My Blog List

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year from the PICs

Happy New Year to our  friends  and  readers.

From the  PICs

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

8 Best Foods for Instant Detox After Holiday Over-Consumption

Fat. Sugar. Salt. Alcohol. If our bodies had minds of their own, they’d have put us on notice on Thanksgiving, served us with papers by Christmas, and be off dating a vegan yogi by New Year’s Eve.
So why not make friends with your body again? These essential Eat This, Not That! Detox Foods will instantly cleanse your body without any painful fasts or expensive juices.
The Liver Fixer: Almonds
Downing those winter cocktails make you more than fat and hungover; the fatty deposits that build up around your liver after weeks of overeating and drinking put you at increased risk for liver cancer. But just a couple small handfuls a day of vitamin-packed almonds could help cleanse the deposits out, according to a recent study from the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Researchers found a clear inverse response between vitamin E intake and liver cancer risk; those that consumed the most—about 16 mg, or about 15 almonds—showed a 40 percent lower risk of liver cancer than those who consumed less.
The Stomach Settler: Guacamole
Think of guacamole as a designated driver for your digestive system. A study in The Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry analyzed the effects of feeding 22 different fruits to a group of rats with liver damage caused by galactosamine, a liver toxin. The fruit that proved most beneficial? You guessed it: the avocado. Cilantro, the savory herb that gives guac its distinctive flavor, contains a unique blend of oils that send a “simmer down!” message to an upset stomach. In fact, these two oils (specifically, linalool and geranyl acetate) are so powerful they’ve been shown to have a positive impact on irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), according to a study published in the journal Digestive Diseases and Science.
The Belly Fat Blocker: White Tea
Any tea will help soothe your nerves, but white tea packs a particular one-two punch that can actually attack belly fat. A study published in the journal Nutrition and Metabolism showed that white tea can simultaneously boost lipolysis (the breakdown of fat) and block adipogenesis (the formation of fat cells). The tea’s combination of caffeine and epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) seems to set fat cells up for defeat.
The Pain Killer: Turmeric
You can put an ice pack on your throbbing head, but to get the same anti-inflammatory effect throughout the rest of your body, order the curry. Curcumin, a compound derived from the bright-orange spice turmeric, works as a powerful anti-inflammatory in the liver, research shows. A study in the journal Gut found supplementing with curcumin could significantly reduce bile duct blockage and curbed scarring (fibrosis) by interfering with chemical reactions involved in the inflammatory process.
The Hangover Cure: Asparagus
When you’re huddled over a plate of greasy diner food, begging the Hangover Gods for forgiveness, ask the waiter for a side of steamed asparagus. According to a study in the Journal of Food Science, the amino acids and minerals found in asparagus may alleviate hangover symptoms and protect liver cells against toxins. The veggie spears are also a natural diuretic, which will help flush the excess toxins from your system.
The Cholesterol Buster: Collard Greens
A staple vegetable of Southern cuisine, collard greens have an incredible ability to cleanse your system of excess cholesterol, especially when steamed. A recent study published in the journal Nutrition Research compared the bile acid binding capacity of steamed collard greens to Cholestyramine, a cholesterol-lowering drug. Incredibly, the collards improved the body’s cholesterol-blocking process by 13 percent more than the drug! Just hold the artery-clogging fried chicken.
The Detoxifier: Lemon Water
Start each day by making a large pitcher of “spa” water filled with sliced whole lemons, and make a point of sipping your way through at least 8 glasses before bedtime. Citrus fruits are rich in the antioxidant de-limonene, a powerful compound found in the peel that stimulates liver enzymes to help flush toxins from the body and gives sluggish bowels a kick, according to the World Health Organization.
The Artery Plumber: Wild Salmon
If quitting smoking is a New Year’s resolution, add a side of salmon. Researchers say a healthy diet rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids may then help to reverse arterial stiffness—a common side effect of smoking, which, like a kinked hose, inhibits the flow of cleansing blood through the arteries and to vital organs. A three-week study in the International Journal of Cardiology found smokers who supplemented with just 2 grams of omega-3s a day—what you’ll find in a 4-ounce portion of salmon—saw marked improvement in the elasticity of the arteries, allowing for healthy blood flow.
So cleanse your body of all those holiday toxins ( which probably included a hearty consumption of alcohol) and face 2015 clean in mind and body. And Have a very 'Healthy and Happy New Year'.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Some helpful tips for curing earache and ear pain

Don’t turn a deaf ear to earache and ear pain! If you are suffering, you need the help of a health care professional.
Although they are relatively common, especially in children, earaches and ear pain should be taken seriously. They could be caused by an infection, but they may also be caused by a fracture, the presence of a foreign body in the ear, abnormal pressure, or be a symptom of a disease. When you suffer from earache and ear pain, it is always advisable to consult a doctor immediately for a diagnosis and the appropriate treatment.
In some cases, the expertise of a specialist will be required. The otolaryngologist, also known as an ENT, is a specialist in conditions of the ear, nose, and throat.

When should I consult a doctor?
If you or your child has an earache and ear pain, you should consult a health care professional in the following cases:
  • if the earache causes dizziness or a decrease in hearing ability
  • if blood or pus is draining from the ear
  • if the pain is unbearable
  • if you already have damage to the ear, such as a perforated eardrum
  • if the ear pain persists after an airplane flight or diving session
  • if you are a senior and suffer with persistent earache
  • if the pain recurs frequently
  • if your ear is still hurting after taking pain-relief medication for 48 hours 
What you should know about ear infections
Ear infections are usually caused by bacteria or virus, which enter through the nose or mouth. Children are most at risk because germs can spread easily in public places, such as child care centres.
There are two types of ear infections:
  • Otitis media. This usually occurs after a cold, once the bacteria have passed through the Eustachian tube. It is characterized by the presence of pus between the inner ear and the tympanic membrane. To establish the diagnosis, your doctor may perform a test called pneumatic otoscopy to verify the mobility of the eardrum. Otitis media can be treated with antibiotics. 
  • Otitis externa. This occurs after an infection. Experts also call it swimmer's ear, because it often appears after consecutive swimming sessions. The water remaining in the ear canals blocks the tubes that secrete earwax, allowing bacteria to develop. For this type of ear infection, the doctor will prescribe anti-inflammatory drops. Healing takes about a week. Wearing silicone ear plugs for swimming usually helps prevent swimmer's ear. It is also important to dry the ear canal after bathing or swimming. 
Labyrinthitis is an ailment of the inner ear. This inflammation is most often characterized by dizziness, as the inner ear is closely linked to the sense of balance. With persistent dizziness, it is important to consult an ear specialist immediately.

