31 December 2010

Happy New Year !!!

28 December 2010

Service Dog or Pal?

Trained dogs not only help people with sight problems, they are also being trained to help children with autism. Some schools want to keep the animals out and the parents are fighting back. Two autistic elementary school children in Illinois recently won court orders allowing their dogs to accompany them to school. California and Pennsylvania also had lawsuits about schools refusing to allow dogs. Parents say that the dogs help keep the children calm, ease transitions and have even kept them from running out into traffic.

The question that is the issue is whether the dogs are actually "service dogs" that help manage a disability or are they companions that provide comfort. Schools that are fighting over the issue say they are not discriminating but are drawing the line to protect the safety and health of the other children who may be allergic or scared of dogs.

Service dogs to aid the blind have been around for a long time but training dogs to help people with autism (a developmental disorder that involves behavior such as poor eye contact, trouble communicating and repetitive movements) is relatively new. The dogs are trained to have a calming influence by providing a constant between home, school and new places.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Justice said schools are required to make accommodations for disabled students and one of the ways of doing this is with a service animal.

source: The Associated Press

Get The House Of Your Dreams

It doesn't matter whether you're down-sizing because the kids are all grown up and have left home or if you're looking at first time buyer mortgages, getting approved for a mortgage is exciting.

Checking into mortgages for first time buyers can be a risky thing and may affect your credit ratings. People often apply or check into online applications for cars, insurance and homes without knowing that their credit score can be affected (and quite often adversely). When you fill out online inquiries or applications searching for the lowest mortgage rates, the process can be deemed as an application by many companies. If your credit rating is low, you may be treated as a "rejection" which will show in your credit history. If you do this with several companies, your credit score can be destroyed without you even realizing the cause of your downfall.

Comfort and Style

You want your footwear to be fashionable and comfortable and with Old Gringo footwear you'll have both. Looking for a sharp pair of leather boots? Want side zippers? They offer a huge selection of boots for men and women and half sizes are also available.

Miz Mooz shoes and boots have something for everyone in their fun collection. Buttons, ties and belts on this footwear offer lots of choices. Lots of choices of colors and heel heights too. There are several new arrivals and many are on sale.

Casual comfort comes with Sebago shoes. Their large selection of Spinnakers come in great color combinations. Oxfords and short and tall boots will add fashion to any shoe wardrobe at affordable prices.

26 December 2010

Get The Most For Your $$$

If your advertising isn't hitting the mark, then you're just wasting your $$$. Many people like to try new restaurants so they look either in the yellow pages in their phone book or on the Internet. What separates one restaurant from another when someone is looking on the Internet? A top-notch restaurant website design that catches their eye. Fast food chains have found that the most eye-catching graphics/colors are those that contain red, yellow and orange colors and ads should incorporate bright colors. Graphics also play a major part in an ad.

Everything has seen dramatic changes in the last couple of decades and that's where bistrolink.com comes into play. Advertising has seen major changes and as a digital advertising company, they keep up with the changing times. A business needs an advertising agency that uses "future thinking". Their professionals track the success of the campaign and which section of the information is used most often so that advertising dollars are used to their best advantage. With the growth of the Internet, having a successful campaign often settles the question on whether a business stays open or closes it's doors.

24 December 2010


23 December 2010

Outside Color All Year 'Round

Window boxes for flowers can be used all year round. Plastic and artificial poinsettias can be put in them for the Christmas season to add color to the outside of your house. Why just keep color inside the house? Show your artistic talents outside with the different holidays that come in cold weather (Easter often comes while there's still snow on the ground).

You can also use window boxes for plants throughout the year. Autumn displays using the fall colors (oranges, yellows, browns and tans) can add sparkle to your house in the dark days of fall leading into winter.

Flower boxes are very functional and now come in many sizes and materials so that they are virtually maintenance free. Not only can they be placed under windows, they can be placed on patio railings and fences too.

22 December 2010

The Economy Is Slowly Recovering

SLOWLY, very SLOWLY, the economy is starting to improve. The question is are you still saying you're not able to save anything? Saving/investing is very important no matter the amount you're able to put away. Financial planning is something that needs to be done by everyone especially in these economic times because you never know when that "rainy day" might come and you've got nothing put aside. One of the things you might want to find out about is stock trading and Firstrade is a company that can help you with this.

If you decide to do online trading with an online broker you'll be placing your financial future into trusted and experienced hands with www.firstrade.com. The important thing for a person of any age is to have a program established for regular saving and investing. If you had started saving/investing 5 years ago, imagine what $25.00 would be worth today. To plan for retirement, you could open IRA accounts (Individual Retirement Accounts). This government offering can be tax deferred or tax exempt.

Accounts can be established with the purchase of gold bullion or coins. Even with the world's sluggish economy, gold keeps it's value. An ounce of gold has seen a continuous increase in value and is still recognized around the world as a solid monetary commodity. You can invest with "buy and sell orders" with mobile trading using a mobile phone or device.

20 December 2010

When You Need To Know

You can use it either personally or professionally: the finger pulse oximeter. It monitors a person's oxygen. People with certain conditions including COPD and asthma need to know what their oxygen level and heart rate are in order to avoid serious health catastrophes.

Easy, lightweight and affordable, the oximeter uses 2 AAA (included) and powers off after 8 seconds. It's easy to read and has a shock resistant cover. It can be used continuously for 30 hours and is so dependable that hospitals and medical professional rely on it for accuracy.

18 December 2010

Yoga Sun Salutation

Yoga is a fun and relaxing form of exercise that has been practiced by millions of people all over the world for thousands of years. It is a great way to learn how to relax and sleep better, and to get into great shape, with improved flexibility and muscle tone. One of the first things you will learn in a yoga class is Sun Salutation, the foundation to any yoga workout.

