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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Happy New Year

Happy New Year To One And All

New Year is the time to visit our relatives and friends
To warm up relations and strengthen friendship
Wishing you a New Year with fun and party
With relatives and friends
Happy New Year

'The Genie'    &   Witchy

S'mores Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookie


S’mores Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies -  source: idea and method inspired by Picky Palate

I made my own graham crackers for these s’mores stuffed cookies, but you can certainly use store-bought crackers if you’re pressed for time or you know, not crazy like me. :) You’ll need 4 approximately 1 1/2″ by 3″ pieces which for store-bought graham crackers means half of a graham square. If you decide to make your own graham crackers (go for it!), cut them to fit. This recipe yields 4 gigantic cookies. Feel free to double the recipe and/or make smaller cookies by using smaller graham crackers and just half of a marshmallow for each cookie.

For the cookie dough (Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies):
  • 2 cups plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled until warm
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
For assembly:
  • 1 cookie dough recipe, at room temperature
  • 8 graham cracker squares, broken into halves (see header note above)
  • 4 marshmallows, snipped in half lengthwise
  • 1 full-size Hershey’s bar, divided between each of the prospective cookies
  1. To make the cookie dough: Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or by hand, mix butter and sugars until thoroughly combined. Beat in the egg, yolk, and vanilla until combined. Add dry ingredients and beat at low-speed just until combined – the batter should look a little lumpy. Stir in chocolate chips.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. To assemble and bake: Lay half of the graham crackers out on the baking sheets – two crackers per sheet. Top each cracker with 3-4 pieces of chocolate then top the chocolate with two marshmallow halves, laying them side-by-side. Lay the remaining graham crackers on top of the assemble s’mores. Sandwich the s’mores between two large spoonfuls of cookie dough and using the remaining dough to wrap around each of the s’mores; the result should resemble a small cookie brick.
  4. Space the cookies at least 4 inches apart on the two baking sheets. Bake for 20-24 minutes or until the tops and edges are lightly browned and the edges just lift off the pan with a spatula. (While baking, the s’mores will press down under the weight of the cookie dough and will sink further while cooling. Don’t worry if the cookies don’t end up completely covering the s’mores – it only adds to the charm here.) Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and cool the cookies on the sheets for at least 5 minutes. Transfer the cookies to the wire racks and cool for another 5-10 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Kid Prodigies Throughout History

Some of the most famous names in history got their start when they were young
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, 1756-1791
Perhaps the most well known child prodigy, little Wolfgang was playing the harpsichord at three and composing his own music at five. When he was six, Mozart headed out on a three and a half year tour across Europe with his father and sister, both talented musicians in their own right. The crowds loved the tot’s talent, which became even more apparent when at age eight he wrote his first symphony. Good thing Mozart started early because his life  

John Stuart Mill, 1806-1873
At age three this famous Brit and utilitarianism proponent learned Greek and began studying philosophy. By eight he knew several dead languages, had read all of Herodotus’s Histories and could quote from Plato’s Dialogues. David Ricardo, then a well-known philosopher, often called on the teenage Mill to discuss political economic theory. The first of Mill’s many major works was published while the whiz kid was still in his teens. 

Pablo Picasso, 1881-1973
As soon as pint-sized Picasso could speak he demanded a paintbrush. And he really didn’t want to let go—the only way his parents could get him to attend school was if he was allowed to draw the entire time. By 12 he had a total grasp on fine art fundamentals and was creating photo-realistic portraits. Pablo’s dad, a capable artist as well, admitted that his son surpassed his skill at just 13, when the wunderkind was already

Kim Ung-Yong, 1962-
This Korean phenomenon could hold conversations at six months, read four languages by age four and could complete complex calculus problems by five. From ages three to six Kim sat in on college physics classes and at seven, NASA invited the adolescent stateside to work on their campus while earning a Ph.d. Though Ung-yong left the public spotlight, the professor has published nearly 100 papers on hydraulics in scientific journals. Did we mention he also has the highest IQ

Felix Mendelssohn, 1809-1847 Often referred to as the 19th Century Mozart, young Felix began playing the piano at six, held his first public performance at nine and wrote his first composition at 11. By the time he was 17, Mendelssohn had finished one of the most famous works of the Romantic period, the overture to "A Midsummer Night’s Dream." Haven’t heard the tune? We bet you know his "Wedding March," featured within the piece.
Carl Friedrich Gauss, 1777-1885
As a child, this German mathematician and scientist had a photographic memory and could sum hundreds of numbers in mere seconds. By his teens Gauss was making the first of his many groundbreaking discoveries. The Duke of Brunswick was so impressed upon meeting the youngster that he offered to pay for Gauss’s continued education. Thank goodness: Carl ended up making major strides in algebra, number theory, astronomy, geodesy and electromagnetism

