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Planet Mom will return soon...



The Jaded Eye
By Gerry Ayers
Gerry will return next week...

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The Bookworm Sez
By Terri Schlichenmeyer

"Duncan Hines: How a Traveling Salesman Became the Most Trusted Name in Food" by Louis Hatchett, foreword by Michael and Jane Stern

c.2014, University of Kentucky Press

$19.95 / higher in Canada

326 pages

Tonight’s dessert is courtesy of your childhood.

The cake you’ll have after dinner is just like the one Mom used to make. It’ll be round, mostly, maybe a little lopsided, with a divot in the center from letting the oven door slam. Like Mom’s cake, your icing will be thick on top, thin on the sides. And like hers, yours came from a box, too.

Cake mix. What a concept. So how did something so revolutionary (in the 1930s) end up in nearly every kitchen in the country? Read "Duncan Hines" by Louis Hatchett and find out.

Born in Bowling Green, Kentucky, at a time when automobiles were new, Duncan Hines was the eighth of ten children, but the last to live. He seemed to have an idyllic childhood but when his mother died in 1884, young Hines was sent to live with his grandparents. It was a decision that changed his life.

Because his grandmother was an excellent cook, eating became Hines’ "great passion." He developed a keen palate for fine foods so, as later health issues took him to the newly-settled West; marriage brought him to New York; and a sales gig led him to Chicago, he seized every opportunity to sample various cuisines. Furthermore, Hines and his wife made it a "hobby" to dine out on weekends and he kept meticulous notes on restaurants, sanitation, and food.

By late 1935, after trading his information with other traveling salesmen, Hines’ notes grew to include 167 restaurants in 30 states. He saw that automobile travel was quickly becoming popular and he knew that everybody wanted know where to get a decent meal away so, that year, he and his wife added a self-published booklet to Christmas cards and "mailed them to everyone they could think of…"

Beginning with that giveaway, and until a few years after his death in 1959, Duncan Hines enjoyed fortune and popularity as America’s foremost restaurant critic. His was not the first such ratings book, but it was arguably the world’s most trusted.

So why is the name Duncan Hines synonymous with cake mix today, and not with the travel-restaurant guides that Hines first created?

The answer lies with a young marketer who knew the right things to say…

Huh. Who knew?

Apparently, says author Louis Hatchett, everybody did, including thousands from around the world. In fact, he believes, it’s a pretty safe bet that if you were born before 1955, you knew where to look before you dined.

In "Duncan Hines," Hatchett describes his subject as a mercurial man who fiercely protected his reputation but still managed to make money, despite the Depression and World Wars. The story of this rags-to-riches salesman is surprising and surprisingly fascinating - perhaps because Hines is not Hatchett’s only subject. We also get a sense of time and place, and I liked that.

This book is perfect if you’d like an unusual (and lively) biography to enjoy while dining, vacationing, or any time. With "Duncan Hines," you can have your cake and read it, too.

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Eating Disorders- The Risk Factors
By Buffy Basile

In society there are some situations and events that may assist in the development of an eating disorder, some include:

• Simply being female- more women than men have eating disorders

• Age - Although eating disorders can occur across a broad age range that includes pre-adolescents to adults, they are much more common in teens and early 20s.

• Family History - Having a parent and/or sibling with an eating disorder significantly increases the likelihood of other family members developing similar issues

• Emotional Disorders - Someone struggling with depression, anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorders also tend to be at high-risk

• Dieting-Positive reinforcements regarding their changing appearance may lead to taking a diet plan to far

• Transitions - College, moving, new job, breakup can all bring on emotional distress which may lead to more susceptibility to an eating disorder

• Sport, work & artistic activities - Athletes, actors, dancers, and models. Particularly common among ballerinas, gymnasts, runners and wrestlers. Often coaches and parents may unwittingly contribute to a disorder by encouraging young athletes to lose weight.

Eating Disorders- Complications

This topic was by far the most disturbing to me; the more severe or long lasting the disorder, the more likely you are to experience serious complications. Some are even life threatening.

• Death

• Damage to the heart

• Multiple organ damage and/or failure

• Depression

• Suicidal thoughts or behavior

• Absence of menstruation

• Bone loss

• Stunted growth

• Digestive problems

• Kidney damage

• Severe tooth decay

• High or low blood pressure

In my final review of this topic I will cover prevention techniques and look at this disorder from a different perspective. However, after reading the information I have provided over the past few weeks, if you feel the need to look further into your own behavioral habits or those of a loved one, I strongly urge you to contact your family physician.

Compile a list of concerns complete with any supplements taken, a log of sleep patterns and mood fluctuations. Add to your list any external stimulators that may be affecting this behavior.

Expect that your doctor will do the following:

Physical exam complete with measuring your height, weight and BMI, vital sign check, listening to your heart and lung function and examining your abdomen. Your doctor may order a complete blood count, maybe even a few more specialized blood tests that include metabolic profiling, check electrolytes and protein, as well as kidney and thyroid function. Possibly even a urinalysis.

The most important tool is within your reach. Communication without fear of judgment.

Buffy is the Wellness Director at the Eastern Lycoming YMCA.

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The Beat Goes On and On with Willi Ort
By Jeffrey Allen Federowicz

Willi Ort’s voice is the first indication he loves being a music instructor at The Uptown Music Collective.

Ask what he does for a living, the answer will be music. To be more specific, he teaches students of all ages and backgrounds the basic fundamentals, skills and discipline required to bring an instrument and music to life.

"It’s amazing the amount of talent that can be found throughout the area, especially the high school and younger crowd. You hear these kids perform, no matter if its guitar, drums or vocals," Ort said. "It’s common to hear one of the students practicing or being on stage when we have a show to stop for a second to listen and be blown away by their talent and think the person singing or playing the guitar is 15 years-old."

Ort noted he was inspired to play guitar at a young age after watching his father jam a smoking rendition of Malaguena. Soon after Ort’s desire to master the guitar was greatly intensified by listening to his sister’s Led Zeppelin records and his Dad’s CCR tapes. By the age of twelve Ort received his first guitar and soon started taking lessons. Since that time Ort has performed in several bands and learned the skills to play several types of guitar styles.

Ort would go on and earn a degree music in with a concentration in A/V recording from Bloomsburg University.

Since 2006, this native of Muncy, has been teaching students of all ages and backgrounds, how to play the guitar and build confidence in themselves and their abilities.

"It’s great working with the students and seeing their skills grow and overcome challenges they may have had along the way." he said. "Since we have many professional musicians in the area, many of the students look up to these people that either gives them the idea to take up an instrument or to see how hard work can encourage them to practice more."

A fan of the blues, Ort teaches several classes and private lessons each week that fill his days with the sounds of music.

"I love the blues and how they can be so emotional in so many different ways. It’s rewarding when you see a student learn something new. The excitement they get is amazing and they want to learn more," Ort said. "I love how a student’s confidence keeps on growing or how their interest in music never seems to wane."

When asked where he hopes to be in five years, Ort’s quick reply is not very surprising.

"In five years I’d like to still be at the Collective helping students learn music and how it can enrich our lives."

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