Millstone Times July 2022

The Millstone Times is the premier newspaper in Millstone and the surrounding area of Central NJ. We have grown from a one town newspaper to direct mail to now 9 towns in the past 7 years.

The Millstone Times Allentown Clarksburg East Windsor Hightstown Millstone Monroe Perrineville Upper Freehold Twin Rivers Roosevelt Jackson TM FREE JULY 2022

LET THE SHOW BEGIN... After months of rehearsals, the curtain is ready to rise. “Once Upon A Mattress” will open on July 21st at 7 pm, at Monroe Township High School Performing Arts Center. Everything is in place to delight the audience. Read the full article on page 33!

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IN THIS ISSUE: Health and Wellness. .................. 12 Home Improvement....................... 16 Real Estate. ................................... 22 Monroe TWP News-As We Age....... 27 Pet Pages........................................ 31 Family Matters....................... 33

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July 2022

Congratulations to Millstone Roosevelt Little League champs Intermediate Cubs & Minors Mets!

On June 18th, 2022, the Millstone Roosevelt Little League fields were alive with ex citement and anticipation. The first pitch of the Minors division championship game featuring the Mets and Yankees was delivered at 10:00am. After six lead-switching in nings, the Mets walked away with the win. Final score: 10-9. The Mets coaches had this to say about their winning team: “As Nolan Ryan once said, ‘One of the beautiful things about baseball is that every once in a while, you come into a situation where you want to, and you have to, reach down and prove something.’ That is exactly what these kids did out there on the field. There was a moment late in the game when they felt the win slipping from their grasp, the change in momentum was clear and the players looked defeated despite holding on to a narrow lead. Watching Coach Alvarado bring the boys into a huddle and give them the never give up speech, was inspiring, the rest is history.” --Matt Pulaski “As coaches and parents, we take pride in being able to put our kids in situations to suc ceed. This game was a prime example of how we all came together. At our most vulner able moment when the kids had their heads down and we were losing we were able to overcome and pull through as a team! We never quit on each other and instead boosted each other to do our best. Thank you to the kids for giving it their all!” --Raul Alvarado “One of the greatest parts of coaching young players is watching their growth. As a coach you do your best to teach them the fundamentals of the game, practicing and practicing. Rushing to the fields from work, spending hours of what little spare time you have coaching the kids, is all worth it, ten-fold, watching it come together at the end, as a full season of development is on display in a tight championship game. Proud of these boys. A day they will all remember for the rest of their lives. Us parents and family, too.” --Greg Rosta

From left front row: Gregory Rosta, Matthew Rosta, Max Glantz berg, John Mastromarino, Lucas Scannell, Nicholas Pless From left back row: Pete Gounis, Greg Rosta, Jack Stauder, Tony Rivera, RJ Davis, Nick Tumillo, Chris Scannell, JJ Klementowicz, Steve Glantzberg, Andrew Gounis

Then at noon, the Cubs and Padres faced off in the Intermediate championship game. With the backdrop of cheers still pouring in from the Minors championship game, the two teams faced each other for the seventh time this spring. For many of the older players, this could very well be their last year in Little League. With everything on the line, the Cubs, who had been the underdogs in previous years, came out on top with a 17-7 victory. The Cubs coaches had this to say about their winning team: “Every now and then you are a part of something that you know is really special. For me, that was coaching this team of truly dedicated and committed players: dedicated to getting better every day and committed to helping each other along the way.” --Pete Gounis “Steve, Pete, and Chris have become like brothers to me. Coaching with them is a privilege. But not as great a privilege as being a part of these boys’ lives. This season, and the championship game, is something I know these boys will look back on fondly.” --Greg Rosta “It isn’t just about the Championship game. The league itself is full of kids who are friends, schoolmates, even family. No matter the outcome of a game, the Championship included kids from both teams are laughing, hanging out, and having a great time afterwards. Win or lose a game, there is always a strong sense of community spirit.” --Chris Scannell "I've been doing this for many years and have never been prouder of a team. Many of the kids have been on the same team for a few years, across multiple seasons, and even going back as far as ‘coach pitch.’ As a result, they have built a tremendous bond as friends and teammates. But that doesn’t stop the new joiners from sliding right in to a positive, supportive, and welcoming environment.” --Steve Glantzberg Congratulations to all the coaches and players and a big thank you to everyone in the community who supports the Millstone Roosevelt Little League! Fall registration will be opening soon at! From left front row: Jayden Martinez, Luke Pulaski, William Randa zzo, David Michnik, Jonathan Rosta, Aaron Szumowski, Rhys Biha tia, Dean Alvarado, Adrian Szumowski From left back row: Matt Pulaski, Raul Alvarado, Greg Rosta

