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Leap Into These Leap Year Facts

Leap Year typically takes place every four years. The process of adding a day to the calendar every four years was designed to realign the clock and calendar more closely with how long it takes the Earth to rotate around the sun, which is slightly longer than the 365 days attributed to a year. If not for Leap Year, the seasons would slowly shift out of place.

There are many interesting facts to learn about Leap Year, and February 29 is the perfect time to explore them.

· It takes the Earth 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 45 seconds to circle once around the sun, says Time and Date. Without leap years, we’d lose almost six hours every year. After a century, the calendar would be off by nearly 24 days.

· Despite 2100, the next turn of the century, being divisible by four, it will not be a leap year. That’s because it is divisible by 100 but not 400, which means it will not be a leap year. This exception to the rule pertains to new century years.

· Forbes reports that it’s likely the calendar will need to be changed again since the Earth’s rotation rate, the axial tilt orientation and the Earth’s orbital motion around the sun is not constant. Various effects, such as earthquakes and something called tidal braking, affect the passage of time.

· Legend states that on February 29 it is alright for a woman to propose to a man, a custom attributed to St. Bridget. Bridget complained to St. Patrick that some women had to wait too long for their suitors to pop the question. As the legend goes, Patrick supposedly provided women this day to propose to compensate.

· Some cultures view February 29 as an unlucky day. In Greece, couples are warned against planning weddings during leap years. In Italy, the phrase, “Anno biseto, anno funesto” (“leap year, doom year”) is uttered.

· Individuals who are born on February 29th are known as leaplings or leapers.

· Leap Day is not considered a legal day. Those who are leaplings have to choose February 28 or March 1 for their official and legal birthdays.

· Individuals who are paid fixed monthly incomes often work for free on February 29th because their wages will not be calculated to include the extra day.

· Guinness World Records indicates the only family it could verify as producing three consecutive generations born on leap days belongs to the Keoghs. The elder Patrick Anthony Keogh was born in 1940, his son Peter Eric was born in 1964, and his granddaughter Bethany in 1996.

Interesting Facts About Memorial Day

Each year on the last Monday of May, Americans celebrate Memorial Day. Memorial Day is a federal holiday that honors and mourns American military personnel who died while performing their duties in service to the United States Armed Forces.

Memorial Day has a rich history and one that’s worth revisiting as the nation prepares to honor the sacrifices made by its military personnel over the centuries.

· Freed slaves played a role in the establishment of Memorial Day. The American Civil War is the deadliest military conflict in American history, as the Union and the Confederacy each suffered more than 800,000 casualties by the time the war ended in 1865. According to, as the war drew to a close, hundreds of Union soldiers who were being held as prisoners of war died and were buried in a mass grave in a Confederate prison camp in South Carolina. After the Confederate surrender, more than 1,000 now-freed slaves honored those recently deceased Union soldiers during a ceremony in which they sang hymns and distributed flowers. The ceremony was dedicated to the fallen soldiers and served as a precursor to what is now celebrated as Memorial Day.

· Confederate soldiers were honored, too. Confederate losses during the Civil War outnumbered Union losses, and those losses were not forgotten by southerners who survived the war. notes that, in 1866, the Georgia-based Ladies Memorial Association, one of many similar organizations to arise in the aftermath of the war, pushed for a day to honor fallen Confederate soldiers. In fact, these efforts are believed to have influenced General John A. Logan. In 1868, General Logan, a Civil War veteran who was then serving as commander-in-chief of a group of Union veterans, ordered the decoration of Union graves with flowers on May 30. The day would ultimately be known as “Memorial Day.”

· It took a long time for Memorial Day to become a federal holiday. Despite tracing its origins to the immediate aftermath of the Civil War, Memorial Day did not become an official federal holiday until 1971, more than a century after the war ended. This is the same year the holiday was officially designated as taking place on the last Monday in May. The designation has periodically drawn the ire of veterans and military supporters who suggest it is now more widely seen as the unofficial beginning to summer and not a day in which the sacrifices of fallen U.S. soldiers are honored to the extent that they should be.

