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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. 5


The Valley, June 2012

A Mifflin County Jewel On May 19th I was able to seal the deal and become hopelessly addicted to CAVES! I had always had an interest and had been in a few in different states over the years. Most all were commercial tourist-trap type caves, but they were still interesting and piqued my interest enough to want to explore some “wild” caves. The problem is, cave clubs stay pretty tight-lipped and with good reason. It seems the reason more of us don’t get the opportunity to marvel at these gems in our county is because of the actions of vandals in the past. Vandals destroy in minutes what took thousands of years to create. The result is that most caves are kept on the “down low” and are only spoken about in hushed tones by those in the know. The good thing is, there are ways to gain entrance so that you can admire these masterpieces in person. After running our first cave story last year in The Valley, we had several contacts with local cave enthusiasts. I was delighted to find out that one of those contacts was with Ernie Goss, the “Pap” of our “Life in the East End” author Rebecca Harrop. Mr. Goss told me back in February that he would be happy to take us down into Alexander Cavern this coming spring, as soon as the hibernating bats had vacated. Ernie and his grand daughters Clarissa and Collette Goss team up with landowner Jacob Hostetler to give tours of the cave to those interested enough to find out the details. Like I said, I had been in several caves before and Penns Cave half a dozen times or so, and was impressed at what I saw and held no notion that this experi-

There are so many beautiful formations in Alexander Caverns, that it is hard to pick the best. This happens to be my favorite—immediately I thought of four guards watching the path through the cave. ence would come close to some often to point out areas of interest, of those other well known caves. although it seemed that one was Boy was I shocked! I wasn’t too many paces from the bottom of the 115 steps down into the cave before I knew I had underestimated the potential of Alexander Caverns to amaze. There were two tours given this day and we were on the second tour. Our cave guide, Jacob Hostetler, brought us through the cave at a leisurely A beautiful mushroom shaped formation. pace and stopped

constantly aware of the shear magnificence and beauty that was everywhere you looked. With Jacob allowing us to progress slowly, I was able to take 92 pictures and I have looked them all over several times, reliving a fantastic experience through the photos. The natural air conditioning provided by the cave itself was well received by everyone. At the end of the dry

Lighting Brush Fires in People’s Minds

cave, you intersect an underground creek. At this point you are 188 feet underground and the slope down to the creek used to have wooden steps which are all but gone now. However, you can still make your way to the waters edge and see that it is extremely deep, approximately 20 feet. The creek goes at right angles from the waters edge, to the right it leads out of the cave after 1480 feet and becomes the local’s favorite trout stream, Honey Creek. To the left it continues on a long ways before the ceiling becomes too low to pass without scuba gear, and LIGHT! Jacob had us all turn off our flashlights and the darkness was almost tangible. I thought about the early inhabitants of this region making it this far only to have their torch burn out, not something that you would feel good about I am sure. At one time this cave was run as a commercial operation and people from all over visited it. There was a dock at the end of the dry cave where boats would take visitors out to the beginning of Honey Creek. At that time, the whole cave was electrified with power and was lit up its entire length. Although I am sure that made a wonderful attraction for the people of that time, the “wildness” of the cave now that has been closed since 1954 added to the experience in my opinion. Knowing that few folks are fortunate enough to get to see this gem saddened me some, it was an experience I feel much richer for and I won’t ever forget. I was just as amazed at the

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Editor’s Corner

The Valley, June 2012

Wayne Stottlar I am going to get my rant out of the way first and foremost this month and then try to be more positive. Is anyone else following what our government is doing to us behind closed doors? Just this last month our government, “of the people,”..NOT...just authorized the use of unmanned drones here in the US against its own citizens! That’s right, no legislation, no discussion, just some criminal bureaucrats giving themselves permission to violate the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 9th Amendments to our Constitution. Did you see anyone in the mainstream media making a big deal of this taking of our liberties? Nope you didn’t, but what is worse, you also have not heard a peep from any of those elected officials who are supposed to be representing us and protecting our liberties. Could this be part of something bigger? We also found out that it is now possible for our government to, “Indefinetly Detain” ANY US citizen that it identifies as a terrorist. No trial, no justice, you just plain disappear, never to be heard from again. Pretty useful tool for a tyrant bent on retaining power don’t ya think? We have seen where this road leads several times throughout history, and it is never a good outcome for individual liberty. I suppose we should expect nothing less

from a government who spends 20 million of YOUR dollars to indoctrinate you to their position on the illegal and unconstitutional healthcare law. We have arrived very close to the point in time that our founding father Jefferson wrote about when he said,”... That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness....” I surely hope we don’t get any closer to this measure, but it is a wise man and his family who are prepared. Of course the mainstream centrally disseminated news media is focused on something more important, like what Obama or Romney did 20 or 50 years ago. It is all a distraction folks, while those in power strip you of your guaranteed liberty that so many have died for before us. By the time you read this, we will have had the first free movie screening and in the process of presenting the second movie on May 30th. This series is being brought to you by The Mifflin County Library and The Valley Newspaper. There are plans to move this series to Belleville and Allensville as well as down in

Juniata County at Village Acres Foodshed later this summer. Our first film was “Farmageddon,” the second in the series is “Food Inc.” Joel Salatin’s “Fresh” will be third. We are running these films on Wednesday evenings at 7:00pm in the Mifflin County Library Community Room. We also have many volunteer panelists to answer questions after each film. We hope you can take the time to view these very important films for our time. I also am very excited to announce our “Day of Community in The Valley” which will take place on August 18th at the Reedsville 4-H Youth Park. Most of the writers from The Valley will be set up at booths in the green building, so that you can come and chat or ask questions of your favorite writer. Active advertisers in The Valley will also be set up displaying their goods and services. You can meet these advertisers that make our paper possible, and find out about the great goods and services they provide in our community. There will also be live music all day long at the outdoor stage. There will be several bands playing Blues, Bluegrass, American Rural, and the grass is your dance floor. A former co-worker and life long

friend Jackie Lee from NH is bringing her unique sound down from the mountains of NH to perform here in Mifflin County. You can check her out at her website Jackie performs all over New England, but this is her first trip to central PA. We also will announce some of the other bands on our Facebook page as details are finalized. Our film screenings will also continue that day for those wishing to see them again, or those that missed them first time around. Our “Walking on the Wild Side” writer Julie is going to try to get her Zebra down to the park and Traci Yoder of “The Horse Scoop” has something up her sleeve too. Our “Home Brew U” writer Kevin Morgan is going to demonstrate start to finish the process of making your own beer at home. The guys will probably be all over this. All in all, it is set to be a wonderful day, and the best part... It is all FREE!! It is our way of saying thank you to all of our awesome readers that support our advertisers and your neighbors who keep The Valley in publication. We are hoping to have some food vendors present so there will be no need to leave and you can party all day! The event is set to kick off at 11:30am and run until 8:00pm. If it is well enough attended, we will make it an annual event, kind of our own little Woodstock, Mifflin County style. We are very pleased this month to introduce several guest writers. Steve Smith of Lewistown introduces us to “Urban

Contact Info Editor/Publisher Wayne Stottlar Ad Designer/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.

Archeology” and gives us a good overview of a wildly popular and often misunderstood hobby, Metal Detecting. Bob White opens the door to the world of shooting sports here in Mifflin County. Bob has a complete series that we will publish here in The Valley in future months. Our relationship with HealthSouth of State College has led to our being able to publish articles on various health topics in future issues, our first this month is “The Benefits of Eating Almonds” by Michelle Rager a registered dietician. Heck, I liked almonds anyway, especially when covered with chocolate. We welcome back Mark Ostrowski, president of The Stewardship Group who will be a frequent contributor in his column “Sojourner Perspectives.” I found

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The Valley, June 2012

Competitive and Recreational Shooting in Juniata Valley by Bob White

Fifty Years Ago June 1962 The Mifflin County Chamber of Commerce reported that the average weekly payroll throughout the county was $503, 023.88, up by over $112,000.00 from one year ago. There were 12 active industries, with 5, 437 employees. The University of Maryland’s varsity wrestling team coach, William Krouse, liked Mifflin County, and with good reason. His team boasted four former Lewistown High School star grapplers, including: Ron Mauder (123 pounds), Sam Bossert ((130 pounds), John Henderson ((137 pounds) and Nelson Aurand ((147 pounds) One Hundred Years ago June 1912 The Derry Township supervisors announced that a new cement bridge was completed over Buck Run in Burnham, beside McKim Station. (Mattress World is located there today along Logan Boulevard, Burnham.) The bridge is 45 feet long and 12 feet wide. The Kishacoquillas Valley Railroad offered special excursion trains to Gibboney Park near Belleville during the “summer dance” season. The Daily Sentinel

reported, “Gibboney Park upheld its reputation for good crowds and excellent dancing…The pavilion was well filled with lovers of music who enjoyed themselves… Towns in all parts of the county were well represented…Miller’s orchestra (frequently) furnished the music.” Civil War Echoes June 1862 The Lewistown Gazette reported that Samuel Tice and George W. Threlked had arrived back to their homes in Mifflin County after being held prisoner by the Confederates for nearly a year. They each received $300 in back pay. A number of other freed prisoners arrived back in town several weeks earlier. It was the custom not to publish a newspaper on the week of the Fourth of July, but the editor announced: “We will publish half a sheet this week to keep our readers posted on the war news.” He also lamented that there was no planned Fourth of July celebrations this year. He supposed “it will be celebrated by detached parties here and there with a few hundred dollars wasted in firing off crackers, rockets, etc.” a

No one likes being caught unprepared. A fair bit of our lives is spent making preparations to prevent or effectively handle adversity that comes our way. We carry a spare tire when driving, buy life insurance to mitigate our passing for our loved ones, and regularly service our furnace to ensure efficient operation and prevent breakdown. Often we learn a skill, like administering first aid, which we hope to not have to use, but if the need arises, we want to be able to effectively and correctly perform the required skills with little conscious thought. It is said that in a crisis, you will default to your level of training. It is an unfortunate fact in our society that some people choose to commit dangerous crime and visit violence upon others. Statistically, it is unlikely that you will have to deal with such an event, but the probability is not zero. Anyone reading the news headlines knows the world can be a dangerous place and as the world economy worsens, crime will likely increase. It would seem a prudent individual, interested in defending their self from a real and substantial threat to his well-being, would be interested in maintaining the skills necessary to effectively do so. Please know that the purpose of this series of articles is neither to prepare you for making self-defense decisions with the accompanying legal ramifications nor to imply that participating in competitive shooting disciplines is equivalent to proper defensive firearms training. There are many reputable classes and training institutes whose stated goal is just such an outcome. What I intend to do is make you aware of opportunities to practice the effective employment of a firearm and the accompanying skills of target acquisition, reloading and target transitions in a timed format. First, a word on firearms safety: there are four universal rules of gun safety which form the basis of most of the rules which govern competitive shooting disciplines. 1. Treat every gun as though it’s loaded. 2. Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. 3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target. 4. Know your target and what is beyond it. Also, eye and ear protection is mandatory for everyone on the range. In gen-

eral, when attending a competitive shooting event, arrive with your firearm(s) unloaded and secured in a case or bag. There are generally areas designated as “safe gun handling” where you may handle your empty firearm without a magazine (even an empty one) inserted. NO AMMUNITION is ever to be handled in these areas, even snap caps or dummy rounds are forbidden. The only time you are permitted to load a firearm is when shooting a course of fire (stage) under the direction of a Range or Safety Officer. You must always keep your muzzle pointed in a safe direction (down range) while shooting a course of fire, this includes not pointing it in the air. You also need to keep your finger off of the trigger and out of the trigger guard when not engaging targets. Since many competitive shooting disciplines require moving between shooting positions, sometimes while engaging targets, muzzle discipline and finger placement are of paramount importance from a safety perspective. Each shooting discipline has its own set of range commands and particular safety rules, but the ones stated are fairly universal. In my experience, people that attend these matches are more than happy to help if you have any questions about something and enjoy seeing new shooters on the range. However, the safety rules are paramount and take precedence over everything else. Safety is non-negotiable. There are a number of competitive shooting disciplines in the area. I regularly participate in some and have at least tried most others. There are several local options available to try ones hand at competitive shooting. They are the Lewistown Pistol Club, the Mifflin County Sportsmen’s Association and the Blue Rock Sportsman’s Club. At the Lewistown Pistol Club, they offer monthly IDPA matches, weekly Bulls-Eye Pistol practice sessions, three gun Multigun matches throughout the year. During the winter months, they offer .22 grocery matches on their indoor range. New this season, they are looking to add a new discipline, Ruger Rimfire matches to their offerings as well. Mifflin County Sportsman’s Association runs monthly Steel Plate matches, similar to the well-known Steel Challenge, weekly Trap and Five Stand for shotgun, “Groundhog”

bench rest shoots, “Black Hat” extreme range bench rest shoots and Muzzleloader shoots. The Blue Rock Sportsman Club offers .22 silhouette matches, various archery shoots, and some shotgun events. As time and space permit, I will comment on all of these shooting opportunities in the Juniata Valley. My next installment will focus on International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) matches. In closing, I should offer a little bit of information about myself. I have been living in Mifflin County with my wife and children for the past 17 years, moving here from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania in 1995. I have hunted deer and small game since 12 years of age. I started competitive shooting around 2007 and came to realize I enjoyed it more than hunting as you are always guaranteed to fire your gun multiple times at a match whereas when hunting, you may spend hours sitting in the woods without firing your gun. While I enjoy the solace of the woods, there are times I like to hear the ring of freedom and smell gunpowder in the air. I have been more involved in the shooting sports these past 2 years and have taken an active role in planning and directing matches. I am currently classified as an Expert level shooter in IDPA. I am also the sitting president of the Lewistown Pistol Club. I look forward to telling you more about these shooting opportunities in the coming months and hope you will decide to come out and give some of them a try. Everyone has to start somewhere and it is much more fun than sitting at home watching TV or wasting time on the computer. If you have any questions, you may contact me at president@lewistownpistolclub. com. a

When Injustice becomes law, Resistance becomes duty --Thomas Jefferson

The Valley, June 2012


Adventures in Homesteading One family’s journey from the city and modern living back to the land and self-reliance.

by Dave and Ginger Striker

A continuing series.

The Milking Cow

I have covered quite a few of our animals on our homestead, but haven’t quite touched upon our milking cows. If you recall, from my October and November 2011 columns, I talked about selecting cattle breeds, and our relatively crazy adventure getting the cows (technically heifers) home. In summary, we chose two breeds to work with; The American Milking Devon for our long term goal of a dual purpose, more self-sustainable breed; and the New Zealand Jersey for our immediate short term needs. Just so you know, a “cow” doesn’t become a “cow” until it successfully calves her second calf. Up until this point, they are known as either heifers or “first calf heifers” after their first calf is born. There are several other terms like short bred, or long bred, and freshened that I will explain along the way. The Jersey is a great allaround milking cow, in my opinion, especially for someone

who is new to cows. Their smaller stature, gentle disposition, and high milk yields make them an ideal choice for us. Please don’t let that discourage other breeds like the Dexter, Guernsey, Brown Swiss, or Milking Shorthorn, as all of these cows have unique characteristics that may fit your requirements differently. Out of all of these, Jersey’s typically having the highest butterfat content in their milk which obviously is good if you plan to use cream for butter or cheese making, so be sure to consider all of your uses for the milk when selecting a breed. Aside from breed, you really want to make sure that your first milking cow is a sweetheart. Be very careful to observe a cow and its behavior before buying. The last thing you want to do is bring home a cow that doesn’t like to cooperate, making the pleasure of milking a daily nightmare. In other words, take your time and make

sure to look around. Approach the cow and observe their flight zones. If you can’t get within 20 feet of a cow, that certainly isn’t a good sign. If the cow allows you to approach her, carefully and gently rub her belly around her udders and see if she reacts. Bred heifers that have not calved before may be a little jumpy if they haven’t been regularly handled. Ultimately, you want a cow/ heifer that will be manageable and that is not prone to kicking while milking. The younger of our two Jersey heifers is a bit skittish since our other Jersey acts a bit domineering towards her. Some mornings she is reluctant to milk and is jumpy, giving her a tendency to kick in these moods. We have attributed this to her young age as she does seem to be getting better; however, we hope to help you avoid this as it would make a bad first time experience. OK, on to the business of heifers, first calf heifers, cows and

the stages of being bred. When looking for a cow, the benefit of buying a “bred cow” is simply that the animal is “proven,” meaning that they successfully have been bred and calved at least twice; however, these animals typically cost more for that reason. The price drops for the first calf heifers, and again for the heifer. The other terms you may hear are “short bred,” which means that they are recently bred and “long bred,” which means they are due to calve or “freshen” soon. When you see a cow or heifer for sale, expect to pay more for a long bred cow since they are further along and will be freshening soon. If you see a cow listed as “recently freshened” this means they have already calved and is in milk, oftentimes they come with the calf at their side. Once you get this lingo down it will help you significantly when choosing a cow and negotiating prices. If you are working with a farmer who you are not completely sure of, paying a local vet for a consultation prior to purchase might be a good idea. They can provide an unbiased opinion, verify the cow’s age, check her four quarters, and pregcheck her on the spot. If you’re transporting your cow over state lines, it may be necessary anyway for agricultural inspection stations

The New Zealand Jersey

if your state has them. Now that you have purchased your cow, it is time to bring them home and feed them. If you have read enough of my columns, you know by now that we do not feed our herbivores grain and that the diet will likely be a forage/grassonly diet. There are many reasons for this, first and most importantly, the resulting milk from the cow is superior in nutrition to their grain fed counterparts. Sure, you may only produce half the milk of a grain fed cow, BUT the nutritional benefits will more than make up for the loss in volume. In our case, we do feed our cows NON-GMO alfalfa in the stall during milking as a protein supplement to their forage/hay/grass diets, plus it keeps them distracted when you’re first getting them used to being milked. We also feed molasses (stimulates the rumen) and their minerals at the

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The Valley, June 2012

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

Beyond Sustainable Agriculture: What’s in Your Closet Part Three: Weaving Our Way to the Present “Life is a loom, whose threads are the days. God decides when to cut the threads, even though the work may be unfinished.” Ancient Berber Proverb So far in this journey through our closets, we’ve taken a quick look at knitting as a way to ease ourselves into creating our own clothing and an equally brief look at hand spinning as a way to make the yarns used to fashion those knitted garments. Our next stopthe art of hand weaving and its’ place in our lives today. For our purposes we’ll be defining weaving as “forming cloth by interlacing strands of thread, using a machine (called a loom) to hold one group of threads (called the warp) under tension so that a second group (called the weft) can be interlaced at right angles with the first”. As with all fiber arts, the origins of weaving are hidden in the distant past; pres-

A Navaho Stand up Loom

ently, we know that the earliest cloth remains, definitely woven on a loom, are about 8000 years old, pushing that beginning back further still. Over the millennia, dependant on the fiber we were weaving and the environment we were working in, humans have developed two basic styles of looms – vertical and horizontal. Both types have

been used -- often simultaneously - at one point or another, in most of the world’s weaving traditions and interestingly enough, most all of the styles of looms, developed over all these centuries, are still in use today. The earliest physical evidence we have of a loom is an image, painted on a 7000 year old clay bowl, clearly representing a horizontal ground loom- where the warp threads are stretched between two heavy sticks (or bars) that are pegged or otherwise fastened onto the ground. Widely used in ancient Egypt for weaving linen fabrics, ground looms are still the tool of choice for Berber and Bedouin women when weaving the strips of wool cloth which, sewn together, make the tents they live in. It is also widely used by weaving cultures in Africa where, incidentally, many of the weavers tend to be men. Another horizontal loom type, which actually slants

down towards the ground, is the backstrap loom. A widely used variation of the ground loom, one bar is fixed to an immovable object (tree, post, wall, etc.) and the other is strapped to the back or hips of the weaver, making them the part of the loom holding the warp threads taut during weaving. Although it’s probable that the origins of this loom parallel others, archaeological evidence is limited – to date, what may be the oldest evidence of a backstrap loom were found at a Chinese site and are about 2000 years old. Like other loom types, the backstrap seems to have developed independently in areas as far apart as Mexico and the far flung islands of Indonesia and in all of these places, these simple weaving tools are still in use today. Vertical looms are equally

ancient, equally widespread and equally varied in design. At its’ most basic, they consist of two upright posts with a cord stretched between the tops, a warp that simply hangs down through which the weft is then manipulated by hand. The addition of a stationary top bar to which the weaving was attached produced the well known, exquisitely twined weavings of Native American tribes in the Pacific Northwest. The vertical loom common to the American Southwest has the usual ancient and murky past and the addition of a second, bottom bar. The earliest dated cloth from this area, made from cotton, dates around 1000 C.E., but it’s fairly certain that there was influence from the south before this; the ebb and flow

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The Valley, June 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 14.11-12 The four kings seized all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah and all their food…. They also carried off Abram’s nephew Lot and his possessions, since he was living in Sodom. After Lot had departed for the plain near Sodom, God reiterated his promise to Abram that his descendants would be a great nation and then told Abram, “Lift up your eyes from where you are and look north and south, east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth…. Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you.” [Genesis 13.14-17] And there you have the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian problem. The Palestinians claim possession of the land because they’ve occupied the land for centuries; the Jewish people claim possession of the land of Israel because God gave the land to their forefather, Abraham. It is interesting to note that a study conducted by Hebrew University in Jerusalem concluded that the only true Arabs in Israel

are the Bedouin. Those claiming to be “Palestinians” are not Arabs at all but are descended from Jews who remained in Palestine and converted to Islam for expediency’s sake during the Ottoman occupation. Some of those so-called “Palestinians” can trace their ancestry back to Biblical kings and patriarchs. So, sadly, the conflict within Israel’s borders isn’t between the sons of Isaac and the sons of Ishmael, as is the greater Middle East conflict, but between brother and brother. But, of course, an admission of this sort would not profit those who have built their fortunes stirring up conflict and fueling hatred. Therefore, this fact has been carefully concealed by those who are accumulating great personal gain by stoking the flames of discord. Abram laid claim to God’s promise and settled near Hebron, where he built an altar to the LORD [Genesis 13.18] while Lot pitched his tents near Sodom. [Genesis 13.12] At that time, there was an uprising involving the tribes of the plains. Five kings, including the king of Sodom and the king of Gomorrah rebelled against King Kedorlaomer and his allies. However, the rebellion failed and Sodom and Gomorrah were defeated. Lot was caught up in the conflict and when the rebels were defeated, he and his family were taken captive and his possessions carried off, “since he was living in Sodom”.