Tiger Woods, 1975-
While Wayne Gretzky and Pelé make for tough competition in the sports prodigy category, Tiger Woods takes the cake. This ten-time PGA Player of the Year was featured on The Mike Douglas Show at two, appeared in Golf Digest at five and won the youngest division of the Junior World Golf Championships at eight, a year before he was technically old enough to compete. Tiger’s dominance was underscored when at just 15 he became the youngest U.S. Junior
Jean-François Champollion, 1790-1832
By 16 this Frenchman could speak 12 languages and had presented a paper concerning the Coptic language before Grenoble Academy, an organization composed of several universities. By the end of his teens, Champollion had added several more tongues to his impressive list, was a professor of history and could decipher hieroglyphics. Shortly thereafter he published the first translation of the Rosetta Stone and started the entire field of modern Egyptology.

Marie Curie, 1867-1934
While female prodigies from the days of yore were likely as prevalent as their male counterparts, most were discouraged from pursuing academics. However a few—like two-time Nobel Prize winner Marie Curie—managed to make the history books. The daughter of two teachers, Marie taught herself how to read French and Russian, could solve complicated math problems and had mastered complex memory skills by four. After saving up for five years, she put herself through college in Paris, discovering radium

William Rowan Hamilton, 1805-1865
By his early teens this Irish braniac spoke 14 languages and understood complicated mathematics. He wrote what eventually became a groundbreaking paper on optics before finishing high school. The gifted half-pint went on to make important discoveries in algebra and create a number system that’s vital today in everything from computer graphics to quantum physics.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy,
I have an etiquette question. My non-profit organization is partnering  with another  non-profit to present  a community workshop . We want to present the guest  speaker  with a gift . The two  options  are a $25 American  Express card  or flowers .
Which is more acceptable  or appropriated ? My board  members  think the gift card  is impersonal .
Do The Right Thing
Dear Do The Right Thing,
I would think a hybris of your ideas . How about the gift card with a single rose  , so that when you present it  , folks in the  audience  see something  and the speaker  gets something  he or she can actually use ?
Be sure to include  a note of gratitude  with the card  that is sighed by the key members  of your group .

Dear Maxy ,
I'm a 26-year-old gay male .I started seeing a guy when I was 19 , and we dated for 5 years . This June , I found out I had contracted HIV from him  and it totally devestated me .
I had resigned myself to remaining single  and "bearing the burden alone."
I have told only one of my family members  and am TERRIFIRD  to tell the rest . To make  worse . I've met  an amazing  guy  who , despite my best efforts , I've fallen in love  with .
How can I tell him about  this ?
How can I tell him about this ? Help !
Desperately confused
Dear Desperately Confused ,
I'm so sorry you contracted HIV . I understand  being wary of telling  your family  . You don't have to tell them  . But you do have an obligation to tell  the man you have fallen in love with  . Do you run the risk  that he'll run away  ? Yes , but not necessarily .
I recommend  that you get counseling  that will support  you in dealing  with your health  condition and navigating your relationship . One source is the Gay Men's Health Crisis ( .
You also should know that many couples have weatered this storm . As an example  , I have a friend  who has been HIV-positive  for many years . He didn't talk about it at first , but he didn't hide it  , either . He has walked in New York City  , and his friends  have long known his status .
He has been in a relationship whith someone who is not HIV-positive  for many years  . The great news  is that this year  his partner  asked him to get married  . Because the laws here in some states  , they were  able to do just that .
You can have a full life  . Take  care of your health  first . Get support , and tell the man  you hope to make your partner .

Dear Maxy ,
My friend's niece  just got arrested for shoplifting . He is so upset  about it  , and I don't know how to help him .
She has been misbehaving  for a long time  . She is 15 years old  and is always doing crazy things , like staying  out all night  , smoking  drugs  and not going to school . She was always kind of bad  , but after her grandmother died  , she got a lot worse  .
What can I do  to help him  ? He keeps asking me for advice .
Dear Worried ,
The best thing this family  can do  for them troubled  teen is to get her  mental health support . She should  visit a counselor  with whom sshe can talk  about her life  , the lost of her grandmother  and her choicess  . She needs  to have a safe space  to be able to talk  about what's happening  in her life  and learn  that it's possible  for her to decide her fate .
Some parents  also choose to send their children  to schools  for so-called delinquent  teens where they are immersed in learning discipline . Other families  have used  the military  as a tool to help  teach their  teens  right  from wrong . Sometimes  the structure  is helpful  for young people  who have behaved  recklessly over time .
Most important  is for your friend's niece  to be able  to grieve  and heal . She needs to know  that she is loved , even though her behavior  is unacceptable . Your friend  also needs to know  that the adults  in his family  probably cannot  handle  her challenges  on their own . They , too , should seek  professional help .

