Penn State Extension Offering “Dining With Diabetes” Course

If you or someone you care about has recently been diagnosed with Diabetes, it can be hard to wade through all the information rushing at you. Medication changes/additions, diet changes, lifestyle changes, can all be overwhelming. Talking to your doctor or a dietician can definitely help. Penn State Extension wants to help with their “Dining with Diabetes” course.

Pictures used with permission of Penn State Extension via PR contact


“Dining with Diabetes” is a nationally accredited diabetes education program that is geared toward anyone who has type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes, has a family member with type 2 diabetes, or is at risk for developing diabetes. Trained extension educators, in consultation with registered dietitians and diabetes educators, lead the discussions.

Each class offers information on healthy food and physical activity choices, food demonstrations and tasting, and guidance on important numbers to know for managing diabetes. In addition to program-related booklets, participants will receive the Dining with Diabetes cookbook and have the option of having their A1C tested at the first and follow-up classes. A1C is a nonfasting blood test obtained by a finger stick. Results show a three-month average blood glucose level.

For more information or to register, visit the Penn State Extension website at extension.psu.edu/dining-with-diabetes or call 877-345-0691. You can search the courses by county to find one near you.

Individuals who want to learn how to better manage diabetes are invited to participate in a course offered by Penn State Extension from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. on November 1, 8, 15, and 22 at the Ross Library, 232 West Main Street Lock Haven, PA. This class will be offered for free. Reference the link above to find more availability at other Penn State Extensions.

When it comes to your health, classes like these can be a fun and valuable way to learn from experts on what to do. It’s a great venue to ask questions. Why would this choice be better than that choice? I love (insert food) what can be a good substitute? What exactly is A1C? Etc

If you know someone who could benefit from these courses, please share this post with them.


25% off Gen Admission at the National Aviary on September 25, 2019

This year we decided to get a National Aviary family membership since we didn’t go on vacation this year. I had been wanting to revisit the aviary for some time. My kids had never seen it. It’s such an immersive and unique experience. Check out our most recent National Aviary visit here to see what to expect and tips.

On Wednesday, September 25, 2019 all visitors will enjoy a 25% off discount on general admission rates. This is part of a year of monthly promotions to celebrate the Allegheny Regional Asset Districts (RAD) 25th year and the significant support they, and the Pittsburgh community, have provided to the National Aviary. Visitors can expect something new on the 25th of each month this year.

Each month’s activity will be announced via the 25 RADical Years webpage on the National Aviary web site www.aviary.org, via social media using the hashtag #RAD25 and in the National Aviary’s Airmail e-newsletter. Announcements will be made on the 26th day of each month for the following month’s activity.

Checkout my National Aviary visit post and visit aviary.org to plan your trip and learn more about the National Aviary in Pittsburgh, PA.


Living in a Small Coal Town in Pennsylvania

I live in an old mining town in Pennsylvania. There are lots of little mine areas designated by numbers. There is still some coal mining that happens from one active mine area in our town. At any given time during a regular work day you see many a coal truck carrying loads of coal or returning to the mine to reload.

Our town was built on mining. It was big business many years ago. In fact, both of my grandfathers were coal miners in the same mine. Also a melting pot area, we had Italians, Germans, Hungarians, Slovaks, and lots of other people from different nationalities. My grandfather used to talk about how the Hungarians (which is our heritage) use to group together. The same with the other nationalities. He’d talk about how the mine bosses used to use it as a competition who would get more loads done the Hungarians or the Italians? The Slovaks or the Irish?

Those days are long gone now. In a town where many people worked for the mines in some capacity, now only a handful do. The coal trucks run along our small town roads. More than once have I been behind a coal truck to have a chunk of coal fly off the back of a truck and strike my windshield. More than once have I had to call my insurance agency to have the chip in my windshield fixed before it became a bigger problem. But it doesn’t cost any thing if it’s not too big to repair rather than replace the the glass. Just a small piece of vehicle maintenance that is better taken care of early than to wait for it to become a bigger, more expensive problem.

