Archives for 2010

Holiday Party Punch

HOLIDAY PARTY PUNCH

2 cans frozen cranberry or cranberry-raspberry juice
1 can frozen lemonade
1 bottle 7-UP
( if you wish to add liquor it can be 3/4 cup bourbon, brandy or rum)

Mix juices (I only add about a cup of water, as I add ice when serving) and add liquor and refrigerate before party.  Then pour into punch bowl, adding 1 quart bottle of 7-up.  Add ice or an ice ring.  Garnish with lemon or orange slices.  I added both 3/4 cup brandy and 3/4 cup rum and it was very good.  I usually have one glass bowl with liquor and one without liquor. Very pretty red & delicious.

 

VALENTINE and CHRISTMAS SALAD


VALENTINE  & CHRISTMAS SALAD

Cherry Pie filling   ( 1 can)
1  6 oz. pkg. cherry jello
1 can crushed pineapple (20 0z)
1 can Coke ( not diet)
1 cup pecans in pieces

Put pie filling in pan and heat to bubbling, stirring constantly
Add jello and stir in over heat until it seems dissolved ( about 3 minutes)
Remove from stove and add Crushed Pineapple with juice
Slowly stir in can of Cola–it will be fizzy

When it settles and cools–refrigerate until it is slightly congealed, then stir in pecan pieces.  You can stir it several times before serving.

This is an easy recipe and fun because no one can guess what is in it.  Just be sure you tell people that it contains “nuts” in case there are allergies.  I make it at Christmas and Valentine’s Day and make a Game of having people guess the ingredients!  ALWAYS a hit!

 

Homemade Gifts/Decorations made by Kids

CHRISTMAS PAPER CHAIN   Ages 2 & up

Cut strips of construction paper in strips about 1/2 to 3/4 ” wide and about 5-7 ” long.  The child puts glue on one end, folding the opposite end into a circle and hold until stuck together. ( Put the next strip through the circle and just keep going alternating colors of chosen paper).  It can be as long as you want or as long as the attention span lasts.  They can hang over the branches of the tree.  These of course do not last as long as other decorations, but help with eye-hand coordination and makes the child very proud to have something he/she made.

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Holiday Placemats  (ages 4 up)

Needed–any combination of these:  Old Christmas Cards, Holiday wrapping Paper, stickers, ribbon, etc.
Poster Board (the heaviest available)–white, red, green, gold, silver
Glue Stick
Roll of CLEAR Contact Paper  ( Home Depot carries it–by shelf paper)

Have the child cut out several things or use the fronts of the cards as they are.  Cut a placemat sized rectangle out of posterboard ( no larger than 16″ in length). Have them do a layout. Then use a gluestick to attach the cards or designs to cover the poster board.  Let is set to let the glue dry.  Then with adult help, cut contact paper so that it is larger than the Placemat. Pull off the backing  of contact paper, lay and flat then place one side of  placemat on the contact paper, making sure you have edges left all around it. Repeat for back of Placemat.  Cut the edge of the contact paper, leaving about 1/4 inch on all edges.  You now have a washable Christmas placemat.

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Baked Ornaments  ( Ages 4-up)
These are fun, easy and will last for years.  We have our children’s ornaments from 1970’s that we still put on the tree.
2 cups flour
1 cup salt
3 cups water

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Mix all together–should be pliable–if not –add a little more water. You can either paint them after baking or add food coloring to dough when mixing.
2 methods:
(1)  Roll it to about 1/3″ thick and use Christmas cookie cutters to cut out designs.  Paint after Baking.
(2) Roll into “snakes” and twist together to  make Candy Canes, wreaths or twist to make a frame for a chosen picure.  (I love these as we have our children’s picures in them and now grandchildren have made them)

Curve a paper clip into a holder for ribbon. I cut the ends of of the clip so that I have a long U shaped wired.  Push into top of ornament, leaving a little out to attach ribbon.  Bake about 30-35 minutes at 300 degrees.  Do not let them become brown.

Cool and paint or put small photo you have chosen behind the frame.

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Gift Coupon Book for Parents or Grandparents. ( ALL Ages)

Depending on children’s ages they can design a little stapled “coupon gift book” for parents or grandparents.

Some ideas: Help with dinner, do dishes,help with groceries, sweep floor, help a neighbor, not arguing with siblings, or have one where the recipient has a choice of task.  The ideas are numerous.
The child can decorate the cover of the coupon booklet or the pages of the booklet themselves, using old wallpaper, constuction paper, wrapping paper, etc. (the child, depending on his/her age, may need some ideas that are age appropriate).
When they give you the booklet the recipient picks the day in which to use a particular coupon.

