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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Food for Thought : Celebrate Healthily

Thanksgiving is here . If you are like many people, this will be the start of a six-week holiday feasting that leads to a few unwanted pounds. Many people gain between 1 and 4 pounds over the holiday season. While 1 pound may not seem like such a big deal, this can become a real problem if you do not lose the weight after the new year. However, you do not have to fall into this trap. It is completely possible to enjoy the holidays without gaining any weight. Here are a few tips to help you keep your healthful goals in sight as you celebrate the holidays:
1 .  If food is served buffet style, use the smallest plate possible. Go for the simple foods; fresh fruits and vegetables, shrimp and other meats will help you feel full longer.

2 .  Be very picky, especially when it comes to high-calorie and high-fat foods such as desserts and sweets. If you must have some, limit them to small portions and only what is very important to you. Some people like to get several desserts and try a little of each of them. This is a good strategy, only if you know you will be able to resist eating all of them.

3 .  Bring something you know is low in calories and fat to potluck gatherings such as office parities and church events. This way you know there is something available for you to eat that is in line with your goals.

4 .  Remember the holidays are about more than just the food. Holiday celebrations include spending time with family and friends. Make sure you take the time to appreciate the decorations, enjoy the entertainment and visit with others.

Words of Wisdom:"Everyone should be able to do one card trick, tell two jokes, and recite three poems, in case they are ever trapped in an elevator."

"I consider conversations with people to be mind exercises, but I don't want to pull a muscle, so I stretch a lot. That's why I'm constantly either rolling my eyes or yawning."

People spend too much time finding other people to blame, too much energy finding excuses for not being what they are capable of being, and not enough energy putting themselves on the line, growing out of the past, and getting on with their lives.

Make it a habit to tell people thank you. To express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you'll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life, and you'll find that you have more of it.

All I ever wanted really, and continue to want out of life, is to give 100 percent to whatever I'm doing and to be committed to whatever I'm doing and then let the results speak for themselves. Also to never take myself or people for granted and always be thankful and grateful to the people who helped me.
A proud grand-poppa

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Iconic Movie Memorabilia Auctioned for Millions

The Cowardly Lion costume from the Wizard of Oz and the Casablanca piano, two of the most iconic pieces of movie memorabilia, sold at Bonham’s Turner Classic Movies auction.

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy,
My boyfriend "Darrin" and I  have been  seeing  each other  for  five  years . I love him and  feel loved  by him . He is  affectionate and  a great listener . I have  grown children who are free  to pop in and  out of  my house  whenever they please . We also have  many extended  family  get-togethers   throughout  the year .
Darrin will ask  me about  my kids  and siblings  and seem interested  when I talk about them . But  he doesn't  seem eager  to make  them part of  his  life . He says  he  doesn't  like  big  groups so he rarely goes  with me to family  get-togethers . He also doesn't  like to come over when my kids are here and makes  no effort  to  know them . When I invite  him, he  makes  up excuses  for why he can't  come . My  kids think Darrin is  distant  and doesn't  care  about them . Will he  be  like this  if we marry  and live in the same  house ? Is this something  that can be worked  through ?
Need  More Involvement
Dear Need More Involvement ,
You  need  to discuss this with Darrin . Tell him  you find his  lack of  interest in your  family  upsetting  and  you wants to now why he doesn't  care to get to know  them better . Your  children (not  to mention  your  siblings) are  important to you  and should  the relationship  progress, you want  to be certain  he will not  alienate  your  family . Keep in mind, however, that not all  people are  close  to the children  and  relatives  of their  significant  others . This  doesn't  have to be  a deal breaker . What counts  is that he  not interfere  with the level  of attachment  that you want .

