Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Foods to Boost Your Energy

By Rachel Berman RD, Director of Nutrition There's nothing worse than going from hungry to tired. Meals that weigh you down can turn what was supposed to be a boost into a bust. Because food really is fuel, use these foods to get you back on track.
Our bodies are composed of up to 75% of water and not replenishing our H2O stores can result in fatigue and headaches. Because we don't sense thirst until we're already dehydrated, the trick to keeping our energy up with water means being proactive. Whether you set specific times to get a swig, purchase a liter-sized bottle to keep on hand, or grab a cup every time you pass the water cooler, make some water drinking rules. Another way to stay hydrated is to boost your intake of water-rich foods. 80% of our water intake comes from beverages, but the other 20% comes from foods. Incorporate more celery, cucumbers, watermelon, and lettuce into meals to stay thirst-free and full of energy.
Foods high in fiber actually help stabilize our blood sugar which keeps us energized all day long! When we eat foods with simple sugars such as candy or refined, white bread products we get a rush of energy from the spike in blood sugar that turns into a lag and drag sugar crash soon after. High fiber foods include 100% whole wheat bread, oatmeal, raspberries, pears, strawberries, bananas, lentils, black beans, artichoke, broccoli, and carrots. Remember to drink more water as you ramp up fiber in your diet to keep you regular. With more water and fiber in your gut, you'll also feel full longer helping you stave off overeating.
Lean Protein
Want to stabilize your energy even more? Pair that fiber-rich food with something containing lean protein like lean beef or skinless poultry, both of which contain the amino acid tyrosine. Tyrosine can help boost brain chemicals that increase focus, specifically dopamine and norepinephrine. It's no fluke that protein bars are sometimes called energy bars. Protein is also essential to growth and repair, ensuring that your body recovers from exercise and other physical strain. Multiple studies show more protein equals more satisfaction at meal time. With fiber, the added effect could mean eating less.
Almonds contain magnesium and B vitamins which help convert food to energy. Research shows that almonds and other nuts, can help boost weight loss since they contain unsaturated fat and fiber to help satisfy us longer. In fact, a recent study also found that adults who eat nuts have better diet quality and improved nutrient intake. Both point to even more energy to go around.
Fatty fish like salmon contain omega-3 fatty acids which have been found to combat depression and improve mood. These hearty healthy fats also keep you energized throughout the day. In fact, a study found they also help fight chronic pain and stress. Yet another study saw that they can also reduce inflammation and lower anxiety. With less anxiety, you may make better decisions at meal time and that could lead to keeping the energy ball rolling.
Coffee and Black Tea
Coffee may work in the short term for an energy boost, black tea is another option. A recent study found black tea improves attention and self-reported alertness. Try having just one or two cups and after mid-afternoon put the mug down so as not to affect your sleep. Because, after all, a good night's sleep is just as important for your energy level!