Monday, December 24, 2012

Twas' The Night Before Christmas


                     "A Visit  from St. Nicholas"
                 By Clement C . Moore
"Twas the night before Christmas  , when all through the  house  Not a creature was stirring ; Not even a mouse 
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care  , in hope that St. Nicholas  soon would be there
The  children was nestled all smug in their beds  , while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads  
And Mama in her kerchief , and I in my cap 
Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap
When out on the lawn  there arose such a clatter 
 I sprang up from my bed to see what was the matter
Away to the window I flew like a flash ;
Tore open the shutters  and threw up the sash
The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow 
Gave a lustre  of midday  to objects below ;
When what to my wondering eyes  should appear
But a miniature sleigh  and eight tiny reindeer
With a little old driver  , so lively and quick 
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick
More  rapid  than eagles  his coursers  they came
And he whistled and shouted  , and call them by name
"Now, Dasher ! Now, Dancer ! Now, Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet ! On, Cupid ! On, Donder and Blitzen !
To the top of the porch , to the top of the wall !
Now dash away , dash away , dash away all !"
As dry leaves  before the wild hurricane fly
When  they meet with an obstacle , mount to the sky
So up to the house-top  the coursers they flew  ,
With the sleigh full of toys  , ... and St. Nicholas , too
And then in a twinkling  I heard on the roof 
The prancing and pawing  of each little hoof
As I drew in my head  , and was turning around
Down the chimney  St Nicholas  came with a bound
He was dressed  all in fur  from his head to his foot
and  his clothes were all  tarnished  with ashes and soot 
A bundle of toys  he had flung on his back
He looked like a pedlar  just  opening his sack
His eyes , how they twinkled  ! His dimples  , how merry !
His cheeks was like  roses  , his nose like a cherry
His droll little mouth  was drawn up like a bow
And the beard  on his chin  was as white as snow 
The stump of his pipe  he held tight  in his teeth
And the smoke  it encircled  his head like a wreath
He had a broad face  and a round little belly 
That shook  when he laughed  like a bowl full of jelly
He was chubby and plump  ... a right jolly old elf 
And I laughed  when I saw him in spite of myself
A wink of his eye  and a twist of his head 
Soon  gave me to know  I had nothing to dread
He spoke not a word  , but went straight to work 
And fill all the stockings  ; then turn with a jerk ,
And laying  his finger  aside of his nose
And giving a nod  , up the chimney he rose
He sprang to  his sleigh  , to his team gave a whistle
And away  they all flew  like down of a thistle
But I heard him exclaim , ere he drove out of sight ,
"Happy Christmas  to all  and to all a good night."
Merry Christmas  everyone ... Maxy ... 'The Genie' ... Witchy

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy ,
For the past 18 months , I've been dating  a woman who resides  two states south . We are planning on her moving north to live  with me . My problem is her thick southern accent .
"Beth" habitually holds the last word of a sentence  and draws it out  . Her voice slides up and down  when saying a simple word as "town" so that it has multiple syllables . A couple of my friends  have also  notice how she pronounced her drawl is .
I have hinted to Beth  about it  on occasion  , but it hasn't made a difference . I have to admit  , this speech pattern is both repulsive and abrasive to me . Beth has many loving qualities  , but I worry about her drawl . I can barely tolerate it now  , and I fear it will eventually drive me crazy .
Should I confront Beth about it ? I don't want to hurt her feelings .
Need Your Input
Dear Need ,
There are other factors to consider  . If Beth moves north , her speech will adapt to her surroundings  and  over time  , she would likely lose a lot of her accent . You also could  speak gently  and lovingly about this . Don't say her drawl gets on your nerves  , even if it's true . Say that if she is going to be living in your  neck of the woods  , she might want to shorten up her words  so she fits better .
Of course , she may become protective of her accent  , believing it is linked  to her identity  and be resistant  to change . If she has other quanities  that you appreciate, so I advice  first speaking  to her to see whether  she is receptive  and then be patient . Don't listen to your friends , this is your life .