Dear Maxy ,
My son wants  to go to  sleep-away camp next summer . Lots  of  his  friends   at school will be  going away  and he wants  to have that experience  as well . Out  family  is  not rolling in dough  like some  of  his  peers, though . My husband  and I looked  at the prices  for  the camps   that our  son (who is  12)  has  been talking  about  and the  price  is through the roof .
How  can  I manage  my son's expectations ? I don't  know  how  we  could possibly  afford  to send  him to any  of these  places .
To  Go or  Not  to Go
Dear To Go or  Not to Go ,
Don't  give  up until  you do some  research . Contact each of  the camps  that your  son has shared  with you  . Find  out if   they offer financial  aid  to any of their students . Many camps  gladly  offer  aid  when parents  make the request . Sometimes they have  to show  proof  of  need, but  not  always . You  can also research more  affordable  camps . Some are rugged, some  more  refined. Some  are affiliated  with the local Y or other  community organizations  and can be affordable . Plus  your  child  can go  for  a shorter time  period   if that helps  reduce  the  cost . The point is  that  you should   thoroughly look  into  your  options   before saying  no .

Dear Maxy ,
I have  been  working  for  myself  for  years   For  a long time it was  going well . But  I am a consultant  and with the economy  being  soft, I am not  making  very  much  money . It  gets  harder  and harder  to pay  my  bills  because  it is difficult  to keep clients  consistently . I'm thinking  I should  go back to school  to learn a trade  or  something, but  I can't really afford  to do that . How  can I get out  of this  hole ?
Need  a Change
Dear  Need a Change,
You are smart  to  be  considering  options  for  income  since  your  current  method of  earning  a living  isn't  satisfying  your  basic  needs .The  good  news is  that  there are  many  scholarships  available  for  students  of  all ages  . I  recently  interviewed   the  CEO  of the United  Negro  College  Fund, Dr. Michael  Lomax, who explained that  more of todays college  students   are  returning  students  than 18 year-olds . And there is  money out there   for  nearly everyone . So do  your  research .
Figure  out  what  you want   to do  and what schools  offer  scholarships  or financial aid . Fill out the  Free Application  for  Federal  Student  aid  (  fafsa.ed,gov )  and shop until  you get the  support  you need .
Education  is  often  the  key to  economic  empowerment . Do not  give up  until you gain the skills  you need .

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Unusual Best Friends

Your Roving Reporter : Widower Eats Breakfast with His Wife's Photo Every Day

 George Travis' wife of 50 years, Billy Mae, passed away last year. Since then, the 88-year-old has eaten his breakfast next to her photograph at the same restaurant every day. "I bring her with me everywhere I go ... I never go anywhere without my precious wife," he told KSLA.

Travis orders bacon, two eggs and a waffle every morning at Another Broken Egg restaurant in Shreveport, Louisiana, and sits in the same seat where he has a special place for her.  Travis was divorced and feeling low about his family life when he was set up by a friend to meet Billy Mae decades ago. He found his blind date beautiful, and they were later married, working together for several years in Shreveport at Travis Shoe Stores.

Of her death, Travis says, "It was the hardest thing that's ever happened to me." When other customers started noticing him eating at the restaurant next to his wife's picture, they decided to share his love story.

As reported by KSLA, Travis suffered a heart attack on November 13, but he's doing well and is ready to have breakfast again with his wife very soon.
Watch the video above to learn more about Travis and Billy Mae's beautiful love story. Then, check out the slideshow below to learn about another man who sits with a photo of his wife during lunch every day.

Your Roving Reporter: G

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Food for Thought: Cold Weather

The cold weather season is here. Many of us are looking forward to ending the work day at home under a cozy blanket with a warm meal. Comfort foods take us back to some of our best memories; unfortunately, these can be foods that are high in fat and calories. However, some comforting foods can be good for you, easy to prepare and fit any nutrition plan. Here are a few tips:
1 .   Spaghetti is a great comfort food and has less calories that the typical pasta dishes such as lasagna and creamy pastas. Opt for whole-wheat pasta or get adventurous and try some spaghetti squash. Also, look for chunky sauces without added sugars. Use fresh herbs and vegetables such as basil and onions for added flavor.

2 .  Vegetable soups and stews make great hearty meals. Use a slow cooker to prepare lean cuts of meat along with large pieces of vegetables such as potatoes and carrots. Add your favorite seasonings and let it cook all day. Typically cream soups are much higher in fat and calories, so stick to those that are broth based.

3 .  Cut the crust. Many of our favorite comfort foods such as chicken pot pie and peach cobbler have a top and bottom crust. Simply doing away with the bottom crust could save you a good bit of calories and fat.

