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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Food for Thought : The One That Got Away

 Italian fisherman may have caught world's largest wels catfish

Italian fisherman Dino Ferrari caught a 280-lb. Wels Catfish Thursday in Italy's Po Delta river, setting a new record. The U.K. Mirror reported that the catch is the world's largest wels catfish to be caught by rod and reel.

While the Po Delta River is known for being home to massive Wels Catfish averaging 6.5 feet, Ferrari's catch measured 8.8 feet. This type of fish is known to have a ferocious appetite and consume anything it comes across.
Wels Catfish are the second-largest freshwater fish in the region, ranking just behind the Belluga Sturgeon.

After Ferrari had a quick photo shoot with his massive catch, he released it back into the river.

Words  of  Wisdom :

"It isn't always easy to set the tone or circumstances where patience must prevail but then, every situation is quite different and each must be judged at the time.

"One moment of patience may ward off great disaster. One moment of impatience may ruin a whole life."

"Develop the inner attitude of patience, persistence, and perseverance; and, defeat your own procrastination through action not dreaming."

“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.” 

“Words themselves aren't that important. Even if somebody says words that shock you, or make you want to kill them, or make you tremble with emotion, the words themselves you tend to forget in time. Words are just tools we use to express or communicate something.” 

“ is a difficult optimisation. Structurally, it gets founded over words, organised around thoughts. Words are difficult to come through, successfully, amid the thought process. The thought process in right manifestation gives rise to communication.”

A Proud  Grand-poppa               G.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy ,
Please help me bring awareness and education about organ donation . There are thousands of people waiting for a transplant and hundreds of others awaiting a replacement of a previously transplanted organ . Many organ recipients outlive the longevity of their transplant .
Please tell your readers that living organ donors offer better longevity than organs from a cadaver donor . Finding donors promptly is also less expensive and much better health-wise .
In recent years, a great deal has changed with transplants for both the recipient and the living donors; i.e. kidney transplants are now being done Laparoscopically and recuperation for the donor now averages two weeks .
Potential recipients use every resource available, but don't always find a match . Please ask your readers to help those in need . Sadly our family knows the importance of this from personal experience .
Ardis Brother 
 Dear friend,  Ardis' brother,
Your letter speaks, eloquently, for itself. My family also has had personal experience in waiting for a kidney donor.
Many people are on waiting lists for organs for years. Many do not live to receive one. As a living donor you can donate  one of  your kidneys, or even one of two lobes of your liver . You, also, can donate part of the lung, the pancreas or the intestines because the remaining portions stay fully functional . And finally, living donors can donate skin, bone, blood, marrow, blood stem cells and umbilical cord blood after childbirth . Organ donors  are 'NOT' charged, although sometimes there are  other  costs, such as  travel expenses . You can also easily arrange to donate organs after your death.  Please do some research for yourself and give it serious consideration.
For  more  information on organ donation , check out :  ( ). For finanical assistance, contact ( )

Dear Maxy ,
It has been said that love doesn't cost a thing, though it's possible that's just a good movie title . Whether it is money, time or energy, love does indeed cost . 
I have recently gotten engaged to my fiancee and I can't wait to marry her . We are now in the planning mode for the wedding and I realize that money is beginning to spread thin . 
Being a young working professional, I have decided to keep the wedding small but still invite my close friends from college . I am beginning to feel pressured to spend what I don't have because many of my friends continue asking if I will have an open bar at the reception . I won't ; an open bar is simply too much money for my budget . But I want my friends to have fun . Is it really worth spending the extra money for an open bar reception ?
Groom on a Budget 
Dear Groom on a Budget ,
Weddings are about love, hope — and toasts! They're also about priorities and how to balance them. Naturally, you want  to host a wedding that will be classy, memorable and enjoyable for all your guests .
Wedding etiquette suggests that your guests should not have to pay for their drinks. That does not mean that you should go into unnecessary debt . You may want to consider providing a couple ( or more) of complimentary bottles of wine and one bottle of champagne ( for a wedding toast ) for each table. You could also have a very large and potent bowl of  punch displayed prominently.
You can also have a 'soft bar' which limits the open bar to beer, wine and vodka cocktails ( or other specific popular mixed drinks). These options are commonly used these days when couples are on a budget . Another  budget friendly idea is to have a disposable camera on each table so the guests can snap pictures for you and leave the cameras on the tables after the reception. This can save a bundle on a photographer and you can put the extra cash toward the alcohol.
 Most important is for you to manage your friends expectations and above all, make it a beautiful day for you and your bride.

Dear Maxy ,
I've recently been invited to a company party as a new friend's plus one. I want to go, but I found out the company is an employer of an old flame, who I dated during high school and throughout college . We did not end on good terms . I don't really know how things would go having a face-to-face interaction . The new guy that I am dating doesn't know about the previous guy and I don't want him to ditch me because of my former relationship . This is the first time we are going out as a couple . Should I tell him about the previous guy and attend the party , or should I avoid the situation altogether ?
 Dear Betwixt,
You definitely should let  your new guy know  that  your  ex works at his  company. Without going into  excessive detail, let him know that  you two dated for some time when you were younger and it didn't end well . Honesty is always the best policy. Express your trepidation  about  going  to the party . Talk it through together and make a decision that allows you both to feel comfortable . If you decide to go, don't spend the evening trying to avoid your ex and spoiling the fun for you and your date. If you come face to face with him, smile, greet him politely and move on. It wouldn't be wise to engage him in conversation if there are still hard feelings.