Our children did this several times and it was a “giving gift” and helped with responsiblity and costs the child nothing, but time.

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Calm during the Holiday Season

Well, It is that time of year–where we pull our hair out with so much to do– working, shopping, cooking, decorating, wrapping, entertaining and always feeling tired–ah, we forgot “resting”.

It is difficult this time of year to feel calm and collected, not to mention the fact that in many states there is bad weather with which to contend.  This make it particularly hard for those who must work outdoors like those of us delivering Lawn Displays and Yard Cards this time of year.

“Gifts of time and Love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly Merry Christmas”.-Peg Bracken

Some suggestions to make the Holidays calmer.

* Make homemade gifts—they are usually treasured more than store-bought items. (This year I made tie-dyed shirts for the younger set).
* If you must shop, do it early in the morning or late at night if you have stores that stay open late or all night. (Less people, less lines at check-out)
* Find a charity and make it a family event to take presents, clothes or whatever the charity needs. Take it TO the charity with your children. It is a great teaching tool for children and puts their life “needs” instead of “wants” into perspective.
*Plan a special Christmas Craft that you can do with your children or neighbor children.
* Make Christmas cookies while listening to Christmas music.
* Take some homemade Christmas cookies or candies to the neighbors.
* Watch Holiday family Movies such as  Hallmark Christmas CD’s, such as “The Dog Named Christmas”.  Found at HallMark Gold Crown stores.
* Discuss the importance of caring for and sharing with others during this season.
* Take some time for quiet without TV or cell phones to be together as a family at home maybe talking about the season.
* Make homemade decorations.
* Encourage kids to make a coupon book to give to parents or grandpareants for Christmas.

TSA New Screening—My Opinion

We flew home from Maui on Nov. 21st, (a 45th Wedding Anniversary trip) and there was no scanner in the departing airport. Many airports will not have these available for up to one year–so it is back to the PAT-DOWN. My two replaced knees always set off the metal detector, sooo I was introduced to the “new” body pat/rub-down. Wow, in 2 weeks, since we left Denver, what a difference. The pat-down was definitely more aggressive and would make anyone a little uncomfortable when the hands rolled and poked several times over places you would not expect to be touched. The TSA screener, in this case, was very nice and only doing her job, but we have seen ones that have tried to intimidate and some who were verbally aggressive. Why does it seem that it is now only the “older” generation who have things such as knee, hip & shoulder replacements, pacemakers and surgically implanted devices that contain metal or ones that have medical appartus attached to the outside of the body to collect waste; are the ones getting the complete “works’.  Also those in wheel chairs or those with other physical issues (not necessary seen) are asked to lift legs, arms or worse yet, their buttocks to be checked, when it is physically impossible for them to do so? Dah–Wheel-chair. If it is politically incorrect to profile those who “may” be a threat, but those with these problems are the majority checked–just how is that going to be beneficial to our security? It seems that “random” checks are not being done as often for the fear of profiling.

My husband has a pacemaker and cannot go through the metal detector but goes through the scanner, if it is available. Some airports don’t allow those with pacemakers to go through the scanner, so it is back to the pat down, since the metal detector is the primary screening device. We must allow ourselves 1 hr. extra to do all of this and make it to our concourse when departing from DIA. As we are going through all of this we are watching people who look like they might or should be checked, but they are run right through as they have no metal in or on them and no-one wants to look like they are “profiling.”

We either stop traveling by air, which is our only practical method, or we subject ourselves to radiation or humiliation. Another option is to just not travel, which means not seeing family or taking those trips you have dreamed about all of the years you have worked.

We watch people that are using canes or walkers who are asked to put them aside to walk through the metal detector. We watched one lady almost fall when her cane was taken away. My 89 yr. old mother, who has hip and knee replacements, went through the pat down and then all of the contents of her carefully packed carry on dumped out and left for her to repack, as there was nothing unusual in it. She called us later almost in tears. That was when she was 86. She is in a Nursing Home now, so will no longer have to endure the “new” procedures. How humiliating for those elderly seniors. My husband’s C-Pap is completely handled by gloved TSA people who have had their gloves on everyone else’s things & doing body searches. I asked one TSA if they changed gloves–he said, “No, they are for OUR (meaning the TSA people) protection.”

We also saw a lovely lady with darling twin girls (about 4 months old) having to remove them both from a double stroller, fold up all of the things necessary to take for young babies and then be asked by the TSA screener to remove the bottles out of the babys’ mouths and hand them to a “gloved” TSA fellow who handled the bottles and then opened each bottle and stuck a dip stick of sorts into each bottle and then handed it back to the mother. Now the mother was left with handled, contaminated bottles to feed her babies and she was probably late to her concourse to get on her plane. I was appalled at the insensitivity! This was BEFORE the new screening rules were in effect. 

