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Serving Mifflin County and the surrounding area.

The Valley A free newspaper dedicated to agriculture, self-reliance, frugal living, and modern homesteading. Tomorrow’s Media - A Day Early Volume 3, No. 12


The Valley, December 2012

Alpaca Farming in Central Pennsylvania Giving More Than Their Fleece by Diane Allison Musical purring, the humming of an alpaca. How I love this sound. These gentle animals captured my heart five years ago. Little did I know at the time where this love would take me. “All 4 You Alpacas” came into being in March 2009 after several alpaca farm visits and lots of research (approx. 1 1/2 years worth). Nowadays, my herd rewards me daily with their individual at the farm isn’t always just work. Along with the feeding of grain and hay, providing fresh water and scooping alpaca poo daily, I get to interact and enjoy each one of them. Whether it be Eddy playing king of the hill in the snow drifts in his pasture in winter, the body slams and neck wrestling he and Crosby share, or Ginger and I playing our occasional game of ball or tug of war with her “baby” toy. Ginger, now she

is quite the entertainer. Ginger likes to unzip jackets, pull off hats and run with them, and tug on back pockets. In winter, she loves to play hide and seek with my husband in the snow and evening darkness around the shelter. It is quite hysterical to watch. Best of all, Ginger loves to give me daily kisses. When I have had a bad day, I can count on that “Ginger kiss” to make everything seem so much better. Nala is my husband’s girl. The two of them hit it off from the very moment they met. I believe it was love at first sight for both alpaca and man. Although I get an occasional kiss from Nala, it is my husband, John, that Nala bonds with most. She recognizes the sound of his truck coming in the farm lane and waits for him without moving. She gives him adoring looks, I actually have a picture of her snuggling into him

Sebastian, our cria, and Ginger giving my husband, John, one of her Ginger kisses

Sebastian being halter trained by my husband, John.

during a herd health Saturday. I feel like I should be a little jealous, but watching the two of them makes me smile. My girl Abby is a bit standoffish and hardheaded, but I wouldn’t have her any other way. She and I like to share “crunchy” and “flower” time. This is where my spoiling time comes in... During feedings, if I see clover or crunchier pieces of hay, I will pull them out and hand feed her. She now recognizes those two words. If she is across the pasture, all I have to say is “Abby do you want a crunchy?” and she will come running. Although she has a difficult streak sometimes, Abby made a wonderful mother. She gave birth to her first cria (baby alpaca) last summer. All 4 You’s

Sebastian’s Independence came into the world in July 2011. After a bumpy start, Sebastian thrived and eventually developed his mother’s love for carrots. Although he moved on to his new home in May, we will always treasure our time with him. Sebastian had a way of making you love him. With such a mellow but independent personality, he and Ginger became inseparable buddies from day one. Many times, we would arrive at the farm to see them playing a game of tag together. As you can imagine, we had quite a time with Ginger the first week after Sebastian left the farm. It was then my turn to give her “Ginger kisses” and try to make her day better. As you can see, each alpaca

Lighting Brush Fires in People’s Minds

within our herd has his/her own personality. These gentle and fluffy animals provide so much beyond their valuable fleece. Through the changing seasons of the last several years the road to success in the alpaca business has not been an easy one, although it is one I wouldn’t want to give up. My herd makes all the hardships worth it. Alpaca Facts • Alpacas belong to the camelid family. They are closely related to the camel and the Llama. Native to countries in South America including Peru, northern Bolivia, Ecuador and Chile, alpacas were imported into the United States beginning in the mid1980s. • They are herd animals, preferring the companionship of their friends and their established community, and will become stressed if separated from their buddies. Alpacas have a life expectancy of 2025 years. • The alpaca grazes on grass & hay. They process their food through 3 stomachs. Lowprotein feed is recommended, with additional mineral supplements for females since they are generally pregnant and/or nursing. • Do alpacas spit? Not very often and only at each other, to signal displeasure at a herd member. A pregnant female

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Editor’s Corner

The Valley, December 2012

Wayne Stottlar Well, the election is over and to say I am depressed is an understatement. Not because of the eventual victor, as I would have been just as depressed if the other guy had won and we found ourselves where we are now. It is no secret that I was not a Mitt Romney fan, having him win would have only been slightly better. They are both big government guys who believe Washington is where the answers are; only Romney is not a socialist. What depresses me is the realization that we DO NOT have free and fair elections anymore, furthermore, how would you know? The election myth is starting to crumble as recount after recount produce differing results. What the hell is going on? Either our elections are accurate or they are not, and if they are not, WHY NOT? Accepting ANYTHING less than absolute accuracy means the results can be fudged, mistaken or stolen! I am sure Mitt Romney was not a popular fellow in parts of Philadelphia, but it is inconceivable to me that he did not get one single vote in 59 precincts in that city. Not one single vote! Impossible, but no one is doing anything about it, and the same thing happened in many places throughout the country. Election practices as they

have evolved, are also suspect for corruption. With early voting, in person absentee voting, overseas voting, etc. there are multitudes of weaknesses that can be exploited. Why? Stop it! Voting is important and so important that ANYONE can make arrangements to vote on ELECTION DAY! If you can’t make sure you are available to vote on election day, then tough, you don’t vote. All of these accommodations for those people who are too lazy, or too preoccupied to give voting its proper respect and place DO NOT have the right to have the process opened for abuse because they can’t make the proper time to vote. Electronic machines with problems, hanging chads, illiterate electorate and on and on. Perhaps the most effective way to vote is with a paper ballot. Have enough people in place to count and verify the count, it can be done, it is important enough to be 100% accurate, nothing less. Don’t accept “we can’t” for an answer. Also, when electing representatives and officials, no ballots with a bunch of ballot questions, have those asked on off year elections only, with the lack of ability to read or comprehend the questions, voters in Florida took over an hour to complete a ballot, that is beyond stupid. Since the election, we have

come to find out that the mainstream media agenda drivers withheld stories, lied, fabricated, misinformed and under reported stories to drive their agenda, nothing new there. But we also found out that our government and military is riddled with incompetence, these people work for YOU, and this result is unacceptable. How does it get fixed? I am not sure. I do not expect those that created this mess to be able, or inclined, to do so though. So that leaves out the Republicans and the Democrats. Guess we will have to see if enough righteous people will put aside their pet projects and do what is right and seek truth. It happened once before in this country, it may happen again, but to say that I have any faith it will is not being truthful with you. If not fixed real soon though, what comes next won’t be much of a joy either. One of the principles our country was founded on, in fact, the third self-evident truth was, “Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just power from the consent of the governed.” Does anyone recognize what this country looks like once enough people revoke that consent? 1861 should get you

close. In fact, in light of what I have witnessed over the last 40 years or so, I am ready to revoke consent. It seems our so-called leaders are incapable of leading, self-interest is all that exists in our government. The few patriots are silenced by those benefitting from the status quo, the two parties have created quite a mess, and they won’t fix it, you will have to. It is going to take a collection of people not beholden to the status quo, and certainly not the Democrats or Republicans. Time is short, perhaps that time is up before another election takes place, so don’t focus on fixing it in four years, set about fixing it NOW! As we face uncertain times in our economic future, perhaps some of the old familiar family traditions will replace the overabundance and commercialism that have invaded our holidays like a plague. Everyone always seems to miss, “The Good Ole Days,” well, instead of dreaming about the past, make some memories now. Family time doesn’t have to be extravagant or expensive or fancy. Real family doesn’t require that, all that is required is being together and sharing the time. Trust me, these memories grow more valuable with age, and at some point you will be unable to create new memories and will need your collection of past memories to bank on. So create while you can, expend the effort, the payoff is rich! I am once again going to try to do all of my Christmas shopping locally, no internet, no chain stores. This is going to be a test too, as I haaaaaate shopping, just ask Lynn. She knows I’d rather

Contact Info Editor/Publisher Wayne Stottlar Graphic Artist/Co-Publisher Lynn Persing Associate Editor Colleen Swetland The Valley PO Box 41 Yeagertown, PA 17099 (717) 363-1550 E-mail: Web: ©The Valley. All Rights Reserved.

drink a Drano cocktail than go shopping. By just going to our local businesses, I should be able to cut down on the stress, and at the same time, help out a neighbor trying to make a living. Everything is going to come from a local business. If we all did that, our community would have a wonderful Christmas indeed! At this time of the year there are multitudes of wonderful ideas for giving that cost little and mean a lot to the recipient. Some folks collect change all year and make a Christmas Jar and leave it on a needy persons doorstep anonymously, or how about inviting a stranger who will be alone to your house for Thanksgiving, or collecting goodie boxes and sending them to a soldier serving away from home? There are hundreds of other ideas, but the main thing is to give a little of

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The Valley, December 2012

Community Organization Strives to Save, Preserve and Share Food in Harrisburg, PA The Greenhouse is a community organization dedicated to transforming Harrisburg, Pennsylvania from a food desert into a food oasis by recovering food that would have otherwise been wasted, preserving it in healthy and creative ways and then distributing it to the community. Yes We Can! is the Greenhouse’s inaugural formal event in which the group will process and preserve applesauce in abundance. The finished product will then be donated to the Shalom House of Harrisburg. Ashlee O. Shelton, the lead organizer of this event, commented on the aspiring community organization, “The Greenhouse is a community group made up of passionate people that believe that healthy fresh food should never be locked away in dumpsters and buried in landfills while people are hungry. We believe that access to healthy and delicious food is a right, not a privilege.” The Shalom House provides emergency shelter and transitional housing services to female veterans and their children; this is an issue of

great importance and the Greenhouse is proud to be contributing to such an organization. The goal of the group is to recover food that would have otherwise been wasted and preserve it through canning, drying and freezing. The food that

Editors Corner from page 2 yourself to someone tied to your community because this is what keeps communities strong during tough times. This stuff doesn’t just happen, it takes effort, on everyone’s part. It is well worth the effort though when facing tough economic times to know you have many places to go for help when you need it. And that help isn’t the government, but your neigh-

is used is always of quality and safe food handling techniques are practiced. The Greenhouse is working in collaboration with the Village Acres Farm & Foodshed located in Mifflintown for this event. Village Acres is an organic

Resources Defense Council’s 2012 report, 40% of the United States’ food source is thrown away. Unsold food, it was reported, is the biggest culprit of all. The Greenhouse is dedicated to creating an outlet that gives

Volunteers from “The Greenhouse” pitching in to can applesauce at Village Acres Food Shed.

certified farm in the Juniata River Valley that operates a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. It is also the home of the PDA certified kitchen space that the Greenhouse used to process its first batch of applesauce on November 3 – 4, 2012 during the Yes We Can! event. Julie Hurst, Village Acres FoodShed Events Coordinator said, “The Greenhouse’s applesauce canning project combines wholesome food, collaboration, and community building in a fun, seasonal event; it is exactly the kind of effort Village Acres is proud to support.” According to the National

grocers, farmers, and gardeners a useful place to distribute their overflow items. Preserving the food before distributing it adds a 365 day increase on its shelf life. The apples that were recovered preserved and shared by the Greenhouse during the Yes We Can! event came from local orchards, farms and grocery stores. More than 900 pounds of apples were recovered for this event. According to the report submitted to Congress by the USDA in 2009, a food desert is an area with little or no access to nutritious food needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Harrisburg City residents have limited access to fresh and healthy food choices. The Greenhouse is in the process of establishing 501c(3) status and plans to operate a fully functioning, year-round canning facility within the city limits. a

bor, someone who knows you. In the aftermath of hurricane Sandy and the destruction in New York and New Jersey, and the inability or refusal of the government to help, it should be crystal clear why helping your neighbors and receiving help from neighbors is the best option. Plan for the future. Years ago I was given a killer recipe for Zucchini Bread and so many folks liked it, I started

baking it and giving it as gifts to friends and family. A few years back I was finding myself making a zillion zucchini breads right at the time I needed to be tending to other things, but traditions are traditions and still today close friends and family members get a loaf at Christmas time. It is a small thing to do, but I believe people appreciate those kind of gifts a whole lot more than something purchased, especially

Fifty Years Ago December 1962 An early December snow blanketed Mifflin County with an average seven-inch snowfall that paralyzed traffic. The first major winter storm started as rain, then heavy snow, followed by bitter cold and high winds. Many highways were closed locally, but the widespread precipitation also closed the Pennsylvania. 15 inches were reported in New Lancaster Valley in eastern Armagh Township. The Pennsylvania Department of Highways had a 40-man crew working at one time to clear main roads, although secondary roads were drifted. Nevertheless, Lewistown schools were open, according to Frank S. Walk, principal at Lewistown High School. The Lewistown Sentinel reported that Santa’s mail at the post office was lower than 1961. From December 10 through December 17, over 344,000 Christmas cards and packages were postmarked. Cancellations for 1962 peaked at 306, 000, down considerably from last year. Postmaster A. N. Yearick said the flow of mail had been constant, but at no time were postal employees swamped with a deluge of cards or parcels. One Hundred Years ago December 1912 Front-page headline of the Daily Sentinel heralded, “Many People Made Happy – Christmas Fund Savings System Gigantic Success – More Than $20,000 Saved.” The Citizens National Bank began what would become “Christmas Clubs” as a way to if it is something they like! The mail lady even gives a thank you note every year and says that she enjoys it—little things make community. I once again missed a milestone by The Valley Newspaper. Last month we completed two full years of publication, and I am as amazed today as I was the first month. With the guidance of a higher power we continue to grow and evolve and we are still

save. One of the options was to deposit 2 cents the first week, 4 cents the second week, 6 cents the third week and so on until at the beginning of the fiftieth week the amount of the deposit was $1.00, with a total of $25.50 in weekly deposits. The other option was to start with 1$ and decrease it 2 cents per week for the fifty weeks until a final 2 cent deposit was made. More than 500 depositors participated. Civil War Echoes December 1862 An Ohio man visited his son in a military hospital and wrote a letter to the Lewistown Gazette praising Dr. T. A. Worrall of Lewistown, then an Army surgeon, for his excellent treatment of the patients. Local ladies planned to send Dr. Worrell enough Christmas dinners for his patients from Pennsylvania. They solicited donations of turkeys, ducks and chicken for the effort. The newspaper reported that the income tax bill in Congress earlier in the year had passed, granting a $600 exemption on all 1862 income. The tax was due May 1, 1863 and payable by that date. An additional new tax was enacted of 30 cents per head on slaughtered cattle, hogs and sheep. It had been raised from five cents per head. A sudden cold snap caught several boats loaded with grain in the iced-over Pennsylvania canal along Water Street. Several flocks of geese had been frozen along the banks of the Juniata River, reported the newspaper, so sudden was the freeze-up. a

constantly meeting terrific people who live amongst us. We still feel very blessed to have the support and friendship of our awesome stable of writers and a readership that is top shelf. God willing, the New Year will see continued growth and more interesting and helpful stories. We are very lucky to do what we do. Merry Christmas! a

The Valley, December 2012


thoughts from the Bunker by jared kauffman

Surviving and Thriving Part II The Post-Collapse Economy and You Picking up where we left off last month where I began to discuss the possible, if not inevitable, collapse of our dollar and the effect it would have on our economy. I suggested that we make preparations now to be able to obtain needed goods and services later in a post-collapse economy. Bartering will be one possible way to obtain these needed goods and services. Bartering is basically the trading of goods and/or services for other goods and/or services. In his book “Surviving Doomsday,” Boston T. Party gives a list of six bartering criteria: 1. High consumer demand 2. Not easily home manufactured 3. Durable in storage 4. Divisible in small quantities 5. Authenticity--easily recognized 6. A lack of substitutes Consider this list when stocking your barter supplies.

The following is a list of examples of items or services that could be used for bartering: SEEDS-Specifically vacuum packed heirloom seeds; which will last for years when properly stored in a cool, dark place such as a basement or place in your freezer to extend the storage life. AMMO-Stock up on common calibers such as .22LR, 9mm, .223, .30-06, and 12 gauge. SILVER COINS-Again specifically pre-1965 90% “junk” silver quarters, dimes, and half dollars. I’d avoid gold coins as much as possible. Nobody will be able to make change for your gold South African Krugerrand when purchasing a dozen eggs. TOOLS-Non-electric carpentry and gardening tools will be in high demand. These can be found at yard sales and flea markets for next-to-nothing. STRIKE-ANYWHERE

MATCHES-These are hard to come by anymore as most chain stores do not keep these in stock. Fortunately, I was able to procure several boxes locally at River Valley Hardware in McVeytown, PA. FUEL-Properly treated and stored gasoline and diesel will fetch a nice price in a WTSHTF economy. Unfortunately, even when treated, gasoline has an intentional limited shelf life; rotate your stores often. PERSONAL HYGIENE PRODUCTS-Such as disposable razors, soap, sani-wipes, extra toothbrushes, etc. BATTERIES-Include a variety of sizes. COFFEE AND TEA-Green, unroasted coffee beans last many, many years. They can be roasted in a skillet, make sure you have a non-electric hand grinder. BUILDING SUPPLIES-Sheets of plywood, nails, rolls of heavyduty plastic etc. Now, most of these items are things that we use in our daily lives, just remember if we use

them so do others and when their supply runs out they will be looking to find replacements. Likewise there will be items that others have and you will be in need of and that’s when bartering will become essential in a post-collapse economy. I will mention that there are several videos on YouTube that discuss bartering, and one in particular gave me the idea for what they called a “barter bag.” This vacuum sealed package contained: toothpaste with toothbrush, saniwipes, a lighter, handsanitizer, and chapstick. I thought this was a great idea and I also think this could be given out as charity in a time of emergency to someone who was unprepared. Aside from these and other supplies worth stocking up on now for possible bartering use later, I would also recommend, if your situation permits, to start raising livestock. Fresh meats, eggs, milk, wool, etc. will come in very handy when bartering becomes necessary. Here is a list of skills and services that I would consider useful in a post-collapse economy for the purpose of barter: • SMALL ENGINE REPAIR • PURIFYING WATER • BUTCHERING • GUNSMITHING

CANDLE AND SOAPMAKING • LOCKSMITHING • THE ABILITY TO MAKE AND MEND CLOTHING • GARDENING • BEER AND WINE • MAKING • ELECTRONIC REPAIR These are just a few examples of skills that could come in very handy in the near future. Consider taking the time to become proficient in one or more of them. Your ability to help your neighbor repair that broken lock in exchange for a dozen eggs or helping a friend butcher in exchange for silver coins could become essential in a post-collapse economy. Proper preparation now will allow you to survive and thrive in an economy that many people will find themselves unprepared for. a

Hard-to-find, Strike Anywhere matches are a great prep and barter item and available at River Valley Hardware in McVeytown


The Valley, December 2012

Looking out my Back Door Life on my Mifflin County Homestead by Mary Anna Chenoweth

Gathering the Unusual: Spicy Natives-Sassafrass “Chakin connin ca kape bouilli dans so chodiere: each cook knows his own pot best.” --A Louisiana Proverb When the Europeans who were traveling West looking for a short cut to the riches of the East first bumped into our continent and finally realized that they probably weren’t where they hoped to be, their disappointment must have been fairly short lived. This “new” world that they had found was jam packed with exotic treasures enough – plant, animal, mineral and human – to satisfy the most intellectual of explorers and the most rapacious of exploiters. While there was gold and other such commodities to plunder, spices and exotic herbs had been some of the most coveted cargos sought from the Indies and China and here in the New World,

entrepreneurs found something unexpected – the unknown. Although the ‘mysteries of the Orient’ were still alluring to Europeans, after centuries of trade there was some familiarity with what the Old World had to offer. But this New World held items never before seen nor dreamed of and that had the potential to command high interest – and high prices – in European markets. Anything that even hinted at being a spice was enthusiastically taken up and shipped back home – one of the foremost being chiles, soon to be dubbed peppers in reference to their warm and sometimes fiery similarity to true pepper from India. Then there was the vanilla orchid whose seed pods yielded a fragrant extract that married well with another New World treasure – cacao, for which generations of chocolate lovers have been duly

grateful. Yet, not all of the wonders of the New World were enduring commercial successes. Some of them passed out of widespread use as markets bottomed out, public tastes changed or synthetic substitutes became available. Some never got too far from their points of origin. Some succumbed to a combination of all of these reasons. One such is the sassafras tree (Sassafras albidum), familiar to most of us as the source of the roots which at one time lent their sassiness to root beer. But there’s more to this native American than what lies beneath the ground. Once the New World was settled enough to allow for more than just survival mode, budding botanists built up a thriving trade with horticulturally minded Europeans who practically fell over each

other in their mad dash to get the latest plant or tree from the Americas; sassafras trees had been introduced to, and gained great popularity in, English gardens by the 1630s. This native American, whose natural range is every state east of the Mississippi as well as a few west of it, was one of the larger New World exports in the 1600’s, until its very abundance glutted, then undid, demand. Used not only for flavoring, it also lent itself to medicinal uses, some legitimate and some a bit more wishful thinking than true herbal medicine. In more recent decades sassafras has come under a bit of a cloud as to just how safe it is to ingest (see sidebar), but in rural areas it’s still a living part of our heritage. Now, as anyone who grows up in rural Mifflin County knows, one of the charms of a sassafras tree is that their leaves have a lovely citrusy scent and are three different shapes, two facts that are high on the list of cool things to learn when one grows up prowl-

ing around fields and forests. Another cool thing is that they are also an essential ingredient in a very American style of cooking; a well known fact in its native home of southern Louisiana but fairly unknown everywhere else, a situation which we are about to remedy. So let’s look at sassafras leaves and their transformation into a spicy powder known as file - a spice that should be in the pantry of every Pennsylvania cook, given the abundance of sassafras trees in the state. The Choctaw, a Native American nation that had been living for generations in the area that included what would one day be the state of Louisiana, made good use of everything the land had to offer. They would collect

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The Valley, December 2012


Thots on...Genesis

A Bible Study for the Lay Christian by Lydia In 2 Timothy 3.16, Paul tells us, “Every inspired scripture has its use for teaching the truth and refuting error, or for reformation of manners and discipline in right living…” [NEB*] *Unless otherwise noted, all Scriptures are quoted from the New International Version. Genesis 18.1-3 The LORD appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground. He said, ‘If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, do not pass your servant by.’ Abraham was cooling his heels in the shade one day, when he looked up and saw three strangers standing there. We later learn that these strangers were Jesus and two angels. [Genesis 18.33 & 19.1] In Hebrews 13.2, we are advised, “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.” Abraham appeared to have

recognized his visitors as representatives of his God, for he “bowed low to the ground.” How did Abraham react to this knowledge? With the hospitality one would be expected to extend to strangers, certainly—and with busyness. As was the custom, he urged them to rest in the shade, while he provided them with water to wash the dust off their feet. Then he “hurried into the tent” to tell Sarah to “Quick… bake some bread”, then “ran to the herd” to select a calf and gave it to a servant who “hurried to prepare it.” Remember, there were no microwave ovens in Abraham’s day, so all this preparation took quite some time. How many times do we react to God’s presence with busyness, thinking that is the way to please Him, rather than become still and attentive in His presence and listen to what He has to say? The heavenly visitors accepted Abraham’s hospitality graciously and bided their time until he had settled down and they were able to speak to him. When the LORD finally had Abraham’s undivided attention, He told him that next

