October 1, 9:00 am – 12 noon.  CPR For Teens. Teenagers ages 11–17 learn CPR for adult, child and infant. $35. Located at the HCGH Wellness Center at the Medical Pavilion, 10710 Charter Drive, Suite 100, in Columbia. For information or to register, call 410-740-7601, or register online.

October 1,  12 noon-3:00 pm. Picnic in the Park – Friend’s of the Patapsco Female Institute. Two new free events on Saturday April 30 and Saturday October 1, 2011. Docent Tours, Archaeology Dig, Hands-On Archaeology Lab, Music, Activities for Children and Adults. Bring a Picnic and some friends! Located at the Mt. Ida Visitors Center; 3691 Sarah’s Lane, Ellicott City, MD 21041. For more information call 410-465-8500.

October 1, 2:00 pm-3:00 pm. Chemistry In The Library – Our Health, Our Future! Join a chemist from the Army Research Laboratory and the American Chemical Society for hands-on experiments and explore chemistry as it relates to nutrition, hygiene, and medicine at the Central Branch. Ages 7 & up (7-8 year olds must be accompanied by an adult). Register online.

October 3, 3:30 pm-5:30 pm. Blood Pressure Screening. Free, walk-in blood pressure screening and monitoring offered by Howard County General Hospital at the Glenwood  Branch.

October 3, 5:30 pm-7:00 pm. Craft Your Stress Away. Relax at the Elkridge Branch while you make therapeutic stress balls, worry stones, and a pincushion doll to help you de-stress and choose civility. Register online.

October 4, 7:45 pmVamos A Bailar! (Let’s Dance!). Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month as professional dance instructors from That’s Dancing Ballroom and Dancesport Center teach exciting Latin dances. Put on your dancing shoes and get some great, fun exercise! Register online.

October 5, 7:00 pm-8:30 pm. A Parents’ Guide to Drugs of AbuseLearn each class of abusable drug, its physiology, effects on the brain, side effects and why people choose to abuse drugs. Presented by N. Joseph Gagliardi, M.D., this program is geared for adults only. Free. Located at the HCGH Wellness Center at the Medical Pavilion at Howard County, 10710 Charter Drive, Suite 100, in Columbia. For information or to register, call 410-740-7601, or register online .

October 5, 7:00 pm. Choose Civility Symposium. Join NPR’s Korva Coleman at the Smith Theater of Howard Community College for a panel featuring Courtney Macavinta, President of The Respect Institute and coauthor of the best-seller Respect: A Girl’s Guide to Getting Respect and Dealing When Your Line Is Crossed, about how civil understanding and respect can reduce the prevalence of bullying. Details at choosecivility.org.

October 6, 7:00 pm. Putting The Garden To Bed. Pat Greenwald stops by the Glenwood Branch to show steps for preparing gardens for winter. Part of the Master Gardener series. Register online.

October 6, 11:00 am – 7:00 pm. Red Cross Blood Drive . The Y of Central Maryland Dancel Family Center is sponsoring a fall Blood Drive. “The Red Cross does not need blood – patients do. Every two seconds someone in America gets a blood transfusion. 5,000,000 patients will need blood this year. Are you healthy? Are you over 17? Do you weigh at least 110 lbs? You can donate! To Schedule Your Life-Saving Donation Call 410-465-4334 #237 or 1-800-RED-CROSS Appointments Recommended!!!

October 6,  7:00 pm-8:30 pm. Happiness & Your Health. Discover how happiness impacts health and strategies to create more happiness. Free. Located at the HCGH Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Suite 100. For information or to register, call 410-740-7601, or register online .

October 8, 10:00 am. Wonder Talk: Creepy Creatures: Bats, Toads, Worms, Spiders, Snakes… Ooooooo! - Howard County Conservancy. It’s almost Halloween. All sorts of creepy, maybe spooky, animals are hanging about! Have a wide-eyed and fun experience learning about these wharty, slimy, hairy, scaley, slithery animals with naturalist Shannon Davis, naturalist at Oregon Ridge Nature Center, and former grounds manager at the Conservancy. She will bring live animals for you to meet! Indoor program. FREE.

October 8, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. Bike ride using our Patapsco Heritage Trail map. Start location: Parking Lot A, off Oella Avenue in historic Ellicott City to BWI trail in Hanover. Free to Patapsco Heritage Greenway members; $5 to non-members. Free trail map included.  To register visit the Patapsco Heritage Greenway or call 410-480-0824.

 

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By Jean Pfefferkorn

The temperaturess and humidity are lower, leaves are starting to change color….fall is here! Did you know that if you spend your workout time exercising in a natural setting, you’ll be doing more than raising your heartrate and strengthening your muscles?

For example, exposure to nature has been found to improve the attention span of children and adults, by allowing our fatigued brains to rest. A good walk in the woods is a stress reducer, improving psychological resilience in the face of future stressful situations. Watching wildlife and plants reconnects walkers to the greater natural world to encourage compassion, while exposure to running water soothes jangled nerves. Suggesting even stronger reasons to get outside, studies have also noted a relationship between behavioral disorders and “nature deficit syndrome,” especially in the young.

In the July 5, 2010 New York Times article “Claim: Exposure to Plants and Parks Can Boost Immunity,” author Anahad O’Connor cites study after study in which people’s immune systems were boosted and allergic responses decreased, after walks in a forest. Near trees, air contains fewer pollutants and more oxygen, cleansing not only the lungs, but also the entire body at a cellular level.

So rather than spend these beautiful days on a treadmill in your favorite gym, why not visit the woods and go for a speed-walk?

Jean has been working at Howard County Library System’s Central Branch for nearly nine years.

She walks in the Benjamin Banneker Park whenever she gets a chance.

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Acupuncturist Bridget Hughes, M.Ac., L.Ac., co-founder of Healing Point Acupuncture and Healing Arts in the Medical Pavilion at Howard County believes that the emotions and feeling states we most routinely experience play a critical role in our health and well-being.

On October 16th, Hughes will offer a free seminar called “Rewiring Your Neural Pathways of Emotion.”  “Participants will explore how to craft a meditative practice using a past peak or resourceful feeling state” said Hughes.  “Many people tell me they would like a meditative practice but haven’t found one that ‘clicked’ or that fits in their busy schedule.  A meditative practice that taps into the feeling of a past meaningful moment has the immediate benefit of being enjoyable to do, and offers the longer term benefit of actually changing how we are emotionally and physiologically ‘wired.’ The model for this is much like what an elite athlete in training does.”

“The brain rewires based on usage (called neuroplasticity) and so if what we are accustomed to doing is worrying anxiously or feeling irritated and mad, over time we will get better and better at those things.  But if we refocus our attention to dwell on what is going well, our brain will rewire in such a way that makes it easier to not only feel good but to actually initiate biological changes that enhance our health neurally, biochemically, and at the level of the DNA.”

“An effective ‘feeling state’ meditation practice does not require setting aside large chunks of time each day; in fact it can and should be woven in to the fabric of life–enriching our everyday activities.”  says Hughes. “A race car driver knows to always look where they are going and a tight rope walker knows to never look at the ground. Rewiring our Neural Pathways of Emotion encourages participants to retrain focus for optimal well-being.

