Friday, December 13, 2013

Start Baking Bread

I was born and raised in the south, but have never baked my own loaf of bread.

However, after finding this cool website about how easy it is to bake a simple loaf of bread, I've decided that I WILL DO THIS before the end of the year.

I remember when I lived in Conway, SC, in the early 1990s, my Sunday School teacher, Nell Vereen, brought me the most delicious loaf of homemade bread I ever tasted. She did that a couple of times. She probably didn't believe me when I told her she made my day! But I was serious, I enjoyed every tiny bread crumb of it.

I truly wanted to try it, but at the time, I was lassoing a husband and four children, so I didn't have much time to try something new.

Now that I find myself analyzing every single ingredient of everything I purchase, I think it would actually save time to make some of these items myself.

And what better time to start baking bread than during the holidays, right?

Let us Bake Bread and Break Bread Together!

Now that I actually understand what is happening with all that kneading, rising and stuff, it seems like a very logical process.

After the simple loaf, I'll move on to more daring ventures, such as adding butter and sugar! Yeah, I dream big, lol.

No worries though. The following recipe is in Lesson Two (where has this website been all my life?).

2 cups all-purpose enriched unbleached flour
1 cup bread flour (or all-purpose flour, if you do not have bread flour)
1 teaspoon yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 cup sugar
1 cup warm milk
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 - 1/2 cup lukewarm water

Your First Loaf - A Primer for the New Baker

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Another Look at Stress

It's been a stressful year for many people, that was preceded by another stressful year, and many are already stressing about what next year will bring.
Tired of Stress

Some of us even worry about the negative effects of stress, which creates more stress.

Meet Kelly McGonigal, PhD, health psychologist, author, lecturer at Stanford, and the lady who just enabled me to take another look at stress - for which I am eternally grateful.

If you deal with stress, and who doesn't, you owe it to yourself to watch this video.

If you handle stress just fine, then watch it anyway so you can share this concept with those who need it.

It's a painless way to do something for others, and give them a new perspective on stress.

You can also learn a bit about oxytocin, a powerful hormone / neurotransmitter.

Here's a teaser of what this brief Ted Talk will cover:

"...better for your health than trying to avoid discomfort."

Take another look at stress and make it your friend!

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Cause Versus Association

You've just entered a room where a person has been murdered. There is a person standing over the body, holding the smoking gun.

This is a puzzle of cause versus association.

There's no doubt that the person died of a gunshot wound (cause), but was the fatal bullet fired from that particular gun?

If that was the gun that fired the deadly shot, was the person holding the gun the person that actually fired the shot?

All of these questions have to be answered before any valid conclusions can be made.

Someone pulled the trigger on a gun that fired a shot that killed someone.

Just because there is a gun associated with the current scene, it does not make the associated gun the fatal weapon.

The same holds true for the person holding the gun. Just because a person is holding a gun while standing in a room where someone was shot and killed, does not mean that person did the killing, even if they are holding the murder weapon.

The gun and the person holding the gun are associated with the murder, but we do not yet know if they actually caused the murder.

A few years ago, I read an article that said people with high cholesterol levels developed cancer at a much lower rate than those with average cholesterol levels.

I was thrilled because I have high cholesterol.

A few years later, I read another health related article regarding the research, and the high cholesterol subjects involved in the study were also taking statin drugs to lower their cholesterol. It turned out that the statin drugs being taken to reduce cholesterol were also helping to ward off cancer.

So, high cholesterol is still not a good thing.

Today, I read an article about colon cancer and I wrote this article mainly to give kudos to the writer of that article, who included all the details and explained that the association found does not necessarily mean that they have found a cause.

The study found an association, not a cause-and-effect link, between gut bacterial diversity and colon cancer.

Kudos to Cari Nierenberg for explaining the meaning or lack thereof, of this recent finding regarding colon cancer and gut bacteria.

When reading medically related articles, make sure you understand the conditions of the research, and the true cause versus association relevance.

Read the full article at

Be Well!

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Surviving High Cholesterol

I've dealt with the perils of high cholesterol since I was 30. My LDL (bad) levels tend to go up about a hundred points with every decade of my age. Well, until now, I hope. I actually haven't had it checked since shortly after it reached 400. No insurance and no money for doctors, you know.

Anyway, back to the cholesterol...

Along with that 400 LDL, I had 20 HDL = and that's the scary part.