In most yoga disciplines, one of the main series of stretches is the Sun Salutation. This is a series of 12 postures that one performs in one single, fluid movement. It's actually very beautiful to watch, because the movements of the yoga practitioners are so fluid and trained; it's almost like watching a lovely, winding river flowing along. Sun Salutation may be done slowly, or some people really want to get the most physical benefits from the exercises, so they do what is known as power yoga, and perform the postures quickly.

Breathe as You Move

Each movement goes along with the yoga practitioner's breathing. One posture is done while the person is breathing in, the next movement done on the exhale. Sun Salutation begins and ends with the same posture, beginning on an inhale and ending on an exhale. This sometimes can take a while to learn how to do properly, especially if you tend to get out of breath easily. Be patient, and in time you will be doing the postures with the proper breathing and getting the full benefits of yoga.

The 12 Postures of Sun Salutation

When you do the Sun Salutation, you are performing stretches that will utilize every joint and muscle in your body, for a total body workout. In fact, a one-hour yoga workout is just as beneficial as a one-hour aerobic workout, without all of the jumping and running that can cause injuries, especially to the hips, knees and ankles. Each of the 12 yoga postures stretches different groups of muscles, and the combination makes for an awesome workout. The 12 yoga postures for Sun Salutation are:

-- Mountain
-- Hands Up
-- Head to Knees
-- Lunge
-- Plank
-- Stick
-- Upward Facing Dog
-- Downward Facing Dog
-- Lunge
-- Head to Knees
-- Hands Up
-- Mountain

When you practice Sun Salutation regularly, you will find that it gets easier and easier to do, and the breathing techniques will be just like second nature. As you improve your flexibility, muscle tone and lung capacity, hold the positions longer, while still practicing the breathing techniques, with longer and deeper breaths. You'll be getting into great shape in no time, looking and feeling better every day.

16 December 2010

Let Your Smile Do The Talking

Do you have beautiful teeth but nasty lips? Weather plays a major part in how your lips look. In winter, they can get chapped due to lack of humidity in the air; in summer they can get sun burned and if you're sick or have a fever, your lips may also suffer. You can't be at your best if your lips hurt.

When lips dry out for whatever reason, they can crack, burn and flake. Lip skin is thin and lacks oil glands and natural moisture. Keep lips protected and moisturized at all times. Everyday, lip balm needs to be applied to form a protective layer. They can be waxed based or gels. Wax-based products give more protection. The richest and creamiest as the "butters". Scented or flavored should be avoided as they may contain irritants. and cause a person to lick their lips thus increasing the lip problem.

Linda Wells, editor-in-chief of Allure magazine, recommends gooey lip balms especially those with a petroleum jelly or Shea butter. Some may contain beeswax, coconut oil, lanolin, olive oil , wheat germ oil, avocado or Vitamin E (an excellent protective antioxidant). Prevention is best by applying a layer of balm before going outdoors and covering your lips with a scarf.

source: The Associated Press

ACC Football

Guest post written by my buddy Keith Kramer

The College Football Conference Champoinship Games are coming up in the next week or two. It is a wonderful time of the year, and I plan to watch all of them! This year I am really looking foward to watching the ACC Champoinship game. It is going to be Florida State vs. Virginia Tech. I am a Florida State alumni, so of course I will be cheering for the Seminoles.

At the beginning of the season nobody thought the Seminoles would make it to the ACC title game, but they did. It is going to be a tough matchup, but hopefully my Seminoles can coe out on top. This was a wild year in college football. The teams people were expecting to do really well, didn't. There are a few underdogs who did pretty well.

I'm planning to watch the games with some close friends at home on my satellite tv from www.direct.tv/. There is nothing like watching good football, having some beers and being with friends! Thia has been a long season, and hopefully in the end I will be happy with the outcome!

15 December 2010

A Long Day Finding Just The Right Christmas Tree

This guest post from Doris Dillon

Every year my family makes the trek to Ryan's farm to get a Christmas tree the week after Thanksgiving. We start pretty early in the morning, a nice big breakfast, all the kids getting wrapped up in a few layers of clothes, boots and gloves. We have found that even if the weather seems nice and sunny at home, by the time we get to Ryan's it may be snowing and cold. Since we will be gone all day my husband double checks to make sure the home security alarm from ADT HOME SECURITY is set, then it is off on a four hour drive.

Ryan's is a great place for Christmas trees. They have 35 acres of trees to pick from. You can cut your own tree, have one of the farm hands cut it, or pick from a wide variety of already cut trees in the front lot. We always take the hayride out to the woods. We sing Christmas carols and drink hot chocolate. Then we wander around in the woods for a while, looking for just the right tree. It has to be pretty full, with a nice big bottom, then tapering up to the top. I like a 6 ' tree. The branches have to be strong enough to hold some of our heavier, bigger ornaments. My husband chops down the tree we all agree on and drags it back to the hay cart for the hayride back to the store. It makes a great day, we all love it.

12 December 2010

'Tis The Season

With the holiday season in full swing, many people are getting together to celebrate. Some people are toasting the end of a depressing decade which saw record high bankruptcies, foreclosures, job loss and more. Rogar wine openers can help make opening a bottle of wine a lot easier and a lot classier.

Not only do they have an excellent selection (estate, champion and professional collections) of openers, they also carry accessories and replacement parts. Accessories include wine opener stands, wine and stemware racks and stands and handle sets.

As always, please drink responsibly and use a designated driver when necessary.

OH NO! Flu Season Again!!!

