Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Who am I?

I saw this poem in the book: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey.

I am your constant companion.
I am your greatest helper or heaviest burden.
I will push you onward or drag you down to

I am completely at your command.
Half of the things you do you might as well turn
over to me and I will do them - quickly and

I am easily managed - you must be firm with me.
Show me exactly how you want something done
and after a few lessons, I will do it automatically.
I am the servant of great people,
and alas, of all failures as well.

Those who are great, I have made great.
Those who are failures, I have made failures.
I am not a machine though
I work with the precision of a machine
plus the intelligence of a person.
You may run me for profit or run me for ruin -
it makes no difference to me.

Take me, train me, be firm with me, and
I will place the world at your feet.
Be easy with me and I will destroy you.

Who am I?

I am Habit.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Keeping food safe in an emergency

I got this email today on food safety in light of the hurricane that is about to hit Florida.
See my other blog for details. http://margaritastewart.blogspot.com/2009/11/keeping-food-safe-in-emergency.html

I don't have time to cross post right now, but wanted to share the info.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Items that frequent McD's Asian Dollar Menu: McSquid, McSpam and the McAloo Tikki Burger.

Mc Donalds in Moscow
This is great, odd things they sell at Mc Donalds in other countries...Seaweed shaker fries, Mc Squid...check it out...tooo fun. When I was in Hawaii as a kid, we had Ramen Noodles at McDonalds there. http://www.darkroastedblend.com/2009/11/weird-stuff-mcdonalds-sells-around.html

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Homemade Ricotta Cheese..cooking with kids

Don't forget to take the kids into the voting booth today! Set a good example for them!

My kids and I have been cooking all sorts of things lately...(I think my son made cookies four days last week lol) We made Biscotti last week too. It was really good.

Sunday, we made ricotta cheese, it was sooo easy, fast, and tastes better than any I ever bought, specialty store and all.

Last night I made pumpkin lasagna with it and it was soo good (didn't taste the pumpkin but it added vitamins, the ricotta was surely the star)

Pics on my other blog along with more info. I promise if you make this, you will wonder why you ever bought Ricotta Cheese!

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

8 C Whole Milk
1 t citric acid
¼ c water
2 T half and half
1 t kosher salt (I used course sea salt, it worked)

Put the milk in a pot on the stove, and put a candy thermometer in it (don't get scared off, this is so easy, clip it on and relax). In a measure cup, put the water and add the citric acid and stir it up...dump it in the milk give it a whirl and turn on the heat to medium. Let it go, don't' touch it again, resist the urge to stir it anymore, the initial stir is the only one you will do...and in about 15 min the temp should come up to 190° F...turn off heat and let the thing sit 10 min while the curds separate from the whey.

While you wait for it to go up to 190......

In another bowl, put the half and half and salt so you are ready when it is.
Put a fine mesh strainer (window screen size mesh is fine) over a bowl or another strainer in the sink.When it hits 190°... let it set, turn it off and let it set 10 mins to separate curds and whey.then dump it right into the strainer and let it sit (recipe book doesn't state how long, I left the first batch sit 10 min)..then dump in bowl of half and half salt mix and fold to combine.

That's it. This keeps one week in the frige. I put it in a canning jar, it said you can cover in the bowl and put it in frige, but I need room in my frige for other things and I love my canning jars. Oh yeah, this is two batches in this jar..each batch makes about 1¼ c of Ricotta cheese...one gallon of milk makes 2 batches.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Abdominal Fat kills!

Here is some great info I got from an ad...but I am eliminating the ad....it shouldn't cost you money to be fit!

Did you know that the vast majority of people in this day and age have excess abdominal fat?

The first thing that most people think of is that their extra abdominal fat is simply ugly, is covering up their abs from being visible, and makes them self conscious about showing off their body.

However, what most people don't realize is that excess abdominal fat in particular, is not only ugly, but is also a dangerous risk factor to your health. Scientific research has clearly demonstrated that although it is unhealthy in general to have excess body fat throughout your body, it is also particularly dangerous to have excess abdominal fat.

There are two types of fat that you have in your abdominal area.

The first type that covers up your abs from being visible is called subcutaneous fat and lies directly beneath the skin and on top of the abdominal muscles.

The second type of fat that you have in your abdominal area is called visceral fat, and that lies deeper in the abdomen beneath your muscle and surrounding your organs. Visceral fat also plays a role in giving certain men that "beer belly" appearance where their abdomen protrudes excessively but at the same time, also feels sort of hard if you push on it.

Both subcutaneous fat and visceral fat in the abdominal area are serious health risk factors, but science has shown that having excessive visceral fat is even more dangerous than subcutaneous fat. Both of them greatly increase the risk your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, sleep apnea,various forms of cancer, and other degenerative diseases.

Part of the reason visceral fat is particularly dangerous is that it apparently releases more inflammatory molecules into your body on a consistent basis.

If you care about the quality of your life and your loved ones,reducing your abdominal fat should be one of your TOP priorities!There's just no way around it. Besides, a side-effect of finally getting rid of all of that excessive ugly abdominal fat is that your stomach will flatten out, and if you lose enough stomach fat,you will be able to visibly see those sexy six pack abs that everyone wants.So what gets rid of extra abdominal fat?

Is there actually a REAL solution beyond all of the gimmicks and hype that you see in ads and on commercials for "miracle" fat loss products?

The first thing you must understand is that there is absolutely NO quick fix solution.

There are no pills or supplements of any sort that will help you lose your abdominal fat faster. Also, none of the gimmicky ab rockers, rollers, or ab belts will help get rid of abdominal fat either. You can't spot reduce your stomach fat by using any of these worthless contraptions. It simply doesn't work that way.

The ONLY solution to consistently lose your abdominal fat and keep it off for good is to combine a sound nutritious diet full of unprocessed natural foods with a properly designed strategic exercise program that stimulates the necessary hormonal and metabolic response within your body. Both your food intake as well as your training program are important if you are to get this right.

You can sign up for free programs online, do workouts in tv, join a gym...whatever you are comfortable with. Run, walk, do something. If you have abdominal fat, your daily activities in life are not enough, obviously!

Change your eating habits today and start moving!

Here is a free workout program online...

you can also rent dvd's at the library free...my comcast has on demand workouts that are free...you can buy some and trade with friends. You have to do something..

Its no one's fault but your own and only you can help yourself!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Duggar Family Recipes

I am sure you heard of the Duggars...they have 18 children, (well baby 18 is due in Jan) and counting. And by the way, Kudos to such a great family, all 18 of their kids are better managed than my two teenage sons! They seem to know what they are doing! These people are deserving of a reality show, they seem to have a strong family bond and don't let publicity ruin their relationships.

an excerpt from the website :
As a family project the Duggars built a 7000 sq. ft. home debt free! Both Jim Bob and Michelle are licensed real estate agents.They often host and facilitate the Jim Sammon’s Financial Freedom Seminar. Jim Bob served in the Arkansas House of Representatives from 1999 to 2003 and was a candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2002.

