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Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
Charles Town, West Virginia
December 23, 1999     Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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December 23, 1999

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22 SPIRIT OF JEFFERSON Farmer's ADVOCATE -Thursday, December 23, 1999 Becky Shaffer 876-0600 Pat Leimbach There is no way that I can con- vey to you the depth of under- standing of the role of a farmer's wife, or the humor with which au- thor Pat Leimbach presents this wisdom to her audience. I will tell you that during a recent dinner gathering of farm families from the three panhandle counties, grown men and women had tears of laughter flowing down their cheeks throughout her description of life on a farm. Referred to as "the Erma Bombeck of the Farm Belt" by The Wall Street Journal, Mrs. Leimbach did not "tell jokes", but wove her best "lines" around and within the stories of life on a farm. Born in Ohio, Mrs. Leimbach grew up on a forty-acre fruit farm along the shores of Lake Erie. She lost her father when she was a youngster. Her mother kept the farm and the brothers and sisters helped pick and pack the fruit to send to Cleveland to sell at the farmers' market. This venture was successful for the fatherless family, reported Mrs. Leimbach, who at- tributed her mother's determina- tion to achieve a profit to the no- tion that "no farmer succeeds bet- ter with a basket of fruit than a widow with seven children." Leimbach won a $50 scholar- ship to Bowling Green University, much to the displeasure of her mother, who insisted that she at- tend a women's college in Cleve- land and study French - "the most useless thing you could study if you are going to live on a farm and slop hogsI" Following an abbreviated teach- ing career during which she made $1900 per year, she married Paul Leimbach and became a farmer's wife. Remarking that farmers' wives have no job descriptions, the speaker stated that, when she was allowed to operated farm machin- ery, her primary task was discing, a job which gave her a lot of time - forty years worth - to think. When Mrs. Leimbach donned her weathered red knit cap, we knew that she had "been there - done that", as they say. Who among us - the farm folks - have not witnessed the lady of the house in her knit hat and years-old cloth coat with safety-pin fasteners head to the barn to her cattle, feed the chickens, slop the hogs, help start the tractor, or some other chore? In defining a farmer's wife, Leimbach told her listeners that "you know you are a farm wife when 1) you pulled.the bumper off the truck; 2) you disced the 'back forty' in your underwear; 3) a mid- night romp means the cows are out; 4) you realize that you are not a liberated woman because you have disced enough rough fields to know that you will never burn your bra; 5) your kids drive at age 10 years and you didn't teach them; 6) when your all-purpose lotion is 'Bag Balm'; 7) you have forgotten to turn off the manure spreader and pulled out onto the highway in front of the bank loan officer; 8) the only thing you sit on has a dead battery or a broken something; 9) the only reason you are chosen to help is because there is no one else." Mrs. Leimbach has shared her Ohio farm with her family for forty-eight years. She writes a col- umn, "The Country Wife", which appears in many farm publications throughout the U.S. She has authored three books, A.Thr.~.o~L of ~, ~, and A Harvest of Bittersweet, all of which express her understanding of the world around her. She has spoken in 47 states and five Cana- dian provinces, and has appeared on "Good Morning America", "The Today Show", "Larry King Live", and "Market to Market." The speaker concluded her talk with some sage words of advice for the younger farm women in the audience. "Let me caution you about those leading questions - 'Honey, are you busy?' The dinner, a celebration of the farm year, was served at the Ber- keley Youth Fair grounds with the team of cooks and servers under the guidance of Ruth Linton serv- ing a delicious meal topped offwith their famous brownie-ice cream covered with chocolate sauce des- sert. Sponsored by the West Vir- ginia Extension Service for the three counties, the proceeding were coordinated by Mary Beth Bennett, Berkeley County exten- sion agent. Cress Creek mum]hated Candlelight luminaries and brightly decorated homes crew the attentions of those passing the Cress Creek community last week- end. Neighborhood residents had lined their streets and driveways with white luminary bags and had added touches of white and colored light, greenery, and bows to com- plete the wonderland. A drive through the wooded streets added to the magic of the season. In Our Thoughts Young Chris Heinen was seri- ously injured in an auto accident last week. When I spoke with his Syndicated news columnist and book author Pat Leimbach presents her side of the story of life as a farmer's wife for the tri-county farm families as- sembled at the Berkeley County Youth Fair grounds during a celebration dinner sponsored by the West Virginia Extension Service. (Photo by Diane Steece) dad on Sunday, Chris was still in a coma. Please keep this young man and his family in your thoughts and prayers this week. Dad John Heinen is the "pickle man" at the Shepherdstown Farm Market, the fellow who sells the