It's flu season again and along with H1N1, swine flu can rear it's ugly head . According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) swine influenza (swine flu) is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza viruses that cause regular outbreaks in pigs. In early 2009, cases of human infection with swine influenza were reported. Due to the outbreak, people had many questions about dealing with with this flu. In 2009/2010 H1N1 was the culprit and the questions continued:

How does any flu spread?
How can someone with the flu infect someone else?
What are the signs and symptoms of flu?
Can I get swine flu from eating or preparing pork?
Are there medicines to treat the flu?
Can surfaces be a source of contamination?
How long can viruses live outside the body?
How serious is the flu?

For answers to these questions, contact CDC, your local health department or a medical professional.

Loving These Deals!

I love a good deal especially when I'm able to get it in the comfort of my own home. Using www.offers.com/, I'm able to find out what the best deals, offers, discounts and coupons are from major stores and businesses.

Home Depot, Sears, Travelocity, online sweepstakes and more are available with just the click of the mouse. How about discounts of 20%, 30%, 50% or more from Banana Republic? Find out what the 5 top online deals of the day are. With money tight and Christmas just a couple of weeks away, why would somebody try and shop an y other way? What are you waiting for? Start saving NOW!

10 December 2010

The Bells Are Ringing!!

Bells have been around since the beginning of civilization. The first ones were very crude and were used to ward off evil spirits, to change the weather or were used for festive occasions. Bells can be made of anything from clay to wood to metal and can be very decorative or plain.

Bells are idiophones (instruments sounding the vibrations of resonant solid material). Early bells were cast from metal in the Bronze Age. The Chinese culture took the bells to a more sophisticated level. During the European Middle Ages, Christians used bells to signal divine services. The origin of bells in Christian worship can be traced back to the dinner bell in the Old Testament. There were pictures of bells on stone tablets dating back to the 5th century BC.

All cultures use bells and many have a major significance and reflect the history and culture of the people. In the United States, the Liberty Bell is a symbol of freedom and independence. School bells symbolize freedom to pursue education. Garden bells can offer romance and atmosphere any time of the year. Farm bells have been used for centuries to summon family and farm workers from the fields for dinner and also to alert people in times of emergencies or danger. The sound of this bell was not gentle: it was very resonant and usually of a fairly good size.

Not only is a bell on a ship used as a dinner bell,it also serves as a warning to other vessels when the visibility is not good (in fog for example). In 1858, British Naval Regulations made it mandatory that ships ring their bells in inclement weather. Today, maritime law requires all ships to carry a working bell. In 1798, Paul Revere made a bell weighing 242 pounds for the frigate Constitution known today as "Old Ironsides".

09 December 2010


They say that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach but the way to a woman's heart is with chocolate! Any size, any shape any form!It doesn't matter whether the chocolate is mixed in milk, frosts a cake or comes in bar form.

You can never miss with chocolate as a gift for birthdays, anniversaries or as a "thinking of you" gift. With Christmas just a couple of weeks away, it's great as a stocking stuffer. The beauty of chocolate is that you can buy as much or as little as you want at a time. Whether plain, with nuts, with various center, chocolate never misses the mark.

Get The Skin You've Always Wanted

Are you always trying to hide you face or your hands because of age spots? Whether they're caused by too much sun exposure over the years or the aging process, there's help available to lift away the damaged cells, even out skin tones or help reduce skin discoloration.

Teenagers and older people are often battling skin breakouts and acne and there are acne products that will show skin improvement within 3 days. The skin becomes cleaner and clearer thereby reducing additional breakouts without the use of harsh chemicals. Murad skin care products address many issues including aging and cellulite. There's a large selection of travel size products also that meet Federal size regulations so there's no interruption in a person's skin regime.

07 December 2010

Christmas Decorations Make Memories

Growing up, one of the Christmas season's traditions for my family was driving through our local park to see the lighted holiday displays. Then we'd drive around in the surrounding residential areas to see who had outdone everyone else. My mother enjoyed decorating our house for the holidays as this was her favorite time of the year. Every year, the decorations and displays got bigger and better. As a child, I loved seeing large Christmas decorations.

My family moved to Michigan over 30 years ago (from the East Coast). We learned that there was a huge "all year round" Christmas store about 30 miles away in Frankenmuth, MI. They are open 361 days a year and are a worldwide tourist attraction. They carry every imaginable ornament and decoration. My husband and I would take our 2 daughters up there at least once a year because the store kept growing and growing. It was especially fun to go in the summer when the temperatures were high. Large Christmas decorations were every where. Trains ran on tracks close to the ceiling, dolls were swinging on swings, animated animals and characters were moving about and some were singing. I thought we had seen everything in the way of holiday decorations.

06 December 2010

Should States Require Motorcycle Helmets?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) almost 5,000 motorcycle related deaths occurred in 2006. Several states require motorcycle helmets for driver and their passenger. Several states have laws covering only the riders and 3 states have no helmet laws at all. Many states with motorcycle helmet laws are repealing them.

NHTSA, reports that 65% of fatally injured riders in 2006 were not wearing helmets compared to 13% in states that have rider helmet laws. The largest increase in motorcycle fatalities from 2006-2008 was in the age group 50 and above. The group still having the largest percent of fatal crashes was in the 20-29 year age range. 27% of those who died in vehicle accidents with a blood alcohol level of .08 or more were on motorcycles. Without question, those drivers and riders involved in accidents who were wearing helmets such as HJC helmets saw a reduction in fatalities.

Thinking About A New Car?

Is that "old rattle-trap" you're driving around costing you more for it's upkeep than it's worth? Time to think about looking into getting a new car but aren't sure of the best way to begin? Then a car encyclopedia is just the place for your to start your search.

Are you thinking about possibly purchasing a Lexus LS 460? It can be purchased with AWD (all wheel drive) with an 8 speed automatic transmission or RWD (rear wheel drive) which also comes with an 8 speed automatic transmission. Maybe you're thinking of purchasing a Porsche 911 which comes in several models including a 2 door Coupe or 2 door Cabriolet.

