Thursday, June 30, 2011

Canada Day - 2011

by Diane Forrest

Today we celebrate Canada Day.  Canada is a North American Country that borders the United States and the Atlantic Ocean.  It is also the second largest country in the world.

   Canada is under Queen Elizabeth's rule, but also has a Prime Minister, and Parliament.  The languages spoken are French and English, and are protected by the county Mounties.  My first recollections of Canada would have to be Dudley Do Right, in the Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons. 

Canada is known for its cold weather and winter sports.  It is home to Niagara Falls, and has the reputation for being a clean, eco-friendly country.  I visited Canada a few years ago...well..ok it was at Epcot, but they had a nice sampling of Canadian symbols including the Maple leaf flag and authentic county Mountie.
Some famous Canadians include:
  • Pam Anderson
  • Michael J. Fox
  • John Candy
  • Dan Ackroid
  • Jim Carrey
  • Wayne Gretzky
  • Howie Mandel
  • William Shatner
  • Justin Beiber
  • to name a few honor of Canada, sing a round of "Oh Canada", have some pancakes with Maple Syrup, and watch Back to the Future or Liar Liar, or some Star Trek episodes.

Top Ten Canadian Complaints Against Americans
  1. Won't acknowledge enormous cultural contributions of Howie Mandel.
  2. We're pretty sure they're holding Wayne Gretzky down there against his will.
  3. Every time we mention the city "Regina," they won't stop giggling.
  4. Incredibly, they only have one word for "snow"
  5. In American encyclopedias, Canada is often called "North Dakota's gay neighbor"
  6. They call it American cheese, even though it was invented by Canadian superstar Gordon Lightfoot
  7. They've never even heard of our most popular superhero, Captain Saskatchewan
  8. Two words: "Weird Al"
  9. Get all confused when we ask a question that ends with "eh?"
  10.  Not enough guys named "Gordie"
Quiz time!
  1. What is the largest country in the world?
  2. In the cartoon series Dudley Do-Right Show, who was the arch villain? 
  3. What was the name of Dudley's Horse? 
  4. What was the name of his romantic flame?

June is Rebuild Your Life Month

Earlier in the month, I started wonder why in the world folks would be observing Rebuild Your Life for an entire month and put it on our schedule towards the end of the month to write and post.  After a few days of researching this topic I have discovered that this was an error in judgment on my part and should have had a couple article much earlier in the month – another lesson learned.

Many of us have had at least one life changing event where we were put in that difficult situation to fall back, regroup and start anew.

There are so many things in life that can happen to put you into this situation and no two people are alike – thus cookie cutter solutions are not the answer!

I discovered that indeed that rebuilding my life has happen several times during my life and the more I researched, the more having a month dedicated to this topic makes excellence sense.

In golf, it’s called a mulligan or do over (not on the pro tour of in tournaments), a chance to do it right.  Life is all about making choices and with each choice, we have consequences – good and bad, and we need to weigh them and understand them when making a decision.

So, your life has been turned upside down.  You are in the pits of despair and wonder what the heck to do – and may even consider some very negative and bad choices.  Having been there a few times, let me part with some first-hand experience that might help.  Find a non-bias individual you can talk to and without having to worry about what you say during this transition period.  I was already in therapy when we found out my dad had renal cell cancer – we simply put my other issue on hold to deal with his illness and making his last few months the best they could be.  After his passing, we resumed my counseling session to help get my personal and professional life back in order.

 "The world is your mirror and your mind is a magnet. What you perceive in this world is largely a reflection of your own attitudes and beliefs. Life will give you what you attract with your thoughts think, act and talk negatively and your world will be negative. Think and act and talk with enthusiasm and you will attract positive results." ~ Michael LeBeuf

"Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently." ~ Henry Ford

"When one door closes another door opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us." ~ Alexander Graham Bell

Healthy Lifestyle Choices

The following are some changes you can make to lead a healthier, less stressed lifestyle that will assist you in dealing with the challenges of rebuilding your life.

Healthy Eating
One of the most popular changes people like to make to live a healthy lifestyle is to eat differently. Because of the negative health consequences of obesity, the influence fitness has on our self-esteem, and the effects of nutrition on our stress levels and longevity, switching to a healthier diet brings some of the greatest benefits for wellness.

Regular Exercise
Getting regular exercise is another wonderful way to keep your weight in check, manage overall stress levels, and stay connected with others. Exercise can also help keep many health conditions at bay, and is well worth the effort. (The trick is to start gradually and work your way up.) 