4 .  Use lean meats for soups, stews and especially foods that have gravy such as meatloaf or beef tips. Use herbs and spices for flavor. Look for ways to cut fat and calories in your favorite comfort food by searching for healthier alternatives on the Internet on recipe sharing sites and other places, such as Pinterest.
                                 Spaghetti PIe
This makes a wonderful dish for a pot luck!


1       pound spaghetti
1/4    pound butter or margarine
1       cup Parmesan cheese
4       eggs or eggbeaters
1       large container small curd cottage cheese
1       large bag of shredded mozzarella cheese
1       large jar spaghetti sauce (daughter use 2 large Prego's)


Put cooked spaghetti (not rinsed) in large bowl with: butter, parmesan and eggs After you mix this well, put into a buttered 10 x 14 pan or put into two pie pans and freeze one if you want smaller portions. Pour spaghetti sauce on top, spread on cottage cheese. Sprinkle more Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 for thirty minutes. Put on mozzarella cheese and make ten more minutes.
Words of Wisdom :
People spend too much time finding other people to blame, too much energy finding excuses for not being what they are capable of being, and not enough energy putting themselves on the line, growing out of the past, and getting on with their lives.
 I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition.
 In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.
 Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it's amazing what they can accomplish.
 You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.

A proud grand-poppa

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy ,
What do you do with a sibling who has been enabled all of his life when mom is no longer around to provide for him ?

My brother has had a house to live in, a car to drive, insurance, etc. for the past 25 years . He is an alcoholic and a drug user . He doesn't work because he doesn't want to . He has an all-expenses-paid life .

When my mother dies, how do we settle the estate ? If the house is given to my brother, he would lose it because he has no concept of paying bills . My sister thinks we should sell the place , give my brother his share and move on .
Help Me

Dear Help Me ,
It's difficult to make plans in advance if you don't know whether your mother has a will that leaves the house to your brother , in which case, he is free to let it collapse into ruin .

You should consider all the possibilities, including how much responsibility you will take for your brother when the gravy train stops . Unless he gets help for his addictions, his behavior is unlikely to change . Are you comfortable throwing him out of the house ? You can't force your mother to settle these questions, although please urge her to see a lawyer .
Dear Maxy ,
I live far away from my family, but still try to keep in touch . The problem is my sister "Diane," who always misinterprets what I say .

Last month for example, we were talking about Dr. Oz when I commented that we'd have to wait 20 years to see whether some of those suggestions work . That night, Diane told my brother that I said I wouldn't care if she died . I tried to call, email and text to smooth things over, but she wouldn't answer . My mom doesn't want us to fight . I had no idea we were fighting until my brother told me .

A week later , Diane allowed me to apologize, and things were fine, but it has happened again . I suggested that we limit our Thanksgiving guests to the immediate family (24) people . Again, I got a call from my brother saying Diane thinks I hate her in-laws . I tried to contact her to explain, but she is ignoring me ..
I am tired of being the bad guy . I can't help that she interprets my comments in the worst possible way . How can I end the cycle .
Not a Meanie

 Dear Not a Meanie,
Diane sounds as if she is hypersensitive and looking for excuses to be upset with you . One of the reasons she doesn't tell you directly is because she is mulling it over, and it's much more effective if she waits and then tells your brother her own version . Then she punishes you by staying out of contact until you are groveling . She has her technique down cold and you fall for it every time .

If you think you can discuss this with her rationally, then do so . Otherwise, keep conversations short and neutral . If she becomes upset send a sweet email saying you are sorry she is unhappy . Then leave it alone .
Dear Maxy ,
I have been married to the love of my life for 30 years . About 10 years ago we moved to be closer to friends and family . It seemed to coincide with early menopause for my wife, which brought with it zero desire for intimacy . My wife asked me whether I thought it was OK to not have sex any longer and being an acquiescent idiot, I said "fine."

Now I'm frustrated and wondering what the future holds . I am in my mid-60s, and my wife is in her early 50s . Do I go the rest of my life without ? I need the other person to have some passion for me, or it's not worth having .
Lost and Needy

Dear Lost and Needy ,
You need to revisit this issue . No matter what you agreed to at the time you have become increasingly resentful and your wife deserves to know . This affects your marriage in a critical way .

