Sunday, January 6, 2008 12:44:14 PM
The rape epidemic
According to the UN, 50 per cent of young women in the violent shantytowns of Haiti have been raped or sexually assaulted. Of the handful of victims who seek justice, a third are under 13. Alex Renton reports from a Caribbean hell crippled by poverty and torn by gang violence, and talks to the women who live in daily fear of sexual abuse
PLEASE READ MORE ...........
as a human my heart goes out to these women!
It is 2008 and we still act like animals!
Lets spread the word and do our part to support women in danger!
They are all daughters, sisters and wives!They are all human!
Thursday, January 3, 2008 3:15:17 AM
Possibly the biggest threat to our childrens' future is their eating habits--one out of every four children in the U.S. is overweight or obese. Yet a new survey from the University of Michigan Health System found that more than 40% of parents with obese children describe their child as "about the right weight." Less than 10% of parents with obese children say they are "very concerned" about their child's weight.
With a busy lifestyle, it might seem so much easier to grab a fast food dinner or a candy bar just to power through the day. The right kind of fuel – or nutritious food – gives their bodies energy and their brains the nutrition they need to keep running. The wrong kind of fuel – or unhealthy food – leaves our kids feeling tired and even cranky. None of us can perform as well when we eat the wrong foods.
And, by performance, I mean any kind of performance – whether your kids are taking a test, playing music, painting a picture, or preparing for a sporting event. When their bodies are fueled with the right things – water first, healthy portions, 5 small meals a day, and all the green vegetables they want – they perform better – mentally, physically and artistically. So as my kids make food choices throughout an average day, I ask them to keep in mind the idea of fuel for performance.
With a busy schedule, I try to make it as easy for my kids to grab an apple as it is to grab a bag of chips. I keep freshly washed fruits and veggies at eye level and within easy grabbing range.I keep bottled water and protein bars stocked in our house. One mom I know packs a cooler in her car to help her family grab a quick, healthy snack between after-school activities instead of chowing down at a nearby convenience store or drive thru window. It requires a bit of planning, but the long-term benefits are worth the short-term inconvenience.
But fueling for performance is only part of it. Being healthy is also about being physically active to train for life. Again, I know we’re busy working parents. But really small steps make a big difference. Training for life means get movin’, at least 60 minutes a day for our kids, even do it with a friend, but fit it in…
Your children may not consider themselves traditional exercisers, but we can always find something our kids like to do. Do they ride bikes? Do they love to dance? How about swimming? Even walking and running to a friend's house, to the bus stop or around the school playground is fun and great exercise. Fitting in physical activity every day helps our children’s bodies stay healthy and avoid serious health issues like heart disease and diabetes.
And, family time together doing any of these things is fun, too! You’ll find some of your best talks with your children unfold during walks together away from their cell phones and video games. I know a mom who incorporated “dance Saturdays” at her house. Saturday mornings consist of blasting music and movin’ and groovin’, and while her children rolled their eyes at first, they now just laugh along with her and dance to the latest tunes.
We all want our beautiful children grow up to be healthy and happy and to reach their full potential. We worry if our schools are giving our kids a good education. We worry if our kids’ coaches will be fair. But childhood obesity is a growing epidemic, and we also need to consider the foundation we’re laying for our children to live a healthy lifestyle. We can help them fuel for performance and train for life if we serve as strong examples and ensure that good nutrition and physical activity strike a healthy balance in their lives.
Sunday, December 30, 2007 2:03:29 PM
In Greek: βασιλόπιτα, pronounced vah-see-LO-pee-tah
Of all the Vassilopita recipes, I like this one the best for making at home because the texture is lovely (like a granular pound cake) and it lends itself to decoration. In four- and five-generation families, we jump at every chance to give younger members decorating opportunities! The recipe calls for self-rising flour.
* 3/4 cup of butter
* 1 1/2 cups of sugar
* 6 eggs
* 4 tablespoons of brandy
* grated peel of 2 oranges
* 4 cups of self-rising flour
* 3/4 cup of evaporated milk
* 1 coin wrapped in foil
* confectioner's sugar (optional)
* grated coconut (optional)
* marmelade (optional)
Bring all ingredients to room temperature, and preheat the oven to 390F (200C).
Cream the butter in a mixing bowl. Beating continuously, add in order:
* the sugar, very slowly
* the eggs one at a time
* the brandy
Still beating, sprinkle in the grated orange peel to distribute evenly throughout the batter.
Add milk, then flour, a small amount at a time.
Flour a round 12" to 13" diameter tapsi (baking pan with 2-3" sides) and pour in the batter.
