Friday, August 1, 2014
     
ABOVE: Martha Cox, a second grade teacher at Franklin Elementary School, shows  students how to create a drinking straw  rocket during a summer learning session. RIGHT: Sophia Coleman, left, and Ariana DiBuo prepare to launch their rockets. In the background ground are Jaiden Muffley and Ayden Hand.

For many students, learning ends with the last day of school and restarts in September.

Not so for the nearly 50 students taking part in a summer learning program in Lehighton.

The program is led by Martha Cox, a second-grade teacher at Franklin Elementary.

She started the summer program more than a decade ago, when a classroom reassignment from first to second grade meant she taught many of the same students for two consecutive years.

ABOVE: Martha Cox, a second grade teacher at Franklin Elementary School, shows  students how to create a drinking straw  rocket during a summer learning session. RIGHT: Sophia Coleman, left, and Ariana DiBuo prepare to launch their rockets. In the background ground are Jaiden Muffley and Ayden Hand.

For many students, learning ends with the last day of school and restarts in September.

Not so for the nearly 50 students taking part in a summer learning program in Lehighton.

The program is led by Martha Cox, a second-grade teacher at Franklin Elementary.

She started the summer program more than a decade ago, when a classroom reassignment from first to second grade meant she taught many of the same students for two consecutive years.

Rita Aniszewski
Rita (Neglia) Aniszewski, a resident at Heritage Hill Senior Community, Weatherly, is celebrating her 91st birthday. Born in Harlem, New York, on Aug. 1, 1923, she is the youngest sister of eight siblings. Rita was married to Anthony Aniszewski for 45 years until his death in 1993. They both enjoyed world and U.S. travel. Rita has two daughters: Rose Cava of Jim Thorpe, and Rita, who passed away in August 1999. She has two granddaughters, one lives in Jim Thorpe, and the other in South Carolina, along with her two great-granddaughters.

Q. I'm 68 and thinking of taking testosterone. Will it help me to feel younger?

There is some controversy about whether testosterone therapy should be used in men who have naturally lower testosterone levels because of aging. It remains unclear whether restoring earlier testosterone levels benefits older men.

For example, studies found that healthy men who took testosterone medications got bigger muscles, but in most studies the men weren't stronger. And, if you suffer from erectile dysfunction, taking testosterone may not relieve your condition.

Q. What is sundown syndrome and who does it affect?

Sundown syndrome, which is also called sundowning, is a symptom that affects people with dementia. Those with the syndrome become confused and anxious as the sun sets. People with sundowning often have trouble sleeping.

The cause of the syndrome isn't known yet. Some research suggests that sundowning may be related to changes to the brain's circadian pacemaker. That's a cluster of nerve cells that keeps the body on a 24-hour clock.

Q. I don't seem to enjoy spicy foods the way I used to. Does aging have anything to do with this?

As we age, our sense of taste may change, but this loss of zing in some foods might be caused by medicines you're taking. Drugs can change your sense of taste, and some can also make you feel less hungry.

So, the aging process and the medicines we're taking can affect our enjoyment of food and, therefore, our nutrition, because we may not eat all we need.

Q. How common is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis, or porous bone, is a disease characterized by low bone mass and structural deterioration of bone tissue. This condition creates an increased risk of fractures.

Our bodies remove old bone and replace it with new bone. During our growth stage, new bone is added faster than old bone is removed. We hit peak bone mass around age 30. After that age, we lose more bone than we form.

Who is at risk of

getting osteoporosis?

AP Photo/Matthew Mead Grilled Jerk Chicken Breast with Watermelon Salsa. Jerk refers both to a unique blend of seasonings and to a method of slow cooking.

It's barbecue season, and chicken is the ideal candidate to get you grilling.

Why? Chicken is light, it easily picks up the marinade of your choice, and it cooks quickly. But this recipe is not for your everyday grilled chicken. This is spicy Jamaican-style jerk chicken.

"Jerk" refers both to a unique blend of seasonings and to a method of slow cooking. It is said to have been invented by Jamaica's Maroons, slaves who escaped from Spanish-owned plantations when the British took over and established free communities in Jamaica's mountainous interior.

This June 9, 2014 photo shows Mackays dundee orange marmalade, left, and Crofter's superfruit spread, right, in Concord, N.H. Jams and jellies are good for adding oomph to everything, including sweet-and-sour chicken (apricot jam), barbecue pork ribs (seedless raspberry), beef marinades (orange marmalade), ham glazes (blackberry or cherry), sweet-and-savory dips for vegetables and crackers (red pepper jelly), even sandwich spreads. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

It was probably 15 years ago that I discovered the magic that is a nearly empty jar of jam.

Until then, I'd always hated those sticky knuckle moments of scraping the slimy dregs of the jar, hoping I had enough to add that sweet balance so needed by the otherwise leaden smear of peanut butter on my bread.

Then an Italian cook who was supposed to be teaching me pasta making got sidetracked. She wanted a salad to go with our orecchiette, and she wanted to make her own vinaigrette.

This June 9, 2014 photo shows kung pao pork with peanuts and scallions in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

Let's just get something out of the way right at the top. This is not an authentic kung pao recipe. If you are looking for an authentic kung pao recipe, just move along.

If, however, you are looking for a crazy delicious weeknight-friendly recipe for stir-fried pork that tastes very much like really good kung pao. ... And if you are looking for a quick and easy dinner your kids will love. ... And if you really like recipes you can toss in to marinate in the morning and have on the table within 20 minutes of getting home. ... This is the kung pao you were looking for.

This May 5, 2014 photo shows Memphis-style baby back ribs in Concord, N.H. Back ribs usually are sold in either full slabs (13 ribs) or half slabs (7 ribs), and are the most expensive cut of rib. When they come from a pig that was less than a year old, they are referred to as ‡¨baby‡Æ back ribs. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

It was one of those culinary epiphanies. I realized you rarely get great barbecued ribs from a restaurant. They have to come from backyards.

My rib-awakening came during the world's largest barbecue contest, Memphis in May. All it took was that first bite of a grill-smoked rib for me to recognize the real deal. There is nothing like homemade ribs.

And here is the dirty little secret: They don't take nearly as long as the competition guys would like you to think they do. And they are much simpler to prepare than legend has it.