Unfortunately your wife may not agree to more intimacy and even if she does you may not get the passion you desire . Ask if she would be willing to talk to her doctor about it , and then please seek counselling .

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Cutest Gangsta I know...My Wife

A wife, secretly shot by her husband, was caught rapping along with the 1993 song by the hip-hop trio.
A wife, secretly shot by her husband, was caught rapping along with the 1993 song by the hip-hop trio. Over the weekend, Chelsea Ranger, 30, and Paulo Salomao, 37, were driving in their car in Toronto’s east end when Salt-N-Pepa’s “None of Your Business” came on the radio.  Ranger immediately started rapping along. Salomao secretly started filming her.
He uploaded the cute moment to YouTube and Reddit with the title “The cutest gangsta I know, my wife,” not expecting what happened next: the video was viewed more than 9.7 million times. 
My wife is THE most beautiful human being I know and I absolutely adore the moments I get to watch her being herself. Don’t be shy people, say you love your loved ones, treasure the little moments and don’t worry if people are judging you!” Salomao wrote on YouTube. 

“I think the inside view of a couple enjoying each other’s company is the main thing,” Salomao told the Post. “Maybe with so much vulgarism and people trying to gain attention online, when something true and innocent comes along, it gets the credit it deserves?”

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

How Often Should You Wash Your Jeans ?? Try Never.

#STYLEHACK: How To Break Your Jeans In The Proper Way
By Joe Zee
The truth is I have never washed my jeans. And the first time I told a good friend of mine how to break their jeans in using this proper method, she freaked out. She could not believe I told her to NEVER wash her jeans. Hold on one second – keep reading.

I told her I had learned directly from a cowboy but in fact, I had been educated at the beginning of my career from designers and executives at Levi’s (who manufactured denim for cowboys). Denim was designed as a tightly woven cotton with an indigo pigment coloring that was meant to “break down” over time through wear and tear and in order to ensure you get the proper fade and “whiskers” (the term used for the fading of the lines around the zipper area). You have to allow the dirt and natural particles to settle into your brand new jeans. If you do throw them into the wash, you will lose that natural fade result that you love with old jeans, not to mention the woven denim fabric will seize up. In short, washing your jeans will keep them from fading – the right way.

But that doesn’t mean you also have to smell like you never wash your clothes either. Here are three ways to keep the denim fresh while keeping the fade authentic.

1. FREEZE IT: Throw your folded jeans (don’t bag it though) into the freezer overnight and that will help freeze most of the bacteria – and odor – off.

2. SPRITZ WITH VODKA: Yep! Fill a spray bottle with vodka and do a light spritz on certain areas to get rid of any unwanted odors. 

3. DRY CYCLE ONLY: If you are wanting a bit of “freshened up” fit, then toss the jeans – inside out – for 20 minutes in the dryer.

I am sure Joe Zee is an expert on this subject, but I just can't seem to get with his program. It's true I am a bit of a 'germaphobe' but I also prefer my jeans not to be stiff with dirt and epithelials.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Food for Thought : Thanksgiving

It is hard to believe Thanksgiving is only two weeks away. In the next few weeks, many of our kitchen appliances will get more use than they do any other time of the year. If you will be doing a lot of baking and cooking over the next few weeks, follow these tips to get your kitchen ready:
1 . Check your spices and herbs. If you do a lot of baking, you are going to need these. Make sure you have plenty and the ones you have on hand have not expired. Pay special attention to the ones you only use a few times a year such as vanilla, poultry seasoning, pumpkin pie spice and nutmeg.

2 .  Check out your baking and cookware. Make sure you have enough roasting pans, casserole dishes and cookie sheets. Make sure these are free from rust and wear. Also make sure you have plenty of serving dishes and your knives have been sharpened.

3 .  Make room in your freezer. You are going to need the extra room for make-ahead dishes. Throw out anything not labeled and dated properly. Although foods will remain safe for some time, the quality decreases after just a few months. Go ahead and prepare the meals you have been saving.

4 .  Clean everything thoroughly. Pay special attention to baseboards, ceiling fans, light fixtures and cabinets.

