Staying Positive In the Midst of Doom and Gloom

No matter where you turn these days the economy is more than in a downhill slump. Between people losing their homes, their jobs and having to turn to local shelters for food, it's pretty scary. Not quite sure what to expect when Obama takes office. I know a lot of what he talked about while campaigning scared me. We had a business that made $300,000.00 (gross) a year and went broke. There's no way we could afford to pay medical for everyone and pay higher taxes like he wants to do to small business making $250,000.00 or more.

Whether the problems are caused by our own lack of education, lack of discipline, or deceptive business practices (like many of the mortgage problems), if you're in the middle of it it's not fun.

Luckily, when it comes to education there is so much free information on the internet for anyone who wants to learn almost anything.

One of the things I've learned about since wanting to learn to do business and marketing on the internet is about "Giveaways". Giveaways are where many marketers get together in one location and give all kinds of stuff away. It may be ebooks, it may be club memberships, it may be software. Some are all about marketing, but many cover other subjects like self-improvement, etc. This time of year there are a bunch of them and a lot of them have some really neat stuff like Christmas Cookie Recipe books, decorations you can print and have children color, all kinds of things.

I have put together a "debt and credit" package for one of these giveaways. There's software for figuring numbers before taking out a car loan, etc. A book on a "Debt Free Lifestyle" another one on "100 Legal Ways to Fix Your Credit", etc. If you would be interested in getting this package and maybe seeing some of the other stuff they have, you can just click on the banner below. Registration is free. In fact everything is free. LOL. You do usually have to give your name and email address to get whatever gifts you pick out, but you can always "unsubscribe" at anytime (it's the law). I hope you enjoy and find lots of useful items.

This giveaway goes to the end of December.

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Beware of The Store Gift Card For Christmas

Nothing ticks me off more than a gift card that deducts charges from the face value of the card

  1. If you use it

  2. If you don't

Either way, the store is cheating you and the person that bought you the gift card out of it's full value. This year we have something new to worry about.

For the first time in my life you have to be careful about buying a gift card (in the old days "gift certificates") for a particular store for Christmas gifts, because they may not be in business after Christmas. I first heard about this at a point where it actually registered in my brain, on the CBS news a couple of weeks ago. I hadn't really thought about it much except when I ran across the Mervyn's gift card in my purse that I have from 2 years ago. (They're going completely out of business after Christmas, in case you haven't heard).

Then as I was doing a little research found out you actually become a "creditor" of the store when they file bankruptcy because a gift card is a "loan". So you could file with the bankruptcy court to get your money back, but more often then not, those cases don't get paid because gift card holders are at the very bottom of what's usually a long list.

So if you were thinking about buying someone a gift card for Christmas, you may want to check and see how strong they are. Retailers are dropping like flies and if they don't make good Christmas numbers, you may see a lot more go under after Christmas.

Below is a partial list of stores that you need to be cautious about.

Circuit City (filed Chapter 11) Ann Taylor- 117 stores nationwide closing Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug , Catherine's to close 150 stores nationwide Eddie Bauer to close stores 27 stores and more after January Cache will close all stores Talbots closing down specialty stores J. Jill closing all stores (owned by Talbots) Pacific Sunwear (also owned by Talbots) GAP closing 85 stores Footlocker closing 140 stores more to close after January Wicks Furniture closing down Levitz closing down remaining stores Bombay closing remaining stores Zales closing down 82 stores and 105 after January Whitehall closing all stores Piercing Pagoda closing all stores Disney closing 98 stores and will close more after January Home Depot closing 15 stores, Macys to close 9 stores after January Linens and Things closing all stores Movie Galley Closing all stores Pep Boys Closing 33 stores Sprint/Nextel closing 133 stores JC Penney closing a number of stores after January Ethan Allen closing down 12 stores. Wilson Leather closing down all stores Sharper Image closing down remaining stores K B Toys closing 356 stores Lowe's to close down some stores Dillard's to close some stores Steve & Barry’s Bennigan’s Grill & Tavern

If you like to be able to shop by gift card, here is one company that is not going under. You can give a small dept. store to someone right in their home. Just click here now to get rid of all that holiday shopping stress. If you are looking for ideas, take a look at this gift guide here.

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This Time of Year Strikes Terror In the Hearts of Men

What is it that triggers the "Christmas Shopper Terror" in you? For me it's when I realize Halloween is only a few weeks away and I know once we get there, the next 4 months are just stress, a flurry of activity, then it's the New Year and we're looking at it all like a dream that lasts only a moment.

Here in my part of California it always gets dark early and rains in September. Somehow there is at least one rainy night that I'm out in it. It almost always rains for Christmas (we don't get snow) and a few days before. Even tho I have most of my shopping done (thank you Ribbon) I usually end up going out for stocking stuffers or something just a couple of days before Christmas. The feeling I get in Sept. when I'm out at night in the rain is the exact same feeling I get when I'm out doing last minute Christmas shopping at night in the rain. It's the rainy night in September that fills me with the feelings of those few days before Christmas, and that's when it hits me. The race is about to begin and the next 3 months will be the fastest of my life.

We get through Halloween pretty easy because we're in an "incorporated" area, and our side of the street has no sidewalks, not many street lights, and our house has a security light that only goes on if someone steps in the yard. Not a very inviting house on Halloween, so we don't get any kids. It's funny, most people in our neighborhood think I'm scary every day, I can't imagine why they don't show up on Halloween when that should be a "good" thing. LOL.

Now we're on our way to Thanksgiving. I bought the turkey yesterday. I'm thinking I really need to find time to clear off my dining room table so we can actually eat on it. I know that if I blink between Thanksgiving and Christmas, Christmas will be here and gone all too soon. I'm finally old enough to truly appreciate Christmas for what it's supposed to be, so I hate the fact that it's here and gone so fast. Altho I'm not as gift-oriented as I was when I was younger, my children have not taken over that perspective. LOL.

If you don't like fighting the crowds, wasting time looking for parking, never sure if you got the right gift, having to figure out what the right gift is, you might want to take a look at this. Ribbon, the Gift of Choice is the perfect answer, especially now when they're saying you can't buy gift cards to certain stores because they may file bankruptcy tomorrow. Sharper Image went under with a ton of people holding gift cards that weren't worth anything. If the above describes you, take a look here now. There's a couple you can get 5 for the price of 4, and many qualify for free shipping.

How do you feel about the holidays? (be gentle please)

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Please, Be Diligent This Halloween!

I've written a lot on here about tainted petfood, recalled candy, etc. I grew up in a time when the thing you had to watch out for was razor blades in candybars and apples. You could only eat homemade goodies if they came from your neighbors that you knew hadn't laced them with poison or drugs. While my 3 children were growing up, when they came home after trick-or-treating, we threw out all homemade goodies, threw out candy that looked like it had been wrapped and rewrapped, and anything that looked like a it could have a needle hole. Now in my grandchildren's time (if I had any) you have to watch out that the manufacturer doesn't poison you with ingredients imported from China. While big names like Cadbury and Hershey's both say none of their candy in the US contained any of the tainted products, there are still items that have been and are still being sold here. If you shop at Target, you need to watch the following video. Please have a safe Halloween.

While Melamine itself may not be quite so harmful, here is why it has been such a huge problem.

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Oh My Gosh, Not Chocolate Too!

When I first heard about the recalls on Cadbury Chocolate, the first thing I thought of was "Thank goodness I didn't buy any of those from that little kid outside of Lucky's yesterday!"

The next thing I thought was "Not chocolate too."

It seems the chocolate company Cadbury is temporarily taking certain chocolate products off the market -- but only in Asia and Australia. Thank goodness it's not here in the US.
Cadbury is withdrawing a range of its chocolate products and Choclairs -- all made at Cadbury's Beijing plant -- from the market in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Australia. Cadbury states their products here are safe.

Another sweet -- White Rabbit Candy -- is being recalled because it might be tainted with melamine. QFCO Inc. of Burlingame, Calif., is recalling White Rabbit Candy, which was distributed in California, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Texas, and Washington state. All packages have a logo of a white rabbit on the front with the words "White Rabbit." So far they haven't linked any illnesses to the White Rabbit Candy.