Does my child really have an earache and ear pain?
It is often difficult to detect earache in children and infants, but you can be alert to the following accompanying signs:
  • a tendency to rub the ears more often than usual
  • irritability
  • fever and vomiting 
An infant who is irritable and rubbing his or her ear does not necessarily have an ear infection, but it is still advisable to consult a doctor for a complete ear examination. Earaches often come with colds, just to add to your misery, so keep watch over your little one if they have the sniffles because an untreated ear infection can turn into something more serious and cause permanent hearing loss

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Matt Damon Sells Miami Compound

It took almost two years and a price cut of a million bucks, but actor Matt Damon has at last sold his double-lot property on Biscayne Bay in Miami Beach.
The buyer: mortgage mogul Patrick Markert, the Wall Street Journal reported. Concurrently, Markert sold three linked high-rise condos for $27.5 million; he wanted a single-family home like Damon's to raise his family, the paper said.
It seems to be a good place for that: Damon started his own family there. He met his future wife, a bartender named Luciana Bozan Barroso, while filming in Miami in 2003. He bought the Miami property, known as Maravilla, in April 2005, and in September of that year he and Barroso became engaged. In December 2005 they wed, and they welcomed the first of their three daughters, Isabella, in June 2006.
In 2012, Damon bought a house just down the street from his best friend, Ben Affleck, in coastal Southern California. He listed Maravilla in April 2013 for $20 million. In November of last year, he cut the price by $1,001,000, to $18,999,000.
The amount paid by Markert, CEO of AmeriSave Mortgage, is undisclosed.
The five-bedroom main house was built in 1935. The compound, created by uniting two separate parcels, also has a two-bedroom guest house and a pool house.

Photos: Matt Damon's Miami mansion

Photos: Matt Damon's Miami mansion
Locals speculate that the property is a teardown, bought for the unusually large lot. A mansion of nearly 22,000 square feet is apparently allowable, compared with current square footage of just 12,705.
"The property located at 6020 North Bay Road has great potential, a fact that I am sure would not be overlooked by buyers in this price range," wrote local real estate agent and blogger Lucas Lechuga.
Click here for a slideshow of Maravilla, the estate that Matt Damon just sold in Miami.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Food for Thought :December is Eggnog Month.

Homemade eggnog is a tradition for many families during the holiday season.
Eggnog is technically a stirred custard that is a mixture of dairy and eggs. Its ingredients are almost identical to ice cream, although the alcohol content keeps it from freezing.
However, precautions must be taken to avoid foodborne illness related to Salmonella, which is usually caused by raw or undercooked eggs. This is especially important if you are serving people who are at high risk for foodborne illness such as young children, older adults, those with weakened immune systems as well as children and pregnant women, for non-alcoholic versions.
Here are some tips to help you enjoy eggnog this season:

1 .   Use a cooked egg base for eggnog by combining the eggs and half of the milk in your recipe. Gently cook, stirring constantly, the mixture to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Chill this mixture before adding the rest of the ingredients.

2 .   Adding alcohol to the recipe does not make the eggnog safe. If contaminated, unpasteurized eggs are used in the eggnog, you cannot count on the alcohol to kill the bacteria, as it is not likely to happen.

3 .   If using egg substitutes, some experimentation with the recipe may be needed to figure out the right amount to add for the best flavor.
                              Homemade Eggnog
                Makes  12  cups                      Servings: 12
12                           eggs
1 to 2-1/2               cups sugar (depending on your tastes, start out with 1/2 cup because you can add more later if you want to)
4                             cups milk
4                             cups whipping cream or 2 cups half-and-half
2-1/2                      teaspoons vanilla extract
1                             teaspoon ground cinnamon
1                             teaspoon ground nutmeg (also depending on your tastes and more can be added later if you want to)

1 .    Use a saucepan or stock pot large enough to hold 4 quarts.
2 .    In saucepan, beat together the eggs and sugar until smooth.
3 .    Stir in 4 cups milk.
4 .    Cook over medium low heat, whisking or stirring frequently because as this mixture begins to get hot it will easily scorch to the bottom of the pan if you aren't careful.
5 .    Cook until mixture is thick enough to coat a metal spoon and reaches 160° on a food thermometer.
6 .     Remove from heat.
7 .     Slowly add the 4 cups whipping cream or half& half while whisking together until smooth.
8 .     Add vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg and combine until incorporated.
9 .     At this point, you may taste test (carefully- it will still be very hot) and if it doesn't seem sweet enough for your taste, add extra sugar.
10 .   Daughter use a total of 3/4 cup sugar because we like it sweet.
11 .   You may also add more nutmeg at this point if you like a strong nutmeg flavor.
12 .   Pour into a pitcher or container.
13 .   Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled- several hours or overnight.
14 .    Serve garnished with your choice of toppings: whipped cream, chocolate curls, maraschino cherries, cinnamon sticks or peppermint sticks.
15 .    Brandy, rum, whiskey or flavored liqueur's may be added before serving if desired.
You  can double  the recipe  for  a larger   guest  list .

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.

Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers. It may not be difficult to store up in the mind a vast quantity of facts within a comparatively short time, but the ability to form judgments requires the severe discipline of hard work and the tempering heat of experience and maturity.

The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.

It's true, Christmas can feel like a lot of work, particularly for mothers. But when you look back on all the Christmases in your life, you'll find you've created family traditions and lasting memories. Those memories, good and bad, are really what help to keep a family together over the long haul.

The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live. (Laughing  my  butt off)

A proud Grand-poppa

Friday, December 19, 2014

That's not Britney

The January/February 2015 cover of Women's Health. Photo: Courtesy of Women's Health

Britney Spears has been in comeback mode for the past few years: She ditched Kevin Federline, grew her hair out, scored a Las Vegas residency, and has become a full-on “Work Bitch” by taking control of her finances, family life, and career. Now, at 33, the singer is showing off her efforts on the cover of Women’s Health. Her frame might be fit, but her face? Well, it doesn't look much like Britney.

Wearing a sporty Lisa Marie Fernandez bikini underneath a black blazer, the ‘90s-era darling doesn’t look like she has aged a day since “Hit Me Baby One More Time." Spears has been very vocal about getting back into shape, so her abs aren’t what’s so shocking. "After I had Jayden, it was real easy for me to get back in shape," she said in the issue that hits newsstands on Dec. 23. "But five years later, I started noticing changes in my body. My hips are a little bit wider because I’ve had kids. So it was crucial for me to be continuous with my exercise. Consistency is key."

Yet, as her fans point out, lines beneath and around her eyes are non-existent, her cheekbones a bit higher than normal, jawline more chiseled and defined, and even her neck looks thinner.

Just a few comments below, which seems to be the general consensus:

Magazines using excessive photo manipulation on their cover subjects isn’t anything new. Lena Dunham’s Vogue feature prompted Jezebel to offer $10,000 for the original unretouched images of the shoot. Demi Moore had her left hip cut off (along with about 20 years of her life) on Wmagazine. A before-and-after GIF of Jennifer Lawrence on Flare magazine has been the source of endless fascination. The list is endless: Gwyneth Paltrow, Kristin Stewart, Kim Kardashian, and more celebrities have all had their bodies digitally poked and prodded by computer programs.

The fact that these types of tools are employed isn’t necessarily the problem. Publications want their original photography, that is being seen by millions, to look great and feature their subjects looking their absolute best. But perfection should only be obtained or strived for to a certain point. Beautiful women like Spears shouldn’t be changed so much that they look unlike themselves (or like they’ve discovered time travel).

Interestingly, there has been a backlash against changing people’s appearances recently with many publishers even showcasing individuals in their completely natural states.Jessica Simpson showed off her beauty in Marie Claire wearing no makeup and sans retouching, Kerry Washington did the same for Allure, and 42-year-old Cate Blanchett displayed every line and wrinkle of her beautiful face on Intelligent Life’s cover. Lorde, 17, even accused a mag of some post-production plastic surgery that she appeared in.                      

Spears’s treatment is especially disappointing considering the hard work she’s put into bouncing back from challenging times. Following a few tumultuous years, the pop star is back on top — and wanting to shout it out — yet the blatant retouching doesn’t celebrate the real her.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy , 

I have been in a long distance relationship with my girlfriend for the past two years . We decided to stay together even though I was going off to law school . Well, I have made many friends here and I have found myself interested in getting to know one of my classmates better . Both of the women are amazing , but I do not want to give up a five year relationship for what may be a passing fancy . What do you think ?
Out of Sight , Out of Mind
Dear Out of  Sight , Out  of  Mind ,
One  of  the toughest relationships is to have  is of the  young long-distance  variety . It's  natural  that you will meet interesting  people . Occasionally , that interest is  piqued very intensely . When  your  significant other  miles away . The temptation can seem insurountable . This  is when I recommend  that you  do a self-assessment . What is the commitment  you have  made  to your  girlfriend  ? Do you still  want  to maintain  that bond ? Be  brutally  honest with yourself .

Dear Maxy,
A group of  friends  has invited  me to hang out  with them on New Year's Eve . They plan to go to Times Square  and hang out  while  the ball  drops . I like them , but I hate that idea . I used  to party  around New Year's  and I went to Times Square   a few  times in my 20s . This will be  my friends' first time  in the city  and I know  how  much this will mean to them if I take them to see the  ball drop . I like  the idea of  being along  and thinking  about my life . I am afraid  to tell them I may not  go with them . They  may call me  corny  or  even a party pooper . How  should  I address  this ?
No Times Square  for Me 
Dear No Times  Square  for  Me,

Typically , tourists are  the people  who flock to Times  Square  on New Years' Eve . Yes , it  can be exciting  . But  as  you know , it is  extremely  crowded , usually cold  and super intense . You do not  have to joined  your friends  in Times' Square  on New Years' Eve . I recommended  that you manage their expectations  by letting them know up front  what your  plans  are as  you talk to them  about  theirs . Be  honest  about  your  intentions  for  bringing  in 2015 .

Many people , by the way , make  the choice  to be reflective  and still  as  one  year transitions into  the  next .
You do not  need  to apologize about  that . Instead  , be willing  to help  them find  out  details  about the  Times Square  festivities . You may even want to take them there  and show  them the  subway stops  aand  the lay of  the  land in general  and leave . You can be a good  host  without  participating  in every activity  with them . If  you would like , you may want  to invite  them to join  you for  a toast  and a meal  before  they head  out .