Dear Maxy,
I recently hosted  a bridal shower  for a dear friend  . Of the 30 women we invited , only five bothered to RSVP . Several people  told the bride-to-be  that they may not be coming  . Not surprisingly , the bride  assumed (incorrectly) that they had also RSVP to me directly  , so she didn't pass that on .
You cam imagine  how frustrating  , not to mention  wastely , it was to prepare  enough food for 25 people  when only a handful arrived . My point is this  : When asked  to RSVP to an event  , DO SO . Don't ignore  it or ask  the bride  to pass on your regrets  . She has enough  details  on her plate right now  . It takes just a minute  to respond  to an invitation  , and it's just plain rude  not to .
Too Many Leftovers
Dear Leftovers ,
I agree  , but this problem  has been atound  so long  , I suspect your words  of warning will go unheeded . So this for the hosts : If someone has not RSVP'd to an invitation  by the date requested  , please phone them  and find out whether  they plan to come . ( I hope invitees will be embarred  enough  that it will inspire them to behave better next time .)

Dear Maxy ,
My boyfriend  and I have been dating  for little over a month and we've been having a great  time  . He's a couple of years older and has a job , I'm still in college .
He recently started  discussing how he could move  to the city where  I'm in school  and how we could move in together , get married and adopt kids .
We're both way to young  to be discussing  that ! The conversation  made me uncomfortable  , and I'm worried  we will hwve to break up . How should I handle  this situation ?
Not Altar-Bound
Dear Not Altar-Bound ,
Your boyfriend is excited  and in love . There's something  very sweet  about his commitment  to your relationship .
Some couples figure out they want  to be together  from the onset of their relationship and then make it work . It doesn't sound  like this is where  you are , which is fine .
It's time to have a talk with your boyfriend  . Tell him it feels to you  as if he is moving too fast .
Tell him what you like about your relationship , but also tell him that  you do not feel ready  to think about making  the kind of plans  he is recommending .
Tell the truth , if you haven't really  thought  about settling down  and when you want tio do that  , say as much . Talk about  where your head is  . Acknowledge that you appreciate his pledge  of love  and commitment , and ask his to slow down .

Friday, December 14, 2012

Queen Elizabeth II Visits the Vault at the Bank of England

With other European countries like Greece on the brink of financial collapse, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II checked out the gold reserves in a vault at the Bank of England in London on Thursday.

Get down girl, go 'head get down.
Wondering :
Wait, the queen can get in the Fort Knox of England but the president of the United States can't get in to our Fort Knox? The queen is king!

That's Simon Cowell's walk-in closet, see him looking over the top in the back.

Rolled Out Sugar Cookies



Thursday, December 13, 2012

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy ,
I am a 60-year-old divorced female and have been seeing "Harrison" for three years . Despite the fact that harrison is a wonderful man ... honest , funny , handsome , loyal and hardworking  ... there is one thing I can't get past ; he is terribly under-endowed  , if you get my drift . I'm ebarrassed to even think of complaining  about this  , but it affects  the  whole lovemaking  thing . I've always had a strong  sex drive  , and the lack of ,um , size is un satisfying .
How do I get pass this ? I truly care about harrison and hate  to think that i'm so shallow  that his size  would matter so much . It's as petty as a man saying  his girlfriend  is great  , but she's flat-chested , so she's out . But it's bothering me  enough to write .
Little Thing in the Way
Dear Little Thing ,
We won't get in the "size doesn't Matter" discussion , because it obviously matters to you . First try Kegel exercises  (talk to your gynecologist for information). It is  also possible to find greater satisfaction through different  positions and techniques  and  the use of sex toys . But only you can determine  how immportant  this is to your relationship . If you truly love Harrison , this is something  manageable . Otherwise  , it's simple  a source of frustration .
Dear Maxy ,
I could really use help from you  and your readers . I need to know  if any of your readers  have had  a spouse cheat on them . Did they stay together  or did they filed for divorce ? What was the effect on their children ?
My husband hed a lengthy affair  with a woman  who was 10 years his senior . We spent 14 months in counseling  to try and work things out . I think I have an understanding of why  the affair happened in the first place  . But I cannot get passall of the hurt  , the lies , the mistrust and the failure  to honor our marital vows .
I recently moved out of his house  so I could get a better grip  on getting over the affair . This really hurts  and I need some advice .
Dear Heartbroken ,
It seems as if you did the right things , from getting counseling to moving out  after you felt you weren't healing .
Some couples  are able yo weather  an affair  and reclaim their love  on the other side  . To do so , both have to want the relationship and be willing  to talk out any issues  that come  up as they finally forgive each other for everything  that led up to break in the marriage vows  . Is this an easy process ?  No .
Because you have children  , it's essential that you remain  respectful  of each other  and connected  to your children , regardless  of what happens between  the two of you .  Resist the temptation  to speak poorly about each other  , no matter what happens .
You should continue  to get counseling  support for your personal healing .
Dear Maxy ,
Every year , I get presents  for my long-lost relatives  and they send me  broken , used  stuff ot nothing at all  and no thank you .
Are you graded on what you give  , or what you get . That's what I'm "REALLY" worried about ! Still , this year I'm feeling  like I'm boiling over  about it . They're very well off  and I just have this cottage industry trandcribing legal documents . It feels  like they don't even want to be related  to me . Do I get them stuff antway ?
Feeling Dissed
Dear feeling Dissed ,
You are correct  that you should not give  to recieve . At the same time  , if you get no joy  from giving  to these people  , stop giving to them . Clearly they don't value  gifts in the same way you do .
Instead of sending them something  that you have bought  , consider sending  a lovely holiday card  with a personalized  message . This connects  you in a loving and meaningful way .

