and a springhouse where they kept the milk, cream, and butter from their milk cows.

Carrie and Joseph had 10 children, but in 1929, their oldest daughter, Carrie, tragically died at four years old when she was hit by a car at the end of their lane. Their son, Richard, 13, died from blood poisoning when he was swept over the dam at Bentz’s pond and cut his leg. This was before antibiotics.

Their son, Joseph Hooker Clabaugh, was born in December 1919. Young Joe was kept busy bringing firewood into the house to feed the kitchen’s cookstove and the chunk stove in the living room. All the kids carried water from the well in the front yard into the house, as they had neither running water nor electricity.

Joe recalled riding their milk wagon to deliver the farm’s milk. Bob, the old black horse, knew all the stops by heart and never missed a one. Joe’s father never did drive a tractor or a car. He hewed to the old ways. His mother was “the best cook that ever hit this world.” She was well known for her homemade noodles and pot pie.

When Joe finished seventh grade, he quit school. He lied about his age and joined the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). He worked in the camp at Green Ridge, 30 miles from Cumberland, just across the river from Paw Paw, West Virginia. His two older brothers joined the CCC as well. They all earned $25 a month. The government sent $20 home, and they kept just $5. After he left the CCC, Joe worked on a farm in Hansonville.

In 1937, he joined the U.S. Army. He trained at Ft. Belvoir in Virginia with Company D, 5th Engineers. He was discharged after suffering from a severe cut to his hand. Then he worked at a foundry in Baltimore, along with his cousin, Charles “Stud” Lewis, making piston rings. Later, he worked for Herman H. Fisher, driving a fuel truck from Baltimore to Detour.

During WWII, Joe attempted to enlist five times but was rejected due to his injured hand and classified 4F. It was a bitter blow to the family when his cousins, Gordon and Raymond Pryor, died while in the service. Cousin Harry “Buck” Lewis was shot and then captured on the Battle of the Bulge. Amazingly, he survived his captivity but was down to 100 pounds.

Joe then worked for several years at Hammaker’s, setting tombstones. In March 1946, the Air Force finally accepted him. By the first of April, he was on his way to the Philippine Islands. He was assigned to the motor pool in Manila. He saw first-hand the terrible destruction of this once beautiful city. There were still 40-50 ships sunk in the harbor, and most of the buildings were empty hulls. Later, he was assigned to the Field Police at Hickam Field, but was soon sent to Guam to serve in the Fire Department. From there, he went to Andrews Air Force Base, where he served for five years. He got home in February 1948, and in May, he married Shirley Long from Creagerstown.

Joe’s next orders were to Greenland, leaving his family, that now numbered three children, home. Greenland was quite a new experience for Joe. They often had “wind warnings” when you had to stay indoors or be blown away. No planes could land then, either. After 13 months, Joe was sent with his family to Forbes Air Force Base in Topeka, Kansas, as a fireman, where they spent two-and-a-half years. They experienced severe ice storms with large hail that put dents in everything exposed.

Finally, Joe got a wonderful assignment in Upper Hayfield, England, just 60 miles from London. He was able to take his daughter, Chris, to Holland for a memorable trip to a tulip festival.

In 1959, Joe was transferred to Bunker Hill, Indiana, where the “big boys,” the B 58s, were stationed. They carried the “big bombs,” but Joe refused to say anymore. “I ain’t telling you nothing.” This was the era of the Cold War, and Joe remembered a “hot day” when the airbase had 47 B57s lined up during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and they were on “high alert.”

Tech Sgt. J. Clabaugh retired from the Air Force in 1963, after 20 years and 1 month of military service. “I’m done!” The family returned to Thurmont, and Joe worked on the farm until George Black, the fire chief at Fort Ritchie, offered him a job. He worked there and at Site R for 17 years (9 years in the tunnel). During this time, the family lived in Shirley’s home with their five children, Chris, Jerry, Dennis, Billy, and Jimmy. Work was second nature to Joe, and after all of those years at Ft. Ritchie, he worked at Mount St. Mary’s until he finally retired for good.

The family moved from Creagerstown to New Cut Road and then finally to Longs Mill Road in Rocky Ridge. Joe and Shirley have been active volunteers at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Creagerstown, the Rocky Ridge Fire Department, and the American Legion in Thurmont. His volunteering only ended with his death in 2009. He earned his rest. Thank you for your service, TSgt. Clabaugh, and may you rest in peace, dear friend and neighbor.

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

Photos were taken in Manila after WWII while Joseph Clabaugh was stationed there.

My Wild Gardens,

“Oh the place that I’m from is the place that I won,

            It’s the joy of my heart, it is my own.

        It took many a year but I’m finally here…

         With a hey and a hoe to the field I go.”

~ from Song of a Homesteader by Christine

For 30 years now, I have been intentionally integrating wild native plants as habitat for insects and birds, with multiple beds for organic veggies and fruit. When I first found this 11+ parcel of fertile land in the Catoctins 30 years ago, there were no trees, no flowers, and no house. It was part of a 200+ acre homestead, which previously grew corn and hay, but later was mowed regularly in order to sell. It was pretty much a blank page when I found it, perfect for an artist’s/gardener’s creative activity!

 The first thing I did to start a garden was to plow an acre up and then let it rest for one year to see what wild plants emerged. I had taught myself how to identify wild plants from the time they first emerge, and I was blown away by the diversity in the soil. There were, and still are, multiple varieties of wild aster and goldenrod, wild evening primrose, medicinal herbs like St. John’s Wort, mullein and vervain, wild edibles such as the delicious lambs quarters, ground cherries, and purslane; smaller less conspicuous flowers like blues, and pinks, lots of milkweed, and a host of other mostly native plants.

So, as I laid out the beds for my mostly heirloom veggies, I kept those various wild plants in mind. Continuing to read and study, I learned that I was naturally practicing what is called ultra-organic gardening, where wild plants are allowed to grow—with some discrimination— between, and even in, the beds of vegetables. Also, on the property trees like locust, sassafras, ash, redbuds, and dogwoods came forth on their own so that presently, along with species I brought in over the years, I have a nice diversity of trees. I also reduced lawn size to mostly pathways, and now have a solar mower. Due to the slow progression of blossoms from spring until fall, I have a wide diversity of insect life such as honey bees, bumble bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, and I am always finding new and unusual insects. I literally have no more bad bugs like the asparagus and bean beetle and have not seen squash beetle in years. It feels like a well-balanced ecosystem!

As primary caretaker here, I have always felt that by allowing the wonderful botanical diversity of Creation, I am working hand in hand with the Creator. If I never become famous for anything, at least I will have done this. I deem it my most important work, and want to share it with others.