Alternative Gift Fair by Pastor Pat Roller The Alternative Gift Fair on Sunday, December 2nd from 1:00-4:00PM is coming rapidly. The East Kisacoquillas Presbyterian Church (located at the corner of Walnut and Church Streets, Reedsville) has hosted this event for the past three years. It started out as a small event known primarily by members of the church but has expanded into a community event. One of the most difficult decisions for us is what to get people who have everything they need and are beginning to downsize their lives. The Alternative Gift Fair provides an active and exciting way to honor our family and friends without accumulating more stuff that we may not want or need. At the Alternative Gift Fair, 15 different area and international charities will set up displays for those who attend to learn about

the outreach of these groups. Rescue Our Furry Friends, Santa’s Bookbag, the Luminary Center, Habitat for Humanity, Smile Train and Heifer International are representative groups that join with displays. Participating charities have the opportunity to hand out information and talk with attendees about their work in the community. This event is a wonderful time to network with groups and people who are working to better our community through one person, one family, one group at a time. Those who attend the Alternative Gift Fair will have an opportunity to donate to the charities of their choice. You will receive a list of participants and can write one check for all of your donations. You will also receive a gift card to send to a person you have made the donation to honor. In addition to the physical

year his wife Sarah would give birth to the son that had been promised to them. Sarah was eavesdropping inside the tent and laughed at the idea of bearing a child at her advanced age. The stranger heard and called her on it, saying, “Is anything too hard for the LORD?” [Genesis 18.13] We humans are so limited in the scope of our imagination and we try to restrict God to our own limitations, to those solutions we deem “practical” and to a timeframe we find acceptable. We try to restrict God to solutions we ourselves are able to concoct and devise, forgetting that He is Lord and Creator of the universe and that nothing is impossible for Him. We pray for a new job, forgetting that God is able to make us successful in our current one. We pray for God to direct the surgeon’s knife, forgetting that God is our Healer. Why not simply present the problem to God and pray that His will be done in His time, for God’s solutions are always so much better than ours! After the meal, the strangers started out toward Sodom, and Abraham walked with them a little way. The LORD told Abraham, “There is a great outcry over Sodom and Gomorrah; their sin is very grave.” [Genesis 18.20 NEB] He said He was going to check out the situation to see if it was re-

ally as bad as He’d heard, but of course God already knew the conditions in the two cities. Abraham then interceded for Sodom and appealed to the LORD, saying, “Suppose there are 50 righteous men in the city? 505 CHIROPRACTIC, LLC Will you really sweep it away and not spare the Quality Healthcare Naturally place for the sake of the 50 righteous people?” (717) 242-4476 God agreed to spare the city if 50 righteous men could be found. 505 Electric Ave ● Lewistown Now I love Abraham’s next plea. “May I Dr. Christie R. Gisewhite presume to speak to the Lord, dust and ashes that Dr. Heather A. Morgan I am: suppose there are 5 short of the 50 good men? Formerly Gisewhite Chiropractic Wilt thou destroy the Center whole city for a mere 5 men?” [Genesis 18.27-28 NEB] The LORD agreed to spare Sodom if 45 righteous men could be found. nephew was living in Sodom, yet Back and forth they went, until He could not ignore the outcry Abraham had extracted a promise against the two cities, so He from the LORD that He would wanted to let Abraham know what spare the city if only 10 righteous was about to happen. men lived there. Satisfied that he In Amos 3.7, we read that had pressed the LORD as far as God will do nothing without he dared, Abraham returned home giving his servants the prophets a and the two angels traveled on to heads-up. Even today, as propheSodom. cies regarding the last days are Why do you suppose the being fulfilled, God will reveal his LORD Himself stopped by Abraplans to us. a ham’s tent? God knew Abraham’s

event, an order form will be available online at You can print the order form and mail in your donations. In return mail, you will receive cards to send to the persons who wish to honor. A light lunch will be available in the basement of the church. The East Kishacoquillas Church is handicap accessible. Those needing ramps should enter through the Walnut Street doors and are welcome to use the elevator to reach the basement displays and lunch area. There are also entrances (with stairs) on the Church Street side of the building and at the back of the building from the parking lot. We welcome all who would like to attend this event and invite you to bring your family and friends to see what is happening in our community. a

Rev. Dr. Henry G. Covert Dr. Henry Covert is an ordained minister with the United Church of Christ. After a tour of duty in the military, he worked in law enforcement for twenty years as both a patrol sergeant and county detective. Toward the end of that career he began his studies for the ministry. He has served several parishes, worked in therapeutic communities, was a state prison chaplain, and acquired adjunct faculty status in the criminal justice department at Penn State University. Dr. Covert was the chaplain for Pennsylvania’s first execution in thirty-three years. He has a doctorate from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and has authored six books. • Ministry to the Incarcerated (ISBN 0-8294-0860-6) International market -paperback • Discovering the Parables: An Inspirational Guide for Everyday Life (ISBN 978-0-313-34962-1 ) International market – hard cover & e-book • Spiritual Reflections: A Journey Through the Scriptures (ISBN 978-0-313-35901-9) International market - hardcover & e-book • Christian Beliefs and Prayers (ISBN 978-0-692-01101-0) International market – paperback, e-book & Amazon Kindle • The Crucifixion of Jesus (ISBN 978-0-9833359-0-0) International market – paperback, e-book & Amazon Kindle • The True Church of Jesus Christ (ISBN 978-0-9833359-4-8) International market – Paperback, e-book & Amazon Kindle Lowest Prices:,,,, Please Visit:


The Valley, December 2012

Adventures on Our Nourishing Journey by Sue Burns

Squash Your Holiday Table A few weeks ago, I was enjoying some “cooking” talk with a friend and the topic turned to winter squash. I told her that, in my opinion, in terms of taste and nutrition, you just can’t find a more festive and delicious side dish for your holiday table than acorn or butternut squash. She seemed a bit surprised by my comment for she quickly revealed that she had never cooked any

variety of this delicacy because they do not appear to be “user friendly.” Breaking through that tough outer skin is just too much bother. I sympathized with her concern, but assured her that with some simple tips, she too could “squash” her holiday table this year. Perhaps you would like to do the same. I will share with you how to select, store and prepare winter squash just in time for holiday feasting, but first I must sing it’s nutritional praises for this is truly a powerhouse vegetable. Did you know that winter squash is: • An excellent source of vitamin A in the form of betacarotene? Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant found to provide health benefits such as preventing heart disease, assisting in blood sugar regulation, decreasing the risk of colon and lung cancer, and lessening the severity of asthma and arthritis. • High in the folate, a B vitamin, which has been shown to prevent certain birth defects if taken by women

before and during pregnancy? Folate is also needed to break down a dangerous by product called homocysteine, which can directly damage blood vessel walls. High levels of homocysteine are associated with an increased risk for heart attack and stroke. A Good source of potassium which is an “electrolyte” that helps keep your heartbeat

regular and your muscles working properly? Rich in the antioxidant vitamin C which protects LDL cholesterol from oxidative damage in addition to protecting us against heart disease by reducing the stiffness of arteries and the tendency of platelets to clump together? Vitamin C is also important in wound healing and is a natural antihistamine. Increasing levels of vitamin C lead to a lower risk of developing cataracts. A delicious complex carbohydrate that is high in fiber, contains zero grams of fat and is very low in calories? The best vegetable source for omega three fatty acids? A large body of scientific research indicates that these healthy fats help prevent a wide range of medical problems including cardiovascular disease, depression, asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. Omega three’s also reduce the risk of becoming obese by improving the body’s ability

to respond to insulin by stimulating the hormone leptin. Leptin is the hormone that helps regulate food intake. • Starchy? - We think about winter squash as a very starchy vegetable—about 90% of its total calories come from carbohydrate, and about half of this carbohydrate is starch-like in its composition. However, recent research has made it clear that all starch is not the same, and the starch content of winter squash brings along with it some key health benefits. Many of the carbs in winter starch come from polysaccharides found in the cell walls. These polysaccharides include pectins—specially structured polysaccharides that in winter squash often include special chains of D-galacturonic acid called homogalacturonan. An increasing number of animal studies now show that these starch-related components in winter squash have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, as well as anti-diabetic and insulinregulating properties. Wow, after knowing all that, how can we NOT share this gift of nature’s goodness with our family and friends this holiday season. Here is what you need to know to get you started. Historically, winter squash is in our DNA for northeastern Native American tribes grew a variety of squash. Native Americans roasted or boiled

the squashes and pumpkins and preserved the flesh as conserves in syrup. They also ate the young shoots, leaves, flowers, and seeds. The hard outer shells were then made into containers. A very versatile vegetable! Winter squash is harvested very late into the fall, eaten in its mature fruit stage, and has longer storage potential-- unlike its summer equivalent. They come to us in a dazzling array of sizes, shapes, and hues. Those of you seeking to vary your meals while maintaining good nutrition and honoring organic and local traditions, (that just might be all of us) would be well-served to do some experimenting with these robust vegetables. So, the next time you feel a craving for something new, squash it with these varieties. 8 Common Varieties of Winter Squash 1. Acorn Squash Look for its ridged green skin with speckled orange patches and pale yellow-orange flesh—all in an acorn shape that tapers at one end. Sweet, nutty, and peppery at the same time, acorn squash is a good source of dietary fiber and potassium, as well as smaller

amounts of vitamins C and B, magnesium, and manganese. Makes for a warming winter soup. 2. Banana Squash It may be somewhat shaped like a banana usually with a bright yellowy (thick) skin, but this winter squash is much, much bigger... reaching upwards of 70 pounds. Its moist and hearty flesh contains very high water content and plenty of beta carotene. 3. Butternut Squash Imagine something that looks like a large pear with cream-colored skin while delivering a deep orange-colored flesh and sweet flavor and you’d have the popular butternut squash. A good source of fiber, vitamin C, manganese, magnesium, and potassium and an excellent source of vitamin A, butternut squash is the perfect soup ingredient. 4. Delicata Squash Rich in vitamin A, the oblong delicata has creamy beige skin

Continued on page 19

The Valley, December 2012


Julie Mac’s Wisdom from the Kitchen, Home, and Garden by Julie MacConnell

Oh Holy Night O holy night! The stars are brightly shining, It is the night of the dear Saviour’s birth. Long lay the world in sin and error pining. Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth. A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices, For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn. Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices! O night divine, the night when Christ was born; O night, O holy night, O night divine! O night, O holy night, O night divine! Led by the light of faith serenely beaming, With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand. O’er the world a star is sweetly gleaming, Now come the wise men from out of the Orient land.

The King of kings lay thus lowly manger; In all our trials born to be our friends. He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger, Behold your King! Before him lowly bend! Behold your King! Before him lowly bend! Truly He taught us to love one another, His law is love and His gospel is peace. Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother. And in his name all oppression shall cease. Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we, With all our hearts we praise His holy name. Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we, His power and glory ever more proclaim! His power and glory ever more proclaim!

I am wishing each and every one of you a most blessed Christmas season. In this time that our Nation is so divided, I think it is important that we sit back for a moment and remember what is really important. We all need a moment to breathe and to refocus. To me, the perfect time to do this is Christmas. Perhaps each of us can rediscover the light and warmth of our Nation and our families through the renewal of this holy season. I’ll admit that it was hard for me to write about a wonderful Christmas time celebration when so many of our fellow brothers and sisters are in such despair. I live not far from where Hurricane Sandy unleashed her wrath upon the people who reside in New York and New Jersey. It is hard to watch the continued struggles taking place there. The people in my area, as well as I’m sure yours, continue to send care packages and truckloads of needed goods and supplies to help those affected. Perhaps in our own way, it is what we can do to spread the very basic fundamental ideas be-

hind Christmas. Give of yourself and peace and goodwill towards your fellow men. So many other of our fellow Americans are still reeling from the effects of the sour economy. With over 47 million Americans on food stamps, the recovery that isn’t, has taken a toll on many spirits, and the ever looming threat of the “Fiscal Cliff” has many dreading instead of celebrating the new year. With this in mind we are celebrating a small quiet holiday this year. We are keeping it simple. A nice dinner, a few small gifts,

mostly handmade, and an outward look towards those around us who may be in need. I am going to try to shop local to help our small businesses. I am going to make up food baskets with some of the bounty we enjoyed this year from our garden to friends who I know have been struggling. Even if I can give one person a small moment of joy this season, it will be worth it. It’s a homestead life after all. What better way to remember our past than to help those around us smile a little more this season. a

Considering Christmas from page 17

that He came to tabernacle (or dwell) with us. With this line of thought, Jesus would have been born on the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles and circumcised (as the Israelites are instructed to do, eight days after birth) on the eighth and final day of the Feast. From a Biblical point of reference, this makes a lot more sense than a date that coincides with a pagan festival. It’s interesting to note as you view the three-sided booth that is constructed for this feast, it suspiciously looks a lot like the typical Nativity display we are accustomed to seeing. When we celebrate these feasts, we are commanded to not come empty handed. Sounds like a gift or two may be in vogue here! Switching your celebration is not hard to do. Folks all across this great land of ours and around the world are now plugging into the reality of this incredible celebration. We’ve made the switch and I need to tell you, it is delightful to spend eight wonderful days among family and friends, feasting and enjoying one another’s company. In addition, you’ll find yourself a lot more relaxed this time of year! So, the next time someone says we need to keep Christ in Christmas, you now know He really wasn’t there in the first place!

matters is what it means to The Almighty. Consider the account in the Old Testament where Moses was on Mount Sinai with God for a long time. The people in the camp below were getting impatient with him and decided to build a golden calve to worship. When the calve was ready, Aaron pronounced a feast to be held in honor of The LORD, yet using the calve as their focal point of worship. Essentially, the Israelites were worshiping God, but mixing pagan practices into their expression of worship (syncretism). What was The Almighty’s response? Did He say to Moses, oh, look at the people, they are a little confused in how they worship me, but I know their hearts are in the right place? Not exactly... He wanted to wipe them off the face of the Earth, He was so wroth with them. Moses interceded, and still 3000 people died that day due to their egregious error. So, what’s one to do if the decision’s been made to distance him or herself from this tradition due to its pagan origins? There is a time of year that seems to lend itself more fully to the possibility of Jesus’ birth. That is the feast of Sukkot which is spoken of in the Bible. It is celebrated in the Fall and is also referred to as the feast of Tabernacles, wherein the Almighty commands His people to dwell in booths for eight days. It’s interesting to note that Emanuel means God with us and that in other places it is written

C. Mark Ostrowski is the Founder and President of The Stewardship Group in Belleville. He can be reached at MOSTROWSKI@ THESTEWARDSHIPGROUP. ORG a

The Valley, December 2012


The Valley, December 2012


The Horse Scoop by Traci Hanna Yoder

Happy Holidays! As we come to the end of another year, I would like to thank everyone for reading The Horse Scoop. I would also like to thank The Valley Newspaper for the opportunity to write this column. I anticipate that in 2013 I can again bring you not only educational, but hopefully enjoyable articles every month. I hope that you get to spend time with your family and friends over the holidays, and you can also get out to enjoy your equine friends. Winter is often “down time” from competition and riding for many of our local horse people. We still need to make sure we give our horses

the quality time they need and deserve. The “staff “of The Horse Scoop would like to wish everyone a Happy Holiday Season. a Happy Holidays from the “Staff” of The Horse Scoop.

Goose “Galloping into a Great 2013 New Year”

Crockett “Wishing you lots of Carrots for Christmas”

Dynamite “Have a Hee Haw Happy Holiday”


The Valley, December 2012

LIbrary Lines

Your Mifflin County Library

By Susan Miriello Youth Services Librarian Mifflin County Library Everybody close to me knows that I am crazy about yoga. I’ve been practicing yoga (because yoga is one of those things that you are always learning, never mastering) since I was in my teens when my mom bought me a yoga video featuring the world-famous yogini Lilias Folen. Over the years, I’ve read books about yoga, subscribed to yoga magazines, and practiced practiced practiced! I still do yoga every night. Now, I can’t twist myself into a pretzel like I could when I was 20 and I have noticed as I’ve gotten older, that it is harder and harder to get up and down off of the floor with the little kids and babies for story time. But I have found that yoga helps me: yoga helps me with flexibility, yoga helps me with aches and pains, yoga helps me keep up with the kiddos! If you are interested in yoga, would like more energy, and need some flexibility, yoga would be perfect for you! Double-check with your doctor, just in case. Then come into the library and read more about it. Below are just a few yoga books available at the Mifflin County Library. If you’d rather not travel into Lewistown, take this article to your favorite branch library and ask the librarian to have some books sent to you at that branch. We are happy to do it! • • • • •

30 essential yoga poses : for beginning students and their teachers by Judith Lasater. Ageless yoga by Rosie Reichmann. Ageless yoga : gentle workouts for health & fitness by Juliet Pegrum. The American yoga Association’s beginner’s manual by Alice Christensen. The American Yoga Association’s new yoga challenge : powerful workouts for flexibility, strength, energy, and inner discovery by Alice Christensen. Arthritis : the powerful program for greater flexibility, strength, and freedom by Alice Christensen. Finding my balance : a memoir with yoga by Mariel

• •

• •

Hemingway. Gentle yoga : for people with arthritis, stroke damage, M.S., or people in wheelchairs by Lorna Bell and Eudora Seyfer ; illustrations by Nancy Neenan ; photographs by Laura Cummings. *I find that yoga helps with a verity of illnesses but if it hurts, don’t do it! In yoga, we are totally against the saying, No pain, no gain! Listen to your body! How to use herbs, nutrients & yoga in mental health care by Richard P. Brown, Patricia L. Gerbarg, Philip R. Muskin. KISS. guide to yoga by Shakta Kaur Khalsa ; foreword by Deborah Willoughby.*Unfortunately, this is not KISS like Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley doing yoga, more like a “Dummies” book. Living yoga : creating a life practice by Christy Turlington. The new yoga for people over 50 : a comprehensive guide for midlife and older beginners by Suza Francina. The Prevention how-to dictionary of healing remedies and techniques : from acupressure and aspirin to yoga and yogurt : over 350 curative options by the editors of Prevention Magazine Health Books ; edited by John Feltman. Relief is in the stretch : end back pain through yoga by Loren Fishman, Carol Ardman. The Shambhala guide to yoga by Georg Feuerstein. The Tibetan book of yoga : ancient Buddhist teachings on the philosophy and practice of yoga by Geshe Michael Roach, with the Diamond Mountain Teachers.*The fact that yoga is based on Buddhist teachings sometimes turns off a lot of people who could benefit from yoga. I practice what is called “Yehweh Yoga” and think about the Christian teachings along with peace and harmony. Um, like . . . om : a girl goddess’s guide to yoga by Evan Cooper ; illustrated by Stacy Peterson.

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Walking yoga : incorporate yoga principles into dynamic walking routines for physical health, mental peace, and spiritual enrichment by Ila Sarley and Garrett Sarley. The yoga book : a practical guide to self-realization by Stephen Sturgess. Yoga builds bones by Jan Maddern. Yoga conditioning for weight loss : safe, natural methods to help achieve and maintain your ideal weight by Suzanne Deason. Yoga for people who can’t be bothered to do it by Geoff Dyer. Yoga mind and body by Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center.

The library also has two videos on yoga: • •

Yoga for wimps. DVD Yoga conditioning for weight loss : safe, natural methods to help achieve and maintain your ideal weight [videorecording] by Suzanne Deason. This is a VHS video. There are also helpful books to teach children yoga. Studies show that children who practice yoga do better in school because they have better concentration and do better with exams because they learn in yoga how to breathe and calm their nerves. • Helping children with yoga : a guide for parents and teachers by Michelle Cheesbrough ; Sarah Woodhouse ; Rosemary Griffiths. • Fly like a butterfly : yoga for children by by Shakta Kaur Khalsa. • Itsy bitsy yoga : poses to help your baby sleep longer, digest better, and grow stronger by Helen Garabedian • Walk like a bear, stand like a tree, run like the wind by Carol Bassett illustrated by Amy Clare. • Storytime yoga : teaching yoga to children through story by Sydney Solis ; photographs by Michele Trapani. Namaste and happy reading! a

Sassafrass from page 5 sassafras leaves, dry and then powder them for use. When the French (in the late 1600s) and then the Spanish began to settle in Choctaw lands they adapted their Old World ways to what the New World had to offer, especially in the line of foods and powdered sassafras leaves were adopted into the emerging local cuisine. This homegrown spice came to be called file (say `fee-lay), probably from a French word for thread since the powder can get stringy if it’s boiled. The cuisine came to be called Creole, as did the descendants of the French and Spanish. More settlers arrived, some far less willing than others. These included the Acadians –French Catholic exiles from Nova Scotia (which they called Acadie), many of whom ended up living in the Louisiana swamps under the name Cajun - and many Africans, who brought their own cultural richness to the mix – along with a vegetable called gumbo, which we know as okra. In true American fashion, everything got jumbled up together, and centuries later Creole and Cajun cooking both include the word gumbo, which has come to mean a rich, stew- like concoction whose ingredients vary depending on what’s in the larder. But, one area where there is no wiggle room is how the gumbo is thickened as thickened it must be. Now, as completely different as okra pods and dried, powdered sassafras leaves are, they both thicken a stew well because they are both mucilaginous (most people say slimy), but they are handled differently. In gumbo, okra pods are cooked along with everything else, thickening and adding their own flavor to whatever ingredients the cook has chosen for the day. Since file will string up if it’s boiled, it is stirred in when the cooking is done, or even at table by each diner, adding a very subtle flavor as it thickens. Most of the gumbo recipes to be found, in books or on line, use both okra and a final dash of file to finish it off. But older books will tell you that at one time and in some places, it would have been tantamount to heresy to use both: some combinations of ingredients just melded better with either okra or file, okra and file together would thicken the gumbo too much, or the flavor of both wouldn’t allow the flavors of either to bloom. You either made file gumbo or you made okra gumbo.