Dear Maxy ,
Our daughter and her husband have two young children . Over the years we have been very close to our grandsons . We recently found out that our daughter has started a relationship with my son from a first marriage . Forty years ago, I gave up this son for adoption when he was 4 years old . This son contacted me when he was 28 . I told him I felt he should have contacted me earlier and that I did not want to start a relationship at that time . I never heard from him again . He is now 44 years old .
We phoned our daughter as soon as we heard about this new relationship and told her we weren't to crazy about it . She became angry . They are adults and can have whatever relationship they want . We didn't forbid it . But they phoned us later and left a message on our answering machine saying we are "dead" to them and will "never see our grandsons again." We could hear the kids crying in the background .
My daughter will not speak to us at all . It has broken our hearts . How do we get our grandsons back into our lives ?
Brokenhearted in Florida
Dear Brokenhearted,
I agree your daughter is being harsh but I am having a hard time sympathizing entirely with you. It would be helpful to know why you waited until your son was four to give him up. I assume you had a good reason, but he must have felt abandoned and frightened.
And why was there a time limit on his being able to contact you?  It must have taken time to trace you and longer to work up the courage to approach you. Your rather cool dismissal of him must have felt much the same as the rejection he felt at four years of age.
I can't say for certain, but it seems he made it his business to become acquainted with your daughter. Perhaps when she learned his version of the events in his life, she felt righteous indignation on his behalf and saw you in a very different light, which lowered you in her estimation. This, conceivably, could be the reason she denied you access to your grandsons; plus the fact that you disapproved of her having a relationship with her own brother.
It's possible you won't be able restore good relations with your daughter until you reconcile with your older son. Or she may, in time, realize she is hurting her own children by denying them their grandparents' love.
There is also another option, if you don't wish to wait for a  change of heart. As grandparents, in the state of Florida, you do have legal rights to see your grandsons and can be awarded court mandated visitation. You would have to see a lawyer who specializes in family law.
Helpful website:-
In cases where the whole family is in such distress, it is always advisable to seek counseling as a family group.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

10 bad habits that bloat you

10 Bad Habits That Bloat You

Say goodbye to the habits that are prone to puff you up.

Sometimes it comes from excess air trapped in your digestive tract. Other times it feels like a basketball is stuck in your abdomen, or your entire midsection has been flooded with water.
Whatever bloating feels like to you, one thing’s for sure: it’s uncomfortable.
And though bloat rarely signals something serious and typically goes away after several hours (eased up by moving around, drinking water, and just waiting it out), a distended middle can make you feel lethargic, clumsy, and suspecting you’ll never be able to button your jeans again. Welcome back your flatter belly by saying goodbye the habits that are prone to puff you up.

You eat too fast
The pace of life has us all in a hurry, but if that leaves you wolfing down your meals, be warned: besides food, you’re also swallowing gas-producing air, which balloons your belly. Trapped air isn’t the only bloat trigger here. “When you eat in a rush, you don’t chew thoroughly, and that leads to larger food pieces sitting in your gut, waiting to be fully digested,” explains New York City nutritionist Stephanie Middleberg, RD, of Middleberg Nutrition. Another speed-eating danger: you lose track of how much you’re consuming, and stuffing yourself makes your stomach feel, well, stuffed. Instead of eating on the run, carve out at least 20 minutes for a slower sit-down meal. That’s how long it takes your brain to register fullness, signaling that it’s time to put your fork down so you don’t overdo it.

You can’t give up your soda habit
The same tiny bubbles that give soda and sparkling water that bubbly sensation also cause your stomach to swell, says Middleberg. Diet soda is an even worse belly bloater since artificial sweeteners can’t be digested. Really can’t live without you fizz fix? Cut down on the carbonation by leaving it open for a few hours before drinking it or by pouring the drink into a cup with ice cubes.

Your go-to lunch is a sandwich
Even the healthiest sammies tend to be packed with sodium. A recent USDA study discovered that the sodium content in the typical sandwich can chew up 20% of your sodium allowance, says Janet Brill, PhD, RD, a Philadelphia-area nutritionist and author of Blood Pressure Down. And a 2012 CDC study listed the top sodium-loaded foods, many of which were sandwich staples. “Bread and rolls ranked as the number-one source of sodium in the typical American diet, and deli meat was number two, with cheese not far behind,” says Brill. The CDC recommends keeping sodium intake under 2,300 mg, and you can stay within that number and prevent sodium-induced bloat by alternating your sandwich habit with other foods or forgoing the bread and wrapping it a crisp piece of romaine lettuce.

You consume your kale raw
Packed with essential vitamins, kale has a well-deserved reputation as a trendy salad superstar. Thing is, this cruciferous vegetable contains so much hard-to-break-down fiber and an indigestible sugar called raffinose that consuming it raw in a smoothie or salad may bring on gas and puffiness, says Middleberg. Kale is not the only veggie offender; other cruciferous greens like Brussels sprouts and broccoli have the same effect. “Cut down on the bloating by eating less kale and cooking the kale you do eat by steaming or roasting it,” suggests Middleberg. You still get the nutrients, but cooking helps soften the fiber and shrink the volume of kale you consume, so it doesn’t take up so much gut-busting room in your small intestines.