                                    Honey-Bourbon Toddy

Servings: Makes 2
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup hot water
6 tablespoons bourbon or Apple Bourbon (recipe below)
 2     3x1/2' strips lemon peel
2 cinnamon sticks

1 .   Stir honey and water in a 2-cup measuring cup until honey dissolves. Add bourbon (or better yet, Apple Bourbon, in which case you'll use 1 Tbsp. honey). Divide between 2 Toddy glasses. Twist a strip of lemon peel over each drink, then add to glass. Stir each with a cinnamon stick and serve.
                    APPLE BOURBON RECIPE:
To make Apple Bourbon, combine a 750-ml bottle of bourbon, 4 cored, sliced Fuji apples, and 4 cinnamon sticks in a pitcher. Cover; chill for 3 days. Strain and sip of use in recipe above.

Words of Wisdom :
"True humor is fun - it does not put down, kid, or mock. It makes people feel wonderful, not separate, different, and cut off. True humor has beneath it the understanding that we are all in this together."
Suffering is the result of resistance; so much better to simply embrace people, things, feelings... as they are. Intolerance is a habit we’ve been taught, but it can be unlearned. Changing habits requires conscious practice.

"In the midst of hate, I found there was, within me, an invincible love. In the midst of tears, I found there was, within me, an invincible smile. In the midst of chaos, I found there was, within me, an invincible calm. In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there's something stronger something better, pushing right back."

"The future is not some place we are going, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made. And the activity of making them changes both the maker and their destination."

A Proud Grandpoppa   G. ---- Mr. Humble  sitting in for  Poppa , hopefully  he will be  back  soon .


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy ,
I've been on antidepressant  and  bipolar medication  for 12  years . The problem is, I feel  I am being  over medicated . I want to sleep all day  . I am also legally deaf . I  live with my parents  because I am unable  to drive . My depression and resulting destructive  spiral  caused  my grades  to go south in college  which has  interfered with my ability to find  a  good  job  in my field  and not  all employers  are willing to make  accommodations  for  hearing  disability .
My parents  does  not  treat me  particularly well . The  medication helped  a lot  , but  being  on the meds  for so long has  cause other  problems , including  issues  with my short-term memory . I am tired  of taking  medications  that I  feel is  hindering  more than helping , I saw  a counselor for a while  some  years  ago , and  that did  me more  good than medication could . My family  refuses  to listen  to me when I tell them the  new  medications are  causing excessive drowsiness  . I have  been told  by them to simply  suck it  up . My  family  won't  let me stop taking the medications .
I would  like to find a job  so I can earn  enough money  to go back to college  , but  I have  no idea  where  to start . My only  job experience  is  some  community service I did  as  part  of my high school graduation requirements .
Fed  UP
Dear Fed  Up ,
First  phone or  make an appointment  to see the  doctor  who prescribed your  current  medication  and explain the  drowsiness  . It is  likely  you can have it  adjusted  . Also  you  could  use  some  emotional . Please  contact  the  Depression  and Bipolar  Support  Alliance  at . Then check  your  state , city  and  county  government offices  for  jobs  for the  disabled  , along  with  the U.S. Dept. of  Labor  and  at 1-877-US2-JOBS .

Dear  Maxy ,
My   husband  is  a chain smoker  and  has  very poor  dental  hygiene  and has  lost most of  his  teeth He  has  never  been an affectionate  person , but  when he  does  decide  to kiss me , I am repulsed by his  cigarette  breath  and the fact  that he  hasn't  brushed  his  teeth .  Therefore  I  try to avoid  being  near him .
My  question to  you is : should  I nicely tell him  he  needs  to see  a dentist ?
Dear V ,
Yes , dear . Otherwise  ,  you will be stuck  with this  situation  for the rest  of  your  married  life  and over time  , it will put  a terrible  and  unnecessary  strain on your  relational .
Tell him that  his  breath  could  use  some assistance . Make  him understand  that not  brushing  his teeth  puts  him at risk  for  heart  disease  . I suspect he  harbors  a fear  of  dentists , so assure  him  that current dental  techniques  take that into consideration , and there  are  varies  ways   to  alleviate  discomfort  .  Ask him to  come  with you to find a good dentist  he is  comfortable  with  . Also  but  him some breath freshener   that he  can gargle  with .