Anyways...here is their website for making things like laundry soap (liquid and powder), casseroles and so much more!

I saw them on a morning show the other day, they are taking suggestions for a J name for baby to be. All 17 have J names..
(10 boys and 7 girls) Joshua (& wife Anna), Jana & John-David (twins), Jill, Jessa, Jinger, Joseph, Josiah, Joy-Anna, Jedidiah & Jeremiah (twins), Jason, James, Justin, Jackson, Johannah, Jennifer

Hey Duggars, if you are listening...

Jessie (girl), Jesse (boy) Jessica (girl), Janelle (girl), ..there are tons of great J names left! I think Jesse is my fav name with a J!

Friday, October 16, 2009

A little Ditty about Cucumbers (who knew)

This information was in The New York Times several weeks ago as part of their "Spotlight on the Home" series that highlighted creative and fanciful ways to solve common problems.

1. Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.

2. Feeling tired in the afternoon, put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B Vitamins and Carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.

3. Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror, it will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.

4. Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds? Place a few slices in a small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long. The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area.

5. Looking for a fast and easy way to remove cellulite before going out or to the pool? Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumbers along your problem area for a few minutes, the phytochemicals in the cucumber cause the collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite. Works great on wrinkles too!!!

6. Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache? Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and headache!!

7. Looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge? Cucumbers have been used for centuries and often used by European trappers, traders and explores for quick meals to thwart off starvation.

8. Have an important meeting or job intervi ew and you realize that you don't have enough time to polish your shoes? Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe, its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.
9. Out of WD 40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!

10. Stressed out and don't have time for massage, facial or visit to the spa? Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water, the chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber with react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown the reduce stress in new mothers and college students during final exams.

11. Just finish a business lunch and realize you don't have gum or mints? Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath, the phytochemcials will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.

12. Looking for a 'green' way to clean your faucets, sinks or stainless steel? Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean, not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but is won't leave streaks and won' t harm you fingers or fingernails while you clean.

13. Using a pen and made a mistake? Take the outside of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the pen writing, also works great on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Home Economics...short and sweet

This is a site that offers free home ec classes. I wanted to share. I don't fall for the "girls need to know this" hubbub on the site, boys do too!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Homeschool Sites

I have a big list of homeschool sites I added to the bottom of this blog page.
Check back for new listings.
There are worksheet generators, Health, Music, Science, Culture sites and more.
Of course, if you are a parent who has children in school, its still your job to teach your kids, you can't let it up to the school. The sites will be great for supplementing their education in summer and on weekends.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Country Spice Sink Scrub

I shared this on my other blog and thought I would share it here too.
Country Spice Sink Scrub

1 C baking soda
3 t ground cinnamon *
3 drops sweet orange essential oil

Combine all in into a container that has a lid with holes to sprinkle it out of (washed parmesan cheese, spice, etc) and shake well. Sprinkle into sink and scrub with damp cloth. Rinse well.

*you can add some all spice, pumpkin spice, gingerbread spice, whatever you like All spice and cardamom are my favs.

Ya gotta clean the sink, might as well enjoy the aroma while doing it!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Evidence emerges that seasonal flu vaccine increases risk of H1N1 swine flu

Evidence emerges that seasonal flu vaccine increases risk of H1N1 swine flu

Today at 3:00am
(NaturalNews) To hear it from the vaccine makers, their vaccines are perfectly safe and have no side effects. A person can receive an unlimited number of vaccines (10, 100 or even 1000) and have absolutely no ill effects, they claim. This is the quack science mythology upon which mass vaccination policies are currently based. But new evidence is emerging that people receiving a seasonal flu shot are made more susceptible to H1N1 swine flu as a result.CBC News in Canada is now reporting disturbing findings you need to know about: "Four Canadian studies involved about 2,000 people, health officials told CBC News. Researchers found people who had received the seasonal flu vaccine in the past were more likely to get sick with the H1N1 virus."The story doesn't cite the percentage increase in H1N1 virus risk, but it's apparently enough to give pause to many doctors and infectious disease experts. "We don't know with this year's flu shot how it interacts with the pandemic flu shot, so it's a worry," said Dr. Michael Gardam in the CBC News article quoted below. He's the director of infectious diseases prevention and control at the Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion.The upshot of all this is that Canadian health officials are now scratching their heads, wondering whether the seasonal flu vaccines will actually make the H1N1 pandemic worse!It's fascinating that this data is coming out of Canada, not the U.S. In the United States, the mainstream media has engaged in a virtual blackout of any information that questions the safety of vaccines, even while openly pushing outrageous lies about the swine flu vaccine (http://www.naturalnews.com/027055_swine_flu_vaccines_swine_flu_vaccine.html).Vaccines weaken your immune systemWhat this information reveals is further evidence that flu shots damage or weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to subsequent infections. Flu shots don't even work to reduce your risk of getting the flu that they're targeting! Most people who get the flu are the very same people who routinely receive flu shots.This will hold true with H1N1 swine flu as well: The people getting the swine flu virus will be primarily those who routinely receive flu vaccinations.You know why? Because a flu shot trains your immune system to be lazy. It exposes your immune technology to an artificially weakened virus, resulting in a lazy adaptive response from your immune technology. In much the same way that your leg muscles atrophy if you stop walking, your immune system begins to weaken if you don't exercise it. And this leads to an increased risk of being unable to defend against future exposure to infectious disease, which is exactly what we're seeing with this Canadian study.Vaccines are the quackery of modern medicine. They not only don't work to protect people from the diseases they target; they also increase the risk of being infected with other diseases. And that doesn't even include the ways in which vaccine ingredients (adjuvants or preservatives) can cause permanent damage to your nervous system.If vaccines strengthen the immune system (as vaccine makers imply), then why do people who take such vaccines end up at higher risk of future infections? The only rational explanation for this is that vaccines compromise immune function. And if that's true, then why should anyone take them in the first place?Vitamin D makes flu shot vaccines obsoleteWe could do away with vaccines almost entirely by giving people vitamin D supplements instead. Seasonal flu is no match for healthy levels of vitamin D in the blood, and with the addition of a few immune-supporting nutrients (like vitamin C, zinc, and omega-3 oils), the days of people getting sick from the seasonal flu would be all but over.People who have adequate levels of vitamin D in their blood rarely get sick from seasonal flu. The flu primarily strikes those who are nutritionally deficient in one or more key immune system nutrients.But rather than teach patients how to correct those deficiencies, the entire industry of western medicine would much rather poke a hole in your arm, inject you with chemicals, charge you forty bucks and keep you in the dark about the nutrients that would have protected you better in the first place. That's modern medicine for you: Consumer ignorance plus chemical intervention. It's a great recipe for making money, but it's a terrible recipe for protecting public health.That's why I say just say no to ALL vaccines. They harm you far more than they help, and they're based on the most absurd medical quackery you can imagine. As is common throughout the pharmaceutical industry, most of the "evidence" supporting the efficacy of vaccines was fabricated by drug companies. There is absolutely no evidence anywhere in the world that says vaccines protect you from seasonal flu better than vitamin D and immune-boosting nutrients. There's not even any trustworthy evidence that seasonal flu shots reduce your long-term risk of being infected with the flu.But now there is evidence that receiving a seasonal flu shot may increase your risk of contracting H1N1 swine flu, and that's something to carefully consider if you value your health (or your life).Additional sources for this story include:http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2009/09/23/flu-shots-h1n1-seasonal.html

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Health Effects of Soda Consumption

Wow, this Frostie Rootbeer Vending Machine really takes me back!
I was a soda drinker growing up and I am not obsese, but I also was outside playing anytime I was home and I was a competative gymnast so when I wasn't outside playing, I was training in the gym. That is not the norm these days. My kids played outside, building bike ramps and skateboarding all throughout their childhood, but now that they are teenagers..they are online, on video games, like most kids these days.
We only buy soda for special occasions in our house anymore.


