Friday, April 30, 2010

The Friday Dog Blog

Hello - It's Friday again. Hope you are enjoying the weather where you are. We have a hot dog for you, even if the weather is nice and cool in your neck of the woods -

This miniature poodle is an old lady, and takes no guff from anybody. Poodles make great pets - they don't smell and they don't shed. Just like Schnauzers!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What Are Your Life Experiences??

Hello…Something a little different on today’s health blog…I’m sure you’ve heard of a bucket list – a list of things that a person wants or needs to accomplish before they die. I recently found a list on Facebook that encompasses a variety of life experiences. Some are pleasant experiences and some are not, but if a person accomplished all of them, they would have had an interesting life, that’s for sure!

Copy and paste this list to Word or a similar program, then circle or check off each one that you have done so far. Take a look at what you haven’t done – are these things that you might want on your own personal bucket list? I have put an X next to the ones that I have done….

Things you have done during your lifetime:

(x) Gone on a blind date

(x) Skipped school

(x) Watched someone die

( ) Been to Canada

() Been to Mexico

(x) Been to Florida

( ) Been to Hawaii

(x) Been on a plane

( ) Been on a helicopter

(x) Been lost

(x) Gone to Washington, DC

(x) Swam in the ocean

(x ) Cried yourself to sleep

(x) Played cops and robbers

() Recently colored with crayons

(x) Sang Karaoke

() Paid for a meal with coins only

() Been to the top of the St. Louis Arch

(x) Done something you told yourself you wouldn't.

(x) Made prank phone calls

(x) Been down Bourbon Street in New Orleans

(x) Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose & elsewhere

(x) Caught a snowflake on your tongue

() Danced in the rain-naked

(x) Written a letter to Santa Claus

(x) Been kissed under the mistletoe

(x) Watched the sunrise with someone

(x) Blown bubbles

(x) Gone ice-skating

(x) Gone to the movies

() Been deep sea fishing

() Driven across the United States

() Been in a hot air balloon

() Been sky diving

() Gone snowmobiling

() Lived in more than one country

(x) Lay down outside at night and admired the stars while listening to the crickets

(x) Seen a falling star and made a wish

() Enjoyed the beauty of Old Faithful Geyser

(x) Seen the Statue of Liberty

() Gone to the top of Seattle Space Needle

() Been on a cruise

(x) Traveled by train

(x) Traveled by motorcycle

(x) Been horse back riding

() Ridden on a San Francisco CABLE CAR

(x) Been to Disney World

() Been in a rain forest

() Seen whales in the ocean

() Been to Niagara Falls

() Ridden on an elephant

() Swam with dolphins

() Been to the Olympics

() Walked on the Great Wall of China

() Saw and heard a glacier calf

(x) Been kite flying

() Been water-skiing

() Been snow-skiing

() Been to Westminster Abbey

() Been to the Louvre

() Swam in the Mediterranean

(x) Been to a Major League Baseball game

(x) Been to a National Football League game

() Thrown up after riding a roller coaster or other carnival ride

() Seen the sun set in Key West

() Been present at someone's birth

(x) Played music on stage

() Been to a NASCAR race

(Photo by Barbara Mueller)

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Monday Recipe Blog

Hello, how is your Spring Monday going?  This is the time of year that the weather is often just perfect.  How about some sugar cookies that have no sugar?

Is your head swimming from all of the Easter treats that are packed with sugar? There are some alternatives that taste just as yummy, but with no sugar and much less calories.

White sugar increases your chances of diabetes, packs on pounds, and is a virtual trainwreck for your body.

Splenda is a sugar substitute that many people love. It has no calories and does not raise blood sugar. Compared to white sugar, it is a good choice if you need a sweet fix.

The following is a recipe for sugar cookies that contain NO sugar. Granular Splenda is the sweetener in these low-calorie treats….

No-Sugar Sugar Cookies:


3/4 Cup Butter, unsalted

1/4 Cup Butter Substitute

1 Cup Splenda Granular

1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract

1/4 Cup Egg Substitute

1/4 Cup Water

3/4 Teaspoon White or Cider Vinegar

1 1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour

1 1/2 Cup Cake Flour

1/4 Teaspoon Salt

1 Teaspoon Baking Powder

Lightly oil a cookie sheet (or spray with non-stick spray such as PAM).

