Thursday, December 22, 2005
One last post before I go
A Friend sent me this...for all us moms out there I thought I needed to share. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Joy to all!
Dear Santa, I've been a good mom all year. I've fed, cleaned and cuddled
my children on demand, visited the doctor's office more than my doctor, sold
sixty-two cases of candy bars to raise money to plant a shade tree on the
I was hoping you could spread my list out over several Christmases, since
I had to write this letter with my son's red crayon, on the back of a
receipt in the laundry room between cycles, and who knows when I'll find
anymore free time in the next 18 years.
Here are my Christmas wishes:
I'd like a pair of legs that don't ache (in any color, except purple,
which I already have) and arms that don't hurt or flap in the breeze; but
are strong enough to pull my screaming child out of the candy aisle in the
I'd also like a waist, since I lost mine somewhere in the seventh month of
my last pregnancy.
If you're hauling big ticket items this year I'd like fingerprint
resistant windows and a radio that only plays adult music; a television that
doesn't broadcast any programs containing talking animals; and a
refrigerator with a secret compartment behind the crisper where I can hide
to talk on the phone.
On the practical side, I could use a talking doll that says, "Yes, Mommy"
to boost my parental confidence, along with two kids who don't fight and
three pairs of jeans that will zip all the way up without the use of power
I could also use a recording of Tibetan monks chanting "Don't eat in the
living room" and "Take your hands off your brother,"
because my voice seems to be just out of my children's hearing range and
can only be heard by the dog.
If it's too late to find any of these products, I'd settle for enough time
to brush my teeth and comb my hair in the same morning, or the luxury of
eating food warmer than room temperature without it being served in a
If you don't mind, I could also use a few Christmas miracles to brighten
the holiday season. Would it be too much trouble to declare ketchup a
vegetable? It will clear my conscience immensely.
It would be helpful if you could coerce my children to help around the
house without demanding payment as if they were the bosses of an organized
Well, Santa, the buzzer on the dryer is ringing and my son saw my feet
under the laundry room door. I think he wants his crayon back. Have a safe
trip and remember to leave your wet boots by the door and come in and dry
off so you don't catch cold.
Help yourself to cookies on the table but don't eat too many or leave
crumbs on the carpet.
Yours Always, MOM...!
P.S. One more thing...you can cancel all my requests if you can keep my
children young enough to believe in Santa.
Gina froze in time on 8:48 PM
New Solar Panels for Hybrid Cars Improve MPG
If the Hybrid cars don't give you the gas mileage you wanted, now you can add solar panels.Solatec LLC(TM)
is pleased to introduce flexible, rooftop-mounted Solar Panels for Hybrid Vehicles, starting with a kit for the 2004-2006 Toyota Prius. The $2,195 kits will be available nationwide through dealer franchises.
A prototype has been operating in the Northeast for several months under mixed driving conditions. With Solatec panels installed on the roof, the prototype SolaPrius(R) averages 55 MPG city and 62 MPG highway - an overall 10 percent improvement over the pre-installation numbers.
I am hopeful that within my lifetime we will have cars that run on little or no GAS....wouldn't that be great!
Gina froze in time on 7:50 PM
Well I'm signing off for the holidays, see you NEXT Thursday.
Merry Christmas to those who celebrate!
Gina froze in time on 2:05 PM
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Children's Book for the "holidays"
Gina froze in time on 7:30 PM
Looking for an all-purpose book that covers all the celebrations of the holiday season? Christmas Lights by Anna Grossnickle Hines uses quilts to showcase six different holidays that happen around the end and beginning of the year.
- Santa Lucia
- Winter Solstice
- Chinese New Year
Pointer from Children’s Books at About.com.
IFILM - Viral Video: Nextel: Dance Party -
a little middle of the week fluff! I hate Nextel (former customer) but love this commercial!IFILM - Viral Video: Nextel: Dance Party -
Thanks Kathy at Kazoofus
for the link!
Gina froze in time on 11:42 AM
Happy winter solstice
Happy Winter Solstice!