If a Fiat 500 is your car of choice, you'll get twin turbo chargers and 415 horsepower. It's a sporty car with a clean look. Why wait? Wouldn't it be nice to find yourself in a new car for the new year?

03 December 2010


Water is something that's been taken for granted ever since the time of the first man. We all assumed it would be there whenever we wanted. Not True. The use of rain barrels is one the easiest ways to conserve water. I remember visiting my grandparents when I was little. They made use of rain water barrels decades ago. Part of the reason they saved water was due the hard economic times they grew up in and part was due to the fact that clothes washed in rain water kept them very soft. My grandmother also used the rain water to wash her hair. It always smelled good and was very soft to the touch. Her barrel was the old wooden type.

Rain harvesting is vital if the world is going to survive. Rain forests are the world's oldest living ecosystem. They currently cover only 6% of the earth's surface but contain more that 1/2 of the world's plant and animal specimens which provide both food and medical products. A rain forest is described as a tall dense jungle. The reason it's called a "rain" forest is because of the high amount of rain it gets each year (usually between 68-78"). The climate is very hot and humid so the plants and animals that live there learn to adapt to the climate.

Start thinking "water conservation". Time's wasting so start now. Water conservation is vital and capturing rain water is necessary and EASY!!! Our eco-syetem depends on it!

27 November 2010

Is The Food You Eat Nutritious and Heart Healthy?

It can be difficult to get all of the proper nutrients we need in our diets and without them we are prone to a number of health problems. We’re all guilty of it: instead of cooking a healthy meal after a long day at work, we pick up some take-out on the way home. This is fine, if you only do it once in a while. But if this is something that is a lot more common for you than eating healthy, you need to take steps to make sure that you get all of the nutrients you need. So, how can you get these nutrients? By using dietary supplements

Although dietary supplements are really a 20th century thing, the ingredients used to make them have been used by people for thousands of years, in order to stay healthy and even treat illnesses. In fact, some of those treatments are the basis for much of today’s medicines. There are a number of uses for dietary supplements, including:

* To treat diseases and other illnesses
* To prevent illnesses
* To aid in weight loss
* To aid in weight gain

Many physicians recommend that their patients use dietary supplements if they have certain health issues, such as an inability to eat, meaning they are not getting the proper nutrients. Some doctors recommend dietary supplements to patients who are very obese, as a means of kick starting their weight loss.

Not all dietary supplements are safe, and in some cases, may even be dangerous. It is really important to discuss any dietary changes, including the addition of supplements, with your physician. He or she will be able to help you choose which one is best for you, based on your medical history and lifestyle. Some of the negative effects of dietary supplements include:

* Allergic reactions
* Interaction with prescription medication
* Poor manufacturing of supplements can lead to a number of health issues

Dietary supplements have their good and their bad features but for most people who use them, they are the best way for them to get all of the vitamins and nutrients they need to be healthy and happy, not to mention maintain a healthy weight and look terrific. There are many different types of dietary supplements and the one you choose will depend on your dietary needs.

***Check with a medical professional before using any supplements or starting a diet***

26 November 2010

Elephants In Arkansas?

That's right! Riddle's Elephant and Wildlife Sanctuary, located about 50 miles north of Little Rock Arkansas, has been in business 20 years. "Elephant Weekends" are held approximately 6 times a year. One of the owners, Scott Riddle has trained and managed elephants for 44 years and has both African (see left picture) and Asian (see right picture) elephants at the Sanctuary. The Sanctuary is on 330 acres and there are also horses and a rooster that gives the morning wake-up call.

A weekend adventure includes hands-on- experiences with the elephants that could be bathing the huge animals, brushing mud from their bristly hairs or using a metal rasp to file toenails to a rounded edge.

The buildings were built with grants, donated funds and even donated wood and metal. There are currently 8 elephants, both male and female at the Sanctuary including a 2 year old African elephant who like to eat marshmallows.

24 November 2010

Give The Gift Of Food

Does the person really need the sweater or tie you'll be giving them this Christmas? Do you need the shirt or bathrobe that you'll be getting this year? Do your children really need all the toys and gadgets they'll get? Probably not on all accounts.

Please consider a gift of food. Make a donation in a person's name to your local food bank or shelter. Find out if there might be missions that could use non-perishable foods. Are there soup kitchens that need something? Communities contine to struggle and need help to feed the hungry and your dollars will be stretched. The person in whose honor you made the donation will be notified of your gift and many people will be helped.

If there's no food bank or shelter in your area, contact your local American Red Cross for suggestions on what you can do to help the less fortunate.

23 November 2010

One Step at a Time

The "E" word - EXERCISE !!! Don't like it! Don't want to do it! Know I have to!

I know I need to:

  • Start moving. You don't have to join a gym or get a trainer
  • Get a partner. It's easier to stick to plan if you have someone to hold you accountable
  • Shop smart. Make a list of healthy food options before going to the store
  • STICK WITH IT!. Giving up is a major temptation

    Start out by talking a walk around the block or simply move for 15 minutes a day. Walking has the lowest drop-out rate of any physical activity. Research has shown that the benefits of walking and moderate exercise (for at least 30 minutes a day) will:

    Reduce the risk of coronary heart disease

    Improve high blood pressure Reduce the risk of osteoporosis

    Reduce the risk of breast and colon cancer

    Learn what the American Heart Association recommends for physical activity and check with your doctor before starting an exercise program or major lifestyle change.

  • If You Don't Have it, You're In Trouble

    In today's economy, your $$$ are already being stretched to the limit and hopefully, you're not just now realizing that you're car insurance has lapsed or that you don't have enough coverage. Has your child taken your car without your permission and called to tell you that they have just been involved in an accident with another vehicle?