Also, I now have those tell-tale signs of cholesterol, a little lump that appears overnight on your eyelid and never goes away unless you conquer the cholesterol problem. Mine appeared in April of 2009 (yes, I remember when!). Fortunately, I wear glasses now, so its blatantly pushy place on my face is minimized.

Surviving high cholesterol can be difficult for some, especially those for whom the statin drugs do not work. Hello, that would be me.

However, the homocysteine levels in the blood seem to play an even larger part in determining who is most at risk for strokes.

In other words, high cholesterol doesn't have to kill you.

Here are some tips and facts for those friends who are surviving high cholesterol. I found this excellent read over at

The 2013 cholesterol guidelines from the AHA recommend statin therapy — a medication that lowers cholesterol levels in the blood — for 4 groups of people:

  • Patients who have heart disease
  • Patients who have LDL cholesterol levels at 190 mg/dL or higher
  • Patients who are between 40 and 75 years old and have type 2 diabetes
  • And people between ages 40 and 75 who have a high risk of heart disease

Please follow the link to learn more about the dangers of High Cholesterol at Of all the articles I've read, this one is to the point, concise and easy to read along with tips and facts. 

To learn one of the ways we are surviving high cholesterol, take a look at and think "fiber" and Omega3, which you can pick up right now at Amazon - where 2 day shipping is free for Prime members (see link at end of article).

Check out Now Foods Certified Organic Flax Seeds which has a 5 star rating!

Til next time I am forever...

Surviving High Cholesterol

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Windows 8 Laptop

Many of my friends and acquaintances online have been having computer problems recently, so I thought I would take a moment and clarify the most common issue I have found on the Windows 8 Laptop.

Before I do that, let me add that HP has an amazing deal on a new laptop that comes in Winter Blue.

4GB Memory, 320GB Hard Drive AND Windows 8!

The best part about this deal is the price!

My daughter and I purchased this a couple of days ago (for her use at college) and we are still amazed by the price!

Plus, Microsoft Office does NOT come installed, which makes it easy to register your previously bought Office package. You just need to remember where you wrote down that Product Registration Key! *Note that I hate preinstalled software.

If you're looking into purchasing MS Office for a college student, make sure you look into discounts offered through their school.

HP 2000-2d19wm 15.6-Inch Laptop PC (Winter Blue) / 4GB DDR3 RAM Memory

Be sure to check out the direct link below through Amazon.

Windows 8

If your new computer has Windows 8 already installed, then you absolutely qualify to receive all of the updates released for Windows 8.

The best way to receive them is by allowing Windows to automatically update as needed.

The problem with the new computers and Windows 8 Laptops is that there is at least one critical update that needs to be downloaded and installed before you can update your Windows 8 to the latest release.

The Windows 8.1 update option will NOT appear until the other updates have been installed. So download and install ALL of your updates, and THEN the Update to Windows 8.1 will magically appear. If it doesn't, reboot the computer and check again.

This little glitch has made many think that they needed to pay for the updates to Windows 8, which is NOT true.

This same problem may occur if you are upgrading to Windows 8.

To set your system to automatically update:

In Windows 7
Click on Windows start button in bottom left corner of screen.
Select Control Panel from that menu.
Go to Control Panel; select Windows Updates
Click on Change Settings
Select "Install automatically" (recommended)

In Windows 8, you can just swipe the mouse cursor in from the top right corner of the screen and then type in Windows Updates in the search box and proceed.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Coy Eye Contact

Just read an interesting article on how our body stance and positions can give off the wrong impressions on a subconscious level.

I agreed with most of them, except for the one about women looking over their glasses at someone instead of raising their chin and looking directly into someone's eyes. Apparently, this is considered "Coy Eye Contact" or flirting. Really?

I beg to differ.

Perhaps this is true of younger adults but as one who does this frequently, I know for a fact that it does not always imply coyness or flirting. Actually, I would say that in my case it implies that we won't be talking for very long. At least not long enough for me to bother to take my glasses off.

A prime and more reliable example of the innocence of this gesture immediately comes to mind...

Former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright did this frequently when speaking to the press, and I don't think she was flirting.

What say you?

You can read the entire article at

By the way, if I look at you over my glasses I am NOT being coy!

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Evergreens That Repel Bees

My room-mates and I have decided to plant some evergreen plants in front of the house and I've been having a hard time figuring out what to plant.