As cold night spins into morning's thaw, may this Winter Solstice bring you moments of peace and reflection. Wishing you a wise Winter Solstice this year.
Gina froze in time on 10:27 AM
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Beating my head against the wall....
After some kindly ribbing
, I started writing again. I've given myself a modest goal of 250-500 words or 45 min a day. Now the trouble I'm having is not writing, the word flow out and I have a really good handle on what and were the story is headed, my issue is re-writes.
Every time I open the file again, I re-read the last few Paragraphs I've written to get back in the swing, but then I have an idea of another way to say it or a whole new opening scene or let's cut out this part. I find I'm going backwards. My 1500 words turned into 1200 last night after an hour of writing.
It's not that I'm not writing, it's that I can't keep from editing....grrr.
Come on girls (and guys) help me out on this one, any tips for keeping the thing going forward??
I expect an answer from you pat, it's all your fault :)
Gina froze in time on 9:18 AM
Monday, December 19, 2005
Raising your child pagan?!?
We had our annual Yule openhouse for my pagan parenting group this weekend and as happens a lot with our parenting group, we started talking about how each of us were dealing with the spiritual side or our children's growth. I was floored by how many of my fellow pagan parents have decided not to raise their children as pagan, but instead teach a variety of paths, "so our child can choose their own path."
Raising kids today is hard, really hard. So, you may ask yourself why apply added pressure by raising your child pagan. You already know the stereotypes that are applied to words like pagan, wiccan and witch, why lead your child into the world with this type of disadvantage. There is also the thought that many pagans have, that raising your child pagan or any faith for that matter, prevent them from find their own path.
I disagree with all these assumptions. Raising your child pagan is the best way, as a pagan yourself; to help prepare your child for life and help them find their own path.
A spiritual foundation give children the tools they need to face life's though choices. Today our children are exposed non-stop to violence, negative influences, criticism, pessimism and fear. We can't be there all the time, but the same things that drew you to your pagan faith; love, openness, acceptance, and connection to the earth, can be there when you are not.
Paganism can also provide a community; we are after all social animals. Your child wants to feel that they are watched over and connected to the universe. They will grow up feeling like they are part of something bigger then themselves. By having a Pagan centered framework their life will gain direction and meaning. You will create a fertile ground that they can grow roots that will center and ground them for life.
Spirituality is related to emotional health. Children who have a spiritual conscience develop a sense of their own self-worth. Paganism can give kids a well from which to pull from in times of trouble. Several studies have found that children who said they were religious enjoy life more than children who said they were not religious. In addition these kids:
-think their lives are useful
-feel hopeful about their futures
-are satisfied with their lives and
-enjoy being in school
College students who scored high on a "spiritual well-being" scale, compared with their lower-scoring counterparts, exhibited healthier psychosocial profiles in areas of self-esteem, loneliness, marijuana use, alcohol use, and feelings of hopelessness. Research also suggests "religiousness is the second strongest inhibitor of ..Suicidede attempts."
We are constantly teaching our children our values already; be mindful of the Earth, respect elders, trust your intuition. Including your child in your pagan believes is the first step in helping them find their way and place in the world.
All children have this instinctive sense of marvel about their world and their place in it. They come pre-wired to be sensitive and receptive to spiritual ideas. This marvel is the key to their spirit. As adults we spend our life trying to get back to that point. Our world today conspires to remove us from our spiritual connection. But if there is a good foundation to begin with, then our children's spirit has a chance flourish.
Tell your children what you believe, and let them observe and participate in how you practice your faith. Both you and your child will grow and become more complete.
Gina froze in time on 5:56 PM
Go ahead eat this holiday
OH, science, they make my life so much better. Have a guilt free holiday:In Search of the Healing Power of Chocolate
Several studies have looked for the health benefits of flavanols, compounds naturally occurring in cocoa, as well as in green tea, black tea, red wine, grapes and raspberries. Chocolates high in flavanols appear to have some benefit to the heart -- by improving blood flow.