    There are many scary scenarios involving too little or no auto insurance. If you're a first time driver looking for insurance, you can be overwhelmed by the terminology you'll see or hear while comparing companies and coverage. What is bodily injury liability coverage? What is comprehensive? What are deductibles and how will they affect me? Am I better off choosing a higher or lower deductible? How do I know which one is better? How do I know I have the right amount of coverage? Do I have too much or too little coverage? There are many factors that impact insurance rates including the age and driving history. On and on go the questions even for experienced drivers. Find out the answers before purchasing insurance to be sure that you have the right coverage for you. iSelect insurance will help you every step of the way and you'll be able to "comparison shop" other auto insurance companies.

    21 November 2010

    "Mary Had a Little Lamb ..."

    Mary had a little lamb,
    Little lamb, little lamb,
    Mary had a little lamb,
    Its fleece was white as snow

    Everywhere that Mary went,
    Mary went, Mary went,
    Everywhere that Mary went
    The lamb was sure to go

    It followed her to school one day
    School one day, school one day
    It followed her to school one day
    Which was against the rules.

    It made the children laugh and play,
    Laugh and play, laugh and play,
    It made the children laugh and play
    To see a lamb at school

    And so the teacher turned it out,
    Turned it out, turned it out,
    And so the teacher turned it out,
    But still it lingered near

    And waited patiently about,
    Patiently about, patiently about,
    And waited patiently about
    Till Mary did appear

    "Why does the lamb love Mary so?"
    Love Mary so? Love Mary so?
    "Why does the lamb love Mary so?"
    The eager children cry

    "Why, Mary loves the lamb, you know."
    Loves the lamb, you know, loves the lamb, you know
    "Why, Mary loves the lamb, you know."
    The teacher did reply

    According to Wikipedia, the nursery rhyme was
    first published (as opposed to written) as an original poem by
    Sarah Josepha Hale on May 24, 1830, and was inspired by an actual incident.

    19 November 2010

    Classic Thanksgiving Meal Accessories

    Guest post written by Rachel Bowers

    This year I'm hosting my first ever Thanksgiving meal at mine and my husband's house. I'm really excited because we've only been here a few months and all of my family hasn't seen our new house yet. We could never host them in our old apartment because it wasn't big enough to accommodate everyone. So right now I'm in super Thanksgiving hostess mood and have been planning the menu like crazy.

    I'm not cooking all of the stuff though. I've been using my clear tv bundle to correspond with everyone and figure out what everyone's bringing. But for the stuff I'm making, I'm trying my best and have actually been practicing some of it this month on me and my husband to help prevent any food disasters on teh day.

    What I'm most excited about cooking though is apple cranberry sauce because I want to do traditional but with a twist that my family wonÕt be afraid to try out. Iove already made it once and me and my husband both really liked it so I hope that everyone else will like it too.

    17 November 2010

    Like Having a Living Doll

    New babies bring lots of happiness whether they're yours or the belong to someone else. Dressing them is half the fun. Girls have always had cute, adorable clothes but in the last few years baby clothes for boys have come a long way and are just as much fun to buy and put on as for girls.

    There's a huge selection even some gift sets for under $30.00. If you're planning on buying a gift before the birth of a baby, you'll be pleasantly surprise by the "unisex" items in the various collections. At this time of year, you'll find lots of "stocking stuffer" items of apparel too. Women's sweaters, tops and scarfs can also be purchased.

    There's No Place Like The Ocean

    The cold weather has started to arrive and some days the weatherman talks about the "possibility of snow". I don't want to be here when the first flake arrives so I've been looking into the web site Myrtle Beach hotel that offers resorts like The Horizon at 77. It will meet all of my vacationing needs and desires. When traveling, I like my comforts and this hotel certainly has lots of them. I can choose from suites that have 1, 2 0r 3 bedrooms and a private balcony to watch glorious sunrises and sunsets. This resort is in the heart of Myrtle Beach but feels like it's in a different world, away from the normal hustle and bustle of everyday living.

    If I book with Myrtle Beach best hotels like The Horizon at 77, I can take advantage of many special offers and packages that can include special rates for accommodations, daily breakfasts, 2 adult and 2 children's tickets with VIP seating at Legends in Concert and discounted adult tickets for Ripley's Aquarium.

    A Myrtle Beach location offers access to entertainment and activities for the whole family including aquariums, walking trails, golf courses and more. Watching sunrises and sunsets is a great way to start and end each day. Why wait? Log onto http://www.horizonmyrtlebeach.com today and start planning your "snow flake" get-away NOW!!!!

    16 November 2010

    A Different View of Life

    We're used to seeing things straight on so wouldn't it be great to see a view of your house from up above? My daughter had her house photographed about 10 years ago with aerial photography and it's fun to see the changes that have occurred. There was very little landscaping when she moved in and over the years she and her husband have planted several trees. To see what the landscaping originally looked like and what it looks like now is amazing.

    If you're looking into colleges, wouldn't it be great to see the layout of the different institutions with college/university aerial video tours? You'll be able to see the property and architecture unhindered. Thinking of playing on a new golf course? Wouldn't it be nice to see "the lay of the land" with a golf course aerial video tour? You'd be able to see the demographics of each hole and the layout of the entire course with the actual colors.

    15 November 2010

    The Tuskegee Airmen

    Dedicated! Proud! Determined! These are just a few of the words that can be used to describe the Tuskegee Airmen who were America's first Black (African American) military airmen who fought in World War II as the 332nd Fighter Group of the U.S. Army Air Corps. This was unique as the military was racially segregated and subjected to racial discrimination. Many states were still subject to the "Jim Crow laws".

    They had to qualify both mentally and physically to be accepted into the aviation cadet training program and were very successful in their missions as bomber escorts in Europe. Many people thought that black men lacked intelligence, skill, courage and patriotism. Those who passed the qualifications and were accepted as aviation cadets were initially trained on single engine pilots and later as twin-engine pilots, navigators or bombardiers. Their "RED TAIL" planes (see picture at right) became famous. Many were college graduates or undergraduates.