Class Info:  October 16th, 7-8:30 pm at the Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, Ellicott Mills Room. 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia.  Free, To Register 410-740-7601

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Bridget Hughes is a sought after lecturer and licensed acupuncturist with a Master’s degree from the Tai Sophia Institute. She is co-founder of Healing Point LLC in Severna Park, Maryland, and of Healing Point Acupuncture and Healing Arts in the Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center at the Medical Pavilion at Howard County General Hospital in Columbia. She was named a 2011 Favorite Doc in Chesapeake Family Magazine for the second year in a row. Bridget loves spending time with family, organic gardening, photography, cooking, anything outdoors, and is an avid reader. She considers time spent with patients to be a great blessing and takes a keen interest in each person and their unique situation and experience.

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By Angie Engles

Sometimes I think The Jetsons had it right when it came to the future of food. If everything edible was available in capsules and nothing had taste, where would the temptation be? As long as the nutrients we needed were included and the convenience didn’t come with a price, wouldn’t it be so much simpler and far less of a heartache (literally, it would seem, for those with health problems)?
Food addictions and obesity might not exist at all under these circumstances, though certainly the pleasure that comes from eating would all but disappear. But how can something so complex as food addiction be reduced to quick fixes and arbitrary answers when one of the forces behind it is wrapped in so many different layers of trouble (both potential and real)?
Susan McQuillan from Psychology Today magazine tackles food obsession and compulsive overeating in Breaking The Bonds of Food Addiction. Published in 2004, the book is as relevant today as ever and is one of the most helpful resources I’ve ever seen on the topic. Readers will be given the background and tools needed to put together a plan for happier, healthier living and help break the strongholds of compulsive overeating. McQuillan, a registered dietician, also shows readers how to work out individual food issues, move beyond addiction, and incorporate a healthy, lifelong relationship with food.
McQuillan offers guidance through helpful and informative text and wonderful sidebars (sidebars chock full of relevant tangents) which cover everything from eating disorders to less serious (but sometimes just as troubling) things like the key to feeling full when you think you want seconds. “The key to feeling full is smelling your food. The more you use your nose, the less you’ll have to eat to feel satisfied” (Alan Hirsch, MD).  Laugh if you will, but I find aromatherapy goes a long way to curbing strong cravings. I went to Yankee Candle, bought cinnamon bun-scented candles, and no longer eat real cinnamon buns, except on very rare and very special occasions.
Other resources provide different perspectives on food. Food addiction and obesity are not necessarily synonymous with each other, but both can have their roots in emotional causes. In The Good Humor Man: or Calorie 3501, Andrew Fox explores a great idea, but somewhere between idea and execution of said idea, things go terribly wrong. I would not recommend it for recreational or informational reading (the dialogue is awkward, stereotypes abound, and the whole thing reads rather stiff) but the IDEA behind it is very intriguing and also very scary: In the future what if it were illegal to eat fatty foods and anorexia was glorified the way chastity is among the abstinence crowd?
As someone who struggles with guilt whenever I eat something junky and who always tries not to bring bad food home, I wonder sometimes (and only sometimes), would we be better off living in a society that decided it was about time to start imposing fines and jail time for eating crap that in turn makes us crappy? Would it be easier to lose weight if there was some kind of punishment involved for not losing it?
Obesity is an admirable epidemic to want to conquer, but we must be cautious at going too far the other way. In fighting obesity we must realize that there are dangers in reaching the wrong target audience, the particularly vulnerable: teenage girls who are already at normal, healthy weight or perhaps underweight, even dangerously so. But the beauty of books is that they allow us to learn things and explore ideas that may otherwise be difficult or even dangerous.

Angie Engles has been with the Howard County Library System for 17 years, 14 of which were at the Savage Branch. She currently works at the Central Branch primarily in the Fiction and Audio-visual departments. Her interests include music, books, and old movies.

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September 23, 2:00-6:00 pm. Howard County General Hospital Farmer’s Market. Visit Howard County General Hospital today and every Friday through October 28th to pick up fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables and other Farmer’s Market treats.

September 24, 10:00-1:30pm.  Family Health Expo at North Laurel Community Center, sponsored by The Horizon Foundation. Continue your quest to stay healthy and visit the expo for free blood pressure, cholesterol, vision, hearing and other screenings.  Participating organizations include, Howard County General HospitalChase Brexton Health Services,Howard County Health DepartmentNorth Laurel-Savage Multi-service Center and many local service providers.

September 24, 10:00am-12:00pm. Ask A Master Gardener. Have a gardening question? Visit the Howard County Library-Central Branch, Miller Branch, or Savage Branch to get help and advice from Master Gardeners and improve your green thumb. Another session meets at the Miller Branch at 7pm on September 26.

September 24, 9:00am-1:00pm. Essentials in Babysitting – Howard County General Hospital. Learn to effectively manage children, create a safe environment, and apply emergency techniques. $50 (includes lunch). Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center. Registration required. For information or to register, call 410-740-7601, or register online at www.hcgh.org.

September 26, 7:00-8:30pm. Healthier Weight, Healthier You – Howard County General HospitalPart 1: Looking to Lose Weight This Year? Plan meals that tantalize taste buds, provide balance in your diet and promote well-being. Free. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center. Registration required. For information or to register, call 410-740-7601, or register online .

September 26, 6:30pm-8:30pm. Wii-active. Try out video games that make you move, featuring DDR, Wii, and XBOX Kinect  at the Elkridge Branch.

September 27, 10:30am. Healthy Kids. Explore simple health concepts at the Miller Branch inspired by children’s literature. Ages 3-5 with adult; 45 min. Multi-week series. Tickets available at Children’s Desk 30 minutes before program.

September 27, 7:00-8:30pm.  September 27, 2011; 7-8:30pm. Wilmer Eye Institute: Bladeless LASIK Refractive Surgery and Beyond – Howard County General Hospital. Learn about the latest technologies to correct your vision: all-laser (bladeless) LASIK, advanced surface ablation, and implantable collamer lens. Presented by Yassine Daoud, M.D. Free. Registration required. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center. For information or to register, call 410-740-7601, or register online.

September 30, 2:00-6:00 pm. Howard County General Hospital Farmer’s Market. Visit Howard County General Hospital today and every Friday through October 28th to pick up fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables and other Farmer’s Market treats.

September 30, 10:15am & 11:30am. My Body. Learn about your amazing body parts, starting with the heart and blood, at the East Columbia Branch. Ages 3-5 with adult; 45 min. Multi-week series. Tickets available at Children’s Desk 30 minutes before program.

October 1, 9:00 am – 12 noon.  CPR For Teens. Teenagers ages 11–17 learn CPR for adult, child and infant. $35. Located at the HCGH Wellness Center at the Medical Pavilion, 10710 Charter Drive, Suite 100, in Columbia. For information or to register, call 410-740-7601, or register online.

October 1,  12 noon-3:00 pm. Picnic in the Park – Friend’s of the Patapsco Female Institute. Two new free events on Saturday April 30 and Saturday October 1, 2011. Docent Tours, Archaeology Dig, Hands-On Archaeology Lab, Music, Activities for Children and Adults. Bring a Picnic and some friends! Located at the Mt. Ida Visitors Center; 3691 Sarah’s Lane, Ellicott City, MD 21041. For more information call 410-465-8500.