Dear Maxy ,
I am signed  up  to go  to a lovely luncheon  with an exclusive  group  of  women in my town . I  have  been looking  forward to this  for weeks . I cannot  go now , though , because I have come  down with a GI problem . I need  to tell  the organizers  that I will be  unable to  attend . If  possible , I would  like  to get my  money back  as well . But  most of  all , I want  to back out  gracefully . How do I do that without  telling  them the details  of  my illness ?
Cannot  Go 
Dear Cannot  Go,
If  you have enough time , write  a note  to the organizers  saying  how  much  you have  been  looking  forward  to this  luncheon  but  unfortunately  you cannot  attend  because  you are  under the weather . You do  not need  to go into details  about  what's wrong . You can express  your  hope  that they  are  able  to sell your ticket  to someone else  and ask if  you could  be  reimbursed.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

An Officr's Act of Kindness...Becomes a Bonanza of Food and Toys

When Tarrant, Alabama Police Officer William Stacy was called to the Dollar General store on Saturday, December 6, he wasn’t especially surprised. “We get shoplifting calls at Dollar General all the time,” he tells Yahoo Parenting. “Usually people are stealing things like makeup or phone chargers – not things they need to get by.”
So when Stacy arrived to find 47-year-old Helen Johnson stealing eggs to feed her two daughters, her niece, and two young grandkids, he knew this incident was different. Johnson explained to Stacy that her family hadn’t eaten since Thursday. So instead of making an arrest, the officer, 23, bought Johnson a carton of eggs. “When she mentioned the kids and said they were hungry, that’s when I knew I wanted to buy the eggs,” Stacy says. “No matter what financial situation kids are in, it’s not their fault they’re hungry.”

Johnson tried to give Stacy the $1.25 she had in her pocket for the eggs, which cost $1.75 plus tax, but instead he asked only for a promise she wouldn’t shoplift again. Johnson told local news that she was shocked by the officer’s good deed. “I was like ‘Oh my God, thank you Jesus for this man,” she said. “He is my hero.”

The act of kindness was caught on video by another customer, Robert Tripp, and posted to Facebook, where it was been viewed more than 966,000 times and has received more than 22,000 likes. It has been shared nearly 13,000 times.
After letting Johnson go home, Stacy says his Lieutenant helped her sign up for the Tarrant Fire Department’s Toy Drive, which provides Christmas toys and food for families at the holidays.  By that Wednesday, when Stacy returned to work, donations from across the country started pouring in for the Johnson family – a response to the viral video, which Tripp labeled '#feelgoodstoryoftheday'. “It took an entire shift to take all the stuff to her house and unload it,” Stacy says of the afternoon he spent delivering groceries to the Johnsons . “I’ve taken three Tahoe loads of food to her house, and I know a food bank came to bring her food, and they also got a Christmas tree donated.”

Stacy says he’s hoping this story will inspire people to donate to other hungry families as well. “It’s a rough city to live in,” Stacy says of Tarrant. “There are a lot of people who need food.” Stacy says theTarrant Police Department is using this opportunity to start a fund to help feed the community as a whole.
On Facebook, users are calling Stacy “an angel in disguise,” but the officer says he was just doing his job. “There’s a real trust issue between law enforcement and citizens right now, but hopefully this shows we are not robots who just want to arrest people,” Stacy says. “We have hearts – you have to have a big heart and clear conscience of mind to do this job.”
Stacy says he still can’t believe the attention the story has gotten, since he didn’t know the interaction was filmed in the first place. “I don’t see myself as a hero. I’m not a big fan of cameras and the spotlight, I just want to do my job, do it the right way, and spend time with friends and family.”

The officer doesn’t have kids of his own, but says his fiancĂ©e has a 6-year-old son. “I’ve known him since he was one and I consider him one of mine,” he says. “I know what it’s like to have kids, and it’s tough. It’s the holidays, and I’m glad I could help this family.”

The Tarrant Police Department is still collecting donations for the Johnson family and other local residents. To donate, send checks to:

Tarrant Police Department Charity Fund Or Tarrant Police Department Charity Fund Johnson Family People’s First Credit Union 1140 Ford Ave. Tarrant, AL 35217

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Boston Is Digging Up What Could Be The Oldest Unopened Time Capsule Ever

Paul Revere

Wikimedia Commons Crews are working to unearth a time capsule that historians think is hidden in a cornerstone of the Massachusetts State House, WBZ radio reports.
The time capsule is said to have been buried by Paul Revere and Sam Adams in 1795, WBZ and the State House News Service report, based on records  detailing a ceremony when the capsule was buried. The time capsule contains old coins and other period stuff.
If true, this would be by far the oldest unopened time capsule on record, leaving famous ones like the 1939 Westinghouse time capsule far behind.
Workers trying to figure out the source of a water leak found the location of the capsule, the State House News Service reports.
The capsule has been unearthed once before, in 1855 while repairs were being made to the State House. It was then put back in its place and left there, the State House News Service notes.
This wouldn't be the first time an old time capsule was found in Boston.
Earlier this year, crews doing restoration work in the old, original State House ( different house), which is now a historical museum, found a time capsule from 1901 hidden beneath statues of a lion and a unicorn. The capsule contained letters, photographs, and newspaper articles in mint condition, according to NECN.
Back in the 18th century, the 'old' State House was "the center of Boston ’s civic life" and "the scene of some of the most dramatic chapters in the lead-up to the American Revolution,"

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Food for Thought : December is National Pear Month.

Pears are one of the world’s oldest cultivated fruits and they come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. Varieties of pears such as Anjoe, Bartlett, Bosc and Forelly vary only slightly in flavor and texture and are, for the most part, available year round.

Washington, Oregon and California produce almost all of the pears grown in the United States. Pears pack plenty of nutritious goodness. A medium size pear has only about 100 calories, vitamin C, potassium and fiber. Here are a few tips to help you enjoy pears this season:

1 .  Substitute pears for apples in any recipe. Add a little orange or lemon juice to prevent fresh pears from browning. Pears are great in spinach salads or on a turkey sandwich.

2 .  Choose pears with no bruises or dark brown spots. Make sure to rinse the pear under cold running water before eating.