Huge California study concludes soda consumption undeniably linked to obesity

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, Natural News Editor (Natural News) Much like Big Tobacco once did with nicotine, the soda industry and high-fructose corn syrup producers of America have maintained a ridiculous state of flat-out denial about the links between soda consumption and obesity. "Sodas don't make you fat," they insist. Meanwhile, as Americans guzzle down insanely large quantities of soda and liquid sugar with each passing year, rates of obesity and diabetes continue to steadily climb. Surely diet must have something to do with it, right?Thanks to a new California study, soda companies can no longer hide behind the defense of uncertainty when it comes to links between soda consumption and obesity. This massive study questioned the soda consumption habits of 43,000 adults and 4,000 adolescents and concluded this: Drinking one or more sodas a day increases your chances of obesity by 27 percent. A whopping 62% of adults who drink at least one soda each day are overweight or obese.The study also found that Californians are gulping down sodas at an unprecedented rate: At least one soda is consumed daily by 41 percent of children, 62 percent of adolescents and 24 percent of adults. Through the study, another shocking statistic was revealed: The average California teen consumes 39 pounds of liquid sugar a year solely from soda consumption.Sadly, the study didn't look at rates of diabetes and bone loss -- the phosphoric acid in sodas causes osteoporosis, even in males -- but there's little doubt that a similar correlation exists between soda consumption and those diseases, too. The whole issue of aspartame and diet sodas also wasn't looked at in this study, but that's yet another important area of investigation that will probably be delayed for many years until the number of people drinking diet soda who get diagnosed with brain cancer can no longer be denied.

We've been warning about this for years

The interesting thing about all this is that the champions of natural health have been warning society about this for years. Whether you're talking about myself and NaturalNews, or Dr. Julian Whitaker, or even going back to Weston Price, we've all been shouting about the dangers of widespread cola consumption long before it appeared on the radar of mainstream consciousness.Now, in the thick of a disastrous epidemic of obesity and diabetes, more mainstream health authorities are finally starting to put the pieces together and realize just how bad sodas are for public health. There's now no question about it: When soda consumption goes up, so do rates of obesity. And with higher obesity rates, you automatically get greatly increased rates of diabetes, cancer, heart disease, depression and other diseases that are very expensive to treat.Ultimately, that means that soda consumption greatly increases the health care costs of any nation, because higher soda consumption leads to higher rates of diseases that are expensive to treat. I'm guessing that for every dollar a consumer spends on soda, another dollar's worth of long-term health care cost is created at the same time. Except those costs are paid directly by the consumer; they're paid by the taxpayers and health insurance customers.That's why reforming health care necessarily requires doing something drastic to reduce soda consumption across first-world nations. You can't have both affordable health care and a nation full of soda guzzlers.
How to reduce soda consumption

Greatly reducing the consumption of sodas is easier than you think. It just takes some political backbone... and a willingness for politicians to stop pussyfooting around with the issue in an effort to please the rich, powerful soft drink corporations.It's time to start treating soft drink companies as what they truly are: The enemies of public health and financial parasites that drain public coffers through increased health care costs caused by their products. Their ads promise happiness, but their products deliver disease.The first step to reducing soft drink consumption is to ban all soda advertising. In fact, that might be the only step that's necessary. Simply reveal that sodas are a clear and scientifically-proven hazard to public health, and declare that in order to protect our nation's youth, products that pose a clear and imminent hazard to public health will no longer be allowed to be advertised in any form: Not on television, magazines, sporting events or even through internet advertising. They are still free to have their own websites, of course, where they can describe their products. They just can't advertise on someone else's website.But what about free speech? Doesn't the U.S. Constitution guarantee free speech for all individuals? Indeed, it does, but in my opinion -- and I know that far better-informed Constitutional lawyers would probably disagree with me on this -- there's nothing in the Constitution that guarantees freedom of speech to corporations. That "right" has been invented through a loose interpretation of what the Constitution really says.I don't believe that corporations should have the same rights as individuals, because the free speech of one person is all too often completely drowned out by the "free speech" of a multi-billion dollar corporation that can buy virtually unlimited air time on television.
Can't we just tax sodas instead?Another popular suggestion is to tax the heck out of sodas, thereby making them more expensive in order to discourage consumers from buying them. If you believe in levying new taxes on the poor, this is a great idea, because poor people buy and consume far more soda than wealthy people, making a "soda tax" largely a tax on the poor.I strongly disagree with the idea of using new taxes to shape consumer behavior. Why? Because the current tangle of government taxes and subsidies is so complex and confusing that it has long since lost any attachment to common sense. For example, there are currently subsidies on sugar and corn. Yet one of the sweeteners used in soft drinks is high-fructose corn syrup, which is derived from corn. If a new soda tax passes, it means our government would simultaneously be in the business of providing subsidies to corn while taxing another product that uses an ingredient derived from corn. The overhead of tracking and collecting all these taxes is an enormous waste of government resources.It's far better to just deny these soda companies the ability to use the media to influence teens and adults into buying and consuming their products. With no advertising, soda consumption would plummet, and the obesity epidemic would begin to turn around. Health care costs would ease and we'd be on our way to a healthier generation of future adults in America.
The mainstream media: Running on disease
The mainstream media, of course, would have a tissy fit with this idea. A significant portion of their advertising revenues come directly from companies that sell sodas and sugary drinks, putting them in the business of promoting products that directly harm children and teens.But that's business, and the media doesn't feel any special responsibility to protect people from dangerous products that just happen to be paying their salaries. That's why they'll openly advertise dangerous, deadly pharmaceuticals designed to treat the very diseases caused by other products they advertise, like junk foods and soda.There's a lot of money to be made from selling harmful products the people, and just like everybody else, the mainstream media wants its piece of the action. If you ban the advertising of harmful foods and beverages, many newspapers, magazines and television shows would collapse in weeks. It is precisely the advertising expenditures of high-margin junk product companies that keep the media afloat. Never forget that... especially when you're reading an article about sodas in the mainstream media.