    The standards were not lowered for these men who trained as pilots or trained in operations, meteorology, intelligence and engineering. enlisted men were trained as aircraft and engine mechanics, radio repairmen, parachute riggers, control tower operators and many other areas.

    The black airmen who became single-engine or multi-engine pilots were trained at Tuskegee Army Air Field (TAAF) in Tuskegee, AL. The first aviation class began in July 1941. Thirteen started the class and five completed the training nine months later. From 1941-1946, 994 pilots graduated at TAAF, receiving commissions and pilot's wings. After the war in Europe, black airmen returned to the United States and once again faced racism and bigotry.

    Watch Out Sandtraps!!! I'm On My Way!!!

    Have you started planning your winter vacation? Are you an avid golfer or a novice? Then here's the place to consider for your snow time get-away. Check into what happening in the Myrtle Beach area before you go any further.

    http://www.myrtlebeachseasideresorts.com/ features many vacation/golf options including booking your tee times and accommodations at the same time. You'll find top notch golf courses and several packages especially designed for your golfing vacation. Golf packages Myrtle Beach have something for everybody. The packages are tailored for 5 magnificent courses: Burroughs and Chapin which is a collection of courses, Myrtle Beach National, Glens Group (includes Glen Dornoch, Heather Glen, Shaftsbury Glen and Possum Trot), The Cats (Ocean Ridge Plantation, Leopard's Chase, Panther's Run, Lion's Paw) and the Mystical Group.

    Your stay in Myrtle Beach offers many adventures for the whole family. You'll be able to choose from top-notch hotels, resorts and rental properties that feature rooms as well as one, two and three bedroom condo suites. There are many recreational activities for the entire family in the area including parks, museums, amusements and shows.

    When you log onto www.myrtlebeachseasideresorts.com/, you'll find Seaside Resorts. Located on North Myrtle Beach it has a white sand beach, a professional staff and all the amenities for your dream vacation. Swimming, sailing, surfing and golf are some of the activities you can do as you let the cares of the daily grind back home float away. Golfers have a choice of 108 golf courses that cater to players of all skill levels. There's something for everyone to do at Myrtle Beach including entertainment, activities and attractions.

    12 November 2010

    The Colors Of Love

    Love can be red, like the intense heat of a passionate kiss
    .....the color of sweetness
    .....the color of strawberries

    Love can be blue, like the comfort we take in a pair of denim jeans
    .....the color of strength
    .....the color of perfect skies

    Love can be yellow, bright and warm like the morning sun
    .....like the sounds of laughters of children on the merry-go-round
    .....like the sounds of fun from the boys flying kites in the open fields

    Love can be green, peaceful and serene I can hear your heart beats
    .....it is the feeling of a loving hand that touch a grieving heart
    .....it is the whispering of trusting words to a distressing soul

    Love can be orange, the loudness of it can drive you up a wall
    .....it can drive you to sing like nobody is listening
    .....it can drive you to dance like nobody is watching

    Love can be purple, the courage we need to love bravely and unselfishly
    .....the moment I first kiss you I know that I am not afraid to risk involvement
    .....the day the declaration of your love for me was made known to the world

    Contributed by Arun Kumar

    10 November 2010

    Don't Wait to Donate: blood is always needed!!!

    There is always a need for blood donation especially around the holidays as there are more vehicle accidents and the need increases considerably. But every day, there is someone somewhere who needs blood. Currently only 3 out of 10 Americans donate blood.

    The majority of donated blood goes to people with cancer, victims of traumatic accidents, those who have suffered burns or people undergoing surgery. Donated plasma is used to make 17 different products and contains important proteins, nutrients and clotting factors. Platelets are used to help clot blood and seal wounds. Leukemia and chemotherapy can reduce platelet count.

    Blood has a short shelf life: platelets (up to 5 days), red cells (42 days) and plasma (up to 1 year) so the supply has to be constantly renewed.

    Donated blood is always tested for blood type, Rh groups (positive/negative) and cell abtibodies. The blood is also tested for infectious diseases including HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and Human T-cell Lymhpotropic Virus-HTL.

    For information or to donate, contact your local American Red Cross or visit www.givelife.org or call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (1-800-448-3543).

    There's Help After a Fire

    When your home has been damaged by fire and the ensuing water that was used to put it out, your whole life seems devastated. How will you begin to put your life back together? Many things have to be done to get your house restored including work to the ceilings, walls, floors, carpets and anything else that was damaged. Home water damage repair Austin is one way to get started in the recovery process. When you use thesteamteam.com (on call 24/7), your water removal process will take place right away because the longer water stands, the more damage there is. Not only does the water have to be removed, air movement and dehumidifying have to take place to be sure any trace of moisture is gone.

    Fire damage contractors Austin know how to work with the destruction a fire leaves behind. They understand the chemical reactions that have taken place during the fire as a result of many synthetic materials (found in furniture, appliances etc.) being heated or burned. Content cleaning and deodorizing are two of the things that get done during this process. Musty odor removal Austin gets rid of the "stinkies" that are left behind. When materials and fabrics have been fire/water damaged, there is always bacteria that can produce mold, mildew and odors if not properly taken care of.

    09 November 2010

    Is It Too Late To Get Cheap Auto Insurance Alabama?