cucumber treats and the salsa. George's Christmas List George Washington prepared this list of presents he planned to give his'five-year-old stepson, Jack]e, and his three-year-old step- daughter, Patsy, on Christmas Day, 1759. It was found among his papers many years after his death. Washington planned to acquire for the two youngsters "a bird on Bellows, a Cuckoo, a turnabout Parrot, a Grocers Shop, an Aviary, a Prussian Dragoon, a Man Smoakg, a Turnbridge Tea Sett, 3 Neat Turnbridge Toys, a Neat Book fash Tea Chest, a box best House- hold Stuff, a straw Patch box w. a Glass, and a neat dress'd Wax Baby." Christmas Superstitions Christmas traditions and su- perstitions abound throughout our country and all over the world. The folks in the old south admonished "not to wash or press a Christmas present before giving it, or you will wash out the good luck and press in the bad." These wise people also sug- gested that you "make a start on your year's work between Christ- mas and January fifth - a bit of ditching, a little plowing - to show your intentions. But never fix your roof between Christmas and New Year's or the holes will come right back." "Leave a loaf of bread on the table ai~r Christmas Eve and you will have a full supply until the next Christmas. "If you let a fire go out on Christmas morning, spirits will come to you then and later in the season. "Eat an apple as the clock strikes twelve on Christmas Eve and you will have good health throughout the year." And, if none of the above brin~s you the kind of year you want, 'lb improve your luck, wear some- thing new on Christmas Day. But not new shoes. They will hurt, and may even walk you into a catastro- phe." Mom's Christmas No ornaments in the attic to put on the tree? No string of lights to brighten the occasion? No lighted plastic Santa Claus to glow in the rooms? No red candles in silver holders to make the occasion fes- tive? No lights to place in win- dows? No reindeer scenes to place on roofs? How on earth could there be Christmas without any of these "things"? There were none of these orna- ments in Mother's home seventy- some years ago. So, what could there possibly be to make some- thing beautiful out of the greatest of all occasions? According to Morn, it wasn't the setting. Instead, it was the spirit; the enchantment; the mood of the people. Far from the trend of today, when Christmas buying is spread out over the entire year, everybody went to town the last few days be- fore Christmas - the streets were crammed - a part of the spirit of the season. There wasn't the money for gift-giving then as there is today, and gifts that were bought were small and inexpensive. Morn put in her order to Santa Claus, but it was insignificant compared to those he receives to- day. Children today would scorn what children received in those days. And fruits and nuts were as appealing as the toys, for they were mostly Christmas-only luxu- ries. Gifts, no matter how few, were genuinely appreciated. In today's world of restaurants, microwaves, frozen foods, and speedy preparation, the making of a Christmas dinner seventy-some years ago would seem a never-end- ing chore. Wood had to be chopped The Christmas pepper and for the woodstove. The fatted tur- Christmas cherry are readily key was killed, dressed, and available and reasonably priced cooked. Walnuts for baking were during the Yule season. To prolong cracked and the meats picked out. their beauty, give the plants bright Coconut was grated. Cakes were lights and cool temperatures. An baked. Sweet potatoes were boiled occasional mist spray of water and mashed. Lard was added to keeps them looking their best. ilour for pies. Treat the pepper plants as an- It was difficult getting ready for nuals - throw them away when Christmas dinner in Mom's day - they become unattractive. You can noend to the work. The Christmas dry the pepper and use them as menu always included turkey with seasoning, but be careful, for they sage and onion dressing, made are hot! from bread crumbs, baked pork, Both Christmas peppers and home-canned corn, string beans, Christmas cherries are easy to baked sweet potatoes, chow chow, grow from seed. Plant in pots in pickled peaches, watermelon the sprin~ and put them outside in a pickle, fresh bread, homemade sunny spot. Move inside before kraut, mashed potatoes from real frost, and you will have fruits by tubers, fresh coconut, chocolate Christmas. and fruit cakes; and the highlight - Another offering during the homemade mincemeat pies with Christmas season is the cyclamen Grandmom's special hard sauce, which bloom in several shades of In later years, at our family's pink, rose, and white. When water- Christmas dinner, Mom would ing these beauties, take care to do share her family prayer - one so around the edges of the pot be- which was prayed before the meal cause water in the crown may each of the years she lived with her cause rot, You can also set the parents. It went something like plant in a dish of water and let it this: "Father, we thank You for the soak up the moisture. Never allow joys of Christmas and that you the soil to dry out while the plant is came to us as a baby and changed in flower or the leaves may turn the course of history. Let us re- yellow. Leaf yellowing, as well as member the real meaning of bud blasting, may also occur if the Christmas and give You the honor night temperature is too high or if You deserve. We thank You for