Monday, May 31, 2010

Green Rice

Spinach, yuck !!!!!  How about Green Rice. Here is a great way to get your kids to eat spinach without even realizing it. Serve this rice with just about anything — it has a fresh, herbal flavor. You can make the dish with brown rice, but it won’t have the usual vivid green color. If you use basmati, you’ll have a much larger yield, as basmati expands about twice as much as regular white rice.

  • 2 cups chicken, vegetable or garlic stock, or water
  • 1 cup tightly packed baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup tightly packed cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup long grain rice or basmati rice, rinsed several times with cold water
  • Salt to taste 
1. Combine 1 cup of the stock or water with the spinach and cilantro in a blender, and blend at high speed until smooth. Place the remaining stock or water in a saucepan, and bring to a simmer.
2. Heat the oil in a medium-sized, heavy saucepan over medium heat, and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until tender, three to five minutes. Add a generous pinch of salt and the garlic and rice. Stir together for a few minutes until the rice is beginning to crackle. Add the simmering stock or water and salt to taste  Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer five minutes.
3. Uncover, and stir in the blended green mixture from the blender. Rinse the blender with about 1/4 cup water, and add it to the rice. Stir once, raise the heat and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer 10 to 15 minutes or until all of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice. Turn off the heat, uncover and place a clean kitchen towel over the pot. Replace the lid, and allow the rice to stand undisturbed for 10 minutes. Fluff the rice with a spoon or fork, taste and adjust seasoning. Serve.
Yield: Serves four to six as a side dish.

Recipe found on NYTimes



Remove One Plastic item From Your Day

Inspired by her love of the oceans, plastic-free campaigner Taina Uitto challenges you to simply remove one plastic item from your day.Share

BP 3rd Attempt

BP PLC, facing rising public anger in the U.S., began Monday its third attempt to contain oil from its leaking well in the Gulf of Mexico, but the risky operation could make the spill worse in the short term.
The latest procedure involves slicing off the leaking pipe at the top of the well's broken blow-out preventer, placing a cap over the leak and channeling the captured oil and gas to a vessel on the surface. BP officials said the procedure could take from four days to a week, and it already has two different caps on the ocean floor, ready to be deployed.
BP didn't try this approach sooner because it feared the kinks in the pipe still attached to the blowout preventer were acting as a choke on the leak. Removing the pipe could lead to a more violent surge of oil.
Carol Browner, White House Energy and Climate Change Advisor, said Sunday on CBS's "Face the Nation" that the flow of oil could temporarily increase by 20% before the new device is put in place.

The Obama administration is stepping up pressure on BP as the company's successive efforts to control the spill—and the resulting political damage to President Barack Obama—have failed.
See Full Story

Government says Australia on track to meet Kyoto target

Australia is on track to meet its greenhouse gas emissions target under the United Nation's Kyoto Protocol climate pact in part because of the global economic downturn, the government said on Thursday.
Australia, among the developed world's top greenhouse gas polluters on a per-capita basis, generates about 80 percent of its electricity from coal.
Emissions from some sectors have soared over the past two decades, particularly power generation and transport. The government hoped an emissions trading scheme would push industry and consumers to boost energy efficiency and switch to greener power.
Read Full Story

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Lets Celebrate Memorial Day

 For some of us the Memorial Day weekend is just another 3 day weekend and the beginning of summer where we usually have friends and family over for a barbeque.

For others it's a little more than just having a BBQ, it's also honoring and remembering all the men and woman who gave their lives for our country.

Some of these acts of kindness will go a long way:
    30"X50" US Nylon flag with sewn stripes & embroidered stars with 5' wood pole banner Kit with bracket
  • Write a member of the military. There are thousands of men and women currently in harms way in Iraq, Afghanistan and other areas. Visit a Million Thanks  at  to find out how you can write them and brighten their day.
  • Spend your time doing something nice for the community: Volunteer. Whether it's at the local animal shelter, nursing home, or giving blood, volunteering is always appreciated.  Plus,  you will feel better that you did.
  • Attend a morning memorial service at your local cemetery.  There is no better way to start off the day than remembering why it is celebrated in the first place. Your newspaper should have a schedule of start times, but if not, just pick up the phone and call the cemetery.   Place flags and flowers at the grave sites.
  • Fly the US Flag.  
  •  At 3 p.m. local time on each Memorial Day, pause for one minute to remember those who have given their all for us. Participation can be as simple as a moment of silence; ringing a bell or reading the names for each family member who has served in the military and died; or the playing of Taps.
And Most  Important:
  • Take time out of your day to stop and thank someone who has served our country in the military. It's a simple thing to do, yet I've heard from so many veterans, that a simple act of gratitude means more to them than most people realize.

