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Flowers can bloom in the most unusual ways: LaVonne Ackerman

Posted 8/23/17

Hello, folks! Autumn officially begins Sept. 22. Of course, we have all kinds of things going on that makes us feel summer is over. Aug. 28 (the first day of school in most school districts around …

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Flowers can bloom in the most unusual ways: LaVonne Ackerman

Roots grow out of the pink flowers of a coleus plant that LaVonne Ackerman grew after it fell off a larger plant.
Roots grow out of the pink flowers of a coleus plant that LaVonne Ackerman grew after it fell off a larger plant.
photo special to the press & journal by lavonne ackerman

Hello, folks! Autumn officially begins Sept. 22. Of course, we have all kinds of things going on that makes us feel summer is over. Aug. 28 (the first day of school in most school districts around these parts).

High school sports practices, marching band drills and other organizations have been gearing up for the 2017-18 school year for a few weeks now. I want to wish students, faculty, staff and families a wonderful start of the school season. This is an exciting time to shop, prepare and be on top of everything for a successful school year!

Did you know you can increase the flowers in your garden for free? I found that some plants develop roots once they are placed in water. I knew this about coleus (those plants with various brightly colored leaves), but who knew it was true for others?

 I made my discovery by mistake when I was moving a hanging basket and a small portion of the plant fell off. It had sweet pink flowers on it so I put it in a small vase after I made a clean cut to the stem. It looked healthy, and after a few days I noticed roots! 

This petunia is now doing well in the garden. I clipped some other variations of petunias, but am not finding the same result! Sounds like a science fair topic.

Have a wonderful week and let me know your news to share. Kids, enjoy these final days of summer vacation!


Double happy birthday wishes are sent to Jim and Judy Lawyer on Wednesday, Aug. 23. May the blessings fill you up!

Tyler Hughes of Lower Swatara marks his landmark 21st cake day Wednesday, Aug. 23. Hoping your day is tip-top. Congrats and happy birthday! 

Much joy and fun are sent to Christy Rae Ammons of Royalton on Wednesday, Aug. 23. She celebrates her last teener birthday, enjoy!

Happy 20th confetti-popping day to Hannah Ebersole of Lower Swatara on Thursday, Aug. 24. May your birthday week be the best yet! 

Happy big-deal 25th birthday to TJ Bechtel. He celebrates on Friday, Aug. 25. I hope this golden birthday is extra special for you as you observe your birthday weekend! 

Joe Bendgen of Lower Swatara will hear the birthday song on Friday, Aug. 25. May this day be full of happy faces and love.

Happy 24th razzle-dazzle birthday to Laura Snyder. Enjoy your Saturday, Aug. 26 cake-and-ice cream day!

Marie Chambers of Middletown marks her 17th super-duper-dazzling birthday on Saturday, Aug. 26. I hope this is the best birthday yet, Marie!

Happy birthday candles will be burning brightly for Edward Hawk of Lower Swatara on Sunday, Aug. 27. I hope your day is just spiffy, Ed!

Alyssa Bush of Lower Swatara hits birthday No. 14 on Monday, August 28. Happy first day of school and happy birthday, Alyssa!

Cohen Hunter of Lower Swatara marks his 11th birthday on the first day of school, Monday, Aug. 28. Enjoy this day and all the excitement, Cohen! 

Brand-new teen Keira Weise-Torres of Middletown marks her 13th birthday on Monday, Aug. 28. I hope this day is extra-special for you, Keira!

Don Shroy of Lower Swatara celebrates his 82nd frosty-filled day on Tuesday, Aug. 29. Hoping your day is delightful, Don!

Best wishes for a terrific birthday to Nick DeFrancisco of Lower Swatara on Tuesday, Aug. 29. I hope your day is remarkable!

Big birthday hugs are sent to son, Daniel Ackerman, of Harrisburg who turns 25 on Tuesday, Aug. 29. Wishing you much joy and love as you cycle into a future that holds blessings and fullness of joy! 


Joe and Sue Lawruk celebrate 42 beautiful years of marriage on Wednesday, Aug. 23. Many wishes of continued love and joy to you both. Enjoy!

Happy 38th wedding anniversary to Keith and Cheryl Daily of Lower Swatara on Thursday, Aug. 24. Congrats and have fun!

Best wishes for a wonderful wedding anniversary to Bob and Marie Triplett of Lower Swatara on Thursday, Aug. 24 as they observe their 32nd year of holy matrimony. I hope your day is super fun!

Jarrett and Deborah Roan of Lower Swatara mark five years of marriage on Friday, Aug. 25. Gift hint is silverware! Congrats and best wishes!

Love birds Glenn and Sue Cameron of Lower Swatara celebrate 34 years together on Sunday, Aug. 27. I hope your day is full of romance, and some chocolate!

Bob and Gloria Clouser Jr. of Middletown observe their very special holiday on Sunday, Aug. 27. Congrats on 34 years together. I hope your celebration is over the top!

Happy 35th anniversary to Joe and Jeanette Cepietz of Lower Swatara. Their jade holiday is Monday, Aug. 28. I hope it is full of blessings and smiles!

Don and Donna Sipe of Lower Swatara were married on Aug. 29, 1981. Happy 36th anniversary to you two young kids at heart! Enjoy.

Many good wishes are sent to Rob and Brenda Rineer of Lower Swatara on Tuesday, Aug. 29 for a terrific anniversary. 

For women

Ladies, mark your calendars for Saturday, Sept. 9. Join the ladies at Middletown First Church of God, 245 W. High St., for a women’s day away. 

Singer, humorist, and Christian speaker Sue Duffield will lead the group to focus on the theme “Don’t Fall apart … Love Your ‘Self’ie.” A fun day is planned as Sue shares the prescription for every healthy faith-filled woman. Be sure to invite your friends.

Registration is necessary and the fee includes a continental breakfast and light lunch. Call the church at 717-944-9608. 

Garden tip

Master gardener and friend Terrie Lupia of Lower Swatara recently shared the exact directions for the natural weed killer: 

Mix 1/2 gallon of white vinegar with 1/2 cup of salt and 2 tablespoon of Dawn dish soap. She said there is no need to heat the vinegar, just be sure to shake it up well so all the salt is dissolved. Do not get it on anything you don’t want to kill as it is very effective! If the weeds are on the big side, you may need to apply a second application to completely kill it. 

I asked Terrie about our sorry tomato crop. She said it is most likely due to too much rain and the temperatures. Tomato plants like heat and humidity and warm nights. 

Thanks so much, Terrie, I have more questions for you! 

Quote of the Week

“As I become more aware of my limitations as a human, I become ever more grateful for and reliant on a God who has none.” — Anonymous 

Question of the Week

What do you like to do to get ready for “back-to-school” time?

“Pack my lunch, watch TV until my bus comes.” — Anthony Browne, 6, Middletown.

“Shop for clothes. I will wear some summer clothes at first.” — Sophia Garisto, 6, Lower Swatara.

“Get my stuff together and be ready to meet my teacher.” — Chloe Tressler, 6, Lower Swatara.

“Go shopping for a new back pack.” — Ellie Storm, 5, Lower Swatara.

“Brush my teeth in the morning, relax about ten minutes and ride the bus to school.” — Adam Moore, 11, Lower Swatara.

“I will buy new sneakers!” — Alex Kelly, 7, Swatara.

Proverb for the Week 

A poor man pleads for mercy, but a rich man answers harshly (18:23).

Reach LaVonne Ackerman at 717-649-7366 or by email at