Period. Well, either/or arguments aside, if you enjoy Creole or Cajun cuisine, if you enjoy trying new cooking techniques, if you want to make better use of what the land has to offer us- or perhaps a bit of all three – now you’ve got a good reason to see what those sassafras leaves rustling in the breeze are on about. To make your own file (eating locally at its best), find some sassafras trees that are away from roads or fields that are sprayed with chemicals. There is some difference of opinion as to WHEN to pick the leaves, some sources will recommend towards fall while others, including me, go out in spring when the leaves are still tender but fully formed. Either way, pick the leaves in the morning but after the dew has dried - on a sunny day after a rain, if possible. Remember to pick only a few leaves from each branch. Since sassafras is prolific and often grows in thickets, there will be plenty for you to harvest. Drying is as simple as finding a warm, dry place, out of direct sunlight and away from any disturbances. Depending on how much you’ve picked, spread the leaves in a single layer on a clean towel or table cloth and allow them to dry until they snap crisply apart. We don’t dry our aromatics in a dehydrator, but if you want to experiment with yours, go for it and let us know about your results. Powder the dried leaves - a mortar and pestle or a blender work equally well - and then shake through a fine sieve to remove stems and any large bits. Stored in a glass jar with a tightly fitting lid and in a cool, dry, dark place, your file should stay fresh for a good year of gumbos – if it lasts that long. Since spring is just around the corner, and a new crop of sassafras leaves with it, here’s a recipe for File Gumbo. If you want to add okra in the privacy of your own kitchen, that’s YOUR business. Whatever you decide, enjoy! Chicken File Gumbo 4 Servings ¼ cup flour Salt and pepper 3 lb. chicken cut into eight pieces ¼ cup vegetable oil Dredge the chicken pieces in the seasoned flour. Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed Dutch oven or stew pot. Brown the chicken in batches, turning until golden brown and set aside. Using re-

Continued on page 26

The Valley, December 2012


Roads Less Traveled

by Lynn Persing

AWESOME LOCAL CHRISTMAS GIFTS! How is it possible that Christmas is less than a month away? Is it just me or does every year seem to buzz by more quickly than the last? I have a confession to make. I am a last minute Christmas shopper. But it’s ok because I know that I am not alone as witnessed by the huge crowds at Walmart and in the malls on the last few days just before Christmas arrives (yes, I’ve witnessed them firsthand). This year my Mother springs it on me that we’re having our family Christmas on December 9. That’s right, December 9. I don’t even start shopping until December 17—what is this woman thinking? My brother and his wife will be visiting from Colorado that weekend, and my mother would like to combine our Christmas get together with an east coast reception celebrating their recent wedding that was held in Colorado in September. So here we go, as if I

didn’t feel like I had enough stress in my life already, now I have to have all my purchases done AND WRAPPED, by December 8. I never added stress to her life like this! (You can bet that my Mother just let out a big “humpf!” as she read that line). Well guess what, I’m up to the challenge. It is November 24 and I already have most of my shopping done. Not only the shopping for the family that we are exchanging with on that day, but also most of my shopping for Wayne is done, as well as for his birthday in the beginning of January. Am I good or what? Well not really, I will be feverishly wrapping on December 8—of that you can be sure. Like Wayne, I did much of my shopping locally this year. There are so many nice gifts to find in our little community. Last December, I made a small list of things you can buy locally that make mighty fine Christmas gifts.

Some of the gifts that I listed last year have been repeated here (why change a good thing?). •

A couple bottles of salad dressing from Angelo’s Hollow Inn (Put together an Italian foods basket if you want something bigger.)

Bottle of wine from Brookmere Winery or the Seven Mountains Winery (or both!)

A Silver Eagle coin from Wilson’s Coins and Jewelry (Ad on page 32)

A gorgeous hand-woven scarf or bag from Pen and Thread in downtown Lewistown. (Ad on page 24)

A season of snow removal from Pro Landscapes (Ad on page 15)

The Valley writer, JoAnn Wills-Kline’s, new book, An Arduous Ascent. (Ad on page 34)

A nutrition basket made up from items at Nature’s Harmony. (Ad on page 4)

A gift certificate for a Reiki session by Pam Smith. (Ad on page 10)

A donation to the Casey Marthouse Memorial Scholarship Fund in honor of someone on your list.

Chocolates from Asher’s Chocolate

Whipped soap or alpaca socks (so soft and warm) from Dutch Pantry Gifts. (Ad on page 47)

A beautiful scarf or jewelry from The Logan House

Garlands, wreaths, door decor, candles, pottery, furniture, or glassware from Olde Thyme Reflections (so much to choose from you could go crazy trying to decide--but Staci or Jane are sure to help you! (Ad on page 13).

Homemade, all-natural, wonderful soaps, lotions, chapsticks, or lip glosses from Shade Mountain Naturals. Or, a gift certificate for a massage! (Ad on page 25) Gift Certificates to the Himalayan Salt Cave in Burnham. Or, Himalayan salt lamps, salt grinders, salt inhalers, or one of the other healthful items from the Himalayan Salt Cave gift area. (Ad on page 36)

A gift certificate for a hypnotherapy session with Lynn Ralston at Changes Hypnotherapy. (Ad on page 36)

A delivery of Certified Organic Crops from Village Acres Farm (See ad below and visit their website for details)

A Gift Certificate for a session with women’s nutrition-

ist, Susan Burns of Nourishing Journeys. (Ad on page 7)

continued on page 14


The Valley, December 2012

Understanding the Constitution by David Molek

Electoral College

When we cast our ballots on November 6, we were not voting for Romney or Obama for President directly but for presidential electors. These electors constitute what we refer to as the electoral college and will choose our next President and Vice-President. This is an example of an indirect election, consisting of 538 electors. This number is equal to the total voting membership of our United States Congress, 435 Representatives and 100 Senators, plus 3 electors from the District of Columbia. Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 of our Constitution specifies the number of electors to which each state is entitled and state legislators decide how they are chosen. In nearly all states, electors are awarded on a winner-take-all basis to the candidate who wins the most votes in that state. The 12th Amendment provides for each elector to cast one vote for President and one vote for VicePresident. It also specifies how a President and Vice-President are elected. The 23rd Amendment specifies how many electors the District of Columbia is entitled to

have. Although our Constitution refers to electors, the actual name electoral college, or any other name, is never used to describe the electors collectively. Each state government is free to have its own plan for selecting its electors. Generally (with Maine and Nebraska being the exceptions) each state appoints its electors on a winner-take-all basis, based on the statewide popular vote on Election Day. Maine and Nebraska use the Congressional District Method, selecting one elector within each congressional district by popular vote and selecting the remaining two electors by the statewide popular vote. This method has been used in Maine since 1972 and in Nebraska since 1996. If Pennsylvania followed this method, the 20 electoral votes would have been Obama 8 and Romney 12 instead of all 20 going to Obama. Electors are now named by state party organizations. Serving as an elector is considered an honor, a reward for faithful service. There have been arguments for and against the electoral college system. These arguments

for are: (1) the electoral college recognizes a role for states in the selection of the President and reminds us of their importance in our federal system; (2) it is supposed to encourage more person-to-person campaigning; (3) recounts, if necessary, will be confined to a state or two; (4) the typical winner-take-all allocation of votes often turns a small percentage margin of victory into one that appears much larger, adding to the winner’s perceived legitimacy; and (5) it is fun on election night to watch states light up in different colors on television maps. The arguments for direct popular vote and the electoral system are: (1) when the winner of the electoral votes does not receive the majority of popular votes, the new President will face questions about his legitimacy; (2) direct election is seen as more consistent with democratic principles than the electoral college system; (3) the electoral college gives disproportionate weight to the votes of citizens of small states (for example, a vote by a resident of Wyoming counts about four times more, electorally, than

a vote by a California resident; (4) if Presidents were elected by direct popular vote, they would wage a campaign and advertise all across the nation, rather than in a handful of so-called battleground states; and (5) electors could actually be disloyal or even bribed. Governor Corbett and some Pennsylvania Republicans in late 2011 tried to gather support for a plan like that of Maine and Nebraska. But while Maine and Nebraska have a relatively small impact on the presidential race, due to their size, Pennsylvania’s adoption of such a system would have a dramatic effect on the presidential process. To me, it seems like a good idea, but there was not enough support to pass the measure. Our Founders did not intend to create a direct democracy. They deliberately created a republic which would avoid the tyranny of the majority inherent in pure democratic systems. As the system stands today, presidential candidates have no incentive to poll large margins in any one state. Winning 50.1 percent of the votes in a state is as effective as

winning 100 percent of the votes. Arguably, the electoral college preserves federalism and moderates ideological differences. In some 200 years, 3 presidents won a majority in the electoral college but lost the popular vote: Rutherford B. Hayes (1876), Benjamin Harrison (1888) and George W. Bush (2000). The issue is democracy with federalism (electoral college) versus democracy without federalism ( a national popular vote). The electoral system ensures that a President is chosen by a constitutional majority and is a hedge against popular passion. However, the electoral system encourages candidates to pander to the interests of voters in a few closely contested states. The changing from the winner-take-all system to the congressional district method seems to me to be a viable alternative to consider for Pennsylvania. Since our election of US Senators was changed from election by state legislatures to popular vote exactly like our Representatives by the 17th Amendment, this seems to reflect some return to actual state representation. Perhaps our Governor should resurrect his proposal. a

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The Valley, December 2012


So, Is Sassafrass Safe Or What? by Mary Anna Chenoweth

Alpacas from front page

‘spits off’ an inquisitive male to let him know she is disinterested in his advances. Humming is the most common sound an alpaca makes, a sort of musical purring. The mom calls to her cria by humming, or they hum to communicate with each other within the herd. Are alpacas environmentally friendly? Yes. The alpaca’s two-toed feet are soft pads protected on the top and sides by toe nails. Unlike hard hooves, they leave the terrain undamaged. And as they graze, they only nibble the top of the pasture grass rather than uprooting it. Alpacas are shorn once a year in the spring. The hair on an alpaca is known as fleece or fiber and each year they will produce about 5-8 lbs of this fleece. Their fleece comes in 22 natural shades ranging from black to silver, rose gray to white, and mahogany brown

to fawn and champagne. The fleece is soft, lustrous, water-repellant, and contains no lanolin, which makes it easy to process and hypoallergenic. Because it contains no lanolin, you will find that it does not have the prickle factor found in wool. The fiber may be sold and processed into rovings, spun into yarn, knitted or woven into fine fabrics. At All 4 You Alpacas, we are currently working at getting our fleeces out to the mill for processing into yarn and roving and shipping more of our raw fleece out to NEAFP (a fiber co-op) to have it made into clothing. We then sell all these items in our local store...located at Dutch Pantry Gifts in Milroy. a

In the 1960’s, research identified a volatile oil called safrole as a potential carcinogen and it was duly banned by the Food and Drug Administration. Since safrole is one of the naturally occurring chemicals found in the sassafras tree, most of it located in the root bark, anything for human consumption that was made with natural sassafras extract was removed from the market or the ingredients changed; by the 1970s even the packages of dried sassafras root that always used to be for sale in grocery stores, around here anyway, started to get scarce. To make things worse, more recent research has shown that safrole is just one molecule shy of being an amphetamine and the pure oil itself is an ingredient in a – so called - “designer drug” called “ecstacy”. Now, I admit right up front that I have not done (nor am I going to do) exhaustive research on this topic; I’ve only read four web sites, so don’t take my word for anything. This is just to make you aware that some folks out there are a bit leery about the sassafras tea we country folk like to knock back now and then. Which begs the question - what exactly are the risks? Because the majority of the safrole is found in the root, the sassafras leaves used to make file are “generally recognized as safe” according to the FDA. That’s why you can buy it as a cooking spice. Evidently it’s also legal to sell the root as long as it’s sold as a “folk” remedy for skin conditions or as an ingredient for potpourri and it is now possible to make to make safrole-free sassafras extract, putting the ‘sass’ back into root beer. But what about OUR tea, the real stuff from our own sassafras trees? Well, one article quoted a book, Honest Herbal: A Sensible Guide to the Use of Herbs and Related Remedies by Foster S. Tyler, stating “It has been estimated that one cup of strong sassafras [root] tea could contain as much as 200 mg of safrole, more than four times the minimal amount believed hazardous to humans if consumed on a regular basis.” The underlining is mine, by the way, to point out that we’re not dealing with ironclad facts here. The same article continues to say that the U.S. Toxicology Program has done more recent research and has concluded that “…it took a dose of 2,350 mg…” to kill half of the mice they were experimenting on. So, does that mean they were making the mice ingest 2,350 mg of pure safrole or were they forcing them to drink 11.75 cups of strong sassafras tea every day…every other day…once a week…once a month? Or does that mean that if we drink 11.75 cups of strong sassafras tea every day (or every other day, or once a week…once a month) that half of us will die as a direct result of ingesting this amount of safrole? Who knows? We don’t, the FDA doesn’t; nobody does since there obviously aren’t going to be experiments done to see what the “toxic endpoint’ is for humans. Besides which, by focusing on just safrole, researchers haven’t seen the natural interaction of all of the phytochemicals in sassafras root, a ‘can’t see the forest for the trees’ kind of thing. So, is (are) sassafras tea (leaves) safe to drink (eat)? Bottom line – IT’S UP TO YOU! a

Squash Your Holiday Table from page 19 Sauté the minced garlic in the 2 teaspoons olive oil until it’s softened and fragrant. Add the tomatoes, basil, and oregano to the garlic and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes. Spoon the garlic tomato mixture on top of squash strands. Top with grated parmesan or Romano cheese. No , you won’t be “out of your gourd” if you don’t partake in preparing these beautiful whole foods this month, but you will

be missing out on some of the healthiest flavors of the season. I challenge you to think beyond pumpkin pie; send me an email and tell me how you “squashed” your holiday table. Wishing you and your family comfort and joy. a Resources: mysteries/squash.html

Awesome Local Christmas Gifts from page 12 Ok, the gig is up. Yes, many of the gifts above come right from many of the advertisers in The Valley. However, there are way too many to include them all in my article, so please look at the ads throughout this issue very carefully and see how a local business can provide a service or a special gift to someone on your giving list this Christmas season. However, if you still come up stumped, remember the Alternative Gift Fair at East Kishacoquillas Presbyterian Church on Walnut Street in Reedsville on Sunday, December 2 from 1-4 p.m. The Alternative Gift Fair enables you give a charitable gift in someone’s honor. And there are many great charities to choose from—many of them local (hint, hint). If you don’t make it to the fair, don’t fret, you can go online at and download the giving form and mail it in with your donation. The person you honor will receive a card notifying them of your gift to the charitable organization in their honor. Now that I’ve made your holiday shopping super easy, I hope you can find a way to stay calm and relaxed this holiday season and just enjoy everything there is to take in and appreciate at this time of year. I sure hope to since my Mother pressured me into getting my shopping done weeks ahead of time and now I have the second half of December to just kick back. God bless and Merry Christmas! a

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:10


The Valley, December 2012

Our Environment Our Culture All That and a Bag of Chips! by Sam Price In the last week of 2006, the Sentinel newsroom was slow besides a few press releases from New Yearʼs Eve drops being held across the Commonwealth. Nick Malawskey (now of the Harrisburg Patriot) and I were lamenting the fact that Mifflin County did not have such a celebration. What would we drop if we did? Why, Hartleyʼs of course. Nick made up a mock blueprint as a joke and we left it at that. Fast forward to the summer of 2007 and I had started a new job with Community Partnerships RC&D as a Program Specialist working on grants in the cultural and environmental fields. The idea of the Chip Drop started to creep back into my mind. What represented our cultural identity more clearly than Hartleyʼs? I thought of the wax bag pinned to the bulletin board at Richardʼs Sunoco that said “end of an era” on it. Holding out little hope that a phone call would yield more than a hang-up or a short “nope,” I drove out to the

Hartleyʼs factory on an otherwise unremarkable summerʼs day. I asked for the head Hartley and that turned out to be Dan, the latest in a generation of Hartleyʼs that has worked to keep our local favorites thriving since 1935. What started out as a door-

A 6’ X 9’ bag of local hometown favorite Hartley’s Chips towers above Monument Square in Lewistown awaiting the big moment.

to-door business, now employs a small factory and sees Hartleyʼs in stores across PA and into some neighboring states. As I walked back to Danʼs office, the absurdity of what I was about to ask hit me. No backing down now, I explained the concept of a local New Yearʼs eve community celebration to Dan. “You want to do what?” he asked. “Well, weʼd like to drop a giant bag of Hartleyʼs from the sky at midnight in downtown Lewistown” was my answer. Dan leaned back in his chair and looked up to the ceiling of his office, letting out a sigh. I was starting to form protective narratives like “at least we tried” and “no harm in asking” when Dan looked across his desk with the hint of a grin. “Iʼm interested.” Thatʼs all I needed to hear. The next few months were a whirlwind of building support for the event and we were lucky to receive enthusiastic assistance from all kinds of sources. So many local businesses and organizations pitched in, none more important than the local fire companies. Sponsors and volunteers of every

The Great Chip Drop has grown into a community wide celebration that see’s huge crowds on the square in downtown Lewistown, this year be sure to join in on the fun.

stripe stepped up to make the event work. Our staff and volunteers also work very hard on a holiday each year to bring the event to life. Hartleyʼs also took on a great deal of risk and spent a pretty penny on the 6’ by 9’ giant replica bag of our hometown chips. The bag is made from epoxy and covered in styrofoam, capturing the detail of an actual bag of Hartleyʼs down to the last crinkle. Dan insisted that the bag look great for our community and spared no resource to make sure it did. He even hired his usual truck painter to paint the bag perfectly. A few days before the event, we really didnʼt know what to expect. Would people turn out? Some vocal skeptics teased us that no, they would not. Luckily, they did—in droves.

WWT answers: 1. Metamorphosis 2. Sense of Smell 3. Monarch Butterfly

Over 1,000 people filled the square by midnight to witness the first ever Great Chip Drop, a community New Yearʼs celebration. With the help of the community, a tradition was born. A giant bag of chips dropping from the sky and fireworks have greeted every new year since 2008. Over the years, weʼve been able to offer entertainment not usually available locally. From an internationally renowned circus performer Benjamin Sota to Dan Kamin, a physical comedian that trained Johnny Depp and Robert Downey Jr. for their films Benny and Joon and Chaplin, the performers have wowed those in attendance. These shows would cost $35 or more, but the Great Chip Drop is proud to have provided

Continued on page 30

The Valley, December 2012


Splitting Hares by Julianne Cahill

Christmas Wishes The decorations, deals and commercials are starting! As you navigate your way through the stores this season, you’ll find something for almost everyone. What about the rabbit lover on your list? I’ve compiled a top 10 list of rabbit-related supplies and gifts that I think any rabbit lover would be excited to see under the tree. 1. Plastic drop trays Many pre-fabricated cages come with metal trays to collect waste. These are shallow, making it difficult to carry and dump the tray without spilling the contents, and they rust easily and fast. Plastic trays are a lifesaver! They’re deep, easy to clean and make cage maintenance much easier. Those who use cages with drop pans

would love to see a few replacements under the tree! 2. Wheelbarrow You’ll notice a theme here. Anything to make cleaning easier is our friend. A good, large wheelbarrow makes it easy to dump trays quickly and get back to playing with our furry friends. Again, most will prefer plastic ‘barrows to metal ones. 3. New broom Told you there’s a theme. If they’re like me, anyone who has a cement or solid floor in their rabbitry goes through brooms like they’re going out of style. We put up with the old, scraggly one until it’s falling apart, but a big, full new broom is so much more efficient! 4.Water bottles and feed crocks Everyone has a different prefer-

ence, so you’ll definitely want to include the rabbit fancier himself in this purchase. Feeding and watering supplies break often, are accidentally left at shows or are chewed by our bunnies. Few hobbyists will turn down an offer to add to the “collection” or replace a piece that recently kicked the bucket. 5.Show apron or apparel For those who are more crafty or know of a good embroidery business, a new show apron, shirt or jacket would be a fun surprise. Some exhibitors wear aprons over their clothes on show day to keep fur (and “accidents”) off their outfit and carry brushes, money, etc., in the pockets. Others have designated show clothes to wear during the big day and then change before dinner. Either way, new apparel embroidered with the exhibitor’s rabbitry name and breed is always a fun idea! 6. Rabbitry sign or grooming table Another for the crafty crowd! I’ve seen some beautiful wood-burned signs made to hang in the rabbitry or grooming tables custom made to fit the height and needs of the individual. These are both thoughtful gifts that will be truly

appreciated. It shows that you’re supportive of the hobby and also took the time to make something especially for your favorite hobbyist. 7. New cages A rabbitry budget never grows, but the need for new equipment does. As they age, cages become rusty which can eventually compromise the animal’s safety. Sometimes all it takes is a roll of new wire to replace a cage floor. Other times, a full cage or hutch replacement is needed. You’ll want to consult the rabbit owner himself on this one too, but this is often a gift that’s welcomed with open arms. 8. Photo gifts Everyone has a favorite or special rabbit. Maybe a homegrown that gave them their first big win, or a rabbit that won Best of Breed or another special award at a large show. You can turn pictures of those wins (often the breeder and rabbit posing with the judge who awarded the win) into a variety of photo gifts through “big box” stores. From professionally framed photos to personalized blankets or Christmas ornaments, the options are almost endless and make for a unique, memorable gift.

9. Gift card A gift card is a great option for any of those hard-to-shop-for people with unique interests. Rabbit hobbyists are no different! The most thoughtful option would be credit toward their favorite feed store, but even a general prepaid card is versatile and appreciated! 10. A rabbit You had to see this one coming. Everyone occasionally needs a new rabbit to bring in characteristics that will improve their herd. This is definitely a gift to consult the breeder about. Not any rabbit will mesh successfully into their herd. It’s usually best to ask the person to select the rabbit they’d like to work with and offer to pay the cost of purchase. Shopping for animal lovers isn’t always easy, , but the options above are a few ideas that could work for nearly any rabbit owner out there. Gift-giving aside, I wish all of our readers a Merry Christmas and hope that your holiday season is full of moments with the people and animals you love the most. Remember the reason for the season and take time to celebrate everything that you’ve been blessed with. See you all in 2013! a


The Valley, December 2012

Sojourner Perspectives by Mark Ostrowski

Considering Christmas

This month, I’d like us to consider the annual event called Christmas. As we concluded our last article, I stated that I wanted to look at why we should not need to obtain a license from the government to get married. I still intend to address that subject and plan to do so the next time we meet; however the timeliness of considering today’s subject matter provoked me to write about “the most wonderful time of the year” in lieu of marriage licenses this time around. This will not be your typical holiday article and you might even decide that I am a Grinch when you conclude reading this. So be it, but please consider what I’m about to share and how it might impact your observance going forward. I like to ponder and write about matters of faith, because you see, we all live by faith. Here in Central PA, we tend to exhibit a more religious tone with regard to life, as is evidenced by the high

number of church buildings which distinctly define our landscape. Additionally, there are always church sponsored functions going on somewhere. Yet, even those who would not recognize religion or church as having a place in their lives, operate by faith. If you do not believe in God, you believe that this life is all there is, and that my friends, is also walking by faith. As such, it is my estimation the core driver of the human experience is faith. Thus I find it interesting to observe and write about. So now, what about Christmas? Regardless of how a person shakes out on their faith walk, most people participate in this annual event in one form or another. Yet, where did this custom come from? How did it originate, and if you follow the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, should you even be participating in this ritualistic observance to begin with? I ask this question because when you

understand the pagan origins of this event and overlay the fact that we were never instructed to observe the Messiah’s birthday in either the Old or New Testaments, it seems to me that distancing ourselves from this event might actually be what The Almighty wants! There are many sources of information regarding the origins of this tradition, but to sum it up, it’s Babylonian sun god worship packaged in modern attire. Nowhere in scripture is Christmas mentioned. We do not see this tradition observed in either the Old or New Testaments. It, in fact, was observed as a pagan festival for centuries prior to the Christ Child being born. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, the English term Christmas (mass on Christ’s day) is of fairly recent origin. The earlier term Yule may have derived from the Germanic jōl or the Anglo-Saxon geōl, which referred to the feast of the winter solstice.