After you have shown your respect you then can get ready for the BBQ:

Memorial Day Recipes:
 Here are a couple of favorite recipes that you can try when you fire up the grill  this coming weekend.
 I've always been a big fan of lamb and the following grilled lamb recipe is one of my favorites

Grilled Lamb Chops with Brown Sugar Glaze
  • 1/4 cub brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons dried tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 lamb chops

  • Mix together all of the seasonings above (the brown sugar, black pepper, garlic powder, ginger, tarragon, cinnamon and salt)
  • Rub the lamp chops with the seasonings and place on a covered plate in the refrigerator for about an hour
  • Preheat the grill on high
  • Brush the grill with oil and place lamb chops on the grill
  • Cook 5 minutes on each side

Here are links to a couple of favorites from AllRecipes:

BP Oil Spill, Watch SNL Video


Drive Less


Documents Show Early Worries About Safety of Rig

Internal documents from BP show that there were serious problems and safety concerns with the Deepwater Horizon rig far earlier than those the company described to Congress last week. 
The problems involved the well casing and the blowout preventer, which are considered critical pieces in the chain of events that led to the disaster on the rig. The documents show that in March, after several weeks of problems on the rig, BP was struggling with a loss of “well control.” And as far back as 11 months ago, it was concerned about the well casing and the blowout preventer.
On June 22, for example, BP engineers expressed concerns that the metal casing the company wanted to use might collapse under high pressure.
“This would certainly be a worst-case scenario,” Mark E. Hafle, a senior drilling engineer at BP, warned in an internal report. “However, I have seen it happen so know it can occur.”
See Full Story

Saturday, May 29, 2010

There could be no more fitting way to celebrate Memorial Day than with a cookout!

Some holidays find their beginnings in religion, others celebrate an important historical person, and still others celebrate a particular day or world culture. Memorial Day stands alone as a holiday that arose out of appreciation for and remembrance of every person who gave their lives defending the nation. Although the holiday was officially proclaimed in 1868 by General John Logan, the official recognition does not mark the holiday's true beginnings. No one person or place can be credited with originating Memorial Day because many, many towns and communities were dedicating time to decorate the graves of American soldiers and arranging gatherings in remembrance of our nation's heroes well before Memorial Day was officially declared.

Nowadays, most Americans celebrate Memorial Day as the official kick-off of Barbeque Season. Get ready to warm up the coals, pull out the cooler, and create a spread of summer salads and side dishes.


House OKs extension of unemployment benefits

The U.S. House of Representatives approved another extension of unemployment benefits on Friday. But this widening of the safety net could be the last as lawmakers grow uneasy over the costs of what is looking to some like an unfunded welfare benefit. In a 215-204 vote, House members approved extending benefits through Nov. 30, which would help nearly 350,000 long-term unemployed people nationwide from falling off the unemployment rolls by next month. But the measure still must be approved by the Senate, which already left for a week long Memorial Day break. That means some workers' benefits will expire May 31, although they could be restored retroactively. Friday's House extension is part of a scaled-back $112-billion package that also includes tax breaks and an annual patch to prevent pay cuts for Medicare doctors. With new taxes on investment fund managers and overseas companies to offset the spending, the final cost is $54 billion. Share

Outdated Textbooks To Be Recycled- Watch Video


Friday, May 28, 2010

Walking- It Can Boost Your Energy And Mood

There's just no question that regular physical activity is an essential ingredient of a healthy lifestyle. A little exercise goes a long way toward lowering your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. It can also boost your energy and mood, help manage your weight, and even promote a better night's sleep.
There are lots of ways to exercise. You can take a dance class, go for a swim, or join a yoga class. But the simplest way is to start walking. You can walk anywhere, anytime, with anyone. All you need are comfortable clothes and a good pair of walking shoes.

Staying motivated is half the battle when you are trying to establish and stick to an exercise routine.
Change things up by taking different routes from time to time. Invite a friend, partner or spouse along. If purpose is what keeps you going, consider walking to do your errands or park a little further away from your destination.
Enjoy your walk !