We actually have trains that run through town fairly often loaded with coal two. Twice in the last few years the train has derailed. Even with some of the issues it is kinds of nice to see our town still doing some of the work that it was built on. Though I don’t think coal is the future.


Windber Recreation Park – Summer Staycation Series in Western PA

So far we’ve previewed the Pittsburgh Children’s Film Festival, took a visit to the National Aviary in Pittsburgh, attended Challenger Sport Soccer Camp, and we’ve been enjoying the local recreation park.

Windber Recreation park known as Windber rec or simply “the rec” has a lot to offer for a leisurely low cost day. With tons to do on any day of the week and even more to do with special events like Wings and Waves, Windber Wine in the Park, and much more.

The park offers picnic tables and charcoal grills that can be used for a spur-of-the-moment picnic. There are also plenty of pavilions that can be rented for parties, reunions, and other events. From small pavilions to the enclosed dance hall with kitchen. Pavilion rental information is here.

As far as things to keep you entertained there is a nature trail, skate park, playground, volleyball nets, basketball court, tennis courts, and a fenced dog park. Many local enjoy walking or jogging the park for exercise. There are restroom facilities throughout the park. One of the big draws in the summer is the public pool that features a twisty slide and two shot gun slides. There are also changing facilities, showers, restrooms, and a concession stand available in the swimming area. Note: you can not bring coolers larger than 14″ inches into the pool area. We like to pack a small cooler bag with a drink and light snack when we swim. They do have lifeguards on duty.

Special events like the Wings and Waves in a popular event that brings in local eateries to offer a selection of wings to try and you vote on your favorites. Each Thursday 3 new eateries offer 3 different flavors of wings each. Buy a ticket to try a dozen wings of any flavor you’d like then enjoy an evening swim.

For local residents, getting a pool pass is well worth it especially when the days get hot. If you purchase one the end of April or early May you can get it at a discount. To visit for the pool for a day it’s $6 for adults and $5 for children. We invested in a pool pass this year and it has paid off for us. We are visiting 2 to 3 days a week at least as weather permits.

You could easily make a day out of the Windber Recreation park. Walk the nature trail, let the kids play at the playground, have lunch at one of the picnic tables, then go swimming. Or maybe play some basketball or tennis.

The Windber Recreation Park is the guaranteed low budget fun in the Johnstown, PA area.


Lycoming County Penn State Extention Offering Mediterranean Cooking Classes

With so many diets and ways to eat out there with so much information it can be hard to tell what’s best for you and even what the diet is really all about. Keto, Atkins, Mediterranean, South Beach, I mean I can honestly say I don’t know much about the Mediterranean diet. Cooking classes from experts can be a great way to not only learn some new dishes but to get education on the ways of eating that interest you.

The Mediterranean way of eating is considered one of the healthiest diets worldwide and focuses on plant-rich cuisine, with less focus on meats and sweets. Lycoming county Penn State Extention in Montoursville, PA is offering Mediterranean cooking classes.

“Let’s Cook Mediterranean” will take place from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on August 5 at Penn State Extension Lycoming County Office, 542 County Farm Rd., Suite 206. In this hands-on cooking class, participants will create an authentic Mediterranean meal that’s healthy and delicious. To register, visit extension.psu.edu/lets-cook-mediterranean or call 877-345-0691.

The “Let’s Cook with Penn State Extension” classes address nutrition, healthy shopping, time saving tips and more, so cooks of all skill levels can navigate around the kitchen with confidence. I’m sorry, did they say time saving tips? This keeps sounding better and better.

If the Mediterranean cooking class doesn’t interest you, there are more to choose from. There are multiple “Let’s Cook” classes, focusing on a range of subjects, including special diets, weight management, and cooking for one or two, to name a few. All have been developed using science-based best practices. To see all the cooking classes currently offered, visit extension.psu.edu/lets-cook.