You eat lots of packaged foods
Once again, the culprit here is sodium—it’s used as a preservative for tons of processed convenience foods. You know that crackers and chips are sodium bombs, but even healthy-looking items such as soups, salad dressings, cereals, and tomato sauce can have crazy-high amounts of sodium that easily lead you to exceed the 2,300 mg daily recommended limit. “It’s a good bet that pretty much any product that comes wrapped in a package contains more sodium than you’d think, and you’re unlikely to even taste the salt,” says Brill. Dodge the belly-bloating effects by reading labels and going for packaged foods that contain less than 500 mg per serving. And of course, try to cut back on the processed stuff and fill your plate with naturally low-sodium or sodium-free fresh fruits, grains, and veggies.

You choose diet or low-calorie products
Artificial sugars such as aspartame and sucralose have been added to everything from diet beverages to gum and candy. But the low or no calories come at a cost. While the FDA has recognized zero-cal sugar substitutes as safe, they’re serious bloat inducers. Artificial sweeteners hang around your stomach a long time because your system doesn’t digest them well (or at all). Makes sense, considering that they contain nothing your system recognizes as actual food, says Middleberg. “Banish them from your diet, and you’ll feel instant relief,” she says.

You’re a big fan of beans
Kidney, pinto, black, red—beans (plus their legume cousins, lentils and chickpeas) are an awesome source of high-quality plant protein. Unfortunately the carbohydrates in beans tend to be indigestible, and that’s what gives them their gassy, belly-bloating reputation, says Brill. Thing is, beans boost the health of so many dishes, from chili to soup to burritos, that it would be a nutritional crime to dump them out of your diet entirely. The solution: take an over-the-counter anti-gas product such as Beano along with your beans. “These contain the enzyme we’re missing that makes the carbohydrates digestible,” says Brill. “It’s safe to take, and it prevents the uncomfortable puffy feeling.”

You chew gum or suck on candy
Gum and hard candy keep your mouth occupied, which can help you lose weight or quit smoking. But they too cause you to inadvertently gulp lots of excess air. And as with using a straw and eating too fast, excessive air can lead to belching and that beached whale feeling. Try giving up the gum and suckers and instead take frequent sips of water—that will keep your mouth busy too. There’s a bonus to H2O as well: plain water helps keep your GI tract moving, and that gets rid of excess air and water bloating out your system, explains Alissa Rumsey, RD, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

You eat dinner too close to bedtime
If you eat a typical-size dinner within an hour or two of hitting the sack, you’re setting yourself up for morning muffin top. Lying down impairs digestion, so if you hit the bed with food in your stomach, it won’t be broken down as quickly, leaving you bloated in the a.m., says Rumsey. It’s not always easy to shift your schedule, but try having supper at least three to four hours before turning in for the night. Stay on your feet as much as possible to keep things moving before you fall asleep. If you have no choice but to eat right before bedtime, make it something small, like a piece of fruit or yogurt, and refuel with a bigger meal at breakfast, when your metabolism is running high again and your body will benefit from the energy jolt.

You ignore food allergy symptoms
Despite all the attention food allergies score these days (gluten-free mania, anyone?), most of us aren’t affected by them. Still, some allergies and sensitivities are a little-known reason for belly expansion. People with a wheat allergy who can’t digest gluten often deal with digestive issues and bloating, and if you’re lactose intolerant, you’ll also experience lots of distention and discomfort, says Rumsey. If you find yourself frequently feeling like a bowling ball, and none of these other factors seem to be the cause, check in with your doctor and ask to be tested for food allergies and sensitivities.
 So you see, sister friends....Bloating is not always from over-eating, not working out or that time of the month. Go have a guilt free cookie.

Monday, February 23, 2015

WInter comfort foods - Good and Easy Meatloaf

Absolutely delicious meatloaf and sauce! Those who claim they don't believe there can be such a thing as a great meatloaf will love this.

1 and1/2lbs ground beef (ground shoulder roast is good)
1slice bread (broken or chopped finely)
1small vidalia onions or 1 small type sweet onion, finely chopped
1teaspoon table salt
1⁄4teaspoon black pepper
4tablespoons ketchup
1⁄2-2⁄3cup whole milk or 1⁄2-2⁄3cup half-and-half

4tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 -4tablespoons dark brown sugar, packed firm (to taste)
1⁄2cup ketchup
If you like a little heat in your sauce add a little 'chipotle mango' spice

Meatloaf: Combine meat loaf ingredients and place into a loaf baking dish.
Smooth out top.
Sauce: Combine sauce ingredients and pour on top and sides of meatloaf.
Bake at 350°F about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes or until done.
*The addition of 1 or 2 teaspoons of Kitchen Bouquet® makes this recipe very good.
**Recipe should be"plump" from the addition of the milk or Half & Half.
It should NOT be runny.
***A second batch of sauce served hot is good to serve with the meatloaf.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Wages of Being a Tanning Addict