Britannica goes on to say that during the first two centuries of Christianity there was strong opposition to recognizing birthdays of martyrs or, for that matter, of Jesus. Numerous Church Fathers offered sarcastic comments about the pagan custom of celebrating birthdays when, in fact, saints and martyrs should be honored on the days of their martyrdom— their true “birthdays,” from the church’s perspective. It is interesting to note that when the Puritans, who were noted for their piety, arrived in the new world, they shunned all observance of this day and because of this, Massachusetts outlawed Christmas for twenty-two years, from 1659 to 1681. As a whole, the holiday didn’t really begin to take hold here until the 1830’s. The origin of this particular date being selected as the day to observe Christ’s birth, is that December 25th was the Christianizing of the dies solis invicti nati (“day of the birth of the unconquered sun”), a popular holiday in the Roman Empire that celebrated the winter solstice as a symbol of the resurgence of the sun, the casting away of winter and the heralding of the rebirth of spring and summer (Britannica). The Christianizing of pagan festivals is called syncretism, which is the blending or union of different or

opposing principles and practices. This is something we are warned against time and again in the Bible. Ultimately, it’s probable that this would be the last day of the year on which The Christ Child would be born! Most of the decorations that accompany this observance have their origins in pagan symbolism as well (no surprise here). Some sources indicate the tree as an adaptation of the worship of Asherah spoken of and forbidden in the Bible (see Duet 16:21). It is interesting to note that on this point the Bible is not silent as Jeremiah (chapter 10) states; “Do not learn the way of the nations (those who do not know The LORD), for the customs of the peoples are futile; for one cuts a tree from the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the ax. They decorate it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers so that it will not totter.” Of course today we don’t nail our trees to floors, that I’m aware of, but we do a pretty good job of keeping them from tottering! Now, many will say; well that’s not what Christmas means to me. May I gently respond; that if you are truly a God follower, then it doesn’t matter what it means to you. Honestly. What

Continued on page 8


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The Valley, December 2012


Smartphone Application Can Help Dairy Farmers’ Milk Profits During Volatile Times Reprinted with permission from Penn State Public Information. A free mobile app developed by Penn State researchers can help dairy farmers plow through financial planning by helping them track feed costs and income. The DairyCents app, currently available on the Apple iPhone, helps farmers estimate income over feed cost per cow, a number that tells farmers how much money is left over to pay other expenses minus the feed costs, according to Virginia Ishler, nutrient management specialist and dairy complex manager in animal science. Another function compares feed prices in several locations across the country. “Farmers are doers, they enjoy the physical work aspect of farming, but not always the financial side of the operations,” said Ishler. “Hopefully, this app makes this part a little easier.” To use the income-over-feed function, farmers need to enter only a few pieces of information

to help estimate the income a cow can produce compared to the cost of the feed, according to Ishler. They can enter the date, their zip code and estimated level of milk production. Farmers can select estimated production levels based on three settings -- 65, 75 and 85 pounds. “The income-over-feed cost is a good barometer for how their operation is doing,” said Ishler. “It gives farmers a feel for how much money will be left over at the end of the month to pay bills.” Ishler said that the app uses average prices for alfalfa hay, milk, corn and soybean meal and is based on diets developed by Ishler. Hay and milk prices are obtained from the National Agricultural Statistics Service in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Corn and soybean meal prices are obtained from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The app, available on the Web at, can help farmers track

price data on feeds, forages and commodities. The app also allows farmers to enter the prices they are currently paying for feed, which can then be referenced by other farmers around the country. Ishler said that eventually this function may help farmers find better prices for feed, as well as give them more leverage to negotiate prices with current feed suppliers. About 150 subscribers signed up for the app within a week after its release. The team is planning a second round of development to make the app available on other platforms, such as the Android smart phone operating system. Ishler, who worked with Rebecca White, senior project associate, Penn State, and Alex Heiphetz, CEO of AHG Inc., said that current market conditions influence problems and opportunities for farmers. Weather conditions during one season can have a ripple effect for months.

Weather issues and price volatility have hit farmers particularly hard the last few years, according to Ishler. “We have never seen this type of price variability,” Ishler said. “People can’t make a decision in a vacuum, so this app helps farmers by easily giving them information to help with long-term planning.” The USDA-Risk Management Agency supported this work. a

“The incomeover-feed cost is a good barometer for how their operation is doing,” --Virginia Ishler

DairyCents, a free mobile app developed by Penn State researchers, can help dairy farmers track feed costs and income.


The Valley, December 2012 Squash Your Holiday Table from page 7 with dark green stripes. Its mild taste is ideal for absorbing complementary flavors. 5. Hubbard Squash This large squash can grow up to 50 pounds and is usually dark green, grey-blue, or orange-red in color. This squash is great for stuffing with meat, rice and or other vegetables. 6. Pumpkin A gourd-like squash that can range from the size of an apple to 500 pounds, the pumpkin is a major part of American culture thanks to its association with Halloween. About 99% of pumpkins marketed domestically are used as “jack-o’-lanterns. Its famous orange color lets you know it’s a great source of beta carotene. In addition, pumpkins also provide a fair amount of vitamin C and other nutrients, such as niacin, vitamin E, calcium, and iron. And don’t neglect the myriad health benefits found in pumpkin seeds. Needless to say, pumpkins make a delicious pie. 7. Spaghetti Squash The cylinder shaped spaghetti squash ranges from 4 to 8 pounds and when cooked, its flesh forms spaghetti-like strands (hence the name). A good source of niacin, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, potassium, and manganese and a very good source of dietary fiber and vitamin C, try it in a casserole. 8. Turban Squash Green in color and either speckled or striped, this winter squash has an orange-yellow flesh whose taste is reminiscent of hazelnuts. Its name is derived from the knob that forms at its top. Turbans are high in dietary fiber, vitamin A, and vitamin C. When cooking, keep it simple by baking or steaming Tips for Selecting, Storing and Preparing Winter Squash Winter squash matures on the vine and develops an inedible, thick, hard rind and tough seeds. Choose firm, well-shaped squash that are heavy for their size and have a hard, tough skin. Do not choose those that have sunken or moldy spots. Avoid squash with cuts or punctures in the skin. Also, slight variations in skin color do not affect flavor. A tender rind indicates immaturity, which is a sign of poor quality in winter squash varieties. To Store Winter Squash Place whole winter squash on top of thick pads of newspapers in a cool, dry, well-ventilated loca-

tion, preferably between 45 and 50 degrees F. Check on a regular basis for rot and use within three to six months depending on variety of squash. Refrigerate tightly wrapped cut pieces of winter squash and use within 5 days. Once a squash is cooked (by steaming or baking), the flesh of the squash can be stored frozen until needed. To Prepare Winter Squash All varieties are great for puréeing, roasting and baking. Once squash is cooked and mashed, it can be used in soups, main dishes, vegetable side dishes, even breads, muffins, custards and pies. Cutting, scooping ,peeling, and baking Depending upon your recipe, winter squash can be simply cut in half and baked after you have scooped out the seeds. The tool that will determine your success with the cutting process is a very sharp chef’s knife. (If you do not own a chef’s knife, ask Santa for one). When cutting a squash, simply insert the knife to make a cross wise or lengthwise cut. Next, grab a dish cloth , place it over your knife that is now sticking in the squash and with a rocking and pushing motion, cut the squash in half. If you are working with a butter nut squash, cut off a slice from the bottom so that it will be more stabilized when standing up. Then proceed by making a lengthwise cut down the middle. Scoop the seeds* and “strings.” If you are using the butternut squash in a recipe instead of just baking it you will want to peel it using a sharp vegetable peeler and then cut it into chunks according to your preference. Yes, I know this takes a little time, but “good things come to those who wait.” To bake: place squash, cut-side down in a foil-lined pan. Pour 1/4-inch of water onto a baking sheet or pan. This water step is not necessary, but it does help to steam the squash and make for easier clean up. Bake in a 350-400 degree F oven until the squash is tender when pierced with a knife. Halfway through baking, the squash halves may be turned, cut side up, brushed with melted butter or oil, and sprinkled with brown sugar and spices. Cooking Time: Squash halves or whole small pumpkins take about 40 to 45 minutes; cut-up squash, 15 to 25 minutes and spaghetti squash 60 minutes or a little more. If you choose to bake a small squash whole, remember to give it a few fork pricks into its outer skin before baking to allow for the

release of steam. * Don’t forget to bake the seeds too!- Seeds from winter squash make a great snack food, just like pumpkin seeds. If you scoop the pulp and seeds from inside the squash and separate out the seeds, you can place them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and lightly roast them at 160-170°F • Reliable Propane & Heating Oil Delivery (about 75°C) in • Budget Payment Plan the oven for 15-20 Call today minutes. By roastto learn about our • 24/7 Emergency Service ing them for a relaNEw CustOmER • Heating Equipment Service Plans tively short time at sPECiAls! a low temperature • Safety Trained Professionals you can help mini• Over 80 Years Experience mize damage to their healthy oils. Linoleic acid (the polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid) and oleic Our Business is Customer Satisfaction acid (the same monounsaturated 717-248-5476 • 1-800-PROPANE (776-7263) fatty acid that is plentiful in olive oil) account for about 75% of the fat found in the 2 large red onions, peeled, tomatoes, and bell peppers. seeds. Here are a few of my favorite chopped (about 4 cups) A Few Quick Serving Ideas recipes worthy of squashing a 3 Tbsp Wegmans Basting Oil • Top puréed cooked winter holiday table. (olive oil works great) squash with cinnamon and Mashed Maple Squash Sea Salt and Cracked Black Pepmaple syrup or parmesan Acorn squash makes a sweet per to taste cheese and black pepper. substitute for potatoes in this easy 1 pkg (6 oz)Fresh Baby Spinach • Steam cubes of winter squash mash. Use a serrated grapefruit 3/4 cup Sweetened Dried Cranand then puree/mash with spoon to get all the seeds and berries olive oil, garlic and spices or stringy fibers out of the inside of Preheat oven to 350 degrees. extracts of your choice. the squash. Combine squash and onions on • Top “strings” of spaghetti Ingredients large baking sheet; drizzle with squash with pasta sauce. 1 acorn squash, (1 1/4 pounds), basting oil. Season to taste with • Add cubes of winter squash halved and seeded sea salt and pepper; toss lightly. to your favorite vegetable 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup Roast 55 min, until tender soup recipe or make it the 1 teaspoon butter and brown. Before serving toss basis of a creamy soup. 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon squash, spinach, and dried cran• Stuff squash with meat, beans 1/4 teaspoon salt berries in large shallow serving and/or whole grains for a Preparation dish until the spinach begins to complete meal. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a wilt. • Baked or steamed winter 9-by-13-inch baking pan with Spaghetti Squash with Tomatoes squash is delicious mashed or cooking spray. and Herbs pureed, like sweet potatoes. Place squash halves cut-side down Ingredients: To enhance its natural sweetin the prepared pan. Bake until 1 Medium Spaghetti squash ness, combine squash with soft, about 45-50 minutes. Let 2 Cloves Garlic, minced any of the following; baked cool for 10 minutes. 2 teaspoons Olive Oil or steamed pears or apples, Scrape the soft squash flesh into a 1 Can Diced Tomatoes, drained chopped cranberries; lemon, medium bowl. Stir in syrup, but1 Tablespoon Chopped Fresh lime, or orange juice; almond ter, cinnamon and salt with a fork, Basil or vanilla extract; fresh or mashing the squash until some1/8 teaspoon Dried Oregano powered ginger, curry power; what smooth. 2-3 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan cinnamon; nutmeg; cloves; Butternut Squash with Baby Cheese (or Romano Cheese if you allspice or pumpkin pie spice; Spinach ( recipe from Wegmans prefer) brown sugar; maple syrup; Grocery Store) This is my all Steps: or honey. For a savory side Prepare and cook squash using time favorite, and it looks as dish, mash the cooked squash any of the basic methods above. amazing as it tastes. with sautéed onions or garlic 2 pkgs (20 oz each) Pre Cleaned and herbs, or combine chunks & Cut Butternut Squash, cut in Continued on page 14 of squash with cooked corn, 1-inch cubes

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The Valley, December 2012


Elves Take Up Residence at Snowflake Manor The Elf on the Shelf One of the top sellers at Christmas time has returned to Snowflake Manor again this year. The Elf on the Shelf was created by a mother and daughter who took a family tradition and shared it with the world. The Elf comes with a story book that parents can read to their children to explain what The Elf on the Shelf is all about. Both parents and children alike love finding out where the Elf is hiding each day leading up to Christmas, no one may touch him or the magic disappears. He changes positions each night so that he can better watch over the children to see who is good before Santa’s arrival. This is a tradition that the The Elf on the Shelf is a Christmas family tradition and always one of the top sellers, selling out every season. Start your own tradition with your children this year. Visit Snowflake whole family will enjoy. Manor and get yours before they are gone.

There are those who scoff at the very idea that elves could possibly exist beyond the realm of fairy tales and a fertile imagination. However, the elves would like to differ with that opinion. A pleasant and enchanting world awaits those who would believe. --The Elves Themselves

If you have ever entered Snowflake Manor and marveled at the year-round Christmas wonderland, trying to take in the spirit that wafts through every room and around every nook and cranny, then you are destined to return to greet the rather large family of elves that have moved in recently.

The Elves Themselves are a brand new line of Christmas characters sure to bring a smile to the face of even the grouchiest Scrooge.

The Elves Themselves Brand new this year at Snowflake Manor are “The Elves Themselves.” These adorable Elves are quality decorations from Zims who have topped the arts and crafts world for over 50 years. These heirloom quality decorations will not only bring holiday cheer each and every year that they are displayed, but will be treasured pieces that will furnish memories forever, to whoever they get passed down to. Each Elf comes with a name and is available only for a few years before they get retired to make space for new creations. You’ll want to start collecting

early so as not to miss out on any of the named Elves. You can buy specific elves to create your own Christmas display that has your personal touch, something your children will think back on in years to come. Currently there are 59 different elves to choose from, so making a display that is all your own is easy. Stop in at Snowflake Manor on Electric Avenue and see which ones want to come home with you! Start your own family traditions and have something to pass down to your children and grandchildren—The Elves Themselves will steal your heart! a


The Valley, December 2012

Modern Energy and Alternative Heating with Curt Bierly To Have A wood Stove Or Not To Have A Wood Stove— That Is The Question You can have the greatest central heating system in the world that holds every room at the exact temperature you select, but there is nothing greater then arriving home on a cold winter evening and sitting in front of a wood stove with a glowing fire. You feel that “extra warmth” that a central system can’t provide. Beyond the warmth, the glowing fire you see through the glass in the door is almost an “art form.” The combination makes a very relaxing scenario. The design and efficiency of wood stoves today are far superior to those of the 70’s and 80’s. Most stoves use secondary air injection technology to burn gasses before they are lost up the chimney. In addition, the air wash

over the front door glass helps keep the viewing area clear. The primary draft control is usually a simple lever and most stoves have the convenience of an ash pan. The beauty of a wood stove is that it’s “non-electric.” With a stove and a stack of wood, if the lights go out you still have heat (remember Sandy)! Call it “heat security.” Stoves are made of various materials, but the most common are steel and cast iron. The steel stoves are not as decorative and require a fire brick burning chamber floor and partial firebrick wall. Cast iron stoves are more decorative and don’t require firebrick. In addition, Cast iron stoves can have an enamel finish where as steel stoves can only be coated

with a high temperature paint. You need to choose the stove that pleases your particular need, taste, and decor. There are small stoves and large stoves. Keep in mind you can always burn a small fire in a large stove as long as you burn the wood briskly and don’t let the logs smolder. As an example, let’s assume the area you want to heat will require a stove that can hold three 16” logs. You will receive the same heat output burning those same three logs in a larger stove. With this in mind, you need to decide if you want the fire to last overnight. If yes, buy a stove that holds enough wood to last overnight. If no, buy a stove designed for the area you want to heat. The chimney is also an important part of the wood stove heating system. A warm chimney provides a steady natural

draft, which is important for proper performance and safety. An outside chimney with a clay liner and no insulation is a cold chimney and needs to be lined. An inside chimney with a clay liner is a warm chimney and doesn’t require a liner unless it is deemed by a chimney sweep to be in poor condition or your local codes require it. A stainless steel prefabricated insulated chimney is a good choice inside or outside. A triple-wall stainless steel chimney isn’t warm enough, and thus isn’t recommended for burning wood. Finally there is the fuel. Depending on the time and money you want to spend, there are numerous ways to provide the fuel for your wood stove. The least expensive method would be if you own tree-covered land or know someone that does, and they are willing to allow you to harvest the wood you need. You will, of course, need to purchase equipment (chainsaw, splitting maul, sledge hammer, etc.) to cut and split the wood – and – you will need a truck or trailer to haul it. This is beyond being great exercise and there are safety concerns as you can imagine; therefore, unless you are experienced in the art of harvesting wood and have the necessary equipment, I don’t

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invite you to a wellness seminar led by Marge Delozier, holistic health educator Learn how halotherapy can improve your health! December 12, 5:30 to 7 p.m. Mt. Nittany Inn, Centre Hall, PA Reserve your complimentary seat by December 5th: (800) 232-1670 Light refreshments

Who should attend? • Anyone interested in improving their health naturally • Anyone with asthma, allergies, arthritis, sinusitis, acne, psoriasis, weakened immune system, sleep problems and more What you will learn • Why Himalayan salt is good for us • What it heals and why • The value of salt accessories

recommend this method. The next possibility is to purchase a logging truck load of “poles.” These are long logs of various diameters harvested by a professional logger and delivered to your home with a logging truck with a clam un-loader. In general, they deliver five to six cords of unseasoned or seasoned hardwood that needs to be cut and split. You will need an outside area that is accessible to a logging truck to store this wood. Once received, carefully cover the pile with a couple of waterproof tarps. To secure the tarps you can use a wire staple through the tarp ring and hammered into the poles at numerous locations along the edge of the tarp. Finally, you can purchase wood cut, spit and stacked if you like ready-to-place in your wood stove. The choice is yours. Curt Bierly is president of the bierly group incorporated of which Stanley C. Bierly is a division. He graduated from Penn State with a BS in Mechanical Engineering and is a member of the Penn College HVAC Advisory Board. You can contact him at a

The Valley, December 2012


Recipes-Crafts-Gifts With Debra Kulp Beer Cheese in a Bread Bowl 1 Round loaf (1lb) pumpernickle bread 2 jars (50z ea.) sharp American cheese spread 1 pkg (8oz.) cream cheese, softened 1/4 cup beer or nonalcoholic beer 1/2 cup Real bacon bits In a microwave-safe bowl, combine cheese spread & cream cheese. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Stir in beer. Microwave, uncovered, 20 seconds longer. Stir in bacon. Fill bread shell with cheese dip. Serve with reserved bread cubes. Yield: 2 1/2 cups Did you know? Few families in Victorian England owned an oven. Like the “Cachit’s” they would take their goose or turkey to the local baker who would cook it for a small fee. Turkey Biscuit Stew 1/3 cup chopped onion 1/4 cup butter 1/3 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 tsp salt 1/8 tsp pepper 1 can (10.5 oz) condensed chicken broth, undiluted 3/4 cup milk 2 cups cooked turkey 1 cup cooked peas 1 cup cooked whole baby carrots

1 tube (10 oz) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits In a 10” ovenproof skillet, saute’ onion in butter until tender. Stir in flour, salt & pepper until smooth. Gradually add broth and milk; cook, stirring constantly, until thickened & bubbles. Add the turkey, peas & carrots, heat through. Separate biscuits and arrange over the stew. Bake stew @375 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes or until the biscuits are a golden brown. Yield: 6 - 8 servings Honey Melody Pie A recipe from my maternal grandmother’s “Old Collection” 1 prepared pie crust 2 tbsp butter 2 tbsp sugar 1/2 tsp salt Cream ingredients together Add: 1/2 cup honey 3 eggs 1/2 cup dates cut in small pieces 1/2 cup drained, crushed, pineapple 1/4 cup pineapple juice 1/4 cup chopped almonds or walnuts 2 tbsp lemon juice Mix well and pour into pie crust. Bake at 425 for 25 - 30 minutes. Happy Holidays from all of us to all of you!

Operation Christmas Child The Worlds Largest Christmas Project

Operation Christmas Child – the world’s largest Christmas project of its kind – are filling shoe box gifts with toys, school supplies and hygiene items for needy children overseas. This year-round project of international Christian relief and evangelism organizations Samaritan’s Purse, headed by Franklin Graham, is ramping up as local businesses, churches, schools and community groups prepare to collect 12,415 gift-filled shoe boxes during National Collection Week Nov. 12 thru Nov. 19, but boxes can be dropped off year-round that will be sent to the headquarters in Boone, NC. Anyone can drop off a packed shoe box at the following locations: Kish Valley Grace Brethren

Church, Reedsville; McAlevy’s Fort Presbyterian Church, Huntingdon; Park Forest Baptist Church, State College; Centre County Christian Academy, Bellefonte; Lighthouse Evangelical Church, West Decatur and Faith Alive Fellowship Church, Spring Mills in the Central Region. Then, using whatever means necessary-trucks, trains, boats, bikes and even elephantsthe shoe box gifts will be hand delivered to hurting children in 100 countries around the world. For more information on collection centers hours in the area to drop off you boxes or how to participate in Operation Christmas Child visit a


The Valley, December 2012

Mail Pouch Books by Carleen B. Grossman I know, I know...during this festive, fun, busy month you are going to tell me, “But I just don’t have time to sit down and read!” Ah, ha----problem solved! I have selected books for you that are quick-reads and also ideal for holiday gifts; so that will put you ahead of schedule because you won’t have to spend so much precious time thinking about what gifts to give those special people in your life. These are perfectly themed, extremely touching and most useful DECEMBER books. A CUP OF CHRISTMAS TEA By Tom Hegg Copyright 1982 & 2003 What a touching life lesson! This story of little more than 40 pages portrays a man heading into

the holiday rush where everything becomes a struggle to get as much put onto the Visa card as soon as possible with little or no effort. Unfortunately, he has just received an invitation to tea at the home of his great aunt. How on earth can he give up his valuable time for such nonsense? After all, the aunt’s recent stroke will just make him feel depressed to be around her! Reluctantly, he decides to go only to make his quick appearance and then be done with it. He puts on his boots, gloves and cap and heads out into the wintry mix for this dreaded visit. Negative thoughts surround him. Follow this man on his journey to experience Christmas past, alive and intact! This Christmas miracle---the triumph of a soul--will buoy your own holiday spirits and bring you a smile and sweet tears.