· Debate exists about which town has the longest history of celebrating Memorial Day. A handful of towns claim to be the first celebrants of Memorial Day. That debate figures to continue in perpetuity, but notes that Waterloo, New York, was officially recognized by U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson as the birthplace of Memorial Day in 1966. Doylestown, Pennsylvania, and Rochester, Wisconsin are some other towns that claim to have celebrated Memorial Day since the mid-1860s.

Memorial Day has a rich history that highlights the importance of honoring the men and women who have given their lives while in service of the United States military.

How to Honor First Responders

This fall marks the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The attacks on September 11, 2001 remain the deadliest terror attacks in world history, claiming more than 2,900 lives and causing countless injuries and long-term health problems for tens of thousands of civilians and first responders.

The 20th anniversary of 9/11 will no doubt evoke responses that span the emotional spectrum. Sadness may dominate such responses, but the anniversary of 9/11 also is a great time to reflect on the efforts of first responders. First responders played a vital role on 9/11, and many lost their lives and/or suffered long-term health consequences resulting from their selfless efforts to save innocent victims of the attacks.

In the two decades since the 9/11 attacks, first responders have continued to make countless sacrifices to ensure their communities are safe and peaceful places to call home. The 20th anniversary of 9/11 is a great time to recognize the efforts of first responders and honor them for all they do.

• Donate to local fire departments. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, 54 percent of active firefighting personnel are volunteers. Many of those volunteer firefighters work for underfunded departments that are in need of financial support. Donating to such departments is a great way to show first responders how much their efforts are appreciated. Donations may be used to purchase new equipment, upgrade existing facilities, provide vital training, and/or improve response times, the latter of which can increase the likelihood that firefighters make it through calls safe and sound.

• Back legislation to support wounded first responders. Many first responders suffer significant mental and physical injuries while on the job. Various nonprofit organizations help wounded first responders who may need to make modifications to their homes or purchase costly equipment to get through their daily lives. But nonprofit organizations cannot go it alone in support of wounded first responders. Citizens can do their part by promoting and voting for local, state and national legislation that makes it easy for wounded first responders to get the help they need, when they need it. In addition to urging local politicians to support such legislation, private citizens can utilize social media to promote proposals and other efforts to support wounded first responders. Many 9/11 first responders are still fighting for government-backed support to treat injuries suffered 20 years ago, and a vocal citizenry can be a strong asset in their fight and the fight of countless others in need of help.

• Commit to supporting first responders year-round. The 20th anniversary of 9/11 will call attention to the efforts of first responders on that day 20 years ago as well as the countless times since then that these brave men and women have served their communities. But first responders deserve vocal, year-round support. Make a concerted effort to thank policemen, firefighters, EMTs, nurses, and doctors in your community whenever you interact with them, and urge others to follow suit.

First responders play a vital role in communities across the globe. The 20th anniversary of 9/11 can serve as a catalyst for communities to express their support for first responders.

Inspiration and Ideas for Summer Gardening and Home Improvement

With longer days and shorter nights come warm weather opportunities to make home and garden improvements. Become inspired to start working on projects, both indoors and out, with these new seasonal books.

Caring for Cacti

There’s much more to your little green plants than just keeping them alive, according to “Happy Cactus: Cacti, Succulents, and More.” Unearth the secrets of different cacti and succulents with profiles of more than 50 popular varieties — from the cute, flowering pincushion cactus to the wacky prickly pear. Discover what makes your plant unique and find out where to put it, when to water it, what to feed it, what to look out for, and how to encourage its distinctive traits, from flower stalks to fast growth.

Simplify Your Life

Living simply can mean living better, according to “Less: A Visual Guide to Minimalism.” Using, flow charts, icons and other graphics, the book demonstrates how to apply minimalism to your home, wardrobe, decor, cooking, cleaning and finances, to give you more time, space, money, clarity and overall enjoyment of your experiences.