COCOA & SMOKING
Study: University of California, San Francisco/Heinrich-Heine University, Germany
Publication: Journal of the American College of Cardiology
Finding: Cocoa may reverse smoking-related impairments of blood vessel function. A dozen smokers in their early 30s where given doses of specially prepared cocoa. The cocoa was found to increase nitric oxide and thus blood flow. (Nitric oxide triggers vessels' inner linings to expand.)
Caveat: Improvements were only looked for immediately after the cocoa was consumed. Are there any long-term benefits?
COCOA & BLOOD PRESSURE
Study: Harvard Medical School/Brigham and Women's Hospital
Finding: Five days of drinking a special brew of flavanol-rich cocoa seemed to activate the production of nitric oxide in study involving 27 participants. Nitric oxide causes blood vessels to relax and expand, and thus improves blood flow to the brain.
Caveat: Flavanol levels in most commercial chocolates are much lower than those used in the experiment. And to really prove flavanol-rich cocoa helps the heart, studies of larger groups of people over a longer period of time are needed.
COCOA & CHOLESTEROL
Study: Tufts/USDA/University of L'Aquila
Finding: Eating 3 1/2 ounces of dark chocolate daily for 15 days reduced participants' blood pressure. Levels of LDL, the so-called 'bad' cholesterol, also drop"Christmas Brandy Good for you!
Drinking a shot of smooth full-flavoured brandy this Christmas could actually benefit your health, Monash University researchers have found.
Dr Gordon Troup from the School of Physics said that, in moderation, brandy had been shown to have supplementary medicinal health benefits - and the better quality the brandy the greater the benefit.
The key to its benefit is antioxidants contained in the brandy that come mainly from copper during the distilling process, Dr Troup said.
He said a shot (30mls) of brandy would give the equivalent antioxidant potential to the daily recommended intake of vitamin C.
Gina froze in time on 10:59 AM
Sunday, December 18, 2005
Free Range Fruitcake
So many people seemed to like my fruitcake, I thought I'd post the Recipe. If you are going to serve it right away you can skip the brandy if you want (like I did) but if you are going to keep it around or give it as a gift, spray it down with the brandy, it will help it keep!
The other thing about this recipe that is great, it's very free form, you can mix up the fruit, I've used Walnuts and I've done it with out nuts for my father. I have yet to meet someone who didn't like this cake!
Free Range Fruitcake
From Alton Brown
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup currants
1/2 cup sun dried cranberries
1/2 cup sun dried blueberries
1/2 cup sun dried cherries
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
Zest of one lemon, chopped coarsely
Zest of one orange, chopped coarsely
1/4 cup candied ginger, chopped
1 cup gold rum
1 cup sugar
5 ounces unsalted butter (1 1/4 sticks)
1 cup unfiltered apple juice
4 whole cloves, ground
6 allspice berries, ground
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 to 1/2 cup toasted pecans, broken
Brandy for basting and/or spritzing
Combine dried fruits, candied ginger and both zests. Add rum and macerate overnight, or microwave for 5 minutes to re-hydrate fruit.
Place fruit and liquid in a non-reactive pot with the sugar, butter, apple juice and spices. Bring mixture to a boil stirring often, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool for at least 15 minutes. (Batter can be completed up to this point, then covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before completing cake.)
Heat oven to 325 degrees.
Combine dry ingredients and sift into fruit mixture. Quickly bring batter together with a large wooden spoon, then stir in eggs one at a time until completely integrated, then fold in nuts. Spoon into a 10-inch non-stick loaf pan and bake for 1 hour. Check for doneness by inserting toothpick into the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean, it's done. If not, bake another 10 minutes, and check again.
Remove cake from oven and place on cooling rack or trivet. Baste or spritz top with brandy and allow to cool completely before turning out from pan.
When cake is completely cooled, seal in a tight sealing, food safe container. Every 2 to 3 days, feel the cake and if dry, spritz with brandy. The cake's flavor will enhance considerably over the next two weeks. If you decide to give the cake as a gift, be sure to tell the recipient that they are very lucky indeed.
Gina froze in time on 1:09 PM