If you’d like to experience my wild gardens, you are welcome to visit. Most of all, I hope you eare enjoying the discovery of wild plants on your own properties!

For the Earth, Christine   (, Master Wildlife Habitat Naturalist, State of MD.

by Dr. Thomas K. Lo, Advanced Chiropractic

Gastroesophageal reflux (GER) happens when your stomach contents come back up into your esophagus.

Stomach acid that touches the lining of your esophagus can cause heartburn.

Doctors also refer to GER as acid indigestion, acid reflux, acid regurgitation, heartburn, and reflux.  

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a more serious and long-lasting form of GER.

GER that occurs more than twice a week for a few weeks could be GERD. GERD can lead to more serious health problems over time. A review study published in the journal, Gut, reports the following range of GERD prevalence estimates in global populations: North America—18-28 percent • Europe—9-26 percent • East Asia—3-8 percent • the Middle East—9-33 percent • Australia—12 percent • South America—23 percent.

Who Is More Likely to Have GERD?

Anyone can develop GERD; however, you are more likely to have GERD if you are overweight or obese, a pregnant woman, taking certain medicines, a smoker, or regularly exposed to secondhand smoke.

What are the Complications of GERD?

Without treatment, GERD can sometimes cause serious complications over time, such as esophagitis, an inflammation in the esophagus. Adults who have chronic esophagitis over many years are more likely to develop precancerous changes in the esophagus. Another possible problem is an esophageal stricture, which happens when your esophagus becomes too narrow. Esophageal strictures can lead to problems with swallowing. You may also develop respiratory problems. With GERD, you might breathe stomach acid into your lungs. The stomach acid can then irritate your throat and lungs, causing respiratory problems, such as asthma, chest congestion, or extra fluid in your lungs, a dry, long-lasting cough or a sore throat, hoarseness, laryngitis, pneumonia, and wheezing. GERD can sometimes cause Barrett’s esophagus. A small number of people with Barrett’s esophagus develop a rare yet often deadly type of cancer of the esophagus.

What are the Symptoms of GER and GERD?

If you have gastroesophageal reflux (GER), you may taste food or stomach acid in the back of your mouth.

The most common symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is regular heartburn, a painful, burning feeling in the middle of your chest, behind your breastbone, and in the middle of your abdomen. Not all adults with GERD have heartburn. Other common GERD symptoms include bad breath, nausea, pain in your chest or the upper part of your abdomen, problems swallowing or painful swallowing, respiratory problems, vomiting, and the wearing away of your teeth.

What Causes GER and GERD?

GER and GERD happen when your lower esophageal sphincter becomes weak or relaxes when it should not, causing stomach contents to rise up into the esophagus. The lower esophageal sphincter becomes weak or relaxes due to increased pressure on your abdomen from being overweight, obese, or pregnant. Certain medicines, including those that doctors use to treat asthma and high blood pressure, antihistamines, painkillers, sedatives, and antidepressants can also cause GERD, as can smoking, inhaling secondhand smoke, and a hiatal hernia.

How Do Doctors Diagnose GER?

In most cases, your doctor diagnoses gastroesophageal reflux (GER) by reviewing your symptoms and medical history. If your symptoms do not improve with lifestyle changes, you may need testing.

If your GER symptoms do not improve, if they come back frequently, or if you have trouble swallowing, your doctor may recommend testing you for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). To confirm a diagnosis of GERD, or check for complications, your doctor might recommend an endoscopy. Your doctor inserts a thin, flexible tube equipped with a light and camera (endoscope) down your throat to examine the inside of your esophagus and stomach. An ambulatory acid (pH) probe test may be ordered. A monitor is placed in your esophagus to identify when, and for how long, stomach acid regurgitates there. An esophageal manometry test measures the rhythmic muscle contractions in your esophagus when you swallow. Or your practitioner may order an X-ray of your upper digestive system taken after you drink a chalky liquid that coats and fills the inside lining of your digestive tract.

How Do You Control GER and GERD?

You may be able to control gastroesophageal reflux (GER) and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) by not eating or drinking items that may cause GER, such as greasy or spicy foods and alcoholic drinks, not overeating, not eating two to three hours before bedtime, losing weight if you’re overweight or obese, quitting smoking, and avoiding secondhand smoke.

Making lifestyle changes can reduce your GER and GERD symptoms. You should lose weight if needed. Wear loose-fitting clothing around your abdomen because tight clothing can squeeze your stomach area and push acid up into your esophagus. Stay upright for three hours after meals, avoid reclining and slouching when sitting, and sleep on a slight angle by raising the head of your bed six to eight inches. Quit smoking and avoid secondhand smoke.

Eating, Diet, and Nutrition

You can prevent or relieve your symptoms from gastroesophageal reflux (GER) or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) by changing your diet. You may need to avoid certain foods and drinks that make your symptoms worse. You may need to decrease fatty foods; eat small, frequent meals instead of three large meals; and avoid eating or drinking items that may make GER or GERD worse, like chocolate, coffee, peppermint, greasy or spicy foods, tomatoes and tomato products, and alcoholic drinks.

Instead, eat healthy and balanced amounts of different types of healthy foods to avoid symptoms of GERD. Good choices are berries; melons; bananas; and vegetables such as spinach, kale, bok choy, green beans, and cucumbers. Lean proteins like eggs, chicken, and turkey are good choices, as are healthy fats like olive oil and avocado. Fatty fish, such as salmon and trout, are good choices, as are oats, ginger, aloe vera, and avocados.

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,

Shaklee Associate for a Healthier Life

Boost Your Skin Health

What dietary foods should we include to boost skin health? The foods we eat for healthiness can play a huge role in our skin, too.  So, a trip to the farmer’s market still is a good stop for food choices.

Skin requires nourishment from the inside. Skin health is dependent on our dietary choices.

Environmental stressors take a toll on our skin. So, it’s important to eat a healthy diet to combat those stressors.

Think of colorful veggies. Bright vegetables like sweet potatoes, tomatoes, leafy greens, and bell peppers contain carotenoids. They act as potent antioxidants and help protect our skin against environmental stressors.

Go easy on fast-food and processed food. A diet high in sugar and fat may create inflammatory skin conditions. Whole foods are the best to eat.

If you love almonds, they may benefit skin appearance. They are a scrumptious snack, too!

Of course, hydration is a must. Remember to drink plenty of water.

Being outdoors in the summer means more sun exposure. A study by scientists in Spain say popping a few grapes acts as a natural protection to the skin—and they are a great snack! The darker ones are better.

Shaklee offers a skincare line of activating serum, eye treatment, and day and night cream. The products support critical cellular functions, combining botanicals and vitamins.