Tuesday, May 08, 2012
The basics:
  • If you have been stung, remove the stinger. Don’t squeeze it; this will release more venom.
  • Clean the area. Hydrogen peroxide is the best antiseptic for cleansing bites.
  • Elevation – If you are bitten or stung in the arm or leg, elevate the extremity above heart to reduce swelling.
  • Apply cold water and/or ice to the bite or sting to relieve swelling.
  • Mosquito bites only – Squeeze and release repeatedly to disperse the toxin.
  • Drink well – Dehydration may magnify bite reactions, so staying well hydrated before and during outdoor activity is best.
Home remedies:
  • Dried basil – To relieve the itching and swelling of spider bites, rub a pinch of basil into the wound until it resembles fine sand.
  • Turmeric and olive oil – Make a paste of these to relieve the pain, swelling, and redness of spider bites. Apply directly to the wound to draw out poison. This remedy can be used two to three times in a seven-day period.
  • Aspirin – Soak an aspirin tablet in a bit of distilled water to form a paste. Apply to a spider bite to alleviate pain and itching.
  • Tea tree oil – Apply directly to the wound. It numbs and sterilizes instantly and has been shown to work on bee stings, spider bites, fleabites, and mite bites.
  • Crush plantain leaves, extracting the juice. Apply the juice and leaves to the wound.
  • Apply toothpaste (not gel) to the wound. This will draw out the venom.
  • Make a paste of baking soda and water (three parts soda to one part water) and apply to the wound. This will draw out poison.
  • Apply a slice of raw onion on a bite to discourage infection and draw out poison.
  • Pack insect bites with table sugar to prevent scarring.
  • Apply lavender oil to bites to reduce swelling and itching.
  • Apis mallifica – This homeopathic remedy reduces inflammation, pain, burning and stinging.
  • Cantharis – This homeopathic remedy is good for wasp and bee stings.
  • Uritca urens relieves itching and burning
  • Homemade insect bite lotion – Combine one teaspoon lavender oil and one tablespoon olive oil. Apply to bites, but avoid using around eyes.
  • Homemade poultice – Combine one tablespoon Echinacea tincture, one tablespoon distilled water, and 1/8 teaspoon lavender essential oil. Add mixture slowly to one tablespoon of bentonite clay. Apply to affected area. Store the poultice in a container with tight lid; if it dries out, add a little more distilled water to make it moist enough to stick to skin.
  • Break two or three leaves of jewelweed and apply juice to the injured area. Works well on ant bites.
  • Mix one teaspoon yellowdock leaf tincture with two teaspoons baking soda to make a paste. Apply to bites to neutralize poison; repeat as needed.
  •  Bite Prevention:
  • Essential oils – Eucalyptus, citronella, catnip, and basil all repel insects. Many use a combination of eucalyptus and citronella effectively.
  • Yarrow and tansy-infused oil – If you know how to make herb-infused oils, give these a try. (Only use externally). Learn to make infused oils here.
  • Location – Stay in the breeze. Mosquitoes only fly eight miles per hour; it doesn’t take much to waft them away. Choose sunny location. Mosquitoes dehydrate easily, so they stay in shaded and low areas that are humid.
  • Clothing – Wear loose fitting clothes to keep mosquitoes from getting through to your skin. Earth tones are best, as they will disguise you in wooded areas – green is best, with brown a close second. White masks your silhouette in the open. Blue is the worst; mosquitoes mistake it for a flowering plant. Red will also draw their interest as well as the interest of other insects. Air out outdoor clothing so it doesn’t retain attractive odors.
  • Movement – Go slowly and remain calm. The more you sweat, breathe, and move, the more mosquitoes will be attracted.
  • Diet – Eat raw garlic. The essence leaches from pores, masking normal body odors. Eat and drink things indigenous to your area. You will smell like you belong. Avoid stimulants and sugar. They increase your metabolism, making you a much more inviting meal to feast on.
  • Oil the skin – Mosquitoes do not like oil on their wings, so they will avoid you. Use aromatic oils like cedar, crushed orange peel, onion, or garlic. Give more attention to the warmest, leanest parts of your body, like your neck, arms, armpits, and ears – wherever blood vessels are close to the surface.
  • Time – Choose to be out and about at midday or after dark. Mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn. Choose a cool day rather than a hot one, a sunny day over a cloudy one, and a day with low humidity over high humidity.
  • When camping – Welcome dragonflies. They can consume their weight in half an hour and will fly miles for a meal. They can spot mosquitoes fifty feet away. Build a smudge fire to create a cool, dense, low-hanging smoke. When smoke hangs on the air, mosquitoes don’t hang around.
  • Brush mosquitoes off – don’t slap. Mosquitoes take several seconds after landing to bite. A continuous, sweeping motion will keep them from snacking, at least temporarily.