I love bees, butterflies and birds, but unfortunately, we need to find flowers, plants or shrubs that repel bees because at least two of us are deathly allergic to bees. Since we park in front of the house and have only a car's length front yard depth, this is definitely an issue. So please don't post to fuss.

Many of the bees here in Arizona will sting without provocation.

As I said before - I love the bees, we need the bees, and God save the bees - but they can't be right outside our front door.

For some strange reason, some people tend to get angry when you mention that you want to repel bees. How dare we! This is so common now that it is hard to find information on keeping the deadly stingers away from those who might die in their presence. But I shall not give up!

Here are our issues:

We live in Arizona, we have full sun in the front yard, we're already experiencing problems with moths, and the plants we choose have to be able to survive with very little water.

Oh, and we want evergreens.

And don't forget - they must NOT have a strong attraction to bees.

Not much to ask of Mother Nature, right?

So I'm gathering my information here primarily so I won't lose it. {grin} The second reason is that others may be looking for the same information on evergreens that repel bees.

The first thing to do is determine which "zone" you live in. You need to know this because as you are searching for the perfect shrub or tree, it will tell you which zone is best for that plant.

Here's the link for determining your zone:

Just enter your zip code and hit "GO."
I'm in zone 9A.

Next, I found a site that lists plants and evergreens that repel bees, but only for zones 4 through 8:

The above site did mention Feverfew, but another site mentioned that feverfew can irritate skin allergies. Guess what, that's a problem for us too!

BUT - maybe a plant or two of feverfew...
hanging from the porch rafters...
I'll have to give that some thought.

Just found a video that said to plant smaller plants to repel the bees. View it here:

Feel free to post your solutions.


I'll update as I find answers.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

GOP Boozing It Up on House Floor

So the GOP was boozing it up last night?

AND on the House floor?


Maybe they needed the drinks to help shut down the remaining threads of conscience buried deep in their hearts... assuming they have any left.

Shutting down the government just might shut down the GOP too.

Do we dare hope?

GOP Boozing It Up on House Floor While Voting for Shutdown | Liberals Unite

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Feeling So Sad

Sometimes I find myself feeling so sad that it's hard to focus on anything worthwhile.

I can hear the bombs, the screams, the gunfire and the grief filled sobbing and moaning after every attack. It happens so frequently that on most days I cannot even keep account of the number of times this violence occurs.

But what disturbs me mostly is the group of people that are content to sit on the sidelines and watch these unspeakably disturbing visuals day after day. It's the same group all the time. They always manage to remain at a safe distance from the violence they are viewing.

Sometimes they scream words such as "Wow or whoa!"

Luckily, I won't be subjected to as much of this dreadful violence for much longer.

College is starting this week, and since all three of my male room mates are attending classes, they will not have as much time to watch these horribly violent "action packed" movies. {grin}

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Brains Beetles and Dung

Beetle 1
Brains, Beetles, and Dung

As above so below
said the lightning to the bug

what it means - who should know
say the wise among the smug

the beetle and the brain
from above seem the same

Beetle Images
Beetle 2

The peculiar image captioned as Beetle 1, is the human brain, which is responsible for physical movement. Cute little Beetle 2 is also responsible for physical movement and is utilized by most humans. Beetle 3 is was an Egyptian scarab beetle that legend says is responsible for moving the sun across the sky.

Food Source
It feeds off of whatever the mind and body ingests, which could often be referred to as dung. It feeds off of oil, which is responsible for air pollution and war. Therefore, it feeds off of dung.

It lives in, breeds in and feeds off of dung.
It's a very powerful thing, the brain. Computers have not yet mastered the intricate workings of the brain. It is so powerful, that we have yet to determine all it is capable of.It's a very powerful machine, this beetle, capable of the combined powers of many horses, also known as horsepower in the automotive world.

The scarab's power to come from dung and move the sun, makes it more powerful than the previous two, at least in theory.
The God Factor
The brain is where humans accept or dismiss the concept of God. Others believe that this is the connecting force of God, spirit and the physical human. Regardless of what one believes, those beliefs take place in the brain. Thoughts about God are responsible for the death and destruction of peoples and nations who do not agree with a collective consensus shared by religious groups. The automobile and its food source are worshiped by many, in word and deed. It is worshiped by individuals of all ages, and by most modernized nations. This worship has been responsible for death and destruction via wars that are waged to determine who will control the food source for this machine.