The cake will bake for a total of about 45 minutes, but halfway through, when it has started to set, insert the coin carefully into the dough, pushing it down just below the surface. (Inserting the coin when the cake is slightly firmed will prevent it from sinking to the bottom.) Insert it anywhere except the exact center of the cake.
Continue baking until done. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Place a large plate over the top of the tapsi and invert it so the cake comes out on the plate. Take a second plate (for serving) and put it over the cake, inverting to get the cake right side up.
Allow the Vassilopita to cool for 4 hours before serving. ENJOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sunday, December 30, 2007 2:00:47 PM
As the New Year rolls over, Greek families all over the world will share the tradition of cutting the Vassilopita, our Greek New Year's cake. January 1st is the name day (saint's day) of Aghios Vassilis (St. Basil), the Greek Santa Claus, and the cake is named in his honor. While Christmas is a more solemn occasion, January 1st is filled with celebrations and the exchange of gifts.
Family recipes handed down through generations range from sweet bread to cake. Of all the recipes, I like this recipe for Vassilopita the best for making at home because the texture is lovely (like a granular pound cake) and it lends itself to decoration. In four- and five-generation families, we jump at every chance to give younger members decorating opportunities! It's also a great recipe just for enjoying as a family dessert.
However it's fixed, cutting the Vassilopita is a celebration of wishes for the new year.
Each Vassilopita is baked with a coin or medallion inside which, according to tradition, will bring great good fortune in the new year to the person who gets it, so the cutting is all-important and the focus of great scrutiny! Traditionally, pieces are cut ceremoniously by the head of the household and allocated to the church (Holy Trinity and Virgin Mary), then the head of the household (male), his wife, their children (oldest to youngest), other family members by degree of relatedness, then guests. The coin or small medallion (flouri, say: floo-REE) is a tradition symbolizing an extra measure of good fortune for whoever gets the piece where it has been hidden during baking, and this can cause serious confrontation if ownership of the coin is disputed. Here are some suggestions learned the hard way:
* when inserting the coin, insert parallel to the way a knife will cut so it will remain in one piece;
* when making the first cut, declare loudly who gets the pieces on either side of the knife so there are no disputes;
* if a coin does end up between two pieces, the piece that has the larger part gets the coin.
Sunday, December 23, 2007 2:00:47 AM
An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which she carried across her neck.
One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water.
At the end of the long walks from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.
For a full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water.
Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments.
But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do.
After two years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream.
"I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house."
The old woman smiled, "Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side?"
"That's because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them."
"For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house."
Each of us has our own unique flaw. But it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding.
You've just got to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them.
SO, to all of my crackpot friends, have a great day and remember to smell the flowers on your side of the path!
Sunday, December 2, 2007 9:11:18 PM
PREVIOUS PART OF THIS POST ,NO LONGER AVAILABLE
...........innocent years I find myself listen to some music.......Today it is Cohen and the words are.....
If you want a boxer
I will step into the ring for you
And if you want a doctor
I'll examine every inch of you
well if this is not enough to bring a smile to your face, here are the words from the next song.....
Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin
Dance me through the panic till I'm gathered safely in
Touch me with your naked hand or touch me with your glove
Dance me to the end of love
I am sure all of us have memories that makes us smile ..............
I thought I would like to close with
a question :
Any memories that you can share?????????????????????????[/SIZE]
Saturday, December 1, 2007 3:08:59 AM
Dare to dream
The most compelling dreams are those that your heart longs for.
Having a dream gives your life purpose.
Without purpose, many climp to the top of the mountain only to realize it's the wrong mountain!
But connected to your life's purpose,you will create dreams that are in alignment with who you really are.Once you do,you can turn them into projects and schedule activities that will move you forward.But first, let's dream.
Friday, November 30, 2007 1:38:12 AM
The Magical Mustard Seed
There is an old Chinese tale about a woman whose only son died. In her grief, she went to the holy man and asked, "What prayers, what magical incantations do you have to bring my son back to life?"
Instead of sending her away or reasoning with her, he said to her, "Fetch me a mustard seed from a home that has never known sorrow. We will use it to drive the sorrow out of your life." The woman went off at once in search of that magical mustard seed.
She came first to a splendid mansion, knocked at the door, and said, "I am looking for a home that has never known sorrow. Is this such a place? It is very important to me."
They told her, "You've certainly come to the wrong place," and began to describe all the tragic things that recently had befallen them.
The woman said to herself, "Who is better able to help these poor, unfortunate people than I, who have had misfortune of my my own?"
She stayed to comfort them, then went on in search of a home that had never known sorrow. But wherever she turned, in hotels and in other places, she found one tale after another of sadness and misfortune.
The woman became so involved in helping others cope with their sorrows that she eventually let go of her own. She would later come to understand that it was the quest to find the magical mustard seed that drove away her suffering.
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