Understanding Tools

Are you a DIYer or aspire to be one? Get a better handle on tools with “The Tool Book: A Tool Lover’s Guide to Over 200 Hand Tools.” This visual guide highlights how to use, understand and properly care for over 200 hand tools, and includes a foreword by Nick Offerman, host of NBC’s “Making It.” Discover why each tool is perfect for the job, through step-by-step illustrations and scientific explanations, and why it deserves a prominent spot in your shed, workshop, studio or makerspace.

Gardening Indoors

Learn where to place houseplants for the best effect in your home and how to properly care for them, with the trusted advice, creative inspiration, strong visual aesthetic and step-by-step detail found in “Practical Houseplant Book.” Two-hundred plant profiles provide information and care instructions for a variety of plants, including ferns, orchids and succulents, while a dozen photographic projects offer ideas for using plants to decorate your home or greenhouse — from eye-catching terrariums to a living succulent wall. With information on plant care, propagation, pests and diseases, pruning, and problem-solving, this is a useful guide for any indoor gardener.

Growing Food

Whether you’re a beginner or seasoned grower, “Grow Something Different to Eat: Weird and wonderful heirloom fruits and vegetables for your garden,” can give you confidence to grow, cook and preserve some unusually tasty crops. Learn to grow unique fruits, vegetables and grains, such as orange eggplants, quinoa, chia, and white strawberries. All plants can be started indoors and kept as houseplants, or grown outdoors in the garden.

This summer, discover creative ideas for improving your indoor and outdoor spaces with gardening, DIY projects, and more. (StatePoint)

Medication Safety Tips for Children and Adults

Prescription and over-the-counter medications can save lives and help people of all ages manage certain conditions. When used correctly and under the guidance of a physician, medications are largely safe. It’s when medicines are used off-label, shared or taken in error that reactions and injury can occur. The American Academy of Pediatrics and their Healthy Children Organization warns that more than 7,000 children visit hospital emergency rooms every year for problems related to medication errors. Children are not the only ones in danger. Adults can make mistakes with their medications as well. For example, seniors who may be managing several different types of medications can inadvertently cause dangerous drug interactions by mixing the wrong pills. Pharmacists work diligently to help prevent medication errors. However, the general public can also do their part. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy offer these medication safety tips.

• When a new medication is prescribed, ask the doctor to explain more about it, including its intended purpose and any common side effects to be expected.

• Make sure your doctor knows about all the medications you are taking, including non-prescription products, herbal remedies, dietary supplements, and vitamins. Some medications do not mix with seemingly innocent ingredients. Keep a running list of any medicines you take so you can easily and accurately share this information with your physician. • Question anything that you do not understand. Check the prescription for dosing information. For refills, make sure the refill information conforms to the original prescription strength.

• Fill all prescriptions at the same pharmacy and develop a rapport with the pharmacist so that potential drug interactions will be flagged. Pharmacists are well versed in medications and may be able to inform you as to the safety or risk involved in taking an over-the-counter product at the same time that you are on a prescription.

• Many pills look the same. If you are confused and taking multiple medications, keep medications in the original packaging and double-check the labels before taking any medications.

• Use the right dosing tools. A spoon from the kitchen is not accurate for measuring out a teaspoon of medication. • If you take multiple medications, use a pillbox to keep pills organized. The box makes it easier to manage medications and serves as a reminder if you have or have not taken a medication on a given day.

• Store medications as instructed on the label. The bathroom medicine cabinet may not be an ideal place to store medications, as bathrooms get damp, and that can compromise the integrity of the pills. Also, bathroom cabinets are readily accessible by all, including kids. It’s better to store drugs out of sight and reach of children. Keep dangerous medications locked away.

• Routinely discard expired or unneeded medications. Medicine take-back programs for disposal are a good way to remove medicines from the home and reduce the chance that others may accidentally take the medicine.

• Consult with a doctor before beginning or ending medication. Medicines play important roles in personal health. When used correctly, medications are assets, but caution should always be taken to ensure safe usage and storage of any medications.

Simple Ways to Save on Household Expenditures

There are many simple ways for homeowners to reduce monthly expenditures and realize savings, and the easiest place to start is with your monthly energy bill. Here are a few changes you can make that can have a lasting impact on your wallet and the planet.

