Archives for 2013


THANKSGIVING seems to start the Holiday Season.  There are so many great recipes  available.  There are  Great Ideas for children.  It is nice for them to write down some of the things for which they are Thankful and have them recite them either at the dinner table or with the family on Thanksgiving Day.

Thanksgiving is a special time to gather with family and friends and share memories. As with many families, we always have each person at the table, including children, say something for which they are thankful.

An excellent website having to do with the origin of Thanksgiving, traditions, recipes, stories & jokes is  Great website!

I would like to do a little “Turkey Talk” regarding turkey preparation. Proper cooking of a turkey is imperative if you do not wish to spend the evening or the next day in the ER with food poisoning.

1. Cook a fresh turkey within 3 days.    2. Thaw a turkey in a refrigerator or for quicker thawing use a chest cooler with ice or frozen cold packs.  (It should be started in the fridge about 4 days ahead of the day you wish to cook it and spend no more than 2 days in a COLD cooler.)    3. Do NOT thaw a turkey at room temp as bacteria will grow.    4. If you stuff your turkey, place an unpeeled apple in the opening rather than sewing it closed.  The dressing will pick up a nice apple flavor and the apple will absorb extra grease.  (APPLE NOT EDIBLE–although it WILL look like a baked apple, after removing from turkey)    5. I rub the turkey with mayonnaise and salt and pepper it.  After putting in a roasting pan, I tent the turkey with aluminum foil and place it in a 425 degree oven for 1/2-1 hr., depending on size of turkey.  I then turn it down to 325 degrees for the duration. 6. I remove the foil about 1-2 hrs. before I think it is done.  It will brown the skin.     6. DO NOT overcook or undercook a turkey.  If it does not have a pop-up timer or meat thermometer, move the turkey leg back & forth to see if it is a little loose. Then cut into the breast mid turkey–you do not want to see pink meat, but you also do not want it dry.

“We may give without loving, but we cannot love without giving.” author unknown    Thanksgiving



FALL and HALLOWEEN Recipes and Crafts

FALL is HERE and HALLOWEEN is coming up.  There are Kids Ideas and also some great recipes for this time of year.  It is Apple Cider time.  How about some Great Easy Chili.    There are many ideas for Halloween Kid fun available.  Have a Great Fall season!


Arrange 1 Qt. sliced or cut up Apples ( about 8 apples) in a shallow 9″ by 13″ baking pan.  Sprinkle with 1/2tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp. lemon juice and 1/2 cups water.

1 Cup Sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup flours

Blend until crumbly. Press on top of apples.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.  May be served with whipped topping.



Easy Ghost Suckers

Need round suckers such as Tootsie Pops. Kleenex Tissue Licorice whips or orange yarn Black Marker

Wrap tissue over Sucker and secure at base of sucker with licorice whip or orange yarn.  Make eyes with black marker.



1 gallon apple cider 1/2-3/4 cup brown sugar (adjust for taste) 4  sticks cinnamon ( Break in half) 2 tsp. whole allspice 12 whole cloves 3-4 fresh lemon slices ( optional)

Pour cider into large pot.  Add spices and simmer for at least 20 minutes.  The longer the cider is simmered the stronger it gets.  Makes the house smell great and so nice to sip with   friends on a cool night.  ENJOY!



If you have suffered unbearable leg and foot cramps during the night, you will appreciate this very simple, inexpensive solution that has helped many.  It is something that we ALL have in our home–A BAR of SOAP!

UPDATE:  Have used small soap bars for 4 months and still works.  SOAP must be shaved or REPLACED about every 2-3 wks or as soon as it stops working!  10/13

My Experience:

I have had severe leg cramps, starting with RLS (restless leg syndrome)which then develop into in painful cramps in legs and feet for a several years. I have tried the usual remedies like magnesium, magnesium gel, potassium, quinine (tonic) water and  several prescription drugs, with no lasting  effect on the leg and foot cramps.  On a recent trip to Spokane, WA ,a client of  my daughter’s Pilates class told me to place a bar of soap–unwrapped–between  the mattress pad and the sheet between my knees and feet. I thought it was a bit
odd, but thought “hey it costs nothing and I am not putting medication into my body” and have tried everything else suggested. So I tried it! I have used the method for a month and my cramps have completely  subsided. It is really quite unbelievable. I am not one that gets placebo  effects on anything, so know it is a WINNER–at least for many! Wish that more people knew about  this, it might save many from taking medications that do NOT work.

