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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Harper's attitude to Pro Choice ....Sucks

Abortion — an issue that Canadians from coast to coast don't want to re-open — has seemingly become an issue again.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper pledged $3.5 billion in funding aimed at improving the health of mothers and newborns in developing countries around the world....very generous indeed.
Instead of being lauded for this generous and significant contribution, the headlines Friday morning were all about Harper not funding access to safe abortions.The opposition New Democrats argue that $3.5 billion is a good start, but "ensuring access to safe abortion and full reproductive health care is the best way to reduce maternal mortality."
"Unsafe abortion amounts to 13 percent of maternal death worldwide — 47,000 women a year — and we urge the Government to adopt a more comprehensive approach to reproductive health and women’s equality," NDP MP Hélène Laverdière said in an email to Yahoo Canada News.

The maternal health chatter comes on the heels of Justin Trudeau's edict earlier this month that all future Liberal candidates would have to be pro-choice. The ramifications of that pronouncement continue to be felt. The media have continuously been writing about this. Roman Catholic leaders across the country continue to criticize his stance with some even recommending that he be banned from receiving communion.

In Prince Edward Island, the provincial Liberal government is under fire from pro-choice activists who want the government to provide access to abortions there. (P.E.I. does not offer abortions in the province but will pay for the cost of abortions outside the province.)
And last year, Conservative MP Mark Warawa made headlines when he tried to introduce a motion in the House of Commons to condemn gender-selection abortions — also known as 'gendercide.' Motion 408 was deemed non-votable by a parliamentary subcommittee, but Conservative members convincingly passed the motion at their policy convention in November.
As an aside, a 2012 Angus Reid survey suggested that 60 per cent of Canadians believe "there should be laws which outline whether a woman can have an abortion based solely on the gender of the fetus."
Politicians are fond of saying that the abortion issue is closed. And, to a certain extent, it's true: another Angus Reid survey found that only 4 per cent of Canadians say abortion should only be permitted to save a woman's life while 5 per cent say abortion should never be permitted.
But try as they might to keep the issue under wraps, it's alive and well in Canada.

Mr Harper, step into the 21st century with the rest of us. Women, worldwide, should have a choice in what happens to their own bodies. Abortion should be an option for many reasons; - rape victims ( So prevalent in Africa and India ) -  children under sixteen who should not have to take on the responsibility of babies - women who cannot feed or support a child  and more, too numerous to  mention here. They   should all be allowed a choice.
'Ouvrez les yeux', Mr Harper! I can't wait to vote you out of office.  Justin Trudeau may be a little rad but at least he has an open mind.

Friday, May 30, 2014


This is an actual true story
Shortly after the 911 emergency number became available, an elderly and quite ill lady appeared in a Rochester hospital emergency room, having driven herself to the hospital and barely managing to stagger in from the parking lot. The horrified nurse said, "Why didn’t you call the 911 number and get an ambulance?" The lady said, "My phone doesn’t have an eleven."

Food for Thought : Farmer's Markets

Farmers markets are great places to learn where your food comes from. They also make it very easy to eat locally grown foods. Farmers markets can help you save money, too.  Luckily, our area has a few farmers markets to choose from so you should be able to find one fairly close to you. In order to make any shopping trip successful, especially one to the farmers market, you should do a little planning.

Here are a few tips:
1 .  Know the market. Many markets will post their vendors and the layout online or in brochures. Look over these to know what is available. Keep in mind markets with multiple days per week of operation may not have the same vendors every day.

2 .  Have an idea of the meals you would like to prepare over the next week, but be open to substitutions. You may have planned for carrots, only to find this week your favorite merchant is out of carrots. Look for other vegetables to substitute. Also, you may find a great deal on something you had not planned on purchasing.

3 .  Take your own bags and small bills with change. This makes transactions go quickly and smoothly. Having your own bags helps protect your purchases, as many times bags provided by vendors are thin and flimsy.

4 .  Do not overcomplicate your meals. Let the flavors from your local produce come through by planning and preparing fruits and vegetable in simple ways. Not only will you save yourself time in the kitchen, but you may also be pleasantly surprised at how wonderful they taste.

Words of Wisdom :

In the eyes of a child you will see the it should be.

 You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.

Many people have ideas on how others should change; few people have ideas on how they should change.

It requires wisdom to understand wisdom; the music is nothing if the audience is deaf.

Just because someone hurt you yesterday doesn't mean you should start living life today in constant fear of being hurt tomorrow.

"I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge; That myth is more potent than history; That dreams are more powerful than facts; That hope always triumphs over experience; That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death."

The road to success is not straight. There is a curb called Failure, a loop called Confusion; speed bumps called Friends; red lights called Enemies; caution lights called Family. You will have flats called jobs. But, if you have a spare called Determination; an engine called Perseverance; insurance called Faith, and a driver called Guidance, you will make it to a place called Success!!

 A Proud Grandpa G.

Is Honey Healthier than Sugar ?

The sweet truth

 We Asked: Keith Kantor, Ph.D., a nutritionist and author of the children's book "The Green Box League of Nutritious Justice"
The Answer: Sugar is sugar. And honey is (mostly) sugar. But if you're choosing between the two from a health perspective, err on the side of the sticky stuff.
Your body breaks food down into glucose in order to use it for fuel. The more complex a food-namely a carbohydrate-is, the more work it takes to break it down. Sugar is made of 50 percent glucose and 50 percent fructose, the sugar typically found in fruits, and is broken down very easily, leading to a surge of blood glucose. What your body doesn't use right away gets stored as fat. Honey is also made mostly of sugar, but it's only about 30 percent glucose and less than 40 percent fructose. And there are also about 20 other sugars in the mix, many of which are much more complex, and dextrin, a type of starchy fiber. This means that your body expends more energy to break it all down to glucose. Therefore, you end up accumulating fewer calories from it.