If you have any, you can return White Rabbit Candy to the place of purchase for a full refund. For more information on the White Rabbit Candy recall, call QFCO at 650-697-6633.

Evidently all this recalling has scared the heck out of our US manufacturers, because all of a sudden they're recalling products for incorrect labeling, which if products aren't labeled correctly, someone could have a strong allergic reaction to something in the product that they didn't know was there.

The first of these was back in April of this year when KFC Corporation voluntarily recalled its Double Chocolate Chip Cakes because they contain eggs, milk, wheat, soy ingredients and possibly traces of tree nuts, and are not individually labeled with ingredient information. They say they plan to start offering them again after they have the proper labeling on the packages.

Next came Hershey's. In September the Hershey Company started recalling 7.25-ounce plastic bottles of Hershey's Chocolate Shell Topping, which can be poured over ice cream, because it contains almonds that aren't noted on the label. If you have any of the recalled Hershey's Chocolate Shell Topping, call Hershey's consumer relations department at 800-468-1714

Last, but not least See's Candies, Inc. of San Francisco, Calif., is recalling 16-ounce bags of See's Candies Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips because the product may contain undeclared traces of milk. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to milk run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products.

The FDA is following China's melamine problem. As of Sept. 25, FDA testing of milk-based products imported into the U.S. from China hadn't turned up any melamine contamination.
The United States, meanwhile, said inspectors would expand testing for Chinese products that may contain high levels of milk or milk proteins. The Food and Drug Administration has been very concerned over Chinese infant formula brought into the United States for Chinese markets. Normally the formula is banned from import. The FDA said its investigators have not found the Chinese infant formula in question during visits to more than 1,000 stores. Those are mainly in cities with large Chinese communities, such as Los Angeles and San Francisco, California; Seattle, Washington; and New York. The FDA plans to continue such checks it said, and "has broadened its domestic and import sampling and testing of milk-derived ingredients and finished food products containing milk, such as candies, desserts, and beverages that could contain these ingredients from Chinese sources."

Chinese police have arrested 40 people in the tainted-milk scandal, including 22 announced Monday in northern China's Hebei province. Nineteen of those were managers of pastures, breeding farms and milk-purchasing stations, the Xinhua news agency reported, citing a panel investigating the case.

Authorities say they raided 41 locations in Hebei and seized 490 pounds (222 kilograms) of melamine. Melamine is commonly used in coatings and laminates, wood adhesives, fabric coatings, ceiling tiles and flame retardants.

Eighteen arrests were announced earlier. They include two brothers who face charges of selling contaminated milk. The brothers could face death if convicted, according to China Daily, a state-run newspaper. Somehow after them executing their prior head of Food Quality Control over there when all the dog food was recalled, I think I would take them pretty seriously about punishment before being a part of something like this. LOL

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New Recall In US - Thank You China

Recent Update:

While China's dairy products are deemed unsafe for import here in the US, there are manufacturers who use China's products in their products. The latest on the list of tainted product recalls is concerning coffees and teas.

U.S. officials are warning Americans not to drink seven Mr. Brown instant coffee and milk tea products that were made in China, because of concerns they may be contaminated with melamine, according to Reuters. The King Car Food Industrial Co Ltd. recalled the products Friday.

Reuters lists the recalled products as: * Mr. Brown Blend Instant Coffee (3-in-1)* Mr. Brown Instant Coffee (3-in-1)* Mr. Brown Blue Mountain Blend Instant Coffee (3-in-1)* Mr. Brown Caramel Instant Coffee (3-in-1)* Mr. Brown French Vanilla Instant Coffee (3-in-1)* Mr. Brown Blend instant Coffee (2-in-1)* Mr. Brown Milk Tea (3-in-1)

Evidently there was a rumor concerning Oreo cookies, but Kraft Foods states there are no milk products in their regular Oreo cookies and in the frosted ones they use milk products from Australia.

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Maybe It's Not China Killing Our Pets After All

Right on the heels of the contaminated milk scandal in China is another pet food recall. The Chief of China's Food And Quality Agency was forced to resign as they arrested 19 people suspected of intentionally spiking the country's milk system with melamine, an industrial chemical made from coal that is normally used in the production of plastics and fertilizer. Melamine is the same contaminate that was found in the pet food recalls of 2007. I'll tell you after the way they executed the head of the State Food and Drug Administration, Zheng Xiaoyu, in July of 2007 for corruption and dereliction of duty, I don't think this job is one I would have applied for. LOL.

As of Sept. 12, Mars Petcare US has voluntarily recalled any food distributed from their plant in Everson, PA and temporarily closed down the facility until they locate the nature and source of Salmonella Schwarzengrund. Salmonella was randomly linked to two people who got quite ill after they handled contaminated food. The brands this included were:

Country Acres, Retriever, Doggy Bag, Members Mark, Natural, Ol' Roy, Special Kitty, Paws & Claws, Pedigree, Wegman's, Pet Pride, PMI Nutrition and Red Flannel

Last year when Menu Foods did their recall of their pet foods, Iams, Eukenuba, and several other trusted pet foods that are too numerous to list here, the contamination was blamed on Melamine coming from products from China. When this recall came about I just assumed it was from China also. As it turns out China may have nothing at all to do with it.

Our scientists were extremely puzzled as to how ill the pets had gotten and the pet deaths that occurred. They felt the melamine was not harmful or at harmful levels to have caused the chaos that it did. According to articles I found on the internet, there appears to be an ongoing battle with Menu Foods because there seems to have been ancetometaphin (like Tylenol) and cyanuric acid found in their foods as well. According to a current lawsuit, it was these ingredients or these ingredients reacting with melamine that caused the deaths of over a quarter of a million pets.

The class action lawsuit against Menu Foods et al has grown to over 6000 cases and they expect that number to grow by quite a few by the time the deadline hits in Nov. of this year.

A fascinating website about what is going on from the person to bring about a major suite against Menu Foods can be found here. Evidently he has also now filed against the FDA for not investigating the claims properly and not protecting our pets from this happening in the future.

I love my little critters (pictured here) as I'm sure you do also. All I've been able to think is that I'm glad I was introduced to Nutripet years ago. A lot of people have taken to cooking their own dog or cat food, but Richard Goldstein, associate professor of medicine at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine warns against doing this as they may not get the all the nutrients they need. NUTRIPET dry dog and cat foods contain antioxidant vitamins A, C, E, and beta carotene to support your pet’s healthy immune system.”Added DHA*, found in mother’s milk, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids* have been found to improve your pet’s well-being. NUTRIPET dry dog and cat foods also contain a unique blend of fruits and vegetables to naturally round out your pet’s diet. If you would like to know how you can get Nutripet natural food for your animals, please feel free to contact me. My email address is in my profile. Nutripet is not found in grocery stores.

* Not recognized as an essential nutrient by the AAFCO dog food or cat food nutrient profiles.

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About Vitamin "K"

I was having a conversation the other nite with my "almost sister-in-law" and she was telling me about her "almost husband" (we have a lot of "almost relatives") and vitamin K. The reason I found this interesting was because he has liver disease and Hepatitis C just like a friend of mine, but wasn't able to go thru the complete treatments because his doctors said his body couldn't take it. She said she did some research and put him on a special diet along with vitamin k and some other supplements, and he's now in remission plus the liver is repairing itself, to a certain extent. Vitamin K, like Vitamin D is one you really don't hear too much about even tho it is one of the more essential vitamins the body needs. After talking to her I decided to do some research myself. The following is part of what I found. There's more on drug interactions and interactions with other vitamins, but you'd be here for a week trying to read it all! This will give you the basics.

Vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin. The K vitamin is essential for the
functioning of several proteins which cause the blood to clot, or coagulate, to repair injuries. Whenever a person has a bleeding wound, it is the K vitamin that is present in the blood that stops the bleeding and enables most minor cuts to heal quickly.

3 Forms of Vitamin K
There are three different forms of the K vitamin. The first variant of the K vitamin is vitamin K1, also known as phylloquinone. This is the form of the K vitamin that is found in types of plant foods. The second form of the K vitamin is the vitamin K2, or menaquinone-n. This type of
the K vitamin is formed by friendly bacteria in the intestines and is produced by our own bodies. These are both natural forms of vitamin K. Thirdly, there is vitamin K3 which is also known as menadione and is actually an artificial form of the K vitamin. Vitamin K1 and K2 end up
in the liver where it is used to create the blood clotting substances. While they have decided Vitamin K3 is found in other organs besides the liver and has a unique biological function, they don't seem to know what that function is. Isn't that typical? LOL.

