Saturday, January 22, 2011

How I Got My First Orchid and Now Have 80

 I'm an orchid hobbyist or as my husband would say, a fanatic. I'm not a fanatic.  Ever read The Orchid Thief? Fanatic.  But, how did I become enamored, enthralled with growing orchids?  I blame a friend who graciously gave me a Phalaenopsis (moth) orchid.  They're the ones you see most frequently in grocery stores and nurseries.  The reason is that they are both beautiful and easy to grow.  Unfortunately most people, once the blooms have fallen off,  don't have a clue what to do with it and therefore, dump it.  How sad. I'm not a dumper when it comes to plants.  So, I went to the official site for the American Orchid Society ( and looked up the care needed to keep a Phalaenopsis alive. Read more...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Keen-wah: And Other Foods That Are Very Good for You

When I was a kid growing up in my little hometown of 800, there was one local grocery store.  And fortunately it was a time when kids could still ride their bikes up and down the streets or walk to the local grocery without fear of being abducted.  At this local grocery store, there was one food that my sister and I loved to go get.  Ice cream? No. Candy? No.  Ok then, how about Big Red (for you yankees that's a local  red colored cola that's great over ice cream and one hell of a hangover cure)?  No.  The lady who owned the store had a big vat of pickled herring.  I can just hear the groans now.  Pickled herring?  Are you nuts?  For some reason or another my sister (not my younger sister, she won't eat fish) and I took a great liking to these little fishes and to this day, I still find them delicious. And on top of that, low these many years later, I find that they're also very good for you.  Now my father, on the other hand, loved canned sardines.  I think he ate a tin of sardines in olive oil everyday of his adult life.  Why this reminiscing about herring and sardines?  (Are you still with me or have you X'd me out?)  Because I saw this list in Real Simple magazine about the 30 best foods to keep you healthy and sardines is on the list.  So, to keep you from having to go out and buy the magazine, here are the top 30 foods you need to eat to keep you healthy:  cover

almonds, avocadoes, barley, black beans, blueberries, broccoli, bulgur, chard, boneless, skinless chicken breasts, edamame, eggs!, extra virgin olive oil, kale, kidney beans, kiwi, lentils, mushrooms, oatmeal (steel cut or old fashioned), oranges, peanut and almond butters (all natural), pumpkin, quinoa (pronounced keen wah), SARDINES, skim milk, spinach, sweet potatoes, walnuts, whole grain pasta, wild salmon, nonfat Greek yogurt.

Now, with that being said, don't sit down and eat as a meal almonds, avocadoes, peanut and almond butter, sardines and salmon.  Sounds like the ingredients you might find in "the basket" on Chopped...Although very good for you, you would have eaten a meal way beyond any normal calorie allotment for the day.  Mix and match the low cal with the other "good" fat foods...

Stay healthy in 2011 and beyond!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Twisted Head Part Six-Whatever

It's been July since I last wrote about my twisted head.  I suppose that could be a name for a rock band, the twisted heads.  Anyway, there hasn't been much of a change.  The second set of shots where the neurologist used the EMG machine, seemed to work fairly well.  So, I was rather optimistic.  I could hold my head relatively straight and didn't feel such a tug to raise the left shoulder.  So, I went back in Oct. and had another set of shots. This time he did not use the EMG machine, convinced it was one particular muscle group and put one entire vial of Botox into that muscle group and the other vial, he spread around.  Instead of progressing, I was now somewhere between day one and the second set of shots.  Disappointment is an understatement. Read more... 

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Review of Freedom a novel by Jonathan Franzen

I had read so much positive spin about this book before its publication that I decided to buy it. Then Oprah picked it and for me, that was a death knell. Oprah’s books are always about some type of dysfunction be it abuse of any kind, man’s inhumanity to man, all in all depressing. To my dismay, my book club even picked it as a selection. So, I dutifully picked up the book and began to read. Now, the reviews I’ve read have, for the most part, been over the top. It is a multilayered, multifaceted, exquisitely written masterpiece yada yada yada. I’m going to put it this way and use a sort of quote from Uncle Stevie, or in this case Stephen King: Some books you read for the beauty of the written word, some you read for a great story but when you find one that has both, then read with abandon. Freedom has great writing and a great story but unfortunately, not at the same time. Read more...