3 .  The skin of a pear is packed with nutrients, so don’t peel a pear before eating. However, do not eat the seeds.

4 .Pears ripen from the inside out. To check the ripeness of a pear, simple press near the stem with your thumb. If it gives to gentle pressure, then it is ripe and ready to eat. If you wait until the pear is soft around the middle, it will be too ripe. Pears ripen at room temperature, so leaving them out on the table or on the counter top is the best place for them.

Words of Wisdom : 

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.

If you're trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I've had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.

If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month.

If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month.

A proud  Grand-poppa

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy ,
I am dealing  with jealousy issues  at work  that I do not know  how to handle . My time is  split between commuting  to the office  and working  from home . My colleagues  have complained  that I have  a better life  because I am not  stuck  in the  office  five days  a week . How  can I change their perception  because  I do the same amount  of work .
Want  To Be A Team Player 
Dear Want To Be A Team Player ,
You may not  be able  to change  your  colleagues' perception  of  you . If  they are  jealous  that you work from home  when they don't, you can easily rectify  that . What you can do is  show them  how  present you are . For example,  when you are working  from home , for  a while,   choose  to be less  independent. Include them on video  calls  or traditional  conference  calls  with more  regularity . Call them up  and run ideas  by them for  the  projects  that you share . The point is  for  you to choose  to be  more  closely  connected  to them , even though  you are  in different places . One of the benefits  that people  experience  when they work  in the same  space  is  that they can bounce  ideas  off each other  and  generally  enjoy  the camaraderie  of  being together . Do  your  best  to cultivate  that type  of  connection  with them .

Dear Maxy  
Old friends  of the family  are  coming  to spend  Christmas  week  with my husband  and  me, and  we are thrilled  to host them . The  only problem  is that  we have  a family tradition  where  we go to  our annual  midnight  church service  on Christmas  Eve  and  our  friends   do not want to go . Do we skip  our annual  activity  in order   to be  good  hosts ? What  should   we  do ?
Host  Blues 
Dear Host Blues ,
Especially during  the holidays, it is  important  for  hosts  and  guests  to be  flexible . Just because  your friends are coming  to visit   does  not mean  that you have  to  be  by their  side  every minute of their stay . What you do  is to manage  their expectations  by letting them know  the itinerary  for their stay ... what you are already planning  to do  and some options  that might  be fun for them  to do solo and/or with  you and  your  husband . This  includes  your  midnight  Christmas Eve  service . But it  may also include  other  activities . Talk to your  friends  about what they  would like to do while they are in town . While  you don't  have  to be a tour  director, it  would  be great for  you to research a series  of options  of  seasonal  activities around town and  make  recommendations  . Be sure  to leave space  for  unstructured  time too . The best  visits  include  together  time  and time alone, relaxing .

Dear Maxy ,
I received an offer online  to buy a luxury item  at a discount  for the holidays  . I was  so excited  because it meant  that I could  purchase  it  for  my daughter , who  has wanted that item for  so long . I quickly  typed  in all my information  and clicked away . 
Later , I thought  about it  and am worried  that I may  have  given my  bank information  to a phony company . The  offer was almost to  good to be true .
I feel like an idiot . I am usually pretty  careful . What can I do to protect myself  in case  this  company   tries  to take  my money ?
Possibly  Duped
Dear Possibly  Duped,
Check your  bank account religiously  to see  if any unusual purchases  have  been made . Verify  that  the purchase  you authorized  has  gone through  as well . Contact  your  bank  and alert  it to  the  situation . It  may suggest  that you close  out  your  card  and  get another . Follow  the  bank's protocol . When you  work with  your  financial  institution  immediately , you stand a better chance  of  being  protected .

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Kelly Ripa...Force of Nature

The energetic, bubbly force of nature that Kelly Ripa is on her show, Live! With Kelly and Michael—she is in real life. I love seeing her in action—speeding down the slopes in Colorado, laughing with her kids, or trading one-liners with her hubby, actor Mark Consuelos. Kelly is one of those women who makes it all look easy, jugging a hot husband, three kids, a busy career, and hunky co-host Michael Strahan.

Interview by Bobbi Brown

KR: Hi Bobbi! I saw your name on my schedule, and I was like, “This can’t be my Bobbi Brown!”

BB: It is your Bobbi Brown!  And I have seen you on the slopes, with your kids, in action on Live! and at events. You seem to be everywhere effortlessly and flawlessly. What I really want to know is how you do it all?  Do you ever sleep?

KR: There are people that go to work at 3 o’clock in the morning. I’m not one of those people. I get there at 8. I wake up at 6 it’s not bad. My kids get me up way before my job does! I really do find that my job is the perfect job for a working mother because it allows me to take my kids to the bus, drop my youngest son off at school, and then be there to pick them up.

BB: It really only takes you an hour to do your hair and makeup for TV?

KR: That’s really the genius of Michelle Champagne and Diane D’Agostino, the tag team who have been doing my hair and makeup for 14 years. They are the masters. They do hair and makeup at the same time that I’m getting briefed. And my wardrobe is simple; it’s just put out the night before. It’s so easy; it’s a streamlined operation.

BB: So give me the scoop, how do you have those amazing abs after three kids, what’s your secret?

KR: So much of it is genetic. I work out a lot, but the place I find I don’t really focus on is my stomach because I’ve always sort of had a very strong core. People don’t realize that genetics do play a role. I have to really work out my arms and my legs, my arms aren’t long and linear, and my legs aren’t either. Everybody has their thing, like their body part that’s good, and everybody has their body part that’s not so good.

BB: Are you strict about your diet?