Obama Visits Gulf

 BP kept pumping heavy mud into its blown-out well beneath the Gulf of Mexico on Friday, but the company's chief executive cautioned it will be two more days before anyone knows if the latest fix attempt will end the uncontrolled flow of crude that has already become the worst oil spill in U.S. history.
BP CEO Tony Hayward had projected a resolution to the so-called "top kill" as soon as Thursday afternoon, but an 18-hour delay in the injection of heavyweight mud scuttled those plans. Though engineers had stopped pumping hours earlier, BP and coast Guard officials assured the public Thursday morning that the process was going as planned.
Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said Friday that heavyweight mud was able to push down the oil and gas coming up at great force from underground, but it has not overwhelmed the gusher or stopped the flow.
See Full Story 


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Gulf Oil Spill: New Massive Sea Oil Plume Discovered

 Marine scientists have discovered a massive new plume of what they believe to be oil deep beneath the Gulf of Mexico, stretching 22 miles from the leaking wellhead northeast toward Mobile Bay, Alabama.
The discovery by researchers on the University of South Florida College of Marine Science's Weatherbird II vessel is the second significant undersea plume recorded since the Deepwater Horizon exploded on April 20.
The thick plume was detected just beneath the surface down to about 3,300 feet, and is more than 6 miles wide, said David Hollander, associate professor of chemical oceanography at the school.
Hollander said the team detected the thickest amount of hydrocarbons, likely from the oil spewing from the blown out well, at about 1,300 feet in the same spot on two separate days this week.

See Full Story 

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

American Idol 2010

 American Idol 2010 ended tonight with a two hour finale that actually was very entertaining for all fans old and new.

There was an extended long goodbye to Simon Cowell. Also a universe of stars graciously shared the fabled stage with the Top 2 finalists Crystal Bowersox and Lee DeWyze as the clock ticked down to the biggest moment in television since last nights Dancing with the Stars Finale.
The Nokia Theater shone brightly with the likes of Christina Aguilera, Carrie Underwood, Chicago, Janet Jackson plus... General Larry Platt? And yes... he had his pants on the ground.
In a way, you'd never know they were naming the winner as fully 2/3 of the show was dedicated to roasting Simon.
Alot of the previous Idols returned to sing a tribute (No Adam or David Cook) to Simon.
Despite Simon's reputation for no holds barred critics, there wasn't a dry eye in the house when he finally stepped up to say a few words of thanks, his voice quivering with gratitude and emotion. Who knew he had a heart?

The REAL reason for the show finally came back to the forefront and in typical Idol fashion Ryan Seacrest milked the moment for every last ounce of Fox cross-promotional juice.
And the winner is...
Lee DeWyze!
What a great year! Thanks for tuning in!
See you in January for Season 10!


Don't Fry Day Is May 28th

Safety Tips for Your Fun in the Sun
At last, beautiful weather is here! Before going outside, plan to protect your skin. By following some simple steps, you can help yourself avoid skin cancer -- the most common form of cancer in the US.
Skin cancer affects more than one million people in America annually. Most of these cases are thought to be sun-related. Melanoma is the most serious type of sun-related skin cancer.
 Skin cancer prevention: a concern for us all
All people are at risk for skin cancer, no matter our skin color. Unfortunately, those of us with darker complexions tend not to see ourselves as being at risk. As a result, skin cancer may not be detected early enough, making us much more likely to die from skin cancer than people with lighter complexions. So it's important for all of us to be aware of effective prevention, early detection and prompt treatment.

Make sun safety a part of your life! 
To keep your skin healthy and burn-free, follow these tips from the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention and the American Cancer Society:
1.    Avoid tanning in the sun and at the salon. You've probably heard that the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays can cause skin cancer and wrinkles. Did you know that the same goes for tanning beds? If you want to look sun-kissed, try a sunless tanning product. It's available at most pharmacies. Don't forget to wear your sunscreen along with it!
2.    Wear lots of sunscreen. Apply sunscreen to all exposed skin, even when it's cloudy out. Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. It should be labeled "broad spectrum." This means that it protects you from two types of ultraviolet rays -- UVA and UVB. Put on more sunscreen every two hours and after swimming or heavy sweating.
3.    Wear protective clothing. Long-sleeved shirts, pants, wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses are smart clothing options for your outdoor play.
4.    Stay in the shade, when possible. Between 10 am and 4 pm, the sun's rays are at their strongest -- and most dangerous. The shade of an umbrella or tree can keep those rays away.
5.    Be careful near the water and sand. Being on the beach or cooling off in the pool may feel great, but water and sand reflect the sun's rays, increasing the chance for sunburn.