Choose one: Children or corporations

At some point, America has to make a decision: Do we, as a nation, continue to sacrifice the health of our children in order to keep our powerful corporations flush with cash? Or do we sacrifice the profits of powerful corporations in order to save the health of our children?That's really the only choice we have on this issue. We cannot protect both children's health and the profits of the corporations selling products that harm them.Right now, the status quo has chosen to sacrifice the children in order to protect the corporations. That has been the stance of the FDA, Senators, Congressmen (and women) and even the mainstream media. To heck with the children, they say. We've got to keep this economy running, even if it means selling poison to our kids!That's a stupid, short-sighted stance. But it's business as usual in America today: Sacrifice the future in order to create the illusion of wealth in the present. But even if all these soda-pumping corporations continue to rake in more profits, is the nation really economically better off?I think not. The long-term health care costs of treating diseases caused by soda consumption equal or outweigh any short-term benefits derived from the economic activity of selling sodas. While it may seem like a net gain in this fiscal year, in the long haul it's a net loss to the nation.When our political leaders begin to demonstrate an understanding of those concepts -- and they begin to act in accordance with the long-term interests of the nation -- we might have a future that can be salvaged out of the health care mess that exists now. We can, of course, turn this nation around and eliminate virtually all obesity, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and other chronic degenerate diseases, but doing that will require making courageous decisions that directly violate the profiteering interests of some of the most powerful corporations in the world.This will likely never happen. Poisoning children generates far too much profit to see it stopped. The media makes money, the politicians get campaign contributions that keep them in office, and the corporations selling their harmful products get to pocket obscene profits from doing so.And so we end up with a nation of fat children and fat-cat adults who rake in the profits from soda companies even while wondering why their own kids have diabetes and can't concentrate in school. If it weren't so sad, the whole thing would be truly laughable. We are doing this to ourselves. We are poisoning our own children and calling it "profitable." And We the People of the United States of America continue to let this happen, day after day, year after year, even as we go bankrupt from the whole sickening charade.I have a message for every newspaper, television station, sporting event and website that accepts advertising from soda companies: You are part of the problem! By agreeing to promote these products that directly harm the health of your readers, you are promoting a culture of disease and death.Greed is powerful in the western world, and it often overshadows compassion. In a world where compassion took precedence over greed, no one would dare advertise sodas and sugary drinks. But we don't live in that world; we live in the world of ingrained American greed and blatant pass-the-buckishness. Some of the wealthiest people in the world have accumulated that wealth primarily by pushing products that harm or kill children. It's true for Big Pharma, Big Tobacco and the junk food giants, too.Sources for this story include:LA Times:http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/booster_shots/2009/09/soda-consumption-in-california-bubbling-over.htmlCalifornia Center for Public Health Advocacy:http://www.publichealthadvocacy.org/bubblingover.html

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Free Fun Art Classes

You tube has some awesome how to videos on everything from how to make fairie wings, to draw , to knit, crochet, paint etc.
Pretty much anything that your child wants to learn to do, or you for that matter, you can search on you tube and find how to videos.
Here is one on how to draw manga cartoons.

Here is a cute and wow, so easy way to make fairy wings.

The possibilites are endless. Have fun and learn something today from you tube!


I am not an advertiser, but I do like to boast about my favorite things!

I can't stand those "pretty" or cute" character pencils that all the hard eraser does is smudge your child's work.

For years now, all we buy are Ticonderoga pencils. They erase like real #2 pencils should. Lately I think they will put a #2 on any pencil just to get people to think its okay for school.

They have all shapes, sizes and colors of pencils.

The new shape in pencils from the people who know pencils best. Write more comfortably with this ergonomically perfect, triangular shaped number 2 pencil. Exclusive graphite core formula gives you extra smooth performance. Top quality eraser provides easy, clean corrections. PMA certified non-toxic.

They sell these pencils just about everywhere, from Walmart and Sams to Staples and Office Max. They even have pink pencils for breast cancer research..

Try a ticonderoga and you will never want to use anything else!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Make butter with the kids...its so easy!

When I was a child, my mom and sisters and I made butter. It was fun and we did it more than once. We took heavy whipping cream and put it in an empty mayo jar. We shook it about 20
-30 minutes and magically, it turned into butter. I carried this tradition on with my kids and we have made it quite a few times.
You can do this with a group of kids, scout troops, homeschool groups etc...just give each child their own babyfood jar with some heavy whipping cream in it and let them go to town. It will not only keep them busy and tire them out, but they will never forget that they made butter!
You can add a dash of salt if you would like, but its great as is...dont' forget the crackers or italian bread for tasting!

here is an article from Mother Earth News, if you want more detailed information on butter making.
How to Make Butter and Buttermilk

