My Blog List

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Super Plumber

Maxy answers

Dear Ardis' friend/Baby Don't go,
You want websites? We have websites for you.

We also found a letter written by an Air Force Master Sergeant to a young lady in your situation: -
We understand that and all "girlfriends" AND "wives" go though the same thing when their guy joins the service.
Would you stop him from trying to make the best life he can for himself and for you? No. Well, he has thought it through and decided his "best chance" today is to join the military service.
Now, it is difficult to enter the Air Force. One has to score at least a 50% on the AFQT entrance test to be accepted. That is difficult. And, he had to wait "how many months"? just to get to basic training?   You knew from the start that he was going to enter the Air Force.  

Now, the time will go by fast.  Here is a break down of what he will be going through:  He will be at Lackland AFB, Texas for 9 1/2 weeks for basic training. He will be busy 24 hours a day including Sundays! And holidays. Basic Training does not take a "break."  
He will get up at 4:30 in the morning. Dress, make his bed, march to chow (breakfast) and by 6 am he is doing AF training, either physical training (PT) or classrooms. Then, they go to chow (lunch) and back to training. Then, they go to chow (supper) and then back to the barracks/dorms to clean up and do "chores." Then, at 8 p.m. he gets ready for bedtime. Then, at 9 pm it is lights out and sleep until wake up again at 4:30 a.m.
He has NO TIME TO MEET ANY GIRLS! Don't worry! Nobody gets free time to roam the base. NOBODY.
Finally, graduation day comes. Then, he gets on a bus and either goes to another base in Texas or Mississippi. Or, if he is in missiles he will fly to California.  
His technical school could be from 1 month to 10 months. Depends. We don't know what his job is - yet. Once he finds out, he can obtain an official list of all the schools and how long each course is and where.  

THEN, when his training is finished, he gets to come home for 2 weeks before he reports to his first Air Force base.  
Are you and your boyfriend going to marry? If so, then you get to go with him to his first AF base. 

What can you do right now? I will tell you. YOU can write him a letter, with pen and paper and a stamp, each and every day. That is the old-fashioned and TRUE way to keep up with your loved ones in the military. I can not emphasize enough to all the "peeps" who want to e-mail, Skype, Facebook and Twitter, etc., that the old-fashioned way works the best. And he can read it as often as he wants to.
Inside your envelope put another envelope with a stamp on it addressed to you. And, give him two blank sheets of paper. That way, he never has to worry about getting stamps. He usually has a little time before bedtime to write a few lines and it won't be more than 1 - 2 pages.  
On the back of your envelope put the DATE. Why? Because he will often get 2 or more letters from you at one time. This way, he will know which one to read first to stay in sequence. Tell him to date "HIS" return mail the same way.

Then, when he graduates from all his training you will be very proud of him. And, hopefully, you both will make a great life together. BUT.... that also means that YOU have to become Air Force too. You have to learn how it is to be an Air Force family. If you can accept that, then, later on you won't even remember the few months that you waited for him. Does this help you any?

Larry Smith
Senior Master Sergeant, USAF (Ret.)

Good Luck,

Monday, September 29, 2014

Spice Cupcakes with Butter Cream Icing


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 pinches ground nutmeg
  • 4 pinches salt
  • 12 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line 15 muffin cups with paper muffin liners.
  2. Sift the flour, then combine it with cornstarch, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt together in a bowl.
  3. Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, allowing each egg to blend into the butter mixture before adding the next. Beat in the vanilla with the last egg. Mix in the flour mixture alternately with the milk. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin cups.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until golden and the tops spring back when lightly pressed, 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Wait until completely cooled, then spread a nice dollop of icing on each muffin

Butter Cream Icing:

  • 1 cup of good quality salted butter
  • 3 teaspoons of vanilla (clear vanilla if you want a whiter color)
  • 4 cups of icing sugar
  • 4-5 tablespoons of coffee cream (18% and up)
  1. Using room temperature butter, place it in your mixer bowl.
  2. Using a paddle attachment, whip the butter until it's creamy and fluffy.
  3. Add in the icing sugar, one cup at a time, beating in completely, until all 4 cups are combined.
  4. Add in the vanilla and whip again to combine.
  5. Add in your cream, less cream = stiffer icing. More cream - fluffier icing.

Actual Photos With Amazing Timing

Little Ant Caught Weight Lifting
Take a leap
The licking fox
Moon parachut
Who does not like milk
Man knows where to place hands

Harry at Thirty

In celebration of Prince Harry's 30th birthday, ITV have released a new documentary celebrating the past three decades of his life.

Featuring archive footage and contributions from friends, military colleagues, historians, journalists, photographers and royal correspondents, this hour-long documentary explores every iconic moment in the prince’s life.

The video gives an insight into Harry’s military career, his charity work, family life and his public duty and explores what makes him such a well-respected and well-liked member of the Royal Family.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Food for Thought : Food Safety Education Month

Practicing good home food safety habits will help keep the foods you eat safe and also reduce your risk of getting food poisoning. Here are a few tips during Food Safety Education Month:
1 .   Thaw meat in the refrigerator. Never thaw frozen items on the counter or by soaking in hot water.

2 .   If you are boiling, poaching or frying eggs, make sure you cook them until the yolk is firm and not runny. If a recipe, such as one for a salad dressing or something that will not be cooked, calls for raw eggs, use liquid pasteurized egg substitute.

3 .    Quickly refrigerate perishable foods and leftovers. Make sure your refrigerator is set to 90 degrees or cooler. If you are unsure how safe a food is to eat, throw it out.

4 .    Start with a clean kitchen. Make sure all cooking utensils, surfaces and cookware are clean. Wash hands in warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds before, during and after food preparation.
Words of Wisdom:
"The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it."

"The richest person is the one who is contented with what he has."

"The most beautiful people are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. Beautiful people do not just happen."