BRANDYWINE CRITTERS: Nature’s Crafts From A Brandywine Christmas By Brandywine Conservancy Copyright 1995 This Pennsylvania treasure book comes straight to you from The Brandywine River Museum. Each Christmas this museum decorates with “CRITTERS” that are whimsical characters made by hand from nature’s collections of dried grasses, weeds and pods. In this book you will find the techniques for how to make your very own holiday critters to adorn

your home. Colored photos provide great inspiration to expand your creativity for making your home even more festive!

zens come together demonstrating the Christmas spirit, gratitude is shown in a way never before seen in our nation.

CHRISTMAS 1945: The Greatest Celebration in American History By Matthew Litt Copyright 2010 History comes alive in this true tale about how the Christmas of 1945 became one of the greatest celebrations in American history. When a four day Christmas weekend is declared for federal employees and the U.S. military begins its “OPERATION MAGIC CARPET” and “OPERATION SANTA CLAUS” to return tens of thousands of GI’s home for Christmas, the nation finds itself experiencing its own unique miracle. As thousands of GI’s and citi-

HANDMADE MARKETPLACE: How to Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally, and On-line By Kari Chapin Copyright 2010 No matter what your product is, this book will help you determine the right price and place for your handmade items. Information on determining cost of goods, market competition and the negatives and positives of wholesale and retail sales are all considered. The author explores every venue. She even takes you into the realm of starting your own craft fair. Other tips include styling and staging the crafts for photography. Advice is also given for how to approach shopkeepers, how to build community connections and how to “get the word out” about your items. a


The Valley, December 2012


The Valley, December 2012

Homeschooling and Life on the Homestead with Andy Weller

Creating Memories to last a Lifetime Deer season is a great time of year. It’s a time that comes after the frustrations of Election Day and it welcomes in the Holiday Season. Deer season has always been a relaxing time for me, knowing that my two favorite holidays are coming up in the near future. This season was no exception, except that this season my son got his own tag, carried his own gun, and got to accompany me during the hunt. I’m gong to start a bit before the season and tell the story from start to finish. My story starts on Election Day. On November 6, 2012, my wife and I worked the polls. I took a vacation day from my real job and worked as a clerk while my wife, who has worked the polls for years, ran the board. Working the polls meant that I heard nothing about the outcome of the election until late that night. Now if you know me, you know that I am very concerned with both local and national politics and the leaning of this country when it

comes to individual liberties and responsibilities. Needless to say I was floored that the president was re-elected. The disappointment stuck with me from Tuesday and was with me through much of the deer season. To top it off, I didn’t have the normal conversations with my wife because she spent most of that week in the hospital with her eighty eight year old grandmother. This means that the more I thought about the outcome of the election, the more frustrated I got because I can’t see how the people of our nation could be so irresponsible and self serving, and I hoped that my wife would have an insight that I didn’t have. After the election, I worked Wednesday and Thursday in a kind of daze and Friday was the first day of the deer season. On Friday, even though I was excited about deer hunting, I couldn’t get started so Jake and I got a late start and didn’t get out until after day light, especially with feeding and moving animals around. We

finished checking the gear and got out at about eight o’clock in the morning. We took our quads with us on a trailer so we got to where

activity. Out here when hunting deer you spend a lot of time high on the side of a hill with power binoculars or a spotting scope, looking at other hills that have hiding places deer might use to bed down in. We spent the day doing this, but we saw does and nothing else, and here in Arizona the tag is for antlered deer. The next day Saturday we went out and had the same experience—does only. Sunday we stayed home, my wife was home from the hospital and we needed a break so we slept in, revised our

Jake with his first buck. This day will be burned into our memories forever, and I was proud to be part of it.

we were parking the truck and loaded the gear on the quads then rode them about five miles further in. Once we parked the quads, we hiked in to an area that had promise because of signs of deer

gear and tried to relax. Doing this was hard, because, you want to be out in the wild with your son, looking for the elusive white tail buck who hides well. The rest of the week until

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Tuesday was the same story. On Tuesday I once again got a late start and had been looking at topo maps. In the maps I saw an area that we had been through before that showed deer sign and had some likely hiding spots for deer. Once we got out in the area we had a choice, we could stay on the high ground or we could take the quads down a trail that went up and over a couple of gnarly looking hills and down into a canyon. We took the route to the canyon, and this was good. We found a natural tank in the desert and decided to set up a blind in the lee of a deadfall. We were in the blind for about two hours when a deer headed for the tank to get a drink. At first we thought the deer was doe, I was confirming, with binoculars, that I saw a spike when, BOOM, Jake took the shot! He saw the spikes on the little buck and decided to take the shot, as we might not see another buck for the rest of the season. After the rifle cracked, the deer dropped where it stood and didn’t move. Jake turned to me with his eyes the size of saucers, adrenaline obviously running through his body, and as he looked at me his look of fear turned to a smile. We went to check on the buck where it lay and it was at this moment that Jake learned how precious life was. As we field dressed the deer, we talked about both animal and human life and we discussed how important both were. As humans, we hunt wild animals for food and we raise domestic animals for food. God gave us both types of animals to sustain human life; both are important and should be cherished. It’s no joking matter to take a life of man or beast. The lesson both adults and children should take away from this is that life is precious, we should treasure it, and we should give thanks to God when He provides an animal to sustain us through food. a

I am a real Christian – that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus Christ --Thomas Jefferson

The Valley, December 2012


Savvy Cents & Sensibility by JoAnn Wills-Kline MBA The holiday season is in full swing, and many of us are strategizing how to have a delightful rather than debt-full season. It is certainly possible to keep finances in check without dampening holiday spirits. This month, the column will focus on frugal but fantastic ideas to brighten your holiday spirits without pulling the plug on presents. The best way to keep finances in check during December is to keep “emotion” out of the decision-making process. How can we do that?!... by planning and preparing well. The website http://www. shares many great frugal Christmas ideas. I have included some of my favorites, but check out the site if you want to expand on my favorites list. • Read a book a day • Purchase 24 children’s books and read one per day • Visit your local library rather

• • • • • • • • • • •

than buy the books, or purchase used Begin a new family tradition Study Christmas traditions in other countries – through your local library Learn the history of Santa Pray for people who send you holiday cards As you receive the cards remember the giver in a prayer or blessing Walk in your neighborhood to view the holiday lights – take hot cocoa Take a short drive if walking is not possible Look at pictures from Christmas past – meander down memory lane String popcorn and cranberries Place it on your Christmas tree or outside for birds to enjoy Slather creamy peanut butter

on large pinecones then roll in birdseed • Place in a tree or bush for feathered friends to enjoy • Have a Christmas movie marathon • Utilize the library for the movies • Host a soup kettle • Invite family/friends – everyone contributes something: soup, bread, etc. • Host it outdoors ‘round a backyard bonfire • Make Christmas ornaments – get creative with decorating, go all natural • Take a walk to collect pinecones, acorns, and the like to decorate • Hang mistletoe – and use its presence everyday – tell those who you love I know it is easy to fall into the mindset of bigger, better, more; but for most of us, it is optimal to purchase less volume yet choose gifts with deeper meaning. Materialism and consumerism has trumped our nation’s societies for many years. It takes effort to step away from the status quo, but the value of taking a stand against wastefulness and over-consumption is so worth it! Might I suggest gift giving that comes “only” from the heart this year?! Do not get caught up in reciprocity – give because you want to not because you have to. As you make your purchases this year, pledge to only purchase items within your budget – no matter what. Remember the local artisans as you holiday shop – patronize them, shop locally to support your community. Purchase handmade, handcrafted items within your own community if possible. Heather Levin, who wrote an article for the website called “Money Crashers” (http://www.

Sassafrass from page 11 maining oil in the same pan, add 1 ½ cup finely chopped onion 1 cup finely chopped celery 1 cup finely chopped bell pepper 3 cloves garlic, mashed Sautee on medium, stirring all the while, until the onions are translucent, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the cooked chicken and any broth on the plate. Add to the mixture 1 quart chicken broth 2 cups crushed whole tomatoes

frugal-christmas-gift-ideassave-money) offered five unique holiday gift ideas that are really useful – check out the article. I have included a few of her great ideas: • A great book to improve the state of one’s life. A personal finance book. Many, many great books to choose from • Canning supplies. It’s important to learn the art and science of food preservation. It could change someone’s life. “Ball’s Complete Book of Home Preserving” is a great guide. • Resources to help loved ones “declutter” their lives. A cleaning service – coupons or gift cards. Aromatherapy cleaning supplies – create a clean & tranquil home. Attractive totes or baskets to serve as “catch alls.” Great declutter books: The Joy of Less; 100 Thing Challenge • Resources to help loved ones embrace frugality. More books: The Complete Tightwad Gazette; BeCentsable. Recipe binders filled with “5 Ingredients or Less” recipes. A great magazine – or subscription. Spring for a travel magazine – enjoy the trip if only in one’s mind. DIY & craft magazines – conjure up creativity • Survival Seeds. Aka Heirloom seeds are so valuable! Seeds are pure and can be produced for following years. The website “Living a Better Life” ( money/63giftsunder10dollars. htm) touts an article by Michelle Jones that lists 63 gift ideas for under $10. All are great ideas and can be adapted to any occasion of the year. My favorites from the 1 bay leaf 1 tsp crushed dried thyme (or ½ teaspoon crushed oregano) 1 tsp. Tobasco sauce (or to taste) Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 1 hour, stirring occasionally. While the gumbo is simmering, cook 1 cup of rice (to yield two cups cooked). After the hour, pierce the chicken with a fork to test for doneness (If you’ve GOT to have

website are: • Gourmet coffee with a personal coffee cup • Journal with special inscriptions inside • Teacup and box of specialty tea • Homemade cocoa mix in a pretty, decorated jar • Collage of special photos • Gel pens & pretty stationary • Basket filled with specialty jams or mustards • Makeup tote • Prepaid photo developing envelops or services • Gourmet popcorn & flavored oil • Movie theatre gift card • Peppermill & peppercorns • Nail polish kit • Makeup brush set • Specialty cookbook • Colorful Post-it note pads • Comfy or expensive socks – still under $10! • Specialty soaps – artisan bar soaps • Set of dish towels and dish cloths • Decorative cloth napkins & napkin rings Do your best to stay within your budget this holiday season for everything – gifts, foods, décor, and cheer. Strive to stay mindful of your purchases – select gifts from the heart but not bound by emotion. Remember that the postman cometh… January’s credit card statements will remind you of every single over-indulgence! In closing, I wish you a Merry Christmas filled with light and love, and a Happy New Year filled with hope and prosperity! ~JoAnn a

okra in the gumbo, now’s the time to add it – about ½ pound - and continue to cook ‘til the okra is tender). To serve, place ½ cup of cooked rice in the center of four soup bowls and ladle the gumbo around it. At the table, each person stirs in File powder to taste – if it’s your first time start with about 1/2 teaspoon and go from there. See companion article on page 14. a


The Valley, December 2012

Grosze Thal Nachbaren (Big Valley Neighbors) by Jeptha I. Yoder Ein Grusz in dem Nmaen unseres Heren Jesu Christi. Das Wetter iss noch schön genug fur Holz einsammlen und pflügen. Man kann noch viel finden um zu rüsten für der kommente Winter. Der Ein und zwanzigst Oktober war unser Gemein ans Jesse J. Hostetlers. Von ander Theil waren Uria, Fräney, und Thomas Yoder (Joel M.). Lang Leen Ost war ans Johannes I. Yoders. Nord Milroy war ans Jonas A. Hostetlers, Unckels Jesse Ss und Ruben Ds, alle Hostetlern waren ans Menno R. Hostetlers fürs abendessen. Sie hatten auch noch viel ander Besuch. Der Acht und Zwanzigst Oktober waren Elisabeth und Ich in Kirchengasse Gemein ans Christian S. Hostelters, Auch von unser Theil waren Noah, Henry, und Mahlon Hostetler (Esra B.). Von Lang Leen Ost waren Mose I. Hostetlers. Ost Milroy war ans Johannes H. Hostetlers. Lang Leen West war ans Mose J. Hostetlers Jr. Rebecca, Miriam, Ruth, Naemi, und Lena waren hier nachmittages, nachdem Sie und ihre

eltern Jesse S. Hostetlers waren ans Joshua J. Hostetlers fürs mittag-essen. Abraham N. Yoders und jüngste waren auch dort. Am Viert November waren wir in der Gemein ans Eli S. Hostetlers. Von ander Theil waren Christ G. Yoders. Jesse Js, Mose Rs, und Familien, alle Hostetlern waren in Lang Leen Ost Gemein ans Mose S. Yoders. Rebecca, Miriam, und Naemi Hostetler (Jesses’) waren in McClur Gemein bei ihre Schwester die Esra S. Hostetlers. So der Herr Will und wir leben ist unser Gemein ans Johannes Y. Hostetlers nächst mol. Milroy Nieder (Nord) war ans Aaron L. Yoders. Nach der Gemein waren meine Eltern ein wenig ans Christian C. Zugen. Elisabeth und Ich waren bei die Aunt (Salomon) Mareily unds Uria Ss, alle Hostetlern, abends. Die Mareily ihr Besuch für den tag waren (ihre Tochter) die David Hostetlers, und Emma von McClur fürs Morgenessen (und Samstag nacht), Mahlon C. Yoders und (Sohn) Isaak Y. Hostetlers und Familien fürs Mittag, und Söhne Christs und Urias und Familien fürs

Abendessen. Der Zwelft war Kirchengasse Gemein ans Yost J. Hostetlers. Von ander Theil waren J. Yosts, Rudy Ns, und Johannes Is, alle Hostetlern. Lang Leen West war ans Emanuel I. Hostetlers. Nachmittages waren Meine Eltern ans Menno J. Zugen. Ihre Söhne Josie Bs und Jakob Js und Familien waren dort fürs Mittagessen. Andere dort nachmittages waren Noah Rs und Rudy Js, beide Hostetlern. Darnach waren Meine Eltern ans Joel M. Yoders fürs abendessen. Seine mutter, die (Jeptha H.) Lydia R. war mit ihnen in die Gemein ans Yost Js und ein wenig beim Christian C. Zug. Auch ans Joels fürs abendessen waren Jesse J. Hostetlers und Familie. Der Dreisigst Oktober war Hochzeit-tag fur Wittweer Michael J. und Naemi R., beide Hostetlern an ihr Bruder, die Johannes Y. Hostelters, zusammen-gegeben durch Bish. Aaron L. Yoder. Gemein ans Noah Y Zugen. Nevahocker waren Esra Y. und Lydia B. Hostetler; Henry M. und Elisabeth B. Speicher. Die Braut ist von McClur und eine Tochter witwee (Samuel H.) Lydia A. (Yoder) Hostetler. Der Erst November war hochzeit ans Josie B. und Malinda Y. (Host.) Zug für ihre Tochter Katie M. mits Henner R. und Barbara E. Hostetler ihr Jonathan M. Gemein ans Esra A. Hostetlers. Der Acht war hochzeit ans Alphie S. und Drucilla E. Zugen fur ihre Tochter Julia L. mit (witwee) (Manass J. Jr.) Barbara M. Yoder ihr Sohn Mose R. Der Fünfzeht war hochzeit ans David J. und Anna N. (Host.) Yoder ihr Tochter Hannah L. mit Esra A. und Leah M. (Zug) Hostetler ihr Sohn Samuel D. Gemein ans Alphie S. Hostetlers. Ausgeruffen um zu verheirathen den Zwanzigst November iss die (Emanuel B.) Fräney N. Yoder ihr Isaak S. mitt Samuel I. und Ruth L. Yoders ihr Lydia B. Gemein ans Christ J. Yoders. Yost J. und Fräney E. Speichers ihr Elisabeth L. mitt die

Continued on page 30

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The Valley, December 2012

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The Valley, December 2012

Reader Report on the “Mother Earth News Festival” by Liz Walters Editors note: Been somewhere fun to share, tell us about it. For almost a year now, I have been increasingly aware of the mis-truths that food labels and personal care items boast. Besides online research and reading books, I have also learned a lot from fellow concerned parents and friends within the Facebook community. This is where I learned of the Mother Earth News Festival held at Seven Springs Mountain Resort in southwest PA on the weekend of September 17th. The festival promised to be jam-packed full of more than 200 workshops, lectures from 15 prominent speakers, and 250 exhibitors promoting homesteading, energy efficiency, animal husbandry, and everything all-natural. When I set out on my threehour drive, I was anticipating learning more about natural herbal remedies, fermentation, and raw milk providers. I had already picked out several lectures that I thought I would definitely learn from. The very first one I attended was about treating children with herbs by Jaclyn Chasse. With

her newborn strapped to her, she proceeded to go through common aliments from ear infections, croup and coughs, asthma, stress and anxiety, and even ADHD issues. Having four children at home, I was sure to take good notes of the most useful herbs and their applications. I will be sure to start an herb garden of my own this spring to have close access to some of the wonderful medicinal herbs. Jaclyn is also on Facebook and invited us all to contact her with any questions. I had about an hour to browse through vendor after vendor selling their information and products, from delicious honey, kombucha, sauerkraut, ghee, flavored oils, pickled garlics to t-shirts, personal care items such as lotions, kits for making cheeses and kefirs. Then there were jewelry and animal exhibits, with wool items and alpaca sweaters, mittens and toys. There were bee keepers and log splitting machines, seeds and plants and mushroom logs to take home. I also saw furniture for your home and machines for easier chicken processing, but these are only the

ones I walked past. It seemed like there was something for everyone, even those looking for a hybrid car for more earth-friendly transportation. Everything I purchased was excellent in quality and was, for the most part, made here in Pennsylvania. A few vendors were even from surrounding towns like Port Royal and Centre County. After grabbing a quick bite to eat, I headed to the next lecture called “Introduction to Fermenting” by Sandor Katz. Now this was the one I most wanted to hear, having been increasingly interested in home fermentation for quite a while. I have been fermenting various foods and drinks for months, but I knew I could learn something new from Sandor. He has been fermenting for over ten years and has written several books on the topic. He has such a relaxed and sincere attitude to spread his knowledge to anyone open to listening. He explained that many foods are fermented such as the most obvious, beer and wine. Others include olives, sauerkraut, chocolate, cheese, bread, meats, vinegar, coffee and tea. More unfamiliar fermented

foods include soy and fish sauces, miso and tempeh, kvass, kombucha and kefirs. Almost any whole food can be fermented, but the easiest to begin with are vegetables. They contain natural bacteria from the soil that, if allowed under the right circumstances, can proliferate into billions of immune boosting beneficial bacteria in each bite. Besides helping you stay healthy and free from sickness and disease, they can also detox your body to help remove previous stores of bad chemicals that we all are exposed to everyday. Sandor was even helpful enough to answer every last question, staying well past his allotted time so everyone could understand how easy and important it is to eat fermented foods everyday. I have his most recent book called “Wild Fermentation” and would recommend it to anyone who wants to know the ins and outs, whys, whens, and hows to begin fermenting. There is also a Facebook page called Wild Fermentation that is full of information and very helpful for everyone from beginners to experts. After a quick picture with

Sandor, I made some final purchases to take home to share with my family. I really could have filled a wagon with the useful items that were for sale. They had an entire ballroom dedicated to books that could be bought to further support all the great information I had learned that day. I was most interested in finding a field guide to aid in identifying wild edible plants and mushrooms, as foraging has become a sort of hobby for me as of late. It’s amazing to me the simple “weeds” that can do so much for your body, and I walk by them everyday thinking they are nothing more than weeds! Soon it was time to board the shuttle bus back to my car. I met many wonderful people all eager to help a learning Mom who is trying to do better for her family. All in all it was a great experience with seemingly unlimited chances to learn sustainable, economical, and natural ways to thrive. It is a definite on my list of trips for next year! a

The Valley, December 2012

30 Grosze Thal Nachbaren from page 27 Barabara M. (Manass J. Jr.) ihr Emanuel S. Hochzeit am Danksagungstag. Gemein ans Steven M. Yoders Jr., so der Herr Will. Christian greetings on a cool clear evening. Autumn has been mild enough to continue working on outdoor projects or anything that we would like to do before winter sets in. I even picked some red and yellow raspberries since my last writing. New arrivals are: A dau. Betsy on Oct. 12, joining three brothers, to Korie H. and Dena H. Yoder. Grands are Jonathan H. and betsy D. (Host.) Yoder; Christ M. Sr. and Barbara A. (Yoder) Zook. Great-grand is widower Jacob B. Yoder. First-time parents are Samuel F. and Anna B. to Lydia on Oct. 25. Grands are (Noah L.) widow Rhoda L and Moses E. and Emma Z. all Hostetlers. A son Seth to (also first time) Andy C. and Barbara N. Yoder, Nov. 1. Grands are widow (Noah I) Dena L. (Zook) Yoder; and (first time) Seth A. and Elizabeth R. Hostetler. First-time great is widow (John A.) Barbara M. Hostetler. Step-greatgrandmother is widow (Seth D.) Rachel L. (Zook) Hostetler.