By William Rubel
Of the sweet cream butter I’d made earlier in the day, my Italian visitor said, “It tasted heavenly.” Sweet cream butter is churned from cream that has not been acidified by the conversion of milk sugar (lactose) into lactic acid by lactobacillus bacteria. Think of it as butter straight from the cow. The butter I served my friend was unsalted; so, in the slightly confusing language of butter, it was sweet sweet cream butter (not salted and not acidified).
Sweet Cream Butter
Sweet sweet cream butter is the purest butter — it most cleanly expresses the essence of the underlying cream. It was April when I made dinner for my friend, so the cows were eating from spring pasture. Spring pasture butter is more delicately flavored than the rest of the year, and more yellow because spring and early summer grasses are the most nutritionally complex, containing the highest levels of beta carotene. Indeed, the butter I made for my friend was sweet and bright yellow.
Prior to the industrialization of butter manufacturing in the late 19th century, butter sales were local, and butter customers were connoisseurs in a way that we are not. Early spring butter commanded a higher price than any other. Modern dairy practices ignore seasonal differences by feeding cows an unnatural diet of year-round grain. If you often make butter from good cream, you will notice changes as the seasons progress.
Cultured Butter
In the 7,000-year history of butter, sweet cream butter is comparatively new. In the few hundred years prior to the industrialization of butter making, cream was cultured before it was churned. Culturing was the consequence of the universal practice of accumulating multiple milkings before churning. There was no refrigeration, so the cream was stored in a cool room.
Because raw cream is naturally full of benign bacteria, raw cream ferments and sours on its own, without the addition of a bacterial culture. Fermentation by lactobacillus bacteria changes the chemistry of cream, making its flavors more complex. Among other changes, it produces lactic acid, making the cream less “sweet.” Of even greater importance to butter makers working hand churns, culturing helps make churned cream “break” faster into the two products of butter making: butter and buttermilk.
When sweet cream butter was first introduced in America in the late 19th century, there was consumer resistance because, as described in one 20th-century text, “Flat flavor is noticeable in butter made from unripened cream.” Now this flat-tasting butter is the standard butter in America, Canada and England. In comparison to cultured butters, sweet cream butter will always taste flat. But it has special qualities of its own. Fresh sweet cream butter is the taste of the cream unmediated by the butter maker. It often has a lovely fresh and milky taste.
Homemade Butter: A Difference You Can Taste
Whenever the taste of butter as a condiment is important — such as when spread on bread or melted over vegetables — homemade butter will make a difference you will taste. Where butter is a significant ingredient — such as in bread and pastries — you’ll find an astonishing difference in both the ease of making the pastry and in the texture of the finished product. That’s because homemade butter is usually about 86 percent butterfat. Commercial butter is usually 80 percent butterfat — the government’s minimum standard.
Once you start using homemade butter, you won’t look back. It is so different from commodity butter — even premium “European-style” cultured butters — that they are almost two different foods. As a rule, use homemade butter within a week of making it. For baking, try to use it the same day you make it, before it is refrigerated. The buttermilk, that other product of butter making, is also entirely different from cultured buttermilk. Try it in scones, soda bread, gingerbread, corn bread and pancakes.
Culturing Butter
Sweet cream butter can be heavenly, but once you begin culturing butter, I predict you’ll find that you like cultured butter even better. Culturing brings depth of flavor to butter, and lets you become imaginatively engaged with manipulating that flavor. With a tiny amount more effort than it takes to make sweet cream butter, you can routinely make butter that crosses the threshold between butter and cheese — butter that tastes so good you literally want to just sit down and eat it.
Commercial culturing is a superficial affair, so don’t imagine any brand you have purchased as a model for cultured butter. Industrial butter is cultured in a matter of hours. At home, you can do much better. Unlike factories, you don’t need to consider the cost of waiting for cream to ripen. And that’s the secret to making extraordinary butter.
Raw cream cultures naturally. Pasteurized cream requires inoculation with an appropriate culture because all the lactobacillus that naturally ferments cream would have been killed in the pasteurization process.
Butter making is an incredibly simple craft. Even a child can churn cream into butter, which is why butter making is a common activity in kindergartens. But as an adult, butter making can be a lifetime project. It is a culinary area that has barely been explored in our modern world. In addition to seeking top quality cream to make the most heavenly sweet cream butter, and the open-ended possibilities with culturing, one can add special flavors, such as savory rosemary or floral rose water.
Butter Nutrition: No, Really, Butter is Good For You
After tasting a butter I’d made that he found utterly delicious, my killjoy friend said, “But William, no one should be eating butter.” So I will address those of you who have concerns about the healthfulness of butter. In Moby Dick, Ishmael exclaims, “Flask, alas!, was a butterless man.” Flask was also an unhappy man. I say no more on the correlation between happiness and eating delicious butter.
In truth, butter is not the enemy Americans once feared. Researchers have upset the old-fashioned “lipid hypothesis” that blamed heart disease on animal fats. Plus, we are now discovering how incredibly healthy foods from pastured animals can be. Butter from grass-fed cows is higher in many nutrients, including vitamins E and A, beta carotene, and essential fatty acids.
If you can find cream from pastured cows, your butter will also be more luscious and spreadable than you can get using cream from grain-fed cows.
So, how do you make butter so good that those who taste it always want more? Up until recent times, people — mostly mothers — had been expert butter makers. The break in this tradition is exceedingly recent. So let’s teach ourselves this ancient and elegant craft. The following are general guidelines for those of you who don’t have a mother or a friend to show you.
Making Butter
Butter is made from cream. You get the greatest yield from cream with the highest fat content. In America, that’s “heavy whipping cream,” and the commercial grades “extra-heavy” or “manufacturer’s” cream have even more butterfat. Plus, different cow breeds produce different percentages of milk fat. The most common U.S. dairy cow, the Holstein/Friesian, produces milk that has 31 percent less fat than Jersey cows. Jersey cream is widely regarded as the ideal cream for butter making. If you are lucky, you can find a source nearby. (Search for one at Local Harvest.)
Raw vs. Pasteurized Cream for Butter Making
To taste the ancient taste of butter, you have to use raw cream. Raw cream is biologically active: It comes inoculated with beneficial local bacteria. When milk fresh from a cow sits for a while, the cream rises to the top. For thousands of years, all there was to separating cream from milk was spooning it off the top. Then it was allowed to sit and ferment.
But when it comes to pasteurized cream, even the most mass-produced stuff yields yummier butter than any butter you can buy. Let taste be your guide. If possible, make butter from two different dairies, and compare the results in blind tastings. This will help you develop your palate and focus on taste, rather than labels. If you can find and afford it, test cream from the smallest local dairy that offers cream from a single herd and pasteurizes at the minimum temperature. You will then have the best chance of tasting a butter “varietal,” such as Jersey.
Pasteurized cream must either be used for sweet cream butter or be purposefully cultured. You can’t let pasteurized cream sour naturally, as you would raw cream. Pasteurization kills all bacteria, even the beneficial natives. So, if you were to let that cream sour, you would be allowing a blank slate to absorb any ambient bacteria that might be lurking, without the natural defenses to control it.
Culturing Cream
Butter cultures are “mesophilic,” meaning the bacteria thrive in cool temperatures. (“Thermophilic” yogurt cultures require higher temperatures.)
You can buy mesophilic cultures from suppliers (New England Cheesemaking Supply is a good source), but there is no reason you must. You can culture cream effectively by inoculating it with a little store-bought sour cream, buttermilk or crème fraiche. (Just make sure it says it contains live cultures.)
If you have a methodical mind, take notes on what you do, including tasting notes. If you’re like me, just go with your gut. Either way, you’ll consistently make butter that is far superior to commercial products, even premium imported butters.
Butter Churns
A churn is anything that can agitate cream until the butterfat comes out of suspension, resulting in butter and buttermilk. It can be as simple as a mason jar (shake and pass around a circle of friends), or as easy as a food processor or electric mixer. Small hand churns are practical for home use, holding a pint to a quart of cream. The most common types are a paddle churn (a paddle in a jar) or a plunger churn (a wooden plunger in a wooden cylinder). You can find churns at Lehman’s, Homesteader's Supply, Ebay and Craigslist.
How to Make Butter That is Really Flavorful
Equipment should be scrupulously clean. Before and after each use, scald any wooden equipment, including spoons and the inside of churns. Scald repeatedly, if necessary, until there is no butter smell left in the wood.
To make sweet cream butter, use fresh cream, skip the culturing instructions that follow, and go directly to Step 1.
To make cultured butter from raw cream, pour the cream into a bowl and cover with a double layer of cheesecloth or a clean towel. Leave out in a cool room. If your room is warmer than 60 degrees, set the bowl of cream in cool water. Become familiar with what is happening to the cream as it ripens (sours, ferments) by tasting it every six to eight hours. Raw cream can be used at any stage from fresh or lightly fermented (e.g. eight hours) to heavily fermented (e.g. a week).
To make cultured butter from pasteurized cream, you have two options: You must inoculate the cream with either a mesophilic bacterial culture (from a specialty shop), or a store-bought cultured product that contains live cultures. If you go the specialty route, purchase a culture for crème fraiche, sour cream or buttermilk, and follow the instructions. If the commercial culture also contains rennet, your cream will set up slightly, but otherwise will achieve the consistency of soft yogurt.
If using a grocery store product as the inoculant (starter), strengthen the starter by leaving it out at room temperature for approximately 8 to 12 hours, and then add a tablespoon per cup of cream. If you are sure of the inoculant’s strength, just 1 teaspoon per cup should be sufficient. Leave the cream at cool room temperature for one to three days.
With either method, you can further develop flavor by leaving the cultured cream in the refrigerator for days, or even a week or two. The ripening cream should have a pleasant smell and develop a slightly tangy taste, sharpening with time. As the cream acidifies, it becomes hostile to toxic bacteria, but should the cream curdle, or smell or taste bad, discard it. The longer you ripen it, the more clear and distinctive the flavor of your finished butter will be. Butter churned from long-ripened cream is a butter of perfection, like a perfectly ripened fruit.
1. Pour sweet or cultured cream into the churn, leaving headroom for the cream to expand when whipped.
2. Begin churning. As you churn, cream goes through three distinct phases. First, it becomes a snowy white whipped cream, then turns yellow and granular, and lastly “breaks” into clumps of butter swishing around in buttermilk. Churn a bit longer to be sure the butter has clumped, then stop. Observe what is happening throughout. Look, listen and feel what happens as the cream goes through these phases so you develop an intuitive feel for the butter-making process and your own equipment. Cream churns best between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit, but will break eventually even if it’s warmer. And cultured cream breaks faster than sweet cream.
3. Drain the buttermilk to reserve for baking. Remove the butter from the churn to a steep-sided bowl. Hold the bowl at a steep angle, and gather the butter into a ball. Using the flat of your fingers or the back of a wooden spoon, spread and press it against the side of the bowl to squeeze out buttermilk. Still using the flat of your fingers or the spoon, fold the butter in half over itself, and press down again. Repeat until little or no buttermilk squeezes out. When done, remove the butter to a plate, drain the buttermilk into your buttermilk container, rinse the bowl, return the butter to the bowl, and cover with cool water.
4. Wash the butter covered in cool water using the flat part of your fingers or the back of a spoon. Repeatedly press, fold and turn to wash the butter free of buttermilk. Change water as needed, until it remains clear. Another option is to replace the last change of water with a flavored water — rose water for butter to be used in sugar cookies or shortbread, or salted water in which a sprig of rosemary was boiled, for an unusual savory butter circa 1615. Remove the butter to a plate, wash your hands, and drain the bowl. Note: If you are working with a large quantity of butter, an effective alternative to hand washing is to return the butter to the churn and churn with repeated changes of cool water until it runs clear.
5. To remove the rest of the water, return the butter to the bowl and hold it at a steep angle. Use the back of a spoon to spread and re-spread the butter repeatedly against the side of the bowl to force out trapped water. When no further water can be pressed out of the butter, remove to a plate. Note: If seasoning butter with salt, sprinkle it onto the butter at the beginning of this step. I suggest erring on the side of undersalting and would not exceed 1 percent salt, which is a scant one-quarter teaspoon per 4 ounces of butter.
6. Eat up! The butter can now be used immediately. It will be soft and supple. Always wrap butter before refrigerating. Parchment paper makes a nice wrapping. Try to use the butter within a week. Homemade butter is rarely washed free of buttermilk as effectively as commercial butter, and thus seldom stores well. Homemade butter freezes well, but the point of homemade butter is to use it when it’s fresh!