Monday, May 07, 2012

History of Milligantown PA

  • Milligantown history

    Centennial Booklet 1879-1979

     Samuel Milligan Jr, and his sons, in about 1820, built a grist mill along Little Pucketos Creek at the place where it was crossed by the Tarentum-Greensburg road. A county road map dated 1818 showed this as a major road across the Upper Burrell area connecting North Washington with Chartiers Station (Edgecliff) , and the ford across the river to Tarentum. Judging from references to this road in early property deeds, it came along the present Pennsylvania Route 780 through McLaughlinstown, down Manchester Hill, across the creek and up along the hillside above the present location on Baxter Drive, on past the Puckety United Presbyterian Church to Chartiers Station. Other roads later converged at this crossing which became known as Milligans Mills and then Milligantown.
    The Milligan family could have been the first settlers in this vicinity although we suspect that others may have preceded them. On Dec 26, 1804, Mr Milligan acquired a 245 acre patent named "Manchester" (Patent book 55, p 221), for which a warrant had been granted to Thomas Dunwoody (or Dinwoody) on June 24,1773. It would be very interesting to know more about Mr Dunwoody... how at such an early date he came to carve this particular tract out of vacant land. Was he a squatter proceeding to obtrain title to the land he had improved? Could he have passed through this area while serving in the militia and returned to purchase this tract? Possibly he was a land speculator from Pittsburg (just as John Little applied for a warrant in 1769 for a 300 acre tract in the Logans Ferry-Parnassus region, and then sold it to John Wood who in turn conveyed it to Alexander Logan). What vision did he have for the development of this land when he marked off an area approximately the same as that shown in the small map of Milligan's Mills? All we know is that he deeded the tract on March 26, 1788 to William Waddel who on June 7, 1801 deeded it to Samuel Milligan, Jr, in Perry County. As none of these names appear on th 1790 census, it is assumed that when the Milligan family came to this area and built their cabin in about 1802, they were the first residents of 'downtown Milligantown'.
      Samuel Milligan Jr was born near Carlisle Pennsylvania in 1769, and married Mary Margaret Jamieson, born 1777. The young couple with their small children no doubt packed a wagon and headed westward across the mountains as soon as possible, after purchasing their property in the spring of 1801. It surely must have been a big adventure for the young family to move into the western frontier to build a new home and a new life. One wonders about the route they took to find the remote spot along the Little Pucketos Creek that they chose for a cabin site. Did they cross the mountains on the Forbes Road, head north at Hanna's Town, proceed on through
    New Salem and Poke Run to North Washington, turn left on the Tarentum road, proceed through McLaughlinstown and finally come down the (Manchester) hill into their two hundred forty five acre tract.. possibly to have their wagon stick in the mud at the crossing of the creek? And, after all this, Mary Margaret may have said, "Sam, I'm not going one step farther; there is water here and the woods are beautiful". More than likely, Sam had made the journey earlier without the family, explored the area and found it to his liking and started construction of their cabin.
      During the early 1800s additional settlers purchased land and moved into the area.. Other property owners in that period besides Samuel Milligan and his sons James, Robert Jamieson, and Samuel; were Robert Baxter, James Anderson, John Frederick, James Irwin, Thomas Blair, and David McLean.
     The village continued to grow and it was a thriving community with several small businesses, a church and a school, when the township of Upper Burrell was established. It existed as an active community center for several generations with the name being changed to Milligantown sometime around the 1880s. Later, there was added a telephone exchange and a blacksmith shop.
    Samuel Milligan, Jr died in 1862, twelve years after his wife, and both are buried in the old Manchester Church graveyard. Most of the detailed information about the Millligan family was supplied by Mrs Elizabeth Coulson of Lower Burrell who is a descendant of Mary Jane, the only daughter of Samuel and Mary Margaret Milligan.
     Today, Milligantown is the largest population center in the township, but all of the former businesses are gone. The only present business establishment is Carol's Hotel. There remains only the Manchester Reformed Presbyterian Church from of old.
    Contributed by Marilyn Blair for use by the Westmoreland County Genealogy Project (

Manchester Reformed Presbyterian Church History

This article was originally written by Rev Robert Fullerton, first pastor of the present church.