Vitamin K In Your Diet
The best natural sources of the K vitamin are green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, broccoli, and swiss chard. All of these provide more than the recommended daily requirement. Since the friendly bacteria in the intestine makes one of the forms of the K vitamin and it's so readily available in some of the food we eat, it is rare for a person to have a deficiency. Vitamin K supplements are not needed by the majority of people.

Too Little or Too Much Vitamin K?
Something like severe liver disease (like in the case mentioned above), may cause a substantial lowering of blood levels of vitamin K which could increase the risk of uncontrolled bleeding, or hemorrhaging. This is definitely a vitamin that falls in the "damned if you do and damned if you don't" catagory. Just as too little vitamin K can cause hemmorrhaging, too much can cause blood clots, which could block the flow of blood in arteries of the heart, brain, or lungs resulting in heart attack, stroke, or pulmonary embolism. Many people have to be put on "anticoagulants", or blood thinners, to help the blood flow. While people who have to take things like Warafin or
Cumadin have been cautioned in the past not to consume very large quantities of vitamin k in their diets as it could override their bloodthinners ability to "anticoagulate", doctors now advise getting the daily recommendations (90-120 mcg/daily) thru dietary
intake. An extended course of antibiotics may also lead to a vitamin K deficiency due to the fact that the antibiotics kill the good intestinal bacteria as well as the bad ones they are being taken to cure. In this case also, a K vitamin supplement may be given if the course of antibiotics has to continue for a long period of time.

Vitamin K and Our Bones
Apart from the main function of helping blood to clot by binding proteins and vitamin K to calcium in what they call a "coagulation cascade, Vitamin K1 has an important part to play in the bone building process. This K vitamin is required to retain the calcium in the bones
and redistribute it to where it is needed. Lack of control of the proccessess neccessary for forming vitamin k could lead to cartilage calcification and severe malformation of developing bone, or deposition of insoluble calcium salts in the walls of the arteries. This is quite
common in people suffering from atherosclerosis, which suggests Vitamin
K deficiency is more common than they thought.

Vitamin K and Newborns
Newborn babies may not have enough of the K vitamin as they have insufficient bacteria in their
intestines to produce it. Vitamin K also does not easily transfer through the placental wall, and it is not fully functional in infants, especially those born premature. Vitamin K deficiency in newborns can cause what is called "vitamin K dificiency bleeding (VKDB)" and is life threatening. The majority of newborn babies in developed countries are therefore given a vitamin k1 injection to tide them over until the natural process takes over. That is the only time that a K vitamin
supplement will be taken by most people throughout their lives.

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Network Marketing, Corporate America, Pyramids

For those of you who don't know what Network Marketing or Multilevel Marketing is, it is when you sell products retail on one side and recruit people to join your company on the other. When they join your company, you train them how to build their business and you make a small commission on every thing they do thru their company. Then they turn around and sell products and recruit people to join them in their business, and on and on it goes. Each company has their own compensation plans and benefits.

Like Enron or Worldcom in the corporate world, there are some unscrupulous players in the Network Marketing world. When Enron or Worldcom broke in the news, did you immediately distrust every corporation in America? I have to admit it made me wonder and watch a little more closely. If I buy stock, it makes me do a little more research than I might have done before all these corporations got found out. But aren't there frivolous lawsuits filed in this country every day by people that think their stupidity should be paid for by the large companies? (The lady who burnt her crotch with hot coffee and sued McDonald's comes to mind).

The latest in the Network Marketing companies to get sued is YTB or by the Attorney General in our great state of California. Being a Network Marketer myself with Amway and YTB, I have to say that it never ceases to amaze me the double standards that exist and the frivolousness of some lawsuits. Why is it that as a company grows in huge proportions, the little guys who didn't have the idea first, sue? Why is it that America feels that if you make it big you should have to share it with everybody instead of just finding a better way? Isn't one of the oldest sayings about "building a better mousetrap?"

I personally think Bill Gates is a genius. He was smart enough to come up with the idea of going to all the computer companies and getting them to contract to use his operating systems on all their computers. I think that's brilliant! What happens? America punishes him for being so smart and makes him "break up" microsoft. Why? Because the littler guys like Linux, etc. started whining about not getting their fair share. Why shouldn't they just have to come up with a better idea for beating the competition?

You're probably wondering what that has to do with Amway or YTB. Through the years Amway/Quixtar has grown and grown. As they have grown they have been sued by I can't tell you how many companies, etc. Yet Amway/Quixtar today is bigger and better than ever. A very stable conglomeration of companies that has been around for over 50 yrs. They're here to stay. Like Amway, YTB is growing like crazy on the travel scene. According to Travel Weekly, a very respected publication for the travel industry, they have gone from 36th to the 26th largest seller of travel from 2006 to 2007. They have one of the best compensation plans in the industry for Network Marketers and have one the Pinnacle Award, one of their highest honors, from Carnival Cruise Lines. They are on the New York Stock Exchange, which I admit hasn't been doing so good lately, and are members of the Direct Selling Association, all of which have standards that had to be met by YTB. Yet our great Attorney General, Jerry Brown, (who I didn't think was good for California when he was Governor) has decided to file suit.

The Attorney General has decided YTB is a "pyramid scheme". For those of you who aren't old enough to remember what a pyramid scheme is, people would pay to sit in someone's livingroom and be part of a growing ladder of people paying. According to Wikipedia it is:

A pyramid scheme is a non-sustainable business model that involves the exchange of money primarily for enrolling other people into the scheme, without any product or service being delivered. This is definitely not Amway/Quixtar or YTB. With both you are getting something for your money.

Look around you. Everything we do is a virtual "pyramid scheme". Corporate America is built on one of the biggest pyramid schemes yet. All the little guys on the bottom make money for the big guys on the top. Do you think your employer is paying you what he makes from your work? Heck no. Multi level Marketing, or Network Marketing, gives everyone a chance to be the "big guy at the top." And just like in Corporate America there will always be "disgruntled" workers, especially those that don't want to put in the time or effort but want to get handed the money. And just like Linux and Microsoft, now the traditional travel agencies, upset with YTB's growth and numbers, instead of coming up with a better competitive idea, are whining about YTB, obviously loud enough to be heard by the Attorney General of California.

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Foreclosure Can Happen To Anyone

Foreclosure can happen to anybody, so don't think badly of yourself if you are now at risk. I know it's terribly embarrassing to find yourself in this position. Since notices of default are usually published, you really hope your neighbors and relatives aren't reading the papers. It's also very scary when you think of your family and all of your belongings out on the street. Don't worry. Listening to the news it sounds like half the country is in the same boat. Heck, look at Ed McMahon. If he can lose his house, anybody can. He's not the only star in foreclosure either. Just keep your head together and take it one step at a time.

It is a fact that any family can undergo some financial crisis at some point in time that would regrettably cause them not to have the ability to pay their monthly mortgage payments. A home can be an enormous investment and maintaining your home can turn into an even greater expense. Chances are things will break here and there and thanks to Murphy (Murphy's Law), usually when you are at your lowest financially. When this happens, you might feel as though your world is spiraling out of control. You can not seem to get your debts under any type of management and now you need to make repairs to the house. Your mortgage, being the biggest part of those debts, may have just adjusted and all of a sudden your house payment has moved into the "can't pay right now" pile. Foreclosure is something that can happen and when it does, you might feel as though you have no other options.

I am hoping that I can help some of you learn more about the different options that you do have when it comes to saving your home from foreclosure. There are many options for anyone who is struggling with the thought of trying to get caught up on their monthly payments. If you can look in the right places, you are bound to find something that sounds quite reasonable to you. You will find that there are many different websites available to you over the internet that can provide a great deal of helpful information regarding foreclosure. They also provide details about some of the different things that you yourself can do that might potentially prevent having your home taken away from you. If you allow yourself to stress out about it, then chances are you will not be able to think clearly enough to get the appropriate things accomplished. In California you have 120 days from the date the lender files a notice of default until your house is sold on the courthouse steps. It's important that you work in a very timely manner.