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the butter, butter substitute, Splenda and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl. Mix until the butter is soft, then add the egg substitute, water and vinegar. Mix this a little.

To this mixture, add the two flours, salt and baking powder. Mix until a dough is formed – either by hand or with a mixer on low speed.

Place the dough on a floured surface, then divide it in half. Pat each half into a circle and refrigerate about an hour, covered with plastic wrap.

Then roll the chilled dough on a floured surface to about 1/4 inch, then cut with your cookie cutters. Place them on your oiled cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees about 10 minutes or until the back is a little brown. Cool and enjoy!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Save Money By Using An Old-Fashioned Clothesline!

The old-fashioned clothesline is back in style for drying clothes. Electric clothes dryers have their place, but many people are going back to the outdoor clothesline for cleaner, fresher-smelling clothes.

Each time you can use a clothesline rather than drying a load of clothes, you save money and help the environment. What could be better??

The following are a few tips to make your old-fashioned clothesline drying a success:

If you don’t have a backyard, you can still dry clothes without a dryer. Use a tension curtain rod in your laundry room to hang clothes to dry. You obviously won’t be able to dry as many pieces this way, but it will come in handy for clothing that cannot be put into the dryer, for example, a piece of clothing that says “hang to dry”.

If you have an outdoor clothesline, wipe it down now and then with a wet rag to keep it clean. A dirty line will soil your clean clothes.

Don’t spin all of the water out of the clothes that you are going to dry on the line, since wrinkles set into clothes that are completely spun. Instead, stop the washer about halfway through the spin cycle, then take your clothes out to the line.

The best clothes to hang on the line are white clothes, since the sun will make them even whiter. It’s better than the best bleach! For your darker clothing, hang them out of the bright sunlight, since they will eventually fade in the sun.

Hang pants by the cuffs. The weight will pull out the wrinkles and eliminate the need for ironing. If you are hanging a heavy dress or coat, use two hangers since the item will be very heavy. Hook the hangers on the clothesline in opposite directions and this will keep the item from blowing off the line.

Don’t leave your clothes on the line longer than necessary, since sunlight is not easy on fabric and will eventually weaken it.

Large, thick comforters should be dried in a clothes dryer because they take forever to line-dry and you might run into a mold or mildew situation. Other bedding such as sheets, however, are great for line-drying and smell wonderful when finished.

When removing the clothes from your clothesline, make sure there are no uninvited guests. I was once stung by a wasp that was on a dish towel that I removed from the line and threw over my shoulder!

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Friday Dog Blog

It's Friday, time for another Dog Blog.

This is Jesse again, the Michigan bowser that loves life. Jesse says "Go Blue!"

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Oprah's Book Club Selection #1 - The Poisonwood Bible

This is the beginning of my new project, reading one selection from Oprah's Book Club each month, and reporting on it in a Wednesday blog.  April's book is The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.

This 1998 novel is set primarily in Africa, The Belgian Congo.  It is the story of a fanatically-religious man, his wife and four daughters.  Nathan Price, the patriarch, is a Baptist minister who moves his family to Africa in 1959 to save souls and bring the Africans to Christ.  This is really the story of the girls, ranging in age from 5 to 15 at the beginning of the novel, and is told in the voices of the four girls and Orleanna, their mother.

The mother and daughters struggle to absorb the cruel changes from their lives in the United States (Georgia), while dealing with their father's unstable fanaticism and rigidity.  The Congo's turbulent politics of the 1960's intertwine with the struggles of the women as the girls age and begin to grow up.  It becomes obvious that their father, increasingly belligerant, will never leave Africa, and the women are faced with difficult choices as the Congo's government becomes more and more unstable.

The fates of Orleanna and the girls take widely different paths as the 1960's give way to the 1970's, 1980's and finally, 1990's.

If you have read some of Kingsolver's earlier works such as The Bean Trees, you will be surprised at The Poisonwood Bible.  Extensive research obviously went into this highly-detailed historical novel, and it appears that Kingsolver grew up as an author with The Poisonwood Bible.

I highly recommend The Poisonwood Bible.  Kingsolver just gets better and better as she ages and evolves as an author.  Her latest, The Lacuna, tops The Poisonwood Bible by a hair.  If you choose The Poisonwood Bible as your next read, you won't regret it!

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Monday Recipe Blog

Let's Do Meatless Monday!