Examining your skin
Finding skin cancer early is the best way to make sure it can be treated effectively. That's why it's important to check your skin at least once a month.
Make an appointment with your doctor if you develop or are concerned with any of the following:
·    Any change in the size, color, shape or texture of a mole or skin growth.
·    A sore that does not heal.
·    A change in the sensation, itchiness, tenderness or pain of a skin growth.
·    Redness or a new swelling beyond the border of a mole or mark.

Learn more!
For extra tips and resources, visit the Web sites of the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention and the American Cancer Society.

Vitamin D: You Are Probably NOT Getting Enough

What vitamin may we need in amounts up to 25 times higher than the government recommends for us to be healthy?
What vitamin deficiency affects 70-80 percent of the population, is almost never diagnosed and has been linked to many cancers, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, depression, fibromyalgia, chronic muscle pain, bone loss and autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis?
What vitamin is almost totally absent from our food supply? What vitamin is the hidden cause of much suffering that is easy to treat?
The answer to all of these questions is vitamin D.

Books To Read


Alaska Oil Spill: Trans-Alaska Pipeline Shuts Down 800 Mile Area In North Slope

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- Up to several thousand barrels of crude oil from the trans-Alaska pipeline spilled Tuesday into a massive tank and overflowed into a containment area, shutting down the 800-mile line until the hazard is removed. The spill happened during a scheduled pipeline shutdown at a pump station near Fort Greely, about 100 miles south of Fairbanks. Workers at the site evacuated. But no one was hurt and the contamination should be limited to the gravel on top of the containment area's liner, said Tom DeRuyter, on-scene spill coordinator for the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Oil companies operating on Alaska's North Slope were ordered to reduce production to 16 percent of their regular output. Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. has enough storage capacity at another pump station to hold that amount of output for 48 hours, company spokeswoman Michele Egan said. But she said the pipeline could be restarted sooner.
Egan added that "several thousand barrels" was a high estimate of the spill.
Alyeska was testing its fire command system when power at the pump station failed, Egan said. Power was switched from the electrical grid to a battery system.
The pipeline has relief valves that open to keep pressure from building too high inside. They opened, and oil flowed into a partially filled tank that can hold 55,000 barrels, or roughly 2.3 million gallons.


BP's handle on Gulf Oil spill pivots on "top kill"

If the "top kill" procedure joins the list of BP failures to plug the leak, U.S. President Barack Obama's government may have no choice but to take central charge of the response to what is considered the worst oil spill in U.S. history.
Obama has told aides in recent days to "plug the damn hole" and he will head to the Louisiana Gulf coast on Friday for the second time since the April 20 rig blast that killed 11 and unleashed the oil.
Despite frustration with BP -- which admitted that it may have made a "fundamental mistake" in working on the rig hours before the explosion -- the government relies almost exclusively on the energy titan's deepwater technology.
Equipped with underwater robots, BP engineers plan on Wednesday to inject heavy drilling fluids into the mile- deep well, a complex maneuver that has never been attempted at such depths.

Click for full storyLink text

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Obama to send more troops to Southwest border

President Obama will deploy up to 1,200 more National Guard troops to the U.S. border with Mexico, an administration official said Tuesday.

Texting While Driving, Bloody and Graphic, This Needs to Stop

This is awful to watch, but we have to get the message out there, No texting while driving.
Please pass this on .

ABC News Goes Underwater Oil Spill

ABC News outfitted a diving team with special hazmat suits and sent them to the Gulf to see the damage the oil leak and subsequent cleanup are causing underwater. They found that the leaking oil is combining with the cleanup chemicals to form a toxic soup.
From ABC News:

For the first time since the BP Deepwater Horizon tragedy over a month ago, "Good Morning America" Weather Anchor Sam Champion, along with Philippe Cousteau and a team of specially-trained divers, reported from under the water in the Gulf of Mexico to see first-hand what is happening beneath the surface. Wearing special hazmat dive suits, the team is the first to dive in - and document - the oil-laden waters off of the Louisiana coastline.

Talk Your Way to Good Health!

Did you know you can help your doctors improve the care they give you? It can be as simple as telling them everything you know about your health -- past and present. The more you share, the better they can care!