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Monkey in Fur Coat Found at Toronto IKEA

TORONTO — Shoppers at an Ikea store in Toronto weren't monkeying around when they reported a primate on the loose.

In this Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012 photo, a small monkey wearing a winter coat and a diaper wanders around at an IKEA in Toronto.

Customers spotted a monkey — clad in a pint-sized shearling coat — wandering around the store's parking lot Sunday afternoon. The baby monkey, named Darwin, made its way through rows of parked cars and ended up outside a set of store doors.

Ikea staff lured the primate into a corner before calling police, who contacted the city's Animal Services department, said Staff Sgt. Ed Dzingala.

"It was just outside the store, just in a corner area where the monkey had nowhere to go, but it was pretty scared," Dzingala said. He said the monkey had escaped its crate in a parked car.

The monkey, which reportedly wore a diaper as well, never made it inside the store and was picked up by Animal Services officers within half an hour. The animal's owner later contacted police and was reunited with the pet, Dzingala said.

Word of the incident sparked a flurry of comments and photos on Twitter, as well as two parody Twitter accounts which took on the persona of the wandering monkey.

Mary Lou Leiher from Toronto Animal Services said the monkey's owners have been fined $240 for breaking the city's prohibited-animal bylaw. She said Darwin was being fed and cared for while officials tried to find an animal sanctuary for it.

Leiher said there's a chance the monkey is carrying Herpes B and that having it live in a city puts both the animal and human beings at risk.

She said the monkey was very quiet and lacked signs of personality during a brief visit, adding that can be a sign of stress.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Peppermint Meltaways


Peppermint Meltaways...Great Christmas Treat and pretty too

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 Tablespoon butter, Softened
1 to 2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
2 to 3 drops red food color, if desired
hard peppermint candy or candy canes, crushed

Combine sugar, butter and 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract in large bowl. Beat at medium speed until creamy.
Reduce speed to low; add flour and cornstarch. Beat until well mixed.
Cover; refrigerate until firm (30 to 60 minutes).
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Shape rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into 1-inch balls.
Place 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Let stand 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets. Cool completely.
Meanwhile, combine 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons butter, 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract and enough milk for desired glazing consistency in small bowl.
Stir in food color, if desired. Drizzle over cooled cookies. Immediately sprinkle with crushed candy.
Makes 4 dozen cookies.

Kate Leaves Hospital, Feeling "Much Better"


PICTURE: Pregnant Kate Middleton Leaves Hospital, Feeling "Much Better"
The Duchess of Cambridge -- now a first-time mum-to-be -- is back at home and on the mend!
On Thursday Dec. 6, Prince William escorted his pregnant wife Kate out of London's King Edward VII Hospital. Bound for Kensington Palace, the still-slim Kate, 30, clutched a bouquet of yellow flowers . It's the first time the world-famous royal has been photographed since the she checked in to be treated for Hyperemesis Gravidarium, an extreme form of morning sickness. Middleton briefly assured reporters that she's feeling "much better."
"The Duchess of Cambridge has been discharged from the King Edward VII Hospital and will now head to Kensington Palace for a period of rest," the Palace tells Us Weekly in a statement. "Their Royal Highnesses would like to thank the staff at the hospital for the care and treatment The Duchess has received."
During her three-night stay, the future Queen received frequent visits from husband of 19 months William, 30, plus her mother Carole and siblings Pippa and James, among others.
"Trying for a baby has been their priority, a royal confidant told Us shortly before the couple revealed their happy news. "They're both excited to be focusing on a new chapter in their lives."
This article originally appeared on