Don't bury your head in the sand. Take time to speak with your mortgage lender about the payments you're behind. They could possibly choose to work something out with you. Many lenders have programs that will catch up your back payments a little bit at a time, added to your regular monthly payment. This solution is usually more for someone who has just had a temporary setback. After all, if you could pay more than your regular payment, you probably wouldn't be in trouble, would you?

Ufortunately, times like these bring every con there is out of the woodwork. There are different companies that might claim that they can help you out with your foreclosure threat. Please make sure that you thoroughly investigate them and don't be afraid to ask for references. Many times those guys are totally not legit and will just end up ripping you off, causing you even more problems that you do not want. Be sure to take any contracts to a Real Estate lawyer or your Realtor if someone is offering to pay your back payments. You may just be signing over title to your house and not even realize it.

Lenders will swear they can help you refinance just to find out 30 wasted days down the road they can't really do anything for you at all. Many "hard money" lenders will promise you a refinance even if "you have bad credit". The interest rates on those loans are so high, you just end up burying yourself deeper.

Really, one of the best places to start is by speaking with your own mortgage company today. If you are struggling or getting behind on your monthly payments, they should be able to discuss with you some options for catching things up. They seem to be a little more co-operative these days since they have so many more foreclosures on the books. They can possibly re-write your loan, maybe hold off your adjustable loan adjustment for a few months, etc.

If you are tired of fighting it, you may decide you want to sell. These days many people are living in houses where there is more owed on the property than it's worth. Your lender can also help you with what they call a "short sale", where they will settle for less than is owed to get the property off their "worry list". If you decide to take this option, be sure and speak to your accountant. Even tho you won't be making any cash on the sale, there are usually tax consequences you should be aware of.

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Big Pharma And Our Children

Anyone who has read this blog knows how I feel about the dishonesty of Big Pharma and doctors and how they will promote anything to make a buck, actually lots of bucks. I guess the only choice they have after they have every possible adult on any drug they can push, is to start on our children. I just wrote about my thoughts on Gardasil. Since Gardasil is now getting so much attention in the wrong way, they have moved on to other targets.

It's not bad enough they have been shoving Ritalin down every child's throat that doesn't act like a Stepford child, but now they want to give drugs "just in case". By the way I found this article interesting regarding Ritalin: Parents and public health policy makers have cause for concern about the finding of a study conducted at the University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center. WebMD reports that all 12 children who were enrolled in a Ritalin trial "experienced an increase in chromosome abnormalities three months after starting Ritalin."
The children were about 8 years old and had been prescribed Ritalin at normal therapeutic doses (20-54 mg/day). The children's blood was tested before they took the drug and after three months.
"It was pretty surprising to me that all of the children taking [Ritalin] showed an increase in chromosome abnormalities in a relatively short period of time," said Randa El-Zein, the lead author".
These abnormalities seem to be linked to cancer, for stupid sakes!

According to an article on I partially quote "In the USA, Harris stated: “As states begin to require that drug companies disclose their payments to doctors for lectures and other services, a pattern has emerged: psychiatrists earn more money from drug makers than doctors in any other specialty. How this money may be influencing psychiatrists and other doctors has become one of the most contentious issues in health care."

When I started this blog post for today, I actually started out to gripe about the recent development of drug companies pushing statins on our overweight children. As I was doing my research, I came across this video that broke my heart. This video isn't short, so grab a cup of coffee or a glass of wine or a cocktail, and please, if you have young children or grandchildren, take the time out to watch it. Keep an eye out for a later issue of other drugs being pushed on our children. Why is it okay to give it to the children first, finding out the harm later?

Please feel free to comment.

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Just Another Politician

I don’t generally write much about politics. I figure “to each his own”. Most the time I figure we are just trying to vote for the lesser of two evils, but being a woman I found the following quite interesting.
According to an article by Bobby Eberle on Welcome to the when it comes to "future President" wannabe, Barak Obama, "the more we get to know him, the more we realize that his actions are quite different than his "hope and change" rhetoric.

As an example, take his recent speech about pay discrimination between men and women. Obama told the audience in Albuquerque, NM that he supports "a Senate bill to make it easier to sue an employer for pay discrimination." Yet, upon a review of Obama's payroll, we learn that women are paid less than men. Keep talking Sen. Obama.

As reported by, "While Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has vowed to make pay equity for women a top priority if elected president, an analysis of his Senate staff shows that women are outnumbered and out-paid by men. That is in contrast to Republican presidential candidate John McCain's Senate office, where women, for the most part, out-rank and are paid more than men."

In his speech, Obama spoke about how his single mom worked to raise her family. He spoke of hardships of his grandmother, and also his wife. He set the stage beautifully by noting the successes of these women... then what did he do? He blasted Sen. John McCain, saying, "But when you look at our records and our plans on issues that matter to working women, the choice could not be clearer. ... It starts with equal pay."
It starts with equal pay? Did he seriously say that with a straight face? As notes in their analysis, "On average, women working in Obama's Senate office were paid at least $6,000 below the average man working for the Illinois senator." also points out that "of the five people in Obama's Senate office who were paid $100,000 or more on an annual basis, only one -- Obama's administrative manager -- was a woman."
In contrast, women outnumbered men on McCain's Senate payroll by 30 to 16. The women were paid an average of $3,000 more than the men.

In his speech Obama said, "We can't afford an economy where folks keep working harder for less. We can't let the women in our workforce get paid even less for doing the same work." Oh really? It appears that Obama, as an employer, has no problems doing exactly what he is speaking against. I guess he means "other" employers. Certainly we shouldn't look at what his own hiring practices really are, right? This is just one other part of his record that he'd prefer be kept out of the spotlight.

Near the end of his speech, Obama said, "I want my daughters to grow up in an America where they have opportunities that are even greater than their mother had, or their grandmothers, or their great grandmothers -- an America where our daughters truly have the same opportunities as our sons."

Note to Obama's daughters.... Don't go to work for your dad."

I thought this was hilarious and just points out once again how Obama is just another politician that says one thing and does another.

To see the full article, please visit the link above.

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What The Heck Is CoQ10? Why Do I Care?

Why is CoQ10 so important, anyway?

Because CoQ10 is everywhere, in every cell of the human body. It functions as a "spark plug," enabling the mitochondria, which are the energy producers in each cell, to produce ATP. ATP is the energy that cells in the human body use to function. CoQ10 is also a potent antioxidant that protects your cells from free-radical damage. Even if you eat a healthy diet and take a comprehensive multi-nutrient, your body may still need life-enhancing CoQ10. Your body's level of CoQ10 is abundant when you're young and in perfect health, but diminishes with age or illness.

Coq10 is not a vitamin but a nutrient. CoQ10 is naturally made in the body. Technically, a vitamin is a substance that the body cannot synthesize or cannot synthesize enough to maintain health and physiological functioning. If you're looking to boost your overall energy level and give extra support to your heart, liver, kidneys, and brain, it's time to take a closer look at CoQ10.

Benefits of CoQ10

Studies with CoQ10 have mostly focused on its benefit involving certain types of cardiovascular diseases, including congestive heart failure and hypertension. However, CoQ10 has also been evaluated for high cholesterol and in diabetes. When your doctor put you on some "Big Pharma" drug to control your blood pressure, it's likely that he didn't tell you that very same medicine depletes your body of the CoQ10 it naturally produces. If you're currently taking meds for hypertension, you should definitely ask your doctor about the benefits of taking a good CoQ10 supplement. Also patients with high cholesterol levels who are placed on statin drugs such as Lipitor and Zocor should take additional CoQ10 in the amount of 30 to 50 mg daily or a few times a week to counteract the muscle damage from these statin drugs.

Disclaimer: As always noted I am not a healthcare provider of any kind and you should always consult your personal physician before following any healthcare advice.

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About Gardisil

Gardasil has been the new darling of the medical advertising world these days along with those that impose vaccinations on our children. Now that it has been out on the market for a little over a year, the truth is starting to roll in.