These types of situations are where common sense should be employed. If you are looking for a particular type of flier, then profile! Most of us would never mind being pulled as a random check every now and then, but to have to go through this every time you wish to fly because you are in a wheel chair, have a baby stroller or have surgical implants it is just plain ridiculous. How safe does this make us feel?

I am not pointing fingers at the TSA employees (although some would deserve a little finger pointing) but more at the entire system. When suitcases are not scanned or screened, any person can board a plane and use a cell phone to trigger something inside of their suitcase. Also a “real” pat-down to find hidden objects requires MUCH more than can ever be done in an airport. Flying has become difficullt enough, do we need to be subjected to all of this before we even board the airplane. From now on, I am making sure the screener has on fresh gloves.

The screeners are forced to employ these methods to keep their jobs.

Let’s bring back some respect for human dignity! 

Holiday Recipes

CRANBERRY ORANGE JELLED SALAD

Fits into a 9 inch Jel-Ring or in a rectangular pan.

3–3 oz Pkgs. Orange Gelatin
3 cups boiling water to dissolve jello
Add 1 cup of 7 Up, Gingerale or water.
Add 1 cup orange-cranberry relish. Mix well and pour into lightly greased mold.  Refrigerate overnight.  Unmold onto plate and fill center with whipped topping. If using pan, spread whipped topping over top of molded jello.

Orange Cranberry Relish   (great served in bowl by itself)
*This was my kids favorite made either way.

1 pkg.of fresh whole cranberries
2 medium oranges with skins (wash well)
Cut oranges into small pieces  into a blender (you do not have to add all the skin if you do not wish to)
Add cranberries to blender–blend together with 1 cup suger. Let set in refrigerator for several hours.

10 Quick Health Tips

10  QUICK HEALTH/MEDICAL TIPS

Leg Cramps
Take Calcium at night, especially if you suffer leg cramps during the night. Add potassium and magnesium with the Calcium.  I also take Quinine by adding about 1/3 glass of Tonic water to my juice in the morning.  If I forget to do these things, I can pretty much be assured of having leg cramps during the night.

UPDATED for LEG CRAMPS—Soap in the bed.  And YES it really works!

 Antibiotic Side Effects
It is a good idea to take probiotics (acidophilus) while taking antibiotics.  Antibiotics do not discriminate good bacteria from bad bacteria.  They just kill all bacteria.  You may end up with severe diarrhea, a yeast infection or thrush if your body reacts to the antibiotic. 

Upset Stomach from Taking Medication
If I must take meds at night either at home or in the hospital, I have found that taking a few bites of a banana will keep the stomach calm.

Bee & Insect Stings
I use a paste of baking soda mixed with water and apply to area.  It should stop the hurt.  My Grandson thought it was pretty neat.  Small Cuts

Skin Cuts
I love “New Skin” or “Skin Shield” (liquid bandage).
 Once the bleeding stops, I apply Liquid Bandage over the cut area.  It stings for a second, but it will heal quicker than traditional methods.  I carry a bottle with us on all trips.  It is great for children’s cuts as they do not have a bandage to pull off.  It MUST be applied by an adult and should not be left where children can reach it.  I have used it on my grandkids for small cuts. It evenstays water–proof for awhile.

 Bloody Nose
Sometimes when the bleeding becomes heavy—using a Tampax in the nasal passage will help collect the blood until it stops.  (Probably not something you want to do in public, but is useful).

 Any Bleeding
Maxi pads are very absorbant and can be used for profuse bleeding until the person gets medical help.  Children, particularily teens, aren’t crazy about this idea, but it is better than a wad of kleenex at absorbing blood.

Sunburn
For years I have used a wash cloth that has been soaked in vinegar to pull the heat from the sunburn—works well. 

Warding off Colds or Flu viruses
Use a SALINE nasal spray daily.  It helps clean the nasal passages of bacteria that might collect in the nose and grow.  It washes dirt and bacteria from the nose, which is where colds start.  Both my husband and I use nasal spray just prior to boarding an airplane and if it is a long flight use it several times during the flgiht.  We have found that we rarely get colds or sinus infection after a flight since using this method as we had in the past. 

Colds & Flu
Grandma’s old rememdy–chicken soup–add a fresh clove of garlic for more medicinal effect.  If patient can eat the garlic, that is even better.

The Greatest Ice Pack

My Favorite websites for checking out Diseases, Conditions and Medications are:

 http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/   &  www.mayoclinic.com

 

Cell Phone Courtesy?