· Cool your house with a ceiling or electric fan and open the windows at night. Ceiling fans cost about 1 cent per two hours of use, compared to 67 cents to a dollar for central air. Use your AC only when necessary and be sure to turn it off when you’re going to be away from home for long periods of time.

· Invest in a programmable thermostat. It will automatically adjust the temperature in your house, saving you energy while you’re away or sleeping.

· Use insulation with a high R-value. Experts and professionals often use a stone wool product called Roxul ComfortBatt, which can be used to top up the insulation in your attic. Topping up insulation to a depth of 16 inches or an R-value of 50 will help to keep your house cool in the warm weather and take the stress off your air conditioning unit.

· Check the tightness of your refrigerator seal by closing the door on a piece of paper. If it’s held in place, the seal is still good. If not, it’s time to replace the seal or fix the door’s alignment.

· Only do laundry or dishes when you have full loads. If you have smaller loads, make sure to use the correct settings. If you only have a couple of items, wait it out or wash them by hand.

Also consider low-cost DIY projects such as caulking around windows, adding weatherstripping to doors, installing low-flow shower heads, putting aerators on faucets, and switching to energy-efficient LED or compact fluorescent light bulbs for even greater impact. TF167271

Make a Lunch Kids Will Devour

Children can be picky eaters, making it challenging for parents to find foods their kids will consume. Family dinners are challenging enough, but lunches kids will love can be even more difficult to come by.

Parents can prepare lunches kids are certain to devour by thinking outside of the traditional lunch box. Using some creativity and building off of kids’ favorite foods is the key.

Make it miniature

Mini versions of kids’ favorite foods can be entertaining and entice children to try things they normally wouldn’t. If it’s fun-sized, it can be swallowed in one bite. Think about mini sandwiches cut into fun shapes with a cookie cutter. Or use little condiment cups to hold chicken salad, soup or yogurt.

Offer variety

Give kids a bit of a buffet inside of their lunches. This way, if something isn’t tickling their taste buds, they still have other healthy options at the ready. This technique also ensures that kids will not get hungry after skipping meals. Lunch buffets do not have to be complicated. Include half of a sandwich, a piece of fruit or an applesauce cup, some trail mix, and a granola bar. Look for complex carbohydrates and protein so that little bellies will feel full.

Go with what works

If a child really enjoyed the previous night’s dinner, offer up a repeat for lunch the next day. Some schools have a microwave where hot foods can be reheated. If that’s not available, invest in a thermos or a durable, insulated container that can keep the foods at a comfortable temperature. Lunchtime at school occurs not too far into the day, and it’s feasible that food can still be warm if heated right before leaving the house.

Sneak in some nutrition

If kids are bound to eat the same thing over and over again, mix it up in subtle ways. Add a slice of tomato to a plain cheese sandwich and serve it on whole-wheat bread for added nutrition. Blend cauliflower into mac-and-cheese so it’s barely noticeable. Add flavor to lunch meats with a piece of bacon. Bake up nutritious cereal bars on your own that pack a nutritious punch and could have pureed fruit as the base.

Breakfast for lunch

Most kids go ga-ga over breakfast foods. Use that to your advantage, sending them in with egg-bacon-cheese bagel sandwiches, or some cereal to which they can add milk bought from the cafeteria. Thin pancakes can be rolled and stuffed with fruit in a crêpe style that makes for a tempting treat.

Rely on school lunch

School lunches shouldn’t be dismissed. When the pantry and refrigerator simply aren’t offering up the right inspiration, let children try something provided by their schools. They may like the menu, and that will save you time and effort in the morning. Plus, many school lunches are designed to be nutritionally balanced.

Picky eaters frequently make meal creation challenging. However, with some ingenuity, kids’ lunches can be enjoyed and savored.


Featured Healthy Living Links – Local Resources

If you missed our recent Special Edition, the Medical & Health directoryhave no fear! We offer digital files of our special sections for view online, found at:


We are happy to share some hand-picked local resources, we are proud to partner with and highly recommend! Click any of the names/links to find more information.