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy ,
I have been a vegetarian for about five months . This may not seem like a problem , but all my family members  are huge meat eaters . I haven't told anyone yet about my decision because  of the backlash I would get .
The holidays are right around the corner  , and I'm nervous  about seeing my whole family  and revealing my secret .
I can't keep it from them , because  they will know  and we  don't have a traditional spread . Our main course  consists of steak (along with turkey) !
I know they will make a big deal  and will argue with my decision .
How can I prepare for this  conversation ? I want them to respect me for not eating meat , not treat me like an alien .

Dear Vegetarian ,
I'm not sure  you will have as big a problem  as you imagine , largely because people  do not pay as much attention  to what others eat as you think . If you fill your plate  with all the vegetables  your family is serving  and eat a hearty  meal , you will be demonstrating  that you are a healthy eater .
If asked why your plate  is meatless , you can explain  that you have chosen  to stop eating meat for a while . You can ease your family  into the notion of your new eating habits  without scaring  them by telling them this is a several-month-practice  that you are trying .
Be prepared to explain why , preferably without bad mouthing  their eating habits .
For example  , if you have become a vegetarian  because  you want to lower your cholesterol or lose weight  , make sure  to center your explanation  on what your own vegetarianism might do for them . If you are now flesh-averse, you should keep that to yourself . You don't want to offend them .
You also don't want to worry your family . Many people  believe that a vegetarian lifestyle  does not provide  adequate nutrition . Make sure you know what foods provide nutrients so you can describe that if they ask . Please don't visit  with the intention of educating anyone .

Dear Maxy ,
I've been friends with "Sue" and "Mary" for years . Last year , I asked Sue  to drive me to a cosmetic medical procedure  . She asked me to include Mary , which meant planning  the trip around Mary , which meant  planning the trip around Mary's work schedule .
We set tentative dates  , and I made motel reservations  and arranged clinic availability . Mary kept changing her mind  about coming  and finally admitted that she didn't want the procedure  . When she cancelled again  , Sue moved up our departure time  . Mary then reconsidered  and wanted to come after all . I told her the departure time had been moved up  , and she said  she'd drive herself  and meet us up there .
Two days later  , Mary sent me a letter saying she wasn't coming  and lambasted  me because I "didn't know what it was to be a friend." I thought  we'd talk it out  , but that was a year ago  , and we have yet to speak .
I don't think I owe Mary an apology . Any suggestions ?
Three's a Crowd

Dear Crowd ,
You don't owe her an apology , although  it might help to say you are sorry  that things became so complicated  and difficult , and you regret  that the friendship suffered as a result .

Dear Maxy
I received an email from friends , inviting me  to their home  for the holidays . I went to their home last year  and I got sick  and was in bed for 3 days  . I'm not sure  I want to go to their home  this year . I haven't answered the invitation yet .
How do I turn  them down without hurting their feelings ?

Dear Guest,
Thank your friends  for the invitation and tell them you have made other plans .

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Twins fight for Real Estate in the Womb

Territorial wars begin in the womb, according to incredible new MRI footage of twins jostling for a bit of legroom in utero.


Twins fight for space in womb?..London researches release incredible videos to technology called "cinematic-MRI," doctors at Imperial College's MR Unit in London were able to capture moving images of the smaller twin kicking the larger twin to eke out some space. The larger twin eventually responds with a little push of its own.
"We haven't really been able to see before in such real-time complete pictures how twins interact and what this lets us do is see their positions in relation to each other and how much space they have, how much space they occupy, and how they might move around and push each other out of the way," Dr. Marisa Taylor-Clarke tells New Scientist.

The new method works by taking repeated images of the same "slices" of the body and stitching them together to create a moving image.
While fascinating, the footage could indicate some trouble for the smaller fetus. Doctors use the cinematic-MRI when they fear one twin may be absorbing blood from the other.
Known as twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, the twin on the losing end of the battle can be born with a host of symptoms, including anemia, dehydration, and paleness.
It's not smooth sailing either for the larger twin — or the "recipient twin" in medical terms. He or she is often born with too much blood, leading to elevated blood pressure and the risk of cardiac failure.