There are many Testimonials out there regarding the great results using this method. Learn More about leg Cramps and Soap!  Some recommend not using Dial or Dove Soap.  There are many theories as to why this works but no Scientific evidence why, but the number of people that have had great results, is indisputable.

Hoping this information helps you if you are suffering from night-time Leg Cramps.  If you find relief, PLEASE share your experience by making a comment on this website.







1/2 cup cooking or olive oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 cup honey–slightly melted in micro–low
dash pepper

Mix Marinade and pour over meat.  Pierce the meat with a fork
and refrigerate for at least an hour for best flavor.

Pork Chops or Pork Steaks are great for grilling and basting
with this marinade.  Also good fro chicken.  Do NOT save left
left-over marinade if utensils used have touched the meat
and then the marinade.



With the season of fresh vegetables and outdoor grilling, great easy recipes are a must. I have compiled a few of my favorites to share.


The amount of this dressing depends on the size of the salad. For a 2-3 quart bowl this is the amount that we make.

1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup of lemon juice (we find the “Real Lemon” brand is the best)
1/2 tsp. of garlic salt

Shake ingredients and pour over salad and toss well. (above ingredients can be altered, depending on your taste). We actually do not measure. We have had more compliments on this simple, refreshing salad dressing than prepared dressings.



1/4 cup of water
slightly less than 1/4 cup of Soy sauce
2  Tbls olive oil or vegetable oil
Mix and our over salmon that has been placed in a container. Marinate for about 2-3 hrs before grilling. Sprinkle “McCormick’s Montreal Chicken” spice over marinated salmon before grilling or broiling. DELICIOUS!



Any garden vegetables can be used in this delicious marinade. Some favorites are zuccinni or yellow summer squash, cucumbers, green beans, cauliflower and red, yellow or green bell peppers. Cut or slice vegetables into bite size pieces. Mushrooms (halved or quartered are especially good with the vegetables). I try to have the vegetables colorful so I add different shades of vegetables. Vegetables such as green beans or Cauliflower should be blanched (placed in boiling water  for 2 minutes) for better marinade absorption.

1 1/2 cups water
1 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup cooking oil or olive oil
1 clove garlic–minced
2 tsps. Salt
1 tsp. peppercorns (unground pepper)
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
Fresh cilantro may be added. Experiment with whatever vegetables are available or that you like.  A GREAT PARTY RECIPE!
Combine all ingredients and pour over prepared vegetables. Put in airtight container or marinator that can be turned easily or stir often for marinade to coat all vegetables. IT is GREAT!



After years of gardening and making dozens of loaves of zucchini bread, I decided to get creative.  Everyone loved the “NEW” zucchini breads.  TRY them!      

Basic Zucchini Bread

3 Eggs
1 cup oil
1 ¾ cups sugar
2 ½ cups grated zucchini
(not necessary to peel fresh zucchini as long as it is washed)
1 tsp. Vanilla

3 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. Salt
2 tsps. Cinnamon (optional)
1 tsp. Baking soda
¼ tsp. Baking powder

Combine wet and dry ingredients separately. Mix the two together thoroughly and pour into 2 greased and floured bread pans.  Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes.  Test for doneness by inserting a wooden toothpick in center of bread.  It should come out clean.  Cool bread for about 20 minutes and removes from pans.

CREATIVE VARIATIONS:  Cut back on the amount of zucchini by the amount that you are adding of one of the following: ½ to1 cup of blended peaches, pears, bananas or fruit cocktail. The fruits need to be blended in a blender prior to adding to the wet ingredieants.  You can also add nuts or raisins.



¾ cup catsup
¾ cup water or beer
1 tsp. Paprika
1 tsp. Chili powder
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
2 TBLS Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbl. dried minced onion
* Note: If using sauce for spare ribs, use 2 large sliced onions.