Summer Church Activities by Pastor Pat Roller The East Kishacoquillas Presbyterian Church, located at the corner of Walnut and Church Streets in Reedsville, is planning its summer activities for 2012. Vacation Bible School will be held on June 18th until June 21st at 6:00 PM until 8:30 PM at the East Kishacoquillas Church. Children from ages 4 to Grade 5 are welcome to be a part of this event. No church membership is required and it is free to the public. This year the theme is Clean Water for All God’s Children. The niche of Living Waters for the

World in addressing the world’s water crisis is the treatment of a community’s available, but contaminated water source, using a small-scale batch water system located in an institutional setting. The children will be involved in all sorts of water activities and learning about water filtration systems used around the world. This event is sponsored jointly by the Evangelical Lutheran Church, Reedsville Methodist Church, and East Kishacoquillas Presbyterian Church. Last summer the East

Rev. Dr. Henry G. Covert

I think it’s noteworthy that Lot, who had been drawn to the well-watered plain of Jordan and pitched his tents near Sodom was now “living in Sodom” [Genesis 14.12]. Lot had become so comfortable with the proximity of wickedness that he was now content to dwell in the city itself. We need to be very careful about the influence the world has on our lives. If we immerse ourselves in the pleasures of the world, if we allow the bombardment of Hollywood and Madison Avenue to influence our attitudes and choices, it will not be long until we become so comfortable with the world that we fail to grieve over or even recognize the wickedness outside our door. When Lot was captured, one of the men who escaped reported the events to “Abram the Hebrew”. [Genesis 14.13] The concordance doesn’t give us a translation for “Hebrew”, but my Bible’s footnote suggests that “Hebrew” may have been a local term for “migrant” or “immigrant” and that Abram had simply accepted the designation. Abram, with only 318 men from his household, attacked the powerful armies of the four kings and pursued them past Damascus in modern-day Syria. The Book says it was a route, indicating the enemy fled, leaving all their captured slaves and booty behind. And so Abram rescued Lot and his family and recovered Lot’s flocks and herds, as well as all the captives, flocks and herds of Sodom. [Genesis 14.14-16] Abram kept none of the spoils for himself, even though the king of Sodom, out of gratitude for Abram’s aid, urged him to keep all the spoils and return only the

captives. Why did Abram turn down this generous offer? Abram explained, “I have raised my hand to the LORD, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, and have taken an oath that I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or the thong of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, ‘I made Abram rich’.” [Genesis 14.21-23] Why was this important? Abram wanted to be sure there was no confusion about

Kishacoquillas Presbyterian Church held two day camps for the children of the community. This summer we are planning three summer day camps. ART CAMP will be held at the church—corner of Walnut and Church Streets, Reedsville—on July 9 through July 13. The camp will begin at 9:00 AM and end at 3:00 PM. Lunch will be provided. Children who have finished Kindergarten and up are invited to this camp. They will be exploring a variety of art forms, including sculpture, drawing, painting and others. There is no charge for this camp. FABRIC CAMP will be held at the church on July 23 through July 27 from 9:00AM until 3:00 PM. Lunch will be provided. Children who have finished Kindergarten

and up are invited to participate in this camp. The children will learn how to hand-stitch and use a sewing machine to make potholders, sleeping shorts, and other projects. There is no charge for this camp. COOKIE CAMP will be held at the church on August 13 until August 17 from 9:00 AM until 3:00 PM. Lunch will be provided. Children who have finished kindergarten and up are invited to participate in this camp. The children will be making a different kind of cookie every day. Yes, there will be cookies sent home. In addition, cookie packages will be sent to soldiers serving in Afghanistan. The children will also create a cookie cookbook to take home. There is no charge for this camp. 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:

Who was responsible for his success and prosperity. Like Abram, we need to set a clear boundary between ourselves and the world. Have we done that? Do we give glory to God for our success, provision and protection? We need to remember that, like Abram, we are merely sojourners here. We are citizens of another Kingdom and our lives should reflect that fact. a If you would like to reserve a spot for your child(ren) for any of these camps, please call 667-6233. We also need to know if your child has food allergies, especially for the Cookie Camp. Finally, the East Kishacoquillas Church will hold their Second Annual Back-to School-Bash in the parking lot on Monday, August 20th from 6:00 until 7:30 PM. There will be numerous activities such as face painting, folder decorating, making God’s Eyes, and a bounce house. In addition, every child will be given school supplies. Hot dogs, chips, drinks, and snow cones will be available. There is no charge for this event. Come join in for some fun before school starts. a


The Valley, June 2012

Adventures on Our Nourishing Journey

edition of Clinical Infectious Diseases, almost half the meat and poultry sold in the US is likely to be contaminated by staphylococcus aureus (“Staph”). The report suggest that it is the farm animals themselves that were a major source of contamination. “Densely-stocked industrial farms, where food animals are steadily fed

by Sue Burns

The Grass (Fed) is Greener Caring About What Our Food Eats

Summer begins this month! It is the perfect time to turn our focus to not only the lovely shades of green pastures that surround us with their beauty, but also to the animals who are afforded the opportunity to graze throughout our lush valley. First things first. As much as I enjoy dialog with, (and respect the choices of), my vegetarian and vegan friends, I am a carnivore through and through. I’ve dabbled in “tofu land” from time to time, and I do find beans and legumes hearty and healthy fare, but at least several times a week, animal protein beckons me. Yet there is a nutritional and environmental dilemma that comes with being a carnivore with a conscience. Especially with all the recent news about “pink slime” and yet another case of mad cow disease rearing its tainted head in the United States. If you are like me and choose to eat animal products, I believe seeking out a high quality grass fed dinner is the most humane, healthiest and environmentally sustainable way to go. Here is why: • For the past thirteen years or so, “new age” ranchers have stopped sending their animals to feedlots to be fattened on grain, soy and other supplements. Rather, they are keeping their animals home on the range. These animals are not treated with hormones or growth promoting additives. They grow at a natural pace, living a happy, healthy life. So much so, that they often do not need to be treated with antibiotics or other drugs. Stress free living! • Surprise, but cattle were not designed to eat grains. According to www.eatwild. com, when compared to grain fed cattle, grass fed beef is higher in “good” unsaturated fats by weighing in with two to four times the amount of heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids. If that is not impressive enough, grass fed meat also has over 400% more

vitamin A (as beta carotene) and vitamin E, and is naturally low in calories. In fact, a 6 ounce steak from a grass fed steer can have up to 100 fewer calories than the exact same size and cut of steak from a grain fed steer. Other nutritious virtues of grass fed beef vs. grain fed include a higher mineral content of calcium, magnesium and potassium, lower total fat, and it is higher in a fatty acid called conjugated linolenic acid. Research has shown that CLA may be a potent cancer fighter. In animal studies, very small amounts of CLA have blocked all three stages of cancer: 1) initiation, 2) promotion, and 3) metastasis. Most anti-cancer agents block only one of these stages. What’s more, CLA has slowed the growth of an unusually wide variety of tumors, including cancers of the skin, breast, prostate, and colon. Human CLA research is in its infancy, but a few studies have suggested that CLA may have similar benefits in people. A recent survey determined that women with the most CLA in their diets had a 60 percent reduction in the risk of breast cancer. The most abundant source of natural CLA is the meat and dairy products of grass-fed

animals. Research conducted since 1999 shows that grazing animals have from 3-5 times more CLA than animals fattened on grain in a feedlot. Simply switching from grainfed to grass-fed products can greatly increase your intake of CLA. Grass fed products are safer than food from conventionally raised animals. Animals grazing on pasture eat exactly what nature intended them to eat: grasses and other green plants. One hundred percent grass-fed animals have an extremely low risk of mad cow disease because their diet contains no animal by products or other “additives.” Animals that have been raised on pasture all of their lives have zero possibility that they consume feed that contains any animal tissue, which in turn completely eliminates the chance of mad cow disease. It is concerning to know that according to the April 2011

in a January 2012 study from Iowa State University. And if that weren’t enough, according to, the USDA has imposed rules reclassifying as “safe for human consumption” animal carcasses with cancers, tumors and open sores. Do you know what factory farm animals are really eating? Naturally you will say corn and soy (which is

Happy animals, eating what they were meant to eat.

low doses of antibiotics … (are)…ideal breeding grounds for drug resistant bacteria that move from animals to humans.” MRSA, a hard to treat antibiotic resistant infection, was found in supermarket meat as published

a whole other issue), but did you know they are also fed “by-product feedstuffs.” Feedlot operators attempt to save money by feeding the animals waste products from the manufacture of human food. This can mean sterilized city garbage, candy, bubble gum, and floor sweepings from manufactured animal food. (source: “ByProduct Feedstuffs in Cattle Diets “ 2008 University of Wisconsin at Madison) As I mentioned, raising animals on pasture is dramatically different from the status quo of cattle farming. I am betting that at least 99% of all the meat, dairy, and eggs we find at a commercial grocery store come from animals raised in Confined Animal Feeding Operations. Although the food is cheap and convenient, for these animals there is growing awareness that factory farming creates a basketful of problems such as; animal stress and abuse, food with questionable nutritional value, use of antibiotics and hormones, air, land and water pollution and the loss of small family farms. Shannon Hayes, author of The Grass-fed Gourmet and The Farmer and the Grill, reminds us that grass fed meat is variable. She says we have grown accustomed to an industrialized food system that

Continued on page 11


The Valley, June 2012

Julie Mac’s

Wisdom from the Kitchen, Home, and Garden Julie MacConnell

Peking without the “G” My husband called me at work a few weeks ago, very excited. “Do you want some ducks?” he asked? I have to admit I hesitated. I had never really contemplated adding ducks to our brood. Many years ago we had raised a baby mallard to adulthood and released it back into the wild. Alex we named her. She was adorable and had almost been a

meal for a very large coon cat if Jim hadn’t rescued it. She was a character, but I remember her sunbathing on my lounge chair on the deck—after she had finished pooping all over it. Washing my deck down had become a daily chore that was starting to wear on me. We didn’t have a proper pen for her so she pretty much had the run of the place… “Ducks?” I asked “What kind?” I had visions of the Muscovy ducks that our friend had tried to give us a few years back. No offense to anyone who loves the breed but I thought they When we first brought Rocky and Nova home, we gave them a were darned ugly. Call special treat, frozen peas in a bowl of water. They loved it!

me petty, but I had turned them down back then because of it. I remember thinking Please don’t say they are Muscovies…. “Pekin” he told me through the static on his phone. “Peking?” I asked back. “No—Pekin—without the G…you know, AFLAC!” I started laughing. Really? Someone wants to give us AFLAC ducks? Cool! I have to admit, I really love those commercials. Then my heart sank— where in the world are we going to put them? “The lady who has them hatched them from eggs she incubated,” he told me, “and she has this big horse trough they are living in—we’ll figure something out!” I think he was more excited than I was at that point. Immediately I began doing research online and found out as much as I could before we were scheduled to go pick them up. I was happy to find out that they were pretty decent layers. Duck eggs go for a premium at the local restaurants,

Rocky and Nova exploring their new digs in with the chickens.

so I could sell the eggs at the market…I had to laugh at myself for having to justify wanting the ducks for that reason. I wanted them because they were cute. There was absolutely nothing wrong with that. Rocky and Nova came home with us that following Saturday. The horse trough ended up being a gigantic 300 gallon behemoth that barely fit into our mudroom. It took two of the men folk to get it through the door. Our sweeties proceeded to live in their new home until we did some more research and discovered that the ducks could co-habitate peacefully with our chickens. They were already a healthy size and after two weeks, we felt it was time to introduce them to “The Girls.” Well, they didn’t quite know what to do with each other at first. There were some cold stare downs and after “Momma” got a little too close to Nova, Rocky showed her that he wasn’t going to put up with any shenanigans. He gave her a good poke in the rear—and that was that. The pecking order

was established. Even bossy didn’t want to take on a Pekin duck that was already bigger than she was. Since then, they have lived peacefully together in their enlarged pen and my boss gave me an old kiddie pool that was sitting in his garage, so now they even have a place to swim. They are enjoying themselves immensely and have grown into full-fledged favorite pet status. Even though we are not quite sure yet, we believe we have a male and a female, so we have kept the names they came with. I am hoping that nature takes its course and we will have a batch of little ducklings in the future. Nothing pleases me more than to come home and have them rush the pen door quacking noisily. Momma, we are so glad to see you! I swear they have bonded to us. They are so easy to keep and so charming that I would absolutely recommend them to anyone. Maybe I will sell some eggs to the restaurant….Maybe. a

The Valley, June 2012 Editors Corner from page 2

Mark to be very interesting and engaging when talking to him on a business matter. He is a great fit for The Valley and all of us welcome him aboard! Our advertisers are our life blood, they are who make it possible to produce this paper and we like to use our advertisers when an opportunity presents itself. We feel a responsibility to the reader to present honest, hard working, local businesses to our reader-

ship. Many of our advertisers are people that we know or have been patronizing for some time. We recently had the opportunity to use one of our advertisers, Jason Royer, a contractor who has been advertising for new home construction and remodeling work. If you have any work that needs to be done, USE HIM! We are delighted with the new stairway he installed for us on the side of the house. His attention to detail and quality is unsurpassed in my

opinion. We are so impressed that Jason will be remodeling our bathroom next. I can HIGHLY recommend his work. All of us here at The Valley are sorry to see Macy Fisher retire her crown and throne, but hope to continue with the new “Dairy Princess,” next month. This is the year we learn to shop closer to home, and support our neighbors, Get Vocal, Buy Local a


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The Valley, June 2012


The Horse Scoop by Traci Hanna Yoder

Equine Essentials When we think of Equine Essentials, of course the first thing that comes to mind is the Horse! Not just any horse, but a horse that works for our abilities and our events…one that suits all of our needs. The wrong horse can take much of the fun out of horseback riding. A good horse is a “must have.” Once we have found “the” horse, then what else do we really need to make life easier at the barn? Every horse person will have a slightly different “must have” list, but here are my top 10 Equine Essentials. 10. A good sturdy “poop fork” is one thing that anyone that has to clean stalls cannot live with-

out. My favorite is the Durafork Manure Forks. For the barn or in the trailer, proper tools that don’t break make barn life much easier and cleaner. Having a cleaner barn is part of overall maintenance of your horse and facility. 9. Leather repair pieces and twine… and Duct Tape! Duct tape can make a great hoof pad for wrapping abscesses, or to temporarily hold many damaged items together. Whether you have a horse or not, duct tape is considered by many to be priceless! 8. Buckets can be used for water, for feed, or can even be used as obstacles. Buckets that contain feed supplements can be recycled as carrying containers for taking

products on the road to shows, trail rides, etc. 7. Felt Saddle Pad Liners are a product that I have used for years, and I keep several extras on hand. They keep more expensive saddle pads cleaner, and can offer extra padding under the saddle. They can be easily cleaned, but are also inexpensive enough they can be replaced. 6. Well-made Rope Halters are great around the barn when you have several sizes of horses and want something quick and easy to use. They can be adjusted to better fit any horse and are good for training whether you are off or on the horse. 5. I have two Mounting Blocks at my barn. Many people will think “I don’t need a mountPhone (717) 667-6556 141 Three Cent Lane ing block.” Not Toll Free (888) 567-6556 Reedsville, PA 17084 only as we age or become stiffer from injuries does this make it easier on us, but it is also More than just a feed store much easier on the horse. I train all my horses to

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stand at a mounting block. This also helps to desensitize them to obstacles and make them more obedient to standing where I want them to. A mounting block can also be used to stand on to reach places we can’t quite get to. 4. A variety of Grooming Some of my top ten “must have” items Products are found in getting adequate feed, he cannot every horse person’s barn. Durperform at his best. A First Aid ing the current shedding season, Kit is a great recommendation for popular grooming tools include anyone’s stable or trailer. Having a good curry. My favorite spring products like banamine, electrogrooming tool is the Slick N’ Easy lytes, vet wrap, antibiotic cream, block for shedding out a horse. I and syringes can be beneficial in also like a good rubber jelly like case of an emergency. curry for currying and applying 2. Good quality, well-maintained shampoo for bathing. Detanglers Tack that is appropriate for your /Conditioners and Fly Spray are type of riding is essential. As I necessity items, and brands are a mentioned in previous articles, a personal preference. Endure fly saddle that fits good can make or spray and roll-on are two fly conbreak your ride. An uncomfortable trol products that I prefer. I also horse or rider, does not make for like Mane & Tail Detangler and an enjoyable ride. Every person Eqyss Conditioner. Rags or cloths will have their own preferences of are excellent for lifting out dirt type, style, and fit of tack. One of when you cannot bathe the horse. my most essential pieces of tack Good Clippers are very important, is an Argentine bit (often called nothing is more annoying when an Argentine snaffle because it you are grooming and getting has a broken or jointed mouthready to show off your horse than piece, however, it is a shank bit). clippers that don’t work. Oster A5 For me, this has been a good all has been my old reliable pair for around bit that can be used for many years. Hoof picks are not training, trail riding, or showing... only for cleaning hooves, but can it’s priceless. I actually have 3 of often double as a screw driver and them! Tack should be quality and are perfect for prying containers well made, good fit, comfortable, open. and have usability for your type 3. Good Health Care itself isn’t an of riding. “item” but it is extremely impor1. As I said, the Horse is the tant in owning a horse. A health number one “must have” essential care program is definitely essenitem, but along with that you need tial to maintaining your horse’s Good Friends and Horse Lovers to level of performance, whether enjoy the ride with. it’s on the trail or in the arena. Whether it’s someone to One of the most essential areas of spend time in the saddle with on health care is a proper dewormthe trail, or someone that uning! Rotational deworming done derstands just how much your every 3 months is recommended. horse accomplished that day at Vaccinations are a very important the show; we need horse people area of health care. Talk to your that understand our “language.” veterinarian about what vaccines Friends who understand your love your horse might need. Health of horses...that’s one thing you care also includes a proper feedreally can’t live without. a ing program to meet the needs of your horse. If your horse is not


The Valley, June 2012

LIbrary Lines Your Mifflin County Library

NASA Mission For Librarians Summer is coming. It’s getting warmer, the days are longer, school will be over soon. And that means summer reading at the library. Librarians plan the themes for summer reading programs years in advance. I have been working for the Mifflin County Library for eighteen years now, and we have never ever had an outer space theme. In eighteen years, not once! (I’ve always wanted a space theme—since we participate in the 26 state collaborative summer reading program, we do what the supervisors say.) But, I’ve always tweeked the themes. We offer Young Author’s Workshop, a kids writing class; we offer Baby Story Time; and I admit a lot of my activities in the summer had nothing to do with past themes. This year’s theme is Dream Big: Read. So I thought, “Okay, that’s broad enough to include fairy tales. I like fairy tales.”