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His favorite books he likes to read are Restart by Gordan Kor man, and The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate. He finds both books very interesting. Noah loves to do arts and craft projects, play the drums, and play video games. His favorite places to visit are Six Flags, New York City, and his grandparents who live in Canada. Noah lives with his mom and dad and brother Nathan, who is eight. His mom is an editor and his dad is a research scientist. His grandparents live in Canada and his aunt and uncle and cousins live in New Zealand. He loves his family very much. His favorite holiday is Christmas because he gets to see some of his relatives and he likes getting lots of presents. Noah also likes to play basketball, soccer, and swimming. His favorite food to eat is pizza. When he grows up, he would like to be an engineer. Keep up those good grades in school Noah and anything is pos sible!!!!!!

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July 2022

Q: LEADERS IN LEAST INVASIVE PAIN & SPINE PROCEDURES How can Platelet Rich Plasma Treatment Help Shoulder and Knee Pain?


Platelet Rich Plasma erapy also referred to as PRP erapy, is a progressive non-surgical treatment to treat a variety of conditions including arthritis, ten don injuries, and ligament injuries. PRP is part of a group of state-of-the-art treatments collectively referred to as Regenerative Medicine. PRP treats an injured area naturally using your body’s own growth factors to accelerate healing. It has been shown to be safe and e ec tive for numerous joint and so tissue injuries. It has been extensively researched in numerous medical journals and publications all over the world. Some of the many uses of Platelet Rich Plasma include osteoarthritis (degenera tive arthritis) of the spine, knee, shoulder, hip, hands, and feet, as well as menis cus tears, plantar fasciitis, and rotator cu tears. e procedure is simple and is performed in the o ce.  e PRP process begins when a small amount of the patient’s blood is removed from the arm and placed into a special container.  e blood is then placed into a device called a centri fuge which spins the blood to help the separate the portion of the blood which becomes concentrated with platelets, thereby giving the procedure its name. ese platelets are important because they release growth factors to recruit stem cells and to assist in healing an injured area naturally. Once the PRP is isolated, it is injected to the injured area under the guidance of an ultrasound machine to help accelerate healing and reduce pain.

is healing works on the simple principle that your body is perfectly capable of healing itself. Your blood contains all the essential components that the body produces to repair tissue damage. Each time you have an injury, the platelets in your blood along with growth factors, stem cells, cytokines, and other elements create a sca olding on the site. e damaged tissues use this framework to regenerate and repair.  e entire process takes approximately one hour, and pa tients are sent home the same day. Patients on average report more than 50% improvement in 6 weeks and up to 100% improvement in 12 weeks. is may eliminate the need for more aggressive and expensive treatment options such as long-term medication or surgery. In a recent study, researchers at Hospital for Special Surgery gave patients with early osteoarthritis an injection of PRP and then monitored them for one year. A er one year of the PRP injection, physicians evaluated the knee cartilage with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). While previous studies have shown that patients with osteoarthritis can lose roughly ve percent of knee cartilage per year, the Hospital for Special Surgery investigators found that a large majority of patients in their study had no further cartilage loss. At minimum PRP also prevented further knee deterioration.