the the plant is not receiving enough blessings of life, for family and daylight. The specimen will do best friends and the closeness of this oc- in bright, indirect light. Cyclamen casion." plants will last a month or more in It was a simpler time - a time of your home. Fertilize every two family closeness, weeks for longer growth. This writer wishes all a most Another colorful addition to pleasant Christmas season. And a your home during the holiday sea- special "Merry Christmas" to son is the Rieger elatior begonia, North Carolina resident Andy which will thrive with good light Steece, the young man who col- and average care. It has above-av- lected all of those pine cones with erage lasting qualities. To which we made wreaths to sell at lengthen the blooming time of its the local farmers market, orange, red, or salmon-coral flow- For the Birds ers s ev eral weeks, select plant in This past spring, a pair of per- the half-open bud stage. It will do egrine falcons successfully reared best if you keep it barely moist. In one young falcon on North Fork warm weather these begonias may Mountain in Grant County, mak- be moved outdoors into a semi- ing theirs the only known active shaded flower bed or may be used nest in West Virginia. This is en- as a patio plant. The soil should in- couraging news, since no active clude generous amounts of peat peregrine nests have been sighted moss. in the state since 1992. The Norfolk Island pine is often The peregrine falcon, known used as a miniature Christmas also as the duck hawk, is a large, tree. Named for the tiny island in bust bird with a black hood and the South pacific where it grows wide black "mustaches." It lives in wild, this specimen does well in open country, especially long riv- bright, indirect, or filtered light. ers, lakes, and coastal regions. Generous waterings are best as Following an alarming decline long as surplus water drains away during the 1950s and 1960s, the readily. peregrine is on the increase again, The Norfolk Island pine is one now that the pesticides that of the easiest plants to grow in- caused thinning of eggshells have doors. It is fairly trouble-free as been banned. After an intense pro- long as its desired environmental gram of rearing the species in cap- conditions are met. If the needles tivity and releasing them in the on the lower limbs all begin to turn wild - a process called "hacking" - brown, cut offthese branches flush this large bird is reclaiming its with the trunk. And make sure the nesting grounds, plant isn't potbound, that drainage In the last 1980s, West Virginia is good, and that the soil hasn't researchers initiated a "hacking" been kept too dry. program, which reintroduced cap- If the plant becomes straggly, tive-raised birds to the wild in two cut 12 to 15 inches off the top and counties near North Fork Moun- root the cutting in a half and half tain and one county along the New mixture of peat and perlite. Dis- River Gorge. This had limited suc- card the parent plant. Change to a cess. standard potting mix as the cut- The peregrine is considered one ting grows. Feed no more than of the fastest flying birds in the once a month during the active world, diving upon its prey at growth periods of spring and sum- speeds approaching 200 miles per mer. hour. A Glimpse into History In 1975, the population reached Twenty-six West Virginia coun- its all-time low of just 324 nesting ties were in existence (but in Vir- pairs in North American with no ginia) in 1835 at which time Jo- nesting pairs in the east. In 1970, seph Martin compiled his famous it was placed upon the Endangered New and Comprehensive Gazer- Species List. ~P~. Jefferson was one In August 1999, the U.S. Fish of these. We continue with his de- and Wildlife Service declared the scription of the arsenal at Harpers species recovered and removed it Ferry. Last week we described the from the list. While there is just turning of the barrels and the one recorded breeding pair in our shaping of the stocks of guns made Mountain State, it is currently es- there. timated that there are 1593 per- "The limits of this article will egrine breeding pairs in the U.S. not permit us to describe the op- and Canada. erations by which the minute arts Father's Garden of the muskets are completed. The Christmas plants will remain whole give employment when in attractive long after the holiday full work to about two hundred and season is over if you give attention fifty men, and at such times four- to the conditions and care that teen hundred muskets have been they require. The Christmas cac- finished in a month. The average tus and the poinsettia were our cost is about eleven dollars for each topics last week. This week we con- musket, and a good workman will tinue with several other specimens earn two dollars a day. About a which you may buy or will receive dozen of the workmen are from En- as gifts, gland, chiefly from the Armory Young Brittany Lutz offers hot chocolate to Shepherdstown Day Care Center Director Ruth Brown during the center's Christmas Bazaar. (Photo by Diane Steece) Mills which were worked during the war near Deptford in Kent. The muskets are lighter, and in this respect preferable to the En- glish; the workmen did not hold the iron, which is chiefly from Mas- sachusetts, in the same esteem. The establishment is governed by a superintendent who receives fourteen hundred dollars a year, and conducted by a master ar- morer at