and a very cute blog post about making butter. http://mygardenismyhappyplace.blogspot.com/2009/06/homemade-butter-from-my-apartment.html

Friday, September 11, 2009


Most people remember on this day, but how quickly they forget. For a few short days following today, America was united! We were one big family...politics, religion, race and economic class was put aside and Americans were a family. We were all Americans and that was all that mattered!


Friday, September 4, 2009

Putting a Face on History

Here is an awesome website I found. We are studying World War II and I came across this and wanted to share. There is so much great information!!!! There are so many links, you will surely get lost in all of the information.... http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwtwo/
We are also reading Number the Stars by Lois Lowry and then we will read the Diary of Anne Frank which are books that cover life during this time period.

Another good book I would love for my boys to read, and sadly, most of them are by or about girls...is ISBN 1561451932...Eleanors Story, and American Girl in Hitlers Germany by Eleanor Ramrath Garner.

I think reading about history is fun, but reading about someone's story in history can help make it more interesting to children. The Dear American and My America Series comes to mind.
Of course, when you read fictional history books, you need to make sure and still go over the facts of the subject.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


I sooo had to share this link...it takes you to the SPEAK AND SPELL from the 70s!

You hit the ON button and then GO and can play it...sounds like the original!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Ah Summer is over! Oh No!

Well, summer is over and as much as I tried to lesson plan and did get some done, I was hoping to have my lesson plans completed through December.

That, of course, did not happen! Oh well. It's not like I stick to those plans anyways. Things come up, the kids want to spend more time on something or its totally boring to them and we switch it up. I tried. tehe

I am looking forward to speech class this year with the kids. I got a great book from the toastmasters club. It has assignments and directions on public speaking.

I am also looking forward to Alex starting vo tech, he is going for IT Applications and can advance into web design if he gets all of his work done fast. I also can't wait to see his books, we paid big bucks for, as they are step by step type books on how to use all sorts of programs and office tools on the computer. I am pretty computer savvy, I have managed to figure out power point and all on my own, but would love more details and I am always willing to learn more, so I can sneak some time with his books when he is not using them.
I told Alex he can stay and have lunch at Vo Tech if he wants, since his friends also have morning session there and they eat lunch there before the bus gets them to go back to school. This gives me one on one time with Brian for Math and Lang Arts and then when Alex comes home, I have time for him with Math while Brian is doing his assignments for Math/Language arts. Then we do the rest of the work together..History, Social Studies, Science, etc.
Two days and counting until the big step for Alex. He has not been in traditional school for 7 years now, but I think him going to Vo Tech will be good for him, although I am not looking forward to the swine flu outbreak, due to the fact that Vo Tech has students from every school in the county except Reading and Muhlenberg.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Swine Flu Vaccine ...Is it safe?

This is a great commentary on the swine flu vaccine and before you give in to getting a vaccine, you may want to listen to this.
It does not need to be tested before it's given in the US and the vaccine company is not going to be held liable for anything.

Click the link and pan down slightly and click on the blue box with a speaker and arrow to listen to him talk about the vaccine..educate yourself before you make any decisions...the flu can be prevented with herbs and vitamin d and things like that.

Please educate yourself!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Workout Buddies

Just a quick note..its very important to have a workout buddy.

Do not go for runs by yourself...that woman in Georgia that went missing was on her cell phone with her boyfriend, he could hear her cries..but could not help her.
Reminds me of that Sally Field where she was on the phone with her daughter while Kieffer Sutherland killed her daughter and she could hear it all.

I know that at times, my cell phone gives me a false sense of security...but all that the person on the other end can do is listen and if you are being attacked, maybe help solve the crime..but please, prevent the crime from happening!