Then came NASA; you know, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. They are sending a probe to Jupiter, called Mission: Juno. And part of that mission is to get librarians to promote space exploration! Space exploration! For librarians! When I heard about that, I couldn’t wait to sign up for it, especially since the Mission: Juno scientists from Houston are offering their librarian program at the Schlow Library in State College. After a lengthy application, I was accepted, along with my coworker, Kelly Rivera (known as “Miss Kelly” to all the kids). Toward the end of May, Miss Kelly and I will be heading to State College and to outer space, learning more about the Juno Mission and Jupiter in particular, but also about all of the planets and their moons. Miss Kelly and I even have homework to do, learning about

Grass (Fed) is Greener from page 7

internal temperatures than those recommended by the USDA. Also, look carefully at the meat before you cook it. Does it have the thickness you are used to? Is it leaner? This evaluation will help to alter cooking time and temperature. When choosing grass fed beef, take the time to truly enjoy it. Yes, it will more than likely cost a bit more. Understandable, considering the tender loving care it has been given. Remember, they take longer to raise. Sit, savor and enjoy.

offers us flavorless, ecologically devastating, potentially toxic, inhumane, nutritionally deficient meat.” But, she admits this tainted type of meat is consistent. She says that for over 50 years the industrialized food system has been supported by a culinary industry that has educated us on how to make the most of this consistently inferior meat. We are reminded that grass fed meats are a product of their ecosystem and every farm’s ecosystem will be a little different. This is evidence of a healthy, diversified, localized, sustainable food system. Ms. Hayes offers numerous cooking tips for making grass fed meat tender and delicious, such as lowering the temperatures at which to cook the meat. If grilling, sear the meat and then finish over indirect heat. When the meat is not heavily marbled there is little fat to slow the muscle contraction so the meat may be chewy if not handled with care. Use a meat thermometer and remove the meat from the source of heat with lower

Is grass fed a “trend”? I don’t think so. From 1998- 2009 the number of serious grass fed producers in the United States have grown from just 100 to over 2,000. Obviously, the availability of grass-fed meat is growing with increasing consumer awareness and demand. Hooray! Consequently, it has never been more convenient to find grass fed products. Some large super market chains such as Wegmans in State College are now stocking this healthier protein alternative. Locally, I can attest that you can find these delicious and nutritious products from a variety of local

the Big Bang Theory and gaseous clouds and magnetospheres (a magnetic field in the atmosphere). The upcoming mission to Jupiter will discover clues to our solar system’s history. In preparation, the scientists and educators from NASA will share space science information, resources, hands-on activities, and demonstrations with librarians from Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. To help us, NASA has awarded a $700 grant to the Mifflin County Library. The workshop is limited to 25 applicants who provide out-of-school programs in rural, lower economic areas. So you see Mission: Juno ties in nicely with our Summer Reading Program theme, Dream Big: Read. The theme manual already included space and space shuttle clip art! Almost all of our story times at the Lewistown Library will focus around space. We will have a Lunar Story Time to learn about our moon. Also offered is Fancy Nancy: Stellar Stargazer for boys and girls (the boys are Dapper Dans) and we’ll learn about the stars and constellations. Later on in another session, the children will learn about “An Astronaut’s Life for Me!” How do astronauts

go to the bathroom with no-gravity? As part of our “mission” the library will put a scale model of the solar system within Mifflin County. For example, the Lewistown Library will be the Sun. The Rothrock Branch Library in McVeytown will be Jupiter, which is 483 million miles from the Sun (McVeytown is 11.9 miles from Lewistown). We’ll scale down the other planets to be other agencies or businesses in the county. For years in the Children’s Library in Lewistown, we’ve had a scaled model of the solar system; the Sun is just above our computer station and Pluto is way down at the end of nonfiction! The library’s Summer Reading Program begins June 1 with prizes for reading offered from June 18 through August 10 and is for all ages, infant through adult readers, at the Lewistown Library and each of the branch libraries. Call or click for more information at 242-2391 or Dream Big: READ at your library and all through your life!!

farms and markets. The one that I frequent the most is Over the Moon Farm. While this farm is located in Rebersburg, farmer and owner Lyn Garling brings her selections to Tait Farm (800-787-2716) located in Centre Hall several times a month. I really enjoy stocking up on her beef, pork, chicken and amazing sausage all the while having a great satisfaction in knowing the farmer that produced it. Lyn is open to farm visits on pre-selected dates. Check out her website, www.overthemoonfarm. com for more information. Another good source is Cow a Hen Farm, Bill Callahan 1760 Centennial Rd Mifflinburg, PA 17844 570-966-2678. They can be found each Tuesday at the Boalsburg Farmer’s Market at the Boal Museum Parking lot from 2-6. Their pork is outstanding. Health Food stores are another option. Locally, Rose will help you out at Nature’s Harmony on Belle Ave. in Lewistown. If you are heading to the Nittany Mall in State College, check out Nature’s Pantry which is right on the way on 2331 Commercial Blvd. I have purchased grass-fed meat (frozen) from both locations. It is important to point out that there is a difference between

“organic” and grass-fed meat. Organic means the animals were not fed pesticides and have limited time in the pasture. This is better, just not as good as grass-fed. No doubt, the American diet is “animal product heavy.” This demand has come at a huge expense to all of us in the form of a very inferior and inexpensive product that is known to contribute to a host of chronic diseases as well as the decay of the local family farm. Yes, grass-fed meat is more expensive, but I actually see that as a good thing. It may mean that we value it more, eat less of it and enjoy every morsel. If you choose to eat meat, consider becoming a conscious carnivore. When you select products from animals raised on pasture you are aiding the welfare of the animals, stamping out environmental degradation, supporting small scale farmers, sustaining rural communities AND giving your family the healthiest animal protein possible. Everyone wins!!! If you are interested in exploring this grass (fed) is greener topic in more detail check out these great resources:

A Little Help ? A retired Penn State journalism professor is working on a project he calls “Pennsylvania Barn Stories” and is looking for the owners of barns who are willing to have their barns photographed and to tell the unique stories behind their barns. R Thomas Berner says there are barns that have been in families for generations, barns built in a special way and barns that have been converted to other uses. “There are stories behind those barns and I’d like to tell them,” he says. If you are interested, you may contact Berner at or 814.753.2302 or write to him at 171 Meadow Flower Circle, Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, 16823. Berner is applying to foundations for grant money to support the project. a

by Susan Miriello Youth Services Librarian Mifflin County Library a

Pasture Perfect by Joe Robinson Farmer Meets Grill- by Shannon Hayes – to find local grass-fed, antibiotic free products (814-349-2697) Additional References not cited in the body of the text: C., J. A. Scimeca, et al. (1994). “Conjugated linoleic acid. A powerful anticarcinogen from animal fat sources.” Cancer 74(3 Suppl): 1050-4. Ip, C., J. A. Scimeca, et al. (1994). “Conjugated linoleic acid. A powerful anticarcinogen from animal fat sources.” Cancer 74(3 Suppl): 1050-4. Dhiman, T. R., G. R. Anand, et al. (1999). “Conjugated linoleic acid content of milk from cows fed different diets.” J Dairy Sci 82(10): 2146-56. Sue is a holistic nutrition consultant and holistic health educator. Her office is located at 54 Chestnut Street in Lewistown. To learn more about her business go to www.mynourishingjourney. com She can be reached by email at or give her a call at 2423132. a

The Valley, June 2012


Roads Less Traveled... by Lynn Persing

Procrastination Here it is just a day before the paper must be uploaded to the printer’s server, a holiday weekend, and I am one sentence into my article. Yay me! As I sit here sweating bullets from the humidity that has overtaken the second floor of our house, my brain is telling me that I am an idiot--once again--for waiting until the last minute to get this article done. If you are a procrastinator, you can relate. We have several writers who have their stories done days ahead of deadline, and others who just barely make it, or politely ask for an extension. What motivates one person to be done with something way ahead of deadline and another to wait until the day something is due to get started? I’ve heard myself (and others) say “I work best under pressure” and to some extent I can believe that is true. But, I’m still

wondering what’s in the chemical makeup of the person’s brain who just has to have things done early. They certainly must be less stressed. Or are they? I’ve seen people stress because they are five days before a deadline, but two days later than they “normally” have things done. Yikes, they are two days behind schedule, but they are still ahead of schedule. What’s the purpose in stressing over that? Are these folks any less stressed than me? Do they make their own stress? Do I? Does pro-

crastination ever pay off? You betcha! I wouldn’t recommend it, but every once in a while it works out in my favor. Have you ever put a lot of effort into a task, only to find that it wasn’t needed in the end? Well, there are plenty of times that I’ve saved myself that time and effort by not doing a task

until is was absolutely necessary. Of course, when I procrastinate folding the laundry, and Wayne gets tired of looking at the basket and folds it himself, that doesn’t really count because I’ve just transferred my time and effort saved to him. And then I usually hear about it. That’s not really procrastination, that’s laziness. Is there a difference between procrastination and laziness? Why do we procrastinate? Do we just procrastinate on things that we don’t enjoy doing? Not always, I procrastinate on almost everything, even the things I enjoy. Wayne says “I just don’t understand it. It’s so much easier to just get stuff done. I can’t stand having stuff hanging over my head, it’s just not healthy. I learned that when I was in school. I always did my homework before I left school, so I never had homework in the evening.” Well, there you have it. He’s got one of those

brains with the “weird” chemicals. What makes the two of us such polar opposites? Of course, there have been research studies on procrastination. In fact, I found one article that mentioned a study that was supposed to take five years, actually took ten years to complete. What happened there? I guess they procrastinated doing it for five years. As a procrastinator, I can definitely tell you that it’s generally not a good attribute to have. From the few articles I’ve read about procrastination, it comes as no surprise that it can lead to anxiety, panic, and general unhappiness. It can also have serious financial implications. There just might be some truth to all of that. I’m sorry if you thought this article was going to be littered with useful tips to help you stop procrastinating. I am not the best person to hand out those tips. The good news is that my article is done (wow, it feels good!), but I think I’ll procrastinate on inserting it into the newspaper layout until tomorrow. Maybe I should start on my article for the next issue? Nah, I’ve got all month to get that done, besides, I have too many other procrastinated tasks to finish today. *SMILE* I leave you now with a few

Continued on page 30


The Valley, June 2012

Understanding the Constitution by David Molek

Consent of the Governed America is exceptional in the sense that the constitutional order established at our nation’s founding has, on the whole, proved remarkably sound, stable and enduring. Our Constitution has endured for over two centuries. It remains an object of reverence for most Americans and an object of admiration by peoples around the world (except notably Justice Ginsberg). When our Constitution was being considered and written in Philadelphia, there were no liberal or conservative factions contending for power. Most agreed that a democratic republic, operating under enumerated and thus limited powers, was the best political choice for the American people. The basic idea was that the only legitimate constitution was that which originated with, and was controlled by, the people. Our Declaration of Independence provided the philosophical basis for a government that exercises legitimate power by “consent of the governed”. This principle is

declared in the Preamble of the Constitution which proclaims that our Constitution is ordained and established not by the government, but by “We the People”. The “consent of the governed” stands in contrast to the “will of the majority”. Consent of the governed describes a situation where the people are self-governing in our communities, religious and social institutions and into which the government may intrude only with the peoples’ consent. In Europe, the will of the majority signals an idea that all decisions are ultimately political and are routed through the government. It seems to me that our current President and his administration are going in that European socialistic direction. Our President needs to be reminded every day, and particularly in November, that limited government is not just a desirable objective, but it is an essential bedrock of our country and our Constitution. Our Constitution rests on the proposition that our govern-

ment is by definition limited government. Our Constitution is a legal and political limitation on government, particularly our federal government. This current administration’s direction clearly is hostile to our Constitution and identifies all law with legislation. Our Constitution is supposed to be the supreme law of the land. Since the so-called progressive era started, liberal and radical forces have assaulted our Constitution. The liberal view in American politics has been at odds with the basic principles of our Constitution. Many of us are unconvinced of the liberals’ loyalty to our Constitution itself. Liberals (now calling themselves progressives) have been advancing a “living” constitution approach to constitutional interpretation. Their premise is that a Constitution drafted in 1787 cannot possibly serve the needs of society in 2012. Therefore, their premise is that it is incumbent on the courts to adapt our Constitution to modern conditions

and changed values. My objection to this approach is that their interpretation defeats the libertyprotecting, power-restraining, limited government purposes of our Constitution. Like every other law, our Constitution must bind officials, not empower them. Living constitution theory runs contrary to the rule of law and constitutional government. For our Constitution to serve its intended purpose as a constraining document for government, its meaning cannot be adjusted dayby-day by those whose offices it has established and whose acts it was meant to constrain. Like every other law, our Constitution binds a judge, legislator and administrator to its pre-determined meaning. This is its true essence. History shows us that in the last 100 years, liberal elements in American society and politics have been essentially at war with our Constitution and have worked hard, and sometimes well, to change its fundamental structure in order to implement liberal programs and policies. This effort has increased the powers of each branch of the federal government and reduced substantially the reserved powers of the states. If federal judges, appointed for life, are free to effectively amend our Constitution, how do we have the

rule of law based upon our founding documents? The primary purpose of our Constitution is to provide for limited government, not to protect rights. Liberals want our Supreme Court to say what rights are actually protected. Our right of selfgovernment is one of our most precious freedoms. The ideology of civil rights has been imposed upon the American people by our federal judiciary. Using an interpretive device known as the doctrine of incorporation, federal judges used the due process clause of the 14th Amendment to obliterate the reserved powers of the states respecting almost all of the liberties enumerated in the Bill of Rights. Many believe the federal courts have overturned the main purpose of our first 10 Amendments. In essence, the 50 states often seem like little more than administrative units of the central government. We applaud the efforts of Arizona and Texas to take back the constitutionally-granted reserved powers. Our Constitution is and must be understood to be the standard against which all laws, policies, regulations and interpretations must be measured. It is fundamental law. Progressives (really liberals) will not be deterred, nor will they allow logic or consistency to stand in the way of their vision of a “living” Constitution. Our true Constitution subscribes to the view that the government must in all respects be politically responsible both to the states and to the people. Our current administration in Washington does not support that view. We have the right to resist unjust and abusive government. Read our Constitution, study it and support it. a

The Valley, June 2012


Urban Archaeology By Steve White Urban archaeology From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Urban archaeology is a sub discipline of archaeology specialising in the material past of towns and cities where long-term human habitation has often left a rich record of the past. Hello, my name is Steve White and I have been a resident in Mifflin County for most of my life. This is a great place to live with beautiful mountains, excellent streams and friendly people. We are also blessed with a rich history that dates back to the 1700’s. That is what the primary focus of this article is about. After some prompting from Wayne about writing an article about our mutual hobby, metal detecting, I pondered the idea for a while. Then I realized that this may be a chance to demystify the whole treasure hunting/metal detecting wrap we often get. First of all, we are not “get rich quick” people that dig up treasure from individual’s homes, parks, private lots, and lastly, historic sites. We are detectorists, that live by a code of “Leave no Trace.” We respect the landowners property and most often clean a lot of trash from the area. We

have a certain techniques to dig a plug in the grass and close it up without harming the grass or damaging the surrounding soil. As far as finding buried treasure, we seldom find anything more than pop tabs and nails. There is always the hope we will find some good artifacts, but alas, it is the rare day that we get a good relic. You are probably asking yourself, why would you do all this, spend your time and money digging up trash? Well, there are a lot more behind the scenes activities to an outing than one thinks. As with all hobbies, there are several levels and that is what makes it fun. Research occupies many hours prior to a hunt. A detectorist simply does not head out and hope for the best. This often spells failure. We check old maps, photos, and history books to find spots that promise to hold some artifacts or relics from the past. After locating a site, the next thing is asking permission and setting a time to hunt. The real treasure we find would be something from an area that was used everyday or an old coin that may have been dropped. If anyone thinks we are going to get rich from this hobby, you are mistaken. There are other levels to detecting, like coin shooting, where

Too Much Stuff

Understand Hoarding and it’s Impact on Individuals, Families and Communities Christiana Bratiotis, Ph. D., LICSW

My name is Dr. Christiana Bratiotis and I would like to express my thanks for the opportunity to be guest writer for this month’s issue of The Valley. I’m a hoarding researcher and therapist and have been working in this area for eight years. In my clinical work, I meet with people who hoard, their families and sometimes organizations from the affected communities. While most media attention has focused on the issue of urban hoarding, hoarding is just as likely to be found in a rural setting. I hope that the following information will be helpful if you, or someone you know, faces this serious challenge. It is estimated that approximately 30% of North Americans have a collection of some kind.

Collectors are thought to save and maintain objects that are generally considered to be interesting and of value to others. This kind of saving is distinctly different from the problem of hoarding. Hoarding was first defined in 1996 by psychologist Dr. Randy Frost at Smith College in Northampton, MA. The definition of hoarding has three component parts that highlight the most important features of the problem. 1. Hoarding is characterized by the acquisition of and failure to discard a large number of possessions. This acquisition happens mainly in two ways – through buying objects and through picking up free things. The failure to discard items is more commonly thought of as saving.

you just go to a park and look for new coins, referred to as clad because of there composition. There are also relic hunters that go to old battle sites or encampments with the most noticeable being civil war sites. Another aspect of this hobby is beach hunting, where detectorists comb the beaches for lost coins, jewelry, or whatever else comes ashore. Living to a code of ethics, we always ask permission to hunt before starting and most of the time you cannot see where we actually dug a target. We go to great lengths to make a minimal impact on a home owner’s property. A lot of times we even offer to split our finds with the homeowner so that they too have a piece of history. I hope this demystifies some of the tags we get labeled as metal detorists. We are fun loving, sort of nerdish guys and gals that would, for the most part, do anything for you. We enjoy the camaraderie of the hunt. We usually get together for some breakfast, go over the hunt planned for the day, lay out our strategies and then take off. Not only do we spend time researching sites, we also spend time learning our equipment. Many hours are spent reading up-to-date techniques, the latest equipment, and on Google Earth. This is a great tool that saves a lot of time and fuel in checking a site out. It is truly amazing that we can click ourselves anywhere in the world and watch cars drive down the road we live on. It is said that there are more

coins in the ground than being circulated. I don’t know how true that is, but if you think about it, it may not be too far off. People just by nature tend to lose things—money, keys, jewelry, etc. You can drop money swinging from a swing, getting out of your car, sitting in a park, fishing, and the list goes on and on. Multiply that whole scenario by 250 years. That brings up an interesting point about the old times. Money was harder to get and it bought a lot of things back then. I often marvel when I find an old quarter from the 1800’s. How much of a loss was this to an individual who received 1 dollar a day for 12 hours of labor intensive work. Pennies were a common coin as it paid for a lot of goods and services. We had half pennies, half dimes and a whole array of coinage that reflected a simpler time. So many things were paid for with coins that we seldom give a second thought to today. Finding a 1943 mercury dime that was last touched by someone in the 40s just gives you a flashback to a time that was full of turmoil and uncertainty. How about an 1863 dime that you know was in

2. Hoarding is defined by the excessive clutter that prevents activities of living for which the space was designed. This means that people who hoard may not be able to sleep in their beds, prepare meals in their kitchens or bath in their bathrooms because of the accumulation of possessions. 3. The third part of the definition is significant emotional distress or impairment in daily functioning caused by the presence of too much stuff. Research suggests that the problem of hoarding begins in childhood around age 13. People who hoard often live alone. They tend to marry at lower rates than the general population and divorce at higher rates, They often prefer not to live with family members or roommates and report preferring to be alone with their possessions. In 2008, a study at Johns Hopkins University, conducted by Dr. Jack Samuels and colleagues found that about 5% of the U.S.

population suffers from hoarding. At that time this amounted to about 6 million Americans at all education and earning levels. The problem of hoarding is not, however, unique to the United States. Studies recently conducted in Germany (2009) and England (2010) show hoarding estimates at 4% and 2% respectively. In an area of emerging research, Dr. Samuels and his team are currently investigating the prevalence of hoarding among family members. If Mom or Dad have hoarding, one or more of their biological children are more likely to develop hoarding. While much is currently known about hoarding, it is a field of study still in its infancy. Research into hoarding started approximately 25 years ago (compared to depression which has been researched for well over 150 years) and new findings emerge all the time. Small groups of researchers and clinicians in this country and around the world have collected enough evidence to

the hands of someone that lived in the civil war era—imagine the experiences that surrounded their everyday life. These are some of the romantics of this hobby that are seldom seen or understood. Enough of the nostalgia. Metal detecting is a fun hobby that gets you outside and in the fresh air, whether it is the beach, the woods, or an old ball field. We also find lost objects such as rings watches, necklaces, etc. and usually for free. If this is a hobby that appeals to you, please give Wayne or I a call or email the paper. We would be happy to help you get started and point you in the right direction. If you have been a detectorist for a while and just want to chat, we would welcome that as well. This is a sport for all, young or old, male or female. If you have an old house and want to see what history is in the ground, we will be happy to talk to you. There is treasure everywhere around us, it all depends on what you call treasure. Hopefully my next article will include some sites and finds we have uncovered. Thank you for your interest. a substantiate hoarding as a mental health disorder. Clinical interviews and assessments as well as brain scans of people who hoard suggest that there are innate biological and neural causes of hoarding. Until now, mental health clinicians referred to compulsive hoarding as a form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), a mental illness characterized by obsessive thoughts, which lead to compulsive behaviors. Research studies done in the U.S. and U.K. suggest that hoarding has distinct features from other forms of OCD and it soon may be officially classed as distinct disorder. Hoarding shows itself in three main ways: 1) saving objects, 2) acquiring objects, and 3) resulting clutter. 1) Saving objects. Interestingly, people who hoard and people who don’t hoard all save items for the same three reasons: sentimental, instrumental and intrinsic.

