A little of this and a little of that

I had the good fortune to make the acquaintance of JoAnne Faulkner of Weirton at one of the Holiday Cookbook contests in the early 1990s, and we went on to become great friends through our cooking interests and the fact that her birthday and Lamont’s are on the same day, and she always sends him a card.

She continues to send me cards and inspirational thoughts in dealing with Larry’s death, and they help so much.

Then she sends me funny things, as we both feel that laughter heals many hurts. These tips on how laughter burns calories brought a big smile to my lips. Better than putting food there, I guess.

If you put a crouton on your sundae instead of a cherry, it counts as a salad.

The handle on your recliner does not count as an exercise machine. And JoAnne put this as a special mention to Lamont.

The healthiest part of a doughnut is the hole. Unfortunately, you have to eat through the rest of the doughnut to get there.

When your weight goes up and down that is what is known as the “rhythm method of girth control.” The perfect idea of a balanced diet is a cookie in each hand. Oh! and by the way, you can call yourself a nutritional overachiever, not fat, when the pounds start to add up.

JoAnn offered a wonderful idea on what to do with leftovers. It was to just throw them away.

A women’s prayer closed her nutritional tips:

Now I lay me down to sleep.

I pray the Lord my shape to keep.

Please no wrinkles, please no bags.

Just lift my backside before it sags.

Please no age spots.

Please no gray,

As for my belly, take it away.

Please keep me healthy, keep me young

And thank you Lord, for all you’ve done.

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Another lady I had a chance to make friends with due to working with the Brightway Center gang is Virginia Young, chairman of the service board.

She also works at the Jefferson County Christian School as an aide and art instructor for young children, plus she keeps me informed of the activities going on at the school.

One was a spaghetti dinner and talent showcase that were held March 2. They have some very talented students at the school, and we truly enjoyed it.

Matthew Townsend and Nick Marshall, who wore a jaunty hat that he kept flipping on and off, were the masters of ceremonies. They kept throwing jokes back and forth, and Matthew was chided by Nick for appearing on the stage from the wrong door on occasion. Actually there were four doors from which to reach the stage.

The order of the program was Hannah Hirsch, sophomore, playing the piano and singing “Worn” by 10th Avenue North; Vincent Williams, playing “Adelita and Lagrima” by Francisco Tarega on the acoustic guitar; and Devin Girga, freshman, singing a country song, “Amarillo Sky,” by Jason Aldean.

Mark Alkaed, first grade, played “Look What I Can Do” on the piano and did a great job; Jordan Crew, pre-school, wore a bowl hat and had a mustache painted on his tiny face. He did a comedy routine that was adorable.

Shawn McClurgh, fifth grade, performed “Open the Eyes of My Heart” by Paul Baloche; his brother, Joseph Williams played “Run Away River” by Rosemary Byers; Julia Anderson was accompanied on guitar by her brother, Jon Anderson, in singing “How He Loves Us” by David Crowder.

Haley Biro, third grade, played “Carol of the Bells” by the Trans Siberian Orchestra. We sat by Haley’s parents in the audience and they made us feel very welcome to the show.

Meadow Jackson, senior, sang “I Need You Now” by Plumb and was accompanied by Wesley Seabright on the piano. Hannah Hirsch played the piano for junior, Vaughn Foster’s playing of the electric guitar to “Strong Tower” by Kutless.

Shelby Styler sang “The Old Country Baptizing” by Emmy Lou Harris, accompanied by her dad, Mike Styler, on the guitar and harmonica. They had the audience clapping along in rhythm to the music. Gabe Ernst played “Wizard in Winter” by the Trans Siberian Orchestra; Lydia Bartlett, sixth grade, performed “This is the Stuff” by Francesca Batistelli; and Jon Anderson, Ryan Smurthwaite and Andy Yaskanich, a trio that plays for school chapel each Wednesday, played guitars to “Always With Me, Always With You,” by Joe Satriani.

A skit that brought down the house was performed by Jon Anderson, Alyssa Beadle, Blaze Bowers, Breona Brown, Meadow Jackson, Bo Johnson, Kassie Lucas, Theresa Recznik, Wesley Seabright and Elizabeth Wendt. They performed “Melodrama No. 235” from Youth Specialities.

Easter lawn crosses were handed out to those leaving the show, as many as you wanted. And it was noted that special tours are available several times each month of the newly located school at 125 Fernwood Drive, Wintersville. Call (740) 275-4326 to schedule one.

The next stage production will be “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” to be performed April 11-13.

Reserved seats are $8 and can be purchased by calling the school number. Evening performances are on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and a 2 p.m. matinee for Saturday as well.

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Angie Alloggia, a dear lady I have know since she was a member of the Smithfield Woman’s Club in the 1980s, turned 100 on Dec. 29. I learned something about her birth from her great-granddaughter, Jess Alloggia, daughter of our Smithfield High School classmate, Bob Alloggia.

The eldest of nine siblings born to Luigi and Palma Palazzone, it is said that her father, on the night she was born, bet a man he was playing cards with that his newborn could fit into a cigar box.