For further information, send an email to

Keeping our skin looking youthful is a sign of healthiness. It is another component of our body and requires daily care. So feed your skin what it needs!

Is It Just Us?

By Valerie Nusbaum

It was mid-morning on Saturday. We were hard at work. I was alternately doing laundry, changing the sheets on the bed, trotting half-miles on the treadmill, and working on my column for The Banner.

Randy was in the kitchen, beginning the installation of our new range hood. You might remember that last summer, our oven caught fire during The Great Pancake Caper of ‘19. We replaced our white stove with a black stainless, fingerprint-resistant model. We also replaced our dishwasher at that time since we were able to find one matching the stove. The refrigerator and range hood proved to be more of a challenge.

We wanted a range hood attached to a wall-mounted microwave, but there was an issue with size and height, so we settled for just the range hood.  The problem was that none of the local stores had a hood in the slate black color. Randy finally found one at Lowe’s online, and he ordered it seven months after we bought the stove. Weeks later, he received two messages telling him that the range hood was at the store in Frederick, ready to be picked up. We couldn’t get free shipping to our home, but it wasn’t a big deal to go pick it up.

Randy made the trip to the store. It took a while, but he came home with a large box. Upon closer inspection, and with some cursing involved, Randy informed me that we had a beautiful new cooktop instead of a range hood. 

He took the cooktop back to the store a day or so later. The clerks didn’t care and weren’t able to help him reorder the hood that we wanted, so he came home and tried again online. Two more weeks went by; Randy got another message and an email, and we headed back to Lowe’s. I waited in the truck because I feared the worst and didn’t want to be a witness. Randy texted me from inside the store that he was in line, and there were three people in front of him. Eventually, he came out without a package. The associate at the customer service desk said that our package hadn’t been brought up front yet, and there was no one available to look for it. Mind you, we had received two messages telling us to come in and get our package. Randy was told that he was welcome to wait an hour or so, but he said he’d be back later.

We did some errands and went back to Lowe’s. A different customer service associate told Randy that our package was still in the back of the store, but she did send someone to go look for it. Meanwhile, Randy dealt with a woman who had pushed her way in front of him to have a conversation with the clerk. While he was being shoved aside, he noticed his name on a big box behind the counter.  After pointing that out to the associate, he retrieved our package and checked to make sure we had the correct item this time. The box sat in our kitchen for another two weeks because we had other projects in the works.

Finally, it was time. I was upstairs in my office, and I could hear Randy downstairs in the kitchen. I heard him go down to the basement and come back up.  This happened several times, and then the cussing started. He was trying to figure out which breaker the old range hood was wired to.  Each time he went to the basement and switched off a breaker, he had to come back upstairs to see if the hood light was still on in the kitchen. I yelled down and asked if he needed help. It’s always best to stay out of his way when he’s doing a project unless he asks me to help. However, after I heard him go down and up the stairs another 10 times, I stopped what I was doing—which was playing a game of Free Cell on the computer as I mentally drafted a totally different column from this one—and  went down to the kitchen.  Randy started to protest my being there, but I gave him my “don’t even think about it” face. After sending me back upstairs to turn off the computer, and after flipping a whole bunch more switches, we finally had success.

I went back to work. After about 15 minutes, Randy advised me that the old range hood was down. In less than an hour, he had the new hood installed and wired.  The actual installation was less of a problem than anything that came before it.

My question to you is this: Is it just us, or do you also have trouble with things that should be simple?  Does it seem that no one cares or wants to help? Is everything a struggle for you? Some days, I really want to give up. That’s why when something actually does go well or is easy, I’m practically giddy with delight. I’m not sure life is supposed to be so hard, but it certainly does make one appreciate the good things, doesn’t it?

The new range hood sticks out a little farther than the old one, and I’ve hit my head on it a few times, so now I’m downright tickled when I remember to duck.

by James Rada, Jr.

July 1920, 100 Years Ago

No Freight Service Here. Merchants Haul Produce To Baltimore On Trucks.

The trouble on the railroads in this part of the country was felt keenly this week, particularly by hucksters and produce men having shipments to make to Baltimore.

The officials of the roads have placed an embargo on all goods along the Western Maryland railroad, and because of the refusal of railroad men to work, freight trains have not moved for some days.

Our local hucksters, Ross Eyler and William Cover, after collecting country produce, found it necessary to load their trucks and haul their goods to market. Both left Monday midnight with their first load. About three trips will be necessary.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, July 1, 1920

Principal Resigns. Prof. H.D. Beachley After 25 Years Tenders Resignation.

After acting as principal of the Thurmont High School for 25 of the 27 years of its existence, Prof. H. D. Beachley has sent in his resignation.

The news will be a great surprise to his former pupils and his many friends. Prof. Beachley came to Thurmont fresh from college and took charge of the school in its infancy, and he had identified with its entire history.

                                          – Catoctin Clarion, July 15, 1920

July 1945, 75 Years Ago

Road Work Ends

The surface treatment program of the State Roads Commission on highways in this area has been completed, and there were no road detours over the Fourth of July, Robert E. L. Putman, resident engineer of the commission, said Wednesday. Mr. Putman said there were some reports of trees down along the roads in the Catoctin Furnace-Rocky Ridge-Graceham area as a result of the storm Monday afternoon, but no serious damage occurred.

                                          – Frederick Post, July 5, 1945

Thurmont in Second Place

Thurmont clinched second place in the Penn-Maryland League Sunday afternoon by routing Littlestown, 12 to 5, before a good crowd at Thurmont. The rivals were tied for second place, with Blue Ridge Summit a game on top.

                                          – Frederick Post, July 9, 1945

July 1970, 50 Years Ago

Thurmont Man Files For County Office

Donald L. Lewis, well-known and respected Frederick County businessman, has filed his candidacy for County Commissioner, subject to the Republican primary election.

As former Mayor of Thurmont, Lewis served on the Council of the Maryland Municipal League, where problems of cities and town were constantly studied and appropriate legislation proposed and adopted for consideration at Annapolis.                                      

                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, July 17, 1970

Children’s Choir Honored At Dinner

The Children’s Choir of Elias Lutheran Church was honored at a dinner on a recent Monday evening in the Parish House as a culmination of their year’s choral work. Pastel colors and arrangements of garden flowers were used on the tables.

Honored during the evening were: Tamara Strickhouser; Kim and Todd Leatherman; Daniel J. Fearer; Bruce and Tina Boyd; Theresa McNair; Deborah Small; Robert, Brenda, and Deborah Leatherman; Denise Manahan; Randy and Tina Smith; Nancy, Cynthia, and Pamela Hahn; Pamela Bushman; Matthew, Mark, and Lucius Deatherage; Carole Eyler; Virginia, Kathleen, and Nancy Crum; and Pastor W. Ronald Fearer.