Continued on page 19


The Valley, June 2012

Our Environment Our Culture Enjoying the Bounty of the Season Local Foods Benefit Consumers, Farmers and the Community by Milissa Piper-Nelson

Sit down and enjoy that fresh sliced tomato from the local farmers’ market, or bite into a deliciously sweet ear of corn grown by your neighbor-farmer! Fresh foods produced close to home are truly delicious and nutritious. Especially here in Central Pennsylvania, we are blessed with many farmers who work hard to offer us the best in vegetables, fruits, meats, dairy products, baked goods and specialty foods and crops. When we consider why local foods are important, it is often noted that many food items are produced from across the country or imported from other countries and travel great distances to reach our supermarkets. With the cost of fuel and transportation, food costs continue to increase. Production is also subject to pests and diseases that can affect where our food comes from and the condition in which it arrives. Over the past decade, the interest in connecting with local farmers and eating locally has be-

come quite popular. Consumers are encouraged to buy from local farmers, or ask for local products at the places they shop. The local foods movement is more than just a passing “food fad” – it represents a new way of thinking about what you are eating and supporting your own local economy. In America, we have become accustomed to large-scale produced, low-cost food available at chain stores. We wonder why we cannot find “cheap” food at the local farmers’ market or farm stand. A recent article about the price of eggs at a farmer’s market notes that small scale production is much different than the large scale farming that produces and ships thousands of pounds of food at a time. Economies of scale where inputs can be purchased less expensively may keep food costs down, but you need to weigh that against the quality you are seeking for your family. Obviously, local farmers cannot provide all your food and fiber needs, but supporting local farmers is the same as

supporting any local business. Your neighbor-farmers are business people who have invested money and a great deal of time in planting, caring for, harvesting and shipping goods for you to enjoy. It takes considerable investments in time and money to produce each crop. While local foods may cost a bit higher, think of the fresh-picked or produced nutrition you are getting and how hard the farmer had to work just to get fresh strawberries or the quart of milk to your table. When we support local farms, we strengthen our own local communities and economies. If we lose valuable agricultural land, we must then look elsewhere for our food and fiber sources. If you have to drive to another community for your food, you are taking your local dollar away from your own community and spending it elsewhere. Well-maintained agricultural land provides a refuge for birds and wildlife, increases carbon sequestration, helps prevent soil

You never know what fresh goodies you will find at a farmers market

and water loss and gives our communities green belts which purify the air we breathe. There are many benefits of supporting local food systems such as community supported agriculture programs (CSA’s) where you buy a share in a farming operation and get a box of food each week during the growing season. Supporting a local farmer’s market also gives you the opportunity to meet local farmers and get to know how their work

contributes to the local economy. With summer here, we have the opportunity to get out and meet and greet our neighbor-farmers who offer us those wonderful, tempting seasonal treats that delight us each year. Please make it a point this season to visit a local market, retail outlet or farm selling the season’s bounty. Buying local keeps our dollars circulating within our own communities and rewards farmers for all their hard work. a

The Valley, June 2012


Splitting Hares by Julianne Cahill

Dealing with Heat Warm, sunny days have come again and it is only a matter of time until summer is officially here. Of course, with the start of another season, special rabbitry preparations are underway. Summer preparations are especially important for rabbit owners because rabbits cannot tolerate high temperatures as well as they tolerate low temperatures. The same thick fur coat that keeps them warm in the winter can make it difficult to stay cool in the summer. Outdoor rabbits are at the greatest risk for heat stroke because they are directly exposed to the elements. During warm months, outdoor hutches should be moved to a shady, cool area. The shade of a large tree or the side of a house or shed will keep the internal temperature of the

hutch much cooler than it would be in direct sunlight. Another popular tip is to save plastic soda bottles and freeze water inside overnight. The bottles can be offered to rabbits to lie against in the heat of the afternoon. If you have a large number of rabbits, or limited freezer space, ceramic tiles can also be placed in the freezer until cool and then offered for relief. Ice cubes can also be placed directly in the drinking water, by switching to wide-mouth water bottles or heavy ceramic crocks. Water should be replaced daily to prevent algae growth which easily accumulates in warm, standing water. On especially hot days, my favorite trick is to pull some fresh veggies and herbs from the garden. My rabbits especially

enjoy parsley and romaine lettuce. I usually dunk the greens in a pitcher of cool water for a few seconds and then offer them to the rabbits. They love this garden treat and it helps to keep them hydrated and cool! If the temperature rises above “normal” for the Valley (into the 90’s), it is usually best to consider bringing rabbits inside to a cooler location for the day and returning them to their hutches in the evening. Just remember that any drastic temperature changes can cause an animal to go into shock, so it’s best to move them to a location that is cooler, but not cold. For example, moving a rabbit from an outdoor hutch to a shady, covered porch will help alleviate some heat stress. Moving the same rabbit right next to an air conditioning vent is a little bit too dramatic. For indoor rabbits that are not in a temperature controlled barn (that’s fancy talk for air conditioned), ventilation is a must. I usually have two to three fans going during the day and several windows open to circulate the air. However, remember that barn fans can be a fire hazard in the summer. It is best to completely

unassemble and clean each fan at least once a month while in use. In between cleanings, I use the shop vac to pull loose fur from the front and back of the fan too. Fan maintenance will surely become one of your least favorite hobbies, but it could save you a lot of heartache in the end. Despite all of our preparations, there are occasions where a particularly heat-stressed rabbit may develop symptoms of heat stroke. When this happens, time is of the essence! Knowing and recognizing the symptoms is important in acting quickly enough to save your rabbit. If the rabbit is lethargic, panting, convulsing or has excessive moisture around his nose and mouth, bring him rabbit inside immediately. To treat heat stress or heat stroke, begin misting the ears with cool water to gradually bring his body temperature down. Do not submerge the rabbit in cold water or place him directly in front of an air conditioning vent or fan. A sudden and drastic change in temperature can put the rabbit into shock. If you’re able to make the rabbit comfortable within a reasonable amount of time,

it is best to keep him in a cooler area until he is fully recovered. For a severe case that can’t be remedied at home, call your vet for medical assistance. By taking the necessary precautions and knowing the symptoms of heat stroke, rabbit owners can truly enjoy the summer months without worry for their furry friends. I hope you all enjoy the relaxing summer nights ahead, and I wish safe travels to anyone leaving the Valley for a vacation this month—we will see you in July!

The Valley, June 2012

Homeschooling And Life on the homestead with andy weller

Busy Month and Graduation

Disclaimer: Before submitting this article to The Valley I posted it originally to my blog at Disclaimer Number Two: This article is going to be a bit short. The day after the submission of the article we are having a

blow out party to celebrate. Between that, work, chores, projects and the garden, I’ve been addle brained. This week has been long and tiring. Things at work are getting busier and required reports have a new importance. So work was long, tiring and filled with deadlines that require me to wait for data from others before I can meet my deadline... If they get their data to me after the deadline, then I’m late too, and I have no way of holding anybody accountable. Needless to say Ashley Weller at Graduation. We are so proud of her.

there are many reports that are late and I get dressed down because of late submissions. Such is life, I guess. The great A very proud Weller family at Ashley’s graduation. (l to r) Trudy, news is Andy, Ashley and Jake Weller. that my and we are very proud of her acdaughter complishment! Home education graduated from nursing school really does work and home eduthis week. She has to take the cated kids can go on and succeed state R.N. boards, and find an in a college environment. a R.N. job, but it’s over. Ashley worked hard to get to this point

17 Thoughts from the Bunker from page 26 should consider adding to your kit. I know that there is always something that I have missed and should be included and I am open to suggestions. My personal, or in military jargon, IFAK (individual first-aid kit), which is kept in my Bug Out Bag, contains an assortment of the above. Be sure to assemble and include a kit in each of your vehicles. It does not need to include all the items listed above, but should contain, at the very least, the essentials to treat minor wounds. In addition to a well-stocked First-Aid kit, I would recommend some kind of first-aid training. It’s been suggested that the minimum should be a basic first-aid/CPR class; First Responder/Paramedic training would be ideal. My oldest son is a member of a local Boy Scout troop where he is learning some basic first-aid skills, which is very comforting. Remember, when a crisis occurs it just might be YOYO (You’re On Your Own) time and it might be hours, if not days, before medical help arrives. Wouldn’t you rather have these supplies and the skills to use them and not need them, than need them and not know what to do? a

The Valley, June 2012


Woods, Water and Wildlife by Wayne Stottlar

Dame’s Rocket Weed or Flower?

What is the difference between a plant or a weed? Well, the simplest answer, and I tend to be as simple as possible, is that a weed is defined as any plant which is in the wrong place. With that simple definition as our guide, even your neighbor’s English Ivy can become a weed if it infiltrates your flower beds. Some plants behave quite nicely in certain environments, but let some of that seed fall in a sunnier, shadier, wetter, or more fertile spot, and it can create a monster and become out of control if conditions are perfect. Enter Hesperis matronalis, or Dame’s Rocket as it is commonly called. Perhaps the name doesn’t ring a bell, but all of you here in central Pennsylvania know this

plant, in fact, most people in 42 of our 50 states (no I still do not

believe there are 57 like our president once related) know this plant. Look out your windows on the edge of the woods, or along creek banks and you will be sure to spot the beautiful sight of all of those purple, pink and white blooms on three foot plants that seem to be everywhere this time of year. Hesperis was originally imported to use as a garden plant as it thrived in a variety of habitats. Apparently it thrives too well in some habitats and has been labeled an exotic invasive. I sometimes feel that the folks in charge of such lists are prone to serious over-reaction. It has been said that these non-native plants

A beautiful wild drift of Hesperis adds visual beauty to any woodland.

force out other native woodland plants. With that in mind I thought about the different places I have seen Dame’s Rocket growing wild and compared them to the areas without them. The only difference I could see was that wherever this plant thrived, there was a delightful explosion of soft pastels every spring, a A close up of the individual flowers shows the beauty of plus, not a nega- this prolific plant tive, in my book. to anyone lucky enough to witness Some states like Connecticut have this spectacle every spring. banned the plant, and in Mas We are lucky here in Central sachusetts it is prohibited. I take Pennsylvania where this plant solace in knowing that they will seems to thrive, but I have not never be successful in eradicating seen anywhere that I would conthis beautiful roadside wildflower. sider it aggressive, just thriving. There are sections of route Regardless of which side you 12 in Vermont where the drifts fall on as for labeling this plant, of Hesperis are unbroken for 10 no one should deny the good it miles or more, the visual beauty does to ones soul to be viewing and light pleasant scent becka large colony along a wood’s ons travelers to stop for a closer edge. When they finish flowering, look—I did often as I traveled this gather some seeds and start your road every week for many years. own patch. a To call this a weed is a bit much


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The Valley, June 2012 Too Much Stuff from page 14 Sentimental saving involves holding onto items that represent the person or a part of their life. Photographs and letters from loved ones are common sentimental saves. Instrumental saving is characterized by retaining objects that are useful – things such as lawn mowers, lamp shades, toothbrushes. Instrumental saving is one area where people who hoard tend to save a little more because they can see many creative uses for items that other people might readily discard. A person who hoards might see an empty plastic water bottle as a vessel for carrying water to plants, useful for mixing paints or to make salad dressings. The third category, intrinsic saving, is motivated by pleasure – an object makes one feel good or is beautiful. 2) Acquiring objects. Acquiring is commonly accomplished through buying and picking up free things. People who hoard buy in all the same places as non-hoarders – retail and discount stores, thrift shops, yard sales, on-line and via TV (think home shopping networks). Picking up free objects happens everywhere

Weaving our way to the present from page 5 of weaving among indigenous peoples of the Southwest, and the more recent Spanish influence, makes for absorbing reading and is well worth the effort. Today, it is a rare person who is not aware of the unparalleled weavings of the Navajo, but the weaving traditions of the Pueblos and the Hopi predate them and deserve as much attention. The warp-weighted vertical loom was widely used through out Europe from about 7000 B.C.E. until some 2000 years ago. It is well documented in Classical Greek literature and art, and still hangs on in parts of Scandinavia. The frame is a horizontal bar attached to two vertical posts, either set into the ground, attached to a stand, or leaned at a slight angle against a wall. As its’ name suggests, the warp threads are attached to the top bar and hang down to the floor with the bottoms of thread groups attached to weights of stone or, more usually, clay. Rows of these weights are the only bits of the ancient vertical looms that have survived to be found, but they are irrefutable proof of, and useful tools in tracking and dating, the development and spread of weaving over

– coupons at grocery stores, free newspapers, a drive through the neighborhood on trash morning and dumpster diving. In addition, recent research suggests that over 9% of people who hoard also steal (kleptomania) some amount of the objects they hoard. Many people who hoard simply do not throw away things that come into their lives. This is called passive acquisition – things like food packaging, junk mail and gifts from others are not things that are sought out, but the person who hoards them often allows these to mound up without ever discarding or recycling. 3) Clutter – the result of acquiring items and saving them. The clutter or stuff is the behavioral manifestation most commonly thought of when hoarding is mentioned. The profound images of clutter are the fuel for many popular reality TV shows these days. The clutter in a hoarded home is thought to be maintained through a process called churning. Churning is the act of picking an item out of the pile, touching it, examining it and putting it back into that or another pile. The clutter is also often described as being piles of items of mixed importance, from receipts to $100 bills

to empty shampoo bottles all comingled. The ways we know hoarding when we see it (manifestations) –saving, acquiring, and clutter–are not the result of slothfulness, immorality, lack of standards or willpower. Items are acquired and saved based on strong beliefs about the objects (such as usefulness, sentimentality, responsibility and sense of identity) and are tied to emotions of joy, pleasure, fondness and satisfaction. Because the objects are laden with such meaning and emotion, the common solution of simply removing the stuff is one that not only does

Europe and parts of the Middle East. Now, in any consideration of the history and development of weaving (or any other aspect of human civilizations, for that matter), we must guard against the common mistake of equating ‘primitive’ with ‘crude’ or ‘unskilled’. While all of the looms discussed so far may at one point have produced simple, perhaps even rough cloth, they have also been used to create some of the most sophisticated, technically difficult and beautiful fabric ever created by human hands: 5000 year old Egyptian linens with 150 to over 500 threads per inch (look at a ruler and be appropriately impressed), intricately patterned 3000 year old Chinese silk damask, Indian cotton so finely spun and woven that it becomes transparent when wet. How did they accomplish these amazing feats - by using their heads as well as their hands. Common to all of these early looms is the fact that they were (and are) relatively easy to construct, using the simplest of materials – ditto for repairs – and they are relatively easy to use. While the work done in the earliest times may have resulted from the threads being interwoven solely by hand, our species almost invariably adapts the contraptions

they come up with to increase efficiency and productivity. In most cases it would seem that changes were applied to looms early on. These improvements did not necessarily change the basic loom design, yet they did improve the manipulation of the threads, and the resulting cloth, to an incredible degree. The first major innovation that greatly improved these looms was the development of a device that opens the threads – one up, one down, one up, one down and so on – all at once so that the weft can be inserted quickly and easily. By looping a long cord around every other warp thread and attaching this cord to a stick, the weaver was able to manipulate the threads in a single operation, rather than laboriously darning the weft in and out of the warp, greatly increasing production with most all types of weaving. In all their variations, the thread separators are called heddles and the device to place the weft is called a shuttle and it’s a good bet that our foremothers came up with these ideas early on. The development of heddles also made pattern weaving possible since the threads they moved can be varied at will. Still, intricate images were, and still are, often woven in with the fingers – unlike some other human skills, all of the techniques of

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717-248-5476 • 1-800-PROPANE (776-7263) weaving seem to have survived the march of time. As with the spinning wheel, treadles came next. The type of hand loom that we commonly think of today, the threads running horizontally on a square frame with the weaving accomplished by a weaver seated on a bench and using foot treadles to move the heddles, appeared in Europe about 1000 years ago. Variations of this type of loom were being used in Asia centuries earlier. However the early development and spread of the treadle loom throughout Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe is difficult, at best, to trace. While some experts think that treadles developed with the weaving of fine silk and cotton in China and India, the technique was quickly adapted to wool and various plant fibers in other areas. The obvious advantage with moving the heddles using a mechanism operated by the feet is that the hands are freed up to concentrate on, and explore the possibilities of, the actual weaving. While refinements of foot powered treadle looms have continued down to the present day, the basic design has remained the same and, in its’ hundreds of incarnations, is the handloom used worldwide. Even in areas where the backstrap loom was historically dominant and is still in use

(such as parts of South America, Mexico and Indonesia), treadle loom use is widespread. As for vertical looms, the Southwest United States and parts of Norway are the largest areas where the older types are still in common use. Overall, vertical looms with heddles, and often treadles, are mainly used for tapestry work – one of the most creative and innovative areas of the fiber arts. Well, there we have it, a capsule look at hand weaving’s origins and developments over the past 10,000 years –give or take a bit. Next month we’ll venture into the logistics of adding weaving to your grab bag of life skills, so stay tuned, folks! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED reading: The Book of Looms: A History of the Handloom from Ancient Times to the Present by Eric Broudy One of the best books around to introduce you to this ancient craft – you’ve got to know where we’ve come from to even begin to think about where we’re going. Women’s Work: the First 20,000 Years – Women Cloth and Society in Early times by Elizabeth Wayland Barber Prepare to have a few assumptions challenged! a

The Valley, June 2012


Dairy Princess Memories by Macy Fisher Mifflin County Dairy Princess 2011-2012

Hi, I’m Macy Fisher the Mifflin County Dairy Princess and this is my last article. This will be the last month that you will be hearing from me since I will be giving up my crown on June 5th. Don’t worry though; I’m sure you will enjoy the new princess. She is a nice, young lady who I am sure will have many interesting stories to tell you. The new princess will be Amanda, my sister! Our pageant is on June 5th at Kish Park. I will be giving my fairwell speech and Amanda will be giving a speech as well. I don’t know what I will do after I give up my crown. I will have nothing to do anymore it seems. I will be graduated from high school, I won’t be the FFA president anymore, and I won’t be the dairy princess; I will have so much free time. Not really, but I wish I would. Instead I will be

getting ready for the next stage in my life. I will be headed off to college come fall. I will be attending Penn State Altoona to major in Agriculture Education/ Extension. After two years at Altoona, I will then transfer to main campus to finish out my last two years. I will also have to student teach somewhere in the state and then I will be shoved out into the real working world. I hope that I can come back to this area to teach; maybe here in Mifflin County at the Vo-Tech Center or at one of the schools in Huntingdon County. I have had a great time being dairy princess and if I could start my year over, I would not change a single thing about it. I have enjoyed this past year going around the county and getting to know everyone and I hope that I have taught you all at least one thing. I will miss being dairy princess and will miss all of you, but I’m sure you will enjoy having a new princess. I thought that for my last article I would pick some of my favorite recipes for warm weather. June is national dairy month and a warm

month as well, so I figured that these recipes would be perfect for the June issue. These are packed full of dairy goodness and nine essential nutrients, but still taste light by having tons of fruit added in. I’m sure that my favorites will become some of your favorites too. I hope that everyone has a great month of June and I would just like to give a big thank you to The Valley for having me write for them for this past year. I have enjoyed writing for them and wish them the best of luck with all their future issues. For the last time, this is Macy Fisher the Mifflin County Dairy Princess saying goodbye and thank you for a great year!

juice and vanilla in food processor or blender. Process until smooth. Add frozen strawberries and sugar; process until smooth. Pour into 6 paper cups, filling about ¾ full. Place in freezer for 1 hour. Insert wooden stick into center of each cup. Freeze until solid. Peel off cups before serving. Cherry Peach Pops 1/3 cup peach nectar or apricot nectar 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin 1 (15 ounce) can sliced peaches in light syrup, drained 1 (8 ounce) carton fat-free, sugarfree peach yogurt

Creamy Strawberry-Orange Pops 1 container (8 ounces) strawberry flavored yogurt ¾ cup orange juice 2 teaspoons vanilla 2 cups frozen whole strawberries 2 teaspoons sugar 6 paper cups 6 wooden sticks Combine yogurt, orange

1 (8 ounce) carton fat-free, sugarfree cherry yogurt Blueberry-Lime Pops 1 (8 ounce) carton Key Lime yogurt 1/3 cup frozen blueberries Stir yogurt tin small bowl until smooth then fold in blueberries. Spoon mixture into 4 plastic Popsicle molds. Place tops on molds; set in provided stand. Set on level surface in freezer; freeze for 2 hours or until firm. To unmold, briefly run warm water over Popsicle mold until each pop loosens. a

The Valley, June 2012

Modern Energy and Alternative Heating

with Curt Bierly

Natural Gas as a Fuel Source to Heat Your Home and DHW Many of you have read about the Natural Gas (Nat Gas) boom. You have read that the price of Nat Gas is currently decreasing because there is an oversupply. In addition to the price being lower Nat Gas storage capacity is rapidly being filled.

This all-of-a-sudden increase in the supply of Nat Gas is due to the discovery of the Marcellus Shale Formation (PA, NY, WV, OH, VA), other shale formations in the USA, the use of horizontal drilling and the controversial “hydrofracking” process. The drillers

are still working 24 hours a day in many areas building drilling pads and pipelines for the near future when the oversupply of Nat Gas is over and they can move back onto the Nat Gas drilling pads again. So, it “appears” we will have an abundant supply of “domestic”

natural gas for the foreseeable future. What the price structure will be in the future is anyone’s guess as there is much discussion by the drillers relative to exporting Nat Gas to other countries that are currently paying much higher prices.