sixty dollars per month, and four assistant at forty dollars. "We must not quit this part of the subject without mentioning Hall's rifle, which is loaded at the breech, and of which there is a separate manufactory here. The barrel is formed by two portions by being cut asunder a few inches from the breech. And, on touching a trigger, placed before the ordi- nary one, the lower portion is raised out of the sock by a spring, and may be loaded as a pistol. When pressed down against he parts perfectly coincide, and the movable part of the barrel is re- tained in its place by a c "Much time is saved in loading a rifle trivance, and it may done with less chance the rifleman to a no inventions are more as to ultimate effect the art of war. The violence of warfare ployment of any but the weapons; and it may whether these divided subject to violence, to intrusion of foreign tween the stock and portion when elevated much use, coincide with accuracy to allow the the ball, even though curacy is required An inconvenience does,! attend the loading of weapon of great American warfare, ent we have described most simple and which could be devised l it." L By Gary Dungan LOOK! UP IN THE SKY! IS THAT A BLACK HELICOPTER? Is there a plot by the federal government ta fatten us all up? What for - the kill? How could they possibly have enlisted the aid of such highly reputable organiza- tions as the American Medical As- sociation and the American Di- etetic Association? Do all of these groups know the secret to losing weight and maintaining the loss, but are withholding the news from us for their own sinister reasons? Or is this just a rumor being spread by another bunch of con- spiracy theorists (read "nuts")? Over a number of months, this col- umn will dig into this issue and show that the American Medical Association and American Dietetic Association have only our best in- terests at heart. And how are we going to do this? Easy - we're going to track some local folks and show how mis- erably they fail on a couple of these diets that we're being warned about. The ones we're going to look at are Dr. Atkins' and Sugar Bust- era!, both of which are riding high in book sales. Dr. Atkins' is a "low- carb" diet and Sugar Busters! is based on the Glycemic Index. From now on, we'll drop the exclamation point after Sugar Busters for ease in reading. Both diets are based on the theory that it's not the fat you eat that makes you fat, it's the car- bohydrates (specific carbohydrates in the case of Sugar Busters). Bur first, a little background. According to Dr. Atkins, a break- through study was done in the 1950s which showed that obese people on diets with as much as 90% of the calories coming from protein or fat, lost weight. People on diets with the same number of ~'calories, but 90% coming from car- bohydrates, did not lose weight. The study was conducted by Pro- fessor Alan Kekwick and Gaston L.S. Pawan. Kekwick was Director of the Institute of Clinical Re- search and Experimental Medicine at London's Middlesex Hospital, and Pawan was the Senior Re- search Biologist there. That study was followed up by more studies which confirmed the concept, the last being by a Cornell Professor of Clinical Nutrition in 1971. Then the AMA appointed a panel to look into the issue. Incred- ibly, the panel ignored some of the studies done and reported that there was nothing to it. ARer that report, no other study has been done in the United States. How- ever, a number of studies that sup- port the conclusions of Kekwick and Pawan have been done in Eu- rope, with six having been done in Germany alone. In 1994, three doctors and a Fortune Five Hundred CEO self-published a Orleans, called This was the first diet lished in the United on the Glycemic was republished in the second. Recently, States edition of a been out for some years i Now, let's introduce the people we'll we'll call is herdstown, and kins on June 20, 1999. has lost 39 pounds. cholesterol of years. His last October and 231 in! by this October had 184. The HDLI the same and the dropped. His tri dropped from 318 to ports that he started energy within the first his problem with ia~ stopped felt hungry or de sleeping better. Subject B, Bob Ferry and has been ever since college. weight several times os rie, low fat diets; but gained it back. He Sugar Busters in He has lost 44 pounds toi his best month being loss, and his worst pound gain. He re started feeling more the first week and his with indigestion mediately. He feels that ing as much now as he' has never felt hungry and sleeps much more now. a fanatic about this have been known to times on a grand scale, community church gust, when Bob mostly legal items but three Of those In fact, Bob has has had only two Busters" weeks In future columns, the progress of Andy well as several otherS. explore more the reactions can Medical Associatiov Dietetic Association, government and otherS. Editor's note: The and does not pretend His views are strictly are not those of the staff. The Spirit eryone to seek cal advice before diet or exercise program' ANNUAL CHRISTMAS STOCKINGS FOR BABIES Belinda Hunter received a special surprise in her Christ. maa stocking this year. Belinda's surprise was her newborn son, Caleb Gregory Thomas McIntoah, Jefferson Memorial Hospital Auxiliary purchased the stockings for new parents and their babies born this holiday season at Jef- ferson Memorial Hospital. Pictured are Belinda and Caleb.