First of all I would like to say that as a consumer, I am trusting anything done by Merk (major prescription drug manufacturing company) less and less. It seems from everything I have read, it is becoming more and more apparent they have no morals and no conscience when it comes to selling their drugs. In more than one instance they seem to hide information that is derogatory concerning the outcome of their testing and their reports seem to be more fabrication than fact. Unfortunately for the public, we don't learn how dangerous these drugs really are until they have already been unleashed with fatal or near fatal consequences. Gardasil is just one example.

My oldest daughter is 26. She went thru the whole 3-shot series. As with many others, the first 2 shots produced no unusual side effects. With the third shot in the series however, it has been 3 weeks and she still suffers with pain in her arm that is painful enough she can't raise her arm above shoulder height. When she called me to ask what I thought I didn't know enough about it to help her one way or another. That is when I did the research that everyone should do before subjecting themselves to what can possibly happen with this vaccine.

This vaccine is not the "holy grail" of cervical cancer the way it's presented to be. Merk did such a good job of marketing not only do 38 states make the vaccine mandatory, but they also are considering giving it to boys. I guess they figure they will kill the Human Papilova Virus where they say it starts. It also only kills 4 strains out of 40 possible strains of the virus, and they say those 4 would probably cure themselves without any treatment at all! What the doctor is not likely to tell you along with the above is that according to a Journal of the American Medical Association study, less than two percent of all women develop the two types of HPV that are responsible for 70 percent of all cervical cancers. American Cancer Society guidelines state that 90 percent of adolescent HPV infections are resolved without treatment – the same is true for about 75 percent of HPV infections in adults.

At least seven young women died suddenly shortly after receiving the vaccine, although in some cases the exact cause of death hasn't been determined. One of the patients who died suffered a blood clot three hours after receiving the vaccine. Two other patients (aged 12 and 19) died from "heart problems and/or blood clotting." Merck & Co. representatives had decided not to continue their controversial campaign to encourage state legislatures across the country to make Merck's HPV vaccine mandatory for young schoolgirls.

The adverse reactions that have been recorded in less than two years by the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (maintained by the Center of Disease Control and the FDA):

1,981 emergency room visits
143 hospitalizations
68 cases of permanent disability
51 life-threatening events
5 deaths
(There seems to be a slight discrepancy on whether it's 5 or 7 deaths, but any is too many).

While I believe in many cases vaccines are necessary, with all of the news lately about giving too many vaccines at once to our babies, and flu shots are only about 40% effective, yet they scare us into getting them every year, I don't follow as blindly as I used to.

Disclaimer: I am not licensed in any healthcare capacity. The above is my opinion based on my own research which you should probably do for your self also.

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Avoiding Food Poisoning on Vacation

Food poisoning is an acute gastroenteritis caused by the consumption of a food material or a drink which contains pathogenic micro organisms, their toxins, or poisonous chemicals. Food poisoning is common in hostels, hotels, communal feedings, and festival seasons. A group of people will be affected with same type of symptoms, and they give a history of consumption of a common food just a few hours earlier.

Types of food poisoning are:

  1. Bacterial food poisoning: Here the micro organisms called bacteria are responsible.The food material may contain the pathogenic bacteria or their toxin, and will be ingested along with the food.
  2. Non bacterial food poisoning: Due to the presence of toxic chemicals like fertilizers, insecticides, heavy metals and etc.

Since bacterial food poisoning is most common that is what I'll discuss here.

All bacteria are not harmful. There are some pathogenic bacteria which secrete toxins and cause clinical manifestations. These organisms enter the human body through food articles or drinks. Food poisoning occurs:

  1. When there is a presence of bacteria in water.
  2. The raw materials for the food may contain toxins.
  3. Premises where the food is prepared may contain micro organisms or toxins.
  4. Food handlers may have some infectious diseases.
  5. Some animals like dogs or rats may contaminate the food.
  6. If prepared food is kept at room temperature for a long time and heated again, there's a chance for food poisoning.

Then we've all heard horror stories of what people who prepare your food can do to it. That is why it's good to be aware of how clean the places appear to be where you eat.

Some common bacterial food poisonings are:

  1. Salmonella food poisoning. There are actually three different varieties of salmonella bacteria, salmonella typhimurium, salmonella cholera suis, salmonella enteritis. These bacteria are present in milk, milk products and eggs. Symptoms of this food poisoning include nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. Fever is also common.
  2. Botulism. This is the dangerous type of food poisoning caused by clostridium botulinum. The spores of these organisms are seen in the soil and enters the human body through pickles and canned fish, etc. Compared to other food poisonings, here vomiting and diarrhoea are rare. Mainly the nervous system is affected.The symptoms start with double vision, numbness with weakness. Later there will be paralysis with cardiac and respiratory failure ending in death.
  3. Staphylococcal food poisoning. It is caused by staphylococcus aureus. These organisms usually cause skin troubles like boils and eruptions. It causes mastitis in the cow. Through milk and milk products it enters the body and causes gastroenteritis. There will be vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhoea.
  4. Closteridium food poisoning. This is caused by closteridium perfringens. They are present in stool, soil and water. They enter the body through meat, meat dishes, and eggs. If food articles are cooked and kept at room temperature for a long time and heated again before eating, this kind of food poisoning can be the result. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhoea, and abdominal cramps.
  5. Bacillus cereus. The spores of these organisms can survive cooking and cause gastroenteritis. Diarrhoea and vomiting is common in this infection.

So how to do you investigate food poisoning? First, examine each and every person affected. Were more in your party sick besides you? Get a water sample and have it tested. Are the kitchen, store room and food samples clean and cared for properly? The cook and food handlers should be questioned and examined to see if they are passing along illnesses to you. When you see a doctor they will take samples of vomit and stool of all victims to be tested for identifying the bacteria.

How can you prevent food poisoning? The truth is you can't always, especially when you're on vacation, but here are a few tips.

  1. Only purified water should be used.
  2. Hygiene should be maintained by all persons keeping contact with food.
  3. Workers should use masks, cap and gloves during cooking and serving.
  4. Sick individuals should not come in contact with food materials.
  5. Kitchen and premises should be neat and clean.
  6. Vessels should be washed with soap and hot water.
  7. Should not keep the prepared food for a long time at room temperature.
  8. All food materials should be kept in closed containers.
  9. Animals like dogs, cats, rats, etc. should not come in contact with food materials.
  10. Vegetables should be washed before cooking.
  11. Meat should be fresh and should be purchased from a recognised slaughter house.

These are great tips if you are at home, but when you're out they are not always very practical. One of the main things for protecting yourself is to make sure what you eat is fully cooked. We all remember the outbreaks of food poisoning from hamburger and poultry not being cooked enough. Visiting the local hospital for any reason while on vacation usually isn't a pleasant experience.

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Quit Smoking By Suicide?

Once again the FDA appears to be on the side of "Big Pharma" to help doctors sell us more drugs. They suggest physicians combine counseling with medication, and are encouraged to suggest anyone who wants to quit smoking go on some sort of drug. The latest and considered to be the most effective is Chantix, and even tho the FDA for a second time has instructed Pfizer, Inc. to put stronger warnings on the packages, they push us in that direction.

The new warnings will appear in the WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS sections of the Chantix prescribing information. This a stronger form of WARNING that the one set last year. This warning comes after confirming that 39 suicides have occurred in patients taking varenicline (Chantix). Eighty-seven percent of those suicides have occurred in the United States.

If you google Chantix, you can find many message boards with so many comments, good and bad concerning this drug. Many people have had great success with the only side effects being nausea or wild dreams. Unfortunately there are also the stories of:

1) the guitarist, who after taking the drug for one week, mixed it with alcohol, became extremely violent and confused, beat up his girlfriend, kicked in his neighbor's door, to be shot dead by the neighbor
2)Dad-of-two Wayne Marshall, 36, was found hanging shortly after finishing a 13-week course of Chantix.
Wife Emma, 28, said: "He went downhill so quickly. He stopped going out. He closed himself off completely from everybody."
3) TV editor Omer Jama, 39, slashed his wrists at his home in Bolton last October.

A further 62 suicidal-type reactions have been reported to the medicines regulator. ( Lucy Thornton 21/01/2008)

Due to the fact that when you're having a "psychotic episode" you're probably the last one to know it, the directions tell you to advise friends, family, co-workers to bring it to your attention if they notice differences in your behavior such as increased agitation, violence, or depression.