                          – Emmitsburg Chronicle, July 24, 1970

July 1995, 25 Years Ago

Community Spirit Prevails At Cunningham Falls During Search For Missing Child

A sunny, Sunday afternoon on June 18th brought numbers of people out to the William Houck lake area at Cunningham Falls. The majority of bathers were families, and young children were everywhere enjoying the water and sun.

At mid-afternoon, the tone became much more serious as the park ranger ordered bathers to leave the swimming area because of a report of a missing child. The area soon cleared, and adult volunteers quickly waded out into the water and formed human chains in an attempt to locate the child in case the child had gone under…

As we waded from one side to the other, another chain came from the opposite side to meet us. Snorkelers also patrolled edges of the swimming area. After this had been repeated twice, the park ranger announced that the child had been found safe on the shore.

                          – The Emmitsburg Regional Dispatch, July 1995

Young People To Compete In National Tournament

The Bulldogs, a youth bowling team from the Thurmont Bowling Center, recently placed first in the Bantam Division of the State Tournament for the National Duckpin Youth Association. Team members include Adam Myers, Matt Myers, Trey Benvengi, Paul Eyler, all from Emmitsburg, and Kevin Riffle from Thurmont. Led by their director, Karen Ferguson, they will compete in the National competition.

                          – The Emmitsburg Regional Dispatch, July 1995

by James Rada, Jr.

The Pandemic to End All Pandemics — Part 2

Few people saw Spanish Flu as a threat at first. Although more people than usual got sick in the spring of 1918, they recovered for the most part.

That was the first wave. The second wave hit in the fall of 1918.

The Second Wave

Spanish Flu hit Frederick County on September 26, 1918, when the Frederick News reported 50 flu cases in the county. The following day, 10 more cases were reported. The first death from flu in the county, George Cronise of Buckeystown, occurred on September 29.

By October 2, more than 100 cases were reported in Buckeystown alone.

At this early stage, Thurmont, Emmitsburg, Urbana, New Market, and Buckeystown were the hardest-hit areas, according to Dr. T. Clyde Routson, the county health officer. He was against closing schools at first because the children would play and mingle with friends, and the result would be the same. He also said that it would be unfair to communities not affected to have their children deprived of education.

One Frederick Post headline on October 7 was “Physicians Believe That Epidemic Has Been Checked.” This was far from the truth. The flu had taken hold in all areas of the county. During the month of October, a flu story could be found on the front page of the Frederick Post every day it was published except for two days. Most of those headlines announced how many had died the previous day.


Pennsylvania enacted the strictest quarantine the state had ever seen, closing virtually every public meeting place. The Gettysburg Times announced on October 4 that Acting State Health Commissioner B. F. Royer ordered closed every moving picture house, every theater, every saloon, and every place of public amusement, including pool rooms and dance halls. The sick weren’t allowed to have visitors unless they were so desperately ill that they weren’t expected to live. And any visitors had to wear a gauze mask. All funerals had to be private. The Chambersburg Public Opinion called this “the most drastic quarantine order ever given in Pennsylvania.”

At this point, 60,000 people in the Philadelphia area were already sick with the flu. Camp Colt in Gettysburg had 21 deaths on October 2, bringing the total deaths there to 62. Yet, it wasn’t big news. Suddenly, with the issuance of the quarantine order, headlines were everywhere.

With Pennsylvania setting the example, Frederick County started talking about quarantines on October 7. It was too late. That day, 25 people in the county died from the flu, including Francis Dotterer in Catoctin Furnace, Mary Smith, Fleet Gall, and Lulu Smith in Thurmont.

Frederick County remained open, but then Maryland took actions similar to Pennsylvania, closing public meeting places on October 8. Camp Meade, which had been flu-free a few weeks earlier, had 277 deaths, more than 5 percent of its population. Three Daughters of Charity from Emmitsburg and three from Baltimore had been at Camp Meade since October 3, trying to fight the disease. The sisters reported back two days after arriving that there had been 100 deaths in one day and 30 deaths on their first night at Camp Meade.

Since the Crimean War the previous century, whenever there was a public health crisis, whether in peace or war, the Daughters had been called on to help. Around this time, the Daughters of Charity received telegraph and phone messages from sisters across the country, asking for their help.

Also, the first Daughter of Charity died from the flu around this time after being sick only four days. St. Joseph’s College in Emmitsburg reported that nearly all of the teachers were sick, and 31 of the students had the flu.

Suddenly, the flu began repeatedly appearing on the front page of the newspapers, although not the lead story, generally. WWI was winding down, and so the last battles and then the truce talks were the big stories of the day, supposedly.

On October 8, Maryland issued a statewide ban that closed theaters, movies, schools, dance halls, and other public places. It was very similar to Pennsylvania’s quarantine.

Some people complained about the quarantine because they had developed their own remedy. Since alcohol was used to kill germs on the skin, they had increased their intake to kill the germs inside them. One newspaper pointed out that “while whiskey is a good medicine for a person ill with the disease and in fact may then be needed as a heart stimulant, it really lowers the resistance of the system of a person who is not infected and makes him still more susceptible.”

A Deadly October

By the middle of October, the Daughters of Charity had sent everyone they could spare from the Central House in Emmitsburg out to serve in the missions. However, sisters at the Central House were also suffering from the flu.

The first student at St. Joseph’s College died from the flu on October 18. It was the first pupil death since 1872. The following day, another student died. The following day, a sister serving at Soldier’s Home in Washington died, and another sister in Emmitsburg died the following day. It looks like four sisters eventually died from the flu, although there may have been more. Certainly, more were given the Last Rites.

The county fairs in both Frederick and Washington counties wound up being canceled that year, reluctantly. The directors argued that the fresh air would do people good. However, in the end, they must have realized that attendance would be down because people were sick, and many healthy people would be afraid to be part of a crowd for fear of catching the flu.

It was only the second time that the Great Frederick Fair had been canceled. The only time previously that the fair had been canceled was when a little spat called the Civil War happened.

Churches decided to prevent parishioners from being within close proximity to each other.

Also, volunteer nurses were being sent throughout the county to visit the homes where entire families were down with the flu. They would care for these families in their homes.

The B&O Railroad brought in its emergency hospital to help people in Brunswick, which apparently was one of the harder hit areas of the county. An emergency hospital run by the Red Cross was also set up at Montevue.

Things would still get worse.