Dear  Maxy ,
I have  been  dating  a guy  for  about  four  months now . He is  very sweet  to me . I like  his  personality  a lot .  I work in an office as  an office  manager  ,  he works  construction  . I think  that's  great , except he  doesn't  always  need to shower  and  change  at the  end  of the  day . So if he asks  me out on a date , even if  he  has  time to come  home  and , shower  and change , he  often does  not  . I don't want to sound  like  a snob , but  I really don't  want to  go to a nice restaurant  or  even to the  movies   and snuggles  up next  to someone  that smells  like dust and sweat .
Clean Up
Dear  Clean Up ,
I bet your  guy has  been single  for  a long  time  . One  of the  most  common  "side affects" of a loving  relationship  is  some  good TLC. Chances  are , he  hasn't  put  two and  two together  at all . He  is  so eager  to see you  , getting to  you is  at the top of  his  mind . Bathing  is  not  even n the radar . Definitely  tell him , but in a nice  way  . When you are planning  for  your  next date   , ask  him what  he's  going to wear . Encourage  him  by suggesting  that  he  shower  and wear  whatever  cologne  you like that he  wears s, or  you could  name  a specific  shirt  and  tie that  you  have  loved  him wearing  in the past . Make  it  a sensuous experience . That should  encourage  him to  clean  up .

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Change is good...isn't it ?

Brazilian kids learn English by video chatting with lonely elderly Americans

Brazilian teenagers looking to improve their English have been chatting with a group of people who just want someone to talk to: elderly Americans.
FCB Brazil's "Speaking Exchange" project for CNA language schools pairs young Brazilians with men and women living in retirement homes. They talk via Web chats in what has become a mutually beneficial — and touching — arrangement.
As the CNA site says: "All students really want is to speak English fluently. And here at CNA English school, we are always thinking of ways to improve learning, making it more real and human ... CNA believes that the Speaking Exchange is a project in which everybody wins. A great chance for students to practice English and meet people with lots of stories to tell, as well as an excellent activity so that the elderly feel active and make new friendships."
These meetings are carried out via an exclusive digital tool that uses video chat technology to bring the students face to face with Americans.
Bravo! Another great innovative idea.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Food for Thought : Louisiana State Fair

The fair is in town for just a few more days. Many of us go to the fair for the food. And while common sense may tell us consuming almost every food imaginable deep fried and on a stick isn't necessarily the healthiest option for us, sometimes we just can't help ourselves. Here are tips to help you navigate food stands without going overboard:
1 .   Don't go to the fair extremely hungry. Many times we will skip meals all day long and "save up" our calories for later. This leads to overeating. Eat a light snack with plenty of protein such as peanut butter or cheese and crackers, or a half a sandwich.

2 .   Watch your liquid calories. It is best to opt for water at events like this. Calories can easily add up when consuming sweetened or alcoholic beverages.

3 .  Go early in the day. You may be less likely to be tempted with all the aromas of different foods.

4 .  Walk around the midway a few times before making a purchase. Make decisions on what are "must-try foods" and foods that you "can live without today." Take a friend and share. Many times just a few bites will satisfy a craving.

5 .  Sit down and enjoy your food. Walking around and chatting can lead to mindless eating and before you know it, you have consumed the whole order. Be mindful of what you are eating.

Words of Wisdom :
A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them.

I cannot even imagine where I would be today were it not for that handful of friends who have given me a heart full of joy. Let's face it, friends make life a lot more fun.

People spend too much time finding other people to blame, too much energy finding excuses for not being what they are capable of being, and not enough energy putting themselves on the line, growing out of the past, and getting on with their lives.

It's amazing that the amount of news that happens in the world every day always just exactly fits the newspaper.

Work hard for what you want because it won't come to you without a fight. You have to be strong and courageous and know that you can do anything you put your mind to. If somebody puts you down or criticizes you, just keep on believing in yourself and turn it into something positive.