Lois Biener, a researcher of tobacco use and control efforts at the University of Massachusetts in Boston, said most people who quit do so without smoking-cessation drugs.There's little evidence that these drugs are superior in the long run to quitting without help, and while a few studies have shown some benefit, it's "way less than what is claimed" by medication advocates, Biener said.

I found it interesting that the new guidelines for physicians were headed by Dr. Michael Fiore, an expert on smoking and health issues, and was a consultant to the maker of Chantix. Of course he says he has no ties to the drug, but I can't help but feel he may be a little biased. I also found it interesting that three of 24 panelists who wrote the guidelines reported "significant financial interests" in the pharmaceutical industry, including speaking fees and stock ownership. What a coincidence!

God Bless you if you are trying to quit or have quit smoking. God knows, I should quit, but like other drugs that doctors tout for money vs. my well being, this one scares me a little too much.

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Another Tylenol Crisis

Just a friendly warning for those who didn't think this really happens, or those who don't hear much about it in the news anymore.

The last few days my son Frankie has spent quite a bit of time at Valley Med (hospital)
with a friend whose liver is failing. This is only a 20 yr. old kid!

The reason his liver is failing, Tylenol. I know this kid drinks, I'm not sure what kind of drugs he's done, but he's young. You would think his liver should be able to handle just about
anything. This is why I switched from keeping Tylenol to keeping aspirin behind the bar years ago.

Just because they keep it quieter now, doesn't mean the problem has gone away. According to the statistics, there are over 70,000 cases of liver failure a year due to Tylenol, or acetaminophen overdose. The maximum dosage for an adult is 8 extra strength pills in a 24 hr. period, but liver failure can happened at half that dosage. This is where it becomes so dangerous for people who drink alcohol. For adults who drink 2 or more drinks a day, the dosage is 4 extra strength pills in a 24hr. period. People often take Tylenol with alcohol, or with other drugs (Vicodin, Nyquil, etc) that already have a strong dose of acetaminophen in them. What really surprised me in my search for information, is that there are more cases from suicide attempts than from accidental overdose. After reading about that, I of course asked my son if that was his friends case. He said no, but that was the first question the doctors had, so it must be pretty prevalent.

Acetaminophen is the leading cause of liver failure even if you've never had a drink. It is also responsible for many kidney failure cases.

What's scary about this stuff is 12 to 24 hrs. after an overdose, your sick as a dog, vomiting, etc.
One guy thought he just had the flu, so he started taking more medicine with acetaminophen. From 24 to 48 hrs. you actually feel better. Then at 72 hrs. after ingestion, the liver blood tests abnormalities start to show up. I must say, if I got that sick 3 days after I took Tylenol, that would be my last thought. I would be thinking maybe food poisoning from the nite before.

Accidental overdoses in children make up less than 10% of acetametophin toxitity. Most of those are not caused by little ones getting into a bottle of Tylenol, but by adults who do not calculate the proper dosage. In small ones, dosage should be by weight vs. age.

If you drink and/or take certain drugs (Check with your doctor) STAY AWAY
FROM TYLENOL. I know there are times when doctors cannot give aspirin, but I personally am surprised acetemetaphen is used so freely.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or any kind of health care professional. Just a concerned citizen, who now prays for my son's friend not to die.

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Don't Drink The Water?

What have they been pounding into our heads for years now? "Your body needs at least 8- 8oz glasses of water a day to work properly". I have to say I was a little shocked the other nite when on the "Evening News with Katie Couric" they announced "Recent research shows this just is not true". I have to laugh out loud at this one. Here we are fighting about whether "bottled" water is better than tap, what the plastic from the water bottles is doing to the environment, and now they're saying we don't need it anyway! Well, that's not exactly true, but we don't need as much as they have been telling us we need. If your urine is dark, drink more. If your urine is clear, you're drinking too much. It's that easy.

What's funny is one of the doctors I have been getting a newsletter from for quite awhile, has been preaching this now shocking news about water for a few years. While regular medicine calls him a quack regarding many issues, this is another one he can now rack up on his "I was right" side. For me as a lifelong dieter, I will continue to drink water along with all the other liquids I consume because I drink it to flush my body, not to hydrate it.

Feel free to leave your comments concerning how you feel about this news. I put it up there on the scale with "Mammograms Don't Save Lives", altho I thought that was a really stupid piece of journalism.

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A Little More About Drugs On the Take

I just received this little gem in my inbox this AM. If you've noticed you don't hear so much about drugs coming in from Canada anymore, you might want to read this.

From: Jenny Thompson at

I got the lowdown from a 2006 NPR broadcast in which health policy correspondent Julie Rovner explained that U.S. customs started cracking down on drugs crossing the border just as the sign-up period began for the Medicare prescription drug plan. The speculation: If low-priced drugs from Canada weren't available, people would have no choice but to sign up for the Medicare plan (which, by the way, is designed to be a big beautiful gift to the drug industry). Then in October 2006 – just before the midterm elections – customs eased up on restrictions. The speculation: Perhaps voters who lived near the Canadian border would feel more positive about incumbents up for reelection if they could once again purchase Canadian drugs more freely. See how it works? Whenever you hear "safety concerns," just insert "political concerns," and it all makes perfect sense.

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Will a Real Patient-Loving, "I Truely Want To Make People Well" Doctor Please Stand Up!

I read medical information all the time. As I have grown older, my health has become much more important to me. I realize I am mortal. I am also concerned with the quality of life I will have as I age thru the years. I watch news on the latest medical breakthroughs, I receive newsletters from several places, including the Mayo Clinic, and what I want to know is "how do you know who to trust?"

On one side we have the regular doctor who practices medicine based on what he learned in Med school many years ago. In California, the continuing education requirements are 25 hrs. per year, 100 hrs. over a 4 yr. period. (That's very simplified, but that's the gist of it). How much do they actually use new practices in medicine, or stick with the thing "they've always done"? Is your doctor new an innovative, or old and only into old ideas? Is he old, but prides himself on keeping up with the latest research? And the biggest question? Is he prescribing drugs based on what he gets "as gifts" from the drug companies, more than what is good for you?

According to Dr. Angell, in an article in the New York Review of Books:

"Over the past two decades the pharmaceutical industry has moved very far from its original high purpose of discovering and producing useful new drugs. Now primarily a marketing machine to sell drugs of dubious benefit, this industry uses its wealth and power to co-opt every institution that might stand in its way, including the US Congress, the FDA, academic medical centers, and the medical profession itself...."

The Journal Of The American Medical Association authors reported that the rate at which physicians prescribe a particular drug increases substantially after they see sales representatives, attend company-supported symposia, or accept samples of that drug.

What about the most recent flack over Dr. Robert Jarvik, inventor of the artificial heart, hawking Lipitor? Jarvik ended his training after medical school, instead of completing a medical internship. He can't legally prescribe medicine to anyone and he is not licensed to practice medicine. Now their checking records for proof that he even took the stuff!

What about the most recent "News With Katie Couric" expose where Dr. LaCorte found out his prescriptions for Zantac were being turned into Pepcid by the hospital he worked for? The hospital had struck a deal with Merk to get a deep discount if 80% of their patients took Pepcid. For many of Dr LaCorte's patients, Pepcid was too strong, that's why he didn't prescribe it in the first place.

On the other side we have the doctors that fight regular medicine. They have more of a naturopathy way of practicing medicine and feel for the most part, regular doctors have been bought off by "big pharma". Reading the above, it's no wonder regular doctors fight naturopathic doctors. It cuts into their pocketbooks. Now in California, naturopathic doctors also must be licensed and have continuing education requirements, tho this line of licensing is fairly new.

But these doctors, at least the ones we seem to hear the most about, have their own agendas. They are trying to sell me some "Super vitamin" that is better than the one I use because...? Or they want to sell me some treatment that only they perform, that takes several applications over a period of time and cost thousands of dollars. They also have become a huge "marketing machine" whose interest is in the bottom line vs. my actual health.

So who gets caught in the crossfire? You and me. How do you pick your doctor? Do you blindly follow his advice, or do you research what he tells you or prescribes? Do you ask a lot of questions and get complete answers as to why?