Picture shows passengers and employees were required to wear face masks to ride on public transportation in many cities during the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, which killed 100 million people worldwide.

by Anita DiGregory

The Power of Parenting

“A seed neither fears light nor darkness, but uses both to grow.”  (Matshona Dhliwayo, Zimbabwean-born author of 50 Lessons Every Wise Mother Teaches Her Son)

I have a tree in front of my home.  It is a beautiful tree.  It was planted there just before we moved into our home 18 years ago.  My children have grown up with that tree.  I have yearly photos of them in front of it…in Halloween costumes, playing football together, building snowmen, looking for Easter eggs. Every year at Christmastime, my husband wraps it in twinkling white lights, and in the stillness we breathe deep and take in its beauty. 

Over the years, our little tree has been home to many birds, and little nests adorn its branches.  Today, our once tiny tree stands higher than our home.  Its tremendous branches now provide shade to my granddaughter as she wades in her baby pool. Who would have thought? Certainly not that harried, anxious, crazy-busy mother of three rushing past that little tree for doctor appointments, soccer, little league, basketball, volleyball, and field hockey practices and games, through pregnancies and miscarriage, on days of celebration and days of loss.  That momma barely had the time (and maybe not even the courage) to ponder that little tree and the growth the years would bring. But this mother of seven and grandmother finds herself pondering all of that and the power and potential of a tiny, little seed.

Do you know the word “seed” is used over 70 times in the Bible?  The word means different things.  In the Bible, it could mean the Word of God.  It could refer to that embryonic part of the seed plant which can grow into a new plant.  It could mean offspring.  When used as “spreading the seed,” it can refer to instilling virtues and ideals. 

Matthew 13:32 states, “”[The mustard seed] is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants.  It becomes a large bush, and the ‘birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.’”

Have you ever seen a giant redwood tree?  They can grow to over 300 feet tall.  One adult redwood tree can yield six to eight million seeds a year, seeds so minuscule that it takes one million of them to weigh eight pounds.

How can something so small be so significant? 

Maybe it is all the time quarantine and social distancing has created…maybe it is the condition of our country and world, but I have found myself doing a lot of pondering these days.  With all the anger, sadness, fear, and anxiety swirling around us, do you find yourself feeling helpless and insignificant?  I do.  I wonder:  what can I possibly do to make a difference. 

The truth is, as parents we have the power to change the world, one soul at a time.  Within our children, we can plant the seeds of strong moral values including Faith, hope, and love and live these virtues authentically.  We can teach them about God.  We can model charity, empathy, mercy, and compassion for them.  We can talk to them and really listen to them.  We can read them stories of great saints, leaders, and heroes.  We can teach them the importance of discipline and hard work.  We can show them how to pray and kneel with them in prayer.  We can teach them about our country, “one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all,” what that means, and how very important it is.  We can celebrate their successes and their failures and when they fall, we can help them to learn, grow, and try again.  We can talk to them about living intentionally and the necessity of doing the next right thing, even when we are scared, exhausted, or feeling lost.  We can teach them to always stand for what is good, and right, and just. 

Harvard Professor Elizabeth Bartholet knows the importance of parenting as demonstrated by her exuberance to severely regulate or ban homeschooling, partially to keep parents from having such an authentic influence on their children.  She states, “Conservative Christians wanted the chance to bring their children up with their values and belief systems and saw homeschooling as a way to escape from the secular education in public schools.”

Dr. Rick Rigsby knows the power of parenting.  In the now viral video of his graduation speech (look it up; you won’t be sorry), Rigsby states, “The wisest person I ever met in my life: a third grade dropout…who taught me to combine knowledge and wisdom to make an impact, is my father: a simple cook, wisest man I ever met.”

Mother Theresa said, “If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.”  It won’t always be easy, but it will always be worth the sacrifices, sleepless nights, countless prayers, and hard work.  You may not see it today.  Today, amid all the shouting and pain in the world, you may feel small and insignificant, like you just can’t make a difference.   Just keep watering those seeds; keep sheltering and pruning; keep working.  Your tending and toiling, your love and devotion will make a difference.

And you know those giant redwood trees…did you ever wonder how they grow so tall, how they withstand all the wind?  Turns out, the redwoods roots do not run very deep.  Instead the roots run wide.  They intertwine with the roots of the other strong redwoods around them which makes the trees able to withstand almost everything nature can throw at them.  Each year they grow strong, some for over 2,000 years.  They offer shelter, take in more carbon dioxide than any other tree (according to studies), and provide homes to countless creatures…all of that from a tiny and seemingly insignificant seed. 

Take heart sweet parent… as a parent you have the power to form a soul, the power to change the world.

There’s No Place Like Home

by Priscilla Rall

Marion William Rice was born to Marian Warfield and Ethel Metheny Rice in 1927 in Mountaindale. One of five children, the family lived in a house next to a small grocery store that Marion’s parents ran. When he was six years old, he walked three miles to the closest school in Lewistown. Later, he moved to live with his grandmother, Mrs. John Kesselring, to be closer to the Thurmont schools. She lived in Thurmont on Frederick Road, just above Camp Cozy.

His parents had a large garden and raised hogs. Marion, or “Bill” as he was called, missed school when they butchered. His job was to keep the fires going under the butchering kettles. Bill’s favorite meal was hog maw, which his mother would make at butchering time. At his grandmother’s, Bill’s job was to feed the chickens. He fondly remembered playing baseball in the summertime. Bill vividly recalled when he was playing ball in Mountaindale; a man came running out of the store, yelling that Pearl Harbor had been bombed. He responded, “Where’s Pearl?” Once a year, the family would go to Frederick to buy new clothes for school. That was a special day!

His family listened to the radio every night. Bill especially remembered Lowell Thomas and President Roosevelt’s (FDR) fireside chats. In fact, he saw FDR several times when he would drive up Frederick Road, sometimes in an open car. Often, he would stop to fish at the old ore pit at Catoctin Furnace, which was stocked with trout just for the president.

Bill worked part-time for the local florist, Allen Creager, collecting ferns growing in the mountains for funeral wreaths. Once, he looked up and saw two men with guns drawn running towards him. Bill had strayed too close to Camp Shangri-La. He was taken in a police car to the post office to be identified before being released. That was an exciting day!

Bill graduated from Thurmont High School in 1944 at 17 years of age, and he decided to join the U.S. Navy. “Mom was ironing and a’crying and a’crying.” She didn’t want her son to sign up, nor did his father, but eventually, they signed his papers. Bill remembered that the older men, the “Home Guard,” would march and do practice drills using broomsticks.

Before he joined the Navy, Bill was an air raid warden. They had a station on Payne’s Hill. Once, Bill had to stop Doc Birely because he was driving with his car lights on during a blackout. But the old Doc protested that he was rushing to see an ill patient.