Honey also has trace elements in it, stuff that bees picked up while going from plant to plant. These will depend on region, so depending on the source of your honey it could have varying small amounts of minerals like zinc and selenium as well as some vitamins. And because honey doesn't break down in nature, it doesn't contain preservatives or other additives.
As with anything sweet, you can overdo it, but if you're going to use a spoonful of something in your tea, go for honey over sugar.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy,
My 95-year-old father,"Fred" lives  on his own, far away from his three  children . Until now, Dad has  been in good health, even still driving . My siblings  and I have  been trying to convince Dad to move near  to one of  us  so we can care  for  him, but he refuses .
Dad has a girlfriend name "Gina," whom he met right after Mom died seven years ago . Gina  is 20 years  younger  than Dad. At first it was companionship  that kept them  together but recently Gina  is more of a caregiver . Dad is increasingly  dependent  on this woman  and seems unable to make a decision  without  consulting her first .
We see Dad's health deteriorating, both mentally and  physically and don't think  he is getting the basic care he needs. How do we get him  to give up Gina  and come live with one of  us ? Are we doing the right thing  to even ask it of him ? We worry  we aren't  doing our  best  for our  father . What do you think ?
Confused Daughter
Dear Confused,
I think you are caring  children who want what's best for  your father, but it  can be traumatizing  and frightening  to move  to a new  city, especially  at the age of  95 . Dad  has been with Gina  for seven years  and is undoubtedly quite attached  to her . She is trying to care  for him, but this  is a big  job.
Making these decisions  and knowing  when Dad is no longer capable of doing so on his may require professional assistance . I suggest  you pay an in-person visit to Dad as soon as possible  and assess the situation . Does he  need a housekeeper ? A full-time caregiver ? If he cannot afford in-home services, could  you move him  to a continuing care  facility near Gina ? Are there  day-care facilities  nearby ? Would Dad  visit you for an extended  stay, perhaps becoming familiar  with your  neighborhood  and less  resistant  to relocating ? Contact the Eldercare Locator  (  at 1-800-677-1116 or a private  geriatric care  manager ( ) to help  you figure  out the best plan.

Dear Maxy,
Over the years , I have  always been  the poor one in our  family . My siblings  have made a lot more money than me, and they have supported  me in all kinds of ways . Of course, I appreciate  their generosity, but I want to pull my own weight too. The other day  I had lunch with my brother at a local restaurant  and the meal was quite  affordable, so when the check came, I immediately reached  to pay for it . My brother shrugged me off and paid the tab . I tried to tell him that I wanted to take care of it, but he wouldn't listen . Should I leave well enough alone or  follow up  and let him know that I am making an effort  to contribute  more now  that I am earning  a little more .
Not  totally Broke
Dear Not Totally Broke,
There is no need to go to  your  siblings  to  complain about not  being allowed to foot the tab for a meal . They have become accustomed  to paying  for  your tab  and expect  that they will handle it . Since  you are not in a position to pay regularly  for whatever  may come up, don't protest this . Instead, do little things  that show your appreciation  to your family members . You can write them notes  expressing  your gratitude . You can send or give them small personal gifts  (perhaps flowers) to show  you care . And next time  you go  to an affordable  restaurant, you can announce in advance  that  you will be picking up the check .

Dear Maxy,
It is  the end of the school year  and it is customary  to give  gifts  to the teachers . I have  gotten emails  from other parents  asking  for money  for a group gift .While I know this is what people do, I feel uncomfortable  about being forced  to participate . Is it wrong  for me  to buck the group  plan and give on my own ? I understand  that we have  a limit  on the amount  of money  that each family  gives but what if I decide  to give a small amount  or even if  my child gives  something she makes rather than money ? How  can I present  this  to the  class parents  so that my child  doesn't  end up  being the  outcast ?
Against the Shakedown
Dear Against the Shakedown,
Each school  has a particular  culture. You should be  crystal  clear  about  yours  before  you make a decision . Check school policy . It may be that classes  typically  give  as a unit . If so,  you can  tell the  class parents  that rather  than giving  cash,  you choose  to give a different  type of  gift.
That said, you may want to  give  a small  monetary gift  just so  that you can  be at least peripherally part of the  class culture .
Remember that children want and need to  feel part of their class.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Mother and Son Reunion...Remote Amazonian Tribe

Imagine reconnecting with your long-lost mother-in a tribe that has no written language, electricity, or medicine. Or word for "love." That's what David Good experienced when he found his mother, Yarima, in the Yanomami tribe in Venezuela, the New York Post reports.

David Good and his mother Yarima

He had long claimed she died in a car crash, because the truth embarrassed him-that his father, Kenneth, an anthropology student, had married Yarima in 1978 after a series of expeditions to the tribe; she was likely no more than 12-the tribe also has no numbers. Kenneth's travels back and forth to the US left her vulnerable (she was brutally gang-raped by 20 to 30 men during one of his absences), so he got her medical care and moved her to New Jersey in 1986 to give birth to David and live a typical American life.

David Good's mother grew up in a remote village in the Amazon jungle.Their unusual marriage drew media attention and sparked a bidding war between major Hollywood players, but a movie was never made and the romance wouldn't last: Yarima said that in New Jersey, she missed close human relations, the BBC reports. So she moved back home, leaving David feeling abandoned and ashamed. (Especially horrifying was seeing her photo on a class field trip at the Museum of Natural History, in a tribal exhibit: "I just froze," he says. "...I ran to a dark corner and hid for 10 minutes.") He turned to alcohol as a teenager and kept his feelings hidden. But as an adult, he visited Yarima's tribe in 2011-she wept when they met again-and visited again last year, eating grubs and living as the Yanomami do. And he wants to keep going. "It's not like there's closure," he says. "We're at the beginning of our story, in so many ways."