Sat. October 27, friends and relatives were to the funeral (at 1:30) of Mary R. (Host.) Yoder (62yr. 10 mo. 8 days) of 58 Yoder Drive, Winfield, PA 17889, wife of Bish. Moses J. by Bish. Michael A. Speicher. In barn by Min Manass R. Yoder. Pallbearers were: Esle S. and Samuel A., both Hostetlers, Jacob B. Yoder and Daniel E. Zook. Hauled by Daniel M. Hostetler. Died on Oct. 26, 2012. Born Dec. 18, 1949 she was a dau. of the late Esle S. and Anna Y. (Zook) Hostetler. Surviving are a dau. Dorothy (Nov. 13, 1988) at home; four sons and two daus. married; and numerous grands. Preceded by three sons Jonas, David, and Manass and one grandson. Also an infant sister. Mary was very close to the same age as her mother Anna (born Jan 6, 1926) who died on Oct. 24, 1988. Wednesday Nov. 7, was the funeral of Elizabeth L. (Hostetler) Zook (77yr. 1 mo. 2 da.), wife of Christian C. “C. C.” of 487 Siglerville Pike, Milroy, PA 17063. By Min. Michael L. Hostetler in house with Freundschaft; In other house by Min. Adam R. Hostetler. Pallbearers were Korie E. Zook, Christian S., Michael Y., and Yost J., all Hostetlers. Friends and relations attended from various communities. Born Oct. 4, 1935

Progress at the Embassy by Patricia Lawson I hope you had the opportunity to visit the Embassy Theatre during The Festival Of Ice. Did you explore the interior and marvel at the exterior’s restoration that was done in 2000 & 2001? The colorful renderings of our vision of the re-birth of the theatre were also available at the festival. After seeing these portrayals of the future restoration, you just know that our dream will become a reality. If you didn’t have the occasion to see the building in person, check-out our web-site: When The Friends of the Embassy Theatre bought the theatre in 1991, the entrance doors were boarded up and when the boards were removed the wood was basically in shambles. Plus, the ticket booth and display cases were also ruined. So, when you examine the front facade, keep in mind that it was rebuilt based on past pictures, and that is no easy task. Since funds were limited, the effort of replicating the front of the theatre was done by donations of

supplies, community participation, and bare hands. The majority of the woodworking was done by Paul T. Fagley, the President of the Friends of the Embassy, and his father. We will always be grateful for their dedication and commitment to this project. Let’s go back in time again. As you know, the theatre was built for Harold and Hyman Cohen, and opened in 1927 as a vaudeville theatre. It was then operated by them through its period of significance. The theatre was designed by Albert Douglas Hill, a partner in the successful firm of Hodgens and Hill of Philadelphia. Hill was a noted theatre architect, but not famous like so many others. The Embassy is a strong surviving example of his work. The architect incorporated many eclectic elements in a design that was at once fantastic and romantic, yet maintained a feeling of intimacy within the confines of the auditorium. During the 1920’s, entertainment venues began to change, as movies were becom-

(died on Nov. 6) she was a dau. of the late Simeon Y. and Franey N. (Yoder) Hostetler. Two daughters survive, Franey E. married to Yost J. Speicher, with whom they resided, and Barbara A., married to Joas J. Speicher of La Farge, Wisconsin. Twelve grandchildren and one greatgrand. Three brothers, widower Dea. Ben Y. Hostetler of Penns Valley, Rudy S (wheelchair) married to Annie Z. (Speicher) of Milroy; Jonathan N. married to Rachel A. of Reedsville, one sister Nancy Y. married to J. Yost Hostetler of Reedsville. Preceded by four brothers, including an infant. The grieving have our sympathy. Katie J. (Byler) Zook wife of Menno J. of 10674 Back Mountain Road, Milroy is in bed. Looks forward to mail. So please keep it coming. Saturday evening October 27, the family and close relatives were to the graveyard to place the tombstone at the grave of Annie S. (late) dau. of Joshua J. and Salina A. Hostetler. Seth R. Yoder was in the hospital several days due to breathing difficulties. Is at home and on oxygen. Mail will reach them at 10 Small Barn Lane, Reedsville, PA 17084. His birthday is on Dec. 14, (1954). By the way, Great Uncle

Rudy S. and Lydia B. Yoders (Seth’s parents) also have birthdays coming up, Lord Willing. Rudy on Jan. 7, (1931) and Lydia on Dec 15 (1952). Address: 556 Church Lane Reedsville. Saturday Nov. 10, Jesse J. Hostetlers had a frolic (of relatives) to work on their interior of their new house. They plan to be frolicking again on the 17th for those that could not come earlier, Lord Willing. God’s Blessings wished for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Oder ein Heilig Weihnacht und Frohlich Neujahr!

ing the dominant form of mass entertainment. Whereas the two other theaters operated in this time began life as nickelodeon/vaudeville houses, the Embassy was the first theatre in the county designed primarily for the showing of motion pictures. It was also the first local theatre to install permanent equipment for showing sound films. Hyman and son Harold’s goal was to offer a theatre where ordinary citizens could come to escape into a world of luxurious surroundings, settings previously reserved for the wealthy. And this idea became a reality when the Embassy Theatre opened to the public on October 17, 1927. Here, in a scale model, so to speak, were the very latest features of theatres: indirect cove lighting, ornate walnut box office, grand galleries, Greek inspired statuary, a spectacular marquee, ornamental plasterwork, a standing rail, plush velvet seats, velour curtains, and many other features. The Embassy was a pinnacle of theatre design in Mifflin County, and within its ornate interior, the citizens of the area found enrichment in the golden age of the motion picture palace. Listen to some of the dedica-

tion remarks: To the People of Lewistown and to their children and to their children’s children: to the stranger who might sojourn within its gates either on business or pleasure bent; to all those who in future years add their achievements to the modern era of genius; does the management of The Embassy Theatre dedicate this beautiful temple of the play. That they may drink of its innocent pleasures, that they wrap themselves in the soft cloak of the arts and existence,-- that they may find surcease from the responsibilities of modern metropolitan life, --that they may enjoy the harmonious tones of beautiful music, --to them to this purpose is this theatre dedicated. Now, back to the present…ad bids have been posted in The Sentinel. This project involves the following work: New membrane roof, masonry repairs and restoration, new masonry openings, new exterior doors, and other miscellaneous repairs. That translates to the work actually starting in early January, at the latest! So, stay tuned for more by picking up future publications of “The Valley” or read our article on-line: www. Once again, we encour-

Jeptha I. Yoder a

All That and a Bag of Chips from page 15 them at no cost to the local public. This yearʼs event will feature local and regional musicians and entertainers, carriage rides, extended business hours, an interactive Big Screen courtesy of GME Communications, childrenʼs activities, and midnight fireworksfollowed by a giant communitysize bag of local favorite Hartleyʼs Potato Chips dropping from the sky as we ring in a new year together.

The Mifflin Juniata Arts Council will host a special Hartleyʼs inspired Pop Art Gallery Show at 3 West Gallery on the square. Local artists’ work will be there to check out. This year’s Chip Drop will also feature a Folk and Traditional Arts exhibit. A collection of work by local and regional traditional artists will be on display, which document the scope of handmade objects, traditional processes, and creativity happening in our area today. Every year weʼve had people stop us to say “We need this here.” Well, the Chip Drop is here because of the support it has received. An idea that started as a joke between reporters was made into reality by an entire community. We hope youʼll help us welcome 2013 and provide a community New Yearʼs celebration of which we can all be proud. Weʼll take a cup of kindness yet for Auld Lang Syne. a

age you to consider becoming a Friend of the Embassy Theatre, plus we are in need of a Recording Secretary at this time. If you are interested in either one of these prospects, please call 717248-0321 or contact us by email at And, you know how else you can help us out? On Saturday, December 8th, HOSS’s in Lewistown will give a percentage of their dining proceeds to us. If you didn’t pick up a required coupon during The Festival Of Ice, you may pick some up at The Mifflin County Historical Society that is located 1 West Market Street in Lewistown at the Historic Courthouse. Please note: Their hours are Tuesday and Wednesday 10:00 to 4:00. The Chamber of Commerce/Visitors Bureau which is also located at the Historic Courthouse will have them as well, and their hours are Monday thru Friday 8:30-4:30. If you can’t get to downtown Lewistown, just email me at: lawsonlodge@centurylink. net and I will email a coupon to you. Please put “HOSS’s Coupon” on the subject line. Happy Holidays from The Friends of The Embassy Theatre! a

The Valley, December 2012

My Grown Up Christmas List by Sarah Hurlburt 1. Love without hypocrisy (This will make a big difference to my spouse, children, parents and friends.) 2. Abhor evil (This may affect what I watch, think about, and take part in but I still want it.) 3. Cling to what is good (In doing so, God will be much more able to help me see the beautiful in life.) 4. Be kindly affectionate to others (This may need to be accompanied by extra divine strength when dealing with difficult people.) 5. Give preference to others (Putting myself aside will not be easy, but is good because “myself” is usually the biggest roadblock to knowing God in a deeper way and in turn my biggest roadblock to joy since I am only complete in Him.) 6. Diligence (No one likes a quitter.) 7. Fervency of Spirit (If I am exhibiting or marked by great intensity glowing from my spirit, it will be hard for others to find something negative to say about me.) 8. Serve the Lord (I’m hoping to do this in every little way, everyday.)

9. Rejoice in hope (May I never forget that even on a bad day I have the hope of eternal life through Jesus Christ) 10. Patient in tribulation (I’m thinking that it’s not smart to ask for patience since I may be given multiple situations in which to perfect it, so I’ll just be content to work on it daily.) 11. Continue steadfastly in prayer (This one is essential since it’s the lifeblood of my relationship with God. I need this gift—maybe it should be #1 on my list because without it, I won’t be able to get any of the other gifts.) 12. Given to hospitality (May I always be willing to share the wonderful blessings that God has given me.) Romans 12:9-13 “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another, not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord, rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer, distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.”


Merry Christmas to all of you and I hope you will consider asking for some of the things on this list as well! They are gifts that will last a lifetime, and beyond really. These are gifts that will also be gifts to those around you and they will continue to give and multiply to more gifts then we could ever count. Plus, you will never get tired of looking at them and haul them to goodwill before another Christmas rolls around. Enjoy your family and friends. Enjoy all the things great or small that you have been blessed with this year. And most of all, enjoy those new slippers, ties, crazy sweaters and other gadgets you have no idea what you’re going to do with. a

HealthSouth Receives State’s first Award for Excellence Acting Secretary of Health Michael Wolf today presented HealthSouth Nittany Valley Rehabilitation Hospital in Pleasant Gap with the state’s first award for “Excellence in Health Care Compliance.” This hospital was one of seven of the state’s 244 health care facilities, and the only one in the region, to receive this award during National Healthcare Quality Week. “As the industry regulators, we understand the importance of identifying best practices and recognizing the strengths that we have here in Pennsylvania,” said Wolf. “This new award was developed to identify facilities dem-

onstrating excellence in meeting state regulations and positively reinforce those actions.” The Department of Health licenses and oversees hospitals statewide including acute care hospitals, long-term acute care hospitals, critical access hospitals, rehabilitation hospitals, children’s hospitals and psychiatric hospitals. In addition, the department onducts approximately 2,000 inspections annually, including licensure and certification surveys, follow-up surveys and complaint investigations. Facilities receiving the award were required to have no health citations during the last state licensure survey and no major life

safety code deficiencies on the last building inspection. All department-licensed hospitals were eligible for the awards and did not need to apply to be considered. “I am extremely honored to accept this first-of-its-kind award on behalf of our physicians and employees who support our hospital’s mission every day by providing high quality healthcare and an excellent patient experience,” said Susan Hartman, CEO of HealthSouth Nittany Valley Rehabilitation Hospital. “The Pennsylvania Department of Health sets high standards for us to achieve and I am proud that we have earned their trust through this award.” a

Front row: Mike Glazer, District Representative, Congressman Glenn “GT” Thompson’s office; Susan Hartman, CEO, HealthSouth Nittany Valley Rehabilitation Hospital; Joanne Salsgiver, Chief Division of Acute and Ambulatory Care, Department of Health. Back Row: Michael Wolf, Acting Secretary of Health, Department of Health; Brandy Reiter, Executive Assistant, Senator Jake Corman’s office; and Ann Chronister, Director, Bureau of Facility Licensure and Certification.


The Valley, December 2012


The Valley, December 2012

Back Talk by Dr. Joseph Kauffman

Holiday Imposters

It’s not a secret that sometimes with the busyness of life coupled with my procrastination, I tend to push the deadline with completing my columns. I do apologize to the editor and publisher. So, I am writing this column on Thanksgiving night and it’s due in less than two days. However, by doing this, I have the chance to stop and reflect on the things for which I am thankful. Jesus Christ dying for my sins to save me tops the list with my wife and kids being a close second. I try to not take things for granted and am thankful for my health, my home, and my job. I love helping people as much as I can and love working with the Power that God gave us of self-healing. But, in order to do my job, I had to go through very rigorous training and schooling. Chiropractic school was all-encompassing for me for all of the years that I had to do it. I had to start out practicing on students and then patients who paid to come in to see me. There were quotas that had to be met before advancement in classes could be accomplished. Working in student clinic while studying for very hard classes and also studying hard in order to pass all four parts of the National Boards proved to be very difficult and close to impossible for many. Some of these difficult classes include radiology where we had to look at an x-ray and be able to know what we were seeing. I am very thankful that I was able to get through all of the education and training that has

molded me into the person that I am today. Chiropractic students go through the same level of training that most medical doctors do; we just specialize in two different areas. One of the things that I have found prevalent in our area, that I have not seen in any other area of the state, is the number of people who pretend to be chiropractors. In our area, I know of at least three individuals who get paid to “manipulate” the spines of paying patients, but have no legal training. Does this sound crazy? It should, because it is crazy! We, as chiropractors, go through all of the education and training in order to not hurt people. So, why do patients get treated by wannabe chiropractors? The ones that I know of tend to have fairly busy establishments. It makes me wonder how many people would go see a pretend gynecologist or a pretend heart surgeon for a heart operation. Sounds ludicrous, but then again why would a person let someone manipulate the neck when that person has not had the formal training, is not insured, licensed, nor is educated on the body’s mechanics and physiology? Applying too much pressure to the ribs in the middle back could cause accidental fractures. Twisting the lower back without having the proper expertise could result in major physiological issues. Allowing someone to do that without the proper training is not only dangerous, but crazy! These people are breaking the law. We need to be licensed to practice and

have to do continuing education in order to stay abreast of the latest changes in the field. These people are practicing without a license. Why have they not been caught? How could they have been doing this for years? Both are excellent questions. What they are doing is dangerous. While being thankful for my ability to do my work and being able to help people, I cannot help but be angry and offended by these people who pretend to do my job. My colleagues and I have had to try to help many patients who have had a bad experience from these pretenders and have been successful when the wannabes were not. There’s a reason for that. We know what we are doing. So, if you need to see a chiropractor, please verify that they have graduated from a chiropractic school, are licensed and insured. Pretend chiropractors can never be licensed. Chiropractors and osteopathic doctors are the only people who can legally move your bones. Anyone else is practicing without a license, and is therefore, breaking the law. Stress is the reason the bones of the spine (vertebrae) misalign. There are three types of stresses that we have to deal with: physical, chemical, and emotional. All of these stresses are obvious during the holiday season. Physical stress can not only be shoveling snow or falling on ice, but it is also driving to the stores, spending hours on your feet shopping and standing while cooking for everyone. All of these

activities take their toll on the body and the muscles and spine. Chemical stress is caused by the things we know to do, but often do not follow, such as not eating enough healthy foods, drinking enough water, or eating too many unhealthy foods, drinking beverages we shouldn’t in excess, or smoking. These things, too, take their toll on the body. But, in my opinion, the worst stress of all is emotional stress. This is the stress we place on ourselves. Examples include: waiting until the last minute to shop, trying to find the “perfect” gift, dealing with people who are doing the same things and in bad moods both in the stores and driving in their cars, grieving for loved ones who are no longer with us during the holidays, or feeling depressed in general. Physical stress is certainly bad and is the main reason people come in to my office, but as soon as the event occurs, the healing process begins. Chiropractic can expedite the healing process by

enabling the body to function at 100%, the way God intended it to function. Chemical stress is also bad, but we know what we need to do, we just have to have the willpower to do it. Don’t overeat, eat healthy things, and remember everything in moderation. Obesity is not only bad for the heart, but it is also tough on the weight-bearing joints such as the feet, ankles, knees, hips and lower back. Emotional stress is the worst because until people can deal with the mental aspect, they continue to suffer this stress through the holidays and it stays with them until they can get past the issue. This type of stress puts tension on the muscles. Since the muscles attach to bones via tendons, tight muscles can pull bones out of place, especially in the spine, leading to misaligned vertebrae and pinched nerves. Chiropractic is not only encouraged, but necessary to fix this problem, but until the stress is dealt with and put in the past, it will continue to recur. We deal with these stresses daily to some degree. But, what matters is how the body deals with these stresses. When our nervous system cannot function the way it was designed, these stresses lead to misalignments which then lead to dis-ease and disease in the body. Remember what Christmas is truly about. Without Christ, there would be no Christmas. Don’t focus on the material end of things. Our staff and our family wish everyone a Safe and Merry Christmas! Dr. Joseph Kauffman Kauffman-Hummel Chiropractic Clinic 247 East Third Street Lewistown, PA 17044 717-248-2506 a

The Valley, December 2012


Joanne Wills-Kline Contentment Quest Chiaroscuro-our Finances This month we round out our three month examination of chiaroscuro – the high contrast in our lives: work, home, and finances. What better time than December to examine contrast in our finances?! In this season of gift giving, it is easy to get swayed into over indulgent spending. Advertising and marketing programs entice us to open our wallets and spend. How does it happen? How do we become mesmerized and thus hand over our money? What is the core reason we often become spell-bound by materialism? I believe it is because at the core of it all, it is about acceptance, belongingness, and love. We often give gifts as a token of our appreciation, acceptance, love, and desire to belong. Sometimes the gifts we choose to give exceed our financial health and debt and dis-ease results. It is possible to move through the gift giving season and not overspend – not experience anxiety over the credit card statements in January. I believe it is certainly possible

to move through the holiday and gift giving season with a healthy budget in tact. Let’s take a deep peek into our December traditions and our relationship to finances. December is the season of light, love, and gift giving. I believe that thousands of years ago the greatest gift of love and light was bestowed upon humanity. The gift arrived in conditions synonymous with lack and squalor. The humble conditions did not affect brightness of the light or the level of love that the gift represented. The gift was given to all – the rich and the poor – and was given without conditions or contingencies. The greatest gift could not be bought or sold with money because it was given in the spirit of the highest form of love. Now, take a moment and recall your gift giving experiences. What was the purpose of giving? Was it for an occasion – holiday, birthday, etc.? Did you give because someone gave to you first? Did you give in joy and from your heart? Did you carefully select

the gift or was the process rushed and burdensome? As you conduct your memory recall, notice what emotions and sensations you experience – contraction, openness, fatigue, high-energy, joy, anxiety, fear, happiness, guilt, love? What emotions seem to dominate your memory recall? Next, consider how or why you would wish to adapt or change your gift giving experiences. Pledge to give with a “new heart” this season. Pledge to give in love. What steps do you need to take to assure yourself that you will have the freedom to give only in love with an open heart? Set your steps in motion. Do away with gift giving situations that no longer “fit” your authentic self, or who you are striving to become. Pledge to give from the guidelines of your healthy financial budget – do not break the gifting budget for any reason. Now, let’s examine money. Money, also referred to as “currency” is really just an exchange medium. I like to think of money as the medium for which you exchange your life. In other words, for every dollar you earn, save, or spend; you have had to exchange some amount of your time – your time of your life. If you work one hour and make “X” amount of money, then you exchange one hour of your lifetime in exchange for that “X” amount of cash. Maybe we need to ask ourselves what are we exchanging our lives for? Let thoughts about currency

and time exchange settle in your bones. Are you getting a fair exchange? How can you add value to the time and currency exchange that you experience? Keep the thoughts fresh as you begin your holiday shopping, which may help you to determine new values in terms of spending money. As you pick and chose holiday gifts for those on your giftgiving list, stop and ask yourself what is the motive of each gift you give? Do you give the gift in the energy of service, stewardship, and love? If not, could you select another gift (or handcraft a gift) that will more closely align with such values? If you cannot remember why you give certain gifts – maybe you have exchanged for years and it’s now just habit – then DO NOT give the gift. If you honestly know or sense that the gift giving motives are rooted in boastfulness or selfishness then break that gift giving habit this year – choose not to exchange. Do not get lured into a gift exchange situation that creates a sense of discomfort – just politely say no. How can we align our values, gift giving practices, and budgets in a healthy manner? First, do not spend from a state of strong

emotion. Strive to remain neutral, analytical, and critical in your thinking as you approach purchases and money exchanges. Second, re-think your gift giving traditions. Should changes be made such as reduced gift purchases or lower monetary limits on gift giving? Discuss concerns with fellow gift givers. If your ideas are balked at, let the fellow givers know you WILL be sticking to your budget or new reduced amount – period. It is important to stand on a strong foundation of financial health – even if it produces criticism from others. Lastly, consider giving the gift of a service or experience. Could you provide a service or deliver an experience that would be a gift well received? If so, go for it! Many times we tend to value experiences and services over “stuff.” In closing, pledge to keep your attention on the “gifts” that matter most: love, hope, faith, and charity. Pledge to find ways to give charity and love. Find ways to raise hope and faith among fellow mankind. Find ways to let the light of your spirit shine bright during this holiday season. Find ways to give of yourself in love and light. Many blessings to you and yours in this season of light. ~JoAnn a

The Valley, December 2012

Life in the East End by Rebecca Harrop Out in the East End, as well as in other areas, all our harvesting is done for the year. Now Uncle Bob and Ben have time to do the repairs they put off until winter when they have more time. Some people think a farmer doesn’t have much to do over winter, but I can tell you that isn’t true at all! There is manure to haul, pens to clean, cattle to move, plus all the repairs and equipment maintenance that need to be done before another growing season. It’s also the time to look back at the seed varieties we grew this year to see which ones did well and which ones didn’t, along with taking stock of the other supplies we use. Then we decide what we will grow and use next spring. Usually by the end of December or early January we will start ordering our seeds and supplies for next spring. So there are lots of things to keep us busy over winter. I hope you all enjoyed a Happy Thanksgiving with family and friends. We’ve enjoyed a very Happy Thanksgiving. We had a great meal and enjoyed visiting with family. I always like having leftovers from the meal. My Mom will make turkey filling casserole and sometimes I like that more than the turkey meal. It’s one of those meals we all love. Fall is almost over and winter is on the way. Hopefully this winter we will have a little more snow than we did last year. I really love snow. I like sled riding, making snow angels, and snowball fights. Snowballs have a way of bringing out the kid in everybody. My uncles Dan and Dave are both good examples of that. As long as I can remember Rachel and I have had snowball fights with our brothers and uncles. You even have to watch my Dad because he will get into a good snowball fight. Although

I understand from Ben, Dad likes to throw tomatoes as well. I guess he hit Ben in the face with one several years ago. Last year I would be at the barn carrying my milk to feed the calves to the truck and out of nowhere, it seemed, a snowball would come, flying and smack me on the back or on the side of the head. Don’t worry, I usually got even! Snow also means one of my favorite treats, hot chocolate and marshmallows made with MILK, not water. We usually use Nestle Quik, but sometimes my Mom will make it the way her Mom made it from scratch. It is really good. It’s the best part of snowy weather. Of course, December means Christmas is coming! I love all the things that come with Christmas. I love the smells of cooking and baking, the tree, candles burning,

the cold and yes, cold has a smell. I love the decorations on the tree, in people’s yards, and on doors, everywhere. It’s a happy time of year, not just because of the presents we get, but because of the one special present we get every year. The gift God gave us, his son. It doesn’t seem possible we will be starting a new year again very soon. Why is it when I was in school, time seemed to go so slow? We couldn’t wait until we turned 13 to be “teenagers,” then we couldn’t wait until we were 16 to get our driver’s license. Now I’m 21 and it seems time is going much faster. I hear older people say how fast time flies and now I realize what they mean. I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year from the East End! a


The Valley, December 2012


Cave Echoes by Marge Delozier-Noss and Nikki Santangelo

Our Himalayan salt cave has been open one year now. It has been a year of amazing happenings and gifts. I am grateful that we took the leap of faith and built the cave with the limited information that we had. I have often told people this year that I believe it was a GOD thing. It was through His guidance and direction that we were able to bring the cave to completion and then get the message out there so that people would not only come, but have the benefits that the Himalayan salt has to offer. Another gift has been in meeting so many wonderful people and hearing so many miraculous stories as to how the cave has helped them. Truly, almost every day someone was telling me an almost unbelievable story as to how they felt better, were out of pain from some debilitating disease, was able to breathe better, sleep better, rid of skin issues and on and on. Let me tell you a bit of our year’s journey and some of my favorite stories. As you may know,

all it takes is to simply come, sit in the cave for 45 minutes, on a non-gravity lounge chair, breathe in the salt air, and let your body absorb the benefits of the salt. Since it is anti-inflammatory and anti-viral, pretty much everyone will benefit from a session in the cave. The fact that the salt also gives off negative ions and helps to balance our environment, it can help in many other things as well….like migraine headaches for example. Also, the salt has 84 mineral elements that we all need. So my favorite story concerning that is when a woman shared with us after several visits that her hair had stopped falling out! Her body was lacking something, which she was able to receive and absorb from the salt cave. Our bodies are wise and will heal themselves if we would just sometimes get out of the way and enable them to do that….naturally. My favorite testament perhaps is about a woman who after each of her chemo treatments came and sat in the salt cave.