"Depending upon the kind of person you are, you will attract similar energies around you, and others will reciprocate with similar energies. Be kind, compassionate and empathetic so you can attract kindness, compassion and empathy in return. Spread love and enjoy being loved back!"

"Even though you may want to move forward in your life, you may have one foot on the brakes. In order to be free, we must learn how to let go. Release the hurt. Release the fear. Refuse to entertain your old pain. The energy it takes to hang onto the past is holding you back from a new life. What is it you would let go of today?"
A proud Grandpoppa    G.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy,
I have been married  for  40 years  to a man who had a few affairs  in the  past that I recently  found out about . We are  both seeing  counselors  privately  and together . At this  point  in time, I am tired  of dealing  with this, and our  marriage could well end in divorce  court .
By I am puzzled  by what  my husband  told  me, He said  he learned in his psychology classes in college  that "men are  not designed  for monogamy." I have never heard  him say anything  of the sort in our entire 40 years together  . Is this simply  an excuse  for me to forgive his affairs ? Or is the statement true ?
He tells  me he is done with other women, but now I am not  sure . Should I trust him again ?
Dear Detroit ,
There is some support to your  husband's statement, but it  does  not  justify  affairs .Your  husband is not some uncivilized animal with no concern  for his partner . I assume  he is an adult  and capable of control . But I can't promise  he will never  have another affair  and he probably  cannot  promise that either, even if  his intentions  are good . Only  you  can decide  whether  it's worth the risk  after  40 years of  marriage .

Dear Maxy ,
Twice in the past month , I  witnessed  an older  woman  tumble from the top of a moving escalator  all the way to the  bottom, as  store employees  raced to turn it off . In one incident, the shopper was accompanied  by someone who  could  not stop her  fall . In the other, the woman seemed  confused  before the accident, but refused  to use the elevator . To complicate  matters, her only identification was a receipt in her purse, so it  took awhile to  find the man that dropped her  off .
If anyone has a balance problem, use a cane or  walker, has their  arms full  or is  carrying  a  toddler , etc. , please  use the elevator  instead of  the  escalator . The  few  minutes is well worth  it in order  to avoid  a horrifying  accident . And  please  be sure to  carry proper identification in case of an emergency .
Dear Dallas ,
Too  many people  don't realize  they have  a problem  until something happens and then, of course, it's too late .  People need to be able  to hold onto the railing of an escalator  and watch  their  step  getting  on and off  . If you aren't  sure  you can do this , please take  the elevator . Better safe  than sorry .

Dear Maxy,
I have a friend at work  who often  asks  me  to borrow  a few  dollars  . He always  returns it, so I haven't thought  much of it . But the  other  day when he asked to borrow  something like $20, I didn't  have any cash on me , so I told him I couldn't help him out . He really got mad . He asked  me to go to the ATM  to get the  money  because  he really needed it . I was busy and said I could not  do that . It  got me to thinking : I wonder  what he  needs  these small sums  for all the time . I have decided  I don't  want  to be part  of it ., but I'm  not sure  how to handle  it so that  he stays  calm .
Help !
Dear Help !,
Pull your  friend  to the side and tell him you need to talk . Ask him why he regularly asks  you  for  money . Ask him if everything  is OK  with him  and his  life . Express  your  genuine concern , then draw the  line . Tell that  you will no longer  be able to  spot  him money . Explain that it makes  you uncomfortable  and  you would rather  not have  that type of  relationship with him . State any  regret  that this  change  in your  dynamic  may cause, but make it  crystal-clear  to him that  you will no longer  be a source  of  money .

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Unconventional Uses for Flour

Flour: It’s not just for baking anymore. This week, The Kitchn shared an unexpected use for flour: a sink polisher.

Courtesy The Kitchn

In a few simple steps, your stainless steel sink can be as shiny as new, perfect for impressing dinner guests or future buyers. 
"In my own home, I use this trick once a month. The flour buffs the micro-grooves in the sink’s surface and also pulls out residual dirt and grime that your basic sponge and soap can’t get to. It just makes things feel extra special," writes The Kitchn’s Sarah Rae Trover.
Here’s how it works:
Simply wash the sink as usual — with either your standard kitchen cleaner or hot soapy water — then buff it try with a clean towel. 
Next, cover half or one side of your sink with a thick dusting of flour. 
Start buffing. Using a paper towel or soft cloth to buff the flour into the sink and all its grooves, the rim, drain, knobs and handles. 
Do it again. Repeat with the other half of the sink. Buff and remove any excess flour. 
Voila: cleaner than it’s ever been. 
The flour-as-polisher tutorial left us wondering if there are any other clever uses for flour. (Answer: yes.)
Here are a few of our favourite uses:
Get crafty: Flour is an essential ingredient in these recipes for homemade play dough, craft glue and spray adhesive. 
Polish copper: with a mixture of equal parts flour, salt and white vinegar. Apply the paste to the metal, let it dry, then buff it off for an as-good-as-new shine. 
Put some flour along the rims of older plastic containers if they’re always sticking to the lids. 
To keep the bugs away: sprinkle flour on the plants in your garden. After two days, be sure to rinse off the plants. 
Refresh an old deck of cards: by dropping the loose cards into a bag with about 1/4 cup of flour and shaking them around a bit. The flour will soak up those oils from fingers (and late-night snacks), making them easy to shuffle again. 
To speed up ripening put hard avocados in a bag or bowl and cover with flour. They should be guacamole-ready in a day or so. 
Flour can be used in DIY beauty treatments, too. Try a homemade red grape face mask or yogurt-and-turmeric skin brightener. Or dare use flour as dry shampoo
Do you know of any other clever uses for flour? Share in the comments.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Food for Thought : Football Tailgating

Tailgating ia an American pastime from different walks of life to come together for one common cause : to cheer on their favoriate team . Each team and many families have traditions related to tailgating and most of these traditions involves some type of food or beverage . Here are a few tips to help you safely tailgate this season :

1 . If you can't keep hot food hot during your drive to your tailgate , plan ahead and chill the food before packing it in a cooler . Reheat to 165 degrees before serving . If you are bringing hot take-out food , make sure to eat it within two hours of purchase or within one hour if the temperatureis above 90 degrees .