There is a website called Supposedly you can go there and look up your doctor, hospital, nursing home and much more. I don't know how much info it has for every state, as I am just newly aware of it, but it seems like a great place to start.

I am no doctor, and obviously not all of the medical community is guilty, but this stuff scares me. Even a lot of the research is paid for by the drug companies, so how can it be unbiased? The immediate labs use some other name, but when they "follow the money", guess where it leads? It's important for all of us to be responsible for our own health care and safety. I'd say the more of this that is uncovered, the more there is that isn't. We have to pay attention, people.

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The Easter Bunny and His (?) Eggs

In honor of the day, I did a little research and found some interesting “facts” (using the term very loosely) concerning the celebration of Easter with a rabbit and colored eggs. Whether you celebrate Easter as a religious holiday, or just with the tradition of the Easter Bunny, have a wonderful day and God Bless.

Where Did The “Easter Bunny” Originate?

As for rabbits laying eggs, several explanations have been proposed.
In English, the etymology of the word "Easter" comes from an ancient pagan goddess of the spring named Eostre, related to German Ostara. This is probably one of the most beautiful explanations I’ve read on how a rabbit lays eggs. According to popular folklore, Eostre once saved a bird whose wings had frozen during the winter by turning it into a rabbit. Because the rabbit had once been a bird, it could still lay eggs, and that rabbit became the modern Easter Bunny.(1)
Now obviously, we all know neither hares nor rabbits lay eggs, but hares bring up their young in 'forms'. These forms are hollows in the ground, usually located in fields and meadows. Plovers, a type of bird, have been known to take over a form as a nest in which to lay their eggs. One legend relates that a woman saw a hare leaving a form and upon investigation, she found a 'nest of eggs', which she consequently believed to have been 'laid' by the hare.

David Beaulieu, who wrote an article for regarding “Easter Origins: Easter Rabbit, Easter Egg says:
“Thus in our modern Easter lore, although the Easter Rabbit is sometimes thought of as laying the Easter eggs so eagerly sought by children, the Easter Rabbit is nonetheless often regarded as male. Since rabbits don't lay eggs anyhow, I suppose quibbling over gender wouldn't make much sense”.

The first edible Easter bunnies were made in Germany during the early 1800s. And were made of pastry and sugar. The newest tradition on the scene is the Easter Bilby in Australia. Instead of Chocolate Easter Bunnies, many Aussies are buying chocolate “Easter Bilbies” to raise money to save the Bilby from extinction.

Why Colored Eggs?

The precise origin of the ancient custom of coloring eggs is not known. Dyed eggs were already being used as part of pagan rituals at the dawn of history in the Near Eastern civilizations. These were the first "Easter eggs."
The idea of an egg-laying bunny came to the United States in the 18th century. German immigrants in the Pennsylvania Dutch area told their children about the "Osterhas," sometimes spelled "Oschter Haws." "Hase" means "hare," not rabbit, and in Northwest European folklore the "Easter Bunny" indeed is a hare, not a rabbit. According to the legend, only good children received gifts of colored eggs in the nests that they made in their caps and bonnets before Easter.
German Protestants wanted to retain the Catholic custom of eating colored eggs for Easter, but did not want to introduce their children to the Catholic rite of fasting. Eggs were forbidden to Catholics during the fast of Lent, which was the reason for the abundance of eggs at Easter time.

Why Does Easter Fall On A Different Date Every Year?

According to, the reason the date changes is because originally
in some ancient cultures, the hare was a symbol for the moon. Hares feed by night and have been observed staring at the moon when it is full. Their gestation period was also believed to be 28 days — the same as a lunar cycle. The lunar cycle, which represented the victory of life over death or spring over winter, was celebrated around the vernal equinox. That is why the date for Easter changes each year: it is based on the lunar cycle. The Council of Nicea convened by emperor Constantine in 325AD, decided Easter would fall on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal equinox on 21 March. As such Easter always falls somewhere between March 22 and April 25th. According to “Easter On The Net”, the Saxons devoted the month of April to celebrating their goddess of spring and fertility, who was, not coincidentally, named Eastre.
1. Per article in Wikipedia

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Stuff I Learn From Junk Mail- Fun Facts

Part 1 was pretty serious, so I decided to just post some usefull fun stuff this time. Hope you find something you didn't know and you can use.

Stuff gleaned from an ad for the Reader's Digest book "Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things". I don't know how it is I don't have this book. I see the mailer card is gone, but I must not have mailed it.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for anything that may happen as a result of repeating info here. Some of these things I have tried and actually find them to work, and have had no ill effects. You are responsible for what you decide to do.

1) A quick spritz of WD-40 on arthritic joints can provide relief and make movement easier, much as it does for quieting squeaky hinges.

2) Relieve back pain with meat tenderizer. The same enzymes that tenderize meat can help with a bad back. Just mix a little with water to make a paste, and rub it where it hurts. Supposedly amazing relief. (I guess "don't knock it 'till you try it").

3) Vinegar's wrinkle-busting power in clothing. After your clothes come out of the dryer, mist wrinkled clothes with a solution of 1 part vinegar and 3 parts water. Hang to air-dry. Not only will the wrinkles disappear, plus it makes foul smells go away.

4) These days we all need to save money where we can. If you put just a pinch of salt to a carton of milk or cream will keep it fresh longer.

5) Epsom salts, over and above all it's other uses, has 2 minerals that make plants grow like crazy. Add 2 tablespoons per gallon of water and spread over your grass so it soaks it. It turns your lawn into a "super-green" and it's cheaper than fertilizer.

There were so many tips in this little mailer, that I just can't put them all here. The following are some tips I got out of another Reader's Digest mailer for their book "2001 Amazing Cleaning Secrets".

As old as I am and as big a jewelry nut as I am, something no one ever told me was how bad chlorine was for gold.

1) Never allow chlorine to get on your gold. It will cause the gold to deteriorate. Be sure to remove your jewelry before getting into chlorinated pools and hot tubs.

2) Save your money from jewelry cleaners and soak for 30 minutes in equal parts ammonia and cold water instead.

3) Get rust stains out of clothes with a paste of cream of tartar and lemon juice. (Rust stains have always been just about impossible to remove!).

4) This is definitely not the way my mama taught me. When washing walls, start from the bottom up. The reason for this is because dirty water running down a dirty wall leaves worse streaks than dirty water running down a clean wall. (I wish I would have known this one years ago!).

5) If your kitchen fills with smoke, over and above opening windows, etc., if you boil 1 quart of water and 1/4 cup of vinegar on the stove it will clear out the smell quickly. The vinegar is oder neutralizing.

There you go. 10 new tips to use as you will. I get so much junk mail, I'm sure I will have some more tips you can use in the future. I know I'm missing one mailer that was just super and it was all about gardening tips. Till then...

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Things I've Learned From Junk Mail- Part 1

I am constantly bombarded with all kinds of junk mail, as I'm sure you are. When it comes to those little magazine-like solicitations, most the time I can't help but look.
Most of these are either to sell you books or newsletters regarding health, taking care of your garden, or fixing and cleaning your house. Because they're soliciting you, they can't help but give you a few examples of what's inside the book or newsletter they want you to buy. This is the info I find fascinating. Some of this stuff is not "main stream" knowledge, or at least I've never heard of it before, so that's what I would like to share with you.

To Your Health
We hear all the time about how we need calcium, especially women, for weightloss and to combat osteoporosis, but what we don't hear a lot about is how we need both vitamin D and magnesium to absorb it. Even if you have heard bits and pieces regarding the above, what you probably haven't heard is how important magnesium is for us all on it's own.
Magnesium deficiency can cause:

  • Cold hands
  • Soft or brittle nails
  • High blood pressure (lack of magnesium and CoQ10)
  • Muscle Cramps (as I was growing up I always heard this was from a lack of calcium. When I got older, different ones said it was a lack of potassium. According to Dr. Susan Lark of "Women's Health" it's a sign of a magnesium deficiency).
  • Shaking hands (magnesium and vitamin B1)

These are some of the most common ways to spot a deficiency. Left unchecked it can lead to more serious problems such as arthritis, osteoporosis, tooth decay, chronic fatigue, even heart attack and stroke!