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

No Such Thing as 'Work/Life Balance'


Think about your workweek. How many times have you traded off something important in your life for something important in your job? And how many times have you complained — or heard a friend or colleague complain — about feeling out of balance between home and the office?

Admittedly, work usually takes priority over the rest because work is what we spend the majority of our day doing. It financially supports our lifestyle, our families and it’s a core part of our identities. Add mobile technology to our career-driven lives, and work priorities now have the potential to intrude on our personal lives.
This threatens  our relationships, health and overall happiness.  Every day, we unknowingly hand over a little more power to alerts, texts and notifications. When we’re constantly bombarded with these bits of information, priorities and distractions start to run together, and we have a hard time knowing what to focus on.
How do you know when your priorities have gone awry?
When you’ve reached a point where the urgency to react to something is disproportionate to its priority, then you may have lost that precious equilibrium. Do you delay a scheduled workout because you feel compelled to reply to an email first? Do unread emails cause you stress even after a 12-hour workday? Do you check your phone during dinner? These are all signs that you have an imbalanced relationship with technology.
There are some ways to put your life in better balance — at least with technology. Among them: find a non-work related passion and wait 30 minutes each morning before checking your email or phone.
The most defining moment of your day is when you first wake up. You have a choice about the first information you expose your brain to. By meditating, exercising, journaling, or doing something reflective for those first 30 minutes instead of opening the digital floodgates, you allow yourself to start your day recharged and aware of your priorities.

Paul Herbert, Vice President of Solution Design at Symbolist Says:“This whole idea of work-life balance is starting to unravel before our very eyes. Some of us cling to it tightly, hoping we can continue to ignore emails, yammer and text messages between the hours of 6 pm and 8 am. But you know you can’t,” he wrote. “Work and life aren’t apart any more… and the reality is you must face is the fact that work and life are inseparable.”
 "Up until the early 1900s… factories created the need and the opportunity for work-life balance,” he wrote.
Factory life meant shifts and predictable regularity in schedules. But, wrote Herbert, that approach no longer applies.
“That idea — of the clock as a divider between work-life — is history. The present, and the future, is about the merging of those concepts,” Herbert wrote. “Life is what we do. Life is the sum total of our actions and our efforts. Work-life balance isn’t about separation any more — it is about consolidation.”
The price of having your job is how much of your life you are willing to devote to it.
 “The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” - Henry David Thoreau:

Monday, May 26, 2014

Jim Gaffigan

My favorite Jim Gaffigan routine....Hot Pockets

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Picket Signs With Relevance

What are people picketing and protesting about these days ? 

best funny signs

I get the feeling they're not taking this protest thing seriously

In the last few weeks  we got grill fever and grilled everything in sight. And just so we didn't get tired of barbecue before the summer got rolling, I made this simple pot pie for a change and the family liked it a lot. It is a lighter version than the one I make for comfort food in the winter.

If You Die for Pot Pie ...


  • 2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves (12 to 14 ounces each)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 carrots, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups low-fat (1%) milk
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 6 phyllo sheets (each 12 by 17 inches), thawed


  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place chicken on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of breast (avoiding bone) registers 165 degrees, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool slightly; discard skin and bones. Shred meat, and set aside.
  2. Step 2

    While chicken is roasting, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large saucepan over medium. Add carrots, onion, and thyme; season with salt and pepper, and cook until carrots are crisp-tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add flour, and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Gradually add milk, stirring until smooth. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a simmer and thickens.
  3. Step 3

    Remove from heat; stir in peas, lemon juice, and chicken, and season with salt and pepper. Pour filling into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate.
  4. Step 4

    Stack phyllo on a work surface. Using a paring knife, cut out an 11-inch circle from the stack; discard trimmings. Stack 2 circles on work surface, and brush gently with 1 teaspoon oil; repeat with remaining circles and oil. Place phyllo stack over filling, and press down about 1/2 inch from the edge so phyllo fits inside rim of pie plate. Bake until golden and bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes. Let potpie cool 15 minutes before serving.

Borrowed from Martha Stewert

Fresh Strawberry Cream Cake

A lovely way to welcome spring and all the fresh fruit that comes with it. Your family will love this cake and you will be very popular at your house.


MetricConversion chart

  • 2 cup(s) nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup(s) heavy or whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup(s) confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
Cake Layers:
  • 2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup(s) whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cup(s) low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup(s) canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup(s) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2 pound(s) strawberries
  • 3 tablespoon(s) granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoon(s) reduced-sugar strawberry preserves
  • 1 tablespoon(s) confectioners' sugar