The inside of a sun bed

Being brown was being me. If I wasn't tanned, then I didn't look like "me". Silly I know, but that's just the way I felt. Having a tan made me feel better about myself. I used to say it was like a "tonic" - it made me feel more confident and more healthy.
In reality, my overwhelming desire to be tanned couldn't have been more unhealthy.I don't know where that desire came from - I was always pale throughout my school years. I don't have an addictive personality. I just think sunbeds have the "power" to make you feel good. And I know serotonin - the "happy hormone" - can be released when your body is exposed to sunlight.
From about the age of about 16 I started using tanning beds. First, once a week, then twice, then I got to a point of using them every day. I admit I became addicted.  My parents tried to tell me that I was damaging my skin, but I never thought about the consequences. I used them for about 10 years, going to a variety of salons and also paying for a portable bed to be brought to my home.

Three pictures of Laura's tanned face through the years

It was my choice and I'm not blaming anyone for what happened to me. But I was never given an "informed" choice. Not once in all the 10 years did any salon staff give me any advice about my skin, or about the safe level of UV exposure, and there were no information signs.
But most of my friends could see the dangers of what I was doing and many of them tried to warn me. In fact, it was a standing joke with all my friends in the office every time I went on holiday. "What colour are you aiming for this time?" My reply was always "mahogany". It felt like a cloud evaporating - I could face whatever was thrown at me, it lifted my spirits and it made me feel good about myself. Along the way, I obviously developed a deeper and deeper tan - so I became used to seeing myself brown, and I didn't like looking pale anymore.
Between using sunbeds and also going on vacation six weeks a year, I was putting myself in danger. I actually stopped using sunbeds about 12 years ago. I could see the wrinkles increasing. Not once though did it ever enter my head that I could be affected by skin cancer, let alone the deadliest type, malignant melanoma.
It's been the toughest time of my life, but I'm so thankful I survived it and am still here to try to warn others. My life changed forever when, on 5 Feb 2014, I got the news of my cancer. My fiance and I were five days into our two-week holiday in Fuerteventura and were just about to settle on the balcony with a refreshing cold drink after a lovely hot day in the sun. I received a text message asking me to call the dermatologist who'd done a biopsy a month earlier on a little red spot on the back of my leg. More than six months before, in June 2013, I had found the little red raised spot and thought it was an insect bite. It didn't hurt or bleed, it was just something new that popped up. My doctor and the dermatologist both thought it was an insect bite that had got infected. I wasn't worried in the slightest.
Laura in a hospital bed after her operation
After her surgery and without a tan
 But I remember standing in the holiday apartment and hearing the dermatologist's words: "I'm so sorry to tell you it's melanoma." I didn't really know what that meant, but I felt sick to the pit of my stomach. I was shaken, but I'm an extremely positive person and I had to believe I was going to be OK. I was in the hands of some of the world's leading melanoma consultants - and I knew I was getting the best care possible.
At the end of February last year I had a wider excision in the back of my leg and I chose to have a "sentinel lymph node biopsy". The melanoma had spread. I had to have all the lymph nodes cut out of my right groin and I also opted to have some removed from my pelvis laparoscopically.
On 4 June, a week after major surgery, I was told that no more melanoma was found. I hugged the consultant and thought that's it - I can get on with my life. I should have been jumping for joy but this is when I came crashing down and started to worry about what else was going on inside me.
Anyone who's had a cancer diagnosis will know that it doesn't just attack a certain part of your body, it affects every part of your life and your loved ones. I lost all my confidence. I didn't want to spend a minute on my own. At times I couldn't walk properly, I couldn't get in the bath, I couldn't drive and for weeks I had a drain attached to my leg and I had to inject myself every day to prevent any blood clots.
Worse still were thoughts about the future.Would I be here in six months to see my birthday? Would I see Christmas? All these terrible thoughts were dragging me down. On top of the emotional effects,
I've been left with lymphedema in my leg. It's a build-up of fluid because of the removal of lymph nodes from my groin. I can live with a big leg though! I have to massage my leg twice a day, wear compression garments and avoid getting any insect bites and scratches from animals. I can't shave my leg.
Laura at a beach wearing leggings, a long sleeved top and a cap
Now Laura wears factor 50 sun cream beneath her clothes

I would never want anyone to go through all the pain, worry and trauma that my family and I have endured - just because of trying to get a tan. I definitely think people today are more aware about the dangers of tanning, but I think the majority still think "it won't happen to me." The tan's not worth it, especially if like me, you have fair skin, and you're prone to burning.
After finding the little red spot on the back of my leg, it was three months before I went to see my GP. I dread to think what might have happened if I'd left it any longer. I would urge people that if a mole changes in shape or colour, gets bigger or like mine, something new pops up, then please go to the doctors. Please don't bury your head in the sand. The sooner you catch it the better chance there is of a successful outcome. Thoughts of having melanoma are with me every day - but I'm determined not to let them hold me back.