BBQ Sauce may be used on your favorite meats or with pulled pork for sandwiches.


Diamond PrincessOutdoor movieShip from Tender3


Cruising is the most economical and fun way to travel.  Your travel, wonderful food, top entertainment and activities are included.  You are free to enjoy the pool, eat all day, just relax or become involved in various activities offered.  You can choose to go ashore and be on your own, stay on the ship or take one of the many Excursions that are offered at the different ports.  No stress in wondering where you will eat or what you will do. The biggest thing is you are going to all different locations and Never have to move your luggage!

We have taken about 11 cruises on a few different lines.  We have recently stayed pretty much with Princess as you become a valued Cruiser if you stay with one Cruise line.  You get perks such as Free minutes on the Internet, getting embarkation and disembarkation preference.  If you are new at Cruising you might wish to try different Cruise lines or find where you want to go and pick the Cruiseline with the best itinerary and price.

We just completed a repositioning Cruise which means the Ship is moving to a new location for that particular season.  In our case, it was leaving Ft. Lauderdale and traveling to N. Europe. We will get into the particulars of this Cruise, but just want you all to know that this is probably the cheapest, most enjoyable way to travel.  The DOWN side is you only get to stay in a location for a day, sometimes two and land packages are offered.  The Up side of that is that if you do not care for the port you in, you will only be there a day.  If you do like it, you may wish to go back and stay spend your vacation or Holiday there for a longer time.  It is like getting a live preview of many places.



This was first published in 2011, but I felt it was worth republishing for those who may be suffering from scoliosis.  In addition to the other helpful blogs that I have done on scoliosis, I am planning to include our daughter’s 1980 scoliosis experience.

This series starts with the Diagnosis of Scoliosis, then to my personal story from 1958.  There will be many links to click on regarding “scoliosis” information, videos and resources.  

We would greatly appreciate your input and personal experience and hope that you find this and the links and video helpful in learning more about scoliosis.


This is the first of a Series of Blogs on Scoliosis.

“What is Scoliosis?”  Scoliosis is a medical condition in which the spine is curved to one side. The thoracic (chest) or lumbar ( lower back) regions are the most commonly affected.  Viewed on an X-Ray it may be a curvature which appears as an “S” curve or a “C” curve.  Scoliosis is typically classified as congenital (abnormality at birth) or idiopathic (unknown cause).  Scoliosis can be diagnosed by a physical exam of the spine, hips and legs along with X-Rays of the spine. It is very often diagnosed at about age 10-15 and the progressive type seems to be more prevalent in females.  There are also Neuromuscular and Degenerative types.  There is more information on these different types of scoliosis on  WebMed.

Scoliosis is often discovered through school screenings at 5th or 6th grade or through a routine Pediatric Appointment, which then  will often require X-Rays of the spine. One indicator is one shoulder lower than another with opposite hip slightly raised.   If the curvature is minor it may just need to be watched and may not requre any agressive treatment.

Sometimes excercise, Pilates or other Therapies will help keep the curvature from increasing and may help with actually treating the curvature and/or pain involved.

Another great reference is MayoClinic

You may wish to read my personal story of having severe scoliosis at age 13 and what was then called “a complete spinal fusion” in 1958 and the protocol used at that time.  Methods have dramatically changed.

Easter Egg Recipes for Kids


Use an tray with molded egg shapes( like one used for deviled eggs).  These trays can be found in most craft stores.

Melt chocolate, white chocolate or pastel colored compound coating (found in craft stores and some food stores).

Spoon into egg-shaped indentations and refrigerate until firm.  Remove unto waxed paper.  Press the 2 halves together with more melted chocolate, frosting or marshmallow cream.  Decorate with frosting decorating tubes.



Using a raw egg, poke a hole in both end of egg with a large needle, making little bigger hole in the largher end of the egg.  Place mouth over smaller end of egg and blow the contents of the egg into bowl.  Be careful not to squeeze the egg!  

After egg has had it’s contents removed, carefully rinse the egg shell.  The egg may be painted or decorated.  I have used small pieces of cut tissue paper and placed them on the egg with a paintbrush using watered down Elmer’s Glue or Decoupage acrylic or Liquitex.  When egg is dry, coat the egg with another layer of the gloss Liquitex. The tissue paper egg will appear like a stained glass window type design. you may also place a small photo on the egg.  If you coat the eggs with a washable varnish such as Liquitex, they will last for years and bring back memories each yr.