Do you participate in meatless Mondays? This is a health movement that encourages everyone to forego eating any kind of meat on Mondays, and I think it’s a pretty good idea. Certain types of meat in moderation can be a tasty treat, but do we really need meat every day?

Replacing meat with vegetables each Monday is a healthy way to get started on a healthier lifestyle. The following recipe shows that meatless lasagna can be a delicious alternative to meat, and using reduced-fat cheese makes it even better.

So, give meatless Monday a shot – it definitely can’t hurt!

Meatless Monday Lasagna

3 cups low-fat Ricotta cheese, or low-fat cottage cheese

2 Tablespoons dried parsley

1 1/4 teaspoon garlic, chopped

4 cups spaghetti sauce

12 lasagna noodles, uncooked

1 cup grated, reduced-fat mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Coat a 9-inch by 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray such as PAM.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, mix together the cottage (or Ricotta) cheese, garlic and parsley.

Ladle 1 cup of the spaghetti sauce in the bottom of the pan. On top of that, place 4 of the noodles.

Then put 1/2 of the cheese mixture, 1/2 of the mozzarella, another cup of sauce, 4 more noodles, the other half of the cheese mixture, the other half of the mozzarella, another coup of the sauce, the other four noodles and the rest of the sauce.

Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top of everything and cover with aluminum foil.

Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Let the lasagna sit for 10-15 minutes after removing from the oven.

You can make this up beforehand and store in the refrigerator before baking, but if you do this, increase the baking time by about 15 minutes.

This recipe makes 12 servings, 218 calories per serving.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Take A Trip On Tennessee's Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail

Hello....It's getting time to start thinking about your summer vacation.  What better place to visit than the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee/North Carolina??

If you travel to the Tennessee side of the Great Smoky Mountains, you will find many great sights and sounds. Some, such as Cades Cove are better-known than others.

Many of the best sights of The Great Smokies are in areas that, while easy to get to, are not as popular and crowded as the usual places.

One such place is the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, which is actually a road rather than a trail, and yes, you travel by car.

You get to the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail from Gatlinburg, which is a little village on the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The following are must-see stops on the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail...

At stoplight 8 in Gatlinburg, turn onto Airport Road and this will lead you to the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. Plan on spending at least two hours on this 5 mile trail, because there are so many sights you will want to pull over a lot.

There is also some good hiking if you want to go further into the woods.The trail is a one-way paved and well-maintained road, so once you're on the trail you must continue until you reach the end.You will notice that the forest is very dark, misty and eerie, and the air is considerable cooler than outside the forest.

Keep your eyes peeled as you drive into the dark forest. We saw a big black bear once near the forest entrance foraging on the side of the road. We stopped, of course, then a car came along behind us and stopped, then another, and a bear jam ensued while camera flashed.  You will see many preserved log cabins that were inhabited by settlers 150 years ago.

The Ogle Cabin:

You will drive a few minutes in the dark forest before you actually enter onto the trail. Just before you get to the trail is the Bud Ogle place. An 19th century log cabin and barn stands off the road, and if you hike a short distance you will find a big creek in all its glory.

I am convinced that the Ogle Place is haunted, since very strange things have happened to us every time we have been there, including losing a friend in the woods, dropping a digital camera in the stream, backing the SUV into a tree and running off and leaving a walkie-talkie.

We actually went there before dawn one day, and I would recommend it. Strange sounds came from the still, dark, deep forest and it was a great (but a little frightening) experience as we waited for the sunrise over the cabin.

Once you actually enter the trail, you will begin to go up and curl around, encountering more beautiful sights and log cabins. Stop and go into each one, you will be amazed at how small these living spaces are.

You will come to an old grist mill on a stream. You can go through the mill, climb down to the stream and explore everything around it.

There are no "stay out of here" signs - you are free to walk wherever you please.

There are some trailheads that you might be interested in, with both long hikes and short hikes. Rainbow Falls Trail and Grotto Falls Trail both begin here. Be sure that you are prepared and have adequate hiking shoes.

The Place of A Thousand Drips is your last stop, and is a very different kind of waterfall. How dramatic it is depends on how much rain has recently fallen.

Once you go through this magical place, you will return many times. If you love cool mist, mountains and history, this is the place for you. I might add that it is just a little creepy, but in a good way.  Best of all, it's FREE.

The trail closes after the first major snow and stays closed all winter.