2 . Make sure you pack several sets of utensils . You should have at least one set for placing food on the grill and at least one set for serving food . Pack extras in case you drop one .

3 . Never serve marinades that have come in contact with raw meats .

4 . Pack clean , wet , disposable cloths or paper towels for cleaning hands and eating surfaces .

Happy tailgating .
Words of Wisdom

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition."

"Use your heart. Understand. Learn to see things in the now, not as they were or will be, or as they might or should be, but as they are, right now, in this moment. The heart sees the now; the mind only sees the next. If you can't learn to see the now, you'll never see what's truly there, and then where will you be?"

"I have come to a deeper, more soulful beauty and clarity like an oasis in the desert. From that place of clarity, a vision of what I could have, what I could do, who I could be has emerged ... if I allow my heart to become a place of compassion, acceptance and forgiveness."

"If you’re not stubborn, you’ll give up on experiments too soon. And if you’re not flexible, you’ll pound your head against the wall and you won’t see a different solution to a problem you’re trying to solve."

"Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere."

"Some of the biggest challenges in relationships come from the fact that most people enter a relationship in order to get something: they’re trying to find someone who’s going to make them feel good. In reality, the only way a relationship will last is if you see your relationship as a place that you go to give, and not a place that you go to take."
A proud grandpoppa                   G.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Love 'em

Dear Maxy,
I work in a relatively conservative  law  firm in Chicago . Much to my surprise, the  new  administrator  that my company  hired a month ago  came to work  with her  hair  dyed green . I have seen this  trend on  kids  as I walk around  town  but there is  no  room for this  look  at my law  firm . In the  employee  handbook, it  doesn't  specifically  speak about  hair  color but it  does  say  that modest  attire  and  overall presentation is  required . How  can I talk to this  young  woman about  her  hair color  choice  to help her ?
I don't  know if  human  resources  will say  she can be fired but I can say  that  it is  not likely  that she will rise  up through  the  ranks at  any company  if she decides  to be a trendsetter  in this  overt, extreme kind of  way
How to Mentor
Dear  How to Mentor ,
Talk to  your  human resources  department  about the legalities of addressing  this  employee  about her choice of  styles . You should  get guidance  to make  sure that you  do not overstep  your authority  to address her  hair  color .
With that information  in tow , speak  to her as  a mentor  and tell her  that you want  to share  some supportive  information with her should, she be interested  . What you may want to tell her  is that in every  industry  there are spoken  and  unspoken  standards . In the law profession, people  tend  to err  on the  side  of  conservative, as they do in your  company . Tell her  that while  her  hair  color  may be a trend, it may be also  telling  her bosses  and co-workers  that she is  serious  about working  there .
There  likely are  law firms  where more  personal innovation  is welcomed . She  may want  to think about  what best fit her,  given  her  choices . That  said, if she  excels  at her  job,  your  company may want to look beyond  her  style  eccentricities .

Dear Maxy ,
It's  back to school  time  and my  kids  are  having a hard  time getting  their  bodies on the  school  clock . I tried  having  them go to bed  an hour  or  so earlier  for the past few  weeks but it  didn't work  very well . I know  that the beginning  of school is an important  time  for them  to get settled . What can I do ?
Settle  Down
Dear Settle Down ,
It is  never  too late  to work  on getting  your  children focusd. Start by  shutting off  screen time  until the weekends . Set schedules  for  your  children . Review  the  homework  with  them each day  to see how well  they are  doing . Set their  bed times  and enforce  it by walking  them to their  rooms, tucking  them in  and turning  off the  lights. Don't forget a kiss and a hug,

Dear  Maxy ,
My company was  just sold  and the  new owner seems  like  he  could be an OK  guy . Some  people in the  media don't like him , but the buzz around the  office  so far is cool . I'm supposed to have a meeting with him . One of  my friends says I should get ready for  my walking  papers  because I've been there a long  time  and my salary is  high. I don't want to think like  that . What can I do  to help preserve my  job ?
Staking  a Claim
Dear  Staking a Claim,
The sale  of a company  does  not automatically  lead  to a  bloodbath  at the office . That largely  depends  on the  financial  health  of the company when it  is  purchased . The way  to make  yourself the  most appealing  to  your  new  boss is to be  prepared . Do some  research on him  and his  company  so that you can speak  intelligently  about  his  background .
Know  your own company  inside and out, at least your  area . Present  yourself as capable and having valuable experience with the company. Talk to him  about what strengths  you  bring  to your  job,  your  level  of expertise  and  your  ability  to be a team player . Paint  an accurate  and positive  picture  of  your  value to the company  and show him your interest in joining his team . Good luck,

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Four Ways to Get Rid of Cellulite and Fat

Cellulite is one of the most common skin conditions, and it’s also the one people are the least likely to admit they have. But let me tell you, if you have dimpled areas on your hips, thighs, buttocks or even arms, you aren’t alone. Women spend millions every year on anti-cellulite treatments ranging from fancy creams to promising pills to surgery and laser treatments. The best solution, however, is to work from the inside out and get at the root cause. While it’s difficult to completely eliminate, you can certainly reduce the appearance with these tips:

1. Lower excess insulin
An interesting study from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine found that fat tissue distribution in the thighs was significantly correlated with insulin resistance (a pre-diabetic state). A separate study found that diet and exercise together shed fat both between the muscle and under the skin of the thighs, producing a better effect than diet alone on reducing cellulite. Exercise can also strengthen flaccid, weak muscles and improve skin tone.

Bottom line:
A healthy diet, high in protein, good fats and lower in carbs — to reduce insulin — combined with regular strength training can go a long way towards decreasing cellulite.