When I originally authored an article “ Do You Hear What I Hear?” on cell phone courtesy or lack thereof,  in 2002, cell phones were pretty much a  new item.  I was astonished at the scrambling around that people did in a Meeting or public place, searching for that ringing phone. Cell phones all rang about the same then, so each person started digging in purses and briefcases.

After a rather embarrassing situation where a speaker was interrupted by a loud ringing phone and the subsequent hustle of people looking for the offending phone,  I wrote the article which was published in several smaller periodicals, such as Zenith Woman, now www.denverwoman.com/ .

WOW, that was nothing compared to today! Now we have Black Berries, I-phones, Texting, Sexting, and a plethora of different types of hand-held devices that are social “connectors”.  Families even text or call from room to room in the same house. What’s up with that?

Shortly after reading an article, last week, by Alexander Green, of www.spiritualwealth.com/ I had the personal experience of seeing an example of just how far people will go with inappropriate cell phone use.

We were in a Drs. Office this week, where all the chairs were filled & in close quarters.  Most of the people were either waiting for a procedure or the person driving the patient home following the procedure.   Anyway, all was pleasantly quiet until a woman made several phone calls regarding an event; giving out people’s names, phone numbers and the address of the event.  She even mentioned who would NOT be invited.  There was a look of discomfort on most people’s faces.  WHY did she not leave that small area and go into the hallway?  Well, I did—I left the waiting area and moved to seating in the hallway, partly out of downright embarrassment for her. I felt as though I was intruding on HER conversation, by just being in the area. It should not be that way.

I remember the first time I heard a person giving a credit card number, his name and address over the phone in a meeting area, where people were quietly waitng for the meeting to start.  Yowser, a little dangerous don’t you think?  Anyone could jot down the information and call to order up some really nice stuff. 

Doesn’t it make you uncomfortable when you are out shopping or at a restaurant eating with a friend or client and someone at a neighbor table is talking so loudly on the phone that it is difficult to talk to the person at your table?  Or even worse, as highlighted in the “Spiritual Wealth” article of Oct. 22nd, you are the one sitting across from someone who keeps answering his or her phone and you must sit and wait to resume the conversation.  Once in awhile it is necessary to use a cell phone in a place of business or restaurant, but out of common courtesy, remove yourself from the table or wherever you are and go to a more private area.

Oh there will be more on this subject—just wait & visit again!  Please leave your comments. 

“Everyone is important and deserves your attention and respect”

Ghostly Halloween Recipes

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.

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 GHOST STICKS from WHITE CHOCOLATE

Need:
3 lbs of white chocolate
15-20 wooden popsickle sticks ( usually at craft or Dollar stores)
6 oz. bag of chocolate chips
Aluminum foil

 

Melt white chocolate until smooth.  Cover baking sheet with foil and grease lightly.  Arrange sticks on baking sheet about 4″ apart.  Spoon melted chocolate in ghostly shapes over tops of sticks.  As they solidify, place chocolate chips for eyes.  Other candies may also be used to decorate.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Southwest is BEST!

Do we still have friendly skies?  Yes, with Southwest Airlines

If you have flown recently you have probably experienced how uncomfortable air travel has become.  After the rigors of going through security; removing your shoes, coats, things from your pockets, computers, 1quart plastic bag with liquids and THEN the scanner. I have replaced knees so that means it signals a warning of “metal” & then the BODY SCAN.  Usually that is not too bad, most TSA folks are quite caring and friendly, but last flight a Security person was dumping the contents of my carry on and rescanning and testing the bag and contents, as I was being body scanned. It was given back to me with contents dumped out for me to repack and we were already running late because of long lines.  I am sure every flyer has had these experiences & more. 

Well—take a breath—if you are flying Southwest Airlines at least you will get friendly, uncomplicated service.  Their web page is easy to follow and if you need to ask a question, just call—no need for long waits on the phone.  You can leave a message and they will call you back.  How nice is that! They don’t treat you like you are interrupting their time—they are truly friendly—at least the ones I have spoken with.  And if you need to change a flight, no change fees—the flight fare is plopped into your little flight bank and you can use it next flight.  

When I took my fall and ended up in MI for one month instead of 8 days, our SW flight was rebooked to when we were able to come back to CO and the money we had already paid was used for the new flight.  No Bag Fees for your 2 bags—Great!  What other airline does that?  

If you use a computer, you just sign in 24 hrs or less prior to your flight  and you are put into A, B or C Group and then you line up in an orderly fashion according to your letter –A is best, but B is good too and then you just board the plane and actually pick your own seat. 

You are given snacks and a drink and you may be asked if you would like 2nds—no extra charge.  Sometimes you may even have a “witty” flight attendant who tries to entertain those on the flight.

Wake up other Airlines—Southwest is IT!