Bill took the bus to Baltimore and then the train to Bainbridge for training. He spent several months in specialized training in electrical work. With his training done, Bill took the train cross-country, arriving after five days in San Francisco. There, he boarded a ship that sailed to Pearl Harbor, where one could still see remains of the Japanese surprise attack. It was “pretty emotional” for the young sailor. Then, he was quickly shuffled onto an airplane but was not told his destination.

The plane landed on different islands, and Bill finally ended up on Okinawa. Climbing down from the plane, he was given the order, “Go up on that hill and find an empty tent with a cot.” Bill stayed there for a month or so. He could explore where airplanes had crashed and exploded. Then, a tremendous typhoon came through the island, with 180 mph winds. Bill, and a few others, found refuge in a burial cave. When it was over, they crawled out; there were wrecked planes everywhere. He was assigned to the hospitals to set up electrical generators and to keep them going. Once, a gas drum exploded in his face, and he thought he was permanently blinded. Fortunately, he recovered. There were a lot of Japanese POWs who were helping repair the damage that they had done to the island.

Finally, the war ended, and Bill was granted a 10-day furlough to Shanghai, China. He bought a few souvenirs, including two kimonos for his sisters. He returned to Okinawa and continued doing electrical work until 1946 when he returned to the U.S. and was mustered out of the service.

Back in Thurmont, Bill began working for the town for a total of 44 years! Marion “Bill” Rice had a life that spanned almost a century and saw tremendous changes in the world. Bill never hesitated to serve his country when the time came. He was one of our “Greatest Generation,” a home-town boy turned sailor who saw the world but decided that the best place is home.

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

Bill and Nancy Rice.

by Buck Reed

Eight Food-Related Things We Learned During Lockdown

(1) Starting a garden was probably a good idea. The timing of the lockdown could not have come at a better time to start a traditional Victory Garden to supply food for you and your family. At least plant a Toilet Paper Tree.

(2) The cook rules the household. The paycheck may pay the bills but, putting the food on the table is a valued skill. Plus, if you do the cooking, surely you can get someone to do the dishes.

(3) Takeout is a poor substitute for restaurant service. Getting takeout may be a convenience but, sitting at a table and having waitstaff take care of you is a lovely experience. It is quite possibly the closest most of us will feel to being a king.  

(4) If they are essential workers, then tip them like they are. Good service should be appreciated, and although a thank you or a please might be a good start, the person taking care of you needs to pay the rent.

(5) Cooking for you and your family will save you money. Cooking for yourself is a great money saver, and once you learn to manage your shopping and organize your pantry, you can save money when you need it most.

(6) Making something everyone will enjoy is a daunting task. Creating a meal everyone will enjoy can seem impossible sometimes, but a jar of peanut butter and jelly might solve the problem.

(7) You can make cooking a family affair. Getting your family excited about a meal can be as simple as just mentioning that it’s Taco Night in the dining room or getting everyone in on making pizza. 

(8) Making a special meal for someone can be a great way to mark an occasion. Rewarding a good report card with something as simple as their favorite meatloaf is a great way to create excitement for almost anyone. Even the smallest victory can be marked with a family favorite.

by Christine Maccabee

Slowing Down

As of this writing, it is still spring. I find springtime goes much too fast and comes much too slowly after a long, messy winter. In winter, I am dreaming of spring. I miss the green leaves and the wonderful life that springs from the soil…maybe that’s why it is called spring!

This spring, every time I passed by my purple iris, I took the time to smell its heavenly perfume, knowing its blossoms would come and go so quickly. Slowing down to do so becomes a few seconds of bliss during a busy day, a bit of aromatherapy to put a smile on my face and joy in my heart.

After an amazing rain the other night, I knew the box turtles would be trying to cross the roads to get to better hunting grounds, or so they think. So yesterday, unbeknown to me, a lone male turtle was in the middle of Black Road, leaving the safety of his woods and thinking the 15-acre lawn across the road might be better. Luckily, I was in no hurry to get home, so I stopped my car and rescued him from a life-threatening situation. He was peaceful as I carried him back to his wonderful woods, and I hope he never comes onto the road again.

Years ago, on a quiet Sunday morning, I found a turtle injured on Hamptown Valley Road by a car likely going too fast to be observant. I took the poor guy home. With surgical tape, his frontal shell was fused together again. After a month, fully healed, I released him. It only takes one.

As for gardening, I must admit that somedays I go non-stop,  practically forgetting to breathe as I multitask. Perhaps, innately, I feel I have to keep up with springtimes’ springing! However, since yesterday was going to be my day to go slower, I stood up frequently,  stretching and breathing in deeply the wonderful mountain air in between planting lupine and squash plants. Grown from seed in the greenhouse, these plants, like so many others, took their good old time getting to outdoor planting size. They were as eager to get out of their pots as I was to plant them, yet patience was needed, forcing me to go slow. 

Now summer flowers, berries, and veggies are slowly coming out, and gardeners are busier than ever. I know I am not the only avid gardener. Our backs and arms are aching from all the work. Still, the wisest of us know how important it is to slow down and smell the flowers, to enjoy the fruits of our labor, and spend quiet time listening to and observing nature’s miraculous springing forth during this time of “Greenleaf” (taken from the bestseller Warriors series about cat clans).

I will leave you with a few lines from a poem I wrote years ago:

 The most glorious sunrise                                              a newborn’s first cry,

            the blossom of bluebells

              in the welcome springtime.

  The beauty of summer

     all decked out in green;

         the lupine and poppy,

           a colorful scheme,

  All gone in an instant it seems,

  All gone with the passae of time.

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety is a normal response to stress. However, when it becomes hard to control and affects your day-to-day life, it can be disabling. Anxiety disorders affect nearly 1 in 5 adults in the United States. Women are more than twice as likely as men to get an anxiety disorder in their lifetime.

What Is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or fear about an event or situation and is a normal reaction to stress. It helps you stay alert for a challenging situation at work, study harder for an exam, or remain focused on an important speech. In general, it helps you cope.

Unfortunately, anxiety can also be disabling if it interferes with daily life. It can make you dread nonthreatening, day-to-day activities like riding the bus or talking to a coworker. Anxiety can also be a sudden attack of terror when there is no threat.

Physical symptoms may include weakness, shortness of breath, rapid heart rate, nausea, upset stomach, and dizziness.

What Are Anxiety Disorders?

Anxiety disorders happen when excessive anxiety interferes with your everyday activities, such as going to work or school or spending time with friends or family. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental disorders in the United States.

Major Types of Anxiety Disorders

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Those with GAD worry excessively about ordinary day-to-day issues like health, money, work, and family. With GAD, the mind often jumps to the worst-case scenario, even when there is little or no reason to worry. One may have muscle tension and other stress-related physical symptoms, such as trouble sleeping or upset stomach.