2. Reduce inflammation
I had a patient who found an interesting side effect from the methods used to reduce inflammation after shoulder surgery: her cellulite diminished thanks to a high dose EPA 6:1 fish oil, Wobenzym, and arnica. An overall increase in inflammation can contribute to poor circulation and reduced lymphatic drainage making the appearance of cellulite much worse. The enlargement of fat cell chambers and shortening of fibrous tissue in the thighs is almost always accompanied by inflammation, water retention and swelling.

Bottom line:
In addition to an anti-inflammatory diet, a daily dose of omega-3 oils reduce both inflammation and improve insulin sensitivity. They also aid fat loss, especially when combined with exercise.

3. Get control over estrogen
Estrogen balance is essential to achieving and maintaining fat loss. It’s also the main instigator of a growing cellulite problem. Premenopausal women with too much estrogen tend to have the pear-shape body type with more weight at the hips. The reason for this comes down to fat, both the type and the amount. Consider that women have almost nine times the amount of alpha receptors for every one beta receptor in their hip and thigh region. When stimulated, alpha receptors cause fat cells to produce fat, while beta receptors breakdown fat. This is also the area with the most estrogen receptors.

Bottom line: In addition to cellulite, excess estrogen can also fuel gallstones, varicose veins, uterine fibroids, cervical dysplasia, endometriosis, or ovarian cysts. Keep your estrogen levels in balance with these suggestions.

4. Boost collagen levels
Collagen is an important protein used to make the connective tissue in your skin, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels. Structural changes in the skin’s tissues, including weakened collagen and elastin fibres, make cellulite more apparent because the skin becomes thinner and less able to conceal the irregularities below the surface. These changes can occur from hormonal imbalances, aging and even dehydration.

Gotu kola, an ancient herb, can also be helpful in stimulating the production of the protein molecules from which collagen is formed, and increase oxygen supplement delivered through the capillaries. It’s also helpful in tightening loose skin after weight loss, decreasing the inflammatory response, and promoting tissue healing. I recommend 100 mg 1-2 times a day. A collagen boosting supplement, such as silica or a collagen powder has been shown to improve skin texture, and nail and hair growth (take 1-2 capsules or 1 scoop of powder daily).

Lastly, hydration is key. To calculate your optimal water intake, use this formula: [Your weight] × 0.55 = number of ounces to drink daily ÷ 8 = number of cups you need daily.

Bottom line: Hydration plus key supplements will improve your connective tissue and tighten your skin, reducing the appearance of cellulite and even preventing the problem from getting worse.

Natasha Turner, N.D. is a naturopathic doctor, magazine columnist, and author of the bestselling books The Hormone Diet and The Supercharged Hormone Diet.

Study suggests artificial sweeteners may set stage for developing diabetes in some people

Artificial sweeteners are displayed, on Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014, in New York. Artificial sweeteners may set the stage for diabetes in some people by hampering the way their bodies handle sugar, according to results of a study released Wednesday by the journal Nature. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane)
NEW YORK, N.Y. - Using artificial sweeteners may set the stage for diabetes in some people by hampering the way their bodies handle sugar, suggests a preliminary study done mostly in mice.
The authors said they are not recommending any changes in how people use artificial sweeteners based on their study, which included some human experiments. The researchers and outside experts said more study is needed, while industry groups called the research limited and said other evidence shows sweeteners are safe and useful for weight control.
The study from researchers in Israel was released Wednesday by the journal Nature.
The work suggests the sweeteners change the composition of normal, beneficial bacteria in the gut. That appears to hamper how well the body handles sugar in the diet, which in turn can result in higher blood sugar levels. This impairment, called glucose intolerance, can eventually lead to diabetes.
Some experts who didn't participate in the work urged caution in interpreting the results.
James Hill, an obesity expert at the University of Colorado, called the work good science. Still, overall, "I do not think there is enough data yet to lead to a definitive conclusion about artificial sweeteners and the body's handling of sugar," he wrote in an email.
"I certainly do not think there is sufficient evidence to conclude that they are harmful."
But Yanina Pepino of Washington University in St. Louis said the results make a convincing case that sweeteners hamper the body's handling of sugar by altering gut bacteria. And it adds to her belief that sweeteners and sugar should be used in moderation, especially by children, she said.
"It's really providing strong data suggesting we need to do more research," she said.
Researchers began by testing three widely used sweeteners: saccharin, sold for example as Sweet 'N Low; sucralose, sold as Splenda, and aspartame, sold for example as NutraSweet, in 20 mice. Some animals got one of those substances in their water, and others got sugar water or just water. After 11 weeks, researchers gave all the mice a dose of sugar and monitored the response in their blood sugar levels.
The mice that initially got sugar showed about the same response as those that got plain water. But mice that got any of the sweeteners showed markedly higher blood sugar levels, indicating impairment in handling of the sugar dose. Further mouse experiments linked that outcome to an effect on gut bacteria.
To gain some preliminary information on people, the researchers turned to 381 non-diabetic volunteers who filled out a questionnaire that estimated their consumption of artificial sweeteners. Forty participants who had the most showed evidence of higher blood sugar than 236 non-users.
In another preliminary test, researchers gave saccharin for a week to seven healthy volunteers who normally don't consume sweeteners. Four showed a decline in their ability to handle sugar over the course of the week.
Overall, the results suggest that some people may be affected by artificial sweeteners, said one of the researchers, Dr. Eran Elinav of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovet, Israel.

How Fast Do Viruses Really Spread?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Food for Thought : Coupons

Coupons are one way consumers can save money on groceries . However they may not always be the best way to reduce costs or provide healthful foods for your family . Also , coupoms are frequently offered for convenience of processed foods , which are normally high in sodium , fat and preservaties . Hear are a few tips to make sure you are getting a good financial and healthful bargain :

1 . Before you clip , evaluate the product . Is this a product you normally buy ? Or is it an apportunity to get your family to try a new food or recipe ? If so , then the coupon may be worth clipping .