I truly believe that everything that we do and everyone that we meet is put in our path for a purpose. There are no accidents; we're all teachers - if we're willing to pay attention to the lessons we learn, trust our positive instincts and not be afraid to take risks or wait for some miracle to come knocking at our door.
 A Proud Grandpoppa





Friday, November 7, 2014

Parkinson's stem cell 'breakthrough'


Stem cells can be used to heal the damage in the brain caused by Parkinson's disease, according to scientists in Sweden. They said their study on rats heralded a "huge breakthrough" towards developing effective treatments. There is no cure for the disease, but medication and brain stimulation can alleviate symptoms.
The disease is caused by the loss of nerve cells in the brain that produce the chemical dopamine ,which helps to control mood and movement. To simulate Parkinson's, Lund University researchers killed dopamine-producing neurons on one side of the rats' brains. They then converted human embryonic stem cells into neurons that produced dopamine.

Parkinson's Disease
Parkinson's is one of the commonest neurodegenerative diseases

These were injected into the rats' brains, and the researchers found evidence that the damage was reversed. There have been no human clinical trials of stem-cell-derived neurons, but the researchers said they could be ready for testing by 2017.
Malin Parmar, associate professor of developmental and regenerative neurobiology, said: "It's a huge breakthrough in the field [and] a stepping stone towards clinical trials." A similar method has been tried in a limited number of patients. It involved taking brain tissue from multiple aborted foetuses to heal the brain. Clinical trials were abandoned after mixed results, but about a third of the patients had foetal brain cells that functioned for 25 years.
Using embryonic stem cells may be preferable, as it is easier to get hold of the large numbers of cells needed for transplant by growing them in the laboratory. It also opens up the possibility of using less ethically charged sources of stem cells, such as those made from adult tissue.
Its director of research and development, Arthur Roach, said: "This important research is a key step along the way in helping us to understand how stem cells might shape future Parkinson's treatments.
"There are important potential advantages of these cells over the foetal-derived cells used in past cell transplantation work.
"This study is a giant stride towards clinical trials in people with Parkinson's but there are still many questions that need to be answered first.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy ,
I am the middle sister of  three . My mother has  always  favored my younger sister  , "Louise" despite  periods  of seriously bad  behavior . Mom has bailed Louise  out of  numerous  poor financial decisions  . She also takes her  and her son  on cruises  and buys  them expensive presents .
I recently found  our  Mom is giving  Louise a monthly  allowance  . This  is creating  some resentment . I feel I'm being  punished  for working hard  and making  better choices . Mom says  she will make it up to me  when she passes  , but I doubt  there will be much left  at the rate Louise is  bilking her .
I make an effort to include my mother  in everything with my  family , but Louise only spends  time with Mom when she being treated to a shopping  spree . My older sister  is in desperate  need of  assistance  , and I want to ask my Mom to match what she  gives  to Louise . Am I being fair or  greedy ? I am hurt  and confused  about what to do ?
Distressed  daughter .
Dear Distressed Daughter ,
This has  nothing to do  with fairness . Your  mother is  playing  favorites  and your resentment  is  perfectly  understandable .
Nonetheless , it's Mom's money . She is not obligated  to give any of her adult children an allowance  and if she wants to give  everything to Louise  , that is her  choice . If it alienates  her from her older  daughter , that is the sad consequence.

Dear Maxy ,
I have become  friendly with a woman  in my building who really has a good heart , but she is rough around the edges . She is  so incredibly  loud when she talks  that I can hear  her way before  she gets to my door . She  just talks at a super-high level . I feel  like I almost  need earplugs to be around  her . I am not sure what I can do about it  . I can tell she doesn't  realize  she is so loud . She didn't  grow  up  with a family full of  kids  or anything . Who knows  what's  up with her , but I can't take it  . I have never said anything  before about  her tone of voice  , but I'm afraid  that if I don't  say anything , I will just have to avoid her .
My Head Hurts
Dear My Head Hurts ,
It is not  rude for you  to tell your friend  that she is talking to loud  . Consider it  self-preservation . Be direct with her  . Ask her to lower her  voice  . Explain that you  have  noticed  that especially  when she gets  excited  about  something  she raises  her  voice  and sometimes  it's  just too loud . Ask her  for  permission  for you  to give  her a  signal  to lower  her  voice  . For example , you  can literally  use your  hand  to show  her that  you would like her  to  bring the volume down .
If she agrees  , know that it will take a while  for her to be able  to honor  your  request . If she has  been talking  loudly   for  years  , that is  her natural volume . You may also suggest  that she  have a hearing test . Sometimes  people  speak loudly  when they have  compromised  hearing .