Laura without a tan
Embracing being pale

I've also had the confidence to go abroad again. It was a big test for me but after overcoming my initial fear, I was able to relax. I now put on factor 50 sun cream half an hour before I go out, and I cover up from head to toe. Frankly, who cares what I look like.
I totally avoid the midday sun and I now sit in the shade. I even take my own spray tan on holiday with me. I can still be "mahogany", but now I fake it. It used to be that I couldn't "feel like me" without a tan.
I still feel a bit like that today. I sometimes struggle in accepting the way I look. I'm completely pale. But I use a spray tan on my face to give me that "healthy glow".
There is no way I will ever sit out in the sun again. I just have to accept who I am and how I look.

Your Roving Reporter ; Man Writes Love Letters to his Wife Everyday for 40 Years

 One New Jersey man may have discovered the secret to a lasting marriage.

For nearly 40 years, 74-year-old Bill Bresnan has written a love letter to his wife Kristen every day. And nothing gets in his way.

"I give her the cards just before we go to bed. I draw them, sometimes during the day. Sometimes I buy them if I happen to be somewhere. If Kris is away I mail it to wherever she is going to be," he said.

His wife keeps the love filed chronologically in more than 20 boxes in the attic.
She says, "They mean everything, really, to me. I would be so heartbroken if there was a night when I didn't get a card."

But the Bresnans will have to stick it out a few more years to meet the record for longest marriage.

Last week, Dale and Alice Rockey were given a national award for being the longest married couple in America: 81 years. And they still act like newlyweds.

Love is  grand . 
My  son  been with his  wife  for  15 years . He  writes her  love  letters  and  leave  little  notes  and  cards  for  her each day .  When he or  she  is  out  of  town , he  always  send  her  one  for each day . 
I  read  a few of  the  letters  when he or  she was away  and  he  seems  to be  making  love to her .  Ladies  and  gentlemen , believe  me  when I say that boy loves  her with a passion and it  seems  to   grow  stronger  each  year  ,  4  kids  later . 

The Roving  Reporter 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Food for Thought : Know Your Labels

Do you know what the claims on your food packages mean? There are three categories of claims that are allowed on foods according to Food and Drug Administration guidelines. Specifically, there can be three main categories of claims: health claims, nutrient content claims, and structure/function claims. It can be confusing to determine what the claims mean, especially when the words “low,” “high” or “reduced” are used. Here are a few tips to help you decipher the claims on your foods:

1.   Reduced — at least 25 percent less of the specified nutrient or calories than the usual/regular product 

2 .  Low sodium — less than 140 milligrams of sodium per serving 

3 .  Fat free/sugar free — less than ½ gram of fat or sugar per serving 

4 .  Good source — provides at least 10-19 percent of the daily value of a particular vitamin or nutrient per serving 
5 .  High in — provides 20 percent or more of the daily value of a specified nutrient per serving.

                                           Garlic Shrimp
One of  the  favorite  take out  at Poppa's  Herb  Garden

2            tablespoons  olive oil
1/2         head garlic, peeled and chopped fine
1/2        cup onion, finely chopped
1           lemon, unpeeled, cut into small wedges
2           bay leaves
1           pound shrimp (raw, peeled)

Heat oil in nonstick skillet on medium high heat. Add garlic, onion, lemon and bay leaves. Sauté for 5 minutes; add shrimp. Stir and cover; cook for 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook covered for 10-12 minutes. Remove pan from heat and keep covered for 15 minutes. Serve.

Words of Wisdom :

“When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.” 

“Our duty is wakefulness, the fundamental condition of life itself. The unseen, the unheard, the untouchable is what weaves the fabric of our see-able universe together.” 

“A person who could muster the courage to remove from his daily life the products that he basically doesn’t need would automatically delete the negative thoughts and the toxic people in his life.” 

“Letters are meaningless unless put together correctly. Words are worthless unless backed by truth. Sentences are handed out and judged accordingly, but only genuinely honest men or women can create writings that change the world forever.” 

“Friends are like knickers. Some crawl up your ass, some snap under pressure, some don't have the strength to hold you up, some get a little twisted, some are your favorite, some you can see right thru, some are cheap and just plain nasty, and some actually cover your ass when you need them to. Some you just hang out to dry...” 

A Proud  Grand-poppa           G.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy ,
My fiancé and I have been together for three years . "James' shares custody of his 13-year-old daughter , "Chrissie."
The problem is , Chrissie will not sleep in her own bed . Until recently , she use to sleep on the floor in our room , but two months ago , James started sleeping in her bed . I couldn't take it , so I went back to stay in my place . Now that I am no longer in James' house , Chrissie sleeps with him in his bed . This bothers me .
James and his ex-wife tried sending Chrissie for therapy , but she told them it wasn't working , so they stopped . We have discussed this , but he continues to allow her to sleep in his bed . He doesn't believe there is anything wrong with it and also says he doesn't know what else to do . Chrissie is quite manipulative , conniving and sly . Even her hugs are fake . she is obviously competing with me for her father's attention .
I feel guilty not liking this girl . I understand that divorce is hard on children , but this is ridiculous .
Soon -To-Be-Stepmom 
Dear  Soon-To-Be-Step-Mom,
The fear of sleeping alone is a very real phobia in children. It is related to monophobia (fear of being alone). It comes from a deep seated anxiety, sometimes separation anxiety, and should be treated by a qualified child therapist or child psychologist. Hypnosis has also been shown to be helpful.
You can also do things at home like: redecorate her room in any color or way she likes and make it very comfortable...keep soft lighting on at night. Let her have a small TV in her room that she can keep on low volume all night, perhaps the cooking channel or 24 hour news...hearing human voices or ambient sounds will keep her distracted from her fear. Get her in the habit of reading light fiction or something funny in bed to  make her sleepy and have a relaxing bed time routine ( e.g.: a warm bath and hot chocolate). To start, you could let her sleep near your bedroom door with your door open and gradually make the transition.
On the other hand, Chrissie  may  be manipulating  her  parents  out of  insecurity  and  simply because she can . But her  parents  are  the  real  problem . They are  allowing  Chrissie to control  the family  dynamic.  At thirteen, it is inappropriate for her to sleep with her single dad. She needs her parents to be in charge, and instead, they have given her the reins . The therapist will no doubt advise that the family take counseling together so that James and his ex-wife understand  how much effort  and consistency are required for their daughter 's sake .
This problem has already driven you away because James handled it badly and did not take you into consideration or the way you feel about it. If  you still intend  to marry James, insist on proper therapy .