She only weighed 2 or 3 pounds. The birth was likely at home and there were no scales to get an accurate weight. And she did fit inside of the box, so he won the bet.

When she married Vincenzo Alloggia of Italy, they made their home in Hopedale and then Piney Fork, where they managed a neighborhood bar called Jimmy’s Place and the Liberty Theater.

Piney Fork was a thriving place at one time.

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Have you heard anything about GMOs? It isn’t something from space or a new type of car – it stands for genetically modified organisms. And there is a push to get the Hershey Co. and Mars to label their inclusion in the recipe or to get them out completely.

Since Hershey and Mars combined comprise nearly 70 percent of the U.S. chocolate market they are not shy about their love affair with GMOs and spent more than a million dollars to oppose GMO labeling in California in November 2012.

Genetically modified organisms have never been proven safe for consumption, and a growing body of studies is raising concerns about the health effects of eating them. The GMOs are also increasing the use of toxic herbicides and causing harm to farmers in the U.S. and abroad, it was noted.

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We have a black walnut tree in our back yard, and there are more all over the farm. And I am learning that not only is it hard to retrieve the nutmeat inside those hard to crack wild-growing nuts for eating and baking, but now the shells are being ground up and used as a cleanser and filtration medium in industries from petroleum to cosmetics.

Black walnut shells used in water filtration systems have brought recent advancements to the oil industry that no other filter has been able to achieve, with efficiency and no additional impact on the environment.

They are used for nontoxic, biogradable blast-cleaning in everything from aircraft engines to jewelry to the Statue of Liberty.

It adds up to the fact that 100 percent of the black walnut is biodegradable, and 100 percent of the nut can be utilized with lasting results both in the home and in the environment.

The trees grow free of chemicals in the fields of the Midwest, right where the squirrels planted them.

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Now I have some information on everything you wanted to know about drinking water.

In regards to getting up during the night, it has been told by a doctor that the reason it happens so frequently is that gravity holds water in the lower part of the body when standing upright and makes the legs swell some.

When you lie down and the lower body seeks a level with the kidneys, it is then that the kidneys are filled and must remove the water.

Some tips for when to drink water was attached to the e-mail and it seems that two glasses of water are needed when first waking up to help activate internal organs, a glass 30 minutes before a meal to help digestion, a glass before taking a bath to help lower blood pressure and a glass of water before going to bed to carry away toxins and help avoid a heart attack or stroke.

Water at bed time also helps prevent night leg cramps. The legs are seeking hydration when they cramp and wake you up with a Charlie horse.

Now you know the best time to drink water, but whenever you are thirsty might be a good time to drink it as well.

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While getting “gussied up” at Bob Baker’s hair salon last week, I met Larry Lipan who wanted to know if I was a food critic when he heard that I wrote a food column. I said, “No, the only thing I criticized about food was not getting enough of it.”

He told me about his mom’s nut rolls being out of this world.

I didn’t doubt him for an instant, but he drove home – he lived in Wintersville where the hair salon is located – and got one of Gloria’s nut rolls from the freezer and brought it for my taste test.

It was wonderful, and I brought some for the newsroom gang to enjoy as well. This came from a recipe from Larry’s grandmother, Mary, I am told.

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Natalie Doty sent me these tips on things a burglar wants kept secret. This is a burglar talking:

“Of course I look familiar. I was here last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters or delivering your new refrigerator.”

“Thanks for letting me use the bathroom while I was working in your yard last week. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make my return a little easier.”

“Love your flowers. That tells me you have taste, and taste means there are nice things inside. Those yard toys your kids left out make me wonder what type of gaming system they have.”

“Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway. And I might leave a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes you to remove it.”

“If it snows while you are out of town, you should get a neighbor to create car and foot tracks in the snow. Snow drifts indicate that no one is home.”

“A good security company alarms the window over the sink and windows on the second floor, which often access the master bedroom and your jewelry. It is not a bad idea to put motion detectors up there, too.”

“It’s raining, you are fumbling with the umbrella and forget to lock the door, understandable. But understand this, I don’t take a day off because of bad weather.”

“I always knock first. If you answer, I’ll ask directions somewhere or offer to clean your gutters. Don’t take me up on it.”

“Do you really think that I won’t look in your sock drawer? I always check dresser drawers, the bedside table and the medicine cabinet, and a helpful hint is that I almost never go into kids’ rooms.”

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I did not get to see the funeral procession from Dino Piergallini’s home in Cadiz to the Hopedale Cemetery where he was buried but his dad, Raymond, told me on Thursday night that there would be a tractor procession to the burial spot.

Dino worked with tractors and farm equipment throughout his career and this is something that he wanted.

I also heard there was a special wagon and tractor carrying the beloved husband, father, son and brother’s casket to his final resting place as well. This must have been impressive.

(McCoy, a resident of Smithfield, is a staff columnist and food editor for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. She can be contacted at emccoy@heraldstaronline.com.)