October 1, 2011. The Great Snipe Hunt – Rockburn Branch Park, West Area. Parents and kids, come gather round the campfire to feast on s’mores and make a craft while preparing for the Great Snipe Hunt. Take a wagon ride and hear a story about the infamous, hard-to-catch “Howard County Snipe,” the largest of the snipe species. Then venture into the woods in search of this elusive creative. Participants are asked to bring a large brown paper bag and flashlight for this catch-and-release event. Designed for those ages 4-7 and their parents, older siblings are welcome. Register by 4 pm, September 29 by calling 410-313-7275. For more information, contact Karen Bradley at 410-313-4635 or e-mail kbradely@howardcountymd.gov

October 5, 7:00 pm-8:30 pm. A Parents’ Guide to Drugs of AbuseLearn each class of abusable drug, its physiology, effects on the brain, side effects and why people choose to abuse drugs. Presented by N. Joseph Gagliardi, M.D., this program is geared for adults only. Free. Located at the HCGH Wellness Center at the Medical Pavilion at Howard County, 10710 Charter Drive, Suite 100, in Columbia. For information or to register, call 410-740-7601, or register online .

October 6, 11:00 am – 7:00 pm. Red Cross Blood Drive . The Y of Central Maryland Dancel Family Center is sponsoring a fall Blood Drive. “The Red Cross does not need blood – patients do. Every two seconds someone in America gets a blood transfusion. 5,000,000 patients will need blood this year. Are you healthy? Are you over 17? Do you weigh at least 110 lbs? You can donate! To Schedule Your Life-Saving Donation Call 410-465-4334 #237 or 1-800-RED-CROSS Appointments Recommended!!!


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By Jessica “JP” Protasio

A new battle begins.

September 8-10, 2011
I started my vacation in Keene, TX, at my alma mater. I headed to the university assembly and shared my cancer story with many old and new friends, professors, and mentors. The

highlight of the afternoon was hugging Dr. Kilgore, who’s battled cancer and won numerous times. What an incredible moment to share, one where both of us are in remission. Cancer is well known on this campus as many students, faculty, and staff have been touched or taken by this disease. Anyone whoís had to deal with this beast is well aware of its claws and teeth. There’s something incredible about the bonds you create with fellow cancer survivors and caregivers. I enjoy taking in their awesome personalities, humor, and scar stories.

I’ve been sharing cancer support materials with people in various locales across the country and sharing my journey with cancer, but every time I hear other cancer stories, I’m reminded that there’s still so much work that needs to be done in cancer research and treatment. Today, I learned of a recent graduate, “J,” whose cancer has progressed to the point where doctors now say he’s got less than six months to live. I hear my former history professor’s question ring in my ears, “What can I do to save his life?”

September 11, 2011
It’s hot, humid, and miserable. I overslept. The sun is high in the sky at 8:00 A.M. in Corpus Christi. I’m slogging through the heavy moisture in the air and wondering why people choose to live in this city. I can only imagine it’s worth the few months of great weather and the accessibility to South Padre Island. A seagull calls from the telephone pole as I round the corner. Inhale, two, three, four. I hate the heat. Why am I running? Because, I can. It’s been about six months since my liver transplant due to cancerous tumors, and I’ve been training for my first triathlon in California, which is just a week away. I spend the rest of the day with friends recounting stories of where we were when

The Krased Marauders prepare to ride.

the towers were hit and how much the world has changed since that day. “J” pops into my head. I wonder if the “Hail Mary” chemo is working and whether he’s started writing his book. I hope he can finish in time.

September 12, 2011
Fellow Krased Marauders rider, Heather, has just been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and is staying at the hospital where I received my cancer treatment and transplant. I know she’s

under the care of some of the best doctors in the nation. I hate cancer so much, but I’m also grateful that there are so many people who are dedicated to stomping it out. I’ll have to check her support group page on facebook.

September 15, 2011
I see yet another cancer institute facility on my way to the airport. I’m leaving Texas and heading to California for the race. I don’t want to go. The last time I was here, my mother had died unexpectedly. Being in Texas has been something like a homecoming. I want to make my parents proud, even if they’re not around to tell me that they are. I think this is a feeling that will never go away. I feel like I haven’t done enough. I want to do more.

September 17, 2011
I am continually reminded of just how incredible our bodies are. We’re remarkably resilient, and yet, unquestionably fragile creatures. I finished Matt Long’s biography and I was both moved and frustrated. Here’s a New York firefighter who gets sucked under the wheels of a 52-passenger bus while he’s cycling to work and is given a less than 5% chance of survival. Astonishingly, he makes a full-recovery and completes another Iron Man. Even Lance Armstrong‘s cancer prognosis was 50/50! Heather was just diagnosed on Monday. How can she be

My name amidst allies and challengers alike.

gone now? I feel guilty for having been worried over having a suitable bike for the triathlon and for having stayed up too late gallivanting about Hollywood, Rodeo Drive, and the Santa Monica Pier. The Krased Marauders are having a remembrance ride tomorrow. I hope her kids are okay.

Race Day: September 18, 2011

It’s dark. It’s cold. We’ve parked a gazillion miles away from the registration tent. It’s 5:30 A.M., and the sound of the waves swelling and crashing fills my already disoriented brain. I try to walk my bike safely through the crowd of athletes moving toward the cluster of lights in the distance. My friends, seasoned athletes, Michael & Rachel, walk in front of me as

my head lamp lights our path. Their 14-month-old boy says, “Hi!” randomly as we bottleneck to the check-in site. I find my

One of many racing for Heather.

name on the board and snap a picture. Today, I ‘tri’ for everyone who can’t and everyone who’s been there for me. Today, I will stay safe, have fun, and just do my best. No matter what. I’m doing this. I just want to finish.

Today
I’m processing everything I’ve seen, heard, done, and didn’t do over this vacation. I’m trying to focus on the positive. I didn’t finish the triathlon. I started in the last wave, and in two hours I made it through the half-mile ocean swim and eleven miles of the bike ride before the course closed due to permit regulations. I simply wasn’t fast enough. Perhaps, I was too ambitious. Even so, I’m only more motivated to conquer this course–and any obstacle that gets in my way. If I’ve learned anything during this trip, it’s that despite the diagnoses, prognoses, or odds, people do make it. So, while we don’t always win, it doesnít mean we’ve

lost. All of this is just unfinished business. Whether it’s conquering cancer, writing that memoir, or completing a race…let’s finish it, together.

 

 

 

 

JP is a Children’s Instructor & Research Specialist at the Savage Branch of the Howard County Library System. She is a Pajama Time storyteller, wannabe triathlete, KPOP-addict, baker of cupcakes, and a cancer survivor.

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by Dan Gilbert

As technology has progressed over the past 30 years, society has moved from an active and healthy lifestyle to a sedentary lifestyle, with most free time and recreational time spent sitting in front of a TV or computer. Some of the earliest adopters of these new technologies are children, who are experiencing an obesity and health epidemic that has never been seen before. The National Institute of Health recommends that children engage in a physically strenuous activity for at least one hour per day, and engage in several hours of non-strenuous activity every day. Most children do not meet these guidelines for exercise.

In addition, poor diet has had a negative impact on children’s health. The proliferation of fast food, high calorie drinks made with high-fructose corn syrup, and unhealthy high-calorie snacks have all had an extremely negative impact on children’s health over the past few decades. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 16- 33% of children and adolescents are obese today in the United States. In some areas, the obesity rate for children is over 30%.

There are many health benefits for exercise and physical activity in addition to preventing obesity. Childhood is a very important time for developing many motor skills and coordination, and physical activities that stimulate motor activities are an integral part of a healthy development cycle. In addition, physical activity has been shown to boost academic skills, as the same skills used in physical activities and sports carry over to the classroom.