21 In addition, there is a big push to move electric power generating plants from coal to Nat Gas which would tap heavily on natural gas supplies. All said, it will most likely be a number of years till it all settles out. Propane is mostly produced from heating oil or Nat Gas. As the price of Nat Gas is declining, propane is being made more from Nat Gas. As a result, the price of propane has also been declining. As opposed to Nat Gas and propane, the price of heating oil has increased significantly in the same time period. This appears to be a very good time to switch out your current oil furnace or boiler for a high efficiency Nat Gas or propane furnace or boiler (see the attached chart). Payback in 5 years or less if you have Nat Gas available. Add a heat pump if you have a furnace and realize more savings and thus a quicker payback! Check out the “Keystone Help” financing program www.keystone help. com for possible financing. 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 cbierly@bierlygroup. com. a

The Valley, June 2012


Recipes-Crafts-Gifts With Debra Kulp Time to get Fired up with your charcoal or gas grill! Grilled New York Strip Steaks Allow two steaks per person “Very Tender and Tasty” 1. Marinate steaks overnight in Italian dressing with a little brown sugar, salt & pepper and E. V. V. O. (extra virgin olive oil) to your taste. 2. ½ hour before grilling, take meat out of marinate and add a touch of Montreal steak seasoning. (sprinkle lightly because seasoning is salty and strong if you use too much) Grill 1-2 minutes on medium/hot each side for medium rare. Grill 2-3 minutes on medium/hot each side for medium/well. Finger Lickin’ Barbequed Chicken Makes 6 Servings 4 lbs meaty chicken pieces 1 ½ cups dry sherry 1 cup finely chopped large onion ¼ cup lemon juice 2 bay leaves 6 cloves garlic, minced 1- 15oz. can tomato puree ¼ cup honey 3 tbsp mild flavored molasses

½ tsp dried thyme, crushed ¼ tsp cayenne pepper ¼ tsp black pepper 2 tbsp white vinegar 1. Place chicken in a self-sealing plastic bag set in a shallow dish for marinade, stir together sherry, onion, lemon juice, bay leaves & garlic. Pour over chicken, marinate in fridge for 2 - 4 hours. Turn bag occasionally then drain chicken and reserve marinade. 2. Meanwhile prepare sauce by combining reserved marinade, tomato puree, honey, molasses, thyme, cayenne pepper, black pepper and 1 tsp salt. Bring to boiling, reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, about 30 minutes, reduce to 2 cups. Remove from heat, remove bay leaves. Stir in vinegar. Grill 50 - 60 minutes until done. To serve, reheat the remaining sauce, pass with chicken. Attention!! Buckhorn Taxidermy & Sporting Goods has moved to a bigger and better store. We are now located at 1521 Loop Rd, Lewistown, formerly the TV Shop II. We now have even more pets and are still open 7 days a week. a

Too Much Stuff from page 19

cies, are coming together to form multi-disciplinary task forces to discuss and intervene with cases of hoarding that come to the attention of the public – the most extreme cases that threaten the health and safety of residents and neighbors. Representatives from fire, police, housing, public health, animal control, mental health and the medical and legal communities are working together to bring research-based, empathetic interventions to people who hoard. If you or someone you know has a hoarding problem, you may consider consulting the virtual hoarding center on the website of the International OCD Foundation ( hoarding). There you will find informational articles, links to books, videos and other resources. Locally, try contacting protective services or to help older folks, any agencies specific to the elderly. For extreme situations, contact the local board of health or fire companies. Resources: The Mifflin County Library has a copy of ‘The Hoarding Handbook: A Guide for Human Service Professionals’ by Dr. Bratiotis and others. a

not work (long term) but may have damaging emotional consequences to the person who hoards. Sometimes the mental health problem of hoarding can lead to health and safety problems for the person who hoards, their family and the surrounding community. Damage to a home that does not get repairs (think broken plumbing or heating that doesn’t work), insect and rodent infestations, and fire hazards are all conditions that can result from hoarding in the home. Situations like this can be imminent threats to the health and safety of the occupants and neighbors, and immediate action should be taken. While this may mean clearing out the clutter without the permission or cooperation of the person who hoards, it is most desirable to have that person involved, in control, and making decisions about their objects and their home, to whatever extent possible. In about 85 cities and towns throughout North America, human services providers from public and private sectors, governmental and non-governmental agen-

The Valley, June 2012

Mail Pouch Books by Carleen B. Grossman THE LACE READER By Brunonia Barry Copyright 2008 The main character in this novel is a 5th generation young woman, and as she states it, “I am crazy!” The women of her family are famed for their ability to read the past, present and future by staring into a pattern of lace---that ability has only been a hindrance to her thus far! When her beloved great aunt goes missing, she leaves her California home to travel to a disturbing past she’s tried to forget---in the Salem, Massachusetts area. This young woman discovers what has befallen her aunt and through her special ability, she ultimately exposes the shocking

truth about their family history! This book has twists, and secrets of a unique family with many New England traditions. The author paints a perfect landscape of small town life and keeps you captivated all the way to the end. THE WICKED PLANTS: The Weed That Killed Lincoln’s Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities By Amy Steward Copyright 2009 Now you will learn the truth about plants that may seem beautiful and innocent yet can pack a powerful punch, killing and paralyzing with their poisons. Petals, leaves, stems and even nectar all play a part in these mysteries. Learn about invasive purple loosestrife, kudzu and about 200 more plants from A-Z. Medicine and history work together in this book. A must for gardeners and nature lovers! THE RESILIENT GARDENER By Carol Deppe Copyright 2010 Do you want to know how to produce food that can sustain your family through adverse times? You will learn how to deal with as few as 5 crops and their calorie, nutrient and storage values [potatoes, corn, beans squash and eggs]. This expert gardener pre-

sents a perfect book for dedicated, independent gardeners who want to plan on food production despite issues that might dampen efforts. Scientific knowledge and practical experience are both present for the readers to consider. GROWING UP SEW LIBERATED: Making Handmade Clothes and Projects for Your Creative Child By Meg McElwee Copright 2011 The ideas in this book will motivate you to sew fantastic child-friendly projects from clothing to toys with appliqués and trims. Patterns are included for 20 projects. How about recycling those leftover fabric snippets? This book will show you how! a



The Valley, June 2012


The Valley, June 2012

Walking on the wild side by julie shultz smith

Have you ever heard of the event Wild About Animals? It is a fundraiser that a group of people hold at the Penn State Ag Arena in State College, PA once a year. It is held as a fundraiser for Centre Wildlife Care (CWC), which is a non-profit organization, dedicated to caring for injured, orphaned, sick and displaced wildlife for the purpose of releasing them back

CWC is run by volunteers and is funded solely by donations. The director and founder, Robyn Graboski is a trained and licensed wildlife rehabilitator and has been rehabilitating wildlife since 1988. Robyn is licensed by the Pennsylvania Game Commission, the Federal Fish and Wildlife Service and the USDA. CWC is located between

receive the animal and provide directions. You can contact CWC at (814) 692-0004 or through their

website: I have to say it was a bigger deal than what I thought it would be. There was so much there for the whole family. On the upper level there were games, face painting and balloons for the kids. On the ground floor of the Ag arena is where they had all the animals and exhibits for everyone to see. They had the Penn State deer pens there with a booth. Scott Summey was there support-

Herb and I working our booth at “Wild About Animals”

into the wild. CWC also provides education about wildlife to the public. When I got the invitation to be there with Zahara and Donk, along with promoting E & L Supplies, Herb and I both thought it was a great thing and we were glad to be a part of it. It was nice to be a part of something that helps out our wild animals of PA.

Port Matilda and State College. The clinic area is located in the basement of a family home. Prerelease housing for the wildlife is located on 15 acres of woods on-site and other locations. Since the primary location is at a family home, hours are by appointment. If you need help with a compromised wild animal, call CWC and they will make arrangements to

ing the Red Cross with his camel, Kylie. Royal Pet Resort was there promoting what they do. Let me tell you that if you ever need to go out of town and need a place for your pet to stay, Royal Pet Resort would be the place! PAWS and Pets Come First were both there. Shaver’s creek had an owl there for the kids to see. They even had different discussions going on

Continued on page 35

The Valley, June 2012


Commercial First-Aid kits range in size and price; from personal pocket size kits that contain a few Band-Aids and pain medication that might cost you a couple dollars to a $500 STOMP Portable Hospitable, which is carkauffman ried by our front line troops and is available to the public. There are kits for every budget and level of first-aid training. The one I purchased for my home was designed reliant and NOT so naïve in your kits available commercially; fully for a family or group of 10 or less. thinking that the Government will stocked with assorted bandages, I’d like to suggest a few items always be there to coddle you dur- gauze, etc., most of which are that should be considered and ing a crisis. excellent as a beginner kit, but added to your First-Aid kit Now that and emergency supplies: we’ve cleared -Baby wipes: A multitude that up, let’s of uses. get down to -Anti-diarrhea: Diarrhea if business. This left untreated can kill. month I’d like -A coagulant gauze: To to discuss Firststop serious bleeding from Aid kits; conwounds. Brands such as tents and addQuik-clot are available ons. Here again, at retailers such as Cabremember I’m ela’s and Dick’s Sporting no expert, but Goods. I’ve done some -A SAM splint: Foam research and covered aluminum strips, a have taken a very useful addition. few of the ideas -Butterfly strips: Good for that I’ve read in wound closure. I’d menseveral books A well stocked medical kit can be a life saver and takes little space. tion a suture kit, but unless and on internet you’re a medical profesblog sites and I was able to assem- I’ve found that most, if not all, sional I wouldn’t try it at home. ble what I believe to be a reliable never contain enough supplies. So -An Israeli Bandage: Which is and satisfactory kit. I’ve decided to take one of these a compression type bandage de There are various First-Aid pre-fab kits and build upon it. signed for severe trauma wounds

thoughts from the Bunker by jared

Bunker Band-Aids and More I’m often asked different questions on the preparedness topic; how much of this or where do you buy that? What are you, uh, preparing for? I want to clarify one thing before I continue; I AM IN NO WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM AN EXPERT! I don’t profess to be the omnipotent prepper! You WILL NOT see me on the next episode of National Geographic’s Doomsday! My purpose in writing this column and one of the reasons (aside from the fact that Wayne is very persistent, but I am grateful for the opportunity!) why I agreed to write this column, was to present information and some of the techniques I’ve used to better prepare myself and my family to handle an emergency crisis. My hope and prayer is that you, The Valley reader, will take hold of most, if not all, of this information and take the necessary steps to better prepare yourself and your family, to be a little more self-

Savvy Cents & Sensibility by JoAnn Wills MBA A Simple Spending Plan for Life Ever wonder if there is a general template for creating a simple spending plan? There is! Harvard bankruptcy professor Elizabeth Warren, along with her daughter Amelia Warren Tyagi, wrote a brilliant book called “All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan” that details how anyone, on any income, can produce a viable spending plan for life. Personal finance expert Liz Pullman Weston has touted the tremendous aid that the book can provide individuals and families of any income level. My two cents on the spending plan follows… The plan is called the 50/30/20 budget. I chose to refer to it as the 100% living plan because the word “budget” can have us thinking of feelings of severe cut-backs and discomfort. Who wants to

live life in a state of perpetual budgets and feelings of discomfort?” Not me! The plan starts with your after tax income which is your gross pay minus all wage based taxes. Do not count deductions from your employer such as insurances, 401ks, or union dues – use only your after tax income figure for now – so any non wage deductions add back into your after tax income figure to establish a starting point. The “50” of the spending plan is for your “must haves.” The 50% category is for your very basic expenditures you require to “make it through” the month. Examples are: housing costs (mortgage or rent), basic utilities, food, transportation, insurance, child care, and minimum loan payments (Weston, 2011). Here’s the clinker… dining out, cloth-

ing, or impulse purchases are NOT must haves… no matter how intently we try to plead the case. With that being said, if you are contractually required to pay something, it goes in the must have category for the time being. Examples are credit card bills, cell phone bills under contract, furniture bills, etc. but only factor the minimum payment necessary – sorry those super cute extra costing ring tones don’t cut it, and by all means, no new purchases to credit cards are permitted. The “30” is categorized as 30% of after tax income for your wants. Some bills may appear to overlap between the must haves and the wants categories. The overlaps may appear as “features” such as call waiting, call block, unlimited long distance, pay per view TV, countless channels on cable or satellite TV, etc. Such examples are

“wants.” Basic services can be classified as “needs.” Unscramble your overlaps and get them moved into the proper categories basics for musts, and features/extras for wants. Exceptions are situations where the “extra” is needed to complete something of importance and income related. Examples include high speed Internet for school or work from home. Other “wants” include clothing, dining out, entertainment, gifts, and vacations. The “20” is categorized by the 20% remaining for the purpose of savings and debt repayment. Warren, Tyagi, and Weston all agree that achieving financial independence consists of three parts – annihilating consumer debt, building an emergency fund, and saving for retirement. You might be thinking “Yeah, I know that but… how am I able to achieve that when I can

used by combat medics and First responders around the world. -Sunburn ointment: Aloe Vera is recommended. Consider growing an Aloe Vera plant at home. -Cotton swabs: Q-tip brand or generic equivalent; Great for cleaning wounds or applying ointments. -Non-latex gloves: A must to prevent contamination of wounds and when dealing with bodily fluids. Consider Nitrile gloves which are more durable and three times more puncture resistant than regular exam gloves. -A wound cleanser: Hydrogen peroxide for example. -A thermometer: To determine if a fever is present; very important if you have children. -Stomach medication: Such as Pepto-Bismol. -Allergy medication: Benadryl or for serious reactions, an Epipen. -A triangular bandage: A multitude of uses; from slings to head wraps. -A First-aid manual: Which are available from your local American Red Cross and other sources. -EMT shears Here again I’ll mention that I am no expert or professional. The above list of items gives you an idea as to what I have added to my home First-Aid kit and what you

Continued on page 17 barely manage putting food on the table or keeping the lights on?!” Well, the beauty of the 50/30/20 plan is that it is extremely flexible. You may assess your finances and determine that your needs consume 70% instead of 50%. If that is the case, then simply adjust the wants and savings categories to 20% and 10% respectively. The goal is to get a crystal clear picture of where you stand NOW – what your percentages are. You may determine that your finances are out of whack because your income is low. You may fall in the colossal category of the “underemployed.” Unfortunately, you may not have the power to change your present wages, BUT you do have the power to honestly assess your financial spending standing. Maybe, a viable solution is 65/25/10 or 80/10/10. What matters most is that you begin to classify needs/wants/savings and stick to the plan. As your conditions improve, keep moving closer to the ideal 50/30/20. Once you attain the plan guard it with you life! One word of caution… do not neglect the savings/emergency

Continued on page 42


The Valley, June 2012

Grosze Thal Nachbaren

(Big Valley Neighbors)

by Jeptha I. Yoder Erstlich ein Grusz in des Namen Unsers Herren Jesu Christi. Ach! es scheint der Frühling lauft so schnell dahin. Bald ist es Sommer! Die Rosen und Akazient sin an blüen. Der neun und swanzigst Aprill war Kirchengasse Gemein ans M. Sieber Hostetlers. West Lang Leen ans Mose J. Hostetlers Jr. Milroy Ost ans Rufus M. Yoders. Unser besuch abends waren Unckel Christ M. Yoders und Rebecca M., Miriam K., Ruth N., und Lena E. Hostetler (Jesse S.) Johannes Y. Hostetlers waren ans Unckel Christs für mittag. Unckel Jesse S. Hostetlers waren in McClur über Sonntag und in der Gemein ans Andy C. Speichers. Der sechst Main war Milroy Nord Emein ans Noah Y. Zugen. Holzland Mittel ans Abraham N. Yoders. Ost Lang Leen war ans Johannes I. Hostetlers. Meine Eltern waren ans Christian Z. Speichers fürs Mittage-essen. Andere dort waren Jonathan Ns, Witwee (Seth J.) Malinda A., Jonathan Ds und sechs kinder Ans Unckel Christs abends waren Unckel Reuben Ds und Eli S’ und Familie, alle Hostetlern. Der drei-zeht war die Gemein hier. Von McClur waren Ben R. Hostetlers, Sam Ss und Johannes Es alle Yodern. Von adere Theilen waren Aunt (Salomon) Mareily

R., Uria Ss und Familie, Jacob Zs und Familie, alle Hostetlern und Emanel J. Yoders. Kirchengasse Gemein war ans Joel E. Yoders. Ost Milroy ans Christ M. Zugen Jrs. Est Lang Leen ans Emanuel I. Hostetlers. Der Zwanzigst waren wir in die Gemein ans Jess J. Hostetlers. Von andere Theilen waren: (Joseph M.) Sarah K., Isaak Rs und Familie, (Seth J.) Malinda A. und vier Kindeskinder (Jonathan Ds’) alle Hostetern; Sam Is, Eli Johannes’ und Jeptha H. (Emanuel J.) alle Yodern. Eli S. Zugen und Familie waren in Lang Leen Ost Gemein ans Mose S. Yoders. Milroy Nord war ans Abraham J. Zugen. Mose C. Yoders und Familie und Daniel S. Hostetler (Ezra B.) waren in McClur. So der Herr Will und wir leben ist unser Hinter Berg Weg Gemein ans Johannes Y. Hostetlers nächst mol. Die vorgesagten Eli Johannes’ und die Sarah K. gingen ans Joshua J. Hostetlers fürs abendessen. Ans Jesses waren Unckel Christ M. Yoders, die (Seth) Malinda, und etliche Yungie. Singen ware auch dort. Meine Eltern und Ich waren bei die (Johannes Z.) Mattie H. Hostetler abends. Am Himmelfahret Tag ging ich mit etliche andere in Winfeld und war ans Mose J. Yoders fürs Mittag. Ihre Söhnen Esles und Urias und

Familien waren auch dort. Andere von Grosze Thal waren Johannes Es and swei kindeskinder (Joseph Cs), Eli Js und Sohn Christ (alle Hostetlern) und gingen ans Johannes S. und Nancy L. Hostetlers; Eli Y. Zugen, Sohn Kories und drei Kinder waren bei ihr Sohn und Bruder Christ Es. Die (Rufus) Malinda und ihre Kinder die Manass Rs, Noah Js, und Tobie Ms alle Yodern unds Joseph Hershbergers, alle won Winfeld waren im Grosze Thal um Freundschaft zu besuchen und hatten ihre essen an der Rudy S. Yoder Heimatt. Meine Eltern und Schwester Elisabeth waren ans David H. Yoders in McClur. Isaak Rs und Mose Rs und Familien und Unckel Rubens (alle Hostetlern) waren ans Iddo M. Hostetlers fürs Mittagessen. Die (Seth J.) Malinda die (ihre Tochter) Jonathan Ds und (ihr Sohn) die Noah Ss (alle Hostetlern) waren in Penns Thal bei (eine Tochter) Stephen S. Hostetlers. Ans Yohannes Y. Hostetlers waren seine Mutter und meistens von seine Mutter und meistens von seine Brüder und Schwestern. Des ist vielleicht ein kleine theil von all dem besuches es angegangen ist uf der dag. Christian greetings on a rainy day! We are getting lots of moisture now. Yes, we’ve also

Wholesome Gardening A Bi-Monthly Publication of Plain and Simple Sustainable Living For Subscription Information Write to: Wholesome Gardening 569 Schoolhouse Rd Genesee PA 16923

had sunny days and a lot of corn is going into the ground. Roses and locust trees are blooming. Whip-poor-wills are calling in the evenings. April 30 -- I was to Winfield (on one of the van loads) to the funeral of Manass J. (aged 27 yr. 6 mo. 14 da.) son of Bish. Moses J. and Mary R. (Host.) Yoder of 58 Yoder Drive, Winfield Pa. 17889. They have now buried three sons nearly seven years apart. Funeral by Min. Manass R. Yoder. Pallbearers were: Ammon E. (Sam J.) and Esle J. (John H.) both Yoders, Esle B. (Josie A.) and Benuel A. (Abraham J.) both Hostetlers. Hauled by Joeph N. Yoder (Sam J.). Surviving are 4 brothers and 3 sisters. He was handicapped and nearly helpless the last year or so, also being on oxygen lately. John Worley also passed on. His wife Melva (who survives) is a dau. of the late Frank O. and Betty Houser. Betty passed away a month ago. The Worleys did a lot of hauling or taxi service over the years. A new arrival is a son Rudy J. on Apr. 29, joining one sister, to Adam M. and Nancy M. Hostetler. Grands are widow (Seth D.) Rachel L. (Zook); Rufus J. and Mary N., all Hostetlers. On the 19th there was an estate auction at the former Tom Stoll farm. I well remember when there was a hatchery in operation there and each year we would get several dozen meat type chicks and raise them. This business discontinued sometime in the late eighties if I remember right. There were several barn raisings. One on the 5th for Henry R. Hostetlers in the area of the Close farm. On the 12th was a raising for John E. Barbara M. Hostetler who are building on land obtained from his Granddad John D. Zook-the former Elder Goss farm.