Some best sources for magnesium:

  • 100% Bran Cereal (1/2 cup) 128.7 mg
  • Oat Bran (1/2 cup) 96.4 mg
  • Brown Rice (1 cup cooked) 83.8 mg
  • Almonds (1 oz. or 22 almonds) 81.1 mg
  • Spinach, chopped (1/2 cup) 78.3 mg
  • Swiss chard, chopped (1/2 cup) 75.2 mg
  • Lima Beans (1/2 cup cooked) 62.9 mg

Obviously getting your magnesium through a healthy diet is the best. Supplements usually carry just a very small amount of magnesium in them usually found with calcium, but the ratio between the calcium and magnesium is usually seriously out of whack. The usual recommended dosage for adults over 18 is 300 to 400 mg. per day.

For the best in vitamins and supplements from the #1 manufacturer in the world, visit

(Disclaimer: I am in no way a medical doctor and get my information from others. Before doing anything, you may want to speak to your physician about any possible deficiencies or drug interactions.)

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Check out my Slide Show!

I don't usually make a commercial out of my blog, but this was pretty cool! Couldn't help showing off some of my products. LOL

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CFL's What You Might Not Know About These Lightbulbs

I had a little tidbit in my e-mail box this morning concerning the disposal of those new (fairly new) CFL lightbulbs. While they are supposed to be so instrumental in conserving energy that a lot of retailers are selling them at only 99 cents each in order to get us to use them,(according to "if every home in America replaced just one incandescent light bulb with an ENERGY STAR qualified CFL, in one year it would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of more than 800,000 cars),
I never had a second thought about how to dispose of them. I never saw any big warnings on the package, never read anything about it in the news as to what a health hazard they could be, nothing. In case you're in the same boat, here is what the EPA suggests.

According to to dispose of used CFL bulbs, they should be taken to a recycling center that handles florescent bulbs. If you're trying to locate one by you try or to identify local recycling options.If your state permits you to put used or broken CFLs in the garbage, seal the bulb in two plastic bags and put it into the outside trash.

But If You Break One...

There's a lot more to it. This is what took me by surprise. Taken directly from the EnergyStar website-

How should I clean up a broken fluorescent bulb?
The following steps can be performed by the general public:
1. Open a window and leave the room for 15 minutes or more.
2. Carefully scoop up the fragments and powder with stiff paper or cardboard and place them in a sealed plastic bag.
􀂃 Use disposable rubber gloves, if available (i.e., do not use bare hands). Wipe the area clean with damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes and place them in the plastic bag.
􀂃 Do not use a vacuum or broom to clean up the broken bulb on hard surfaces.
3. Place all cleanup materials in a second sealed plastic bag.
􀂃 Place the first bag in a second sealed plastic bag and put it in the outdoor trash container or in another outdoor protected area for the next normal trash disposal.
􀂃 Note: some states prohibit such trash disposal and require that broken and unbroken lamps be taken to a local recycling center.
􀂃 Wash your hands after disposing of the bag.
4. If a fluorescent bulb breaks on a rug or carpet:
􀂃 First, remove all materials you can without using a vacuum cleaner, following the steps above. Sticky tape (such as duct tape) can be used to pick up small pieces and powder.
􀂃 If vacuuming is needed after all visible materials are removed, vacuum the area where the bulb was broken, remove the vacuum bag (or empty and wipe the canister) and put the bag or vacuum debris in two sealed plastic bags in the outdoor trash or protected outdoor location for normal disposal.

Please be careful when dealing with these. All the conservation of energy in the world won't do us any good if we can't enjoy it. For more information concerning CFL bulbs, visit

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To Smoke or Not To Smoke

Who all saw "The View" when Whoopi decided to quit smoking? Who all saw the show Oprah did last week on quitting smoking? My hand goes in the air. "Pick me, pick me" I say.

Yes, I have been following Whoopi's progress and yes, I watched the Nation's top experts on Oprah show us why we should quit, and supposedly how. The main Dr. on the show worked with people in the audience and had some cutting edge technology for testing the damage smoking had already done to them. So here I am. A post-menopausal woman who has been a smoker for the last 40 yrs. Since leaving my brick and mortar business earlier this year, I have gained a ton of weight and doubled my pack-and-a-half-a-day habit.

To be perfectly honest, I don't know if I'm feeling like it's hard to breath and I get fatigued easy because of the increase in smoking or the increase in weight, or both. I have always been a huge advocate of smoking, especially when I personally paid for the whole EPA 1993, 526 page report on smoking and found out most of the propaganda the public was getting fed about second hand smoke was BS. In a more controlled study done by the World Health Organization after the EPA study, they showed second hand smoke was so insignificant, and actually children of smokers had 22% less episodes of lung cancer. (For those of you who want to see for yourselves, go here
I may feel it's in my best interest healthwise to quit, but I resent the hell out of the Government intruding in my life to tell me I have to.

I have been studying the different drugs, etc associated with smoking cessation. I really thought that Dr. Oz (that appeared on Oprah) had the magic answer, but he just gave the same old plan that has been around forever! I looked at the new drug Chantrix. I read quite a few of the 75 reviews on their site and it scares me more than smoking does! Wellbutrin or Zyban are supposed to be pretty easily tolerated, but there too, I'm not sure enough about my health to know if they would be safe for me. I've also been looking into NLP (a form of changing your behavior to stop old habits) and acupressure. They both seem a lot safer, just not sure how easy it will be or how well they work.

If your curious about NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) for quitting smoking, see the pagehere. Just scroll down the page to the guy lighting up a rolled dollar bill and click on it. It's a very interesting concept and once you learn how to use it, it's supposed to be good in so many other aspects of your life. Maybe I can quit smoking and lose weight! WOW.

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"Ditch Your New Year's Resolutions" Day- Pt 2

Always January 17th- I love this! I think everyone should have a "plan B". I don't have any to ditch today, even tho one of my resolutions is to quit smoking (I don't know if there's enough drugs in the world), but it is to 'quit smoking this year' so I still have plenty of time to work on it. LOL.

For those of you who would like some inspiration for your resolutions outside of the normal “Top 10”, here are some we should all probably consider. It is never too late or never too early to make a fresh start.

1.) Call an old friend you haven’t been in touch with for awhile. It’s amazing how people love to know you’re thinking of them. Heck, call more than one.

2.) Stop and tell the people the people you love, you love them, or how much they mean to you. It’s so easy to say “I love you” automatically. Instead, take the time to actually say it so you know they feel it. We have a tendency to take so much for granted.

3.) Don’t blow molehills into mountains. As they say “this too shall pass”, (whoever “they” is). We all have challenges. Sometimes it’s the way we think of them that make them large or small. Keep moving toward the light at the end of the tunnel.

4.) Grow your sense of humor, it’ll help with #3 above. Remember what it was like the last time you really laughed? Try looking at things from a “funny side”.

5.) Be encouraging to yourself and those around you. It’s so easy for us to be discouraging, sometimes without even knowing it. Try looking at things like a child who believes anything is possible.

And for those who are hell-bent on keeping some resolutions, here are a few that would be easy to keep. (Some of these are sort of ‘borrowed’ from Mike Douglas over at, with my commentary thrown in).

1.) I want to be plump, beautiful, and look like the actresses of yesterday instead of the anorexic Barbie dolls of today.

2.) Assert yourself. Never surrender the control of that TV remote to anyone in the house.

3.) Be more self-absorbed: All me, all the time. (How To Win Friends and Influence People) LOL

4.) Buy your husband a cookbook. One can't always eat in a restaurant. It’s time he learned how to cook some decent food. His cooking was hopeless last year. (If you’re a man reading this, it’s probably not that she can’t cook, she probably just doesn’t want to).

5.) Procrastinate forever. Why do today what you can postpone for how long?
(I know this is 6, so this isn’t ‘symmetrical’, so to speak, but I had to add in my favorite)

6.) Last but not least, get your husband or boyfriend to take on exercising in a big way. You deserve someone hung like Brad Pitt. (Once again, if you’re a man reading this, don’t try it the other way around. No matter how hard you try, you’ll never turn us into all boobs and butt and no mouth). LOL

I think that’s enough to think about the New Year for now. Have a great day and “get rid of the guilt”.

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