Dear maxy , 
I am 26-years-old and have been in a wonderful relationship for four years . "Cody" is my best friend and we are extremely compatible .
Here's the problem : His sex drive could run circles around mine . Sex is the only way he feels appreciated , loved and needed . Cuddles and kisses don't sate his desire . This puts immense pressure on me to accommodate him . and I am starting to resent it .
If Cody does something sweet for me , such as taking me to dinner , he will make a causal joke about how I should thank him in the bedroom . I have sat his down before and told him how his comments make me feel and that I don't like the emphasis he puts on sex . He either brushes it off , saying I'm too sensitive , or gets upset and says I should do the things for him that makes his happy .
I love him and want to make him happy , but shouldn't that go both ways ? I don't want to to feel sex is his favorite form of currency . Any advice ?
Dear Orlando ,
The  fact  that Cody likes  sex  and  prefers  it to other  things is  neither unusual  nor  worrisome . But I don't  like the way he brushes  off your  concerns, blaming  you for  being too "sensitive." This is an indication  that Cody  is immature  and dismissive of  your  feelings . Pressuring  you is a form of controlling  the relationship and he definitely is using sex as currency . You may think Cody is terrific and your best friend now, but over time, these issues will start to create a rift between you . Sexual compatibility issues don't disappear. In fact, they tend to continue to grow and become more frustrating and stressful for both partners; especially compounded with Cody's immaturity and insensitivity to you.
 If  you are  determined  to stay with Cody , you must get couples' counseling  to see whether  you can come to a compromise and save your relationship .

Dear Maxy,
I am 70 years old , but still enjoy an active life with numerous outdoor activities . My problem is "Ralph" whom I've known for 50 years .
When he has nothing else to do , Ralph phones me to talk ad nauseam about all his health issues , ailments , pharmaceuticals , etc. He never asks how I'm doing , but immediately starts cataloging his myriad problems , none of which are critical .
I have a few issues myself , but I never discuss them with anyone because I cannot conceive of anything more boring than listening to someone complain .
I have caller ID and can avoid Ralph most of the time . He's a good person and a loyal friend , but this has become an obsession I'd like to remedy . How do I address this with him ? 
Dear  Bored ,
I know  many people  who enjoy  giving "organ  recitals," but  no one likes  to hear them . Honesty is the best policy with Ralph . He probably has  no idea how he  comes across . Do him a favor and tell him nicely  that his  fixation with his  health, to the exclusion of everything else,  makes  a friendly chat  difficult  and a little  depressing .
If you don't want to try the direct approach....before he gets started, introduce an interesting topic. And change the subject every time he starts tuning up for his organ recital. Unless he is pretty dense, he will eventually get the message

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Things you can get really hooked on

4 Things You Never Knew You Could Get Hooked On
Sure, they’re not official “addictions” but you may still find it hard to stop using some of these products once you start.

Can you really get hooked on something like lip balm?  Well, sort of. While you won’t find “lip balm or nose spray addiction” listed as a substance use disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), it’s still one of those products that you may find yourself using more and more of — and not easily being able to stop.
Turns out, there’s a scientific reason for why. And lip balm isn’t the only “benign” thing you can overdo it on.
Lip balm. Constantly putting on lip balm affects the timing of how your lips produce new skin cells, which results in your lips feeling dry — which then prompts you to put on more lip balm (and, of course makes the problem worse). Protect yourself by sticking to the simplest products without extra ingredients like menthol, which can irritate some people’s skin.

Nose spray.  Doctors call it a “rebound” effect: After a few days of using OTC decongestant nose spray, your nose may become less responsive, and you’ll be tempted to use more. When you stop, you may be even more stuffy. The Mayo Clinic advises using OTC nose sprays for no more than five days consecutively and if you’re still congested, asking a doctor for a prescription spray with a steroid (since it won’t cause this rebound effect).

