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As an unofficial and probably unappreciated member of the grammar patrol, there's any number of things that annoy me almost daily, but I try to ignore all that I can. Am I mistaken?  How about you?  Let's see it - please comment!

I feel a little guilty this year wishing people a "Happy New Year".....

Here's a hint for conserving herbs.  When you have extras from the grocery or garden, process in a blender or food processor with filtered or bottled water until quite fine.  Pour into pint-size freezer bags; don't overfill.  They should freeze lying flat and be quite thin.  When you need some for a recipe, just open, break off a piece the size you need and reseal. Note:  be sure to label, a permanent marker works great.

'Tis the season to light candles.  But this can be a deadly decision.  It's a leading cause of home fires, and so preventable.  For safety tips, see The National Fire Protection Association's site.

What do centipedes and a good diet plan have in common?  I'm going to tell you, plus a family example that sort of proves the point.  A couple of interesting health links on fat, pot bellies, diabetes and dementia too.

Hilda writes:  I was watching the news this morning all the candidates striving for votes some of them were absolutely horrible to each other...  Here is something I wrote a couple of years ago:  Is There a Cure?

Karen Danielson writes:  "Please tell 10 friends to tell 10 today! The Breast Cancer site is having trouble getting enough people to click on it daily to meet their quota of  donating at least one free mammogram a day to an underprivileged woman.   It takes less than a minute to go to their site and click on "Fund Free Mammograms" for free (pink window in the middle). (There is nothing to sign up for and no cost to you.)  The corporate sponsors/advertisers use the number of daily visits to donate a mammogram in exchange for advertising.  Here's the website -  http://www.thebreastcancersite.com    PLEASE TELL 10 FRIENDS TO TELL 10 FRIENDS!!!!"   Thanks for the reminder, Karen.  To pass on this message easily, just hit the   "Send this Page" icon below, and tell them to look for Karen's message in the top window.  Or click on "Fight Hunger" for a permanent link.

"How You Gonna Keep Them Down on the Farm Once They Have Seen Paree?" were the lyrics to a song at the turn of the century.  Betcha don't know the history of this ditty!  On a similar note, from son Mark, a news item from Amman, Jordan .  True or not, it might help the Arab women in their desperate quest for basic human rights.  See "Suffragettes?"

Here's some more on flax seed from Third Age's Teresa K. Flatley:  To Flax or Not to Flax.

A Day of Respect.  Please read this and make a difference.

Dr. Weil says: "Therapists expect to see more anxiety, depression and substance abuse this month due to what they call the "anniversary reaction" to the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington last year."  See Time for a News Fast?

Do things taste like they used to?  In most cases not.  Fruit and many vegetables are picked while seriously unripe, stored in gases to keep them from ripening, shipped all over, etc, and by the time you get them, they're usually hard tasteless nuggets (especially pears, peaches and tomatoes, but much more too).  In fact, produce is especially bred to stand up to shipping stress; forget the taste!  If you leave them out to ripen, they frequently rot before doing so. Even canned fruit has gone downhill.  Granddaughter Jackie bought a can of house brand fruit cocktail, and it was the most miserable stuff I've tasted in years. Maybe that's one reason why kids don't eat enough fruits and veggies!  My husband has been bringing me peaches from our local Publix - big, beautiful ones, with that great peach aroma that's usually missing.  Yes, they are greener than I like although my husband likes them crisp.  But they RIPEN!  And taste like peaches!  Their fruit bears a little oval apple-green sticker bisected with a red bar; look for it, and enjoy. 

This tip is from our late friend and Fuller Brush rep, Ella Abbott.  I didn't think it would work, but I tried it and it's great!  To keep leaf lettuces and other greens crisp and fresh, first remove any leaves or leaf tips that are wilted or starting to rot.  Rinse well under running water.  Hold them upside down to let it drain.   Lay each one on a lightweight kitchen towel.   Straighten stems and leaves, roll up firmly and store in the refrigerator.   Every time you use some, remove outside leaves as needed, check for bad leaves or stubs of stems and remove, rinse again, drain and roll up.

The kids are home for the summer, or soon will be.  Now's a good time to interest them in learning to cook (boys too), and sneak in some nutritional education on the side.  Here's some tools to get the job done; Kids Gotta Cook.

Why are "blonde" jokes so short?  For one thing, we try not to discriminate or stereotype on this site.  For another....   and why sometimes I don't print your contributions.

Beans, beans, good for your heart, the more you eat, the more you lessen your risk of heart disease and high blood pressure.  (Gotcha! What did you think I was going to write?)  According to a Tulane University study, those to ate beans, peas or other legumes at least four times a week lowered their risk of a heart attack by a whopping 22% as compared to those who ate them only once a week.  Their blood pressure was lower as well.

Here's a particularly relevant topic in light of the challenge the US Catholic Church is currently undergoing, from Dr. Mercola's website.  He's right, this subject needs to see the light of day.  Read Child Prostitution a Global Problem.  

Hint:  Plastic ice cube trays are a convenient way to save  homemade broth from vegetables, fish, beef or poultry.  Strain the broth, boil on medium heat to reduce the volume to about 2 cups.  Cool (preferably in the refrigerator, to avoid food spoilage), skim any congealed fat, and then pour into an ice cube tray, (cover with plastic wrap or foil, or use Tupperware's spill-proof, flavor-saver covered tray), and freeze.  When hard, pop into labeled zipper-lock bags or plastic containers.  When preparing soup, sauce, stir-fry or gravy, just add one or more of these concentrated cubes to jack up the flavor of the dish.   This is a great way to utilize clean veggie trimmings, meat scraps and bones. 

It's a bit technical, but explains the part in plain English about which fats and foods are out of whack in the average diet, and why it's  dangerous to our health.  See RATIO OF OMEGA-6 TO OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS.

Plan ahead so you won't get pinched: read the Wearing of the Green for ideas, history, recipes and more.

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