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Using Their Voices: Founding National Park Service

In August, we celebrated the 104th Birthday to the National Park Service, officially established on August 16th, 1916. For over a century the Servicehas been telling the American story through monuments, memorials, battlefields, and our iconic national parks. Find more park at, where you'll also find updated information, current conditions and tips on how to recreate responsibly. Yes, the 19th Amendment is about voting rights for women. But in a country built on the concept that voting is the ultimate act of civic engagement, ratification of the amendment signaled something even deeper: it affirmed the public role of women in our nation’s social, civic, and policy-making realms.

As we commemorate both the centennial of the 19th Amendment and the 104th birthday of the National Park Service, we’re highlighting and sharing a few women who harnessed their public voices to protect powerfully important American places. From rich, naturally diverse ecosystems and landscapes to sites that call on us to be strong stewards of our nation’s future, today these places are units of the National Park System. Marjory Stoneman Douglas | Everglades National Park Shark Valley at Everglades National Park (NPS / DeFalco)

For many, the Everglades in southern Florida was nothing more than a vast swamp that, once drained, could be something much more “useful.” But Marjory Stoneman Douglas recognized the serious, consequential damage caused by changing the Ever glades’ natural systems, especially the natural water flow. She was vocal in her disap proval and distaste for the destruction of the scenic wetlands. She knew that restricting natural water flow results in very little support for vital algae growth, a lack of oxygen dispersal necessary for many aquatic animals to thrive, and a decrease in open water feeding areas for wildlife.

Cedar Hill, Frederick Douglass' home in Washington, DC (NPS)

Marjory Stoneman Douglas was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1890. After graduating from Wellesley College with honors, she was a journalist for the Miami Herald and dedicated herself to conversations about feminism, racial justice, and conservation. Douglas was particularly devoted to the Florida Everglades, which she affectionately called “her river.” She fiercely defended it long before scientists recognized the negative effects of agricultural and real estate development on the intricate ecosystem. In 1947, Douglas wrote The Everglades: River of Grass. Her book described the immense importance and beauty of the natural ecosystems of south Florida and the need for protection from human interference. That same year, Everglades National Park was established. Douglas and her passionate, unwavering advocacy for Ever glades conservation played a significant role in establishing the park. She continued to represent the park as the founder and head of the Friends of the Everglades, an organization dedicated to preserving, protecting, and restoring Marjorie Stoneman Douglas’s river. Maggie L. Walker | Frederick Douglass National Historic Site Maggie Lena Walker was born in the Confederate capital city of Richmond, Virginia, in 1864—the last year of the Civil War. Her mother had been born into slavery but was free by the time of her daughter’s birth. Walker was a teacher until she married and became a valued member of the local council of the Independent Order of St. Luke, a national fraternal society devoted to caring for the sick and aged in the African American community. She rose through the ranks, eventually holding the top leadership position, and established a national newspaper called the St. Luke Herald to elevate African American voices and promote a deeper relationship between the Order and the public. Recognizing the economic challenges her community faced, Walker founded the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank and served as the bank’s first president, making her the first African American woman to charter a bank in the United States. Maggie Walker was also very involved in civic groups throughout her life. As a dedicated advocate for African American women’s rights and the education of chil dren, she held leadership positions in the National Association of Colored Women (NACW) and the national NAACP board. Five years after abolitionist, suffragist, and activist Frederick Douglass passed away in 1895 and at the persistent urging of his widow Helen Douglass, Congress char tered the Frederick Douglass Memorial and Historical Association (FDMHA). Walker joined the FDMHA board of trustees and she, along with many other prominent women from around the country including Mary McLeod Bethune, worked tirelessly to make Douglass’ Washington, DC, home, Cedar Hill, a memorial open to the public. After the restoration of the house and documentation of Frederick Douglass’s impressive pursuit of equality and life of activism, the Frederick Douglass estate became a unit of the National Park System in 1962. Walker’s role in the founding of the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site was part of her lifelong engagement in improving her community through social