Dear  Maxy ,
I just got  a big  check  for a job I did  a few months  back  and I was so excited  to get some money  that I went out  and spent it all . I feel like such an idiot  . But I  had gone so long  being broke  that I wanted to treat  myself . The treats  just seem to  grow and  grow  and get out of  hand .
Now I am back at square one  with all kinds of  bills to pay  and no money to pay it . I do have a couple of  checks  that I'm waiting for  , but I realize  that I have  created a terrible pattern  . I have done this before  , I'm not  proud of  myself  , but I know what I do .
How can I stop this  cycle  of binge spending  and then being  broke ?
Throwing in the Towel
Dear Throwing in the Towel ,
You need help , immediately . Many people with financial challenges  such as  yours  get help  for  free  from Debtors Anonymous  , ( ) Through this   program  , you can learn  what your triggers are  and discover  ways  to resist  the temptation  to fall into your own traps . You have proven to yourself  that you  cannot handle  your finances  on your own . Remember that  and get the support you need . Essentially  , you are dealing with a type of addiction . Because it  has  to do with  something you need  in your  life , it is something  you cannot walk away from . Instead  , you must learn to manage  your  behavior . It would  be wise  for you to get  a compassionate  financial advisor  who can help you  negotiate  with creditors  , develop strategies  to pay down  your  debt  and otherwise  help you  get set on  a path to making  healthier  choices  about how  you live  and spend . You can  get free advice  from the  IRS , your  local  unemployment office  and  your local community  center .

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Food for Thought: Help your family avoid getting sick

October is Family Health Month. Keeping our family healthy over the next few months may prove to be a challenge for some of us, as this is the time of year colds, viruses and bacterial infections tend to spread more. Making sure your family avoids getting sick and stays in the best nutritional health this season can be easy to do with a little planning. Here are a few tips to help your family stay healthy:

1 . Make sure everyone is getting enough rest and proper nutrition. There are many nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables in season such as sweet potatoes, squash, cranberries and pomegranate. Fresh fruits and vegetables loaded with vitamins and minerals will help your family's immune system stay healthy and ready to fight off germs.

2 . Wash your hands frequently. Washing your hands is especially important this time of year. Make sure you wash your hands more often when you are out and about at restaurants, shopping or school functions.

3 . Wipe surfaces with anti-bacterial wipes. While most of us will give extra cleaning attention to cooking and food prep surfaces, we sometimes forget the most frequently touched surfaces. Make it a point to wipe down television remotes, cell phones, home phones, light switches, bathroom faucets and your child's desk surfaces. These are surfaces frequently touched but typically forgotten when cleaning is done.

4 . Check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medication. Never take anyone else's prescription medication, even if you have the same symptoms.

Words of Wisdom :

"Some men are assholes and some men are cowards. What they both have in common is that both just stops talking to you, for no reason other than that they are assholes and cowards."

"Healing is more about accepting the pain and finding a way to peacefully co-exist with it. In the sea of life, pain is a tide that will ebb and weave, continually.
We need to learn how to let it wash over us, without drowning in it. Our life doesn't have to end where the pain begins, but rather, it is where we start to mend."
 "There is a requirement of money in everyone’s life to fulfill own basic needs and do good deeds for others, but a person becomes its slave indeed only on sowing the seed of the selfishness and greed in his life' garden to grow like a weed."

"Sometimes, the silence between the two persons is better than their conversation especially when they are not of compatible ABC (Attitude, Behavior,Character)."

"They say that some people come in our life as blessings and others as lessons, but to be specific and precise only simple and humble people with the utmost simplicity in their lives only come as blessings in a person's life."

"Sometimes the words against a selfish person have to be sharp, straight and blunt; it is very much like after the failure of all medications to cure a mental patient the only option left to revive him now is to give him a shock treatment through an electric current."

A proud Grand-Poppa     G.