I see young girls run by my house alone alot, and I always think...my word, does her parents know that she is alone like that.

Take a friend along! There is safety in numbers!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Snack Swapper

Here is a fun "snack swapper" for healthy alternatives to what you are craving.

Thought it was cute and fun. Just a quickie today!

Healthy Guacamole and Avocado Info

I love avocados. My favorite way to eat them, is right from the shell...i also love to cube them and put them in my tortilla soup!

Here is a healthy and vegan guacamole recipe anyone can enjoy. Basically, we are subbing the normal Mayo and or Sour cream used to make guacamole with tofu. Do not be afraid of tofu, its has no taste and takes on the flavor of whatever its made with. My kids even eat it. Its super healthy too!


¼ pound firm style tofu
¼ medium avocado (about two ounces cubed)
½ medium tomato
¼ c diced green bell pepper
¼ c diced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T diced green chili pepper (canned or fresh)
1 T lemon or lime juice (fresh squeezed)
dash ground red pepper

In a blender or food processor, combine avocado and tofu and process until smooth, scraping down the sides of the container. Transfer to mixing bowl and add the remaining ingredients and combine

Makes four 1/3 c servings
54 calories, 4g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 5g total carbs, 2g dietary fiber, 2g sugars, 3g protein, 7g sodium

A little bit of info about avocados I found online....

Avocado fruits are getting very popular anywhere in the world. Throughout the year, you can find avocado in your nearby supermarkets. Avocado is sometimes called “avocado pear” or “alligator pear”, and “Aguacate Palta” in Spanish.
The world, especially in developing countries, is trying to adapt avocado as one of substitutes to cope for the shortage of nutritious food production.

We believe that avocados have originated in Mexico and Central America. However, today, avocados are being planted and harvested in countries such as Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, USA, Sri Lanka, Brazil, India, China, Japan, Peru, Uruguay, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Ethiopia, Spain, Palestine, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, and Hawaii. Oh, yes, you can plant it even in your backyard garden and it is adaptable as long as the climate does not go below 5°C during winter season.

In fact, I myself planted four avocado trees 25 years ago, and just a year ago, I added another two in my backyard. One tree bears about 200 pieces of fruit.
Avocado is one of the most recommended fruits as well as a food for bodybuilding and medicine for cholesterol-related heart diseases.

Also, did you know that avocado or an avocado extract is good for prevention or treatment of “breast cancer” as well as “prostate cancer”? Some information states that a toxin found in avocado can kill cancer cell. However, the toxin mentioned here is not identified completely. Scientists believe that the toxin has a great effect on the myocardium (heart muscle tissue) as well as on tissues of the lactating mammary gland.

Although many farmers believe that fresh and dried leaves, bark, skin, and seeds are toxic to cattle, goats, horses, rabbits, and birds, there is no definite scientific explanation for that.

Do not worry about the fruit meat of avocado. There are no dangerous toxic elements for human consumption as well as for animals.

Creamy rich avocado is considered the world's healthiest fruit, because of its nutrient contents such as vitamin K, dietary fiber, potassium, folic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin C, copper, and reasonable calories in it.

Avocados contain “oleic acid”, a monounsaturated fat that may help lower cholesterol.
In our studies, patients with high cholesterol levels who ate avocados showed clear health improvements. After a week of avocado diet, patients had significant decrease in cholesterol contents.

Avocado is a good source of potassium, a mineral that helps regulate blood pressure. Adequate intake of potassium can help guard against circulatory diseases, like high blood pressure, heart disease, or stroke.

Diets containing foods that are good sources of potassium and low in sodium may reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke. One cup of avocado has about 23% of the Daily Value for folate, a nutrient important for heart health.
Another study showed that individuals who consume folate-rich diets have a much lower risk of cardiovascular disease or stroke than those who do not consume much of this vital nutrient.

Not only avocado has a rich source of monounsaturated fatty acids including oleic acid, which has recently been shown to offer significant protection against breast cancer, but it is also a very concentrated dietary source of the "carotenoid lutein". It also contains measurable amounts of related carotenoids plus significant quantities of vitamin E.

A few slices of avocado in salad, or mixing some chopped avocado into salsa will not only add a rich, creamy flavor, but will greatly increase your body's ability to absorb the health-promoting carotenoids that vegetables provide.
Compared to other fruits or vegetables such as carrots and spinach, just a slice of avocado improves your body's ability to absorb carotenoids.
At first, you can try to start planting a seed in your room. You will love it as seen in the photos below.

After eating avocado, don't throw the seed. Place it in the garden soil in your container garden. The soil should always be with water. In about three weeks, you will enjoy seeing leaf buds growing. If you cannot keep it in your room, plant it in your backyard. You will enjoy seeing it growing again.

My husband has an avocado plant growing. We hope to see avocados on it someday!

Ways to Eat an Avocado

There are hundreds of ways or recipes for avocado. Here are some that you can try to enjoy eating avocado.

The simplest way is just slice the avocado and place ham and mayonnaise to make a bread sandwich. Probably, you can add a proverb, "One avocado a day, doctors away".
To preserve, mash and place the avocado in the freezer. In this way, you can keep it for several months. Do not keep the avocado fruit as is in the freezer.
Again and again, some critics might write us complaining about the article saying that avocado is toxic. Avocado toxicity is not scientifically well established up to now.

Avocado poisoning has been a source of controversy and confusion among animal breeders. Some breeders have voiced an opinion that avocado fruit may be toxic, while other breeders have fed avocados to their animals with no abnormal incidences at all.

Most avocados grown in the United States and other countries are sold for human consumption in the form of fresh fruit or processed paste products. Also, many parts of it are used for various products including animal feeds and baby consumption.
Avocado poisonings in humans and animals are fairly limited, however, the avocado tree can be toxic. They say that toxic chemical is found in leaves, bark, pits, and skin of the avocado tree. Although some people claim that avocado fruit can cause skin allergy, it is just the same as banana, walnut, and kiwi allergy.
Anyway, if you are a delicate person, just don't eat avocado. Once again, one avocado a day may save your life from cardiomyopathy and heart failure.
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Saturday, August 8, 2009

No Excuse Organizing

I get this newsletter from Maria Gracia of http://www.getorganizednow.com/ I need to get back on track with her and do her missions.
I wanted to share, you can subscribe to her great newsletter or buy her products and organizing ebooks on her site.

No Excuse Organizing

Do you ever feel defeated before you even get started? Do you have a million reasons (read: excuses!) why you can't get organized? Believe me, we have all been where you are. We've all used the same excuses to avoid getting things organized. For every excuse we can find to use, there is a solution.

So, if you are motivated to get organized, join along with us as we resolve our excuses and get organized.

1. There's just too much stuff!

Get rid of the stuff! I know we sound like a broken record when we say this, but it just illustrates the need to reduce the 'stuff'. If there is just too much stuff, it's time to remove some, whether you donate it, hold a garage sale, advertise on Freecycle or Craigslist, or just trash it--bottom line, get rid of the stuff!