    In today's economy your money is being stretched in many directions. Your car insurance doesn't have to be one of those areas. Hopefully, this isn't a picture of your car in a crash with you now realizing that you're auto insurance has lapsed or that you don't have enough coverage. Has your child taken your car without your permission and called to tell you that they have just been involved in an accident with another vehicle? There are many scary scenarios involving too little or no insurance. If you're a first time driver looking for insurance, you can be overwhelmed by the terminology you'll see or hear while comparing companies and coverage. What is bodily injury liability coverage? What is comprehensive coverage? What are deductibles and how will they affect you? Am I better off choosing a higher or lower deductible? How do I know which one is better? How do I know I have the right amount of coverage? Do I have too much or too little coverage? There are many factors that impact insurance rates including the age and driving history. On and on go the questions even for experienced drivers.

    While searching the Internet for auto insurance companies, I found a web site that is very user friendly: cheap auto insurance Alabama. No matter what kind of car you drive, you can always be insured!!!! No more saying "I can't afford it!" Log onto their web site and see how easy and fast it is to get a quote. I tried it and it's very self-explanatory. First, I entered my zip code when I was taken to the next page, then clicked " on "Get Quotes" again. I could then get auto insurance quotes from several major insurance providers including Progressive and Unitrin Direct with prices based on the state I live in (Michigan). When I clicked on the individual sites, I entered my name, address, date of birth (don't worry: the sites asking for personal information are secure sites) and clicked "enter". The next page asked for type, year, make and model of the vehicle that was to be insured (auto, van, truck or SUV), then I provided details on the use of the vehicle (business, personal, pleasure or farming), whether I owned or leased the vehicle and if it had an anti-theft device. The next page asked for personal information including marital status, Social Security number (remember, this is a secure site), information on accidents and auto claims, whether there would be additional drivers, a little bit more info and then onto a personalized quote for you and your vehicle.

    It took less than 8 minutes to complete the process in the comfort of my own home. There is also a toll-free number for people to use if they are uncomfortable putting their personal information on the Internet. Why wait? Get a free auto insurance quote today!

    Love The Ocean? Love the Sand?

    If you love the ocean and sand and are looking for a Long Beach apartment, then you'll want to look into apartments at 1900 Ocean, an eighteen story hi-rise complex which affords an ocean view.

    1900 Ocean is an exclusive community which has a 24 hour doorman and a state-of-the-art fitness center. With a private balcony, you'll be able to watch exquisite sunrises and sunsets. Long Beach listings lets you check availability so that you'll get the exact property to meet all your needs.

    Rentals in Long Beach CA are also available and are a renter's dream. Each apartment includes a refrigerator, microwave, private balcony and more. It's easy to download an application and start the process for your life of living in luxury.

    07 November 2010

    Don't Forget Our Feathered Friends During The Winter

    Blue jays are natural forest dwellers but are highly adaptable and intelligent. Their call "Jay! Jay!" is one of the sounds the bird uses and can do an excellent imitation of hawk calls. They are known to eat eggs or nestlings but they are mostly vegetarian eating acorns, nuts seeds and sometimes caterpillars, grasshoppers and beetles. Jays may store acorns in the ground and often forget where they put them.

    Cardinals can be found year round in the eastern U.S. and due to their popularity are the state bird for several states. The male is very aggressive when he develops a territory and often will mistakenly attack his own reflection in windows. The male feeds the female during courtship and mates for life. They build their nests in shrubbery or heavily branched trees. The male Cardinal keeps it's red plumage all year long.

    Both Cardinals and Blue jays like similar seeds as do several other birds:

    Black oil sunflower seeds - attracts cardinals, woodpeckers, blue jays, goldfinches, purple finches and chickadees

    Nyger - attracts goldfinches

    Safflower seeds - attracts chickadees, titmice and downy woodpeckers

    Suet - provides concentrated energy to help birds make it through freezing winter (woodpeckers love it).

    source: birdwatching.com

    05 November 2010

    When The Wind Blows

    Wind, as defined by Wikipedia, is "the flow of air or other gases that compose an atmosphere." It plays a very important part in our existence. Without it, we'd all fry from the heat of the sun as it makes up the bulk of movement of the air. Adversely, too much wind is equally dangerous with surging tides engulfing whole towns and cities. Weather vanes show the direction of the wind. The word "vane" comes from the Anglo-Saxon word "fane" meaning "flag". In my post of 7/2/09, I raised the question of whether wind turbines are slowing down or not as there has been an increase in the number of low or no wind days in the Midwest and wind measurements show wind speeds falling along parts of the Northern Plains.

    Is climate change affecting wind, a source of power? Wind energy seems to be dying down across the United States. and the cause may be global warming. Sandra Pryor, an atmospheric scientist at Indiana University asserts that there's been a jump in the number of low or no wind days in the Midwest and wind measurements show wind speeds falling along/east of the Mississippi River. Texas and parts of the Northern Plains don' t show as much slowing. Northern Maine, western Montana, Michigan and Georgia show some of the biggest drops in wind speed. One of the things Pryor said that can slow wind speeds are changing conditions such as growing trees or buildings being erected near the wind gauges. These can skew data. Several other experts agree that there are signs of decreasing wind speeds and that global warming is probably the cause.

    People have watched and tested wind changes for centuries as it is important to know for both work and play. Occasionally, you'll see a person stick their wet finger in the air as a cost effect weather vane. My grandfather used to do that. I remember going to visit my grandparents on their farm. It was a typical one with the red paint chipping off the barn, the pig pen (they were really prickly to touch), the cows and other animals. I loved to watch their weather vane turn. I don't remember if it had a design, but knowing them, it was probably more utilitarian than decorative.

    Color! Color! and More Color!

    Window box planters are just the thing to add color outside your home. Available in many sizes, shapes and materials including aluminum, concrete, fiberglass, steel and more, you're only limited by your creativity. Plastic planters are an excellent way to have a maintenance-free garden planter. They are solid and lightweight. They are also rot free and insect and moisture resistant and will not crack, warp or splinter. eplanters.com is an excellent website to visit to help you get started with your gardening needs. They carry a a large selection of liners and and other accessories too. There's something for everyone even apartment dwellers. If you live in an area with little rainfall don't want to worry as an outdoor planter is easy to maintain.