“The amount of time children spend daily in physical activity is decreasing, and it will take a determined effort from parents to reverse this trend,” says Dr. Stephen Sanders, author, professor, and director of the School of Physical Education and Exercise Science at the University of South Florida and is member of the Primrose Schools Education Advisory Board.

Children learn through imitation, and need guidance from a role model in developing healthy eating habits and lifestyles. Presenting children with fun and engaging challenges, providing healthy food, and giving them the opportunities to explore the world around them can be invaluable steps on the road towards a healthy future.

The Grivel-Smits Family of Ellicott City hiking the Maryland portion of the Appalachian Trail, part of a Howard County Recreation and parks program.

Autumn Activities for Families
There are many fall activities that are great for families, physically engaging and challenging, and help create family bonds and memories that will last a lifetime.

Geo-caching
Geo-caching is a worldwide treasure hunt, set up by people all over the globe. With the advent of Global Positioning System, it is possible to create a set of coordinates that can be found by anyone who has a GPS unit. Geo-caching is scavenger hunt, with individuals placing “caches” at different points all around the world, entering the coordinates for the cache location on geo-caching websites, and letting others experience the excitement and anticipating of finding these hidden caches. There are thousands of geo-caches hidden on rural trails, mountainsides, hiking locales, and different outdoor environments all over the world. Locating and finding one of these caches with a child can be a magical experience to share as a family. It’s a great way to get out, exercise, and have some fun and is more engaging than any video game!

Kayaking and Water-Activities
Kayaking is a great family activity for children of all ages. Canoes and kayaks can be rented for very affordable rates (less than $40 for a family package from many outfitting companies, including transportation). Kayaking can be an extremely rewarding family experience in the fall, with beautiful scenery from the leaf changes combined with the idyllic beauty of a river. River rafting and kayaking can teach valuable physicals skills, can increase motor coordination, and enhances a child’s sense of teamwork and camaraderie.

Building a Project as a Family
One of the most rewarding activities for a child is working on a challenging project, and being able to see the result of their hard work. Building a tree house, renovating an old car, building a go cart, or helping a child to build furniture can be one of the most valuable experiences a child can have. For younger children, simple outdoor activities such as a helping with fall gardening, simple projects with safe tools, etc can be rewarding. Older children may enjoy more involved activities, where they can take on more individual initiative.

There are many activities that families can engage in together to help build a healthy and active lifestyle. By planting the seeds to encourage this at a young age, parents can create an environment of personal growth and development that will continue through the rest of their children’s lives, allowing them to experience success and the sense of accomplishment of living fulfilling lives.

Editors Note: In addition to Howard County General Hospital and the Howard County Library System, other local resources for active family fun include non-profit organizations such as The Howard County Conservancy and local retail outfitters such as L.L.Bean, REI and Terrapin Adventures. Of course, don’t forget to check out Howard County Recreation and Parks and our newly opened Robinson Nature Center!  Finally- each Friday the Well & Wise blog posts upcoming activities that might encourage the family to get out and get active!

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Guest blogger, Dan Gilbert, has written a number of articles on topics varying from bilingual learning to teaching the importance of volunteering. Dan currently serves as the communications director for Primrose schools, which helps individuals achieve higher levels of success by providing them with an AdvancED® accredited, early child care services and education.


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By Barbara Cornell

I need a book. Specifically, I need a book on canning and preserving. Yes, I work in a library and the Howard County Library System has plenty of books on the subject. But I want to be able to turn the pages with fingers sticky with tomato juice or sugar syrup and not spoil the book for the next library user.

Yes, I have some books already—a “new, revised” book from Farm Journal (published in 1978!) and one with the charmingly old-fashioned title Putting Food By also “new, revised & expanded” (in 1982!). Guidelines for safe food preservation have changed since then so, clearly, for more reasons than the condition of these books, it’s time for something new.

Yes, I can go online to University of Georgia National Center for Home Food Preservation for current research-based recommendations. From their “publications” link I can download the latest USDA “Complete Guide to Home Canning.” But I want to look in an index and bookmark some favorites. I want to write in my margins the dates of my successes—and failures. So—I need a book! Or 2.

A great way to use your local library is to give a cookbook a test run before you buy your own copy to annotate and get sticky. The Howard County Library System shines here because our selectors choose great titles on a wide range of subjects and keep our collection up to date. Here are some titles I found in my search for a new canning and preserving book.

Jam it, Pickle it, Cure it: And Other Cooking Projects by Karen Solomon is a new addition to the shelves. It is beautifully photographed and formatted and covers some recipes that are not usually included in books on preserving, like making your own pasta, or curing your own bacon. But this seems a better choice as a gift to a foodie, rather than a kitchen workhorse. I think I’ll borrow it to make some food gifts for the holidays.

Preserving for all Seasons by Anne Gardon. Gardon admits she doesn’t make preserves to save money or time, but for pleasure. This is another beautifully photographed book with exotic recipes that is short on guidelines. Choose this for giving or for making gifts.

The Big Book of Preserving the Harvest by Carol Costenbader was published in 1997, but this is recent enough to have the 1994 changes in USDA guidelines. She includes excellent, detailed, well-illustrated instructions, charts, tables, and lots of creative recipes as well as old stand-bys. She even includes nutrition information for each recipe and a chapter on presentation of food gifts. She not only has a section on drying, but directions for building your own dehydrator. This book is looking like a winner.

Joy of Cooking: All about Canning & Preserving is part of a series that expands on the main Joy of Cooking volume. It’s another winner with excellent directions, photos, sidebars and charts. There are chapters on canning fruits & vegetables; jams, jellies and preserves; pickling and salting; drying; and condiments. Recipes run the gamut from standards to exotics.

The Food Lover’s Guide to Canning; Contemporary Recipes & Techniques by Chris Rich and Lucy Clark Crawford also has what it takes. Step-by-step instructions are photographed. This book goes one better by including recipes for soups, sauces, and syrups. The style, however, is looking a bit dated.

Homemade Living: Canning & Preserving with Ashley English has a more up-to-date look and a personalized feel with a photographic “portrait of a canner” feature. Directions are clear and photographs are good. After each “primer” on preserves, pickles, and whole fruits, English does offer a few “canning classics,” but most of the recipes have a creative twist—I’m not into cooking with kumquats and Cointreau. There are only about 30 recipes in all.

Independence Days: A Guide to Sustainable Food Storage & Preservation by Sharon Astyk is a passionate treatise on being prepared in the event of a long-term emergency when food might not be available or affordable to you. Astyk offers close to 60 recipes, but the value of this book is its advice. Her style is engaging and encouraging, but firmly warns you to follow safe procedures. This makes her book an excellent one to borrow and learn from, but I’m looking for one with look-it-up ease and lots of standard recipes. Astyk recommends the following:

The Complete Book of Home Preserving: 400 Delicious and Creative Recipes for Today by the Ball Corporation is reviewed as the “ultimate go-to guide for the canning beginner” and “a bible for those of us who consider canning a way of life.” This is a tried-and-true standard I can feel confident about. It promises 400 recipes and should sit very happily on my cookbook shelf with my other 400+ page books.

Barbara Cornell joined the Howard County Library System in 1993 as Assistant Branch Manager at the new Elkridge Branch.