  1. In medium sieve set over deep medium bowl, place basket-style coffee filter or paper towel. Spoon yogurt into filter; cover and refrigerate 2 hours.
  2. Prepare Cake Layers: Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray three 9" round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray with flour. (Or, grease pans, then line bottoms with waxed paper; grease waxed paper and dust lined pans with flour.)
  3. On sheet of waxed paper, combine flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside. From lemon, grate 1 tablespoon peel and squeeze 2 tablespoons juice. In small bowl, with wire whisk, mix buttermilk, oil, lemon peel and juice, and vanilla until blended.
  4. In large bowl, with mixer on low speed, beat granulated sugar, eggs, and egg whites until blended. Increase speed to high; beat 5 minutes, or until mixture is pale and thickened, scraping bowl with rubber spatula. With spatula, fold flour mixture into egg mixture alternately with buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture, just until blended.
  5. Spoon batter evenly into prepared pans. Stagger pans on 2 oven racks, placing 2 on upper rack and 1 on lower rack so that upper pans are not directly above lower one. Bake 18 to 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. With small knife, loosen layers from sides of pans; invert onto racks. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, reserve 8 small whole strawberries for garnish; cut 4 in half through stem end. Hull remaining strawberries and cut each in half. In large bowl, mix hulled strawberries with granulated sugar and let stand 10 minutes.
  7. Make Cream: In medium bowl, with mixer on high speed, beat heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Beat in confectioners' sugar and vanilla until blended. Fold in drained yogurt.
  8. Assemble cake: Measure 1/2 cup Cream and reserve for top of cake. (If using, remove waxed paper from cake layers.) Place 1 cake layer rounded side down on cake plate; spread with 2 tablespoons strawberry preserves. Top with half of remaining Cream, spreading to 1 inch from edge of cake layer. Arrange half of strawberries, with some of their juices, in an even layer over Cream. Top with another cake layer, pressing lightly. Repeat with remaining preserves, Cream, and strawberries with their juices. Top with remaining cake layer. Place 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar in small sieve and sprinkle over the top of cake. Spoon reserved 1/2 cup Cream onto center of cake and garnish with reserved strawberries. Serve immediately.

6 Signs Your Marriage Will Last a Lifetime


When asked "What keeps your marriage strong?", these women had some unconventional answers. But hey, if it works, it works!

1.When something weird happens, my guy is always the first one I want to text. Erin W., Highlands Ranch, CO
Seeing your guy as your personthe one you want to share gossip or funny observations with — is essential, say Charles and Elizabeth Schmitz, psychotherapists and authors of Building a Love That Lasts. “Good couples tend to view their partner as their best friend,” says Charles. “Having inside jokes and stories is part of what builds that bond.” That’s why it’s key to share funny anecdotes about your day, even if they’re trivial.

2. “He and I may not split chores 50/50 all the time, but we know we’re on the same team.” Amanda K., Federal Way, WA
Surprisingly, you don’t need to divide everything down the middle to be an amazing couple, says Charles J. Orlando, relationship expert and author of The Problem with Women… Is Men. “Keeping a score card makes everyone resentful.” Yes, you both need to pull your weight around the house, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessary to count changed diapers or scrubbed pans. “Having a relationship in which both of you can speak honestly if you’re feeling overwhelmed, and not just lash out because someone forgot to take out the recycling one night, leads to a much stronger romance.”

3. “He still surprises me. At a party, he suddenly jumped up and started singing 'Ring of Fire.' I never even knew he had a voice!” Aurea B., Calabasas, CA
Obviously, major secrets are not okay in a long-term relationship, but keeping little things to yourself — like taking step-dance classes leading up to your cousin’s wedding or stocking up on vacation ideas — can boost your bond, says Shauna Springer, Ph.D., author of Marriage, for Equals. “Overfamiliarity is the enemy of romance, so continuing to engage in some measure of independent growth is critical.”

4. “He’s probably the person who can infuriate me the most — even more than my mom — but I wouldn’t have it any other way.” Becka N, Toronto, ON
Healthy couples know how to push each other’s buttons, and being able to hash it out is ultimately a lot better than holding everything in. Not only that, but couples who experience a steady level of conflict over the years — as opposed to never fighting at first, then constantly being down each other’s throats five years in — are stronger, according to a 2011 study. The trick is not to let resentments fester, says Gilda Carle, Ph.D., relationship expert and author of Don’t Bet on the Prince. “Anger is a perfectly healthy emotion. It’s fine to get into it, as long as you both know how to apologize and move on, fast."

5. “He and I have had our lowest moments together, but have come out on the other side.” Amina P., Summit, NJ
It says right in the wedding vows that everything won’t be a walk in the park, but that’s easy to overlook in the tulle-and-cake-induced fugue of your big day. In the ensuing years, surviving the tough stuff together is a huge sign you have what it takes to get through anything. A 2011 study found that couples who believe marriage will last forever, no matter what, survive longer than those who don’t fully believe in the concept of till death do us part. Yes, the going will get tough, but knowing you’re both 110% committed to staying the course is essential.

6. “When I’m with him, I’m never bored — even on a Saturday spent mulching the backyard.” Krissy J., Secaucus, NJ
Research shows that couples who do new or different things together — even if it's as simple as a fresh mulching technique — are happier than those who fall into a same-old routines. “In the beginning of a relationship, you’re going to new places, you both have some insecurity about how the other person feels, and all of that contributes to the butterflies you feel,” says psychiatrist Scott Haltzman, M.D. author of Surviving Infidelity. “But over time, you relax around each other and can get complacent.” You don’t need to go bungee jumping, but keeping things fun, like singing songs in the car or playing Just Dance as cardio, can help keep apathy from creeping into your relationship. 

Some People is Crazy

This Chinese Beekeeper Put 450,000 Bugs on His Body, Because why Not? 
This Chinese Beekeeper Put 450,000 Bugs on His Body, Because Why Not?

Pizza Cake??? Why Not?

A Canadian Pizza Chain is Threatening to Unleash Pizza Cake Upon the World. Who's in?
A Canadian Pizza Chain is Threatening to Unleash Pizza Cake Upon the World. Who's In?

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Men's Rules for Women


    My husband thinks this is a good set of rules for women.  Ladies, I think we have to come up with a comprehensive list of rules for men.

    Birthdays and anniversaries should not be challenges to see if we can again find the perfect present for you

    Sometimes we are not thinking about you. Live with it.

    Sunday is sports day. It’s like gravity or a full moon or gravity. Let it be.

    Just ask for what you want. Let’s be clear on this. Subtle hints don’t work. Nor do strong or even obvious hints. So just simply tell us what you want.