Communication between you, your primary care doctor and all the specialists you see is vital to your health and well-being. Through this team effort, your doctors can help make sure the care you get is the best kind for you.
At every visit, tell your doctors these things about your health:

  • Health status. How you feel and any symptoms you may be having.
  • History. Updates to your medical and surgical history and your family's history.
  • Medicine. All the medicine you take (prescription, over-the-counter, vitamins and herbal remedies). Remember to ask if each medication is safe to take with the others.
  • Doctor's visits. Other doctors you have recently seen, their telephone numbers and the reason for each visit.
  • Tests. Any tests you have had. Also mention who ordered the tests, where they were done and the results of each one.
  • Hospital visits. Any urgent care, emergency room visits or hospital stays and the reason for the care. 
 Use these tips to get the most out of your doctor's visits:
  • Ask questions! Make a list of questions before your visit to make sure you get all the answers you're looking for.
  • Share your symptoms and discuss your diagnosis. (A diagnosis is any health condition your doctor identifies.) Providing this information can help you and your doctor make shared decisions about your care.
  • Listen carefully to what your doctor is saying. Repeat back what your doctor tells you. This helps ensure you understand it. It also gives the doctor a chance to clear up any misunderstandings.
  • Get any prescriptions you need (new or renewals). Ask what each medication is for and how and when to take each one. Learn what side effects to watch for and what to do if you experience one or more of them.
  • Make all follow-up appointments to be sure all your health care needs are met.

Start the communication process now! Using this list, write down some things to tell and ask your doctor at your next visit. It can make a difference.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Long-Term Unemployment: No Help For The 99ers

This week Congress will consider legislation to reauthorize extended unemployment benefits for the rest of the year. It's going to be an epic fight: Republicans in the Senate will likely do everything they can to stand in the way of a bill projected to add $123 billion to the deficit, forcing Dem leadership to round up a super majority for a last-minute Friday vote before Congress adjourns for its Memorial Day recess.

Too bad the jobs crisis, in a big way, has already left this bill in the dust. Hundreds of thousands of people have exhausted their extended unemployment benefits. In some states, laid-off workers can receive checks for 99 weeks -- and that's all they're going to get. This bill isn't for the "99ers" and there's no proposal on deck to give them additional weeks of benefits.

Read Full Story:

Long-Term Unemployment: No Help For The 99ers

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Simpsons' Open Show With 'Lost' Spoiler

'Simpsons' Open Show With 'Lost' Spoiler

Knowing full well that the Sunday night TV's main attraction was 'Lost,' 'The Simpsons' opened its show with a fake spoiler of the much-ballyhooed finale. On the chalkboard, Bart had written:
"End Of 'Lost': It Was All The Dog's Dream. Watch Us."
Bart's chalkboard has become the frequent home for hidden, topical jokes.

Plan Your Own Wally World Adventure This Summer

Summer Vacation  Plans

With volcanic ash and airfares going higher and higher, not to mention the economy,  this summer’s vacation you just may need a bigger imagination.

I am sure your Travel Professional can help you find some kind of deal but have you thought about just throwing stuff in the car and heading out to a town near you?  There are plenty of options to choose whether it’s a 2, 3 or even 6 hour drive.  Check with your State’s Visitors Bureau or Chamber of Commerce.

Regardless of your budget or conditioning, a walking or hiking tour could be the best way for you to spend your vacation this summer.  There are a lot of informative books about hiking trails in the Southwest or other parts of the country..
Hiking North Carolina, 2nd: A Guide to Nearly 500 of North Carolina's Greatest Hiking Trails (State Hiking Series)Hiking Grand Canyon National Park, 2nd (Regional Hiking Series)Do Princesses Wear Hiking Boots?Hooked on Hiking: Northern California: 50 Hiking AdventuresHiking South Florida and the Keys: A Guide to 39 Great Walking and Hiking Adventures (Falcon Guides Hiking)

Another idea may just be a  day or two to a nearby Attraction Park , the kids  would love that. You can find hotels that include breakfast, that helps with the costs.

Remember to bring the DVD's. The kids can watch while you drive. This way you will arrive not stressed at your destination. The kids will thank you and you will be happy you brought them.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + BD Live w/ Blu-ray packaging)National Lampoon's Vacation / National Lampoon's European Vacation (Comedy Double Feature)

Also check with your local resorts, they are bound to have local specials. You may still be in your hometown but the enjoyment  of staying in a hotel, with a pool and not having to cook three meals a day would make anyone smile from ear to ear.

Being on the go doesn’t mean sacrificing good taste and nutrition. When its time to hit the road, choose your snacks as carefully as your wardrobe.  Keeping energy levels high and avoiding vacation weight gain will make your time spent away from home even better.

Happy Travels