8 The Millstone Times

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Women of National Parks Celebrates 104 Years

change and civic participation and in promoting Black excellence through her public leadership. Today her home in Richmond and the Council House in DC where Walker’s friend, Mary McLeod Bethune, worked with the National Council of Negro Women are also units of the National Park System. Sue Kunitomi Embrey | Manzanar National Historic Site Like Maggie Walker, Sue Kunitomi Embrey understood the need to recognize and protect places that are powerful parts of our national memory and used her civic voice to advocate for those places. And, like Walker, this knowledge came from personal experience.

Children at Manzanar in 1942 (Photo by Dorothea Lange, NPS collection)

Embrey was born in the Little Tokyo neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, in 1923. When she was 14, her father was killed in a truck accident, and her mother struggled to provide for her eight children. After high school, Embrey stayed home to help her mother run their family store. In 1942, after the start of World War II, the federal government ordered more than 110,000 men, women, and children—none convicted of espionage or sabotage—to leave their homes and detained them in remote, military-style camps. Embrey and her family were sent to the Manzanar War Relocation Center, one of 10 camps where Japanese American citizens and resident Japanese aliens were incarcerated during the war. She was 19. After the war, she went to college and received a master’s in education. In 1969, Embrey attended the first Manzanar pilgrimage and spoke publicly about her wartime experience. Then, as the co-founder of the Manzanar Committee and eventual chair of the board, Embrey organized the next 37 pilgrimages and successfully led the campaign that resulted in Manzanar becoming a California historic landmark in 1972 and a unit of the National Park System in 1992. Sue Kunitomi Embrey passed away in 2006 at the age of 83. Throughout her life, Embrey served as an advocate for preserving and remembering Japanese American incarceration narratives. In Embrey’s opinion, conserving Manzanar and retelling the stories of the WWII Japanese American incarceration camps are important to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. “It might happen to another group of people or people with different political beliefs,” she said. “And it’s important for us to remember that we have a Constitution, a written document that is only good when people make use of it. And they have to use it, and not abuse it.” Embrey dedicated her adult life to civil rights and to honoring the stories of Manzanar, noting “Liberty is something very precious we all need to work for and to strengthen.” Betty Reid Soskin | Rosie the Riveter / World War II Home Front National Historical Park

At 98, the National Park Service’s oldest serving park ranger, Betty Reid Soskin, knows well the park that she serves. She knew it when the park idea was forming and long be fore that. She was a Home Front worker in a place that became Rosie the Riveter / World War II Home Front National Historical Park. Soskin was born in Detroit, but her parents were from Louisiana. She lived in New Orleans as a child. Her great-grandmother, who lived to be 102, was born into slavery. Soskin’s family moved to Oakland, California, when she was a girl. She tells the story of taking the train to and from Louisiana to visit family, noting that there was a point along the trip when Black customers had to move to the back of the train. During World War II, Soskin worked in Richmond, California, as a clerk in the Boil

NPS photo

ermakers Union A-36, a Jim Crow all-Black union auxiliary. As the war effort meant that women joined factory workforces, they were celebrated on posters as Rosie the Riveter. But, as Soskin noted, the advertising campaign reflected “a white woman’s narrative” and excluded the very different Home Front experiences of Black women and other women of color who contributed greatly to the war effort across the U.S. “What gets remembered is a function of who’s in the room doing the remembering,” says Soskin. As a new park began to take shape in the old shipyards of Richmond to recognize the home-front role of Rosie the Riveter, Soskin was in the room. As a staffer for local state assembly members, she was involved in the park planning effort and ensured that it reflected a wide diversity of stories, including hers. Today, as a ranger at the park, Soskin continues to use her voice, telling her story as a personal reflection of the broad African American experience and what it means for our nation’s future. For each of these women, and countless others before them and still to come, their engagement and advocacy sprang from their passion and vision for these important places. Their accomplishments and the protection of these places resulted when they raised their public voices and led the charge...just like the suffragists’ work itself ensured that women’s voices would not be silenced.