" The Manchester Congregation of the Reformed Presbyterian Church (Covenanter) began as a 'society', a part of the Ohio Congregation. This group first met around 1795, in the home of John Anderson who lived near Little Puckety Creek. It was known as the Puckety Society. Samuel Milligan moved into the area about 1802, and in 1804, received a land patent from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania known as Manchester. These two families were among the earliest settlers in the area to become known as Milligantown. Mr. Milligan, and elder in the RP Church, had a church built on the corner of his farm around 1820, and in 1844, Mr. and Mrs. Milligan deeded two acres of land, including 'building improvements, woods, ways,watercourses, rights, and liberties' to the 'Reformed Presbyterian Church or Old Side Covenanters... to be used, kept and held as a church yard and place of religious worship..forever'. Thus, the church came to be known as Manchester instead of Puckety.
 The register of members in full communion in the Manchester Society in June 1851, included the following names: Elders: John Ross and Samuel Milligan; Margaret Ross, Jane Ross, James Stuart, Mrs. Stuart, Thomas Rowan, Elizabeth Rowan, Robert Rowan, Anna Rowan, John Hunter, Mary Ann Hunter, Mary Hunter, Sarah Hunter, Robert Anderson, Anna Anderson, James Nelson, Nancy Nelson, John Reed, Martha Reed, Alexander Miller, Elizabeth Miller, John Dunn, Sarah Dunn, John Crooks, Katherine Crooks, Eleanor McLaughlin, Elizabeth McLaughlin, Jane Hill, Margaret Rowan and Mrs. Ann Marshall. The pastor at that time was the Rev Oliver Wylie, who also served the Brookland Society near Freeport.
 Mr. Milligan died in 1862, and was buried in the cemetery alongside the Manchester Church. Another cemetery was started in about 1899, when one of the church members was offended by some church actions and removed the bodies of his friends from the church cemetery to his own farm on Hunter Hill. Gravestones are present in both cemeteries, but neither is being used today. After the Civil War, with farm families beginning a movement to new urban communities, many of the Manchester members moved to the Borough of Parnassus and built their own place of worship in 1871. In 1889, the new Parnassus Congregation was organized, most of the charter members coming from the roll of the Manchester Congregation. The Rev James C McFeeters came to the Manchester-Parnassus Congregation and was installed in a service at the Manchester Church on June 19, 1874. Church, Sabbath School, and the Women's Missionary Society flourished under his leadership until he resigned in 1888.
 Dr. McFeeters preached in both churches each Lord's Day, riding horseback between them. From 1886 until 1888, he also preached in the Brookland Church, extending his horse ride each week. In 1889, Parnassus was given separate existence, and Manchester was united with the Brookland Society. this new Congregation gradually declined, until Manchester was disorganized in 1904, and Brookland united with Parnassus in 1933. Around about 1904, the old Manchester building was razed and the timbers used in the construction of a local barn.
 In the early 1940s, religious classes were sponsored by the Parnassus Congregation in the new Upper Burrell Elementary School, when the pastor of the Parnassus Congregation, Rev Phillip Martin, lived at Merwin. When Alcoa announced plans to build a new research center in the Upper Burrell Township, there was no church activity in the vicinity. Because of the expected development, and because the church still owned the old Manchester property, the Parnassus Congregation began a renewal of church work in Upper Burrell. Worship services were held weekly in the Upper Burrell Elementary School starting December 1, 1957. The next spring a Chapel was begun on the old church site, on Manchester Hill, and was dedicated September 27, 1958. For the next two and one-half years, worship services were held both in the Parnassus building and in the Manchester Chapel. On June 4, 1961, the last service was held in Parnassus, and the Congregation officially moved to the Manchester site. In 1962, a parsonage was built beside the chapel. In 1963, a classroom addition was added, and in 1969, and attractive sanctuary was completed over the classroom area. The original chapel now serves as a fellowship hall.
 The Rev Robert R Fullerton, called to be the pastor of the Parnassus congregation in 1956, has led in this renewal of the Manchester Church and congregation. It is of historical interest that in February, 1872, Mrs. Cannon, wife of the first pastor of the New Alexandria RP congregation wrote in the REFORMED PRESBYTERIAN: 'New Alexandria became a regular place of preaching in 1819. The field was a promising one, and in order to cultivate it, Mr. Cannon gave up the Thompson Run and Puckety Branches, they being the strongest and most wealthy." It is interesting to note, that in the Providence of God, Mr Fullerton, born and raised in the New Alexandria Congregation, should be the one to lead in this renewal of old Puckety, now Manchester.'
 The present membership of the congregation numbers about 90. (this was written in 1979). the membership includes the Lowell Zadai family. Mrs. Zadai is a great-great- granddaughter of John Hunter, listed on the Manchester roll in 1851. She is also a great-great-great-great granddaughter of John Anderson in whose home the first Covenanter Society meetings were held.
 The present members of the session (*again, 1979) are : James Blair, William Swank and Michael Mastorovich. Lowell Zadai is chairman of the congregation and Laura Berdyck is the secretary. The congregation holds an annual Vacation Bible School and summer camp program that serves many in the community, not members of the congregation. The church building use is increasing by groups in the community.
 As the Manchester Congregation looks to its early days in Upper Burrell Township, it also looks to the future with the desire of service to its Lord and its community for many, many more years."

Thursday, May 03, 2012

  •  Milk allergy, not lactose intolerance symptoms:
  • Skin Reactions:
    * Itchy red rash
    * Hives
    * Eczema
    * Swelling of lips, mouth, tongue, face or throat
    * Allergic "Shiners" (black eyes)
  • Stomach and Intestinal Reactions:
    * Abdominal pain and bloating
    * Diarrhea (usually very runny)
    * Vomiting
    * Gas/wind
    * Cramps
  • Nose, Throat and Lung Reactions:
    * Runny Nose
    * Sneezing
    * Watery and/or Itchy eyes
    * Coughing
    * Wheezing
    * Shortness of Breath

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

I spent quite a bit of time repotting the melons and some of my flowers yesterday.  The Zom's melons were about 7-8" tall in about an inch of soil!

 I had to set up a 2nd table to accomodate the repotted plants.. My living room looks like a greenhouse.  Can't wait to get those impatiens into their permanent pots and out to the deck in hanging baskets.  They are blooming all over the place now and need outdoors..
 We have seen our first hummingbird!  This was on April 29th.  Wendell was the one who saw it first as it took a swig of juice from the feeder.  Yippee!