    Learn to work the toilet seat. You’re a big girl now, so if it’s up, don’t nag, just put it down. We need it up and you never hear us complaining when you leave it down.

    Shopping is not a sport and we are never, ever going to think of it as such

    Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers to most questions.

    Christopher Columbus didn’t need directions and neither do we.

    Only come to us with a problem if you really want help solving it. That’s what we do. Sympathy is what your girlfriends do.

    Anything we said over 3 months ago is inadmissible in an argument. In fact, all comments become null and void after 7 days.

    If you think you’re fat, you probably are. Don’t ask us. We won’t answer.

    Most men own at most three pairs of shoes. So what makes you think we’re any good at helping you decide which pair of your shoes, out of forty, goes best with your dress

    If something we said can be interpreted two ways, and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one.

    Men see in only 16 colors, like Windows default settings. Peach, for example, is a fruit, not a colour and we have no idea what mauve is.

    We are not mind readers and never will be. Our lack of mind-reading ability is not proof of how little we care about you.

    If you ask a question you don’t want an answer to, expect an answer you don’t want to hear.

    When we have to go out somewhere, anything you wear is fine. Really.

    If we ask what is wrong and you say “nothing,” we will act like nothing’s wrong. We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle.

    Thank you for reading this. Yes, I know I have to sleep on the couch tonight, but did you know we really don’t mind that, it’s like camping.

11 Things That Destroy your Immune System

sick cartoon photo: The Ghost Sixxes Dark TheGhostSixxesBlkMyspace.jpg

Attack on Your Immunity Viruses and bacteria aren't the only bad actors that test your immune system. Your T cells are being tested 24/7, and by some surprising culprits, ranging from modern-day convenience items in your home to deep-rooted emotions. We scoured the data to bring you common immune-system wreckers so you can eliminate them from your life.
1. Microwavable Popcorn
Immune System Assassin:
Microwavable popcorn bags are commonly coated in nonstick chemicals called perflurorinated compounds (PFCs) so grease doesn't penetrate the bag. A recent study in Environmental Health found levels the government considers "safe" are 100 to 1,000 times too high for children. These chemicals have been shown to mess up your immune system; vaccines given to people with higher levels of PFCs in their bodies were much less effective.
Immunity Boost: Make popcorn on the stovetop or use this DIY microwave popcorn trick. These same chemicals hide out in many stain-repellent carpets and furniture treatments and greaseproof fast-food containers and wraps, so be sure to cut down on these exposures, too.
2. Pots and Pans
Immune System Assassin:
Some of the same nonstick chemicals added to popcorn bags also hide out in many nonstick pots and pans. A recent study published in Environmental Health Perspectives found women with higher levels of hormone-disrupting perfluorinated compounds like perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) in their blood were more likely to have the autoimmune disease osteoarthritis.
Immunity Boost: Don't panic if you have nonstick pans, but when you start noticing scratches and chips, replace them with glass, made-in-the-USA cast iron, or stainless steel to avoid nonstick chemicals.
3. Loneliness
Immune System Assassin:
Your immune cells are social, and they want you to be, too. T cells scan your body for disease and then share information like honeybees, according to a recent scientific breakthrough. But if you're not so social, it could impact your ability to fight disease. Ohio State researchers recently found worrying about close relationships acts like a chronic stressor that suppresses your immunity. Previous research found we're more likely to get sick--and die earlier--when we have fewer social connections.
Immunity Boost: If you just can't seem to click with new people, try volunteering where you'll find generous and grateful folk, such as at a soup kitchen. You're not necessarily looking to make new friends there--though it's great if you do. But you may find it easier to lower your guard in an atmosphere of altruism and gratitude.
4. Lack of Sleep
Immune System Assassin:
Slacking in the sleep department can lower the number of killer cells your body needs to wipe out infections. A University of Chicago study found that sleeping just four hours a night for a week cut the number of flu-fighting antibodies in study participants' systems in half. 
Immunity Boost: Stay away from looking at screens for at least two hours before going to bed. The light from electronics' screens can trick your brain from easing into sleep mode. Aim for seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep.
5. Antibiotics
Immune System Assassin:
Taking antibiotics can slash your levels of cytokines, the hormonal messengers your immune system relies on during sickness.
Immunity Boost: Cold and flu and most middle ear and sinus infections are caused by viruses, so taking antibiotics will do nothing for your ailment and will wipe out immune-supporting bacteria in your gut. Find out when you actually need antibiotics, here. When you are on antibiotics, be sure to take doses on time and finish the entire course. Eat low-sugar yogurt and fermented foods to repopulate your gut flora.
6. Canned Food
Immune System Assassin:
Bisphenol A, or BPA, coats the inside lining of most canned foods. In 2010, University of Michigan School of Public Health researchers found that adults with higher levels of BPA also had higher cytomegalovirus antibody levels, suggesting that their cell-mediated immune system is malfunctioning.
Immunity Boost: To avoid BPA, opt for fresh or frozen foods, versus canned, or reach for soups and broths in Tetra Pak boxes.
7. Sugar
Immune System Assassin:
Eating 100 grams of sugar (think a bottle of soda, fruit yogurt, and a candy bar) significantly lowered the ability of white blood cells to kill bacteria for up to five hours, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Immunity Boost: Avoid foods with added sugar as much as possible, especially during cold and flu season. It's in obvious places, such as juices, sodas, and desserts, but significant amounts also hide out in many low-fat yogurts, bread, condiments, and salad dressings.
8. Dehydration
Immune System Assassin:
Fluids help flush your body of immune-damaging toxins and carry nutrients to any infection sites. Little-known fact? Many of us walk around mildly dehydrated most of the time without even knowing it.
Immunity Boost: If your pee is dark yellow in the morning, drink more water before bed--you're aiming for pale yellow for a visible sign of proper hydration.
9. Antibacterial Soap
Immune System Assassin:
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center found children exposed to antibacterial chemicals are prone to food and environmental allergies. Children with higher levels of antibacterials in their urine experienced higher IgE blood antibody levels. High antibody counts signal a response to an allergen; the researchers believe the antibacterial chemicals alter healthy immune system development.
Immunity Boost: Children with more triclosan, a popular antibacterial soap chemical, in their blood were the highest allergy risk. Washing with regular soap and water works just as well, without the added risks.  
10. Air Pollution
Immune System Assassin:
Cutting-edge research is unearthing a connection between air pollution--specifically polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)--and damaged immune systems. PAHs pour from exhaust pipes and flake off of driveways, playgrounds, and parking lots treated with coal-tar sealant.
Immunity Boost: Check local pollution levels and avoid exercising outdoors on high pollution days. Push for a coal-tar sealant ban in your city, state, or municipality to reduce PAH exposure from blacktop surfaces. (Safer alternatives without coal tar are readily available at most hardware stores.)
11. Insecticides
Immune System Assassin:
Using toxic insecticides to kill household and lawn pests could increase your risk of developing an autoimmune disease, according to data recently presented at an American College of Rheumatology meeting. Women who sprayed insecticides at least six times a year were about 2½ times more likely to develop lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. Those who hired a professional lawn service to apply insecticides to their yard had a two times greater risk.
Immunity Boost: Use nontoxic pest control measures and use these organic lawn-care tips to keep your house pest free without chemicals. Plant native plants in your garden to attract beneficial insects that prey on pests, too.