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The Devil Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree By: Nazli Mohideen

“My buddy took a piece of the bark and left it in his Jeep. A week later his plumbing broke in his house and now has sewage in the walls. The Jeep is parked less than 20’ from the pipe.” This is just one of the many creepy encounters people have had since visiting the infamous Devil’s Tree in Bernards Township, New Jersey. The Oak tree sits in an open field on Mountain Road and draws tourists anywhere from 9 am-4 am on most days of the week. The origin as to how the site became haunted remains a mystery. Some say the Ku Klux Klan held lynchings at this tree, while others believe a story of a murder-suicide. Supposedly, a farmer killed his entire family when they were on a picnic and later hung himself from the tree. In fact, people who have stopped by the chilling attraction claim to have seen a “hanging” branch in addition to figures resembling ghosts. There is a rock near the trunk of the tree, which gets so hot that people have since called it the “Heat Rock.” Even in the cold Jersey winters, no snow ever falls near the tree.

There is a fence surrounding the tree as the Township tries to prevent vandalism of the Devil’s Tree. However, there is also the legend of the pickup truck near this tree. It is said that whenever someone tries to get close to the tree, a large pickup truck will come chasing after the individual only to disappear seconds later like a ghost. Speaking of unwanted visitors, the tree brings bad luck to whoever acts mischievously near it. A teenager peed on the Devil’s Tree and later that same night, crashed his car. Another visitor simply touched the tree’s bark and fell sick the very next day. When a group of friends went to see the tree, one of them was even struck by lightning! While some of these instances can be attributed to being unfortunate coincidences, the Devil’s Tree is nonetheless an interesting place to visit given its

twisted history. The tree is located in a park that is open to the public if you’d like to visit, but only if you dare… Sources Used: | | |

10 The Millstone Times

July 2022

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Office Phone Number 609-619-3406

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Over 20 years experience! He treats patients of all ages in a variety of clinical areas, including post-operative, orthopedics, geriatrics, and balance/vestibular disorders. Rovy has extensive background in Myofascial Decompression, Spinal Muscle Energy Techniques Sports Medicine, Postural Restoration, and Orthopedic Manual Therapy. Rovy Samson MEET OUR NEWPHYSICAL THERAPIST

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WE OFFER A UNIQUE TOTAL BODY APPROACH and successfully treat the following conditions Physical Therapy Appointments Available! NEW AND EXCITING WELLNESS SERVICES BEGINNING IN SEPTEMBER! • Personal Fitness Training - Single & Couples • Fitness Classes • Circuit Fitness Training • Yoga & Meditation Classes • Reiki & Sound Healing Classes & MORE! Pre-opening specials coming in August! CURIOUS ABOUT TRYING ACUPUNCTURE? 5 REASONS YOU NEED REIKI • Sciatica • Low Back/Neck Pain • Headache • Carpal Tunnel • Tendonitis/Bursitis • Tennis/Golfer’s Elbow • Knee/Ankle Pain • Pre & Post Surgical Rehab • Sports Injuries • Plantar Fasciitis Acupuncture is extremely effective, relaxing & has been used for thousands of years to correct imbalances in our energy (chi) flow which improves all aspects of health.

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12 The Millstone Times

July 2022


Holistic Healing Starts Here


v We are so much more than just weight-loss. v We don’t promote or endorse quick weight loss shakes, cleanses, or pills. v We teach you how to successfully treat your ailments with balanced nutrition. v We teach you the correct amount of calories you should be consuming to help you reach your weight management goals.