Since 2000 she has enjoyed a shorter commute to the Glenwood Branch.


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September 16, 2:00-6:00 pm. Howard County General Hospital Farmer’s Market. Visit Howard County General Hospital today and every Friday through October 28th to pick up fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables and other Farmer’s Market treats.

September 16, 10:00 – 2:30pm. Flu Shot Clinic. Flu Shots available to the public. Stay healthy This event is open to the public this winter. Get your flu shots at the Dancel Center YMCA. Influenza $25, Pneumonia $65. Medicare Part B accepted with no co-pay if Medicare Part B is the Primary Insurance. Medicare Advantage PFFS Plans also accepted. 4331 Montgomery Road, Ellicott City, MD 21043. 410-465-4334, ymaryland.org

September 17, 10:00am-12:00pm. Ask A Master Gardener. Have a gardening question? Visit the Howard County Library-Miller Branch to get help and advice from a Master Gardener and improve your green thumb. Another session meets at the Miller Branch at 7pm on September 19.

September 19,  7:00-8:30pm. Health Issues to Consider Before Pregnancy – Howard County General Hospital. Learn about important choices to consider when starting your family. Presented by Tamara Means, M.D. Free. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center. Registration required. For information or to register, call 410-740-7601, or register online at www.hcgh.org.

September 19, 3:30-5:30pm. Blood Pressure Screening. Free, walk-in blood pressure screening and monitoring offered by Howard County General Hospital at the Glenwood Branch.

September 20, 10:30am. Healthy Kids. Explore simple health concepts at the Miller Branch inspired by children’s literature. Ages 3-5 with adult; 45 min. Multi-week series. Tickets available at Children’s Desk 30 minutes before program.

September 20, 8:30am – 3:00pm. Focus on Women’s Health – Howard county General Hospital. This event, appropriate for men and women, includes Health Check and Free Screenings. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center. Registration required. For information or to register, call 410-740-7601, or register online at www.hcgh.org.

September 20 or September 27, 6:30-8:00pm. Parenting Your Child through Adolescence – Howard County General Hospital. Learn proven techniques that focus on awareness, recognition and relationships.$25 per person/$40 per couple. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center.  Registration required. For information or to register, call 410-740-7601, or register online at www.hcgh.org.

September 20, 7:00-9:00 pm. Advances in Spine Care – Howard County General Hospital. Our experts discuss non-surgical and surgical options to improve back health. Presented by Timothy Yoon, M.D. and Oren Blam, M.D; Free. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center. Registration required.  For information or to register, call 410-740-7601, or register online at www.hcgh.org.

September 21, 7:00pm. Healthy Hair from the Inside Out. Hair issues are often indicators of imbalances in the body.  Join Health Coach Alexis Scott in this 90-minute informational workshop at Central Branch  to gain an understanding of how to approach creating healthier hair from the inside out.  Register online or call 410-313-7850.

September 21,  6:00-7:30pm. Teens Together – Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center. A student-led group that connects teens who have either a family member or close friend with a diagnosis of cancer. Adult facilitators & teen peers provide support & encouragement. Free. Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Suite G050, Columbia, Maryland 21044.  For more information: 410-740-5858

September 22,  7:00-8:30pm. Choose Your Pediatrician and Promote Your Newborn’s Health – Howard County General Hospital. Learn ways to promote the health of your newborn. Presented by Alvaro Ramos, M.D. Free. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center. Registration is required. For information or to register, call 410-740-7601, or register online at www.hcgh.org.

September 22, 7:00-9:00pm. Smoke-Free Lungs – Howard County General Hospital. Education and support for those wanting to quit or those who have quit. Attend one or all sessions. Free. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center. Registration required. For information or to register, call 410-740-7601, or register online at www.hcgh.org.

September 22, 10:00pm. Fall Vegetable Gardening. Gardeners, get ready for the change of seasons as Jo Ann Russo comes to the Central Branch to discuss which vegetables thrive as the temperatures drop. Part of the Master Gardener series. Register online.

September 22, 7:00pm. Landscaping With Rain Barrels And Rain Gardens. Caroline Feil demonstrates how to implement simple Baywise gardening ideas at the Glenwood Branch. Part of the Master Gardener series. Register online.

September 23, 2:00-6:00 pm. Howard County General Hospital Farmer’s Market. Visit Howard County General Hospital today and every Friday through October 28th to pick up fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables and other Farmer’s Market treats.

September 24, 10:00-1:30pm.  Family Health Expo at North Laurel Community Center, sponsored by The Horizon Foundation. Continue your quest to stay healthy and visit the expo for free blood pressure, cholesterol, vision, hearing and other screenings.  Participating organizations include, Howard County General Hospital, Chase Brexton Health Services, Howard County Health Department, North Laurel-Savage Multi-service Center and many local service providers.

September 24, 9:00am – 1:00pm. Essentials in Babysitting – Howard County General Hospital. Learn to effectively manage children, create a safe environment, and apply emergency techniques. $50 (includes lunch). Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center. Registration required. For information or to register, call 410-740-7601, or register online atwww.hcgh.org.

September 26, 7:00-8:30pm. Healthier Weight, Healthier You – Howard County General HospitalPart 1: Looking to Lose Weight This Year? Plan meals that tantalize taste buds, provide balance in your diet and promote well-being. Free. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center. Registration required. For information or to register, call 410-740-7601, or register online at www.hcgh.org.

September 27, 7:00-8:30pm.  September 27, 2011; 7-8:30pm. Wilmer Eye Institute: Bladeless LASIK Refractive Surgery and Beyond – Howard County General Hospital. Learn about the latest technologies to correct your vision: all-laser (bladeless) LASIK, advanced surface ablation, and implantable collamer lens. Presented by Yassine Daoud, M.D. Free. Registration required. Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center. For information or to register, call 410-740-7601, or register online at www.hcgh.org.

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Did you know today marks the first day of National Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 – October 15? And although it is a time to celebrate rich, Hispanic culture and history, it is also an excellent reminder to consider the health concerns that are prevalent among the Hispanic population.

According to MedlinePlus, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine: “Every racial or ethnic group has specific health concerns. Differences in the health of groups can result from, genetics, environmental factors,  access to care, [and] cultural factors.” Among the health concerns of the Hispanic or Latino population, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities, are heart disease; cancer; stroke; diabetes; liver disease; respiratory diseases including Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), asthma, tuberculosis, and pneumonia; HIV/AIDS; mental health issues, and pregnancy/birth issues.

Howard County General Hospital, aware of the specific health concerns of the Hispanic population in our community, offers a variety of information on these topics, as well as information for the many diverse racial and ethnic populations that make up Howard County.

With regard to the Hispanic population in particular, a recent Washington Post article shows that the Hispanic population in Howard County has grown rapidly over the past year, comprising six percent of the County’s population. With this growth, more health resources for the Hispanic community have also become available at the Howard County Library System, including multiple articles available through the databases. Another excellent resource is the National Alliance for Hispanic Health.  As with most health concerns, knowledge and prevention can be the key.  Why not celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by raising your awareness of health concerns and helping the Hispanic community continue to thrive?

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by Joan Montanari

The Komen Race for the Cure became especially meaningful to me the year I had just completed treatment for my own breast cancer.  It was such a joy to walk with all the friends who had supported me during my treatment days and to walk with my teenage daughter and all her friends who had supported her.

