30 January 2011

what is beaufort's run sanctuary ?

what is beaufort's run sanctuary ?

a wildlife sanctuary, nature trail expanse, home to many kindly donated native plants, haven for community healing gardens, & site of a geocache.

find beaufort's run sanctuary online at 

( photographs courtesy of beaufort's run sanctuary ) 

to read the story behind beaufort's run sanctuary, 
visit the garden harlot's blog.

25 January 2011

news, not blues donated its first poetry book of the year to the boyertown community library !

news, not blues recently donated at the drive-in volcano by aimee nezhukumatathil to the boyertown community library as its monthly poetry book contribution. 



to eye-skim it a bit, visit the library !

24 January 2011

( &&& meet ed humpal: fair, direct trade coffee-roasting crusader )

meet ed humpal: fair, direct 
trade coffee-roasting crusader
by amy strauss

previously, on first friday celebrations of bridge street in phoenixville, ed humpal, coffee roaster of kimberton whole foods, joined chad williams of handcrafted cookie company to offer his signature "pingos" paired perfectly with the organic company's sweet treats.
humpal, who is individually progressing the local coffee revolution, has known williams for years, as he supplied his cookie dough to kimberton whole foods before he opened his cookie boutique on main street.
"reaching out to the food service, we have a thing where we can both help one another," said humpal. "by establishing little networks, the area becomes more local and more sustainable."
it came as no surprise that humpal decided to work closely with the cookie company after returning from a barista competition in anaheim, california, as he was inspired to recreate the intense construction of fine, foamy espresso beverages that were there tackled as straight shots.
"macchiatos are known as straight espresso drinks with a little half-and-half and foam on top," he revealed. "in portugal, the same drink is called a "pingo."
a past coffee-and-dessert pairing of humpal's included a sweet, strong vanilla pingo with handcrafted cookie company's double chocolate cookie. additionally, humpal prepared a pinch-perfect and snappy ginger pingo nicely with a customer-created lemon basil cookie.
"lemon basil is so crazy," he confessed. "i was dreaming of the flavor of lemon and decided that ginger and lemon are both complementing and contrasting. it is so fun to work on menus; i love working with places and establishing pairings with their menus."

besides the relationship that humpal has with handcrafted cookie company and of course, kimberton whole foods, he additionally works with good eatz in reading, the anselma farmers’ market of chester springs, the king and beaver café in york, espresso yourself of exeter, and camphill café of kimberton hills.

"i like giving up the idea of sending coffee out on trucks," he said. floored by the concept of "real food, real people," humpal, with the assistance of kimberton whole foods, established direct trade bonds with coffee farmers seen internationally.

( photographs courtesy of amy strauss ) 

"there is so much done wrong in coffee by now in the world—many are looking at these direct relationships because they move faster and more directly," humpal said. “it is my intention to invite you to an adventure around the world with me, at least in hearts and minds gathered around a coffee pot.” 

through direct trade methods, international farmers are able to, with the consumer, establish true and tangible relationships that allow for them to receive a decent living wage as a grower, while the consumer's produce is received as top quality.

"other roasters are doing this, too," he said. "together, it enables specific relationships for the future of the children of the farms, so they may go out to universities and come back to the farms, and have control."

serendipitous with the missions that kimberton whole foods supports, owner and founder terry brett suggests that "if all businesses were built on fairness, we would change the world. having direct relationships with the people like the growers, it follows the values that we support as a company," he said. "being supportive of these people initially allows for a more direct relationship with them."

since brett agrees with similar beliefs as humpal, it was an easy transition for kimberton whole foods to establish him as its main roaster.

"we have just begun to open arcs for more relationships, finding more people we want to work with, and we believe in what ed follows," he said. "it is a great opportunity and only the beginning."

humpal, personally taste-testing through all roastings, which are performed in kimberton whole foods' warehouse in leola, works week-to-week, freshly fulfilling orders on a rolling basis.