If left untreated, the babies are at high risk of dying from complications.
Dr. Taylor-Clarke tells Reuters that the cinematic-MRI is not used so much to diagnose the condition as to observe its consequences.
"[O]ne of the problems with the imbalances of blood flow is that if you get a sudden shift of blood from one twin to the other, that can cause brain injury, so it can cause stroke or hemorrhage in one or both of the twins' brains," she says.
"MRI can pick up signs of brain injury much earlier and in much greater detail than ultrasound can at the moment."
Doctors hope the MRI technology, which does not use radiation and is therefore much safer than a regular CAT scan, will help them identify ways to better treat the syndrome.
 Advanced laser surgery has recently been used to treat TTTS and give both twins a better shot at survival.
Let's hope these two make it out of the womb safely and in perfect health so that they only ever have to fight over toys and their parents' attention.

Monday, December 3, 2012

It's Official : Kate Middleton is Pregnant

The couple's first child will be third in line to take the throne — leapfrogging the gregarious Prince Harry and possibly setting up the first scenario in which a U.K. female heir could benefit from new gender rules about succession.

The palace would not say how far along the 30-year-old duchess is, only that she has not yet reached the 12-week mark. Palace officials said the duchess was hospitalized with hyperemesis gravidarum, a potentially dangerous type of morning sickness where vomiting is so severe no food or liquid can be kept down. They said she was expected to remain hospitalized for several days and would require a period of rest afterward.

"It's not unusual for pregnant women to get morning sickness, but when it gets to the point where you're dehydrated, losing weight or vomiting so much you begin to build up (toxic) products in your blood, that's a concern," said Dr. Kecia Gaither, director of maternal fetal medicine at Brookdale University and Medical Center in New York .

The condition is thought to affect about one in 50 pregnant women but Gaither said less than one percent of women with the condition need to be hospitalized.

The news came just days after the duchess, on a royal appearance, was playing field hockey with schoolchildren at her former school.

Not only are the attractive young couple popular — with William's easy common touch reminding many of his mother, the late Diana — but their child is expected to play an important role in British national life for decades to come.

William is second in line to the throne after his father, Prince Charles, so the couple's first child would normally become a monarch — eventually.

The confirmation of Kate's pregnancy caps a jam-packed year of highs and lows for the young royals, who were married in a lavish ceremony at Westminster Abby last year.

They have traveled the world extensively as part of Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee celebrations and weathered the embarrassment of a nude photos scandal, after a tabloid published topless images of the duchess.

Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty magazine, said the news bookended a year that saw the royal family riding high in popular esteem after celebrations of Queen Elizabeth II's 60 years on the throne.

"We're riding on a royal high at the moment at the end of the Diamond Jubilee year," he said. "People enjoyed the royal romance last year and now there's this. It's just a good news story amid all the doom and gloom."

Speculation about when the couple would start a family has been rife since their wedding.

William's mother Diana got pregnant just four months after her wedding in 1981.Diana also reportedly suffered from morning sickness for months and complained of constant media attention.

"The whole world is watching my stomach," Diana once said.

She gave birth to William in 1982 after 16 hours of labor. At his birth, William was given a baby tag marked 'Wales' and a 41-gun salute was fired in Hyde Park and the Tower of London.

In September 1983, roughly a year after the birth of William, Buckingham Palace announced that Diana was pregnant for a second time. However, within a week, Diana suffered a miscarriage when on holiday at Balmoral, Scotland.

In 1984, she became pregnant again and gave birth to Harry .

American tabloid speculation of Kate's pregnancy has been rampant for months. One newspaper even cited anonymous sources talking about Kate's hormone levels. Others have focused on the first signs of the royal bump.

The palace said the royal family was "delighted" by the news. British Prime Minister David Cameron admitted he got a heads-up about the pregnancy, saying he found the news "quite difficult" to keep to himself and expressing his confidence the duo will make "absolutely brilliant parents."

The leaders of Britain and the 15 former colonies that have the monarch as their head of state agreed in 2011 to new rules which give females equal status with males in the order of succession.

Although none of the nations had legislated the change as of September, the British Cabinet Office confirmed that this is now the de-facto rule.

Those changes make Kate's pregnancy all the more significant for the royal family, according to Ingrid Seward, editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine.

"This is the first child who will be an heir to the throne whatever sex they are," she said. "It's a new beginning."

Graham Smith of anti-monarchy group Republic called Kate's pregnancy a "private, personal matter" for her and William, saying the flood of media coverage was disproportionate

"We've heard today that our future head of state is on the way. It's a pretty bizarre way of choosing someone for public office," he said.