Common Conditions We Treat: High Cholesterol, Heart Disease, Diabetes, High Yeast Growth, High Blood Pressure, Food Allergies, Eating Disorders, Gout, Pre and Post Natal Nutrition, Celiac Disease, Childhood and Adolescent Nutrition and Obesity. All Programs are developed and implemented by Registered Dietitians.


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The Effects of Different Parenting Styles on Children By Mia Ingui

Making the decision to have children and start a family of your own is one that comes with many responsibilities, and the most important responsibility you will gain is being a parent. There aren’t any special classes or rules on how to be a parent; everyone learns and develops their own parenting styles in their own way. But, if you’ve ever been concerned about your parenting and are thinking about ways to improve how you parent, here are some examples of different parenting styles, and their proven effects on your children. Authoritarian Parenting: This is considered to be the strictest, least forgiving form of parenting, often described and demanding, but not responsive. Children are allowed little to no response about their discipline and are to respect their parents’ authority. This form of parenting results in almost training children instead of teaching them about how to have respect for their parents and others. Children raised by authoritarian parents are often moody, have low self-esteem, and may struggle later in life with self discipline and independence. Authoritative Parenting: Not to be confused with authoritarian parenting, this form of parenting is labeled as demanding and responsive. Parents often discipline their children, but still allow their children to be independent and discuss their needs. Children who grow up with these types of parents are more likely to have a high self-esteem, self control, and success in the classroom and workplace. Parents and children in this parenting style, ideally, have a mutual respect for one another.

Indulgent Parenting: This style of parenting involves loosely enforced rules with lots of nurturing and love. Parents often are described as a friend to their children rather than a parent figure. Children with these kinds of parents have proven to be self-absorbed, disobedient, and demanding. Uninvolved Parenting: The least successful of the four parenting styles and the one considered to be “undemanding and unresponsive.” Uninvolved parenting has proven to lead children to struggle in nearly all aspects of their lives, including having low-self esteem, disciplinary issues in the the classrooms, feelings of loneliness and unimportance, and a high risk of possible drug or alcohol use and abuse.

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All services provided 100% via telehealth during COVID-19 pandemic

All services provided 100% via telehealth during COVID-19 pandemic




Appointments in Freehold & Monroe Twp.

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Our Specialty Services For Adults, Children & Seniors Bunions Corns & Callouses Diabetic Foot Care Flatfeet Fungus HammerToeTreatment Heel Pain InGrownToeNails Plantar FasciitisTreatment Plantar Warts Orthotics and Surgery

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Q: Aren’t All Running Shoes the Same? A: No, proper footwear provides stability, support and overall foot and back health. When we run, our bodies absorb tremendous impact. The shock from this im pact is felt in the feet and travels up our spine. This can cause stress and strain on the joints which can lead to both back and feet pain and injury over time. There is no better protection for your feet than shoes.

Dr. Sanjay Gandhi, DPM

Special running footwear is constructed for the purpose of protection with a thicker heel to ab sorb impact and a heel-to-toe drop to match the natural gait cycle of running. Running shoes are intended to complement the natural feel of your foot. Proper shoes should feel like an extension of your feet with the added protection that helps control the high-impact forces and ensures proper running form, which reduces joint strain. Proper running shoes are only part of the solution: strengthening and conditioning our muscles in our legs and core-region is also essential for injury prevention. Treadmill use can induce 3 to 5 times the shock forces from your feet, all the way upto your spine! This makes choosing the best shoegear even more important. Our office can answer all your shoe questions. We measure for the best fit, can add shock absorbing inserts, and use superior brands for running and many other activities!