If you see a bear, be extremely careful. They are extremely fast and unpredictable. I learned this the hard way when I was chased into my car by a charging bear. You don't have to be the fastest, just faster than the person you're with :)

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Friday Dog Blog

Happy Friday, everyone. Here is your Dog Blog picture. It's....Mellow Schnauzer!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

How To Survive A Monster Tornado

April, May and June are the most dangerous months for killer tornadoes. Even though there are “tornado alleys”, where more tornadoes occur, a tornado can strike any time, anywhere in the United States.

Being in Oklahoma, I have experienced my share of scary weather. I made it through the largest and most destructive tornado in history, the F5 plus on May 3, 1999 Moore, Oklahoma tornado. I was in a cubbyhole under the staircase and heard, but didn’t see that one. The monster stayed on the ground for hours, killing 36 people in the Oklahoma City metro area. Moore, a suburb, was the hardest hit. Recorded wind speed was 318 miles per hour, and when the tornado hit Moore it was a mile wide and cut a path seven miles long through Moore. It turned north a block before reaching my house.

Four years later another F5 took the same path through Moore. By then I had a storm shelter in my garage, and watched the tornado from the top step as it came right at me. When I closed the shelter door, I was convinced that I would lose my home this time. It turned north at the same place again and I made it through another one.

I have learned my share while dodging these things. Most important – be prepared. The following are some tips on how to survive if a monster rips through your town…

Watch your local channels….If skies are threatening, don’t choose this time to watch a rented movie or a cable channel. Tune to a local channel and pay close attention. If the situation is dangerous, the meteorologists will likely break into programming to warn citizens.

Know what a wall cloud looks like and watch for a strong, steady rotation within the clouds….In Oklahoma there is plenty of information on what a tornado looks like when it’s in the clouds, but if you don’t know, go to the Internet for information. Be informed and knowledgeable. Sometimes a cloud is just a cloud and sometimes it’s not. You should know the difference.

Know what a tornado looks like….Yes, we have all seen (or seen pictures of) the classic funnel twisting its way across a town or prairie. But not all tornadoes look like funnels – some just look like clouds. However, a tornado on the ground will almost always have a debris cloud that may look like a dust cloud swirling under it. Watch for that.

At night it is very difficult to determine whether a tornado is approaching. Lightning will help you see what is coming. Also look for telltale flashes in the distance – these are electrical poles being hit by the tornado. A persistent roar usually means a tornado is approaching.

Have a plan….Everything goes better with advance planning. Know what you will do if a tornado approaches, and ensure that your family knows as well. It may come in the afternoon when one or both parents are at work. Your children need to know what to do in this situation, particularly where to go in case of emergency. If there is no tornado shelter or basement, covering yourself with pillows in the bathtub is usually a good plan. During the 1999 tornado, I put on a heavily-padded winter coat for protection and grabbed an OU football helmet from the closet. I’m more prepared now – we have hard hats and a shelter that is fully stocked with lights and batteries.

Talk to your neighbors. One or more may have a shelter and they may agree to allow you and/or your children to use it in case of a tornado. Most shelters will accommodate at least eight grown people. Be aware, however, that some people and most public shelters will not allow dogs or other pets in their shelters. You may have to make a tough decision in a crisis. Think about this in advance when you are not terrified.

If you live in a mobile home, your plans must include where to go when you evacuate. Yes, you have to get out of a mobile home if a tornado is approaching – there is no safe place to hide.

If you are in a public building such as a business or mall, stay there. You will be instructed on where to go within the building to stay safe.

If you are in an office building, get to the lowest portion. Use the stairs, not the elevator. In fact, the bottom of the stairwell is usually a good spot to wait out the storm. Never be around windows – you could get badly hurt by the breaking glass.

If you are in a church or similar building, go to the bathroom or interior hallway. Again, make sure there are no windows.

If you are in a car or truck, it is usually safer to abandon it and run to the nearest building. People who are experienced with tornadoes and know the direction that they normally travel may be able to drive at right angles to the tornado and get away from it, but for most people it is better to find a shelter.

If you are in a car or truck and there is no building, find a low area such as a ditch and lie face down in it, covering your head with your arms. Never take shelter under a bridge or overpass – a strong tornado will likely suck you right out of it. This was a hard lesson learned during the May 3, 1999 tornado – it cost some people their lives.