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Great Uncle Samuel Z. Yoder (88) spent nearly a week in the hospital with pneumonia and fluid problems. Address is 1135 Green Lane, Reedsville, PA 17084. Andrew C. Speicher (22) was kicked by a horse and later was found to have an injured spleen. Is to take it easy for 3 months. Remember this young couple at 250 Brooklet Lane, McClure, PA 17841. The Moses D. Yoder family of Little Falls, New York were in the area several days, visiting their closest relation, celebrating her dad Emanuel B. Yoder’s birthday on the 17th. They started home on Ascension Day aftertoon. Joas J. Speichers and 3 children of Wisconsin spent the week of the 7th in the area visiting. Eli Ys, son John and wife and grandson Eli were to Sinking Valley on Ascension Day at their Uncle Eli R. Hostetlers. Also, going along were Eli Y’s parents, Jacob S. Hostetlers. A daug. Fronie, May 16, joining one brothe rand one sister, to Rudy N. and Rebecca A. Hostetler. Grands are J. Yost and Nancy Y. Hostetler; Noah D. and Fronie K. Hostetler and the late Sam S. Yoder. A daug. Malinda N. on May 23, joining 5 brothers and 3 sisters to Christian S. and Nancy M. Hostetler. Grands are widow (Solomon) Mary R. Hosteter; Moses I. and Elizabeth L. Hostetler; Moses I. and Elizabeth L. Hostetler. Emanuel J. Hostetler (13) son fo Yost J. and Martha A. received a broken arm (or wrist) while trying to harness a horse Sun. morning (the 13th) and got it pinched or pried against the wall. Has it in a cast. Mail will reach him at 495 Honey Creek Road, Reedsville. Now as I wrap this up, I wish to add several “Marvels of Creation.” We had a rainbow late in the evening (after 8:00) on the 22nd. And on the same evening, I saw a firefly for the first time. Remember the sick and sorrowing. Jeptha I. Yoder a

“Remember the sick and sorrowing.” Jeptha I. Yoder

The Valley, June 2012

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The Valley, June 2012

The Chicken AND the Egg! by Mike Flanagan

Just Do IT! I was racking my brain trying to come up with an idea for this month. And this morning (after deadline by the way) while I was out in the yard planting two more fruit trees, it struck me. No, not the tree, an idea. I hadn’t really wanted to go out there this morning and plant those trees. I’m a little older and a little more sore than I used to be. I planted four trees yesterday. I deserved a day off. But that mindset wasn’t going to get me anywhere. I had to buckle down and just do it. And while I was out there playing in the dirt, watching the girls jump down in the hole and look for treats, enjoying myself more than I thought I would, I started thinking about all the people who miss out on these simple pleasures because they don’t “just do it.” Look around you. You know at least one person of the type I’m talking about. Paralyzed by indecision, perpetually wishing for something other than what they have. Our society is full of

people who are constantly telling the homesteading lifestyle I’m themselves, “if only I had this one dreaming of. We started with a more toy,” or “if only I had more half dozen chicks, then another ...” It doesn’t matter what the dozen, then a replacement flock of “more” is. Their perceived lack two dozen, worked our way up to of it, or desire for it, causes them four dozen, and now we’re back to procrastinate and waste the opdown to about 30 birds. And I portunities they do have readily at figure that’s probably about where hand. we’ll settle for the remainder of Take my case for example. our time here. Now, my AireYou’ve heard me say before dale thinks chickens are a grand that I dream of settling on 20-40 idea. They’re fun to chase and acres somewhere and having even more fun once he catches many more critters to keep me them. Cause then he settles down company than just my chickens. and plucks the feathers off the And I could sit around and dream bird. He doesn’t eat it, and he of that all day, if I were of that doesn’t kill it on purpose. He just mindset. “If only I had 20 acres. likes plucking feathers. I could I could ...” But the truth is, I don’t have 20 acres. In fact, I don’t have one acre. Cindy and I live on scarcely a quarter acre in a sleepy little village that doesn’t even have a stop light. And we’re not going to relocate for at least four more years. But I didn’t let that stop me from starting to experience some of The back yard layout.

have given up on chickens, “if only I had 20 acres ...” Instead, I divided my backyard. The front half is for the dogs and the back half is for the chickens. I just did it. Cindy and I really wanted to put in a nice garden. And last year it was coming along nicely until the girls had a long weekend without us at home and hopped the fence into the garden. We could have given up on the garden, “If only we had more land ...” Nope, we built a new fence and made a midnight raid on the hen house to clip wings. We haven’t had a single chicken in the garden this year. We just did it. Our plans are to relocate in 4-5 years, but things may not happen that way. Who knows? So this year we started another enterprise we’ve always wanted to have on our homestead. We started an orchard. Our local garden center had fruit trees on sale for 33% off, so we bought two peach trees (my favorite) and two cherry trees (Cindy’s favorite). Then this

week they had their remaining stock at 50% off. I bought two pear trees. But remember, this is a scant quarter acre lot. Where do I have room for an orchard? Think vertically folks. Chickens can run around on the ground but trees grow UP. So they can coexist quite nicely. Neither one infringes on the space of the other. And when those trees reach their full 8-10 feet wide they’ll provide beautiful shade and cover for the girls. Is it possible I’ll never recoup my expenses in fruit? Sure. Will I be able to take these trees with us to our homestead. No. But we didn’t allow that to lock us into inaction. We just did it. The chicken portion of the backyard is 35’ wide and 48’ long, 1680 sq ft. Take 400 sq ft out of that for the garden that they are NOT allowed to play in. That leaves 1280 sq ft for my 30 birds, or an average of 42 sq ft per bird. This is what my chicken yard

Continued on page 31

The Valley, June 2012


Sojourner Perspectives by Mark Ostrowski

Sitting Shiva in Cancun My wife and I just returned home from a last minute trip to Mexico. One of my brothers had arranged this trip as an anniversary get away for himself and his wife, but an unforeseen business commitment required his presence instead. Unable to receive a refund so last minute, he blessed us with their accommodations. Thus we found ourselves on our way to an island off the coast of Cancun called Isla Mujeres where we spent the week in a B & B by the Caribbean Sea. This trip was a much needed time away as we had just suffered the loss of my father-in-law, Joel, in addition to dealing with health issues with my 90 year old father, as well as some other serious family matters. Paramount to all of these was Joel’s passing. So when the e-mail from my brother came through asking if we were interested, we responded in the affirmative. It proved to be a very introspective time, a time of sitting shiva, of sorts, if you will. We did not go with this intention, yet our grief welled up in us even in this far off setting, which allowed us opportunity to mourn our loss more fully. Sitting shiva is a Jewish tradition that developed from the account in Genesis where Jacob mourned the death of his father Isaac for seven days. The word shi’vah is the word seven in Hebrew, thus the period of mourning takes its name. It is a period of time where after the burial of a spouse, parent or sibling, the immediate survivors assume the status of mourners. Traditionally the family members will come together in one home – preferably that of the deceased and receive visitors. It is considered a great act of kindness and compassion to pay a home visit to the mourners. Out of respect for their bereavement, the visitors wait for the mourners to initiate conversation, or remain silent if the mourners do not do so. Once engaged in conversation, it is appropriate for the visitors to talk about the deceased, sharing stories of his or her life. I puzzle over how we do (actually don’t do) grieving in this country. A loved one passes and

within three to four days we have a viewing, a funeral, a burial and a meal and then we’re back to work on Monday morning. Anyone who’s lost a loved one knows this doesn’t feel right. It shouldn’t be like this. Yet our culture continues to push us forward in its ways. I’m glad that through an uncanny set of circumstances my wife and I were able to break free from this vortex as we passed through this season. While we did not hold to the strict observance of actually sitting shiva, our week away gave us ample time to reflect, laugh, cry and hug over memories of dad. I believe the end result was the same, as my wife succinctly put it in an e-mail to family, as she wrote: “Hello all, I’m sitting here overlooking the Caribbean, beautiful white beach, crystal clear water, and, guess what? I’m still grieving. It’s a crazy feeling to be in such a beautiful place & still feel sad. Grief really does have to take its course. IZ’s version of somewhere over the rainbow (a favorite song of dad’s) started playing while Mark & I were eating our lunch yesterday along the beach and, bam, there came the flood of emotions. You can’t stop unexpected tears, at least I can’t! But, this has given us time to reflect on dad, to reminisce, and for me to share fond childhood memories. We did this several times, but one particular evening we sat by our big open air window, listening to the waves, smelling the sea salt, watching the white caps, and just cried. It feels so crazy! I’m grateful to have had the time, I’m grateful to have such a loving husband be so understanding of my moods these days. I’m glad to grieve for my daddy, he deserves at least this.” There’s something about sitting sea side. Waves pulsate rhythmically into the shore. In some ways it’s similar to sitting before a fire. Flames flicker, waves rush, sparks fly, sea sprays, smoke swirls, salt fills the air. Nothing is static. The end result is a whole body experience where sight, sound and smell can take you to a different place in your mind. And so, we ruminated about Joel…about Joel….what

about Joel? His name means; “The LORD is God.” It’s much richer when looked at in the original Hebrew. There is no J in Hebrew, in its place, the letter Y would have been used. Therefore his name would be written Yoel and the Yo would represent; Yah, which is the poetic short form for Yahweh, meaning “The Self Existent One” (and translated in our Bibles as God). El is the poetic short form for Elohim, which translated means “The All Powerful One.” Joel in Hebrew literally means: The Self-Existent One Is The AllPowerful One! How magnificent! While Joel was not an overtly religious individual, he did come to the point where he placed his trust in the Almighty whom his name represents. As the prophet Joel wrote years ago, as is recorded in the Bible; “whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be delivered.” Our Joel came to understand that salvation is the free gift of God, which is eternal life in Christ Jesus, our Lord. We are saved through faith and this not of ourselves lest any man should boast. Joel believed in the Lord Jesus and was saved and because of this we have the assurance that he is in heaven with the Lord. What we learn from this is that God is all about relationship and not some religious pro-forma. It’s about faith, which is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

In the final book of the bible, Revelation, the Lord says “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.” When I consider Joel and his life, I see a man who was an overcomer. Joel was the youngest of 11 children. He had 5 brothers and 5 sisters. His next oldest sibling, his brother Buddy, was 10 years older than him. At approximately age 7, Joel’s mom suffered a stroke and since he was the only one at home, he was the one to take care of her, even to the point of helping her onto and off of the toilet. He started smoking at age 11 and drinking and hanging out at age 14. So we see that our Joel didn’t have the best start in life and could have easily ended up in a very different place. Yet he overcame a rough beginning. He overcame alcoholism and smoking and in the second half of his life, he lived in a healthy fullness. His work ethic and commitment to his family is an example to follow. Even in the dark years of alcohol abuse, he would get up hung over many mornings and get himself to work. He indeed left us a legacy of a strong work ethic, as well as to committing to do the hard things in life to improve oneself and one’s family, out of love. Dad said drying out was a very hard thing to do, but it was the best thing he ever did. His life was completely different after that. It was much, much better. He felt better, acted better and enjoyed life more. Joel loved to see people laugh and loved to make them laugh. He was always quick with a joke or some silly story. This undoubtedly was the personal trait we cherished most about him. His one grandson noted that he could

make you laugh even when you didn’t want to! He was such an all-around likable guy because of his lighthearted, playful flair that people where just naturally drawn to him and he easily made friends. We heard stories as folks came through the funeral line. The unknown woman who introduced herself as the daughter of a nursing home resident who lived across the hall from dad, she lowered her voice and said “every time I’d go to visit my mom, I’d stop in and see your dad first.” Dozens of nursing home employees paid their respects; the maintenance guy sobbed the whole way through the line. Then there was the fellow who addressed me by name and asked if I remembered him (always makes me a tad uncomfortable to begin a conversation this way). Turns out he was a former boyfriend of one of my sister-in-laws from easily twenty plus years ago! He said how even after the break up he’d stop by dad’s house and chat with him for a bit as dad was such a great guy. Yes, there were the old tried and true silly jokes that if you knew Joel, you knew that he could have been a doctor, but he didn’t have the patients! He could have been a lawyer, but he couldn’t pass the bar! Then again he could have been a baker, but he didn’t have the dough! How many of us live life a tad too much to the serious side? (I put myself at the head of the line). Let’s take a lesson from our beloved Joel and lighten up a bit! It certainly will have positive benefits for our health and wellbeing! Suddenly the roar of the sea again fills my ears and I go to wipe the sea spray from my face and realize it’s not sea salt I feel against my cheeks, but tear salt. You’re missed dad, I love you. Mark Ostrowski is Founder and President of The Stewardship Group in Belleville. a

Procrastination from page 12 procrastination quotes. I find it interesting that one of the most famous comes from one of our founding fathers. “Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.” ~Thomas Jefferson. “Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.” ~William James “Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday.” ~Don Marquis “Only Robinson Crusoe had everything done by Friday.” ~Author Unknown “Procrastination is opportunity’s natural assassin.” ~Victor Kiam “Every duty which is bidden to wait returns with seven fresh duties at its back.” ~Charles Kingsley a

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The Valley, June 2012


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Ahh, the warm sunshine, the long days, the late night campfires with s’mores and giggling kids. The trips to the beach where we enjoy a glimpse of another world, were life is good and there is no dread of “getting back to reality.” I am a very common sense, practical kind of person, and maybe for that reason I have learned to look for God and His lessons in everything in my life and in God’s creation. One of the things I love about summer is our trip to the ocean. The ocean is so beautiful, standing next to it and taking in the endless shimmer of water and the long stretches of beach always make me feel so small. Yet somehow it makes me feel so close to God. It’s a strange thing really, how obvious God is, yet it is so hard to grasp Him in our human condition. I think trying to understand God is like standing there at the ocean’s edge and reaching down

into that vast ocean of water and saying, “watch I’m going to hold the ocean in my hand.” You can see it and you can even feel it, but you can’t keep it to your hand. You actually can only hold a few drops of it. And in one sense you are holding the ocean in your hand, but such a tiny portion of it. I believe that someday when things are made new and set right and we have the ability to grasp God on a different level, we will realize we have only been seeing a “few drops” compared to the vastness of who God really is. But in the meantime, I will continue to see Him the only way I can, through everyday life, and the beauty and mystery of creation. Through the joy of my marriage and family and the bounty of my back yard garden; I will see Him in the innocent smiles of my kids around that summer evening campfire. I will realize His power as I stand at the ocean’s edge. I will enjoy summer and all its lessons that make me more thankful and I hope you will too. a

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is that you do not have to wait until the stars are in alignment. Let’s face it, nothing is EVER going to be perfect. But, if you have any interest at all in providing healthier food for your family, or living a less dependent lifestyle, or you just want to see if you can

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The Valley, June 2012


The Valley, June 2012

Back Talk by Dr. Joseph Kauffman

Can We Really Trust The FDA? Have you caught the most recent news concerning vaccines? I had missed it, too. On April 1, 2012, the FDA, Food and Drug Administration, actually admitted that certain vaccines still contain levels of mercury in the form of Thimerosal. The previous thoughts/myths were that the inclusion of Thimerosal was a thing of the past and that now that they know how harmful mercury is to the body, it is no longer used as a preservative. But, apparently that was just a myth. The FDA admitted in a court case that Thimerosal is in fact still used. “It is a common myth today that the vaccines administered to children no longer contain the toxic additive thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative linked to causing permanent neurological damage. But a recent federal case involving the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has revealed that, contrary to this widely-held belief, thimerosal is actually still present in many batch vaccines, including in the annual influenza vaccine that is now administered to children as young as six months old. Filed by a citizen-backed coalition advocating vaccine safety, the lawsuit against the FDA alleged that the agency’s continued endorsement and approval of thimerosal as a vaccine additive is a serious public health threat, especially since safer alternatives already exist and are widely used voluntarily by many vaccine manufacturers. But Judge Brett Kavanaugh, siding with antiquated pseudoscience, decided that thimerosal is not a health threat, and that those who wish to avoid it can simply choose thimerosalfree alternatives. Ignoring the evidence of thimerosal’s dangers brought before him on behalf of the millions of children across the country who continue to be injected with this mercury-based additive, Judge Kavanaugh declared that the plaintiffs, which include groups like the Coalition for MercuryFree Drugs (CMFD), did not have proper standing to file the lawsuit. And in the process, both he and the FDA inadvertently admitted

that thimerosal is still present in many childhood vaccines, which counters popular claims to the contrary. FDA admits on its website that thimerosal is still in vaccines. The fact that Judge Kavanaugh refused to hear the case is tragic in and of itself, as thimerosal, which is composed of 50 percent mercury, has been proven to cause serious health damage. But what may be even worse is the fact that many people falsely believe that thimerosal is not even included in vaccines anymore, which is leading them to blindly allow them to be administered to their children. And the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the FDA have continued to provide dubious and misleading information on the subject, which the mainstream media has been complicit in spreading over the years. But the FDA explains, in no uncertain terms, directly on its website that thimerosal is still added to certain vaccines. For this reason alone, it is crucial that parents who choose to vaccinate their children ask for an ingredients list for each and every vaccine before allowing them to be administered to their children. ‘While the use of mercury-containing preservatives has declined in recent years with the development of new products formulated with alternative

or no preservatives, thimerosal has been used in some immune globulin preparations, anti-venins, skin test antigens, and ophthalmic and nasal products, in addition to certain vaccines,’ writes the FDA

on its Thimerosal in Vaccines page ( Don’t believe the lie: Thimerosal is eventually converted by the body into highly-toxic inorganic mercury. Another myth often spread by thimerosal advocates claims that the ethylmercury compounds that compose roughly 50 percent of the preservative are not actually harmful because they are different from the type found in a can of tuna. But a comprehensive review conducted by Dr. Paul G. King has proven otherwise, showing that ethylmercury is first metabolized by the body into toxic methylmercury, which is then metabolized into inorganic mercury

( Both methylmercury and inorganic mercury are listed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as toxic substances responsible for causing neurological problems, brain disorders, nervous system illnesses, gastrointestinal problems, kidney failure, respiratory illness, and death . Learn more: http://www. html#ixzz1v3lxTvYE “The Food and Drug Administration is not liable for approving a mercury-based vaccine preservative because more expensive,

Continued on page 36

The Valley, June 2012


Joanne Wills’ Contentment Quest

What Time Is It? I have always been fascinated with the concept of time. I think it is interesting how sometimes mere minutes can seem like hours and other times; hours can seem like swift minutes. Our perceptions and mindsets can leave us disillusioned with time. On occasion, I have encountered people that I have not seen in a while, and after chatting for a few minutes, we both realized that it has been years since we last were in each other’s company! I am often left wondering where that time has gone. How could years pass by so quickly… and I not notice the passing of time… not be present to the passing? On other occasions, I have been guilty of trying to force the hands of time – force time into producing what I want. Such occasions occurred when I acted out of the mindset “I want it NOW!” Have you ever tried to force the

hands of time? I have even tried to bend the hands of time. If things didn’t occur in the timeframe I thought they should, I would push back, with tenacity… I wanted it in “my time.” Have you ever tried to push back with a strong case of the “It’s MY time?” As I have journeyed on my contentment quest, I have learned that I have a choice as to what “type” of time I live in. I have learned that there is “chrono” time and there is “kairos” time. We are all familiar with chrono time – short for chronological or sequential time. But, I have learned, through my journey, about the importance of “kairos” time. Kairos is an ancient Greek word meaning “the right, opportune, or supreme moment.” The Greeks referred to kairos time as the time in between, and a moment of indefinite time in which something special happens. The

New Testament (Mark 1:15), translates and refers to kairos time as “the appointed time in the purpose of God.” I have learned to loosen my grasp on the hands of chrono time and open my palms to receive kairos time. Learning the lesson of kairos time did not come easy for me, and the lesson seems to get repeated in my life. In each subsequent repeated lesson, my palms open a little bit more to receive God’s timing and ultimately God’s grace. It can be difficult to release control (or should I say perceived control), to the outcome of happenings, situations, and things in our lives… and in the lives of those we love. We, as humanity, like to think that we are the master of our time and how we spend our days. Ah, but that is a mere illusion. There is a much higher hand at work. A much higher hand is painting our days, and our lives… we just have to open the eyes of our hearts to see God at work in our lives. I have come to realize that many

of the occurrences that I once called “set-backs” were in actuality the launch pad for greater things in my life. During any given setback experience, I had tried to manipulate the hands of time. It was exhausting and it produced a defeated sense of self. I had battled with time because I wanted to live life on my terms. I came to realize that doing battle did no good. I came to understand that the act of battle should be replaced with a higher knowing, and trust, that in the time in-between, in the indefinite time, something special is being manifested. I learned to take the time “in-between” to re-evaluate my direction. I learned to pursue an inner search of myself… to ask myself a few hard questions… and then courageously answer them honestly from down deep in my core. I am learning to let criticisms about my decisions roll off my back like water. I am learning that my heeding of kairos time is much more important than heeding other’s opinions. I am slowly learning that the things I chased in life were not meant for me or I wouldn’t have felt the need to chase them in the first place – the chasing was a symptom of my perceived control… ill-usion. Now, and only after I have

repeated the “pop quizzes” and “lessons” about the importance of living in kairos time, have I managed to release my grip on the hands of the clock. I have learned to release the urge to push back at what life hands me. I have learned to move with the flow of life and time just a bit more than I did in the past. I have learned how to listen to the tick tock of God’s clock and trust in the ‘appointed time in the purpose of God.’ I have come to realize that my time is not God’s time. I am growing and learning… learning that there is truly only one method of time – kairos time. As I continue to move onward in my contentment quest, I will strive to maintain open palms, open eyes, and an open heart to acknowledge kairos time. What type of time are you following? What type of time do you desire to follow? Maybe acknowledge that it happens to be a mix of both chrono and kairos? Might I suggest that over the next month we all choose to bring awareness to the type of time we are following? Let us all commit to be mindful each day – throughout the entire day – to notice if in any given moment whether we are living chrono time or kairos time. In closing, I wish to share a poem

Continued on page 36


The Valley, June 2012

Life in the East End by Rebecca Harrop We’re still planting here in the East End. It always seems to take a while to get all the planting done. I don’t get to help with the big farm crops like corn and beans. I don’t have too much experience (how about none) handling the big equipment. I do get to help plant the potatoes. I always enjoy helping with that. We have a really old planter that we use. It has a seat on the back because it used to be pulled by a horse, but we use a tractor. I ride on the seat to keep the potatoes moving in the bin. This year my brother let me drive the tractor back to the field also. I keep telling my Uncles I want to learn how to drive the big tractors and equipment. My brothers, Ernie and Ben, tell me I have to be patient because it took a while before they could drive. Planting potatoes is something I really enjoy. Both my parents have fond memories of planting potatoes as children also. My Mom told me that was how she first learned how to use a knife, after careful instruction from her Pap Goss of course. She and her cousins would hand potatoes to the aunts and uncles to cut into pieces to plant. I guess it was a big thing when they were old enough to help cut. Her Pap would joke and tell them to be careful they didn’t cut off their hand. I’m pretty sure you couldn’t do that with a paring knife, but she said it always made you extra careful. Then when they went to plant everyone got a bucket of potatoes to put in the row. You would drop a potato every foot. The little kids used two feet. They used their actual feet to measure. I’ve watched my dad step off a row so I knew what she meant. She also said it was a big day’s work because they planted enough for her grandparents, her dad and the uncle’s families. Her Gram-mother, her Mom, and her aunts would make a big meal for everyone as well. She

said the kids would all be filthy dirty when they got home because apparently they would all be barefoot while planting potatoes. I can just imagine if we would have gone barefoot in the potato patch. She would have had a fit! There would also be a few tousles among the cousins, which involved rolling around in the dirt. They all had a lot of fun. Another reason potato planting is special, to my Mom at least, is that the day her Pap Goss passed away was the day that we planted potatoes that year. She said it just seemed fitting to be doing that on that day. It was also Pap Harrop’s birthday and he had only passed away the year before. So she always remembers both of them when it comes potato planting time. The East End may be short on apples this year. Dad was talking with Dave Esh of Esh’s Orchard the other day and a bunch of his apple tree blossoms got frosted this spring. You know if the apples are short, that means apple cider will be short also. This could be bad because I don’t know how we will survive without Cider shakes. I believe Pap Goss can drink a whole blender full himself. (He’s probably not the only one.) We go through so much ice cream and cider it’s ridiculous. If we go into a decline this fall you’ll know why! One more thing before I close for this month. The East End lost another one of our citizens. John Worley passed away April 30th. Most people remember him from J&D’s bus garage. He was a real gentleman and will be missed. My Dad really liked John and had some great stories to tell us about his experiences with John. That’s it for this month. a