Would you like a good CRAFT book for your young children?


Paper Plate Easter Hats



Fun Project for young 2-8 yr. old children.  

Buy paper or plasic plates.  9″ ones are usually sold at the Dollar Stores.   Cut a hole in center large enough for the child’s head.

You can buy plastic flower bunches at the Dollar Store and cut them individually or you can make *crepe paper flowers (orange flower on the child’s hat).   Staple flowers to the paper plate and use masking tape to cover staples on the inside of the hat.  We used a roll dof green crepe paper to make the hat ties however inexpensive ribbon could be used.  My neighbor did this with Day Care chidlren and they loved it.  She fashioned a hat bill to the front of the boys hats.    

* Crepe Paper Flowers

Choose pastel packages of crepe paper.  Cut about a 3″ to 4″ band of the crepe paper, leaving crepe paper folded as packaged.  Start gathering crepe paper at the base of the flower, spreading out petals as you gather.  When desired sized is reached, cut crepep paper and secure base with fine wire or colored craft pipe cleaners.  Contrasting colors may be added as in adult hat below.

Larger dk. Blue plastic plate was used. 




Last week, while out of town with friends, I experienced extreme vertigo, a very scary feeling.  I got up in the middle of the night to go the bathroom and upon lying back down the room began to swirl.  In trying to right myself I fell over onto the bed like a rag doll.  I yelled out and my husband rushed to my side and said later” Your arms were flaying in the air in an attempt to right yourself.”  I spent the rest of the night propped up on pillows and trying to fall back to sleep.  We were in a Casino and the next day, I felt a bit off center all day and any quick movement would bring on a case of dizziness.  It was very unsettling.  Upon returning home, I had another bad episode at bedtime and we went to ER.

They did all of the usual tests, CT scan, Chest X-Ray and blood tests.  Everything was negative. On day 10, I visited my PCP (Primary Care Physician) and asked for an antibiotic as I had a very strange headache which had occurred previous to my Vertigo episode.  My PCP said that she thought it was BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo), so I researched it and it sounded like what I might have.  I did find some exercises, which I found online and have continued for two days and remarkably, for the most part, my vertigo has subsided to a mere slight dizziness upon quick motions.  Now the questions is: Is the cure the 3 days of a strong antibiotic or is it BPPV?  I don’t know, but I will continue to do the exercises as I do not want to go back to the severe vertigo.

BPPV is dizziness or vertigo thought to be debris which is collected within a part of the inner ear.  It has been called crystals, stones, debris or ear rocks–possibly where the term “Rocks in your Head” originated.  They become dislodged and move into more sensitive inner ear locations.  People over 60 are most likely to get BPPV.  The Epley Maneuver  can easily be done at home & relocate the “crystals”.  I also did the Brandt-Daroff  Exercise.  There is a small video on this maneuver near the bottom of the page next to the discs.

There is more in information on Dizziness, Vertigo and BPPV on Mayo Clinic website.  Although BPPV may be common, it is very distressing for the individual who is experiencing this and can result in a fall.  If you are experiencing the symtoms of BPPV it is best to get your Physicians opinion, rather than to self diagnose.


Valentine Ideas for Children

CUPCAKES—You can make heart shaped cupcakes by placing paper baking cups into a cupcake pan.   Start pouring cake batter into paper baking cup.  When half full, place a glass marble between the paper liner and the cupcakepan.  During the baking process the cupcakes will take on a heart shape.  Decorate with frosting, deocrating tubes and candy.





 Heart Shaped Cookie Cutter–purchase

1  lg–6 oz. Red Jello (strawberry or Raspberry)
3 envelopes Knox unflavored Gelatin
Mix these gelatins together

Add to 4 cups of Boiling Water

Our into 9″ x 12″ pan and refrigerate for well set.  Cut with Heart shaped cutter.  Kids love the remaining scraps of finger jello.  Place hearts on a white plate for best presentation.