Glass Ceiling ( women struggling with Discrimination in the work place)


I was recently (not for the first time) in a conversation where a woman said she never again wants to work for another woman.  When I asked how many female bosses she’d had over the years, she replied: “One.”
We human beings strive for internal consistency. Leon Festinger, in his theory of cognitive dissonance, held that when a person experiences inconsistency (dissonance) the ensuing stress often motivates the individual to both reduce the dissonance and avoid any information that would increase it.
Now, you might think that a woman would experience some dissonance were she to state that she never wants to work for another female boss.  But what if she believes that men make better bosses than women, after a single experience of working for a poor female boss. Maybe that helps her avoid feeling dissonance?
There are lots of articles and papers about the dearth of women in top-level business and government jobs.  While discrimination does exist, if the people in power believe that women are as capable as men to assume leadership, they’ll act in ways congruent with that belief.  If they doubt that women can be effective leaders -- especially in male-dominated professions -- the desire to avoid dissonance would naturally lead them to deny high-level promotions to women until and unless such doubts give way to greater confidence.
Pointing to the successful careers of one or two prominent women won’t do the trick. It hasn’t worked so far.  They can be dismissed as exceptions.  A boss once told me that we had few women in senior positions because qualified ones were exactly that – hard to find and exceptions to the rule.  It allowed him to maintain congruence between his failure to hire women leaders and his view of himself as fair minded.
For some people, having a daughter finally opens their eyes to how antiquated their beliefs are – assuming the daughter is not viewed as an exception.  It’s difficult to be proud of your daughter and have high hopes for her career if you refuse to promote women to leadership positions.
If you work where women aren’t readily promoted, it may be time to find ways to show those who harbor doubts about female leadership that such beliefs are inconsistent with other beliefs they hold dear.  Shine the light on contradictions.  In short, facilitate promotions of women rather than the opposite.  That path may take some research into the belief systems of those holding women back, but it may also take another chip out of a glass ceiling that should have been a thing of the past long ago.

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy,
I just found out my best friend's parents  are  getting a divorce . Our parents  have been friends  for years  and they are like a second family to me . Her  dad  cheated on her mom  and her mom has turned the kids against their  dad . When my  friend  tries to talk to me  about this  situation , I feel very uncomfortable  because I think  that it is wrong  that she  does  not  communicate with her dad. She asks  me for advice , but I don't want to go against  what she  believes is right . I know she is very upset  about this situation  and I really don't  know  what  to say  to her when she brings up the divorce .
Should I try  to avoid  this  subject  completely  or  try  and comfort  her without  giving  any opinion ?
Dear Uncomfortable ,
You are doing the right thing  by  not taking sides . There is  no winning in this situation if  you become too vocal  about  your opinions . Do your  best  to simply  be there  for your  friend . Remind  her  that you love her  and want to support  her through  everything . Suggest  that she see a counselor  to get professional  support  as she  goes through  this incredibly difficult period .
If  she asks you to take sides  or  agree  with something  that makes  you uncomfortable, tell her no . It is OK  for you  to say that you refuse  to speak badly  about either of her parents .

Dear Maxy ,
Six years ago, I gave up my job  to take care of my mother , while  my siblings went off  and had fun . After Mom passed , I still had the house to clean  and laundry  to do . I never asked  for a dime  But as my own health has declined , everyone  continues  to treat me  like a servant .
My father  and brother both say demeaning  things  to me . My sister-in-law  is a know it all  and makes it clear  she  thinks I am an idiot . My son-in-law makes  me the butt of his  jokes . They all behave as if I am nothing .
I am 60-years-old  and tired of this . All I can think  of is getting away  from every single one of them . Should I ?
Dear Kay,
Is there a reason you should  continue  living in your mother's  house? Your  relatives treat you  like a servant  because you permit it . It's OK  to say no  to them . If  you can find any type of  job that pays, I highly recommend that you start putting  money aside  and make a life  for yourself  that you can enjoy . You don't have to cut off contact . You simply  need them  to see that  you no longer  will tolerate  such treatment .