"we continue to roast more and more coffee; everyone continues to order more than they used to," said humpal.

identified under the moniker, hobo ed—a name birthed from his previous mobile roasting service seen throughout the theater festival circuit—humpal supplies those adoring of caffeine with blends like the morning mojo, a south american coffee with an ethiopian highlight, midnight special, a french light roast, the el amor de madre, a caramel blend of brazilian and nicaraguan, and several other new and interesting concoctions.

to find his coffees at its mainstay, head to kimberton whole foods in douglassville at 1139 ben franklin highway west, at 2140 kimberton road in the town of kimberton, or online at www.kimbertonwholefoods.com. 

15 January 2011

( a passion for the paranormal-- )

a passion for the paranormal
by jennifer hetrick

while anticipating the possible 2012 release of ghostbusters iii, members of boyertown paranormal are busy establishing roots for studying some less than ordinarily exposed elements of activity in our locale.

the group came together officially a year ago in january and consists of four core members and a junior investigator, kelsey schlegel.

regulars kevin hojecki, gary schlegel, rick yoder, and brian klingerman sometimes bring stand-ins or helpers on investigations but usually only have two team members in a space at a time to avoid discouraging spirits in question from wanting to communicate.

kevin said his interest in the paranormal sparked while he was 11-years-old. he noticed a shadow walking away from his bed for a few nights following his father’s death. he searched the room but found no evidence to support a shadow’s presence.

the crew used to tag along on investigations with the lehigh-based research and investigate paranormal activity group prior to forming their own organization.

with the hefty cost of equipment, they joked that before choosing their official name, they considered calling themselves low-budget paranormal because of buying used materials at cash converters.

for those who are skeptical, the group stresses that from what they’ve seen, they think paranormal activity is real, and they believe it is largely influenced by personal experiences—the ones that keep egging their curiosity into the build of investigation after investigation.

a major misconception the group sees as cultivated by the past few decades of horror films is that spirits will hurt those who are still alive, but they said usually they’re just lost, very attached to their former living places, clinging to trauma—often unaware that they’re dead, in the case of sudden accidents, or for one reason or another, haven’t crossed over yet.

team members have so far scoped out a few residential properties, schools, and firehouses since forming last year. they noted that they’d love to do more investigations in people’s homes, but often a wife or husband is anxious for the visit and analysis while the other is hesitant, with a few backing out of the agreement at the last minute.

boyertown paranormal performs investigations for free and keeps details confidential for its clients, likening their approach to that of the atlantic paranormal society on the syfy show ghost hunters, working diligently to rule out interference or false readings before considering the presence of spirits on a site.

during investigations, the group uses video cameras, digital cameras, voice recorders, k-ii meters, and other devices to detect the presence of lingering spirits.

k-ii meters measure electromagnetic fields along with increases and decreases in energy levels in a space. with several blinking light indicators, the group can ask yes or no questions, usually not hearing a voice response, (as spirits do not have vocal cords, said gary,) unless they have drawn enough energy to be heard by human ears.

yet when voice recordings of questions are played back, replies are often embedded in them, as digital mechanisms can track the speaking. several samples of this are on boyertown paranormal’s facebook page.

in photographs, gary said orbs of light are often dust particles when translucent, but when solid and of color, they are more likely evidence of spirits, and those colors carry emotions—like blue being curious and red, angry.

( this window scene is a close-up of the second floor window of a berks county school, 
with the view of a wolf's head on a pile, said kevin hojecki )

( in front of this monument, a visible mist could be 
a soldier on a horse, explained kevin hojecki )

( in a restaurant / beauty salon, this mirror looks to have the face 
of a child in it, said to be roaming the building, kevin hojecki revealed )

( photographs courtesy of boyertown paranormal

kelsey explained that brand new batteries the group uses in its equipment often drain and die quickly because spirits need an energy source to draw from to communicate and make themselves known. it must be something already connected and in use, like one of their handheld electronics, as a pack of batteries or a few set out on a table are of no use to spirits.

the group has traveled out of town for several investigations but hopes to land more leads in the boyertown region. outside of this area, fleetwood, reading, kutztown, and phoenixville all have their own paranormal activity investigating groups.

as many people know, the larger part of odd happenings in haunted homes occur when property owners try to renovate or change a building from the specifics of how it was last known by the spirits of those who are giving the paranormal its name. this is often when boyertown paranormal receives requests for investigations, with the end goal to not necessarily remove them but identify the spirits and figure out why they are are making themselves known.

to find out more about boyertown paranormal, search for them on facebook. 