KR: I do allow myself treats. We have this drawer in our house called the Andy Cohen drawer, and it’s all filled with his favorite candy, and I’ve been dipping into that a lot lately. I reward myself because he’s on a book tour I guess! For the most part, when I’m not busy dipping into the drawer, I eat a very clean diet. I have lots of vegetables, I eat protein, but I really don’t put a ton of thought into it. It’s everything you’ve read about or heard about in any diet book – don’t eat too much crap, and I don’t. If that’s the secret, than that’s the secret. And I’m very active, so I exercise everyday. My body is athletic. There are people who would look at my body and find it objectionable. There are people that like a curvy physique. I’ve never had a curvy physique and I will never have one. If I gained weight, I would just look like a larger more muscular version of myself. I have always had an athletic physique. That’s just the way I’m built.

BB: So tell me about your work with Motrin.

 KR: We did this Unstoppable Mom segment on the show, and the women so inspired us. These women were doing great things, not only for their families, but for their communities—with almost no resources. We were saying, ‘My gosh what this woman does by 5am is more than I accomplish in an entire day!’ And it’s from that that we started this amazing Children’s Motrin campaign. It’s about unstoppable moms and if you have a special tip and share it on the Motrin Facebook page, they’ll donate a dollar to Save Kids Worldwide, which is a global nonprofit. And you can win a weekly gift card just for posting your tips. It’s like one of those win-wins.  I get my best advice form my other mom friends, and I have an entire network of good advice from my friends. And I think that that’s the key to everything.

BB:  I know your family is everything and the kids are always your priority. You say that you are a tough mom and I congratulate you on that. Its not easy

KR: I think that what’s hard now will become easy later. When you give in too soon too early; it makes life harder down the line. So, that’s a thing to keep in mind. If it’s hard now, it will probably be easier later. That’s the way I look at it.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Your Roving Reporter :Cassidy defeats Landrieu in Louisiana Senate race, bolstering GOP majority in new Senate

MELINDA DESLATTE  December 6th 2014  9:44 PM
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy has defeated Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu, denying her a fourth term and extending the GOP's domination of the 2014 midterm elections that put Republicans in charge of Capitol Hill for the final two years of President Barack Obama's tenure.

With Cassidy's victory, the GOP will hold 54 seats when the Senate convenes in January, nine more than they have now. Republican victories in two Louisiana House districts Saturday - including the seat Cassidy now holds - ensure at least 246 seats, compared to 188 for Democrats, the largest GOP advantage since the Truman administration after World War II. An Arizona recount leaves one race still outstanding.

In Louisiana, early returns showed Cassidy with a wide lead.
Landrieu had narrowly led a Nov. 4 primary ballot that included eight candidates from all parties. But at 42 percent, she fell well below her marks in previous races, leaving the incumbent scrambling in a one-month runoff campaign that Republicans dominated via the air waves while national Democrats financially abandoned her effort.

Landrieu's defeat is a blow for one of Louisiana's most famous political families, leaving her brother, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, to carry the banner. The GOP sweep also denied former Gov. Edwin Edwards a political comeback; the colorful 87-year-old politician, who had served four terms as governor, sought to regain public office after serving eight years in federal prison on corruption charges.

In the South, Democrats will be left without a single governor or U.S. senator across nine states stretching from the Carolinas to Texas. And the House delegations from the same region are divided almost entirely by race, with white Republicans representing majority-white districts, while majority non-white districts are represented by black or Hispanic Democrats.

The Louisiana Senate race mirrored contests in other states Obama lost in 2012, with Landrieu, 59, joining Alaska Sen. Mark Begich, North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan and Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor in defeat. Democrats ceded seats in Montana, South Dakota and West Virginia after incumbents opted not to run again.

Like victorious Republicans in those races, Cassidy, 57, made his bid against Landrieu as more about Obama than about his own vision for the job. An Illinois native, Cassidy made few public appearances during the runoff, seeking to avoid missteps that could change the race.

But in a state where 73 percent of white voters on Nov. 4 told pollsters they "strongly disapproved" of the president, that was enough to prevent Landrieu from finding her footing. Cassidy also enjoyed a prodigious advertising advantage in the runoff: Of every dollar spent by outside groups during the one-month runoff, 97 cents benefited the congressman.

Landrieu tried several messages over the course of her losing effort.

Most recently, she had hammered Cassidy as unfit for the job and interested more in partisanship than helping Louisiana. She directed her most pointed criticism at Cassidy's medical teaching job with the Louisiana State University hospital system. Calling Cassidy "Dr. Double Dip," Landrieu suggested the congressman collected a $20,000, taxpayer-funded salary for little or no work, describing gaps and discrepancies in Cassidy's LSU timesheets. LSU said it's looking into the timesheet questions.

She argued that the race shouldn't be about Obama, but also targeted advertising on radio stations geared to the black community, where the president remains popular.

Her anchor argument was that her seniority was a boon for Louisiana, particularly her chairmanship of the Senate's energy committee, an important panel for this oil-rich state.

Your Roving Reporter

YOUR Job is Bad?


Saturday, December 6, 2014

Two Moms Breastfeed Baby.....Read and see what you think

Heidi Olson nurses Sequoia while Mary Ellen sits beside her. 

Three-week-old Sequoia is one lucky baby: She is breastfed by not one, but two women, her mothers Heidi and Mary Ellen Olson. The married couple from Santa Cruz, Calif. engage in a practice called “co-nursing,” in which they share breastfeeding duties.

“Our friends are fascinated by the fact that my wife and I both breastfeed our daughter,” Heidi, 26, a nanny and the baby’s birth mom, tells Yahoo Parenting. “We get a lot of, ‘Wow, that’s amazing!’ and ‘I didn’t know that was possible!’”

Induced lactation is indeed possible through dedicated nipple stimulation — either by putting baby to breast or with the aid of a breast pump — and is sometimes used by moms (and, very rarely,men) with adopted or surrogate children who want to breastfeed. Mary Ellen has opted for something called the Newman-Goldfarb protocol, a physician-developed approach that combines pumping with the taking of a drug called domperidone

Heidi, who lactates on her own, gave birth to Sequoia at the couple’s home after a year-long struggle with endometriosis which included laparoscopic surgery to remove her ovarian cysts. She became pregnant through an intrauterine insemination (IUI), a process in which donor semen is implanted in the uterus with the help of a physician. 