Walking on the Wild Side from page 25 during the day on many different topics. I wish I could have sat in on a couple of them, but I just didn’t have the time. WKACP was also there with their dogs doing demonstrations. I really didn’t get to watch them work the dogs a whole lot, but what I did see was pretty neat. They also had a silent auction table there with

some pretty amazing things for everyone to bid on. It was a full day of fun for the whole family. I have to say I was very pleased to be asked to do something like this and I had a great time visiting with everyone. I sure hope to be a part of it next year. I want to thank everyone that does help out with organizations like this one and donates either their time or their money because now a days both time and

money is not easy to come by. If it wasn’t for people like you, these wild animals wouldn’t have a chance. I believe what you guys do is a great thing. Keep up the good work! a

The Valley, June 2012


Home-Grown! A Homeschooler’s Perspective By Mary Eck


It used to be that “unplugged” meant more real or somehow less complicated. But the kind I’m talking about is “escapism from electronics,” which is almost an oxymoron today—particularly if you have no memory what fun cassettes, rotary dialing and the walkman once were! The exciting, ever-evolving realm of electronics has clutched today’s culture in its high-tech talons and the prey couldn’t be more willing. Our days are punctuated by hip and sometimes nostalgic musical notifications that we have an incoming call, text message or email demanding our immediate attention. Conventional conversation has been sweepingly overtaken by these beeping interruptions and distracted, multi-tasking minds. And the explosion of the gaming industry has relegated much of the younger generation to a self-proclaimed “gamer” status, which they somehow espouse as accomplishment of some sort. Familial and friend relationships have become lesser priorities, tended to on a more surface level via quick posts on social internet sites and sometimes-baffling texting slang—as opposed to the now-antiquated, in-person visit or leisurely phone call. It takes a lot more energy, selflessness and sense of purpose to clear a block of time in our hectic day (whether 15 minutes or several hours) that speaks volumes as to how important someone is to rate that kind of sacrifice, than it does to compose a tweet, text or email. Don’t misunderstand my point. Electronic tools are amazingly super-convenient and sometimes the best way to stay connected, especially when quick responses are all that is needed or wanted. But, what about that

innate, God-given desire for meaningful relationships we each have? Are we meeting that need in our children? Do we take the time to truly engage them and build a healthy parent-child relationship that goes beyond the day-to-day grind? Are we modeling for them how to make relationship-building the priority it should be, or have we yielded to the relentless lure of life as an electronics savant, and lapsed into those daily default exchanges that ask how someone’s day was but deftly intimate that a full, genuine answer is not necessary…or desired? Do we encourage our children to look adults in the eye when spoken to, and reinforce that those dazzling handheld gizmos are not, I repeat, NOT what life is all about? Sure, they are fun, fascinating even; they improve handeye coordination and quicken reflexes; yada-yada… There is absolutely nothing wrong with them in a moderate, recreational sense. We all have our passionate interests that we go overboard at from time to time. And granted, a passion for electronic gaming and communication devices can be invaluable down the road in certain career fields. But when they impede academic success, retard social development and exacerbate selfish tendencies—which are super-elevated in the youth stage anyway—addiction and all that goes with it, cannot be far off. Does this particular pastime go beyond that healthy sort of passion, to the point where it has become more powerful than us? Who or which is really in control? Recent studies have actually shown the typical student, ages 12 and up, texts in excess of 100 messages each day, spends more

time on social networks than any other pursuit, wakes throughout the night to those incessant notification dins and, more often than not, replies to texts, tweets and the like before zonking out for another twenty minutes’ sleep before the next crucial communiqué announces its arrival. Apparently (and alarmingly), it is hardly unusual these days for a child to receive an email alert in the morning’s wee hours stating that—oh my!—his high score in a certain game has just been surpassed and does he want to log in straight away to remedy this disaster? Uh, since when did social butterflies turn nocturnal?! Think maybe it’s time for a “no electronics in bed” policy? Or a daily limit to the gaming fun that promotes outdoor time and chores done as a prerequisite, not a punishment? Or perhaps a daily social networking “window” that is something to look forward to, and not the 24/7 tendency that governs a child’s (or our own) behavior? I’m not talking drastic measures here. Unplugging from the electronic invasion does not have to mean a complete shutdown from the tools that really do make life easier in many respects; neither must we shun those incredible interactive gaming systems that incorporate both fitness and family fun. Rather, I endorse a more intentional approach. Fun is still legal, but it need not be rude or unhealthy! Common sense and consideration (and volume settings, too) should rule the day—and the night! As our hectic schooling schedules give way to a longawaited summer of (albeit, busy) leisure time, what a perfect opportunity for all of us to become more mindful of how much being “plugged in” is costing our children and families. Join me? a

Restoration Women’s Ministries is offering a 10 week Bible study for women who are seeking Biblical guidance for healing from separation and divorce. The study is interdenominational and will meet on Wednesday nights beginning June 20th in Lewistown. There is a $15 cost for materials. For more information email or call Carole at 250-1466 or Patti at 437-0106.

Can We Really Trust The FDA? from page 33 mercury-free vaccines are available upon request, a federal judge ruled. Thimerosal is a mercurybased compound that is FDA-approved as a vaccine preservative. As a precautionary measure, most vaccines administered to children or pregnant women do not include thimersosal, but the flu vaccine is a significant exception. ‘Thimerosal-preserved flu vaccines are necessary to ensure sufficient supply at a reasonable price,’ according to the judgment. ‘We recognize plaintiffs’ genuine concern about thimerosal-preserved vaccines,’ Judge Brett Kavanaugh wrote for a three-judge panel. ‘But plaintiffs are not required to receive thimerosal-preserved vaccines; they can readily obtain thimerosal-free vaccines. They do not have standing to challenge FDA’s decision to allow other people to receive thimerosal-preserved vaccines. Plaintiffs may, of course, advocate that the legislative and executive branches ban all thimerosalpreserved vaccines,’ Kavanaugh added. ‘But because plaintiffs are suffering no cognizable injury as a result of FDA’s decision to allow thimerosal-preserved vaccines, their lawsuit is not a proper subject for the judiciary.’ http://www.courthousenews. com/2012/03/23/44979.htm A lot of this article is quoted from other articles, but it gives you the chance to read news that you may have otherwise missed. And, this announcement is HUGE! The

What Time is It from page 34 with you by Kaya McLaren about timing. McLaren’s poem lends a wonderful example of both chrono and kairos time: “For me, gardening is a form of prayer. Most people have an awareness of life and death, but few have an awareness of life, death, and life again. Gardeners do though. Bulbs come up every spring. Then in winter, it looks like there is nothing there, no hope for life ever again. Then, Hallelujah! Next spring they’re back even fuller. Perennials – the same thing. Annuals have a slightly different lesson. Annuals really do die, but they broadcast seeds before they go. Where there was only one calendula the year before, there will be ten this year, and one day, they will fill every empty space in your garden. Annuals are a lesson in the difference one living thing, plant or person,

FDA admitted using a mercurybased compound as a preservative in some of the vaccines given even after it has been proven to be lethal to people. “Oh, it’s a small amount of mercury.” Really? And, is any amount of mercury good for the body? Why aren’t mercury-filled thermometers still in production? Yet, it’s safe to inject it into normal healthy babies? Surely, we can trust the FDA, right? It all comes down to dollar signs. It’s more expensive to manufacture vaccines without being able to preserve them with Thimerosal. Most parents aren’t aware of these facts and blindly trust their pediatrician, the vaccine company, the government and the FDA with the health and safety of their children. Who really does know best when it comes to your kids? a

Knowledge is, in every country, the surest basis of public happiness. --George Washington

can make, and how their presence resonates long after they’re gone. There again, the effects are not immediate. There is always the winter. And when you consider the garden as a whole, well, winter is the time to reflect, a time to dream. It gives you time to ask the big questions… Gardening is an affirmation of divine timing. Some years, in early spring, my enthusiasm takes an ugly turn, and I seemingly believe I can make spring happen earlier than it normally would, if I just work hard enough, if I till enough, compost enough, harden off seedlings earlier than I normally would. In the end, I wind up with twelve flats of dead seedlings. Then I direct seed a couple months later, and with much less effort, everything grows into the full glory it was destined to encompass. To everything there is a season. Amen” ( authors/kaya-mclaren/61642). a


The Valley, June 2012 

Ed’s Railroading News

Trolleys operate weekends only, Memorial Day weekend - October, 11:00 AM to 4:15 PM.

 Opening Day - May 26, 27 - Join us for another year of trolley operations in Rockhill Furnace. Regular Fares Adult $7, Child $4.

by Ed Forsythe

Last month this article was dedicated to information about the Allensville Historical Museum and their train layout representing Belleville and the Kish Valley Railroad. Also in last month’s article there was lots of information about the Rockhill Trolley Museum just 40 minutes from downtown Lewistown on Route 522 South in the village of Rockhill Furnace. If you missed this article, please read it online and plan now to visit these fine local historical venues. This month I planned to write about the East Broad Top Railroad located across the road from the Rockhill Trolley Museum. It is with a heavy heart I that I tell you now that the East Broad Top Railroad, after more than 50 years of excursion service, will not be operating this year. Even though much work has still been happening around

the railroad property, with the majority of the work being the refurbishing of the old blacksmith shop, this sad news has been forth coming. You can follow the work of the blacksmith shop on Facebook or on the Friends of East Broad Top’s website. The blacksmith shop building started leaning around the time of WWII, and now for the first time in 70+ years it is standing tall and level thanks to much effort of the Kovalchick family, the Friends of East Broad Top, and many others. There are many photos to be viewed to give you a first hand look at just what has gone into the saving of this building. While talking with David Brightbill, he stated to remember, “When one door closes another door opens.” Hopefully this will be the case with “Old Eastie,” The East Broad Top Railroad. Please remember to include

Home Brew U

Adventures in Homebrewing by Kevin Morgan

Upgrading your Equipment So you have been brewing up small batches of beer on your stove top and you want to make more beer at one time. Brewing five gallons of beer is going to take you the same amount of time it takes to brew up one gallon. It is just going to take you longer to drink it. The good thing about moving up to brewing five gallon batches, besides the more beer thing, is that this amount is the standard volume that most prepackaged kits are intended to make. However, there are a few things to take to mind before making this step. Brewing five gallons of beer is going to require a larger work area and some monetary investment. When you are working a larger batch of beer, there is a larger likelihood of a boil-over— especially right after adding hops to the batch. I would recommend brewing in a covered outdoor area, because if a “beercatastrophe” takes place, clean-up is a snap with a hose. I have heard of people having boil-overs on stove

tops and had to move the stove to clean up all the stickiness. Paying attention to the brew pot is the best way to prevent a boil-over, but if one occurs, shut the heat off immediately and stir the pot to reduce the foam level. You want to brew in a covered area because if the weather changes quickly, you do not want have to transport your boiling batch of beer to a new location. As far as what to buy to brew larger batches of beer, here are my recommendations. The first thing I would get is a turkey fryer. I bought one when I started. For around 50 bucks you get a large brewing pot, a lid, a thermometer, a heating element, and sometimes a large metal spoon. If it does not come with a large spoon, get one. Just make sure it is heat resistant plastic or metal. Do not use a used turkey fryer because no matter how well you clean it, the oils and fats can find their way into your beer. Only use the pot and lid for brewing or boiling water. Also, one of the best things about

Scout Day / Work car day - June 9 - Scouts get a reduced fare to ride the trolley when attending in their uniform. $4.00 per scout and leader. See work trolleys in operation or on display and learn how the trolley lines were maintained Ice Cream Trolley - Fathers Day Weekend - June 16 & 17 - Take a trolley ride and enjoy a dish of ice cream after your ride. Adult $7, Child Bus Gathering - September 15 &16 - Come see vintage buses and look through the bus flea market of old memorabilia. Regular fares apply. Fall Spectacular - October 6 & 7 - Snowsweepers, snowplow, freight motor and other trolleys! See and ride trolleys not normally operated. Adult $10, Child $7. Weekend pass available. Pumpkin Patch Trolley - October 20 & 21 - Ride a historic trolley to the Pumpkin Patch. Children 12 years and under receive a free pumpkin to decorate with supplies that are provided. 10:00AM to 4:15PM. Each rider $7

Polar Bear Express - Check the museum website or call the museum for information and dates for the revamped and improved Polar Bear Express event.

For information please visit 430 Meadow St. (PA 994) Next to the East Broad Top Railroad

Rockhill Furnace, PA 17249 call 814-447-9576 on weekends or 610-437-0448 on weekdays

Santa’s Trolley - Saturday December 1 - Ride aboard a real trolley car where each child will personally visit with Santa and receive a gift. Ride from 10:00AM to 4:00PM. Each rider $7

Ask about our:

“Run a Trolley” Program, where YOU take the controls of the trolley!

Events are subject to change as necessary. The Museum is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit volunteer-staffed organization.

Memberships are available Donations welcomed!

Rockhill Trolley rides on your to-do list this summer as we will once again open on May 26th and will be running every Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 to 4:20, plus many special events are

Rev. 2 2012

scheduled through out the season. You can check us out at: Hope to see you there sometime. Happy Railroading, Ed a

to you becoming asphyxiated. You are going to want to purchase a brewer’s starter kit. Most are around $100 and include a fermentation bucket, a bottling bucket, a siphon, and other needed equipment. Shop using a turkey fryer is heat conaround for a good buy—there trol. It is much easier to control are lots of choices in starter kits temps using propane than on an from the very basic to the more electric stove top. Just remember extravagant. The other piece of to stir the beer periodically to equipment I would recommend is distribute the heat evenly through- a copper-based wort chiller. This out the pot. Another thing to keep is going to allow you to reduce in mind when using a turkey fryer the boiled wort quickly so you can for your brew setup is making pitch the yeast. I have heard of sure the area you are brewing in people placing the brew kettle into is well ventilated. The oxygen in a bath tub full of ice to chill the the room will be consumed as the wort quickly. Sounds like you are propane is burning and could lead asking for trouble doing this on a regular basis. A wort chiller can be expensive (around $100), but it is worth the money in the long run. Now you are ready to go. Five gallons of beer is going to yield you around two cases of 12-ounce bottles, so you can reuse bottles you purchase at the store. You just need to make sure they are not twist off bottles. Also, I would recommend A standard beer makers starter kit

brown bottles over green or clear bottles. Brown bottles block out more sunlight, which can cause your beer to become soured over time. But, if you store them in a dark, cool location, they should be good for one year. I have not mentioned this before, but always pour your homebrew into a glass. You can drink them from a bottle, but that last sip will have live yeast in it. If you pour it into a glass, the bottle’s neck will capture the yeasty mixture—besides, I think I look cooler drinking from a pint glass. There you have it, the basic needs to start producing five gallons of beer at a time. Next month I will include another recipe. Until then, may your mug always be full. a

The Valley, June 2012


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The Valley, June 2012


A Mifflin County Jewel from front page sights on the way out of the cave too. The path back to the bottom

opinion this was a much better tour, and a more beautiful cave than Penn’s Cave. All present agreed. It is unfortunate that this

of the steps brought new formations into focus that you had missed on the way in. I could have stayed in there all day long exploring all of the little side paths that seemed to be everywhere. I don’t believe you could take everything in given a dozen trips, let alone one. I hear there will be other trips planned this season, and I plan to be on every one, if they let me. After exiting the cave, I told several of the others that in my

cave is no longer open to the public, but it is great news that Jacob Hostetler, Ernie Goss and his grandaughters Clarissa and Collette are working hard to allow as many people as are interested a chance to view

Dr. G. Scott Anderson Hosts Adjustable Gastric Banding Seminar

If you are considering weight loss surgery, join G. Scott Anderson, MD, FACS, general surgeon for FHA Surgical Services, for a free seminar on the REALIZE adjustable gastric banding solution on June 11, 2012 from 6:00pm – 7:00pm in Classroom 4, Lewistown Hospital.

Alzheimer’s Association’s Walk Monthly Committee Meeting Scheduled The next committee meeting for the 2012 Mifflin Juniata Alzheimer’s Walk will be held on Thursday, June 7, 2012, 5:30pm, at Lewistown Hospital’s Community Relations Department, 3rd Floor. Anyone interested in helping with the Alzheimer’s Walk should call Clay MacTarnaghan at (717) 437-1826. The Alzheimer’s Association’s annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s will take place on September 29, 2012 at Derry Park in Lewistown. Families, friends and individuals touched by Alzheimer’s from surrounding areas are invited to participate in this year’s event to raise awareness and funds to fight the disease. Log on to to register.

GE Inspection Technologies Employees Make Donation to Hospital GE Inspection Technologies employees presented stuffed bears for Lewistown Hospital’s pediatric patients. The stuffed animals were made possible by the GE Volunteers “Comfort for Kids” Program. GE donated the materials, then dozens of employees at the facility spent their lunch hours and breaks stuffing the plush toys to help bring some comfort for the kids of our community in difficult situations.

this magnificent cave. These folks volunteer their time to make this available, and it does cost money for batteries etc. Show them some appreciation with a nice tip; it is worth every penny. As more and more cave enthusiasts come forward, it seems that we may need a local cave club to bring everyone together and share the knowledge and excitement of local caving. To that end our “Caving Mifflin County” writer, Todd Karschner is willing to attempt to form such a club. If anyone is interested in finding out more info or joining the “Big Valley Grotto,”contact Todd through our email here at The Valley. Use Big Valley Grotto in the subject line to thevalleynewspaper@ a

The Benefits of Eating Almonds by

Michele D. Rager, MS, RD, LDN, CNSC

Kim Matthews, LPN, and Dana Stine, PCA, from Lewistown Hospital (L-R Center) accept plush bears from Shelley Miller (far L) and Anthony Guillen (far R) from GE Technologies.

Find us on The Valley Newspaper

Are you nuts for almonds? If not, perhaps you should give them a second look as part of a healthy, balanced diet. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), certain tree nuts, walnuts, almonds, and pistachios, may reduce the risk of heart disease when consumed as part of a diet that is nutritionally adequate and within calorie needs. Almonds, in particular, are a good source of protein and provide important vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin E (an antioxidant), calcium, magnesium (helps muscles to function normally), and potassium. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, nuts also contain more unsaturated fats than animal proteins. Best of all, almonds are cholesterol free and have received an official certification from the American Heart Association as a heart-healthy food. Almonds can be eaten on their own or as part of a meal. But

beware of too much of a good thing! The USDA offers this caution: “Because nuts and seeds are high in calories, eat them in small portions and use them to replace other protein foods, like some meat or poultry, rather than adding them to what you already eat. In addition, choose unsalted nuts and seeds to help reduce sodium intakes.” So how many heart healthy nuts should you aim for each day? Try about one ounce. As a reference, one ounce of almonds is about 25 almonds. The Almond Board of California indicates that one ounce of almonds is about a handful or the amount that could fit in a small baby food jar. Are you wondering how you can incorporate more almonds into you diet? Here are some ideas: • Take a handful of almonds along in your lunch or to eat as a snack.