Because of the support I received, I wanted to help other women going through diagnosis and treatment.  That’s how I became involved in SOS at Howard County General Hospital.   SOS, or Survivors Offering Support, is a program that pairs newly diagnosed breast cancer patients with survivors that have experienced a similar diagnosis.  Like all survivors in this program, I received, and continue to receive, special training to help make me an effective mentor so that I can offer emotional support, information and advice to newly diagnosed patients.  Now, as the Howard County SOS Coordinator, I also organize ongoing “Transition to Wellness” workshops for patients who are nearing the end of their treatment, to guide them as they enter the wellness phase of their journey as breast cancer survivors.   The SOS program, supported by a grant from the Susan G Komen for the Cure Maryland Affiliate, has expanded to include 11 hospitals!

One of our goals in SOS is to give newly diagnosed patients a sense of not being alone.  We offer them support that can only come from another survivor–another woman who has traveled a road similar to what they are traveling.  Our mission is to empower breast cancer survivors, one life at a time.

Each year we gather together and participate in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Maryland. And talk about not feeling alone–the most inspiring aspect of Race for the Cure for me is to see the sea of hundreds of pink shirts worn by other survivors.  We are not alone!

If you’d like to join our team, as a current patient, a survivor or in support of a loved one with breast cancer you can register at www.komenmd.org .  Click “Join a team” and enter “Howard County Hospital SOS Group”.  This year’s race is on October 23rd and includes a 5K run/walk and a 1 mile Family Fun Walk

If you’d like more information about SOS, about our patient services, programs, or about becoming a mentor you can contact me, Joan Montanari, at 410-884-4574.

SOS Komen Race For the Cure Team

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I have been retired for 5 years, after a very long career in nursing. Retirement years are truly golden, as I help my daughter plan her wedding, travel, cycle and ride my horse. My work with SOS has given me the opportunity to continue an aspect of nursing, that is, support to patients. Also, I’ve been privileged to work as a consumer reviewer for breast cancer research grants for the Department of Defense.

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By Brian Grim

It seems like almost everyone works out to music in one way or another. Music is an integral part of dance and aerobics classes, and you can hardly find anyone at the gym or running outside without a pair of buds stuck in their ears.
But I used to be an exception.  I believed that music was a distraction and that I needed to be 100% mindful and focused on my workouts and my body’s responses. I suppose part of the problem was that there really is no such thing as background music for me. If music is playing, I have to actively listen to it. I can’t ignore it. The main problem, however, was that I tend to take myself very seriously and make up ridiculous rules about things, like not listening to music while working out.

Luckily for me, those days are over.  I no longer have any pretenses about being a serious athlete or even a moderately good one. And it turns out that sometimes I need something else to think about besides how tired I am or how hot it is or how big that hill right ahead of me is. Besides taking my mind off of my discomfort, music can also lift my mood and energy level. It’s especially helpful on those days when I don’t really feel up to exercising. When I go out for a run, my iPod is almost as important as my running shoes.

What do I look for in workout music? A fast tempo? Not necessarily. Sometimes it’s nice to have a few changes of pace when I’m running. Even something relaxing like a ballad can work. It needs a strong beat or good rhythmic feel though. Classic 70s rock works great, much better than 90s grunge and alternative. The White Stripes and Phoenix also provide pretty good running soundtracks. However, almost nothing beats the inspirational power of songs like Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” or Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.”  Eighties power rock for the win! I once tried to change things up with some classical music. It didn’t work very well. But maybe it was just the wrong classical music. I bet you some Wagner could get anyone pumped up! Chopin, not so much.

So what does everyone else listen to when they work out?  Even if my girlfriend thinks I’m a music snob, I’m always open to new listening suggestions.

Brian Grim is a Customer Service Specialist for the Glenwood Branch of Howard County Library System.

He started at the Savage Branch in 2006. Brian is a sporadic fitness enthusiast, an occasional cook, and a one-time musician.

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September 10, 10:00-11:00am. Wonder Walk and Talk. Beautiful Beetles of the Meadows, Forest and Streams with Mike Raupp, Howard County Conservancy, 10520 Old Frederick Road, Woodstock. Read more about Mike at the Baltimore Sun! Call 410.465.8877 for more information. Free.

September 11,  8:30am. 20th Annual Howard County Police Pace – 5K and 1 mile Fun Walk. This year, Police Pace will be especially poignant, as it falls on the 10th Anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks. Police Pace 2011 will begin with a Remembrance Ceremony at 8:30 a.m. The race will immediately follow. The event will have exciting police displays and activity booths for children. Centennial Park. To learn more about Police Pace and how to register go to: www.policepace.com

September 12, 5:00-7:00pm. Free Varicose Vein Screening. Free vein screening provided by Richard Feinberg, M.D. Little Patuxent Specialty Care Center, 11065 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia. To register for this screening call 410.550.8346. Free.

September 14, 6:30-8:00pm. Hazardous Weather Workshop.  Presented by Howard County Recreation and Parks and the Office of Emergency Management, this workshop will provide Athletics Directors, Coaches, Referees, and Outdoor activity Directors with an opportunity to learn about hazardous weather, crowd dynamics and tips on how to handle challenges in making the decisions when to play or cancel an outdoor event. To register, contact Tom McNeal in the Office of Emergency Management at tmcneal@howardcountymd.gov.  Walk-ins are welcome.  James N. Robey Public Safety Training Center, 2209 Scott Wheeler Drive, Marriottsville. Free.

September 15, 10:00-2:30pmWomenFest. Presented by the Office on Aging, this annual wellness event for women includes free seminars, health screenings and participatory exercise demos, plus an array of vendors and exhibitors. WomenFest is an interactive day that focuses on health, wellness, fashion and beauty, and is designed to inspire women to live more balanced, healthier and fuller lives. Visit www.howardcountyaging.org for more information. Gary J. Arthur Community Center, 2400 Rt. 97, Cooksville. Contact: Office on Aging, 410-313-6410. Free.

September 16, 10:00 – 2:30pm. Flu Shot Clinic. Flu Shots available to the public. Stay healthy This event is open to the public this winter. Get your flu shots at the Dancel Center YMCA. Influenza $25, Pneumonia $65. Medicare Part B accepted with no co-pay if Medicare Part B is the Primary Insurance. Medicare Advantage PFFS Plans also accepted. 4331 Montgomery Road, Ellicott City, MD 21043. 410-465-4334, ymaryland.org


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by Matthew Hall

Money is tight right now for a lot of people, myself included. Unfortunately, this can be bad news for our health and fitness goals because many would rather forfeit a gym membership than cable television. Being the crafty person that I am (my wife would call it “cheap”), I began to seek out Do-It-Yourself fitness equipment ideas. Here is one that I came up with, along with a sample workout to try.

20 lb Medicine Ball
“Their” Cost: $80+
My cost: $7
Difficulty: Very Easy

Materials Needed: Play sand ($3 at Lowe’s), basketball (any size, some may want a youth-sized ball), ball pump, knife, kitchen funnel, radial tire patch kit ($2-5).

Method:

I actually borrowed a worn out basketball from my mother-in-law (hopefully she doesn’t want it back; it seems to bounce a little less these days).