While there aren’t many statistics on the prevalence of co-nursing, according to New York City based lactation consultant Sara Chana, its health benefits as a result of using domperidome are unknown. “A new mom’s breast milk is designed for and evolves to suit the specific needs of her infant at every stage,” Chana tells Yahoo Parenting. “So it’s tough to say how drug-induced milk would benefit a baby who is already breastfeeding from her natural mother.” Although Chana doesn’t personally work with women who co-nurse, her clients include mother-daughter pairs who nurse each other’s babies, and sisters who “nurse the other’s baby if one is stuck in traffic, for example.” 

Mary Ellen breastfeeds Sequoia.

Heidi and Mary Ellen decided to co-nurse so Mary Ellen could reap the health and bonding benefits of breastfeeding. Babies who nurse are better able to fight off bacteria and viruses, for example, while women who nurse are at less risk for breast and ovarian cancers. Plus, the eye contact and skin-to-skin contact during nursing sessions boosts the mother-baby connection. “I wanted to experience that closeness with my daughter, especially since I didn’t give birth,” Mary Ellen, 25, a graduate student, tells Yahoo Parenting. “It didn’t occur to us that we could also help each other out when we’re exhausted.”
When Heidi was five months pregnant, Mary Ellen heard about domperidone, a dopamine-receptor blocker that has a surprising side effect of boosting a woman’s breastmilk supply by triggering the release of the hormone prolactin. Although women have been taking the drug for decades — and Australian doctors recently urged the medical community to reconsider prescribing it for off-label use to aid lactation — it’s been called into question by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for causing cardiac problems and unknown risks for infants. Still, while the drug is not FDA approved, it’s commonly prescribed in Europe and Canada; some American lactation coaches and physicians encourage its use, although many refuse to prescribe it.
“My doctor wouldn’t give it to me so I had to order it through an online Canadian pharmacy,” says Mary Ellen. “I did lots of research and got the green light from my midwife.” Now Mary Ellen takes 12 pills per day, along with capsules made with fenugreek, an herb that encourages lactation. She also drinks an herbal formula called More Milk, and pumps once a day, all of which allows her to produce three to four ounces of breast milk per session.  
The women don’t have a set routine for who nurses Sequoia. “It’s more, ‘I’m doing dishes and she’s about to wake up — can you nurse her?’” says Olson. “Women have told us that they wouldn’t dream of sharing the breastfeeding experience, but we don’t have any jealousy issues. Everyone wins here.”
During the first week of Sequoia’s life, Olson primarily breastfed on the advice of her midwife to kickstart her supply, but now both women share responsibilities.
And, just like other moms, the couple refrigerates and freezes their breast milk, often mixing it all up in one bottle. “In that case, it’s possible that the baby could be getting double the immunity boost from the milk,” says Chana. “Breast milk is always better than no breast milk.”


This is more than selfish. The child will be paying the price. Does a husband breast feed? NO!! So why should the other partner feel they have to here just so they can satisfy their own needs, not thinking of the child. A lot of women cannot breast feed, so they bottle feed instead, what are these women thinking ?? !! No one should be taking a drug that is meant for another purpose with a side effect of lactation. Why not have the woman who did not give birth to the child give birth to their 2nd child, that would make a lot more sense than what they are doing.

How selfish people can be? They don't care if the drug induced milk of the woman that did not give birth to the baby can cause the baby any harm (nobody knows the effects of the drug to the milk and, as consequence, to the baby. Mary Ellen only cares about herself being able to perform a natural function of a woman that gave birth. She is lucky that technology allows this to happen, but who cares for the baby as long as she can do what she wants.

           What is clearly obvious here is the safety of the child is of no importance compared to
            the selfish needs of a woman/husband.

 Just Saying                    
          This is ONE BIG EGO trip- for the 2 mothers!
          Clearly their own needs take precedence over the baby's.
          The whole scenario is pathetic.
          There is nothing NATURAL about any of this

Sea-Section: Incredible birth caught on camera

This is one trip to the beach this family will never forget. A group in Cape Town, South Africa was spending a day at the beach when one of them spotted a shark on the beach — dead, but something inside was moving. The family approached the shark, one with a knife to open the pregnant shark's belly, another filming the event. When they cut open the shark, they discovered three shark pups, alive inside the mother's belly.
The man doing the cutting is clearly hesitant to handle the pups; unsurprising, since sharks are born with a full set of teeth. And there's no need to worry about the baby sharks swimming off into the ocean without their mother, either. Once a shark is born, it swims away from its mother to fend for itself. Thanks to this group of curious beachgoers, three lives really were saved on the beach that day.
We couldn't agree more with the person overheard at the end of this video: "I think that is the coolest thing I have ever seen."

Food for Thought : Packed Your Lunch Lately

Have you packed your lunch lately? Taking your lunch can not only be a healthful alternative to eating out, it can also be much more economical. Often times, we slack on bringing our lunch to work because we get bored with the same things. Take a little extra time this week and plan your meals for next week, including your lunch, you will be glad you did. Here are a few tips to help you add some new twists to your wintertime sack lunch:

1 .  Baked potatoes are great options for creativity and versatility. You can have them plain, with basic toppings such as yogurt, chili and cheese or even broccoli and baked chicken.

2 .  Soups make a great quick-heat lunch. However, if you make a large pot of soup, you may become bored and tired of the flavor before you reach the end of the pot. Go ahead and freeze portion-size servings. This way, you can enjoy your healthful soup a few weeks from today without any extra effort.