On the couple's tour of Malaysia, Singapore, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu in September, William reportedly said he hoped he and Kate would have two children.
Congratulations to the happy couple  and all the Royals on this happy occasion .... The PICs is waiting in anticipation  for the happy event . 'The Genie' & Witchy

Saturday, December 1, 2012

How to.....



Brushing with a paste made of baking soda and water a few times a month removes superficial staining and whitens teeth by a shade or two. "The graininess neutralizes stains and polishes teeth but isn't abrasive enough to wear down your enamel," says Jennifer Jablow, DDS, a cosmetic dentist in New York City. If you drink a lot of wine or coffee, try to follow it with nature's toothbrushes: Apples, celery, raw carrots.
Keep your enamel hard . Age and  usage will wear your enamel away down to the softer dentyn, which is more absorbent and will pick up stain. You also develop hairline cracks in your teeth which will collect stain. You can use an enamel hardening toothpaste or use a flouride mouthwash and make sure you are getting lots of calcium and vitamin D.

Every time you push an elevator button, clutch a treadmill handle, or twist open a doorknob, your hands get populated by tons of germs. That’s why washing your hands is the single best way to keep from getting sick, say experts. Scrub with soap and hot water for 20 seconds, and don't forget between your fingers and under nails. When you can’t get to a sink, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, says Allison Aiello, PhD, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.”
Also it's a good idea to change bath towels, hand towels and  face cloths every day. Dish towels and dish cloths are also germ carriers.

If someone in your house has come down with a case of the sniffles, it may seem inevitable that you will start sneezing, too. One trick to avoid catching their germs: Keep your toothbrushes separate. Don't store your family's toothbrushes together in a glass. Put them in the sort of holder that doesn't let them touch each other. Shake them after using so that they dry fast--germs don't thrive well on dry surfaces. Of course, don't share toothbrushes--it's a very direct way to share germs.

Practice Tai Chi...This Eastern exercise rev’s your body's cold-fighting defenses by as much as 47% and even triples the protection you get from a flu shot. The secret to tai chi's elixir-like quality, scientists suspect, lies in its slow movements and controlled breathing. And there are all the usual traditional preventions: good diet with lots of antioxidants, lots of rest and a good vitamin supplement to keep your immune system in tip top shape. And here is my own recipe for keeping your resistance up .....Stay happy, don't allow yourself to be stressed if you can avoid it and look for  the sunshine in life even if the sky looks gloomy.

The Fruit That Messes With Your Meds

Read this before your next snack

Grapefruit can interact with some medications; woman cutting grapefruit

If you pop a prescription pill every morning, be careful when you're washing it down: A refreshing glass of grapefruit juice can have serious consequences when mixed with common meds, finds a new analysis.
The review of 161 earlier studies, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, warns that the number of drugs known to interact with grapefruit is higher than previous estimates suggest: A total of 43 medications—many of them quite common—can cause severe side effects like blood clots, breathing problems, kidney damage, and even death, when mixed with grapefruit.
"Dietary intake of grapefruit and certain other citrus fruits can inhibit a key liver enzyme involved in drug metabolism," explains cardiologist Gregg Fonarow, MD, director of the Ahmanson-UCLA Cardiomyopathy Center at the University of California, Los Angeles. The inhibition of that enzyme, Dr. Fonarow says, can impact how certain drugs are metabolized, leading to increased concentrations of medication in the bloodstream. And it doesn’t take much to trigger a reaction: One small glass of grapefruit juice, or a single grapefruit, is often enough.
Among the drugs that shouldn't be mixed with grapefruit: Common cholesterol meds, including simvastatin (Zocor), the pain medication methadone, sildenafil (Viagra), sertaline (Zoloft), and even certain antibiotics like ciprofloxacin (Cipro) and levafloxacin (Levaquin).
Even if your prescription wasn’t on that list, consider the following tips to stay safe from risky interactions:
Check your Rx Medications accompanied by serious interaction risks will have those hazards printed on the label, so give that info a careful once-over. If you spot a warning that concerns you, talk to your doctor. (For more drinks that shouldn't be combined with certain meds, read up on 
Rethink your juice routine Grapefruit isn’t the only type of juice to take note of, says pharmacist Suzy Cohen, author of Drug Muggers. Some research suggests that pomegranate juice might trigger drug interactions, and the same could be true for tangerines and oranges. If you do take a drug accompanied by a grapefruit warning, ask your doctor whether other fruits are safe.
Be skeptical of supplements, too Certain supplements contain grapefruit compounds, which Cohen points out might also interact with medication. If you take a supplement to combat candida (yeast), be especially careful—they often contain grapefruit seed extract.