Dear Maxy ,
Recently , I have  been trying  to eat healthier  so I can lose weight . I join a gym  and have been working out at least four times a week . Most of my friends  have been understanding  and supportive  of this  goal ; however , one of my best friends  is  treating  me as if it's a joke . She  has  not taken me seriously at all , and all she does  is talk about  food  ... whether  it's a new  dessert  place we need to try  or the mac and cheese  she had  for dinner the other night . I am insecure  about this  and she makes  me feel uncomfortable  because I feel  all she  does is  judge . She is very manipulative  and it seems  as if  she does  not want me  to reach my goal .
It stresses  me out  because she is always asking  for plans, but I do not want to associate  myself  with someone  so negative .
How  can I confront  her about this in a nice way .
Dear Texas ,
Drum up the courage to speak directly to her . Tell her  it hurts your feelings knowing  that she has  been unsupportive  of you in your efforts  to get healthier  and lose weight. Point out the things  that she has said  that have been hurtful . Remind  her that  you need  her as  your friend  to be  a cheerleader  rather  than a naysayer . Tell her that  if she is not able  to be supportive , you will not  be able  to spend as much time with her .
Do not  feel bad  about taking  care of yourself . In order  to make the huge step  that you have embarked  upon , you need  to be  completely  focused . Surround yourself with supporters .

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Who ???

Editorial cartoon for May 21, 2014 by Malcolm Mayes

Prince Charles and Camilla are just wrapping up their visit to Canada
We enjoyed their company. Safe journey home.

Brave Kid Stands Up to Bullies

Jake has autism and has long been bullied by his peers.
A few years ago, as part of The Bully Project, an anti-bullying social campaign, Jake stood up in front his classmates — bullies included — to "do one of the bravest, most honourable things" and speak out against the bullying.
"I don't think you guys see me for me. I think you guys see me as a big target. You guys are always leaving me out of stuff, never paying attention to me or anything I say," he tells his fellow students.
"I just want you guys to see me for me."
He even bravely calls out the boys in the gym laughing during his speech.
"I see you guys laughing over there."
This week, a video of his brave speech is going viral.
Jake, now a junior in high school, recently updated on how his school life has improved since collaborating with The Bully Project:
"Bullying has had a big impact on my life, but since the movie I’ve made a lot of friends. Recently, I have joined my high school football team! At first I thought they would all be complete jerks, but actually they are pretty cool guys and have helped me through a lot of situations — they stand up for me!
To other kids with autism, Jake offers some encouragement,
"For other kids with autism, if you're getting bullied, try and tell them to stop and not give a reaction — if that doesn’t work, go to an adult. It might seem hard because we can’t handle stress as well as other kids, but you will get through it and you’ll be awesome — actually you already are!"
And to the bullies, he warns,
"Bullying does not make you cool — you might think you are on the top of the food chain — but you’re not going to be there forever."

Last spring, a similar video, excerpted from the documentary Bully, went viral. Eleven-year-old Caine Smith bravely shared his story of being bullied with filmmakers — and his school board.
"I can't change who I am," Caine said.
When asked what he'd tell other bullied kids, he responded:
"Speak out and rise up…and help each other out to get rid of bullying."
B.C. poet Shane Koyczan's anti-bullying poem "To This Day" went viral last winter.
These stories seem to always strike a chord online, yet bullying remains a very real problem. How do you talk to your kids about bullying?

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Baby's First Outing

This shy polar bear cub got a bit of an earful on her first trip outside - before her mum (Kay) took a well-deserved nap.
The nervous newborn, who only opened her eyes in January, was proudly shown off by her maternal mother at Novosibirsk Zoo in Russia. But the unnamed female cub couldn’t initially be coaxed from her cave to her adoring public - so her mother had to haul her out by her ears.

The cub, who will be named by zoo guests, initially stayed close to mum but soon got used to her new surroundings and wanted to play.

Kay crashes while her cub plays
Time out for Kay

Mum Kay lovingly rolled around in the cold snow nestling her daughter into her chest. But she eventually got worn out by the youngster's energy and crashed flat out to recover. The adorable scenes were captured by keen photographer Anton Belovodchenko, 33, while he was visiting the zoo.
He said: "This little cub is the firstborn for Kay and dad Gerda ."
 "She was very small in comparison to Kay and was so white and fluffy. I'd never seen a seen a  polar bear cub before so I was surprised to see Kay teaching her baby how to take her first steps."
They are very cute and polar bears make terrific mothers. You could almost forget they are among the world's biggest and meanest predators. They are also seriously endangered in the wild. To find out why their existence is so threatened by what mankind has done to the planet ....Contact

Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall in P.E.I....Not Amused

Charles and Camilla got a little taste of home last night on The Island, albeit probably not in a way they were expecting.
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall ended their Victoria Day in Charlottetown, P.E.I. at a special evening production at the Province House as the guests of honor. With an all-P.E.I. cast, the performance consisted of short skits, comedy acts, songs, and native poetry readings. The highlight of the production had to be actor Wade Lynch, who performed a sketch where he was dressed as Queen Elizabeth II. Lynch has performed as Queen Elizabeth for previous events, most recently for a telethon supporting Queen Elizabeth Hospital last year.

On this occasion, donning a violet dress suit with matching hat, “The Queen” was certainly the comedic star of the show. After wishing everyone a happy Victoria Day, 'Queen Elizabeth' made the audience laugh with her wicked comparisons to “Prince Edward” island, professing her love for the beautiful province.
Everyone certainly seemed to be laughing and enjoying themselves, while Prince Charles and Camilla looked more like they were sleeping with they’re eyes open. Seriously, I am not sure I even saw Camilla crack a smile…
'The Queen' then introduces the famous ‘Anne of Green Gables.’ P.E.I.’s beloved little red head jubilantly joined 'The Queen’ on stage and discussed some of the history of Anne's history. In the short skit, Anne explains to 'The Queen' that she was the inspiration for the musical version of ‘Anne of Green Gables.’
“It is because of you, your majesty, that we’ve had 50 years of humble pie and ice cream,” exclaimed Anne, while the audience clapped.
Prince Charles offered some gentle applause at the end of the skit, however Camilla did not seem terribly moved by the performance. Perhaps satire just isn't her thing.