  1. Remove the needle from the ball pump and place it in the hole you typically use to inflate the ball, thus deflating it.
  2. Remove the needle.
  3. Now take the knife, place it on the opposite pole from the hole where you inserted the needle, and twist the point into the ball, making a small hole (as small as possible while being able to fit funnel tip inside).
  4. When hole is made, place funnel tip in the hole and fill with sand. I wanted mine to be as heavy as possible, so I filled the ball completely. If you want it to be lighter, it is helpful to keep a scale with you so you can weight the ball as you fill it.
  5. Once you reach the desired weight, follow the directions on your tire patch kit to patch the hole made for the funnel. Once that dries, inflate the ball to return it to its circular shape. Done!

Sample Workout:

Perform circuit 3-5 times. 30 Seconds-1 minute (or more, if needed) rest between exercises, 1-2 minutes (or more) between circuits.

  1. Overhead Throw and Sprint: 50 Yards
  2. Keg Toss: 50 Yards (like squat throw #2 on this chart, but instead of throwing ball up, throw it forward)
  3. Lunge: 15 steps
  4. Push up with hands on Ball: 8-12 for at least the first 2 circuits, do as many as possible on the last circuit (which can be your 3rd, 4th, or 5th circuit)
  5. Overhead Squat: 8-12 for at least the first 2 circuits, do as many as possible on the last circuit (which can be your 3rd, 4th, or 5th circuit)
  6. Plank with Hands on Ball: try for 60 seconds total, take breaks if necessary

 

Matthew Hall is currently an Operations Specialist for Howard County Library System and a student at Liberty University.

He spends the majority of his free time with his wife and kids. His interests include religious studies, psychology, and fitness.

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Photo by Asobi Tsuchiya

Hair issues are often indicators of imbalances in the body. Poor eating habits; consistent stress from job, family issues, or relationships as well as hormone imbalances; dehydration; mineral deficiency; and poor circulation are just a few of the culprits! This workshop helps participants cultivate an understanding of how to approach creating healthier hair from the inside out! Join Health Coach Alexis Scott in this 90-minute informational workshop at Central Branch of the Howard County Library System on Wednesday, September 21, at 7pm. Register online or call 410-313-7850.

 


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 By Christina Lombardi

Last week, I reached for a Ziploc bag to make my first school lunch ever, as a parent, and realized it would be no time before I was knee-deep in discarded baggies and juice boxes. So, I explored some economical and eco-friendly ways to pack my next healthy lunch. 

I found that one way to save money and avoid product waste is to use a Bento-type box. The plastic containers have dividers to separate your sandwich, fruit and chips. Everyone lives happily under the same lid. Inspired by the Japanese, you can find these containers at many online sites including; Easy Lunch Boxes and Lap Top Lunches.  Don’t let the word “plastic” scare you, either. The boxes are BPA- and PVC-free. Conveniently, they’re also dishwasher and microwave safe. Slap on the lid and you’re good to go.  

If you’re not bent on Bento (maybe they’re not the right fit for your kids’ favorite lunch bag), Fit & Fresh reusable containers are a great solution, too. Made of BPA-free plastic, these containers come in a variety of sizes and feature snap-on ice packs that secure to the lids. Measuring lines in the cups let you know just how much you’re giving your child.  Check them out at Fit-Fresh.

According to the CDC, germs can multiply on food in a little over two hours when not properly stored, so ice packs are essential. You can freeze a juice box overnight and it dubs as an ice pack- perfectly thawed by the time the lunch bell rings. If you’re stuffing an ice pack in your kids’ sack to keep food from spoiling, instead of picking up the standard sterile blue version, try a pack shaped like a lady bug, football, flowers or other fun shapes. You can search for these, and more, at sites like Amazon or Pottery Barn Kids.  For more lunch safety tips, visit the CDC’s Power Packing BAM! website.

Now, I’m ready for the biggest challenge of all…making a unique, nutritious lunch for my kindergartner five days a week for 180 days.  Any creative suggestions?

Christina Lombardi is the Publications Manager for Howard County General Hospital and has just sent her first child off to school.

 

 

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by Michele Hunter

My vegetable garden yielded uneven results this summer.  The tomatoes were damaged by deer and never quite recovered.   The Swiss chard did well as did the bush beans, but by far my best crop has been the basil!  I’ve been cooking with it and making pesto for several weeks now and have quite a good supply in my freezer.

I started out with a pesto recipe from The Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics: Fabulous Flavor From Simple Ingredients by Ina Garten.  It was a delicious, classic pesto, but very rich.  I wanted to lighten up the recipe a bit, so in my next batch I cut down on the olive oil by about a fourth and added 2-3 tablespoons of  fresh lemon juice.  I also substituted roasted, salted almonds (skins removed) for the pine nuts.  The results were delicious and  far less rich than the original version. The lemon juice really brightened up the pesto and would be a good way to freshen up jarred pesto.  I used the almonds because I was out of pine nuts, which can be expensive and hard to find.

I’ve continued to experiment and to look for more pesto variations and was intrigued by a recipe with no cheese that I found in Gluten-Free Recipes for the Conscious Cook: a Seasonal, Vegetarian Cookbook by Leslie Cerier. I could not find the umeboshi vinegar the recipe called for in my neighborhood grocery store, but a quick search on the internet suggested substituting red wine vinegar and some extra salt. Umeboshi are small, sour, salted, and pickled Japanese plums, so I imagine umeboshi vinegar would be very salty.

Vegan Basil-Walnut Pesto

1 cup walnuts
4 cups tightly packed fresh basil leaves
5 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons umeboshi vinegar (or 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar with salt to taste)

Put the walnuts in a food processor and grind to a coarse meal.  (Use short pulses with the food processor and be careful not to overdo it; you could end up with walnut butter.)  Add the basil, garlic, oil, and vinegar and blend until almost smooth.  Taste and adjust the seasonings if desired.

I started with ½ teaspoon of salt and then added more until I was happy with the taste.  I also added a ½ teaspoon of black pepper as my family likes pepper.   The pesto was very good, and I’d like to try it again with the special vinegar, which I imagine can be found in an Asian grocery store.

Eat Greens: Seasonal Recipes to Enjoy in Abundance
by Barbara Scott-Goodman and Liz Trovato is another cookbook that has several interesting-sounding pesto recipes that I’d like to try.  I still have more basil, so I’m going to keep testing!   The Basil Salsa Verde sounds especially good.  Eat Greens has lots of tempting recipes for a wide variety of vegetables, including some for Swiss chard, my other bumper crop.

I may be heading for the farmers’ markets so I can try out some of the other vegetables mentioned in the book.  Mixed Greens Gumbo sounds perfect for Fall!

Michele Hunter started with the Howard County Library System in 1998 as a Children’s Instructor at the Savage Branch, then transferred to the Central Branch to work in Research. She returned to Savage as the Assistant Manager in 2004. Her hobbies are ballet, gardening, and needlework.

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Howard County Health Screenings and EventsSeptember 3, 9:30-2:00pm. Bikeabout. Stay home for Labor Day- Save gas and have fun in Columbia. The Columbia Associations 11th annual BikeAbout and Town Center walking tour will be at the Downtown Columbia Lakefront. Free.

September 6, 6:30- 9:00pm. Young Widow and Widowers. A social support group that meets the first Tuesday of each month at Jilly’s, 10300 Baltimore National Pike (the Enchanted Forest Shopping Center) Ellicott City, Maryland.  For more information call 410.740.5858. Free.