Chemotherapy can be different for everyone with many different side effects. This particular woman had NO side effects. She did not feel bad in any way. Her daughter was so amazed, thrilled and relieved that she decided to “pay it forward.” She lives in Nashville and has built a cave there that just opened last month. Now, she will extend amazing healthy benefits in her community. We have many people that come in now after their chemo sessions and just sit in the cave. It helps with their pain, helps them to sleep better at night, and improves their energy generally. One of my other favorite clients is Carol. She hardly had enough breath to carry on a conversation when she first started to come to the cave. She has increased her lung capacity from about 22% to 47%. Her doctor was amazed when they did her last test! She comes to the cave weekly, has 2 lamps in her home and uses the Himalayan salt inhaler daily. She can talk your leg

off now! I love it when people share with me that they have been able to stop using a prescriptive medication when they no longer need it. No more side effects from it and no costs! So many people are using the Himalayan salt inhaler. They will tell me how they no longer have that constant little cough or nasal drip, or they are no longer taking Sudafed or other decongestants daily. They, of course, are breathing better but whether they realize it or not, their nasal passages are actually healing from the Himalayan salt as are their lungs. This is why Dr. Oz REALLY recommends the inhaler for everyone. Even if you don’t have any sinus, or allergy issues, if your nasal passages and lungs are clear and clean…then when the person walking by you has the flu or a cold…you will not be as susceptible to it. One of the other really neat

(and inexpensive) accessories is the exfoliating bar. SO many people tell me their amazing stories when they come in. How it will get rid of their acne, dry skin, eczema, psoriasis, and even other skin bumps and marks. If you have never visited the Himalayan cave and still have questions, or are just not able to believe all these amazing stories, please join me at the Mt. Nittany Inn in Centre Hall on Dec 12th at 5:30-7:00PM for a FREE informative evening. I will have product there to talk about and I will share more information about the cave. Please call 1 – 800- 232-1670 to reserve your complimentary seat. There will also be light refreshments! In closing, let me say how grateful I am for those of you who have come and experienced the benefits of Himalayan salt therapy. My wish for the New Year is that more of you will find your way to the salt cave and experience better health in the next year. I am not promising you amazing results in one visit always. Trusting in a natural alternative in this country is rather new and unique to some. I believe we are all responsible

Continued on page 45


The Valley, December 2012

Scouting News

Planning And Saving For Higher Education

Pack 20

By Judy L. Loy, ChFC A college education has been the ticket to sustaining or reaching the middle class in America. It is becoming increasingly difficult to afford because tuition increases have outpaced inflation by a wide margin over the past ten years. The burden to pay for College can lead to a later retirement or a large debt load for a child’s guardians. Higher education, like any other financial goal, needs to be planned out and decisions made earlier rather than later. Preparing early for any financial objective is important. Therefore, starting as soon as a baby is born is vital. Socking money away into a mutual fund can be done with merely $50 a quarter; that’s less than 56 cents a day. The hard part is just starting it. We all find excuses for not doing the things that are good for us, such as exercising, eating right, and saving or investing. Once you decide to start investing for your child’s future, what are the best avenues and options? The Uniform Gift to Minors Act (UGMA) or Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA) accounts are created to gift money to a minor. The accounts have a custodian (an adult, typically a parent) that directs the investments and any distributions before the age of majority. There are no income limits to opening an UGMA and $13,000 (the current gifting limit) is the most that can

Centre Hall

be gifted into the account per person in one year. Therefore, a husband and wife could invest $26,000 into the UGMA account for their daughter or son in 2012. The money in a UGMA account is under the minor’s social security number and there are no tax deductions or deferral advantages to the plan. For further detail on how the accounts are taxed, speak to an accountant or advisor. These accounts can be used for anything that benefits the child and is not limited to education. The downside is that when the beneficiary minor reaches the age of majority (21 in Pennsylvania), the beneficiary may assume control. This means the money placed in the account may be used at their discretion. The most popular vehicle at present for saving specifically for college is a 529 Plan. Money from the plan can be used for tuition, supplies, fees, books and equipment, excluding computers, that a higher education school requires. The 529 has many tax advantages. Earnings grow tax-free federally and qualified distributions for higher education expenses are tax-free. The account has an owner, usually the person funding the account and a beneficiary, the person expected to use the money from the plan for higher education. The owner maintains control of the assets and can change the beneficiary (unlike the UGMA where the beneficiary

has received an irrevocable gift). The benefits of the 529 are many given the tax advantages and the ability for the owner to maintain control of the account. The downside is that the money needs to be used for higher education expenses or money withdrawn is taxed and has a 10% penalty. To avoid this, if one child is not going to college and has a sibling, the owner can change the beneficiary to the child that is attending a university. The benefits and disadvantages to each type of account are many and I could not go into the full detail of each in a short article. For further information, speak to a financial advisor who can help find the right college investment vehicle for your family.

“Cub Scout Pack 20 of Centre Hall was pleased to have the opportunity to help their neighbors during the Annual Scouting for Food Drive November 3-10th. The boys looked forward to their outing and the outpouring of support from the Centre Hall

Judy L. Loy, ChFC® , is CEO of Nestlerode & Loy, Inc., an investment firm celebrating their 75th year and located in Centre County. More info at www. a

Community was abundant. Pack 20 holds den meeting at Grace United Methodist Church on the First and Third Mondays and their Pack meeting on the Third Friday of each month. If you are interested in scouting, please stop in and find out more. “ Scout Leader Danan Sharer, Brennan Hyde, John Dunklebarger, lower, l to r, Garret Sharer, Aiden Korman, Luca Hipp and Keyton Gurner. These scouts hung door tags on November 3rd. Missing from this photo is Adrian Gover. from left to right: Adrian Gover, Brennan Hyde, Dereck Vones, Luca Hipp and Keytan Miller. These were the scouts that picked up food on Saturday, November 10th.

The Valley, December 2012


Ed’s Railroading News by Ed Forsythe

As December, the final month of 2012, arrives, the election is over and may our Heavenly Father add his blessing to our great country. It’s also the final edition of The Valley for this year and all my railroading ramblings. Thank you all for reading my articles and I hope you enjoyed them. As for railroading information this month, there’s plenty to enjoy. The lights will be on each night in the Derry Township Park, The Old Kish Park, for those of us that kind of refuse to accept the newer names of things. Speaking of the Old Kish Park, don’t forget to pick-up a copy of the new book about the park’s history. This book has been researched and written by Paul Fagley and is available at the Mifflin County Historical Society in the old Mifflin County Court House and also at my shop, Ed’s Train Repairs and Sales in Vira. I will be selling these books for the historical society. Speaking

of the old name, there are many of us that would like to see the name re-changed back to “Kish Park. As Paul was talking to the Derry Township supervisors, this subject came up and if people would let the supervisors know their desires, the name could easily be changed back to Kish Park as it was changed by proclamation originally. For those who would like to get the name changed back, please just call 717-248-8151 to let the supervisors know. Now, back to the project of “Shining Light Through the Darkness.” Each evening from December 8th to January 4th, the park will be all lit-up for the Christmas holidays. There is a really nice walking tour of the park and for those who have problems walking, rides are available. Also, several nights there will be carriage rides available compliments of several of our local churches. There will be free cookies, treats,

hot chocolate and coffee also available as well as entertainment to be enjoyed by all. Now for my special likes, several of us will be building a large train layout and a winter scene village in the room just beside the theater in the park. This room will be heated and will be an interesting place to relax while enjoying everything else the park has to offer. We will be running several types and sizes of trains through an interesting village scene. Please tell all your friends and come on out and enjoy the free works of dozens of volunteers. As a side note, we are always looking for more people to volunteer time to help out. Believe it or not, it is very fulfilling to do this work even if it is only a few hours one evening or several times over the month. The more people that help out, the less work each person needs to do. Anyone wanting to assist, please contact me or Cathy at Ed’s Train Repairs and Sales at 717 248 4862 for information. As reminder, please also check out all the activities at the Rockhill Trolley Museum for some really neat trolley rides in December. Information can be obtained

Home Brew U

Adventures in Homebrewing by Kevin Morgan

Hard Cider Is Easy! It’s that time of the year when the leaves have fallen, the crops are harvested, and you can find fresh apple cider in gallon jugs at some of the local stories. You can take that cider and transform it into an alcoholic beverage with relative ease. There are a few things to be weary of, but overall it’s fast, fun, and tasty. Before we get started, how about a little back ground knowledge on hard cider. The history of hard cider is very interesting. According to some sources, it was used by the ancient Phoenicians, but the first recorded reference to hard cider came after the Norman Conquest around 1066. Hard cider then slowly made its way down from England to France. Cider has remained a main drink in England where the highest consumption currently occurs. Only nine years after first landing at Plymouth in 1620, European colonists planted apple trees in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In Colonial America,

cider was the most common beverage, and even children drank it in a diluted form. In many places, the water was not safe to drink and most homesteads had an apple orchard. Pressing and fermenting fresh apple juice was the easiest way to preserve the large fruit harvest. Due to the Industrial Revolution, many people left the rural countryside and went to find work in cities, which led to the abandonment of many to these large orchards. The most damaging factor for cider was the rise of the Temperance movement. By the time Prohibition was enacted in 1919, the production of cider in the U.S. had slipped to only 13 million gallons, down from 55 million gallons in 1899. Over the next several decades, the once proud American tradition of cider making was kept alive by only a few local farmers and enthusiasts. In recent years there has been a resurgent interest in cider making, and today cider is one of the fastest-growing segments of the

liquor industry. Hard cider is the easiest thing I have ever brewed up, but I have had a few issues along the way. First off, do not think you can go to Wal-Mart or the Weis store and purchase just any apple juice and ferment it. You want a cider that is not from concentrate, which can be hard to find at these stores. And, if you do find a cider not from concentrate. it does not mean you are in good shape. One time I thought I found a good cider to work with; the label said not from concentrate. I added some honey and raspberries to it to make it unique, and pitched some yeast. After 3 days there was still no movement with my air lock, so I added some yeast nutrient and pitched more yeast, but nothing happened. Now I was beside myself! What’s going on—this has always worked in the past. After doing a little research, the answer was crystal clear. FOOD PERSERVATIVES. Sodium benzoate & potassium sorbate both have the ability to breakdown the cell membranes of yeast. That was a painful experi-

from.....rockhilltrolleymuseum. org. or reread last month’s article in The Valley. The Mifflin County Model Railroad Club’s annual Open House and fund raiser is also running full steam ahead right now beginning with the Ice Festival in downtown Lewistown and continuing on December 1st, 2nd, 8th, 15th and 29th from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. All of these events are FREE, but we will accept donations to help us defray our expenses. Reread last months article for many more details about our train layouts. Time is getting close to Christmas so if you’re thinking about adding something to your railroad or beginning in the hobby, please check-out Ed’s Train Shop and get your repairs in now so you can have them back by Christmas. Christmas trees and trains have gone hand-in-hand since Lionel started the tradition more than 100 years ago. So, enjoy your trains at Christmas, but please don’t forget the real meaning of the holiday, The birth of Jesus Christ. Merry Christmas and Happy Railroading! ~ Ed a ence to junk all that money into the woods—what a waste. Most homebrewer’s blogs state that you can use juice with less than 1% of these preservatives. Do not tempt fate, use only apple cider that has no preservatives and is unpasteurized. Sometimes the label will state that ultraviolet light was used to kill off some of the bacteria; this is fine. Another point is use the cider soon after purchasing, because the cider will start to naturally ferment in the jugs. There are a few things I like to add to the cider before I pitch the yeast. The sugar content of apples is much lower than grapes, so you should add some other sugars to the mix. I have found two pounds of honey per three gallons of cider will usually give me an ABV (alcohol by volume) percentage of 7%. Take one gallon of cider on the stove and raise the temperature to 170 degrees F. Remove the cider from the heat source and mix in the honey. Now, just pour the honey/cider mixture into your bucket and add your other two gallons of cider. The other thing I always add is a pectinase or pectin enzyme. The pectinase will eat up some of the fibrous material and provide a cleaner product. Just add it to the bucket before the yeast. The last thing you can add are berries, spices, raisins or another fruit— basically anything you think

would make an interesting product. Mix well and you can pitch ale yeast. Let it ferment for a few weeks in the primary, then move to the secondary. You can bottle it after another month or so. At this point, you can either prime it like you would a beer for sparkling cider (my choice) or not (which is the more traditional method). As you can see there is no boiling in the process and it does not take much time to start a batch of hard cider. So next time you run across some fresh pressed apples or pears, grab a few jugs and mix up a batch of hard cider. Technically, you do not even need yeast to make it ferment if you purchase the right juice, just a creative imagination. Until next month, may your cup runneth over and Happy Holidays. a

The Valley, December 2012

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The Valley, December 2012

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The Valley, December 2012

Notes Hospital Hosts Annual Festival of Baskets Festival of Baskets Raffle featuring unique themed baskets created by hospital departments and friends. Winners will be drawn on Friday, December 7 at 1:00 PM. Tickets are $1.00 each or 6 for $5.00. You need not be present to win. For ticket sale information, call (717) 2427225. Proceeds benefit Friends of Lewistown Hospital.

Friends of Lewistown Hospitals Hosts Dance Marathon Friends of Lewistown Hospital will host a “Dance Your Heart Out” 24 hour dance marathon for grades 6 and up on February 2, 2013 at 10:00 AM thru Sunday, February 3, at 10:00 AM, at Rec Park Community Center in Lewistown. The event will include: 10-12 people per team, prizes throughout the event, food stand activities, games, dancing, competitions, photo booth and more! Every team member gets a t-shirt and there is a prize for the most creative team name and team t-shirt design. For more information and to register log, onto or call (717) 242-7486. The Dance Marathon benefits the CHF (Congestive Heart Failure) Program at Lewistown Hospital. This program provides education, guidance and support to patients with CHF in our community. a

Free Diabetes Day Talk “Using Bariatric Surgery to Treat Type 2 Diabetes” In honor of Diabetes Day, Virginia M. Wray, DO, CNSP, and Medical Director for Family Health Associates Weight Management & Nutrition Center, will present, “Using Bariatric Surgery to Treat Type 2 Diabetes,” on Wednesday, November 14, 2012, at 6:00 p.m. in Lewistown Hospital’s 4th floor classroom. Topics discussed include: the types of bariatric surgery available, who is eligible for bariatric surgery, and how bariatric surgery can be used as a tool to help significantly overweight diabetics lose weight and control their blood sugar. Dr. Wray will also discuss how to prepare for bariatric surgery, as well as insurance requirements and the risks and benefits of each procedure. Light refreshments will be available. After the lecture, there will be time for questions and discussion. For any questions, call (717) 242-7198 or visit www.lewistownhospital. org. a

The DASH Diet: An eating plan for life by Kerry Whitelock, D.O. I have long been a supporter of the DASH diet commissioned by The National Institutes of Health and based on multiple research studies. Originally designed to lower blood pressure, the DASH diet stands for Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension, and focuses on incorporating fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and low-fat dairy products into the diet. The DASH eating plan is about 2,200 calories a day with each day to include: • 3-4 servings of fruit (a serving is one piece or 1/2 cup) • 3-4 servings of vegetables (a serving is 1/2 cup cooked or raw or 1 cup of leafy vegetables) • 2-3 servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy (a serving is 1 cup milk or yogurt or 1-1/2 oz. cheese) • 1 serving of beans, nuts, or seeds (a serving is 1/2 cup cooked beans, 1/3 cup nuts, or 2 Tbs. seeds) • 2 servings of lean meat, fish, or poultry (a serving is 2-3 oz. cooked) • 3 servings of whole grains (a serving is 1 slice bread, 1 tortilla, 1/2 bagel or bun, or 1/2 cup cooked rice or pasta) • 2 servings of healthy fats (a serving is 1 Tbs. olive oil, 2

Tbs. olive oil vinaigrette, 1 oz. dark chocolate, or 1/2 cup light ice cream)

• You can see from the food choices that this way of eating is full of protein and fiber, which can make you feel full. It is easy to stick to the correct portions by following the My Plate program. When viewing a dinner plate, cover half of the plate with fruits and vegetables, one quarter with lean meats, and one quarter with a starch product. If you switch from a dinner plate to a salad plate, your portions will naturally be smaller. You can see from the food choices that this diet is loaded with protein and fiber, which can make you feel really full. It is easy to stick to the correct portions. Also, take time to review product labels carefully; know not only the portion size, but the amount of sugar, fiber, and salt in each portion. Here are some other tips. For people on a budget, you can use canned fruits and vegetables, as long as they are thoroughly rinsed to get rid of added salt or sugar. For those who can’t tolerate dairy products, look for soy milk or soy products. I also recommend adding a moderate amount of exercise at least five days a week such as

walking, bike riding, swimming, or working out in a gym. I have seen very good results from people who make the DASH diet a part of their normal routine. Some patients have been able to help lower their blood pressure by up to 14 points. Others have greatly reduced their blood pressure medication requirement. This diet can also help reduce cholesterol levels, stabilize sugar intake, and help people lose weight. It doesn’t matter where you live or the size of your family, anyone can follow this eating plan. By incorporating the plan into your life, you can help all family members eat more healthfully and manage their weight for life. Kerry Whitelock, D.O., is an internal medicine physician with a masters in nutrition. She practices with Mount Nittany Physician Group, Bellefonte, 814-355-7322. More info at a

Lewistown Hospital’s Diabetes Educators Achieve Renewal of Certified Diabetes Educator® Status

The National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators (NCBDE) announced that Diabetes Educators at Lewistown Hospital, Pat Wolf, RN, CDE, and Julie Fisher, RD, LDN, CDE, have renewed their Certified Diabetes® (CDE®) status by successfully completing the continuing education renewal option process. Candidates must meet rigorous eligibility requirements to be eligible for certification. Achieving the CDE® credential demonstrates to people with diabetes and employers that the health care professional possesses distinct and specialized knowledge, thereby promoting quality of care for people with diabetes. Currently, there are over 17,400 diabetes educators who (L-R): Julie Fisher, RD, hold NCBDE certification. LDN, CDE, and Pat Wolf, RN, CDE, both diabetes For more information, visit www.lewistownhospital. educators at the Diabetes org/diabetes a Resource Center at Lewistown Hospital.

WWT Answers: (1) Oklahoma (1907) (2) George Washington (3) Four (Past, Present, Future, and the boy).

The Valley, December 2012


POOR WILL’S VALLEY ALMANACK for December of 2012 by Bill Felker

Shine warmly down, thou sun of noon-time, On this chill pageant, melt and move The winter’s frozen heart with love. And, soft and low, thou wind south-blowing, Breathe through a veil of tenderest haze, Thy prophecy of summer days. --John Greenleaf Whittier THE STARS If you get up to do your chores around five or six o’clock in the morning, you will see the evening sky of mid April. The Milky Way, along with winter’s Orion and Sirius, the Dog Star, will be setting in the far west. Above you will shine the corn-planting star, Regulus. Arcturus, the star that favors the seeding of squash and tomatoes, will be the brightest light in the east, and the pointers of the Big Dipper will be positioned almost exactly north-south. THE SUN Winter solstice occurs at 6:11 a.m. on December 21, and on the 24th, the sun’s declination makes its very first move towards spring, shifting just a fraction of a degree from 23 minutes 26 seconds to 23 minutes 25 seconds. THE PLANETS Venus is the morning star in Libra as Early Winter opens. Mars is in Sagittarius, rising after sunup and sinking below the western horizon by supper time. Jupiter, continuing its residency in Taurus, lies in the far west before dawn. Saturn in Virgo precedes Venus before daybreak. THE SHOOTING STARS The Geminids, appear at the rate of about 40 to 50 per hour on De-

cember 13-14. Find them following behind Orion in Gemini. The Ursid meteors will fall across the sky late at night deep in the northeast around the Big Dipper and Little Dipper, the Ursid or “bear” constellations, between December 17 and 25. THE S.A.D. STRESS INDEX The year’s twelfth month usually puts an edge on seasonal affective disorders. All the leaves have fallen, the weather is cold, the sky is gray, and the nights are the longest of the year: a perfect recipe for S.A.D. Key for Interpreting the S.A.D. Index: Totals of: 75 - 65: S.A.D. Alert: Severe Stress for those who suffer from seasonal affective disorders; 64 - 50: Severe to moderate stress; 49 - 35: Moderate stress; 34 - 25: Light to moderate stress; 24 and below: Only people with extreme sensitivity to S.A.D. experience seasonal affective disorders below an Index reading of 24. Day Clouds Weather Dayl 1: 21 18 24 10: 23 19 25 20: 25 21 25 31: 24 23 25

Totals 63 66 71 72

PEAK ACTIVITY TIMES FOR LIVESTOCK, FISH, GAME & DIETERS Fish, game, livestock and people tend to feed more and are more active as the barometer is falling one to three days before the weather systems that arrive near the following dates: December 2, 8, 15, 20, 25 & 29. Seek food and offer food at midday when the moon is new, in the afternoon and evening when the moon is in its first quarter, at night when the moon is full and in its third quarter, in the morning when the moon is in its fourth quarter. DECEMBER - WEEK 1 THE FINAL WEEK OF LATE FALL LUNAR PHASE AND LORE