• •

Toss them in a salad. Eat as part of a healthy trail mix. • Use almond butter as an alternative to other nut butters. • Top vegetable dishes (for example green beans) with slivered almonds. • Add to an Asian noodle dish. To learn more about almonds, please visit www.almondboard. com. Michele D. Rager, MS, RD, LDN, CNSC, is a registered dietitian at Mount Nittany Medical Center, State College. More wellness articles are available at a

The Valley, June 2012


POOR WILL’S VALLEY ALMANACK for June of 2012 Observe the daily circle of the sun, And the short year of each revolving moon: By them thou shalt foresee the following day, Nor shall a starry night thy hopes betray. Poor Richard’s Almanack, 1733 THE STARS The main landmarks of an Early Summer night are Regulus in the west, Arcturus and the Corona Borealis overhead, and Vega in the east. The Milky Way lies along the eastern horizon, together with Cygnus the Swan (the Northern Cross). As the Dog Days and July approach, the Milky Way becomes more and more prominent above you before midnight. When you get up early in the morning for chores, Taurus and all the major planets will be rising in the east, and the Milky Way will have shifted into the far west. THE METEORS The Lyrid Meteors fall through Lyra, overhead after midnight on the nights of June 14-15 and June 15-16. The dark moon should make meteor watching easy. THE PLANETS Venus is not visible in the evening sky this month, and it moves across the sun on June 5 and 6, to reappear as the morning star by the middle of the month. Mars, still in Leo, glows red along the western horizon after sundown. Jupiter in Taurus (not far from Venus) rises before dawn this month, leading Orion out of the east. THE SUN Summer solstice occurs on June 20 at 6:09 p.m.The sun holds steady at its solstice declination of 23 degrees 26 minutes (and

the day’s length remains virtually unchanged) between June 19 and 23. All across the United States, the night is as short as it will ever be – about eight hours along the Canadian border, about nine hours in the central states, a little more than ten hours along the Gulf of Mexico. JUNE - WEEK 1 THE SECOND WEEK OF EARLY SUMMER LUNAR PHASE AND LORE The Black Swallowtail Moon, full on June 4 at 6:12 p.m., wanes throughout the period, coming into its final quarter at 5:41 a.m. on June 11. Rising late in the evening and setting in the morning, this moon moves overhead near sunrise, making breakfast time the worst time for dieting but the best for angling and feeding children, especially as the June 6 and 10 cool fronts approach. The waning moon in Capricorn on June 5 - 7, and in Pisces on June 9 - 11 favor the planting of all root crops, and the setting in of bedding plants, shrubs and trees. Lunar stress on people and livestock wanes this week, creating a favorable setting for working with animils, as well as for romance, a vacation or business success. A partial eclipse of the moon will occur on June 4, visible throughout most of the central United States and Canada as the moon is going down. WEATHER PATTERNS Cool fronts are due to cross the Mississippi on or about June 6, 10, 15, 23 and 29. Major storms are most likely to occur on the days between June 5 - 8, June 13 - 16, and June 24 - 28. Part of the reason for the risk for severe weather is the increase in the percentage of afternoons in the 80s and 90s almost everywhere in the continental United States and southern Canada. JUNE - WEEK 2

THE THIRD WEEK OF EARLY SUMMER LUNAR PHASE AND LORE The Black Swallowtail Moon continues to wane throughout the period, entering its final quarter at 5:41 a.m. on June 11 and then becoming the new Firefly Moon at 10:02 a.m. on June 19. Rising before dawn and setting in the afternoon, this dark moon moves overhead (its most favorable position for fishing and feeding children) in the late morning. The moon will travel through Taurus on June 14 - 17, making those days the most propitious lunar days for putting in root crops to dig in August through October. The approach of the June 15 cool front is expected to lower barometric pressure and increase the likelihood that fish will bite, especially with the moon above you around 11:00 a.m. WEATHER PATTERNS The sunniest June days usually occur between now and the 26th. And approximately 100 frost-free days remain on most farms and gardens of the country. Unsettled conditions often surround the arrival of a cool front between the 13th and 16th, but after that system moves east, precipitation typically stays away for several days. Between the 15th and the 19th, average temperatures climb their final degrees, reaching their summer peak near solstice. The period between the 13th and the 26th is historically one of the best times of the month for fieldwork. JUNE- WEEK 3 THE FINAL WEEK OF EARLY SUMMER LUNAR PHASE AND LORE The Firefly Moon, new on June 19 at 10:02 a.m., waxes throughout the week, entering its second quarter on June 26 at 10:33 p.m. Rising in the morning and setting in the evening, this moon moves overhead in the afternoon. Lunar lore suggests that the moon above

you will make afternoons the most productive for fishing this week, but the least satisfying for dieters - especially as the barometer falls in advance of the cool front that typically arrives around June 23. All kinds of summer planting is recommended as the waxing moon passes through fertile Cancer on the 19th through the 21st. WEATHER PATTERNS The likelihood of rain diminishes this week of the year, and the period brings at least four days that are usually favorable for field work. Chances for completely overcast conditions decline to less than 20 percent. The June 23 high-pressure system is typically cool and dry, and it is often followed by some of the sunniest and driest days of all the year. Cooler conditions in the 70s or even the 60s are most likely to occur on the 23rd and 24th, as the front arrives, but then the afternoons usually warm to the 80s or 90s. The moon’s entry into its second quarter on the 26th should lower the chances for thunderstorms. JUNE - WEEK 4 LUNAR PHASE AND LORE THE FIRST WEEK OF MIDDLE SUMMER The Firefly Moon, entering its second quarter on the 26th at 10:33 p.m., swells throughout the week, becoming completely full on July 3. Rising in the afternoon and setting after midnight, this moon moves overhead in the late evening. Fishing is favored from dusk to midnight this week as the moon lies above you, especially when the June 29 cool front approaches. Lunar position in Scorpio on June 28 - 30 should encourage planting of the autumn garden. Next week’s waning moon will favor harvest of the winter wheat and the detasseling of corn. WEATHER PATTERNS The final weather system of June,

due around the 29th, is almost always followed by the Corn Tassel Rains, a two-week period of intermittent precipitation that accompanies the Dog Days of Middle Summer. In spite of the association of the Dog Days with heat, the final two days of June are sometimes the coldest of the year’s midsection. Full moon on July 3 is expected to increase the odds for chilly, wet weather. A DAYBOOK FOR JUNE June 3: Potatoes and commercial tomatoes and pickles have all been set out along the Great Lakes. Mulberry season has begun for both the red and white varieties. Armyworms and corn borers are at work. Slugs are out in force, bean leaf beetles are eating beans, and alfalfa weevil infestations become more common when the first zucchini ripens and elderberries start to bloom. June 1: Throughout Pennsylvania, most pie cherries ripen between now and the first days of July. June 2: Cicadas emerge from the ground, leaving their ectoskeletons on tree trunks. June 3: The low-pressure system that accompanies the upcoming June 6 cool front initiates a fourday period during which there is an increased chance for tornadoes and flash floods. Wet weather is sometimes related to foot abscesses and foot scald, in which irritation appears between the toes of your animals. June 4: After today’s full moon, plant carrots, beets and turnips. Gather cherries, mulberries, and black raspberries. Fertilize asparagus and rhubarb as their seasons end. Side dress the corn. June 5: Chinch bugs begin to hatch in the lawn. Whiteflies attack azaleas. Weevils assault the yellow poplars. June 6: Strawberries are thinning in the southern half of the nation as black raspberries start their season in Pennsylvania. The dark-


The Valley, June 2012 ening of the golden winter wheat measures the steady advance of June. June 7: Wild onions and domestic garlic get their seed bulbs as poison ivy, tiger lilies, and catalpas are budding. Cicadas emerge from the ground, leaving their ectoskeletons on tree trunks. June 8: Six to twelve leaves have emerged on the field corn. Strawberries are about half harvested in Ohio and Indiana, but that season is just beginning along the Canadian border. June 9: The first generation of sod webworms usually emerges near this date in Pennsylvania. June 10: Chiggers bite near this date in average years; their season lasts through August in the North, but may persist well into autumn throughout the southern states.. June 11: Timothy ripens and cucumber vines for pickles are at the three-leaf stage at the same time as nodding thistles turn to thistledown, when August’s boneset has grown knee high, and Canadian geese are molting. June 12: Sawfly larvae eat the leaves on the mountain ash. Head scab and glume blotch develop on the winter wheat. Lace bugs cause yellow spotting on sycamores, oaks, and azaleas. June 13: Young grackles join their parents to harvest the ripening cherries and mulberries. June 14: The commercial broccoli and squash harvests are underway right when damsel flies appear by streams and ponds and black-eyed Susans blossom in the waysides. Blackberries set fruit as earliest corn fields to tassel, just when the very first cicadas sing and the first katydids come to your window at night. June 15: The dark moon of late June is favorable for detasseling corn, for harvesting winter wheat, for completing the first cut of alfalfa and for beginning the second cut. This moon is also right for worming and spraying livestock for external parasites, for weeding and mulching, as well as for insect hunting. June 16: New moon time in Early Summer is also fine for pruning shrubs and trees that flowered earlier in the year. June 17: The high noon of the year has arrived, marked by the opening of goose molting season, the commencement of corn borer season, the center of timothy season, the end of spring asparagus and rhubarb season, the first of sweet corn season. June 18: Damselfly season and lizard’s tail season are open by the water. Elderberry blooming season is visible from the freeways.

Enchanter’s nightshade season joins honewort season in the dark woods. June 19: Mosquitoes, chiggers, and ticks have reached their summer strength. As the moon waxes, plant the last patches of zinnias and marigolds for autumn flowers. June 20: Long black cricket hunters hunt crickets in the garden. Grackles have come for the cherries. Orange and pink Asiatic lilies are reaching full bloom. The yellow day lilies lead the orange day lilies. Primrose, foxglove, pink and yellow achillea, late daisies, and purple spiderwort shine in the garden. June 21: When the wheat harvest begins, then bright orange butterfly weed opens, and acorns become fully formed. Hemlock season is complete, stalks collapsing into the tall grasses. June 22: Daddy longlegs are mating. Katydids are silent but feeding. The first woolly-bear caterpillars, harbingers of winter, cross the road. Some baby snappers and mud turtles are hatching. June 23: Poison ivy has green berries. The first touch-me-nots and the first thimble plants are budding. Wild garlic and euonymus atropurpureus, the burning bush, are blooming. Rugosa roses are coming in, accompanied by black-eyed Susans, wild petunias, and hobblebush. Staghorns have pushed out on the sumacs. Cattails are almost fully developed. June 24: Coneflowers, white vervain, oxeye, horseweed, germander, teasel and wild lettuce blossom in the fields; tall bell flowers open in the woods. Thimble plants set thimbles. June 25: The weak secondquarter moon tomorrow increases the chances for sun and heat. The first crop of alfalfa there should be gaining a little more moisture as the crescent moon becomes a gibbous (fat) moon. June 26: Today is the first day of Middle Summer, the most stable season of the year. This season contains three to five fronts and lasts from late June through the first week of August. Average temperatures are the highest of the year during most of the period; they start to fall on July 28. June 27: Even though night lengthens in this middle season, the amount of possible sunshine reaches its zenith, and the percentage of totally sunny days in a week is the highest of the year. June 28: At the beginning of Middle Summer, purple coneflowers, gray-headed coneflowers, white vervain, oxeye, bouncing bets, ginseng, germander, teasel and wild lettuce blossom in the

fields. The final weather system of the month is often followed by the Corn Tassel Rains, a two-week period of intermittent precipitation that accompanies the Dog Days of Middle Summer. June 29: Horseweed replaces sweet clover, parsnips and hemlock along the highways. In the woods and wetlands, tall bellflowers and spotted touch-menots open, and thimble plants set thimbles. June 30: Maroon seed pods have formed on the locusts. Some green-hulled walnuts are already on the ground. The earliest cicadas start to chant. This year’s ducklings and goslings are nearly full grown. Trumpet vine flowers fall in the midsummer rains. KEEPING TIME The other day I was digging in the garden, had worked up a sweat and was resting in the shade of the back porch, sipping a glass of iced tea. Sparrows were chirping steadily in the honeysuckle bushes nearby. The sky was clear blue, and a light west wind was moving the high trees. My pulse was up from the garden work, and as I rested, I checked my heartbeat with the second hand of my wristwatch: 75 beats a minute. I rested a little more, looking out over the collards and kale, tomatoes and beans, and I was listening to the

The Milking Cow from page 4 same time. Proper mineralization is extremely important in cattle and is essentially the cornerstone of their health. Since we do not believe in using medications, hormones, or chemical wormers, it is important that the cow’s immune system be strong and capable of maintaining health. It’s important if you have a cow that hasn’t been milked before, as with first calf heifers, to start working them through your milking routine prior to calving. Bring them into your stall or milking area at the same time(s) you intend to milk, feed her, brush her down, handle her udders, and try to get her to stand there for five minutes or so after she finishes her feed. Doing these things will make it much easier for both of you when she freshens and it’s time to milk. After calving, we leave our calves with their mothers for the first seven days to get all of the colostrum, which is rich in calories, vitamins, antibodies and other nutrients, to really get your calf off to a great start – plenty of

birds.The sparrows were so loud, and so steady, and then I realized that they were chirping at about the same rate as my heart was beating. I checked my watch and I timed their song. Their vocalizations were a metronome matched to the beating of my heart. That evening, I was walking my dog through the neighborhood and I noticed robins chirping their familiar, up-and-down singsong call, and again I timed my rhythm and the birds’ rhythm and found they blended almost perfectly. Since then, I’ve found the correspondence between my pulse and birdsong to be a little less consistent than I first discovered, but I wonder still about how many other rhythms I may be part of -- and there must be so many more -- rhythms of which I have no awareness but with which I am doubtlessly in sync, rhythms which not only measure out and pace my life, but which also give it context and even its most fundamental meaning. Bill Felker Copyright 2012 – Bill Felker 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 people milk some out and freeze it in case you ever have a calf that gets into trouble, and many even drink it themselves – but its thick, thick stuff, like sweetened condensed milk. Then we start putting the calf up someplace safe at night, some folks do a 12 on, 12 off schedule, but we tend to do closer to 8-10 hours, putting the calf up late in the evening, and turning them both out after milking. It’ll be easier on both mom and calf if they can see each other, but keep in mind a calf can and will suckle right through field fence. Milking the cow can be approached in two different ways; by hand or with a machine. We have both options; however, at this point, we milk by hand. We have found that milking fewer than three cows it is hard to justify the time to take out, use, clean and sanitize the milking equipment, and ultimately did not save any time. If you have a larger breed of milking cow, this may not be the case due to the larger volume of milk per animal. Again, this will need to be addressed individually and what works best for you personally. There is no one way or

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 with his wife in Yellow Springs, Ohio. They have two daughters, Jeni, who is a psychologist in Portland, Oregon, and Neysa, a photographer in Spoleto, Italy. POOR WILL ANNOUNCES THE LAST GREAT OUTHOUSE STORY CONTEST! Twenty years have passed since the first Almanack outhouse story contest, and people who have experienced the adventure of a real outdoor privy are not as plentiful as they used to be. So now is the time to talk to Granny and to Great-Uncle Leroy and get them to tell you the way it really was. Funny stories are best, and length should be less than 300 words. The grand prize winner will take home $50.00, and the top five runners up will receive $7.00 each. But hurry! This contest is only open through August 1. Send your outhouse tales to Poor Will, P.O. Box 431, Yellow Springs, OH 45387. Or email them to Selected stories will appear in Poor Will’s Almanack for 2013 and may appear in other Poor Will columns. size that fits all! The topic of milking cows can be quite expansive and full of personal preferences and opinions. Remember that when talking to anyone about milking cows. Don’t take anyone’s word as fact (including mine) and ALWAYS do your own research. If you have personal health concerns, you should do some serious research on the benefits of “grass fed milk.” Don’t let anyone mislead you into believing that milking cows require grain, nothing can be further from the truth. This is the path we have chosen and would encourage you to spend the time putting thought towards your principles before making the purchase of your first milking cow. It will certainly be a great joy if approached with patience and knowledge. Until next time, Dave & Ginger and Family a

The Valley, June 2012


unpleasant news. I approached the closest picture, a large, lithographed, color cardboard photo of a charging Indian war party that had ten, horribly cleaned and polished, Indian cents in various positions in the picture! I explained that the Picture was of no interest to me, nor would it be to any professional dealer, and that the cleaned Indian Pennies were only worth about 25 cents each, if that! The owner was in shock showing us the sticker on the back that indicated that he had paid nearly $150.00 for it. I was ready to leave right then, but he asked about the other pictures. One showed a World War II Battleship, that featured a complete (polished again) eleven coin set of 35% Silver War nickels (dated 1942-1945), total value (at that time) of $3.75. Then there

was a smaller picture, showing the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria (Columbus’ three ships) along with one Columbian Commemorative Half-Dollar (polished, tarnished and ugly) that was worth about $3.00. Another Picture of John F. Kennedy, with the Presidential seal had four (all clad) Kennedy half-dollars, worth NOTHING over their $2.00 face value. There were nearly fifty pictures in all and I stopped explaining their real values after the first five. I wasn’t having any fun and the home owner was obviously stunned, almost to numbness. My wife and I thanked them for their hospitality, then showed ourselves out. It was a long ride home. Over the years we have seen THOUSANDS of such fancy (but basically worthless) presentation cases and cheaply framed pictures, each containing a few coins worth, perhaps, as much as a few dollars, but with purchase prices in the $25 to $95 range. Most were purchased from magazine articles, from television shows, or at flea markets. People who SELL these items want to make the package LOOK like it is quite a valuable collectible, but at a cost (to the seller) of a fraction of their asking price. If these “collectibles” are acquired for the purpose of gift-giving, then their excessive purchase price, while still unfortunate, is less of a concern. How-

ever, far too many people buy these items believing them to be a wise investment. When they sell them, neither they, nor the dealers they sell them to, particularly enjoy the experience. The seller never receives what he is hoping for and the dealer has to spend a HUGE amount of time breaking the coins out of the sets. Early in our career, we tried to sell these sets as we bought them, but found that they were only well suited as space fillers and dust collectors. Quite honestly, we are almost RELIEVED when people choose NOT to sell them. Almost 100% of the time these fancy, yet nearly valueless, coin “commemorative” sets are found advertised in publications that have NOTHING to do with coins or coin collecting. The sellers of these products are smart enough to know that only people with little knowledge of coin values can be duped into paying steep asking prices for sets that have a resale value equal to just a small fraction of their cost. If you see a coin set being advertised that you might have an interest in, do not hesitate to call your local coin company to ask if it represents a “reasonably” good value. Most dealers, especially full-time professionals, will be happy to help steer you in the right direction! a

entrance, there are a few tunnels on the left. Not much to see, and the tunnels are tight in quite a few places. The second cave is at the other end of the quarry under a tree. It is a pair of four foot openings just a few feet deep. Once you are in, just sit on your butt and slide in feet first. Within 20 ft. you can stand upright and walk the rest of the way. One thing you will notice is how straight the walls are. There are formations hanging from the ceiling that you have to walk around to get past them.

Close to the end of the passage, there are two large flowstone shelves. These are formations that look like water gushing out of a fire hydrant and then frozen before it hit the floor. At the end of the room there is a pool of water that covers the floor from wall to wall. It starts out shallow, but then the bottom drops to about fifteen feet very quickly. The ceiling dips below the water about a foot or two. I stuck my flashlight under the water and could see that the passage continues.

There have been several occasions over the past 80 years, of cavers claiming that during extreme dry spells, the cave continues for almost a half a mile before coming to the surface again. Who knows, weather permitting, I might have a part II to write about this cave. If you plan to visit these caves, please drive slow through the campground, and respect those paying to camp there. Until next time. Cave safe, Todd K. a

A Simple Spending Plan for Life from page 26

nancial fiasco is better than none. Financial freedom means being free from the shackles of debt and others lording over you for repayment. What will you choose eventual financial freedom for the rest of your life or a pay-period prison with a life sentence? There are tons of resources available to educate yourself on personal finance and freedom from debt. Begin your search at your local library where knowledge is free and customer service is there to assist you. a

Flag Day is June 14

Dave Wilson

Coins, Precious Metal and a Little of this and That Forget The Fancy Holders Just Buy The Coins In the mid 1980’s, when my first (now late) wife and I were working our booth at the Williamsport Coin Show, we were approached by an older couple who asked if we made house calls to purchase coins. When we replied favorably, we were invited to stop at their home after the show for a private viewing of their collection. Unfortunately, as we had young children at home, we had to delay the visit as we had a babysitter to relieve. We called the couple midweek and made plans to travel back to South Williamsport the next Sunday. When we arrived at their home, we were escorted into their spacious living and dining room area. Our host said “Well what do you think?” I looked at my wife, then back at our host and replied “About what?” He then swung around, pointing his

finger at all the (inexpensively) framed pictures on the walls of both rooms. My heart SANK as I realized instantly that my wife and I had just wasted 150+ miles of driving and about $40 in babysitter fees! Hoping I was wrong, I asked the home owner if this (the framed pictures) was the extent of his “rare” coin collection. Sadly he replied “Why, yes, but just LOOK at how beautiful they are and how many we have!” He then made things worse by saying “We’ve been buying these coin collectibles for years and have quite a sum invested in them!” “We’re selling the house and renting an apartment, so the coin pictures will have to be sold!” He then asked if I would like to check things over and make them an offer! I had no choice but be the bearer of VERY

Caving Mifflin County with Todd Karschner Hello again valley readers. This month I will be writing to you from McVeytown, a quiet little river town along the Juniata River that has plenty of fishing, boating and camping opportunities Idle Acres Campground is one of these. This campground is also home to a well-known cave system, Johnson Caves. As I have mentioned before, all caves in Mifflin County are located on private property. Please ask permission from property owners before exploring. In this case, stop at the campground office. The caves are located in an abandoned quarry on the end of the ridge above the campground. They are reasonably easy to explore, and being so close to the campground, chances are you won’t be alone. The large entrance at the back of the quarry slopes rather

steeply for about fifty feet to the cave floor. Once at the bottom, large blocks of stone litter the floor. It’s tricky walking around in these caves because it’s like walking in a mountain stream bed. Everything is slippery and small stones fill the places between the boulders. The room is large with a high ceiling. It’s worth the time to stop and look around—lots of formations, and a small upper room. It’s not worth the trouble and time to climb up to the upper level except for some good closeup pictures. Continuing on, passing under the upper level opening, the walls are closer together, and the ceiling resembles an upside down mountain range. From here, you can see the end of this cave. There are two small pools of water that disappear under the walls through small channels. On the way out, almost to the

fund. I prefer to call it an “Aloha” fund as I believe it should resemble positive protection not negative necessities. Maybe your 20% or 10% or 5% for that matter is just a few dollars per pay period that can go to savings/emergency category – place it anyway. Your emergencies may exceed the amount you have placed in the category; however, some money to put towards an unexpected fi-


The Valley, June 2012

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The Valley, June 2012

The Valley - June 2012  

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

The Valley - June 2012  

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