3 .  Look for fruits and vegetables that are in season to add variety to your lunch. Fall and winter fruits such as pomegranate, apples and pears make great additions to salads. Sweet potatoes and greens also make a bland lunch colorful and appealing.

4 .  Make sure you follow food safety precautions when packing your lunch. Just because it is cold outside, doesn’t meant you don’t need your ice pack or cold source.

                             Homemade  Vegetable  Soup
2                tablespoons olive oil 
1                chicken (3 pounds) boned, skinned, and visible fat removed, diced, (save 
the bones and carcass) 
                  Creole seasoning, (recipe below) 
1-1/2         cups chopped onions 
1                cup chopped celery 
1                cup diced carrots 
1/2             cup chopped green onions 
2                tablespoons minced garlic 
1/4             cup fresh parsley leaves  
2                tablespoons chopped fresh basil 
4                bay leaves  
2                cups assorted chopped fresh vegetables, such has beans, zucchini yellow squash  or cabbage, small dice 
1-1/2         cups torn spinach leaves, cleaned and stemmed 
               Pinch crushed red pepper  
3               quarts chicken stock  
1               pound assorted small dried pasta shapes, such as stars, tubes, shells, etc. 
12            small thermoses 
1              cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves 
12            small resealable plastic snack bags

 ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast): 
2-1/2       tablespoons paproka 
2             tablespoons salt 
2             tablespoons garlic powder 
1             tablespoon black pepper 
1             tablespoon onion powder 
1             tablespoon cayenne pepper 
1             tablespoon dried oregano 
1             tablespoon dried thyme

In a large sauce pot, heat the olive oil. Season the chicken with Creole seasoning. When the oil is hot, add the chicken, bones, and carcass and saute for about 5 minutes, or until the meat and bones are brown. Remove the bones and carcass. Add the onions, celery, carrots, green onions, garlic, parsley, basil, and bay leaves. Season with Creole seasoning. Saute the vegetables for 4 minutes. Add the chopped vegetables, spinach and crushed red pepper and saute for 1 minute. Add the stock and bring the liquid to a boil. Add the pasta. Reduce the heat to a simmer, uncovered, for about 20 minutes, or until the pasta is tender. Reseason if necessary. Serve hot. Ladle the soup into thermoses and seal tightly with the lid. Place a spoonful of the parsley into each bag and seal completely.
Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast): 
Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.
Yield: about 2/3 cup

Words  of  Wisdom :
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

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.

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.

Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life - think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.

A proud  Grand-poppa

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy,
I am a 23-year-old man . I served in the army  and deployed  to Afghanistan. I was  medically discharged for PTSD about  two  years  ago . 
I'm currently going  to school to be  a firefighter but  I'm afraid  I've picked  this  field  not  because it  interests me but  because I cannot  go  back into the  military .
I'm working  in an  office  now and  I hate  my  job . Before this, I worked  at a  department store  and as  a machinist . But Maxy,
I can't see myself  anywhere  but  with the  military . What should I do ? 
Lost Soldier 
Dear Lost,
Those  who have been  in the  military  sometimes  have difficulty accepting  a job that is less exciting  or  challenging  . The  intensity   of the military experience  and  the bonding  with one's fellow  soldiers  can make everything  else pale in comparison . For some, it takes  a great deal of time  to readjust . Check out  for other  job opportunities for  veterans and also Career One Stop ( ) at 1-877-345-0502 . Military OneSource offers  suggestions  and website links for  transitioning military members that might also be  helpful  for  you  (  ).

Dear Maxy ,
I have  been a widower  for  almost three  years . For the  past six months, I've been seeing a nice lady for a friendly relationship . She  also lost her spouse  several years  ago .
My lady friend  and  I have dined  out  a few  times and she  has questioned  why  I still wear  my wedding  ring . Maxy,  my wife was  my only  love . We were  together  more than 60 years . I will never  love  anyone  like that again . 
Is it  right  for me to wear  my wedding  ring ? Or if I am seeing someone, should  I put it away ? My friend says she's uncomfortable  when I  have it on . I care  about this woman, so please  tell me  what I should  do ?
Dear Widower,
You actually have two issues; How long should  you wear  your wedding  ring once  you have  began  dating again....and is  a casual  girlfriend of  six months entitled  to tell  you to  remove it?
Wearing  your  wedding ring  gives  the impression  that you are still  connected   to your  first wife  and not ready to move on .
Nonetheless, wearing it  is  your decision, not  your  girlfriend's . Widows  often remove a wedding band  and wear it on their  other hand  or  have it  refashioned into a necklace  or  other piece  of  jewelry, allowing them  to continue  wearing it in a less  prominent  location .  You  might  consider  this   when  you are ready . Your strong feelings toward your wife would indicate you are not ready to move forward just yet.

Dear  Maxy ,
I worked  on a project that required  my lawyers  services  . The  payoff  was  supposed  to be significant, but in the end  I'm the one that spent  money  while  the whole  deal went south . I am bummed  about  the death of  the project, but I am also out  a few  housand  dollars  .... which I don't  have  ... because I  have to pay  for  legal  services . I'm not  sure  what to  do . I simply do not  have the  money I owe  him  . I  have  been ducking  him  for the past couple  of  months but  I don't like that feeling . How can I handle  this  situation  with my  lawyer  when I realistically do not  have the  money  I owe  him ? 
Face  the  Music
Dear  Face  the  Music ,
Start  by reviewing  your  finances . Figure  out what  you can pay  your  attorney . While  you may not  have  the  full amount, chances  are  he will appreciate  a  good faith effort  to pay  his fees . Determine  what you can pay on a  monthly  basis  and then ask  him  if  he will accept  that payment  plan . Apologize  for not having  the full amount  up front . Remind  him you had  every belief  that the  deal  he was brokering  for  you  was  going  to come to  fruition. Since  it  did not, you are  low  on cash . Assure him  that  if  you come  into greater resources,  you will up  his  monthly  installment .