    Many products are shipped free (see notes about shipping on shipping/returns page) within the 48 contiguous United States. They're shipped by UPS Ground Service and shipping upgrades are available at an additional price. eplanters.com is your one-stop-shopping center for all you plant and flower box/planter needs.

    04 November 2010

    Moving Should Not Be a Problem

    Moving is always a stressful task whether it's job related, a move due to economic circumstances or any of a hundred other reasons. You want to know that you're getting honest house removal costs and that's guaranteed when you get your quotes from thehouseremovalscompany.com/uk. If you're moving your house or business, you can get up to six free quotes when you log onto their web site from reputable movers.

    Those who have moved know that packing is the worst part of the move. Cupboards and garages seem to be two of the most difficult areas to pack but usually contain the items you need the most. You want to know that all of your possessions are secure and safe in the move. Use professional, not family and friends as the cost savings is not usually worth the hassle and headaches that seem to pop up as a result.

    02 November 2010

    The Stability of Gold

    Gold originally was not used for it's monetary value: it was made into jewelry, used to decorate sacred locations and made into shrines and idols ("The Golden Calf"). Gold was excavated in Turkey during 2350 - 2600 B.C. and was valued and owned by the powerful. Prisoners of war were often sent to work in the mines to harvest gold. Today, the monetary value of gold is accepted all over the world and many people have a gold IRA. Even when the world economy was low in the last several years, gold has kept it's value. An ounce of gold has seen a continuous increase in value and is still recognized around the world as a solid monetary commodity.

    We'd all love to have the gold bullion in this room but we know that's unrealistic. Did you know that if you had been buying bullion during the 70's and had purchased $25,000.00 in gold bullion, it would be worth approximately $524.999.00 today? It makes you stop and realize how great an opportunity you are missing out on. It's not too late to put gold into your portfolio for your future.

    Goldcoinsgain.com can help you with your investing decisions and help you learn about and understand how to buy gold bullion. They have experience in working with and delivering gold. Often called the "crisis commodity" many investors have been putting gold into their 401K's. Despite the slumping economy in the last couple of years, gold has remained strong. Besides being the one of the oldest forms of money, it can help offset market fluctuations. Don't get left behind any longer. Look into how easy it is to buy bullion.

    01 November 2010

    Leonardo DiCaprio Lives "GREEN"

    Two very recognizable symbols are the ones for recycling and composting. But what is the difference between the 2 processes? The composting process refers only to what can be "composted" which is the bio-degradation of organic matter, such as yard waste and food. This process, usually done by a garden composter is performed by micro-organisms, mostly bacteria, but also yeasts and fungi. There are many contributors to the different phases of decomposition including earthworms and fruit flies. Composting is usually not considered as recycling.

    Recycling involves processing used materials into new products to prevent waste, reduce pollution (both air and water) and to reduce the need for conventional waste disposal. Recyclable materials include glass, paper, metal, textiles and electronics. For the processing of some materials either garden composters or recycling bins are used. The materials are either brought to a collection center or picked up curbside and sorted and reprocessed into new materials.

    How does Leonardo DiCaprio figure into all of this? He has been an avid supporter of the "green movement" and the environment for many years and practices what he preaches. He recently moved into a $9M environmentally correct apartment in New York City. His apartment has rotating solar panels that provide 10% of his power. Leonardo says that he lives in the "green manner" and has released a feature length documentary "11th Hour" which focuses on the problems facing the planet's life systems. This film was done with the help of over 50 of the most prominent thinkers and activists including Mikhail Gorbachev and physicist Stephen Hawking. Global warming, deforestation, species extinction and depletion of ocean habitats are addressed. The feature offers hope and solutions. The "11th Hour" calls for a healthier future and this includes recycling and composting.

    31 October 2010

    Medical Marijuana: still a VERY hot topic!!

    The medical use of marijuana has been a hot topic especially in the last decade. Recently, South Park (Comedy Central) did a segment on what lengths some people will go to in order to get a prescription for medical marijuana. In the last few years, many marijuana dispensing sites have opened up throughout the country.

    I live in Michigan which is one of 13 states where "medicinal marijuana" is legal and many of these dispensing sites have had to withstand picketing, harassment and now several are closed. No one wants these dispensing clinics in their neighborhood due to the "low element" that might infiltrate their area even though the "Michigan Medical Marijuana Act" was approved 11/4/08 and went into effect 12/4/08. This is not a "problem" that seemed to appear out of no where but an issue that has been around for a long time.

    Marijuana, the most commonly used illegal drug in the US is taken from the leaves and flowering tops of the Cannabis Saliva plant. It first became popular in the United States in the 1920's and can also come in a concentrated, resinous form called hashish and a sticky black liquid called hash oil. The average potency has increased over the past 20 years.

    Marijuana can be smoked in many ways:

    • Rolled into joints (marijuana cigarettes)
    • Blunts (marijuana rolled into the leaf wrap of a hallowed-out cigar)
    • Use of a vaporizer
    One of the dangers of smoking marijuana is the possibility that it has been laced with other, more dangerous substances such as crack, cocaine PCP or even embalming fluid. With unregulated drugs such as marijuana, the user has no way of knowing what has been added.

    Doctors in Michigan approve the medical use of marijuana for treatment of chronic/debilitating medical conditions such as: cancer, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, hepatitis C, Crohn's Disease, agitation of Alzheimer's disease, severe nausea ( especially as a result of chemotherapy), and seizures.

    I feel the option of medical marijuana should be available to people who have conditions where their pain can be eased and the quality of their life (especially for those who are terminally ill) can be improved or at least maintained.