Vibrators.  Although there haven’t been conclusive studies showing physiological dependence, many women say that their interludes with toys make it harder to come in other ways. “The more powerful the vibration, the greater the possibility of developing numbness,” San Francisco sex psychotherapist Vanessa Marin tells Yahoo Health. “The best advice is to vary your routine.” She recommends using a vibrator only about half the time, and your hand the other half, or switching around the power settings.  Cut back if you find yourself always needing to turn up the power, getting weaker orgasms, or feeling numb. Her clients tell her that a short break helps them recover.
Redness-reducing eyedrops. These work by narrowing blood vessels and can make your eyes briefly less bloodshot, but they don’t fix the underlying allergic reaction. And using them for too long can lead to “rebound redness,” which is when the problem worsens and the drops don’t remove the redness anymore. Don’t use these drops for more than two or three days, says the American Academy of Ophthalmology, “as longer-term use actually increases your irritating symptoms.”

Well, I just threw my lip balm, eyedrops and nose spray in the trash. However, I think I'll hang on to my vibrator and suffer being addicted.

Crazy Ways Food Affects The Body

Asparagus Pee, Pine Nut Mouth, And Other Crazy Ways Food Affects The Body
Don’t be caught off guard after eating these foods!

You eat food to fuel your body — and, of course, because it’s delicious. But sometimes what you eat can affect your body in ways that are both freaky and fascinating.
“Many foods contain vitamins or minerals that interact with your body chemistry,” says Amy B. Hollingsworth, PhD, a natural science biology professor at the University of Akron. “Ultimately, the changes that occur with foods and drinks can tell us a lot about our overall health and wellness.” While she says many of these interactions go unnoticed by us, others are unusual and hard to miss.
Ever experienced “beet B.M.s” or “asparagus pee”? How about “red meat B.O.”? Here’s a breakdown of some of the weird “conditions” common foods can cause, so you can be prepared the next time things seem a little… off… after a meal.

Pine Nut Mouth


You might want to think twice before eating something that contains pine nuts: Those crunchy little seeds can actually ruin your taste buds for a month. After eating pine nuts, some people develop “pine mouth syndrome,” a condition that leaves victims with a metallic or bitter taste in their mouth for an extended period of time, says Hollingsworth. Scientists aren’t certain what causes pine mouth syndrome, but think it can be exacerbated by genetics, a fungus on the nuts, or even fake pine nuts. Hollingsworth says the condition seems to be growing: “Doctors are not sure if pine mouth is a recently emerging disease or just being reported more often.”

Beet B.M.s

Had a beet salad last night? You might be in for a surprise today. Red beets contain a pigment called betanin, which is responsible for their deep maroon color. When you eat beets, the betanin interacts with the acid in your stomach and can give you red poop and pee (also known as “beeturia”). The weaker your stomach acid, the darker your urine after eating beets, says women’s health expert Jennifer Wider, MD. And for some people, it’s too faint to show up. While incredibly freaky to witness, “it’s completely harmless".

Fava Bean Pee

While not as visually jarring as beeturia, noshing on too many fava beans can leave you with brown pee. Why? The dark brown discoloration is a byproduct of the flavonoids epicatechin, epigallocatechin, and quercetin, all of which are found in fava beans, explains certified nutritionist and board-certified family physician James Pinckney II, MD. If you experience it, don’t be alarmed. These flavonoids are good for you — they help reduce oxidative stress in your body and boost heart health.

Garlic B.O.
You already know garlic can give you smelly breath, but the pungent bulb can also leave you with body odor. Compounds in garlic, like allyl methyl sulfide, can linger in your system long after you consume the food, especially if you eat large amounts of it, explains Wider. Those compounds get into your bloodstream — and subsequently your sweat and urine, too. “Once your body metabolizes the compounds in garlic, the smell goes away, but some people are stuck smelling like a loaf of garlic bread for up to 48 hours,” she says. Went overboard on the garlic? Some studies have suggested that the fat in milk can help speed the metabolic process along.
Nutmeg High
There’s a reason why cooking recipes only call for small amounts of nutmeg: Too much of it can give you a hallucinogenic high. Nutmeg contains myristicin, the active compound in the hallucinogenic drug peyote, and ingesting a tablespoon or more of the stuff will produce a high, explains Pinckney. The spice can also make you sick, he says: “Consuming large quantities of nutmeg will lead to terrible gastrointestinal issues such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, as well as heart palpitations for up to 48 hours.” So go easy on the nutmeg.
Asparagus Urine
It’s a smell that’s hard to miss: Hours after eating asparagus, you may notice a sulfuric stench when you use the bathroom. Asparagus contains sulfurous amino acids, which are broken down during digestion into components that cause a unique odor in your urine. Those components are “highly volatile,” says Pinckney, which is why the smell hits your nose immediately after you pee. Only about 33 percent of the population can detect the odor, he says, so you may never notice it at all.