September 6, 7-8:30pm. Diabetes Support Group.  Knowledgeable local speakers present information on diabetes and provide the opportunity for you to ask questions.  Meet with others who are managing their diabetes.  Howard County General Hospital, Bolduc Family Outpatient Center Classroom, 5755 Cedar Lane Columbia, MD 21044.  For more information call 443.718.3000. Free.

September 6, 10:30am. Healthy Kids.  Explore simple health concepts inspired by children’s literature.  Ages 3-5 with adult; 45 min. Multi-week series. Howard County Library Miller Branch.  Limited space; tickets available at Children’s Desk 30 minutes before program. Free.

September 7, 7-8:30pm. Fall Vegetable Gardening.  JoAnn Russo discusses which vegetables thrive as the temperatures drop.  Part of the Master Gardener series.  Howard County Library. Savage Branch. Registration is required.  Register Online or by calling 410.88.5980. Free.

September 8, 6-7:00pm. Advance Directives.  Do you have Advance Directives?  This presentation will introduce you to Advance Directives and answer your questions about why you need them, and how you get them.  You will have the opportunity to leave this class with completed documents.  Also learn what it means to appoint, or to be appointed, a health care agent.  Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center, Suite G010 10710 Charter Drive, Columbia, MD 21044.  For more information call 410.740.7601. Free.

September 11,  8:30am. 20th Annual Howard County Police Pace – 5K and 1 mile Fun Walk. This year, Police Pace will be especially poignant, as it falls on the 10th Anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks. Police Pace 2011 will begin with a Remembrance Ceremony at 8:30 a.m. The race will immediately follow. The event will have exciting police displays and activity booths for children. Centennial Park. To learn more about Police Pace and how to register go to: www.policepace.com

September 12, 5:00-7:00pm. Free Varicose Vein Screening. Free vein screening provided by Richard Feinberg, M.D. Little Patuxent Specialty Care Center, 11065 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia. To register for this screening call 410.550.8346. Free.

September 14, 6:30-8:00. Hazardous Weather Workshop.  Presented by Howard County Recreation and Parks and the Office of Emergency Management, this workshop will provide Athletics Directors, Coaches, Referees, and Outdoor activity Directors with an opportunity to learn about hazardous weather, crowd dynamics and tips on how to handle challenges in making the decisions when to play or cancel an outdoor event. To register, contact Tom McNeal in the Office of Emergency Management at tmcneal@howardcountymd.gov.  Walk-ins are welcome.  James N. Robey Public Safety Training Center, 2209 Scott Wheeler Drive, Marriottsville. Free.

September 15, 10-2:30pm. WomenFest. Presented by the Office on Aging, this annual wellness event for women includes free seminars, health screenings and participatory exercise demos, plus an array of vendors and exhibitors. WomenFest is an interactive day that focuses on health, wellness, fashion and beauty, and is designed to inspire women to live more balanced, healthier and fuller lives. Visit www.howardcountyaging.org for more information. Gary J. Arthur Community Center, 2400 Rt. 97, Cooksville. Contact: Office on Aging, 410-313-6410. Free.

September 10, 10-11:00am. Wonder Walk and Talk. Beautiful Beetles of the Meadows, Forest and Streams with Mike Raupp, Howard County Conservancy, 10520 Old Frederick Road, Woodstock. Read more about Mike at the Baltimore Sun! Call 410.465.8877 for more information. Free.

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by Kim T. Ha

One of my favorite sites to visit for e-books for kids is the International Children’s Digital Library (ICDL). What makes this online resource so special is that it has been designed by a group of people that includes kids! The ICDL research team includes computer scientists, librarians, graduate students, and children from Maryland, Illinois, Honduras, Germany, and New Zealand. The site includes free books from over 42 different countries and in 11 languages.

There are many ways to search as well as read the collection. For example, a reader may search for books by country by selecting the geographical area on an image of a globe. The reader may also search for books by country through a text list. One fun way to search for books (thanks to the kids on the ICDL research team) is by the color of the book cover. You can also search by the length of book: short, medium or long!

Once you choose a book, you may view it one page at a time, as a two-page spread, in comic strip format, or even in a spiral format. You can also change the color and pattern of your viewer background. Below are some of my favorite emotional and physical health-related books for kids from the ICDL.

My Very Own Room (Mi Propio Cuartito) by Amada Irma Perez and Maya Christina Gonzalez, Ages 5-8.
The eight-year old, Mexican-American protagonist of this story dreams of her own room, away from her five little brothers. Having a large family is fun, but sometimes it is nice to have space to read, write, and dream in solitude. When this girlís family discovers her wish, they all work together to help her attain it, transforming an old storage closet with paint and a bed donated by an uncle. Filled with vibrant colors, this lovely bilingual story portrays family warmth and spirit and the importance of solitude for one’s well being.

The Quiltmaker’s Gift by Jeff Brumbeau and Gail de Marcken, Ages 5-8.
What is happiness and how can one attain it? A greedy king discovers the joy that giving can bring in his quest to acquire his very own quilt from a charitable quiltmaker. The quiltmakerís quilts are the prettiest in the world, and people from far and wide hike her mountain in order to purchase one. The quiltmaker, however, refuses to sell them. She only gives her quilts to the poor and the homeless. The greedy king, used to having anything his heart desires, demands, “I want one of those quilts! It might be the one thing that will finally make me happy.” But the only way the quiltmaker will make the king a quilt is if he gives away all of his treasure. One by one, the king parts with his valuables; and with each gift he gives, the happier he feels. This book is filled with lush, jewel tones and comic book-esque panels similar to the quilt patches that the quiltmaker pieces together. The story is truly a feast for the eyes and a great conversation starter about happiness and giving.

The Adventurous Face by Nahid Mahdavi Asl and Ali Reza Goldouzian, Ages 6-8.
Mr. Nose arises one morning to find himself rather out of sorts. At first Mr. and Mrs. Ear and Mr. and Mrs. Eye believe that Mr. Nose is crying about being alone again. It quickly becomes apparent that something is preventing Mr. Nose from doing his job, and all the neighbors work together to help him out. Mr. and Mrs. Leg take Mr. Nose to the doctor; and afterwards, Mrs. Mouth, Mr. Tongue, and Mr. and Mrs. Hand work together to deliver some medicine and comforting soup. With whimsical images, this Iranian tale demonstrates the importance of collaboration and helping out your fellow human. This story also shows how interconnected parts of the human body are, all working together to help us function. This is a fun book for imaginative children who enjoy personification. It can be read in English, Persian/Farsi, or Hebrew.

Frightened Miöko by Simeon Marinkovic and Tihomir Celanovic, Ages 4-8.
This is a Serbian story about Miöko, who is afraid of everything, from mosquitoes to donkeys.  While written in Serbian, the detailed images are easy to follow, expressive, and humorous. Images alternate between Miöko’s perceptions of the unknown and reality as shown to him by his mother. A scary looking shadow of a monster in Miöko’s bedroom at night, for instance, turns out to be a harmless puppet by day. Miöko’s grandparents also help out by describing their fears when they were children, as depicted by image-filled thought balloons. The end of the book includes drawing space, encouraging children to illustrate their own fears, both how these fears may appear and how they most likely are in reality a great way to help children cope with whatever may frighten them.

Kim Ha is the Children’s Instructor and Research Supervisor at the Elkridge Branch of the Howard County Library System.  She enjoys dancing, jewelry-making, photography and traveling. So far, her favorite destinations are Hawaii and Italy. She recently discovered the joys of yoga and stunt kite flying.

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