After the tornado, steer clear of downed power lines and puddles. Stay at or near your home and keep your family together. After the 1999 tornado, my lawn was full of broken glass, insulation, boards and other dangerous debris. Be very careful and know where you are stepping.

Just remember, that knowledge is power in an emergency. Prepare in advance and you will be fine during tornado season.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Monday Recipe Blog

Happy Monday!  Let's make some Caramel Apples in the slow cooker!

Don’t you just love caramel apples? But it seems like the only time we get them is in the fall – at the State Fair and during Halloween season. If you have a slow cooker, also known as a crock pot, you can enjoy a version of delicious caramel apples all year.

Using a healthy butter substitute and Splenda brown sugar blend will make these apples healthier for you, and less fattening as well.

This is a treat that you can fix, put in the crock pot, and forget about it for about 4 hours or more. What can be easier?

Slow Cooker Caramel Apples:


4 extra large tart apples, cored

½ c. apple juice

8 Tablespoons brown sugar, or Splenda brown sugar blend

12 “red hot” cinnamon candies

4 T. butter or butter substitute

8 soft caramel candies

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Whipped cream

Take about a 1/2 inch-wide strip of peel of the top of each apple and place each apple in the crock pot.

Pour the apple juice over the apples.

In the center of each apple, place 2 T. brown sugar, 3 red hot candies, 1 T. butter or substitute and 2 caramels.

Sprinkle the cinnamon over everything.

Cover the crock pot and cook on Low for 4-6 hours, until the apples are tender.

Serve hot, with whipped cream.  Wow.  Doesn't that sound great??

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Make Those Grass Stains Vanish!

Spring has sprung, and we are in the midst of some of the most beautiful weather we will see all year.  I love April and May - this is the perfect time to get outside and have a great time without worrying about freezing weather or a blazing sun.
Warm seasons mean lots of beautiful green grass, which in turn means that you will probably encounter some ground-in grass stains in your clothing. Easter egg hunts, in particular, are notorious for producing almost-impossible grass stains.

The following are some tips for getting those nasty grass stains out of your clothes….

Grass stains on jeans….Along with white athletic shoes, jeans are probably the biggest attractor of those lovely green stains. The trick to removing grass stains from jeans is plain old rubbing alcohol. Just saturate the stain with the alcohol and let the stain sit in the alcohol for about 15 minutes. Wash the jeans as usual, then check to see that the stain is gone before the jeans go into the dryer. If you need to repeat the process, be sure and do that before drying the jeans.

Grass stains on white leather athletic shoes….These are easy – use molasses. Take a little dollop of molasses syrup and massage it into the stains on the shoe. After it sits overnight, wash it off with soap and water and the stain should be gone.

Grass stains on other clothing…Use white toothpaste for stains on clothing other than jeans. The gel-type toothpaste won’t work, so make sure it is white cream toothpaste. Using an old toothbrush, brush the toothpaste into the stain, rinse it out and then launder as usual.

See how easy it is to remove grass stains? Now go out and play in the yard for awhile!

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Friday Dog Blog

What a terrific Friday. We have a terrific dog for you, too! This beautiful English bulldog has a quirky personality and laughs a lot. She's laughing in this picture, can't you tell???

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Read For Your Health - Oprah's Book Club Selections, The Complete List

As promised, here is the complete list of Oprah's Book Club Selections.  Read it and get inspired!

To recap, the challenge to myself is to read (or listen to) at least one selection from this list every month.  I will also blog about the book in a Wednesday post.  I would like to have some have some companions in this endeavor, so please consider joining me.  Your book reviews are welcome!

Ok, without further ado, here is the list....

Say You're One of Them by Uwem Akpan

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
The Measure of a Man by Sidney Poitier

Night by Elie Wiesel

A Million Little Pieces by James Frey
Light in August by William Faulkner
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton
East of Eden by John Steinbeck

Sula by Toni Morrison
Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald

A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
Cane River by Lalia Tademy
Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail by Malika Oufkir
Icy Sparks by Gwyn Hyman Rubio
We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates

House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III
Drowning Ruth by Christina Schwarz
Open House by Elizabeth Berg
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
While I Was Gone by Sue Miller
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
Back Roads by Tawni O'Dell
Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende
Gap Creek by Robert Morgan