Red Meat Sweat

A big steak dinner can do more than make you feel full — it can leave you sweaty and smelly. Pinckney explains why: Red meat is difficult for your body to break down, and the amino acids in the meat leave a residue in your gastrointestinal tract during digestion. That residue eventually works its way through your body and mixes with bacteria on the surface of your skin during perspiration, which can make your sweat smellier than usual. Not only that, your sweat glands go into overdrive when your body is breaking down the meat, so you may be producing more sweat than usual, too. “The change in body odor associated with red meat consumption can be minimal or quite potent and last from a few hours up to two weeks,” says Pinckney. A study from the Czech Republic found that the smell dissipates if you eliminate red meat from your diet and increase your vegetable intake.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Woman finds 10 million dollars in her bank account that didn't belong

[Sue Lamb/ Facebook]

For most people it would be a dream come true, but a woman in Australia said she was stressed out after her bank balance was unexpectedly bumped up to almost $10 million.
On Saturday Sue Lamb used a Bank Of Queensland cashpoint to take $100 from her ANZ account. To her surprise the bank receipt after the withdrawal said that her available balance stood at $9,990,420.94.
Initially the 49-year-old wrote on her Facebook page: "Okey dokey. Just checked my credit card which has a limit of $50k and guess what!!! I'm a millionaire!!!! Check out the balance. Plus I've got no debt on it sooo strange. Lol woo hooo let's goooooo girls Tahiti sounds nice. Best I fess up"

[Sue Lamb/ Facebook]

But when she called the bank to notify them of the error, a customer service worker insisted that it was her money and there was nothing he could do.
"I said: "It's not my money" and he said: "But it's a compound of all your company's funds," but I don't have a company, I'm a sole trader.
"This gentleman didn't seem too concerned, he was more concerned with telling me that they were my funds," she said.
But when Ms Lamb checked her account again two days later she found that the extra money had disappeared. 
She said: "They've really caused grave stress for my family... I've seen stories around the world where people get in a lot of trouble for this."
A spokesperson for the bank confirmed that the extra money was showing as a result of an error made by the bank.
What would she have done if the bank had continued to insist the money was her's? What would you do?

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Your Roving Reporter :The Players in Benton Celebrate 80 Years of Marriage this Year - Their Oak Anniversary.

Their milestone was recognized Thursday by Gov. Bobby Jindal, who held a reception honoring 10 of the state's longest married couples who were inducted into Louisiana Family Forum's Marriage Hall of Fame. The Players were unable to attend, but Louisiana Family Forum will host a Valentine's Day reception at the couple's home in Benton Saturday.

Husband Lawrence Player is now 101 and wife Varrie Player is 95. Though the couple decided not to observe their Jan. 27 anniversary with a large family gathering as they have anniversaries past, they did mark the occasion by imparting some wisdom on what's made their marriage so longstanding.

"All you have to do is be loyal toward each other. Make sure you agree on the things you are doing. Be loyal, and when you plan to do or build something, both need to come along in agreement," Lawrence said, seated next to his wife in the living room of their Benton home where they've lived more than 50 years.
The home is one street over from the church where they met. They were married in 1935 at Varrie's mother's home nearby on Highway 160 outside of town. Varrie was 16 and Lawrence was 21.
The Players claim they've never had a fight in 80 years.
Husband Lawrence Player is now 101 and wife Varrie Player is 95. They live across from the Benton church where they met. (Photo: Henrietta Wildsmith/The Times)
"I might have been quarrelsome, but we never had a fight or fuss. I've never had a lick. He's never hit me," Varrie said, wearing a red suit to match her husband's red shirt worn under overalls, a tribute to Valentine's Day.

The couple's youngest daughter, Barbara Player, lives next door to her parents. She can't recall one argument between them, though she admits it's hard to believe there wasn't even at least one that happened in private.

Asked for the secret to a happy and successful union, Lawrence said it's important to treat the other person how you want to be treated.
Lawrence and Varrie Player have been married for 80 years.
"I haven't had a fight or an argument with anyone all my life. I just know how to treat people. I've had nothing but friends all the way through," he said.

Lawrence said his wife's mother made him promise he'd never become angry and hit Varrie, and that if he ever tired of her, he'd send her home.
"I never got tired of her," he said.

According to Barbara, Varrie has cooked three meals a day for Lawrence since they were married, which has kept him happy.
"And I mean cook. She doesn't open a can of something. She cooks — even makes homemade biscuits," she said.
Lawrence said he told Varrie before they were married that if she cooked his lunch and kept his clothes clean, "that's all she has to do. And that's what she done."

The couple's youngest son, Oscar Player, now the pastor at New Light Methodist Church where his parents met, said, from observing his parents, he has learned treating others with kindness goes a long way.
"And no matter how tough times become, you still can make it. You can survive," he said.

The Player union in 1935 has built a legacy of nearly 100 — 9 children, 37 grandchildren, 58 great grandchildren and 5 great-great grandchildren.
Barbara said the family's success has been in the way her parents have approached their marriage.
"I learned from them how to love. They taught us we need to treat people like we want them to treat us," she said. "That, and I guess it was prayer."
Longest-married couples

The Louisiana Family Forum honored Louisiana's longest-married couples during a special reception at the Governor's Mansion in Baton Rouge on Thursday.
The five honorees, married 72 years and above, in attendance were: George and Laura Harris, of Baton Rouge; Joseph and Felicie Rogillio, of Rosedale; Charles and Rita Serio, of Morganza; Arnold and Olga Jones, of Junction City; and Charles and Helen Simon of Mansura. Lawrence and Varrie, of Benton, did not attend.

“You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching, Love like you'll never be hurt, Sing like there's nobody listening, And live like it's heaven on earth.” - William W. Purkey -Photos taken at Flower Power florist in Shreveport. (Photo: Henrietta
Wildsmith/The Times)

Your  Roving Reporter