2. Just because an item is a good buy does not mean it is good for you . Make sure you check the Nutrition Facts Label and compare the product with similar products .

3 . Compare the savings price to the store brand . Many times the store brand is a better bargain than the national brand with a coupon .

Words of Wisdom :
The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.

"Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first."

Humor is most powerful thing that uses laughter as it base to chase your blues away.

What matters is not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight of the dog.

The difficult thing about children is that they come with no instructions. You pretty well have to assemble them on your own.

Old people like to give good advice, since they can no longer set bad examples

I must be getting absent-minded. Whenever I complain that things aren't what they used to be, I always forget to include myself.

"Life is the movie you see through your own eyes. It makes little difference what's happening out there. It's how you take it that counts."

A proud grandpoppa G.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Faces of Drug Abuse

There are some truly alarming images in this video: In just a few years, healthy people transform into unrecognizable shadows of themselves.

14 Problems Canadians Know Are True

The 10 most educated countries in the world

According to data recently released by the Organization for Co-operation and Development (OECD), more than half of Russian adults held tertiary degrees in 2012 more than in any other country reviewed. Canada was a  close second with 52.6 % of adults with tertiary degrees. Meanwhile, less than 4% of Chinese adults had tertiary qualifications in 2012, less than in any other country. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 10 countries with the highest proportion of adults holding a college degree.
The most educated populations tend to be in countries where tertiary education spending is among the highest. Tertiary education spending in six of the most educated countries was higher than the OECD average of $13,957. Spending on tertiary education in the U.S., for example, was $26,021 per student, by far the most in the world.
Despite the value of investing in education, there are exceptions. Korea and the Russian Federation both spent less than $10,000 on tertiary education per student in 2011, considerably lower than the OECD average. Yet, they still have among the most educated populations.
Qualifications do not always translate into stronger skills. While only 1 in 4 of U.S. college graduates reach the top-end of literacy skill, more than 35% reach that level in Finland, Japan, and the Netherlands. As Schleicher explained, “We typically describe people by their formal qualifications, but this data suggests that the skill value of formal qualifications vary considerably across countries.”

To identify the most educated countries in the world, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 10 countries with the highest proportions of residents aged 25 to 64 with a tertiary education in 2012. These data were included as part of the OECD’s 2014 Education at a Glance report. The countries considered included the 34 OECD member countries, and ten non-OECD nations. Included in the report were data on the proportion of adults completing various levels of education, unemployment rates, as well as public and private education expenditure. We also reviewed data from the OECD’s Survey of Adult Skills, which included advanced adult proficiency in both math and reading. The most current figures for education expenditure by country are from 2011.
These are the most educated countries in the world. Starting with the lowest:

10) Ireland

  • Pct. population with tertiary education: 39.7%
  • Average annual growth rate (2005-2012): 5.2% (4th highest)
  • Tertiary education spending per student: $16,095 (12th highest)
Nearly 40% of Irish adults between the ages of 25 and 64 had tertiary qualifications in 2012, the 10th highest rate among all countries reviewed by the OECD. This represents a substantial increase from more than a decade ago when just 21.6% of adults had completed some form of higher education. Worsening employment opportunities in recent years may have made higher education more attractive to the country's residents. More than 13% of the population was unemployed in 2012, one of the highest rates among countries reviewed. The unemployment rate for college-educated adults, however, was considerably lower. Pursuing higher education is especially attractive for citizens of European Union countries because their tuition is heavily subsidized at public institutions in Ireland.

9) New Zealand

  • Pct. population with tertiary education: 40.6%
  • Average annual growth rate (2000-2011): 2.9% (13th lowest)
  • Tertiary education spending per student: $10,582 (15th lowest)
The global financial crisis did not have as dramatic an impact on public education spending in New Zealand as it did in many other countries. While public educational expenditure declined in a number of OECD nations between 2008 and 2011, public education spending in New Zealand increased by more than 20% over that time, among the larger increases. Still, spending on higher education is low compared to other developed countries. In 2011, $10,582 was spent per student in the country on tertiary education, less than the OECD average of $13,957. Despite spending less than the average per tertiary student, however, spending on all other forms of education accounted for 14.6% of total public spending in New Zealand, more than any other country reviewed.

8) United Kingdom

  • Pct. population with tertiary education: 41.0%
  • Average annual growth rate (2000-2011): 4.0 (11th highest)
  • Tertiary education spending per student: $14,222 (16th highest)
While many national economies, including the United States, grew between 2008 and 2012, the United Kingdom’s economy shrunk over that time. Despite the downturn, public education spending as a percentage of GDP increased in the country more than any OECD nation over the same period. The United Kingdom is one of just a few countries with a “sustainable approach to higher education financing,” according to Schleicher. Every student in the country has access to an income-contingent loan, meaning repayment is not required until the student's income exceeds a certain threshold.

7) Australia

  • Pct. population with tertiary education: 41.3%
  • Average annual growth rate (2000-2011): 3.5% (15th highest)
  • Tertiary education spending per student: $16,267 (11th highest)
More than $16,000 was spent per student on tertiary education in Australia, among the higher rates in the OECD. Australia's higher education system is one of the most popular among international students, attracting 5% of all foreign students. By comparison, the U.S., which has many times the number of schools, attracted only three times as many foreign students. And higher education seems to pay off for graduates who remain in the country. The unemployment rate among residents with tertiary qualifications was lower than all but a handful of countries reviewed in 2012. Additionally, nearly 18% of adults performed at the highest literacy level in 2012, considerably higher than the OECD average of 12%.