The Deer Mating Moon enters its last quarter at 10:32 a.m. on December 6. Rising in the evening and setting in the morning, this moon moves overhead, its most favourable position for fishing and for scouting for game, before dawn. The approach of cold waves due on December 3 and 8 is expected to lower the barometric pressure and to enhance the likelihood of human, animal and finny activity. Dropping barometric pressure may increase the likelihood of joint pain and depression. The moon’s position in Scorpio on the 9th and 10th favors seeding of bedding plants for next spring. WEATHER TRENDS Average highs fall three degrees this week into the lower 40s, and typical lows decline to the middle 20s. The first December cold front usually arrives between the 1st and the 3rd, bringing a 40 percent chance for rain or snow on those days. The 4th and 5th are dry two years in three; the 6th, however, usually anticipates the second high pressure system of the month, and is wet half the days in my record. Highs sometimes reach the 60s this week of the year, but only five percent of the time. Odds are far better for chilly afternoons in the 30s and 40s and lows well below freezing. December 1 is usually the brightest day of the week, with a 60 percent chance for sun; on the other days of this period, odds are better than 50/50 for clouds. DECEMBER - WEEK 2 THE FIRST WEEK OF EARLY WINTER LUNAR PHASE AND LORE The Deer Mating Moon wanes throughout the week, becoming the new Crow Gathering moon on December 13 at 3:42 a.m. Great flocks of crows now come together to feed in open corn and soybean fields. And since crows are some of the more intelligent

creatures, and since they have been known to make use of tools, there is no telling what they may be planning. Be that as it may, this new moon comes overhead in the middle of the day, making that time the most favorable lunar period for fishing and for finding game. As cold fronts approach around the 13th and 17th, the barometer is expected to fall, increasing the likelihood that you will catch more fish and find more game (but be hungrier and possibly more depressed and have more aches and pains). But lunar position in Capricorn on the 13th through the 15th is especially favorable for setting out the last bulbs for spring and for seeding bedding plants for May. WEATHER TRENDS Most Decembers bring one or two days above 60, and four days in the 50s - those temperatures frequently recorded before the arrival of early winter. The remaining afternoons reach into the 40s seven times, into the 30s thirteen times, finding the 20s three times, and remaining in the teens or lower on three occasions. A morning or two below zero is experienced three years in ten. The sixteen-week snow period begins within the next seven days. DECEMBER - WEEK 3 THE SECOND WEEK OF EARLY WINTER LUNAR PHASE AND LORE The Crow Gathering Moon waxes throughout the period, gathering crows to feed in the soybean and corn fields, and entering its second quarter on December 20 at 12:19 a.m. Rising in the afternoon and setting in the middle of the night, this moon travels overhead in the evening. Lunar position above you favors late-afternoon angling and scouting for game, especially as the cold front of December 20 approaches. The moon will be in Pisces between December 17 and 20, and in Taurus between

the 22nd and the 25th, providing those days with a little extra lunar benevolence for seeding of bedding plants. The moon’s relatively weak phase this week may tend to lighten seasonal affective disorders and may make holiday pressures less stressful. WEATHER TRENDS Most high temperatures are in the 30s and 40s this week of the year, but warm 50s and 60s come an average of ten to fifteen percent of the time. On the other hand, highs only in the teens or 20s can occur an average of one day out of ten. The 22nd is usually the mildest day of the week, bringing a 55 percent chances for a high above 50. Every day this week has about the same chance for snow: a 20 to 25 percent chance. Add another 20 percent chance for rain. As for below zero mornings, they come more often on the 20th (three years out of 15) than on any other December day. DECEMBER - WEEK 4 THE THIRD WEEK OF EARLY WITNER LUNAR PHASE AND LORE The Crow Gathering Moon waxes through the week, becoming completely full on December 28 at 5:21 a.m. Rising in the afternoon and setting in the morning, this moon moves overhead in the middle of the night. The most favorable time for fishing and finding game will be when the moon travels beneath this part of Earth, close to noon, and those conditions will be especially propitious at the approach of the Christmas cold front and the New Year’s cold front. Seeding of bedding plants should be most successful if done under Taurus on the 22nd through the 25th or in Cancer on the 27th through the 30th. WEATHER TRENDS The last days of the year are typically dominated by the Christmas cold front, which chills the 26th and 27th (70 percent chance of


The Valley, December 2012 highs only in the 30s or below), then moderates as the first highpressure system of the new year approaches (bringing a 40 percent chance of highs in the 40s or above). After the passage of the New Year’s weather system, highs remain below 40 on 80 percent of the afternoons. The likelihood of precipitation increases as the old year fades. From a 35 percent chance of rain or snow on the 27th, chances increase to a 55 percent chance on the 31st. The 1st is usually windy and dry, with just a 20 percent chance for flurries. Full moon on the 28th is likely to cause travel problems throughout the East. A DAYBOOK FOR DECEMBER December 1: In warmer years, established crocus and iris may be pushing up through their mulch. Increase protection for all plants that break dormancy early by covering with generous amounts of straw. December 2: Since the moon may exert less influence on ocean tides and on human and animal behavior when it comes into its 2nd and 4th quarters, you might find it easier to transport animals or perform routine maintenance for your livestock on or about December 6 and 20. Surgery on people and animals is also often recommended near these dates. December 3: Summer’s pokeweed stalks burst in the night cold. Milkweed seeds scatter along the roadsides. The last woolly bear caterpillars disappear, marking one of the many borders of autumn (like the silver maple, pear and beech leaves falling, new growth on the spruce, the end of witch hazel flowers, and the first snow). December 4: Craneflies spin in the afternoon sun. Moss is still bright green on rotting logs. A few red raspberry leaves and a few red honeysuckle berries hold on. A few sweet gum seed balls continue to swing in the wind. December 5: In the woods, whitetail deer enter their secondary rutting period, which lasts approximately two weeks. Osage fruits are yellowing, scattered across the ground. Black walnut hulls, shredded by squirrels, stain porches and driveways. December 6: Below-zero lows now remain a possibility through the first week of March. Across the northern tier of states, today is the last day with the chance of temperatures above 70 until the middle of January. December 7: As you schedule estimated due dates for each of your

pregnant does and ewes, also do an estimated time of day for each, basing your assessment on the time of previous births or the time of day the mother of the animal gave birth to her. December 8: Lunar forces have been shown to be greater at full moon and new moon times. You might expect more trouble with your flock, herd, children, partner or in-laws, therefore, on or about December 13 and 28. December 9: As the chances for severe temperatures increase, protect rose bushes with collars and mulch. December 10: Most second flowering of forsythia is finished. Basal leaf clusters of carnations, sweet rockets, celandine, garlic mustard, poppies, lamb’s ear, and daisies remain green underneath the snow. Herbs can still be gathered from the garden until the ground freezes. December 11: In southern Florida, mangos are in full bloom now and will produce fruit for harvest in late June through August. Ruby red grapefruits are ready to eat in the groves north of Miami. December 12: Order your pasture seeds and schedule your pasture frost seeding for January and February, the time that the dramatic thaws of early spring can occur well into the North. December 13: Under the auspices of the new moon, greenhouse workers are taking cuttings from mother plants for future stocks of varieties such as impatiens and geraniums. Don’t be left behind: try taking cuttings of anything you hope to propagate. Along the 40th Parallel, the sun begins to set later, starting its movement toward summer. December 14: Keep track of winter colors: Brown-barked river birches and white birches contrast with the black trunks of oaks and elms. Red-twigged dogwoods stand out against the snow. December 15: New curly dock is often growing back in the wetlands. The freshest spears can be picked and used for salad greens, or sautéed with onions and maybe a small piece of bacon. December 16: The gull migration, the last major bird migration activity for 2012, ends near this date. December 17: Fallen leaves are matting down from the rain and snow, freezing and thawing, their bright middle-autumn colors gone, faded to a uniform, dull brown, some leaves being overgrown in milder winters by the foliage of asters, ragwort, and hemlock. December 18: A few pussy willow catkins could be opening.

December 19: The Christmas tree harvest is over. Odds against the survival of garden vegetables rise sharply as the full force of the December 15 cold front settles across Pennsylvania. December 19 through 25 are the shortest days of the year throughout the nation. December 20: In the dark afternoons in December, orchids are in their prime; under lights, in a greenhouse, or in a south window, most varieties will bloom before Christmas. December 21: A tree, outbuilding, or neighbor’s chimney is suitable for tracking solar movement after solstice (today). The further north the sun progresses from the chosen landmark, the higher it will be at lunchtime, and the closer spring will be. December 22: This is the last of the days on which the sun’s declination remains steady at its lowest point of the year. December 23: Starting today, the sun rises and sets a little bit further to the north every 24 hours. December 24: Orchard grass, goldenrod, Japanese knotweed, dock, virgin’s bower, pepper grass, penny cress, garlic mustard, velvet leaf, mallow, Queen Anne’s lace, parsnip, milkweed, water horehound, motherwort, bergamot, ironweed, jimson weed, mullein, yarrow, black-eyed Susan, burdock, cattail, dogbane, and teasel are some of the most common plants still available for dried winter bouquets. December 25: New daffodil, crocus, and tulip leaves lie just below the surface of the mulch. Leafcup, buttercup, mint, ragwort, sweet rocket, plantain, thistles, great mullein, moneywort, red clover, celandine, forget-me-not, wild onion, purple deadnettle, and henbit foliage push every-sogradually toward March. Deep in the woods, the earthstar fungus appears, shaped like a six-pointed star. Multiflora rose buds swell in the sun. December 26: The days begin to lengthen. December 27: The heating season typically lasts from the middle of October through the middle of April, depending on the character of the year. The cold is created by approximately 37 cold fronts passing through the region between the third week of October and the third week of April. By today, seventeen of those fronts have normally arrived, almost half the season. December 28: Full moon today increases the likelihood that the high-pressure system currently moving across the nation will bring plenty of precipitation and

cold. December 29: The earliest of the permanent resident birds, the tufted titmice, begin mating calls as December becomes January. Although the coldest weeks of winter keep the progress of spring confined to movement of the sun and the stars, the titmouse stakes out his territory, setting precedent for the cardinals and doves, which join him at the end of the year’s first month. December 30: The outside garden is almost always gone by now. Collards and kale, and well mulched carrots and beets can survive to this point in season, but January’s cold spells eventually take them. Indoors, however, tomato and pepper plants, seeded in middle summer and brought inside before frost, should be continuing to produce fruit in a south window. Basil, parsley, rosemary, thyme and oregano can also be doing well indoors. December 31: Dark pokeberries dangle on their soft dried stems. Foxtail grasses cling to one another, wave in the wind like lost caterpillars. Japanese honeysuckle leaves are blackening in the cold. ALMANACK LITERATURE A LESSON FOR THE TEACHER: A CHRISTMAS OUTHOUSE STORY By Mrs. Lillie Shaffer This story was told by my father, and I remember him telling it many times. And it always brought laughter, since he told it not only for himself but also for us. When these events took place, my father was a student in a rural one-room school house. As I recall, he told how his teacher was a man who was stern, and with only teaching on his mind, never showing much affection for his pupils. Now, it was Christmas time, and teachers usually gave a treat to each pupil in the school. But my father and the other students received no treats from this teacher. So the pupils gathered on the school yard at noontime and decided on a plan. When their teacher took his trip to the outhouse, the big boys sneaked behind the building, upsetting it on the door, making no escape for him. My father would really laugh when he remembered their teacher looking out through the three-hole building seating arrangement,

begging for them to please set the outhouse up right! The children played all afternoon, and finally, when it was time to walk home, they set the building upright and ran home. They returned to school the next day and didn’t know what punishment would await them. Believe it or not, on each desk was a piece of candy, and never a word was said by their teacher or the pupils. I imagine that teacher never forgot that Christmas meant giving! Listen to Bill Felker’s weekly “Poor Will’s Almanack” on podcast any time at www.wyso. org. And Bill’s website, www., contains weekly updates and a sizable bank of information about nature. His organization of weather patterns and phenology (what happens when in nature) offers a unique structure for understanding the repeating rhythms of the year. Bill lives in Yellow Springs, Ohio. He has two daughters, Jeni, who is a psychologist in Portland, Oregon, and Neysa, a photographer in Spoleto, Italy.

Watch For A New And Expanded “Poor Will’s Valley Almanack” for 2013. New Additions With A Skrambler You Can Solve And Win Money. Watch For Details In January!

The Valley, December 2012


The Udder Truth

Sugar Cookies with frosting

by He ather Wasson

1 ½ cup sugar 1 cup butter 1 tsp vanilla extract 2 eggs 1 cup sour cream 5 cups all-purpose flour ½ tsp salt 1 tsp baking powder 1tsp. baking soda 1 (8oz) package cream cheese 2tbsp evaporated milk 1 tsp vanilla extract 1/8 tsp salt 4 cups confectioner’s sugar

Pennsylvania Alternate Dair y Princess and Centre Count y Dair y Princess What a wonderful and special time of the year. December has arrived and with it the anticipation of a special Christmas for all. Children dream of that one unique gift, shoppers scurry from store to store looking for that perfect present. And let us not forget the true reason for the season, the birth of Jesus—a celebration of life. Families join together to celebrate and our hearts open to all at this time of year. Smiles are readily found, and exchanges of Merry Christmas are heard often. This is a great time of the year to say thank you to the dairy farmers. Dairy farm families have a long term commitment to the care of their animals, the envi-

ronment, and the communities they live in. They provide a high quality product that provides us with many of our favorite recipes. Christmas is another day of work on the farm, providing care for dairy cows. Even the barn seems at peace on Christmas. There is a sense of comfort among the cattle. Dairy farm families join together to get the work done so they can return to the house and enjoy the delicious aroma of the great meals that await them. Giving thanks and celebrating the reason for the season is a great ending to a very special day. During this holiday season take some time to salute these dairy farmers by preparing dishes

using the products they work countless hours to produce. I have included a family favorite recipe for this time of year that does just that. I hope you enjoy and wish you a very dairy Christmas and a Happy Moo Year!

Stroke Rehabilitation: Rehab “Worth the Drive” Max Coploff, age 87, has always led an active life. For 41 years, Max and his wife, Shirley, owned and operated a ladies’ apparel store. The Coploff’s enjoyed a busy life, including many trips to New York City; theatre is a special interest of theirs. So when Max suffered a stroke last year that weakened his left side, he wanted to get strong and go home as soon as possible.

He chose to recover at HealthSouth Nittany Valley Rehabilitation Hospital, where he had two weeks of inpatient rehabilitation. Three Hours of Therapy a Day Max had three hours of therapy a day (the standard at HealthSouth), which included physical and occupational therapy (speech therapy is also available). His wife, Shirley, talks about his progress. “When Max first came

to HealthSouth, he was using a wheelchair and a walker, but he improved quickly.” Max adds, “I worked hard to get my ‘happy feet,’ as my physical therapist would say. I was in a hurry to get home!” Patient and Family Education In order to be discharged to home, Max had to be able to use stairs. Shirley visited Max often - once or twice a day - and was

Cream together 1 1/2 cups sugar, butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and eggs. Add sour cream. Mix together 5 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, baking powder and baking soda. Gradually add to the eggsugar mixture. Cover and chill dough for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 375°. Roll out on lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thick. Cut out cookies. Bake on lightly greased trained to help Max use the stairs at home. Max says, “That first day home, she was all prepared to help me. What a surprise she got when I charged up and down those stairs faster than ever!” He adds, “The rehabilitation was so well-done and organized. The patient and the family are taught how to move forward after discharge.” Daily Physician Visits Another unique aspect of rehabilitation at HealthSouth is that patients get daily physician visits. “Dr. Allatt (HealthSouth Medical Director) was so nice; he talked to me every morning,” Max explains. “I was surprised that I was able to see a physician every day.” Enjoying Life Again Before Max’s stroke, it was hard for him to stay still. “I used to spend a lot of time exploring places, from Walmart to Barnes

cookie sheet for 10 - 12 minutes. To Make Frosting: In small bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat together the softened cream cheese and evaporated milk until smooth. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/8 teaspoon salt and confectioners’ sugar. Beat until well blended. Color as desired and frost cooled cookies. Here is a breakfast casserole for you to also enjoy during the holiday season Breakfast Casserole 8 eggs, beaten 1 ½ cups cooked ham, cubed 4 oz cheddar cheese, shredded 1 TBSP minced onion ½ tsp salt 1 cup milk Mix all ingredients into a bowl, then pour into a 9x13 greased baking pan. Cook at 350 for 45 minutes. a & Noble; I was always going somewhere,” Max says. Now, although Max is no longer driving, they are enjoying life in a community that offers transportation. “We rarely miss an outing,” Max adds. We go to Spikes games, fundraising events, whatever we can!” HealthSouth congratulates you, Max, for working hard, achieving your therapy goals, and getting back to living! HealthSouth Nittany Valley Rehabilitation Hospital has a highly specialized stroke rehabilitation program that is certified by the Joint Commission on Accreditation for Healthcare Organizations. Monthly support group meetings for stroke survivors and their families are held at HealthSouth Nittany Valley and are open to the public. For more information, or a tour, call (814) 359-3421. a

Max Coploff and his wife, Shirley, are enjoying life again after Max’s stroke rehabilitation at HealthSouth Nittany Valley in Pleasant Gap.


The Valley, December 2012

Dave Wilson

PA Cleanways of Mifflin County by Pam Sechrist

Coins, Precious Metal and a Little of this and That

“Up To” Prices!

Deceitful Advertising at it’s Worst! More than likely, many of you have seen “BUY” advertisements in local and regional newspapers that offer “UP TO” prices for numerous items that visiting buyers from out-of-town are interested in purchasing. While technically legal, this type of advertising is fraught with deception and misinformation. The people running these advertisements have one purpose in mind, to get potential sellers through their door. Once you enter their rented area, they use many forms of professional trickery to purchase your items for as little as they can possibly pay. And “little” (usually VERY little) is what most people who sell to these operations normally walk away with. To be fair, offering specific buy prices for items is not just difficult, but, many times unwise. Newspaper ads do require some lead time (usually several days) and particularly volatile markets (such as for gold and silver coins and scrap gold and silver jewelry) can change direction quickly, leaving specifically listed prices either much too low, or worse (for the buyers), higher than they should be. Advertisements that DO list specific pricing (a rarity in today’s market) will always take the LOW road, to protect the buyer against just such downside volatility. This works well for the buyer, but guarantees that any sellers will receive sub-par offers. Buyers usually do not like this lower price method either, because lower listed prices will not “excite” their potential clients to rush in for an appraisal of their merchandise. Finally, to do an end run around the aforementioned difficulties, and to eliminate any troubles with potential liability from false advertising claims, these buyers have created “UP TO” pricing. This solved almost all of their advertising problems and even better (for them) doesn’t obligate their company to anything specific. That, however, is where potential “sellers” end up getting cooked like a Christmas goose.

Almost always, “UP TO” prices are a pathetic joke. Here are just a few typical examples of some of the terribly deceptive “UP TO” prices that people will see in many of these advertisements. • Buffalo Nickels paying UP TO $12,000.00 • Indian Pennies paying UP TO $8,000.00 • Morgan Silver Dollars paying UP TO $35,000.00 We could list many more... but these will do nicely for our explanation. When people see these prices in BUY ads, many folks, that know very little about coins, become very hopeful, even excited, remembering that they have a handful of these coins that “Aunt Mary” gave them years earlier. They plan a trip, sometimes from dozens of miles away and take along what other items they have to get checked out at the same time. THE ‘UP TO’ PRICES HAVE WORKED THEIR MAGIC, just as the buyers hoped they would. Once they are seen, 99% of the time, sellers are offered next to nothing, especially compared to the “Up To” price. That (Up To) $13,000.00 price for Buffalo Nickels usually ends up being between 8-and-10 “cents!” The $35,000.00 offer for Morgan Silver Dollars can be (and usually is) less than $15.00 per coin and common Indian Cents typically receive a 5-to-20 cents offer, instead of the $8,000.00 listed in the ad. It is amazing to me that these buyers are (apparently) not bothered by the irritated, insulted and many times very angry people who realize that they have been tricked into “showing up.” The fact is that these buyers simply don’t care if people get mad, as long as they get a “shot” at their merchandise. They know that enough people will sell to make their trip worthwhile and the profits they make, from the terribly LOW prices they pay, evidently offsets the hassle received from many unhappy customers. Recently, we had a female friend volunteer to attend one

of these “events” with selected merchandise, to see what they were paying in this, more elevated, market. We knew that their pricing was terribly low, but it had been some time since we had checked. Here is what she experienced. (1) When she was initially seen, she was offered a specific sum for all she had taken. (2) She thanked them for looking at her coins and ring, but said that she would have to go home and discuss it with her husband. The buyers talked in private for a few seconds, then made her a second, HIGHER offer for what she had taken with her. (3) She thanked them again, but still insisted that she talk with her husband before selling. You guessed it, they huddled a second time and approached her with an even higher, third offer. Naturally, knowing what the items were truly (and fairly) worth she departed without selling anything. Here is what she was offered the third time around compared to what a reasonable offer would have been from any responsible coin dealer.

Another fiscal year has gone by successfully. Over the past year, 130 volunteers have cleaned up 5.04 tons of trash, which amounts to 10,080 pounds and disposed of it properly. We have recycled 1,351 tires, educated 1,584 people, and cleaned up three area boat ramps and the water of the Juniata River. Each year we pick a Volunteer of the Year, and this year’s volunteer is Justin Dobson. Justin not only comes out Saturday mornings with us, he also goes other Saturdays to work at the area food banks. We are so thankful for all our volunteers because we could not accomplish all that we do without all our volunteer help. Justin will be recognized on December 11th at the Keep PA Beautiful annual dinner. We also want to recognize all our supporting partners. Wayne, Oliver, Decatur, Granville, Bratton, and Armagh Townships, Lewistown Borough, PennDOT, RC&D, the MCS Bank, the Conservation District, Lingle Distributing, Sears Roebuck in Burnham, Walmart, Harshbergers Sub and Malt, Hoss’s Steak House, The Mifflin County Solid Waste Authority, and the Lewistown Borough Refuse. Each year we do a Recycle Poster Contest with the Mifflin

County School District. Normally, we pick three winners out of three age groups. This year we did not have any from the high school, but we had an over whelming response from the lower grades so we recognized; 3rd Grade 1st Jayden Pennebaker, 2nd Emmy Snook, 3rd Jace Shoemaker. 4th & 5th Grades 1st Brandon Fisher, 2nd Madison Bowmaster, 5th Kaithn Zarkovich. 6th & 7th Grades 1st Mackenzie Fultz, 2nd, Lily Demskie, 3rd Amber Schifano. The overall winner to represent recycling throughout the county this year is 1st place, 3rd grade Jayden Pennebaker. If you would like to be involved with helping to cleanup Mifflin County, you can contact Pam Sechrist at pammiff@ or call 717-899-6701. You can find out what we might be doing by going to the www. and checking the calendar of events. Pam Sechrist Affiliate Coordinator PACleanWays of Mifflin County Keep PA Beautiful 717-899-6701 a

Their Offer Responsible Dealer Offer Item A: $4.30/Face Value in 90% Silver coins $35.00 $82.00 Item B: 1885 (Extra Fine) Morgan Silver Dollar $12.00 $21.00 Item C: 10K Wedding Band $30.00 $56.00

With gold and silver prices likely to rise even further, these out-of-town “guests” will become even more aggressive in their number of visits and the trickery they use to lure potential sellers into their hotel rooms. Just remember when you see “UP TO” prices being offered on anything, prepare to be terribly disappointed and, quite likely, sorry you wasted the GAS and your TIME to make the trip. a

The overall winner of the poster contest was 3rd grader Jayden Pennebaker, Jayden’s poster will represent Recycling throughout Mifflin County

Cave Echoes from page 36 for our own health though. When faced with an adversity, we need to do some research as to what our choices may be. Research Himalayan salt. Check out our website at If something is not working for you, try something else. Trying to heal our bodies after years of a health challenge, does not happen

over night. But HEALING the body is a major move in the right direction over just placing a bandaid over the symptoms or taking a drug with too many side effects. May the blessings of this season include good health for you and your family! a


The Valley, December 2012

The Valley, December 2012



The Valley, December 2012

The Valley - December 2012  

The December 2012 issue of The Valley. A free newspaper serving Mifflin County and the surrounding area