New McDonald's Mascot Dubbed McScary

 Happy, McDonald's

You thought Ronald McDonald the clown was creepy? What about the giant Burger King mask? Forget it, because McDonald's new mascot for their Happy Meals is here to take the top spot for most horrifying fast food representative. This is Happy, a red Happy Meal box with legs to chase you and a giant, toothy smile that is probably best used for swallowing your child's soul.
McDonald's restaurant chain says its new "Happy" mascot will bring "fun and excitement" to its children's meals, but social media contend the toothy, red box-shaped character will have the opposite effect.
Twitter responses to McDonald's mascot announcement on Monday complain that the animated red Happy Meal box, with its cavernous dark mouth and rows of large white teeth, is scary and will bring children nightmares instead of joy.
"It's the meal that eats you," said one comment. Another said, "I didn't want to sleep tonight anyways, it's cool."
The character will be introduced nationwide on Friday. Oak Brook, Illinois-based McDonald's said in a statement that it will encourage kids to enjoy healthy food choices, like fruit, vegetables and low-fat dairy.
In response to the criticism on social media, McDonald's spokeswoman Lisa McComb noted that since 2009, the character has been "loved and well-received by children and families in Latin America and Europe."
"Social media is a great place to have a conversation and express an opinion, but not all comments reflect the broader view," McComb said in an email on Tuesday.
The restaurant chain, which has its annual shareholders' meeting on Thursday, has often been the focus of criticism over the fast-food industry's penchant for offering indulgent, high-calorie food. In recent years, the U.S. food industry in general has faced government and consumer pressure to address the global obesity epidemic.
In March 2012, McDonald's started automatically including apple slices and a kid-size fry in every Happy Meal and Mighty Kids Meal. This July, McDonald's will also start introducing "Go-GURT" low-fat strawberry yogurt to children's meals. Good luck with that, Happy.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Best Doggone Grilled Chicken

I realize there are 17 ingredients in this recipe, but if you are a grill master and you want the best chicken you ever tasted, give it a try. You'll be hooked


2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce, PLUS - means this ingredient in addition to the one on the next line, often with separate uses
1 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon onion powder, PLUS
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon ground ginger, PLUS
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
1 tablespoon grated lime peel
1 1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground white pepper
1 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/4 teaspoon ground savory
3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon ground habanero chile peppers
4 bay leaves
3 1/2 pounds chicken, cut up
4 tablespoons unsalted butter


Make a paste of the first 17 spice ingredients (salt through bay leaves) in a large bowl or zip-lock bag. Place the chicken pieces in the bowl and rub the pieces evenly with the seasoning paste. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate 6 to 8 hours.
When ready to cook, light the coals or prepare the grill. Bring the chicken to room temperature. Melt the butter. With a spoon, gently scrape as much of the seasoning paste as possible off of the chicken, combine it with any paste remaining in the bowl and stir in into the butter.
Place the large pieces of the chicken on the hottest spot on the grill and the smaller pieces on the less hot section and cook, turning the pieces and basting several times with the butter paste mixture, until done.

Luscious Summer Pie...Strawberry Rhubarb


  • 4 cups sliced rhubarb (8 to 12 stalks)
  • 31/2 cups hulled and quartered strawberries (about 500 g)
  • 11/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup minute tapioca
  •  zest of 1 orange
  • double-crust pie pastry (refer to Perfect Pastry recipe in the recipe file), prepared and divided into 2 discs
  • egg, lightly beaten, or 1 tbsp milk
  •  granulated sugar for sprinkling
This sweet and savory strawberry-rhubarb pie will have you wanting more! Be sure to have lots of napkins close by, it can get messy.


  • Combine rhubarb and strawberries in a large bowl. When you’re ready to roll out pastry and assemble pie, stir sugar, tapioca and zest into fruit. Let stand, stirring occasionally, for 15 min, so that berries and rhubarb release juices.
  • Place rack in lowest position in oven. Preheat oven to 425F. Using a floured rolling pin, roll one disc of pastry on a floured surface into a 12-in. circle. Loosely roll up around rolling pin. Unroll over 9-in. deep-dish pie plate. Press dough over bottom and sides of pie plate. Don’t prick. Trim pastry, leaving a 1/4-in. overhang. Roll out remaining pastry disc into an 11-in. circle.
  • Spread filling evenly into pie crust. Moisten edge of bottom crust with water. Roll top crust around rolling pin, then unroll over filling. Trim edges, leaving 1-in. overhang.
  • Fold top edge under bottom edge. Crimp edges together using your index finger and thumb. Or press around edges using the tines of a fork.
  • Lightly brush top crust with egg. Cut small slits or a round hole in top crust for steam to escape. Sprinkle with sugar. Place pie on a baking sheet.
  • Bake on bottom rack for 15 min. Reduce temperature to 350F. Continue baking until bottom and top crusts are golden and fruit is bubbling, 45 to 60 min. Cool completely on a rack, at least 2 hours, before slicing. Cut into wedges.

Easy rolling

Let chilled pie dough stand at room temperature for a few minutes before rolling out. This will help prevent tears in the pastry.

Perfect Texture

We worked hard to get this fruit filling just right – not too runny or too thick.  And the last key to a luscious texture? Waiting for the pie to cool before digging in!