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Arsenic hour can exacerbate augina in homes with children SOUTHEAST -- Skyesville * Eldersburg * Gamber


Augina (pronounced aw-jin-uh) is a Yiddish word, but as a true-blooded Irish woman, I love it anyway.

Try it a few times, and you'll love it, too.

Augina is untranslatable, but in essence it means aggravation, annoyance, distraction -- end-of-tether response. Heartburn and a heart attack at the same time.

My kids are very familiar with it.

"You're giving me augina!" is heard weekly, if not daily, in my home. At this point my kids know what it means, but it used to be good for at least 10 seconds of startled silence.

I urge you to try it, particularly during the "arsenic hour" (5 to 6 p.m.). It sounds like some horrible disease. The eyes will grow round, the jaws will drop, for at least a microsecond there will be silence.

"What's augina, Mommy?" will be heard from a subdued, quiet voice.

Maybe you should tell them.


Raptors are birds of prey, but their ferocity doesn't stop naturalist Elaine Schweitzer from boldly entering their domain.

You can watch "Miss Elaine" feed the raptors, along with snakes, toads and turtles, tomorrow from 4 to 5 p.m. at the Piney Run Nature Center.

"The snakes haven't eaten for weeks now," reports Elaine, "so they'll be good and hungry."

My Cub Scout den was "enraptured" watching the snakes eat last May, so expect an enthralling visit. Piney Run has four new raptors, two vultures and two barn owls, which it lately received from the Chesapeake Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.

All the birds were injured in a manner that prevents their survival in the wild.

"These birds are a great addition to our raptors," says Elaine. "We just got lucky. I called on the right day at just the right time."

Elaine has high praise for the Chesapeake center. "They really know what they're doing," she says.

"If it can be saved, they'll do it."

If you see or capture injured wildlife, call the Chesapeake Wildlife Center at (301) 390-7010. For information about tomorrow's program, call Piney Run at 795-6043.


Moms on the Move will hold its October meeting at 9 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 15, at the Eldersburg Community Center. Baby-sitting is available upstairs for $1 per hour.

Norma Jean Swam, assistant principal at Piney Ridge Elementary School, will discuss trends in education for pre-school children, reading a report card and how to handle parent-teacher conferences.

Moms on the Move is a non-profit parenting group that focuses on the young family.

Information: 795-7842.


Liberty High School Parents Support Group meets at 7:30 p.m. every Thursday at Liberty High. The support group is for parents of teen-agers, and is not limited to parents of Liberty High School students.

"The group was started because we felt that there was a need for parents to speak openly to each other instead of just hearing what other parents said from our own children," said founder Linda Luther.

The group runs a parenting series each spring in addition to its normal agenda.

Information: 781-4751.


It appears lots of parents are going to be looking at lots of holes in their kids' socks, at least if the kids are into dancing.

Consider this schedule, and take your choice.

* Parents of Sykesville Raider Football is sponsoring a sock hop for third- to sixth-grade youths on Friday at the Eldersburg Community Center on Route 32. Admission is $3, with advance tickets available from 7 to 9 p.m. tomorrow at Carroll towne Mall.

* Boy Scout Troop 883 is sponsoring a sock hop for grades four through seven on Friday, Oct. 16, from 7 to 10 p.m. in the gym at St. Joseph Church. Tickets are $3 at the door.

* Cub Scout Pack 110 is sponsoring a sock hop for third- through fifth-grade boys and girls on Friday, Oct. 23, from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Eldersburg Community Center (downstairs hall). Admission $3, available 10 a.m. to noon on Saturdays, Oct. 10 and 17, at Carrolltowne Mall.


There's something about composting that terrifies the average homeowner. I've composted for years, and for the past few I've taught how-to classes at Piney Run.

I'm going to teach another one, at 2 p.m. Sunday at Piney Run, right in front of their compost heaps near the entrance.

It's free, even to the lack of park entrance fee. And I promise not to scare anyone. I'll be there, weather permitting, with my pitchfork and lots of garbage to demonstrate the making and turning of a heap.

Registration is nice, but not required.

Information: 795-6043.

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