Quality Sleep
People often underestimate the importance of getting enough sleep, and getting the right type. However, lack of adequate sleep has many negative consequences--they're subtle, but significant. Getting enough sleep isn't one of the most popular changes that people resolve to make, but it should be. Because stress can rob you of sleep, and because many of the techniques that promote sleep can also reduce stress (and vice versa), it's a very good idea to learn more about how stress affects sleep and how to get quality sleep when stressed.

While maintaining healthy habits is a bit more challenging than trying a stress relief method only once, the benefits you receive from maintaining a healthy lifestyle are more than worth the effort it takes to maintain it. The increases in health and wellness that you experience, and the reduction in stress, will make you wish you'd made these changes sooner, and can be wonderful sources of continued motivation.  This will also help enable you to deal with the significant challenge of rebuilding your life.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Meteor Watch Day - 2011

Today is Meteor Watch Day, a time to look to the skies for meteor showers.

Meteors are space dust and ice that enter the earth's atmosphere. Meteors can be as small as specks of dust.  As they enter the atmosphere at high speeds, they burn up, producing light as they streak across the night sky. Sometimes, you see them streak across the sky and disappear at the horizon. Other times, they end suddenly, burning out right before your eyes.

A shooting star is a common name for the visible path of a meteoroid as it enters the atmosphere to become a meteor Steven Spielberg often uses shooting stars as a trademark in his films.

With a little luck, you can see a meteor just about any night of the year. But, the best times to see meteors are during a meteor shower. There are a number of them each year.  When you see one, don't forget to make a wish, because...

When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires will come to you
If your heart is in your dreams, no request is too extreme
When you wish upon a star as dreamers do
Like a bolt out of the blue, fate steps in and sees you thru
When you wish upon a star, your dreams come true

National Waffle Iron Day - 2011

National Waffle Iron Day is an important date on the calendar of every real breakfast lover! Who doesn't love homemade waffles? They are easy and fun to make with a waffle iron. After you mix the waffle batter, simply pour the batter into the center of the waffle iron, cook until golden brown, and voilà! Delicious homemade waffles.

The origin of the waffle:  The waffle dates back to the 1300s in Greece. Greeks cooked flat cakes between two metal pans. At the time, they topped it with cheeses and herbs. Pancake syrup wasn't around back then.

And the fun part of making Waffles at home – adding your favorite ingredients such as blueberries, bananas, chocolate chips, pecans, strawberries, whipped cream, our just plain with good ole maple syrup. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Did you say Candy?

by Diane Forrest,

When my son was small, Friday nights were pizza and movie night.  Every week he would rent the same movies, Peter Pan (with Mary Martin) and Willy Wonka.  My favorite part of Willy Wonka is when all the people go through that little door and end up in the candy wonderland.  Everything there is edible and the kids start running around tasting everything while Gene Wilder sings. Come with me...and you'll be in a world of pure imagination Take a look and you'll see into your imagination.

If this is your first time to visit with us, let me tell you, I love chocolate!  So that is my candy of choice, if for some strange reason you don't like chocolate don’t worry, there are many other candies to choose from. 

I remember a scene from It's a Wonderful Life where young George is working in the drug store and Young Violet comes in and asks for a penny's worth of shoelaces, a string type of licorice.  She gets a whole bag full!!!  My how the times have changed!  When I was younger I remember getting those long plastic tubes filled with sugared powder, a giant pixie stix.  They seemed to be as long as I was tall.  We also used to get those wax bottles of coke and bite the top off for a little drop of sugary syrup.  There is a website dedicated to nostalgic candy, it can be found at  You can even pick the decade you were a kid and order candy from that time.  It is funny, when you are a kid, and have no money, all you want is candy!  But by the time you grow up and have the money, candy isn't as important.   

Another funny thing is that June is National Candy Month, but we are just finding out about it on the 29th!!!  I could have been celebrating all month long instead of just a day!

Another popular fad these days is hosting a candy buffet at wedding receptions.  Brides choose candy in their wedding colors and display them in unique containers and provide bags for their guests to help themselves to.  This is also fun for birthdays, graduations, or other events.

Whatever your candy craving is, take today and indulge.  Just remember, not too much, and make sure you brush your teeth afterwards.  I don’t want to be the cause of contributing to dental cavities or weight gain.

June is Effective Communication Month

In today’s Politically Correct (PC) society, it has become increasingly more difficult to communicate effectively.  My approach to communicating with others is fairly straight forward and to the point. I believe in open and honest discussions, and always try to tell the truth, because it’s too hard to remember anything other than the truth.