Panic Disorder. A panic disorder is diagnosed when someone has sudden attacks of terror when there is no actual danger. Panic attacks may cause a sense of unreality, a fear of impending doom, or a fear of losing control. A fear of one’s own unexplained physical symptoms is also a sign of a panic disorder. People having panic attacks sometimes believe they are having heart attacks, losing their minds, or dying.

Social Phobia. A social phobia, also called social anxiety disorder, is diagnosed when people become very anxious and self-conscious in everyday social situations. People with social phobia have an intense fear of being watched and judged by others. They may get embarrassed easily and often have panic attack symptoms.

Specific Phobia. A specific phobia is an intense fear of something that poses little or no actual danger. Specific phobias could be fears of closed-in spaces, heights, water, objects, animals, or specific situations. People with specific phobias often find that facing, or even thinking about facing, the feared object or situation brings on a panic attack or severe anxiety.

Each anxiety disorder has different symptoms. They all involve fear and dread about things that may happen now or in the future.

Other Conditions That Are Not Considered Anxiety Disorders But Are Similar

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). People with OCD have unwanted thoughts (obsessions) or behaviors (compulsions) that cause anxiety. They may check the oven or iron again and again or perform the same routine over and over to control the anxiety these thoughts cause. Often, the rituals end up controlling the person.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD starts after a scary event that involved physical harm or the threat of physical harm. The person who gets PTSD may have been the one who was harmed, or the harm may have happened to a loved one or even a stranger.

How Are Anxiety Disorders Diagnosed?

Your doctor or nurse will ask you questions about your symptoms and your medical history. Your doctor may also do a physical exam or other tests to rule out other health problems that could be causing your symptoms.

Anxiety disorders are diagnosed when fear and dread of non-threatening situations, events, places, or objects become excessive and are uncontrollable. Anxiety disorders are also diagnosed if the anxiety has lasted for at least six months and interferes with social, work, family, or other aspects of daily life.

How Are Anxiety Disorders Treated?

Treatment for anxiety disorders depends on the type of anxiety disorder you have and your personal history of health problems, violence, or abuse.

What If My Anxiety Disorder Comes Back?

Sometimes, symptoms of an anxiety disorder come back after you have finished treatment. This may happen during or after a stressful event. It may also occur without any warning.

You can also talk to your doctor about ways to identify and prevent anxiety from coming back. This may include writing down your feelings, or meeting with your counselor if you think your anxiety is uncontrollable.

Complementary or alternative medicine can also help manage anxiety disorders. Some alternative medicine therapies that may help anxiety are regular physical activity, which raises the level of brain chemicals that control mood and affect anxiety and depression. Studies show meditation may improve anxiety. Regular meditation may help by boosting activity in the area of your brain responsible for feelings of serenity and joy.

How Do Anxiety Disorders Affect Other Health Conditions?

Anxiety disorders may affect other health problems that are common in women, including depression. Anxiety disorders can happen at the same time as depression. When this happens, treatment for both anxiety and depression may not be as effective. IBS symptoms are common in people with anxiety disorders. Worry can make IBS symptoms worse, especially gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms such as upset stomach or gas. GI symptoms can also be stressful and lead to more anxiety. Although treatments for IBS can help treat anxiety, it is important that you treat both conditions.

Anxiety disorders are common in women with certain diseases that cause chronic pain, including rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and migraine.

Anxiety and depression increase the risk of heart disease, the leading cause of death for American women. Anxiety can also make recovery harder after a heart attack or stroke.

Stress and anxiety can trigger asthma attacks, while the shortness of breath and wheezing during asthma attacks can cause anxiety. Studies show that breathing retraining may help asthma control and ease anxiety.

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

Deb Abraham Spalding

Incidents of Lyme disease in people are on the rise in our area, while the incidents of Lyme disease in our dogs are on the decline. Our Blacklegged (Deer) Tick is the culprit. Other local tick species like the Brown Dog Tick and the American Dog Tick are not known to transfer Lyme but can transfer other diseases like Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever to pets and people.

Pets: Trish Hahn, a veterinary technician with the Catoctin Veterinary Clinic in Thurmont, explains that there’s a 99 percent effective Lyme vaccine available for your dogs, which substantially decreases the incidents of Lyme. There are also various flea and tick treatments, topical and oral, that are effective as well. These reliable flea and tick products kill the tick before there is a blood exchange, thus preventing disease.

Symptoms of Lyme disease in a dog are lethargy, loss of appetite, and kidney damage if left too long without treatment. From the point of the bite, symptoms may begin within 24 hours. Trish explained that we don’t see Lyme disease in cats.

People: Jenice Palachick, CRNP (Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner) in Dr. Cooper’s office in Thurmont, formerly worked with Dr. Timothy Stonesifer at the Cumberland Valley Parochial Medical Clinic in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania. Dr. Stonesifer runs his clinic as a family practice, with a specialty in Lyme. Having prior experience with diagnosing and treating Lyme disease is a useful resource for Jenice while working in general practice at Dr. Cooper’s office, but she often consults with Dr. Stonesifer if she suspects Lyme.

Typical symptoms of Lyme can be difficult to diagnose because they mimic so many other ailments. They include fever, headache, fatigue, joint pain, swollen lymph nodes, and, about 30 percent of the time, a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. Every case of Lyme disease is unique. Thus, treatment for each case is a journey of trial and error. Jenise said, “I’ve been fooled before. It’s not that simple.” The symptoms are so broad, especially in the chronic phase where symptoms have gone on for years.

Jenice suggests that the adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” is in place when preventing Lyme. When outside in the tick’s natural habitat, wear long pants tucked into your socks. Buy clothes that are infused with pyrethrum, which is a natural repellent to ticks. Use insect repellent containing an EPA-registered ingredient, such as DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Wear light colored clothing. Do a tick check after being outside. Ticks love the scalp, behind the ears, and the groin area. Ticks can be as small as a pin head. See next page for Maryland Tick Identification table provided by the University of Maryland Extension Service.

There are just two kinds of venomous snakes in our local area: timber rattlesnakes and copperheads. They are rarely aggressive. The easiest way to determine how to treat a snake bite is to look at the eyes, head, and fangs (or lack thereof) of the culprit. Venomous snakes have elliptical pupils while non-venomous have round pupils. Venomous snakes have hollow retractable fangs while nonvenomous snakes lack fangs. Venomous snakes have a triangular shaped head while nonvenomous snakes have a rounded head. Please DON’t assume that all snakes are venomous, but please DO assume that all snakes can bite.