*Denture Center Inc.
*Visiting Angels
*John L. Grove Medical Center
*PinnacleHealth Women’s Cancer Center
*PinnacleHealth Cardiovascular Institute

Have you visited one of these local businesses? Leave your review in the Comment section below!

Beat Couch Potato Curse + Local Highlight

Diet and exercise make great bedfellows for men and women looking to live a healthier lifestyle. A combination of a healthy diet and regular exercise makes it easier for men and women to maintain a healthy weight while lowering their risk of various ailments, including heart disease and diabetes.

A heightened awareness of what makes for a healthy and unhealthy diet coupled with the increased availability of healthy foods has helped many people smoothly transition to a healthier diet. But many people still struggle to find time to exercise every day. Commitments to work and family can make it difficult to squeeze in regular workouts, and the call of the couch is often more appealing than a trip to the gym at the end of a long day juggling both personal and professional obligations. But exercise is integral to a healthy lifestyle, so it’s important that men and women take steps to incorporate exercise into their daily routines.

* Figure out when you’re free. Finding free time is perhaps the biggest hurdle adults must clear when attempting to exercise more. Track your daily schedule for a week or two, making note of down times during the day when you might be able to squeeze in 30 to 60 minutes of exercise. If you notice you’re spending your lunch hours catching up on personal emails or surfing the Internet, then consider joining a gym near your office and turning those lunch hours into workouts. If your mornings are not dominated by getting the kids ready for school, then wake up a half hour earlier each morning to squeeze in some time on the treadmill. You likely have some down time with regard to your daily schedule, and identifying such time is the first step toward making better use of it.

* Make it a team effort. Daily exercise is not just good for adults; it’s great for kids, too. Parents looking to fit more physical activity into their daily routines should consider involving their children, many of whom are dealing with a fitness crisis of their own. According to a 2014 report in the Journal of the American Medical Association, childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents over the last three decades, putting youngsters at increased risk for cardiovascular disease, prediabetes, bone and joint problems, and sleep apnea. Parents can make daily exercise a family affair, which increases the time they spend with their children while ensuring their kids stay fit as well. Men and women without families also can make daily exercise a team effort by working out with a friend or significant other. The buddy system often proves motivational, encouraging men and women to exercise even on those days when the couch is calling.

* Make exercise more interesting. Many workout routines fall by the wayside because they simply do not engage men and women no matter how motivated they are to lose weight. An hour on the treadmill can seem like an eternity to certain men and women, who can benefit by choosing workout routines that are less monotonous. For example, Zumba is a combination of dance and aerobic exercise that is growing in popularity. In lieu of spending an hour on the treadmill or elliptical machine, Zumba participants get an equally if not exceedingly challenging cardiovascular workout that many find more fun than traditional aerobic exercise thanks to its incorporation of dance. For those without such happy feet, bring a tablet along to the gym and catch up on your favorite television shows or a good book during your cardiovascular routines. The more interesting you find your workout routine, the more likely you are to find time for that routine every day.

* Choose an accessible routine. When planning your workout, make it as accessible as possible. While sports like kayaking and mountain bike racing make for great exercise, such activities are not readily accessible to many working professionals with busy schedules. Join a gym that’s only a short drive from home, or purchase some gym equipment you can set up in your own home. The more accessible a workout routine is, the more likely you are to embrace that routine.

The call of the couch can be difficult to ignore. But the side effects of a sedentary lifestyle can be grave, so men and women sneakers2should work to find ways to include exercise in their daily routines.   (LS148392)

***Local Highlight***

Healthy feet and proper foot support can not only improve your workout but your overall daily health and wellness! Choose a quality provider like local Podiatrist – Kevin L. Curlis, DPM

“Whether you’re suffering from a mild sprain or chronic heel pain, I am committed to helping you return to a pain-free, active life.” ( -Kevin L. Curlis DPM)

2014 Year in Review Now Available in Print & Online

The 2014 Year In Review features a timeline of local businesses. Did you know Robert T. Henry Pharmacy in Shippensburg has been in business for 139 years? Wow!!

Pick up your 2014 Year In Review to recap top stories & events in Franklin & Washington Counties. Or read online –

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