215 Gordons Corner Road, Suite 2A, Manalapan, NJ 07726 ASTEPUPPODIATRY.COM • 732-446-7136

14 The Millstone Times

July 2022


• Proton therapy at ProCure targets cancer tumors more precisely than traditional radiation, which means less damage to nearby healthy tissue • Proton therapy requires no additional surgery, minimal downtime, and virtually no side effects • Located in Somerset, ProCure is NJ’s most experienced proton therapy Center, offering the most advanced form of radiation with the most precise technology

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Mind Over Matter By: Nazli Mohideen

Megalomania is a narcissistic personality disorder in which someone is excessively driven by money, power, and strength. The name of the condition, which comes from the Greek language, means “big obsession.” Generally, a megalomaniac thinks highly of themselves and has an unrealistic perception of their abilities. An individual who suffers from megalomania is also likely to suffer from other personality disorders. Genetics, brain damage, stress, drug abuse, childhood trauma, alcohol addiction, and other mental disorders can contribute to a megalomania diagnosis, although researchers have not yet determined a single cause leading to the condition. Symptoms of the disease include immense pride and an intense need for power, overwhelming feelings of sadness, narcissism, mood swings, aggressive behavior, lack of empathy, exploiting others without remorse, high self-esteem and focusing on one’s own opinions while dismissing everyone’s around them, among other things. Diagnosing the disorder typically includes looking at the patient’s medical history and talking to close relatives and friends of the patient to better understand their symptoms, if any. Treatment for megalomania almost always includes prescription medication and sometimes, psychotherapy. Psychotherapy regarding treating megalomania entails confronting the patient’s narcissism by talking to a ther apist. While it is possible to have someone with megalomania in your life, some cases of the disorder can be dan gerous. Researchers recommend keeping one’s distance from these patients, being aware that they will likely not return the effort you are putting in the relationship and refraining from trying to change their behavior. Sources Used: |

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HOME IMPROVEMENT Your Home Garden Tips For Composting Correctly By, Lauren Kowlacki

Composting is a process used instead of dumping many organic items such as coffee grinds, veggies and grass clippings in the trash. Composting is a form of recycling and used for soil amendment. Recycling organic materials at home helps keep tons of food waste and yard debris from going to the landfill each year. Consistently maintain your compost makes for faster the composting happens usually within 3 weeks. In a passively managed compost pile, where the material is simply piled and left alone, it may take a year or longer to complete the process and will cause odor and unwanted animals. The process: As microbes consume ingredients in the pile and convert raw ingredients to compost, they generate heat. The interior of the pile becomes warm to the touch and gives off steam. When the compost is ready, it stops building up heat and the finished compost is dark and crumbly with a pleasant and earthy aroma. Composting microbes consume nitrogen as they work through the pile. If they’re not finished and you turn them into the soil, the microbes compete with plants for all available nitrogen. This will stress your plants and counteract the positive effect that the finished compost could have had. Avoid the temptation to use unfinished compost. Use a store-bought compost sifter and you can make one with a few pieces of scrap lumber and some ¼-inch hardware cloth. It’s important to remember compost is a soil amendment, not a soil replacement. On its own, it holds too much water and provides no real structure. Few plants thrive in that environment. Compost is most effective either incorporated into the soil or applied at the soil surface. When you have more finished compost than you need you can store it in compost containers that are made specifically for composting. They are breath able. You can also make your own with woven bags or plastic containers with air holes punched in the sides. These containers should be stores in a cool, dry location. Your home-made compost is excellent for indoor plants or any potted plant. Use 1-part compost and 3-parts soil/ perlite or vermiculite by volume. Com post alone holds too much moisture. Perlite or vermiculite will balance out the water retention properties. For outside garden use, mix 1 to 2 inches of compost into your garden beds. When planting a tree or shrub, make a uniform mixture of compost and soil from the planting hole. This combination creates a transitional growing environment where roots can easily expand from the potting mix, while also flour ishing into the local soil. Composting is great for your garden and the environment. The compost enriches the soil structure and nutrient retention ability of both sandy soil and clay soil. Additionally, it improves root development, drought tolerance, and disease resistance in garden plants.

16 The Millstone Times

July 2022

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