In business, after having a verbal conversation with others, I frequently follow up with an email that covers the silent points and send that to the other participates for their review and comments and for a record copy of that discussion.  Over the top? Over kill?  Take a moment to review the past couple of months where you had a verbal conversation and later there were issue due to misunderstanding and or misinterpretations.

In my written correspondence, I try to have someone read what I have wrote to make sure I am conveying the correct message and that it is understandable.  When I’m deep in thought and fingers are pecking away on the keyboard, my mind knows exactly what I want to convey – but my finger are not always in sync or I make an ‘assumptions’ or two that really confesses the heck out of others.

There are a lot of talent people who spend their lives helping others to communicate better.  How effective do you communicate with others?  Ask someone who will be honest and straight forward with you.  After all, it is for your benefit!

Look at those around you in your daily life, can you tell who are the effective communicators?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Sunglasses Day
Rain or shine, today is Sunglasses Day! What better way to celebrate than sporting your favorite pair of shades.

Reasons to Wear Sunglasses

  1. UV Protection. The sun's UV radiation can cause cataracts; benign growths on the eye's surface; and photo keratitis, sometimes called snow blindness, which is a temporary but painful sunburn of the eye's surface. Wide-brimmed hats and caps can block about 50 percent of UV radiation from the eyes but optometrists say that is not enough protection.
  2. Blue-Light Protection. Long-term exposure to the blue and violet portion of the solar spectrum has been implicated as a risk factor for macular degeneration, especially for individuals that are “sun sensitive.”
  3. Comfortable vision. The sun's brightness and glare interferes with comfortable vision and the ability to see clearly by causing people to squint and the eyes to water.
  4. Dark adaptation. Spending just two or three hours in bright sunlight can hamper the eyes' ability to adapt quickly to nighttime or indoor light levels. This can make driving at night after spending a day in the sun more hazardous.
  5. Skin Cancer. Cancer of the eyelids and skin around the eyes is more common than people think. People should wear sunglasses outdoors whether they are working, driving, participating in sports, taking a walk, running errands or doing anything in the sun.
Five Tips for Healthy Eyes
  1. Wear protective eyewear any time your eyes are exposed to UV light, even on cloudy days and during winter months.
  2. Look for quality sunglasses that offer good protection. Sunglasses should block out 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB radiation and screen out 75 to 90 percent of visible light.
  3. Check to make sure your sunglass lenses are perfectly matched in color and free of distortions and imperfections.
  4. Purchase gray-colored lenses. They reduce light intensity without altering the color of objects, providing the most natural color vision.
  5. Don’t forget protection for children and teenagers.  They typically spend more time in the sun than adults.

How to Pick Good Sunglasses
Here's tips for choosing shades that will protect your eyes from the sun's harmful effects.

Eye on UV Risks

Just as the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage skin, they can also harm the lens and cornea of the eyes.
UV radiation increases your odds of getting cataracts, which cloud the eye’s lens and lead to diminished eyesight. It has also been linked to macular degeneration, a treatable, but incurable disease of the macula, a part of the retina that is essential for sharp vision.

Other UV-related eye problems are pterygium and pingueculum. A pterygium occurs when the conjunctiva, the tissue that lays over the white of the eye, grows into the cornea. A pingueculum is a yellowish bump of tissue on the white of the eye.

Sunlight that bounces off highly reflective surfaces such as snow, water, sand, or pavement can be especially dangerous.

Sunglasses play a vital role in shielding the fragile tissue around the eye. This skin, including the eyelid itself, is very thin and vulnerable to skin cancer, and that’s especially troubling since dermatologists are reporting an epidemic in all types of skin cancer.

Like sunscreen, sunglasses should be worn whenever you’re outdoors, year round.
Sunglasses are especially important for children.

UV eye damage is cumulative over a lifetime so it’s important to make wearing sunglasses a habit early in life.

Children’s eyes are especially vulnerable because they’re still developing.

Protecting your eyes from the sun begins with picking the right pair of sunglasses. Here’s advice from eye care experts.

Look for Complete UVA/UVB Protection

Choose sunglasses that provide full protection against ultraviolet light. Look for a label or a sticker that says one or more of the following:

  • Lenses block 99% or 100% of UVB and UVA rays
  • Lenses meet ANSI Z80.3 blocking requirements. (This refers to standards set by the American National Standards Institute.)
  • UV 400 protection. (These block light rays with wavelengths up to 400 nanometers, which means that your eyes are shielded from even the tiniest UV rays.)

Choose the Right Hue

  • The coating that blocks UV radiation is clear, so a darker lens isn’t necessarily more effective than a lighter one. But hue does play an important role in color perception.
  • Yellow or rose tinted lenses can make it difficult to distinguish changes in traffic lights.
  • Gray, green, and brown lenses minimize color distortion, and are a better choice when you’ll be behind the wheel.