2. I don't know where to start.

No matter what, you have to just pick a place and start. It isn't going to get any better until you do. It helps to know what needs to be done. To accomplish this, you need to make a master list. It isn't a hard thing to do, it's just a list of every single thing you want to do in your home, including decorating, remodeling and so forth. You can do a whole house Master List, or you can do a room by room Master List. Once you have completed your initial list, move one or two items from it to your daily or weekly to-do list. Don't try to do more than one or two items weekly, it will get too overwhelming.

3. I just don't have time.

No one has every single second of every single day scheduled. No matter how busy we are, we all can find five, ten or even fifteen minutes in which we can get things done. It doesn't sound like much time, but you will be amazed at how much you can get accomplished in just a few minutes a day.

4. I want to get it all done now.

In all likelihood, your home did not get in this condition over night. No matter what, you aren't going to be able to change things overnight, or in one marathon session. It is highly likely you would only get discouraged and give up. So, schedule time into your day, just as you would any other important appointment, to work for that amount of time, whatever your task may be. Slowly, little by little, you will see changes.

5. I don't know how to go about getting organized.

Well, you've come to the right place. You'll find tons of tips and ideas in this newsletter, on my site, in my books and throughout my discussion forum. Everything you need is right at your fingertips when you visit the Get Organized Now! http://www.getorganizednow.com/

6. My spouse won't toss anything.
So, don't worry about your spouse's belongings. You can't expect to jump in cold and change your spouse's ways.
If you are unable to convince your spouse to donate or sell his/her things, then just work on your things. Then negotiate with your spouse to declutter family things, or jointly owned things. Otherwise, just focus on decluttering and organizing your own items. Eventually your spouse may be inspired to join you in decluttering and organizing. Once your spouse sees how nice things look, and how easy they are to find, he/she will be more likely to team up in your quest to declutter and organize.
7. I get it organized, but it doesn't stay that way.
And it won't unless you put routines in place to help you maintain it. Just like your home doesn't stay clean once you clean it (wouldn't we all love that!), you need routine upkeep to keep things organized. A) Start cleaning up after you do anything. If you make a sandwich, clean up so that after you eat your sandwich, no one knows you've made one. B) Pick it up and put it away. If you see something out of place, pick it up and put it away. Just practicing these two routines each day will go a long way towards keeping things cleaned up and organized.

8. My children undo, whatever I do.

No matter what age your children are, they can and should have responsibilities around the home. Hold a family meeting and discuss all of the things that need to be done to keep your home running smoothly. Let your children choose which age-appropriate chores to do. If they choose them, they are more likely to complete them. Let them know too that they can re-negotiate which chores they'd prefer at the next meeting.

Hold regular family meetings, twice a month or even once a month. Every family member needs to be a cooperating family member. Remember, you are the parent, you are in charge. Be their parent, not their friend. Teach them what they need to know to be a functioning, responsible adult.

9. But, I might need it someday.

Every one of us has felt that way. The reality is that almost everything you do toss won't be missed at all. In all likelihood, you won't even remember what you've tossed. When a friend's grandfather died and things had to be cleaned out, it was amazing to see all the stuff he hung onto, just because he might need it someday. The list was very long and included things like bent rust nails, because someone might need them! If you do need it someday, in all likelihood, you can purchase it at a rummage sale, rent it or borrow it.

10. I don't know what I should get rid of.

There is an easy way to know what should stay and what should go. When trying to decide if an item should stay or go, ask yourself two questions.

1. Do I love it?
2. 2. Do I use it? If the answer to both of these questions isn't yes --donate, sell, recycle or trash it. If you don't love it and use it, it shouldn't be taking up space in your home. And that includes gifts that you're keeping out of guilt. If it's something you are keeping for sentimental reasons that you just can't bear to part with, box it up and put the current date on the box, nothing more.

Mark your calendar about 6 months out. In six months, if you can't remember what is even in the box, and you didn't go to open it in the 6 months, it's very probable that you can donate the box and not even miss the items. If you do remember and still don't want to part with it, then start using and loving that item--frame it, display it, pass it to a child--give it the love and use it deserves!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Change the way you look at the food on your plate!

Years ago, I got a book called How to Cook Everything, by Mark Bittman. Recently I came across his book How to Cook Everything Vegetarian..great book.

I was reading a book called The Essential Green You, by Diedre Imus and she recommended a few books. Per her suggested readings, I read The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollen, super book...wow, changed the way I saw food for sure.
My book of the month club just sent me Food Matters, by Mark Bittman...the cookbook author I mentioned above and he does note, he is not vegetarian, just tries to eat healthy and environmentally safe as often as possible.

Get his book! Go the Barnes and Noble, or the library or where ever you get your books, and this one will be a favorite, so you may want to buy it! I am only a quarter of the way through it and I learned soo much!

If you go to Amazon, you can read a clip of the book, I tried the link and it takes you through some good stuff...and he has recipes too!
This book will change you for the better!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Homeschool Health and Phys Ed

This year, we are incorporating Karate (pressure points and meridians) into our homeschool phys ed and health classes.

I have my husband's notes copied for each of them into their own notebooks, and I am going to have Allen pick two days a week (concreted in stone) that he will spend time with the boys on teaching them more. That way, we don't let "life" happen too often and not get enough pressure point "learnin'" in.

For info on pressure points and karate see my father in law's website.
He has books and videos on all levels of learning.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Finding your target heart rate.


How do I figure out my target heart rate? How long do I need to work out after reaching it?

Expert Answer:

There is a basic formula that applies to the average population (and is actually pretty accurate). Let's use a 20-year-old as an easy-to-calculate example: The formula: 220-age= MAX heart rate (220-20=200 MHR) 60%-80% of this max: 200 x .6 = 120 beats per min, 200 x .8 = 160 beats per min. Therefore the TARGET HEART RATE range for a 20-year old, working at 60-80% (up to 85% for very fit people) of his/her max heart rate is 120-160 beats/min.

To calculate your heart rate: Find your pulse (on the neck or wrist) and count the number of beats for 6 seconds.

Multiply that number by 10 and compare to your recommended range. Using this method will prevent you from stopping exercise for more than a few seconds. You can take your pulse after you've been exercising for at least 5 minutes. For example, suppose you take your pulse and count 13 in 6 seconds.

Multiply by 10 to get 130 beats per minute. Now you know you're in the right range. If you notice you are lower than the minimum, increase your speed/incline/intensity and try to count again. If you notice you are very high, decrease your intensity in some way.

* If you have high blood pressure, you should not be working out in this THR range. As far as time goes, try to sustain this intensity (not including your 5 minute warm-up or cool down) for AT LEAST 20 minutes (minimum recommendations for health and weight loss), and up to 45 or even 60 minutes.

Of course, you will not start an exercise program with that much endurance, but you'll slowly build up. Aim to reach this time/intensity 3-5 days a week, and you're all set!