06 January 2011

( an au naturale plus with daystar )

an au naturale plus with daystar
by jennifer hetrick

in a time when ordinary medical approaches to health problems sometimes don't seem to bring people the relief they're looking for, naturopath doctor kathy stricker of daystar natural in douglassville offers something different.

and that ends up working out well for those who visit stricker, as many walk away with bodily issues resolved where their regular physicians might have improperly diagnosed issues or treated them with prescriptions that didn't address actual problems’ causes.

stricker herself struggled most of her life with a laundry list of ailments and pains, keeping her away from a better quality of living for all too long. this included a constant cycle of colds, the flu, allergies, and digestive stress.

“my mother told me that when i was born, my eyes were constantly having to be opened up in the morning because they were glued shut from allergies,” stricker said. “my immune system was not built up from birth.”

“my nose was basically an ornament on my face,” stricker said about herself when she was in her 40s. she couldn’t breathe out of her nose at all, and the headaches this startled woke her up in the middle of the night.

as her suffering snowballed, she finally decided to look into alternative care for herself. after being recommended to see an herbalist, she discovered something that had been overlooked, not seen by other practitioners. she had parasites inside of her body. this automatically made her immune system respond unmanageably to ward off other sicknesses. the herbalist's suggested regiment to rid her body of toxins and the parasites ultimately freed her of the difficulties she'd endured for so long.

this led her to open daystar natural in 2003 as the most finely tuned natural health clinic and consultancy in berks county.

today, compared to when her health was at its worst, stricker considers herself 95 percent better, and the impeccable story of her life’s improvement inspires her to help others realize the increased quality of living she knows is on her side now as a result of more honed and naturally handled care of her health.

as a graduate of the trinity college of natural health in warsaw, indiana, stricker has also studied with the national association of certified natural health professionals and the wood hygienic institute of florida.

she has also received training as a certified herbal consultant, voice bioanalysis specialist, and colon hydrotherapist, among other concentrations of study.

once stricker began delving into questioning her health status, she initially thought she was one of those people who could eat anything without trouble. soon, she recognized that cookies, ice cream, cake,  and other sugar-thick foods were causing 85 percent of her health problems.

stricker pointed out that some foods have healing behaviors toward the body while others take on the role of poison in their impact.

( photographs courtesy of kathy stricker )

she practices various sets of diagnosis and treatment techniques, with some of the main ones as nutrition response testing and voice bioanalysis.

in nutrition response testing, she looks at neurological reflexes at acupressure points and detects areas of strength and stress through finding electrical currents within the body.

when an imbalance is discovered in major organs, stricker sets out to figure the root cause and then discusses with her patients what options are available for correcting the issue.

with voice bioanalysis, patients speak into a microphone, and she reads the frequencies of the body through its organs. some areas might carry a lot of energy, while others may appear stressed out and in need of support. stricker aims to again identify the reason for the challenge, with options for the patients to healthily coax its removal from the body.

in flower essence therapy, flower parts are made into a liquid form and sipped. stricker explained that emotions are often stored in different organs, and ingesting the flower essences helps to release toxic emotions and thoughts.

to illustrate how fear can find a home in the bladder, the old saying i was so scared that i peed my pants suffices well.

the british doctor edward bach coined and cultivated flower essence therapy in the 1930s, after he discovered that emotions and health went hand in hand and that flowers, with their ability to perk moods, also housed healing powers.

but stricker’s expertise goes well beyond these mentionings, and thankfully for the community, she regularly conducts health seminars, offering them free to the public.

a few of her upcoming seminars are titled weight loss—dieting, binge eating, family traits, & stomach bypass surgery, traditional household remedies for the cold and flu season, diabetescauses & natural remedies, and better than feng shui—electromagnetic energy – how it affects you, & what to do about it.

visit daystar natural at 89 shed road in douglassville or online at www.daystarnatural.com.

( freebie alert ! comment on this story online for a chance to win a free initial health analysis and consultation, worth a $120.00 value, from daystar natural. this includes nutrition response testing, designed clinical response testing, voice bioanalysis, and health express testing. please include your e-mail address in the comment. this contest ends sunday, january 16th. good luck ! )