6) Korea

  • Pct. population with tertiary education: 41.7%
  • Average annual growth rate (2000-2011): 4.8% (8th highest)
  • Tertiary education spending per student: $9,926 (12th lowest)
Despite spending less than $10,000 per student on tertiary education in 2011, less than any other country on this list except for Russia, Korean residents have become among the world’s most educated. While just 13.5% of Korean adults aged 55-64 had completed tertiary degrees in 2012, over two-thirds of 25 to 34 year-olds, had. The 50 percentage points was by far the largest generational improvement among all countries reviewed. Nearly 73% of tertiary education spending came from private sources in 2011, more than all but one other country. High levels of private spending tend to exacerbate inequalities. The growth in educational attainment and educational mobility, however, is likely due to relatively equitable access to higher education in Korea. Koreans were the most likely to access higher education among all countries reviewed, according to the OECD.

5) United States

  • Pct. population with tertiary education: 43.1%
  • Average annual growth rate (2000-2011): 1.4% (the lowest)
  • Tertiary education spending per student: $26,021 (the highest)
In 2011, more than $26,000 was spent on tertiary education per student in the U.S., nearly double the OECD average of $13,957. Private expenditure in the form of tuition fees accounted for the majority of this spending. High education expenditures have paid off to some degree, as a large proportion of U.S. adults have very high levels of qualification. Because of the slow growth rates of the past decade, however, the U.S. has slipped behind many other nations. While spending per tertiary student between 2005 and 2011 increased by 10% across OECD countries on average, U.S. spending decreased over that time. And the U.S. was one of only six countries to cut public education spending between 2008 and 2011. Like other countries where education is controlled by regional authorities, tertiary attainment levels vary widely in the United States, from as little as 29% in Nevada, to as much as 71% in the District of Columbia.

4) Israel

  • Pct. population with tertiary education: 46.4%
  • Average annual growth rate (2000-2011): N/A
  • Tertiary education spending per student: $11,553 (18th highest)
Most 18-year old Israelis are subject to at least two years of mandatory military service. Perhaps as a result, country residents tend to complete higher education degrees later in life than in other countries. The compulsory conscription, however, has not lowered educational attainment rates, as 46% of Israeli adults had attained tertiary qualification in 2012. More than $11,500 was spent per student on tertiary education in 2011, lower than most other developed countries. Low education spending in Israel has resulted in low teacher salaries. New secondary teacher hires with minimum training were paid less than $19,000 in 2013, versus an OECD average of more than $32,000.

3) Japan

  • Pct. population with tertiary education: 46.6%
  • Average annual growth rate (2000-2011): 2.8% (12th lowest)
  • Tertiary education spending per student: $16,445 (10th highest)
Like the U.S., Korea, and the United Kingdom, private spending accounts for the vast majority of spending on tertiary education in Japan. While this can often lead to social inequalities, Schleicher explained that like most Asian countries, Japanese families are by and large willing to save money for their children’s educations. Strong education spending and participation in higher education does not necessarily translate to higher academic skills. In Japan, however, higher spending did lead to better learning outcomes, as more than 23% of adults performed at the highest level of literacy proficiency, nearly double the OECD average of 12%. Younger students also seem to be well-educated, as Japan reported exceptionally high Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) scores in mathematics in 2012.

2) Canada

  • Pct. population with tertiary education: 52.6%
  • Average annual growth rate (2000-2011): 2.3% (8th lowest)
  • Tertiary education spending per student: $23,225 (2nd highest)
More than half of Canadian adults had received tertiary qualification in 2012, the only country other than Russia where a majority of adults had some form of higher education. Canada's education expenditure of $23,226 per student in 2011 trailed only the United States' expenditure. Canadian students of all ages appear to be very well-educated. Secondary school students outperformed the majority of countries in mathematics on the PISA in 2012. And nearly 15% of adults in the country performed at the highest level of literacy proficiency, versus an OECD average of 12%.

1) Russian Federation

  • Pct. population with tertiary education: 53.5%
  • Average annual growth rate (2000-2011): N/A
  • Tertiary education spending per student: $7,424 (the lowest)
More than 53% of Russian adults between the ages of 25 and 64 had some form of higher education in 2012, more than in any other country reviewed by the OECD. The country has reached this exceptional level of attainment despite spending among the least on tertiary education. Russia's tertiary education expenditure was just $7,424 per student in 2010, roughly half the OECD average of $13,957. Russia was also one of just a few countries where education spending declined between 2008 and 2012.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy ,
I've  been seeing  a guy  for little over  a year  and he's  joined the  Air Force . He will be starting  basic  training in the  months  to  come . I've tried  to do  some  research  on what military  life is  like  so I can know  what to expect  when the time  comes . I am so nervous . I really like  him  and believe  we have something  , but I am afraid .
With all the wars  going on , I don't want him to get killed . I don't  really  know  how  to be supportive  of him  when I would rather  he not  go . How can I be  a good  girlfriend ?
Baby Don't  Go

Dear Baby Don't Go,
Your boyfriend has made a commitment to the Air Force and taken an oath of enlistment. This is something that every service member must adhere to for his/her entire military career; there is no backing out. So, now you have to take a hard look at yourself and figure out how committed you are to him. If you feel the stress and anxiety of being a military girlfriend or wife is too much for you, you should withdraw now. It will be much more painful later, for both of you.
Statistically, the chances of being killed in combat are slim, even for army infantry, which is involved in active combat with the enemy, on the ground. The Air Force has the lowest death rate of any branch of the service.
You can be supportive by writing or emailing every day, sending care packages and keeping that connection strong. Live every moment you have together to the fullest, like there is no tomorrow. Do not dwell on the concept that you might lose one another. Remember, you're going to be the first thing he wants to see when he gets back from boot camp or any kind of deployment. Be there with arms opened wide. If you feel you are ready to invest emotionally in this man, with a view to marriage, there are a lot of things you can do to help yourself adapt to military life:
*Visit your base's Airman and Family Readiness Center. They will have information about local events, support groups and other help available to you.
*Strengthen your personal support network with the people already involved in your life like family, friends, neighbors and co-workers...also your church or synagogue.
*Get involved with your boyfriend's squadron. There will be wives in charge of planning family gatherings. Attend the events, get to know people and get involved in helping out.
*Check online. The Internet is swimming with forums and support groups for Air Force wives. See what you can find. Also try social networking to talk to other women in your situation... like Facebook:


Dear Maxy ,
My friends  lost  a child to sudden infant death syndrome  several years  ago . Every year I remember the anniversary , but I feel weird  saying  anything to them , so I have not . This  year  marks  the  fifth anniversary  and something tells me  that I should acknowledge it in some way . They have other  children now, but I know that they miss their  little  girl . Should I send them  a card or call them or  anything ?
Tender Memories
Dear Tender Memories,
You are a good and compassionate friend. There is no time limit on grief. Be it one year, five or a lifetime, the wound will open a little on every anniversary of the little girl's passing. Family often feels that no one remembers their loved one but themselves, so a note or card from you will be greatly appreciated and is most appropriate.
Just speak from the heart and tell them you were thinking of their little one on that day and feeling their sorrow.
You might also explain that you have been a bit nervous about contacting them in previous years for fear of upsetting them. It is a very loving and sweet gesture...go ahead.

Dear Maxy ,
About  a year ago, my very bright 16-year-old granddaughter  was diagnosed  with schizencephaly, a very rare disease  and she has had seizures . She was put on medications and then was free of  seizures  for  eight months . But recently  she had another seizure  and her medication  is being  reconsidered .
How can I find  out how to  be helpful  and supportive? She  lives 2 hours away  and I no longer drive . Is there  an organization  for this ?
Deeply Concerned Old  Grandma
Dear Grandma,
Schizencephaly  is a birth defect  that is extremely rare  and can cause  delays  in speech  and language  skills , some paralysis  and seizures .
Doctors  believe  the  causes  include  exposure  to toxins  or medications  during  pregnancy . I found one support  group  at  ( ) and  you can also get  information  through ( ) for those with rare  diseases. Don't forget to call her frequently and let her know you love her and are thinking of her. Love is good medicine for whatever ails you.

Monday, September 8, 2014

A Salad That Goes Right to Your Skin and Makes it Glow

The ultimate beauty food salad would fill you up, make your skin glow, be easy to make, and not cost a fortune, much like the Citrus Roasted Carrot & Avocado Salad pictured above.

It’s full of the vitamins and healthy fats you need to maintain a clear complexion. Let’s break it down: carrots are high in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that is converted into Vitamin A, which helps repair skin tissue and even works as natural sun protection. (They also contain Vitamin C, which helps the body produce collagen.) Avocados are a great source of antioxidant carotenoids, they improve your skin’s density, thickness, tone, and general appearance; the fruit’s monounsaturated fatty acids help maintain moisture in the epidermal layer of your skin. Don’t be scared of the word fat! Good fats are your friends and an essential part of keeping firm, moisturized and happy skin.

Here’s how to make this miracle food:

Citrus Roasted Carrot Salad with Avocado Spicy Greens and Toasted Pine Nuts

1 orange, halved

1 lemon, halved

3 garlic cloves

1-teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon red chili flakes

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound medium sized carrots, peeled

1 avocado, sliced

2 cups of spicy greens like arugula

¼ cup pine nuts or any type of nut or seed you would prefer

Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a small food processor, pulse garlic, cumin, thyme, chili flakes, 1 ½ teaspoons salt and ¾ teaspoons black pepper. Then add vinegar and oil and mix until combined.

Put carrots on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour spice mixture on top. Place lemon and orange cut side down on top of carrots. Roast carrots until they are tender, about 45 minutes.

Pull out of oven and arrange carrots on a platter or divide on to serving plates. Carefully squeeze roasted lemon and orange wedge into a measuring cup. (This should yield ½ cup of juice.)

Whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Drizzle some of the sauce on top of carrots.

In a medium bowl place the arugula. Season with a touch of salt and pepper and drizzle one or two tablespoons of dressing on top. Mix gently.

Place arugula on top of carrots, and carefully tuck avocado slices in salad.

Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts. Serve and glow.

Prince William, Kate Middleton Expecting 2nd Child

LONDON (AP) Prince George is not going to be an only child for long the toddler will soon have a baby sister or brother to share his fancy digs at Kensington Palace.

British royal officials said Monday that Prince William and the duchess of Cambridge, the former Kate Middleton, are expecting their second child.

For the second time, Kate is being treated for acute morning sickness in the early phases of her pregnancy.

The first time she was so ill she required hospitalization. This time, she is being treated by doctors at her residence in Kensington Palace. She canceled a planned engagement in Oxford to rest and receive medical care.

The new baby, boy or girl, will become fourth in line to the throne, pushing Prince Harry to fifth. George, who is 13 months old, is third and likely to become Britain's monarch one day. William is second in line, while his father, Prince Charles, is first.

Britain had changed its laws before George's birth so that the couple's first born would be in line for the throne regardless of its sex. Before the change, a girl would have lost her place in line if a boy was born later.

William and Kate have often expressed an interest in having a larger family.

The royal couple and their families are "delighted" with the baby news, said officials at Clarence House, the couple's office. The announcement follows months of speculation in the glossy British and American press about a possible baby brother or sister for George.

After hospital treatment for severe morning sickness, hyperemesis gravidarum, Kate recovered and gave birth to George in July 2013 without further complications.

The current illness means the 32-year-old duchess may need extra hydration, medication and nutrients.

Britain's Press Association reported that Kate's pregnancy hasn't passed the 12-week stage, which is when she became ill in her first pregnancy.

Prime Minister David Cameron said he was "delighted by the happy news that they're expecting another baby."

Royal officials said it wasn't clear if the duchess will be able to carry out planned official engagements, including a trip to Malta on Sept. 20 and 21 that would mark her first overseas solo trip.