A Map of the World by Jane Hamilton
Vinegar Hill by A. Manette Ansay
River, Cross My Heart by Breena Clarke
Tara Road by Maeve Binchy
Mother of Pearl by Melinda Haynes
White Oleander by Janet Fitch
The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve
The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
Jewel by Bret Lott

Where The Heart Is by Billie Letts
Midwives by Chris Bohjalian
What Looks Like Crazy On An Ordinary Day by Pearl Cleage
I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb
Breath, Eyes, Memory by Edwidge Danticat
Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen
Here on Earth by Alice Hoffman
Paradise by Toni Morrison

The Best Way To Play by Bill Cosby
The Treasure Hunt by Bill Cosby
The Meanest Thing to Say by Bill Cosby
A Virtuous Woman by Kaye Gibbons
Ellen Foster by Kaye Givvons
A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines
Songs in Ordinary Time by Mary McGarry Morris
The Heart of a Woman by Maya Angelou
The Rapture of Canaan by Sheri Reynolds
Stones From the River by Ursula Hegi
She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb

The Book of Ruth by Jane Hamilton
Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
The Deep End of the Ocean by Jacquelyn Mitchard

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Monday Recipe Blog

How To Make After-Easter Egg Salad

After Easter,  many homes are being overrun with hard-boiled eggs. Whether they are used as centerpieces or other decorating objects or the kids had great success hunting Easter eggs, you may find yourself searching for a creative way to use hard-boiled eggs.

An old favorite after-Easter treat is Egg Salad, and it’s difficult to top Egg Salad on a sandwich. There are many ways to prepare Egg Salad, and the recipe below uses light mayonnaise and low-fat sour cream in an attempt to make the popular sandwich filling a little more healthy.

There are differing opinions on whether eggs are healthy, but most agree that, used in moderation, eggs are a good source of protein.

This recipe uses some tasty ingredients to spice up the old recipe a little.

Try it on a toasted whole-grain wheat roll with tomatoes and lettuce. It’s really, really good.

After-Easter Egg Salad
• 12 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and chopped

• 1/2 cup light mayonnaise

• 1/2 cup low-fat sour cream

• 1/4 teaspoon paprika

• 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

• 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish (optional)

• 2 tablespoons chopped red onion

• 1/4 cup real bacon bits

• pepper to taste

In a medium bowl, stir together the eggs, light mayonnaise, low-fat sour cream, paprika, mustard, horseradish, red onion and bacon bits. Season with pepper to taste.

Serve immediately, or refrigerate until serving.

Serves 8. This Egg Salad has 179 calories per serving

Photo by Petr Kratochvil

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Plant Your Garden By The Moon and Stars!

In the early days, people believed that planting should be done by the moon and the Zodiac calendar. As early as 1300 B.C. there were planting charts based on the twelve signs, which later became the Zodiac.

Almanacs are still published today that recommend planting by the Zodiac calendar and the moon. While most of us just consider this a fun thing to read about, some still plant, cultivate and harvest their gardens according to the twelve signs and what stage the moon is in. Who knows, the relationship between the planets, sun, moon and nature may be more significant than we think. Our ancestors certainly believed it.

The following is a guide to planting according to the Zodiac calendar….

Plant during the fruitful signs – Scorpio (loins), Pisces (feet), Taurus (neck) or Cancer (breast).

Always set plants out in a water or earth sign – Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Scorpio, Pisces.

Flowers should be planted in Libra, which represents beauty. Plant while the moon is in the first quarter.

Plow, till and cultivate in Aries.

A crop planted in Taurus or Cancer will withstand a drought.

Never transplant in Aries or Leo.

Plant things that yield above the ground during the growing of the moon, and plant things that yield under the ground during the decreasing of the moon.

Potatoes should never be planted in Pisces. The best time to plant potatoes is a dark night in March.

Never plant anything on the first day of the new moon, or on a day when the moon changes quarters.

If fruit is picked on the increasing of the moon or in the new moon, there will be more rotting. Pick fruit only during the decreasing of the moon.

All crops will keep better if picked during the decreasing of the moon.

Never plant on a Sunday.

Corn planted in Leo will have small ears.

Plant beans in Gemini.

Did the old-timers have it right? I guess the only way to know is to try it for yourself the next time you plant or harvest.

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Friday Dog Blog

Hope your Friday is better than this. It's....Slapped Schnauzer!!!