According to the ancient Egyptians, it is sacred because it springs from dung, which is the same thing as coming from nothing, just as God did. The scarab's strength and powers make it nearly synonymous with the Egyptian sun god, Ra. Scarab beetles are designed into charms and amulets that are worn by humans in an effort to bring good luck.
Interesting Links

No God SpotIraq War over oilEgyptian Scarab Beetle

Poem and research by Sandra Cobb
Condition of poet at time of writing: sleep deprived

Monday, June 17, 2013

Make Your Own Tooth Whitener

White Sage Ceremonial Powder

Tooth whiteners are expensive and sometimes toxic.

I was quite excited to find this recipe to make your own tooth whitener at

Many of the ingredients have multiple uses and I am looking forward to acquiring them.

I already use Peppermint Essential Oil in my diffuser to help invigorate a floundering metabolism. My daughter uses bentonite clay in her homemade facial mask, and of course we have sea salt.

My white sage is for smudging, so I can't wait to get the powdered form from Mountain Rose Herbs.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Adding the Pin It Button to Blogger

Adding the Pin It button to Blogger has been driving me a bit crazy today. I found the code to insert easy enough, but isolating the exact image url is next to impossible unless you first upload into a Blogger post.

So that's what this is. Now that I've uploaded I can copy the image url to insert in the Pin It code.

Nice Pinit pic but not needed.


The original code I used with the picture above did not work. However, I found the javascript code that did work and I did not need to upload that image after all.

It's a two step process. First you need to backup your template and then insert the javascript link into the template.

Next, you need to copy and paste the javascript code into a widget.

If you're looking for the code and the instructions, you can find them over at

Sunday, June 09, 2013

My Favorite Use of Lavender Oil

I love essential oils. My favorite is lavender.

Lavender essential oil is excellent for bedtime because it soothes the soul.

It smells delicious too.

You can use it on your dogs too. My chihuahua was a very nervous little soul. Whenever he would get upset, such as at bath time, I would simply dab some lavender oil on my finger and then gently rub it up the bridge of his nose. I would continue to rub that area as I cradled him in my arms and he would calm down. It was definitely obvious since chihuahuas tremble so much.

Lavender oil also works as an insect repellent. I frequently dab some on my clothing when I am planning to sit outside. It keeps mosquitoes away.

Now here's my favorite use of lavender oil.

Every morning, I drop just one little drop of lavender oil on my nightgown and then roll it up and place it in an air tight bag. This gives my gown that delicious aroma when I put it on at night and also helps calm me down for sleeping. I love it.

Try it.

You can also do this with your pillow case.

You can actually use this method for any item that you wish to infuse with aroma.

Peppermint oil is an excellent "pick me up" fragrance that can be used on articles of clothing.

Friday, April 05, 2013

Is the Bible the Word of God

The Bible is always a topic of controversy, even among those who consider it their sacred text.

The number one issue: is the Bible the word of God?

 I am reminded of the verse in the New Testament, where we are actually told that even the "word of truth" must be "rightly divided."

2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV) Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

As a student of the Bible for most of my life, I can honestly say that while I believe there is much to be learned from the Bible, it is not the world of God, but of humans.

There is much value in studying the Bible. You can actually learn what you truly believe - but only if you apply yourself and learn the truth.

I highly recommend acquiring Young/s Literal Translation of the Bible. That way you get to see the literal translation and not the views of those who wrote the various compilations of translations that exist today.

There are many levels or methods of reading the Bible. Rabbi Lurie has covered them well in the following article:

Rabbi Alan Lurie: Is the Bible the Word of God?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Smoothie King Offers Big Calories

The Smoothie King is just a couple of miles from my home, but it's going the wrong direction for most of my daily travels so I have not yet had the pleasure of trying one of their smoothies.

The weekly ads are pretty enticing, and now I'm learning that the Smoothie King offers big calories as well as great deals!

The Peanut Power Plus Grape Smoothie offered by Smoothie King sounds yummy, and it should. It sports a whopping 1,460 calories in the large size serving.

 I don't know about you, but when I get a smoothie, I'm kind of thinking it's a nice, healthy thing to do as far as food goes. Guess I need to have a more discerning eye on caloric intake.

 To see more outrageous meals being offered in America, click on the link below...

  Michael F. Jacobson: The Most 'Xtreme' Meals in America: "Peanut Power Plus Grape Smoothie. Some may think that sounds healthy, but a 40-ounce large size has 1,460 calories"

  'via Blog this'

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