Decisions on events would be made on a "case-by-case" basis, officials said.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Food for Thought : September is All-American Breakfast Month

September is All-American Breakfast Month and many school districts will be emphasizing to students the importance of a healthy breakfast. Kids who eat breakfast have been shown to have better overall diets, school performance and less behavior or cognitive problems. The same holds true for adults as well. Here are a few tips to help you make the commitment to eating a healthier breakfast in September:
1 .  Look for lean protein. Eggs and egg whites most often come to mind when we think of breakfast protein foods, but beans, fish, chicken and lean beef make excellent options, too. Try a beef or chicken fajita omelet or breakfast burrito.

2 .  Try cold oats. Mix rolled oats with any liquid, such as milk or yogurt, in a 1:1 ratio in a glass jar. Stir in fruit and a sweetener, such as honey, brown sugar, etc., if desired. Add spices such as cinnamon, ginger or nutmeg, as desired. Shake to mix well and refrigerate overnight. Enjoy the next morning.

3 .  Be careful when choosing cereal bars, frozen meals or ready-to-eat cereals. Many times these have many calories, added sugars, fats and unwanted additional ingredients or preservatives. Experiment with making your own for the week or making some and freezing them. This way you know exactly what foods are going into the meals you eat.

Words of Wisdom:
Do not condemn the judgment of another because it differs from your own. You may both be wrong.

Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful.

When one door of happiness closes, another opens;
but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.

Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.
Be not afraid of going slowly; be afraid only of standing still.

Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small.
A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a
single step.

A proud grandpoppa G.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Loaded Chicken & Potatoes

 This is a great, inexpensive, easy, little recipe with simple ingredients you probably have on hand most of the time. It is a family pleaser and I serve lots of veggies on the side...usually broccoli or asparagus and carrots. Thanks to my old friend Marianne


1 lb boneless chicken breasts, cubed (1″)...
6-8 medium skin on red potatoes, cut in 1/2″ cubes
1/3 c olive oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp paprika
2 Tbsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp hot sauce (more if you like it HOT)


2 c fiesta blend cheese
1 c crumbled bacon
1 c diced green onion

How to Make:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9X13″ baking dish with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and hot sauce. Add the cubed potatoes and chicken and stir to coat. Carefully scoop the potatoes and chicken into the prepared baking dish..
3. Bake the potatoes and chicken for 55-60 minutes, stirring every 20 minutes, until cooked through, crispy, and browned on the outside. While the potatoes are cooking, fry your bacon (about half a pound).
4. Once the potatoes and chicken are fully cooked, remove from the oven. Top the cooked potatoes with the the cheese, bacon, and green onion. Return the casserole to the oven and bake for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Serve With: extra hot sauce and/or ranch dressing or sour cream...


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy ,
I am a 26-year-old married  woman . I love  my husband  and will do anything  for  him and I know  he would  do the same  for me .
The  problem is  , I contacted  an old  friend  after  learning  his  uncle  had died . This  guy was my first love . I only reached out to him  to offer my condolences . But then the  conversation  went  further  and we ended up reminiscing  about the past .
Since then , we've been talking  and texting  and recently began  to talk about  having sex . I know I shouldn't  give into these impluses , but really I want to . My friend  has not  pressured me .  so I don't understand why I feel this way . What should I do ?
Dear Nameless,
You should delete his phone number from your  records  and stop before  you make  a mess of your  life .
It is not  unusual to fantasize  about  another partner . A lot of married people  do , because  marriage  can become routine  and an old flame  adds  excitement . But you need to live up  to the commitment  you made  to your  husband  to "forsake all others"." Having an affair  would hurt him terribly  and possible  lead to divorce . Put  some of that extra  energy  into reigniting  the passion in your  marriage .

Dear Maxy ,
I think my husband  is tuning  me out  when I talk to  him . He does not  respect my opinion , even though I know more than he does and he disregards  what I have to say . I am getting tired  of his  immature  behavior  and I would  like to  know  how  could I  get my husband to listen to me ?
Dearly Beloved
Dear Dearly Beloved ,
It sounds like  you do not respect your  husband , either . It takes  two  to cultivate  loving respect  in a relationship . When you say you know  more , what are you talking about? To make such a  statement  implies that you are smarter  and more knowledgeable  about "everything" than he is . Stop acting  like a know-it-all.
The way  to constructive  communication is to treat each other with respect . That means that you must believe that what he says is valuable  and worth hearing  , just  as he  believes  the same about you . To get him to  listen  to you may  work best  if  you start  by listening to him . Ask him about his day  and look at him when he tells you . Ask him questions so that he  reveals  greater  detail  about what interested him . Listen closely  and affirm that you have  heard what he is saying . When it is  your turn  to talk ... after he  has completely  finished his story  ... ask him  if you can tell him  about your  day . Chose one compelling  story  to share  with him , something you  believe  he  may  find interesting . Tell him the story , but resist  telling  multiple  stories  at once  . at once . Practice  sharing  bits  at a time rather  than inundating  your  husband  with too much  information . Remember to ask him his thoughts . Take  your time  and rebuild  your  bond  through mutual  respect.

Dear  Maxy ,
Taking  my wife out to a restaurant  is  very  challenging  for me  because my wife  comments on everything  when it  comes to  ordering  her food . She requires  that  her potatoes  be at room temperature  , she  needs  three ice  cubes in each  cup  and her broccoli  spears be dipped in butter  for  5 seconds  . I say to myself , "Who makes these requests?" Well,  my wife does . She is  particular  about  everything . Is there a way  I can get  her to calm down ? Do you think  we should seek professional help ?
Need Some  Help
Dear Need  some  Help ,
Your wife sounds  extraordinarily  particular , which  understandably  can be annoying . It may be just how she is  . But  it is also possible  that she  has obsessive-compulsive  disorder . You could  have  her  evaluated  by  a mental health  professional  who would be able  to help her  develop  ways  to reduce  the degree  of intensity  that she  brings  to her choices  and decisions throughout the  day .