Pets: Though not all snakes have a deadly venom, a snake bite will still cause discomfort and stress for your pet, so please take your pet to a veterinarian as soon as possible. If your pet was bitten by a venomous snake, it will need antivenom.

People: On May 19, 2019, while hiking with her wife Sarah, two dogs and friends, Lindsay Klampe was bitten by a rattlesnake (actual snake shown in photo).  She was wearing shorts and sneakers while hiking from Hog Rock in Catoctin Mountain Park to Cunningham Falls in Cunningham Falls State Park.

Lindsay said, upon feeling the bite, “Adrenaline took over. I jumped and started running.” She ran about a quarter mile from where the bite occurred to the Cunningham Falls parking lot along Route 77. Meanwhile, Sarah called 911.

Ambulance personnel transported Lindsay to Frederick Memorial Hospital where, within 1 hour and 15 minutes from when the bite occurred, she was injected with antivenom.

The anti-venom, rest, and time propelled Lindsay through a full recovery.

Lyndsay said she plans to get back to hiking but will wear hiking boots and pants in the future since she feels that ankle-covering boots could have served as a barrier of protection and prevented the bite from penetrating her skin.

UpToDate clinical first aid for a venomous snake bite suggests keeping the victim warm, at rest, and calm while initially elevating the injured part of the body to the level of the heart. UpToDate also recommends removing any rings, watches, or constrictive clothing from the affected extremity. As always, rush the victim to the nearest medical facility via emergency medical services.

For Pets and People: In case of a non-venomous bite, clean the wound, apply a clean dressing, and go about your day while monitoring for any changes in condition like swelling, dizziness or clamminess, or changes in breathing. If any of these changes occur, seek medical attention.

In the case of a venomous bite, take emergency action to get to an emergency room where an antivenom can be injected.


The National Park Service has posted bear safety tips on its website. The biggest prevention tip is: Make a lot of noise! The bears in our local parks are black bears. They are not normally aggressive or threatening, and mostly just want to be left alone. So, being a loud hiker or camper may deter their interest. But, if you encounter one, keep in mind that they are very curious. That’s not to say they won’t be aggressive or threatening if they are protecting their young or hungry in pursuit of food, and you get in the way.

People: If confronted with a black bear, stand tall with arms stretched above your head so you appear bigger than you are. Talk in a normal tone to the bear, so it determines that you are a human and not a meal. Stay calm. Do not run away or climb a tree; a bear can do those things better than you.

Bear pepper spray is available for purchase and can be a part of your safety regimen while in the wild. Most importantly, if any bear attacks you in your tent, or stalks you and then attacks, do NOT play dead—fight back!

Pets: If you encounter a Black Bear while with your dog, keep your dog on a leash, calmly control your pet, talk in a normal tone, and make yourself big as explained above. Give a Black Bear enough room to retreat since Black Bears usually avoid confrontation.

jEanne Angleberger,

Shaklee Associate for a Healthier Life Make America Healthy Again is a book defining why Americans have become unhealthy. Dr. Nicole Saphier does an excellent job researching and stating the reasons why we lack healthiness.

She continues to tell us we need to take better care of ourselves by adopting preventative measures. If we get healthier, we can improve overall care.

It boils down to personal responsibility. What can I do to prevent illnesses? Become your own self-advocate. Learn what it takes to become healthy.

Take a glance at your diet. Does it contain vegetables and fruits? We hear over and over the importance of eating plenty of colorful veggies and fruits. Eighty percent of Americans don’t eat according to the CDC’s recommended diet. Instead, we eat too many calories and too many processed foods.

Get moving. Make exercise a priority; find something you like to do: walking, jogging, hiking, aerobics, yoga—just get yourself moving. The health benefits you will gain will more than outweigh the sometimes daunting task of motivating yourself to get an exercise routine in place. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than 80 percent of adults don’t meet the guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities, and more than 80 percent of adolescents don’t do enough physical activity to meet the guidelines for youth.

Focus on eating fewer calories and fewer processed foods. Be sure to work on keeping your weight down.

Being unhealthy costs our nation billions every year!

We must consider ways to become healthy. And, we must take action now!

Joan Bittner Fry

On a Saturday in mid-March, I opened an email from Since I had recently placed an order for less than $25.00 (my first directly to Amazon), I opened it. To my surprise, it was an order confirmation for $4,961.12 for one Sony television with an extended warranty and one Microsoft Xbox console, also with an extended warranty.

There was an Amazon logo at the top and an order number. Authentic, I thought. There was a statement: “If you have not placed this order, call our Fraud Protection Team at 1-425-620-3786.” Foolishly, I did so.  I was directed to three different people, and ended up with Supervisor Max.  He was sympathetic and seemed very believable, because by this time, I wanted him to be. He went through some details, and he said he could see the charges on Amazon. He assured me that he and his colleagues could fix it. 

After a lot of chatter, I was requested to buy three gift cards in the amount of $200 each. I also fell for that. I went to Thurmont to make this purchase. Max wanted to keep me on the cell phone while in the store, but I was directed not to speak to him until I got back to my car. By the time I returned to my car, my cell phone had run out of power. Max probably became desperate, thinking that I might have had enough time to think more clearly—which I had.

Upon returning home, I called Amazon, and they put me in touch with their fraudulent activities division. I was directed to a business who would solve my problem and spent the next hour on the phone with them. Although I was at their mercy, I felt I had to trust someone.  Later, when I looked at the company online, they are supposedly one of the most trusted technical solution providers in the country. I’m still praying that this is the case.

After the problem was fixed, there were more than 30 missed calls lined up on my home phone—all from Max. When I finally answered, his first question was, “Did you get the cards?” I replied “No,” and hung up.  He did not call again.

On the following Monday, I opened my seldom-used cell phone and saw more than 18 missed messages from Saturday—all from Max, who was desperately pleading that I return his call the minute I got it. I’m still thankful for that trip to Thurmont and a dead cell phone that allowed me time to think.

I was a victim of phishing. I never thought the message wasn’t legitimate because of my recent purchase from Amazon. Ironically, page 23 of the latest issue of the AARP Bulletin reports under “Ask the Fraud Team” a story of a person who also got an email from someone claiming to be with Amazon, who said items had been charged to their account. This person ended up giving them their credit card number to reverse the charges. 

The advice given by AARP was to contact the credit card company immediately and have them look into the account and put a flag on any suspicious charges. It goes on to say that you can easily verify activity on your online accounts, either by calling customer service or by logging in online and reviewing your recent activity.

I am writing this article to implore anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation to not blame themselves. Identity theft is a serious threat to all of us. If we hide it, we are helping the thieves. It can and did happen to me.