Opt for Polarized Lenses If You Spend a Lot of Time on Water

Polarized lenses reduce glare by filtering out the reflected sunlight that bounces off surfaces like water or pavement. They’re a good option for boaters or water skiers, and they can cut down on glare from flat, smooth surfaces like road pavement or the hoods of cars.

The downside: It can be difficult to read your cell phone, GPS device, or a liquid-crystal display on a dashboard or ATM machine with polarized lenses.

Be aware that polarization has nothing to do with UV protection. So check the label to make sure the sunglasses provide full UV filtering.

Consider the Quality of the Lenses

Eye care experts agree that price isn’t a gauge of UV protection. But very inexpensive sunglasses are likely to contain lenses that are stamped out of a mold rather than ground and polished, and that can affect optical quality.

To test optical quality, the FDA suggests focusing on a vertical edge or line. Move your head back and forth, allowing your eyes to sweep across the lens. “If there is any wiggle in the line,” the FDA guidelines say, “then the lenses may have an optical defect and you should choose another pair.”

Bigger is Better!

  • Wraparound sunglasses offer the broadest protection against UV damage because they block more of the light that hits your eyes from the sides.
  • Sunglasses with large lenses and wide temples provide the next-best protection.
  • Large lenses cover a wider area of skin so there’s a decreased window for UV penetration
  • Sunglasses that come down to your cheekbones are a good choice.

Fit Matters

  • Sunglass frames should fit snugly on your nose and ears without pinching or rubbing. To prevent light from hitting your eyes from overhead, choose a pair that fits close to your face around the brow area, but not so close that your eyelashes are hitting the lenses.
  • Whether you opt for high-priced designer sunglasses or a more affordable pair you find at your drugstore, you can easily find sunglasses that are flattering and functional. And protecting your eye health is one sunglass trend that will never go out of style.

In summary, take your time, find the right type of sunglasses for you (and your family) and be sure to wear them.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

May God Bless ...

Happy 4th of July!....

Let' s get this started ,NOW!
So it will be out there on the fourth!




For all of our other military personnel, where ever they may be.
Support all of the troops defending our Country.

And God Bless our Military
who are protecting our Country for our Freedom.
Thanks to them, and their sacrifices, we can celebrate the 4th of July. 

We must never forget who gets the credit for the freedoms we have,
of which we should be eternally grateful.

I watched the flag pass by one day.
It fluttered in the breeze.
A young Marine saluted it,
And then he stood at ease.

I looked at him in uniform;
so young, so tall, so proud.
With hair cut square and eyes alert,
he'd stand out in any crowd.

I thought how many men like him
had fallen through the years.
How many died on foreign soil;
how many mothers' tears?

How many pilots' planes shot down?
How many died at sea?
How many foxholes were soldiers' graves?

I heard the sound of Taps one night,
when everything was still.
I listened to the bugler play
And felt a sudden chill.

I wondered just how many times
That Taps had meant 'Amen.'

When a flag had draped a coffin
of a brother or a friend.

I thought of all the children,
of the mothers and the wives,
of fathers, sons and husbands
With interrupted lives.

I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea.
Of unmarked graves in Arlington .

Enjoy Your Freedom
God Bless Our Troops.

When you receive this,

please stop for a moment
and say a prayer for our servicemen.

Of all the gifts you could give a U.S. Soldier, prayer is the very best one.

Better than Sex dessert

Has this been a great month or what?  We had Chocolate Ice Cream Day, Fudge Day, and Chocolate Éclair Day and now Chocolate Pudding day!  Even as I am writing I’m sucking on a fudgicle!  Its day is of course different than the others in this group.  It’s not as cold as ice cream, and its thicker and creamier.  It can be enjoyed in a pie, or all by itself.  But one of my favorite recipe's using chocolate puddings is the “Better than Sex" dessert.  This is an incredible dessert that should be tried ASAP!!!!

Better than Sex dessert
  • 1c plain flour
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 8oz package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 large container cool whip
  • 2 small instant chocolate pudding mixes
  • 2 cups milk

Preheat oven to 350.  Use an 8 x 12 casserole dish.   Mix flour, butter and pecans and press in the bottom of the dish.  Bake 20 minutes until brown.  Let Cool.   Mix cream cheese and powdered sugar, then fold in one cup of cool whip.  Spread over the crust.  Mix pudding with milk, let it set, then spoon over cream cheese.  Top with remaining Cool whip and refrigerate.  Then Enjoy!!