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Saturday, March 3, 2018

Women's History Month ==== Jackie Joyner Kersee

Many stories of great women have been shared through out the years. Stories like that of Susan B Anthony, Harriet Tubman, and Amelia Earhart  But we all have our stories to share and each of us are important and fight in our own way for women simply by being one.

Today lets look at someone who started life meager and now helps others to improve their own lives. All this while holding olympic and other records

Jackie Joyner Kersee best known for her dominance in women's track and field. Born in 1962 in East. St. Louis, Illinois. Daughter of teenage parents Alfred and Mary Joyner. Named after Jacqueline Kennedy with one proud grandma declaring "Some day this girl will be the first lady of something" Jackie's mother wanted to ensure her daughter did not grow up to fast. A house rule of no dating til 18 was created early on. This forced Jackie and her brother to concentrate elsewhere and together they chose track. The brother and sister would both win gold at the 1984 Olympics. Al would marry Florence Griffith another track star.

Jackie started winning early at the age of 14 at a community center. Later she would be a state champ in high school. She not only ran track but played basketball, volleyball and cheered on her brother as well. She had it all brains, beauty and brawn.

After high school she attended UCLA. Her mother would pass early at the age of 37 from meningitis. She wanted to prove herself even more to honor her mother. She met her husband Bob Kersee at college he was an assistant track coach. She would be convinced to use her talent in multi events. Jackie Joyner Kersee would win silver at the 1984 Olympics. and set an American record in 1985. 1986  would see her marry her coach and friend, and set a new world record at the Goodwill Games in Moscow. She would become the first woman to score the highest points. She would also earn the Jesse Owens award as well as the James E. Sullivan award. She was not done her career would span 15 more years until her retirement in 2001. She now helps other youth, adults and families to improve their quality of life and their communities.

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Deaf Awareness Month

The World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) first celebrated the International Day of the Deaf in 1958. The WFD is an international , non governmental organization of Deaf people. Recognized by the UN as their spokes organization to promote human rights of Deaf people. Nearly 70 million Deaf people worldwide are represented by WFD. The week of the Deaf is normally found the last week of September and The Day of the Deaf the last day of the week. 

Today, as part of Deaf Awareness Month I thought it would be a good idea to let you know that not all deaf individuals are alike. Yes, I know that they each have their own personality. That is not what I am talking about. What I am talking about, is that there are different types of hearing loss. There are four basic types of hearing loss (1) conductive hearing loss (2) sensorineural hearing loss (3) mixed hearing loss (4) central auditory processing disorders

Hearing loss can develop at any age in life and can be caused by many different factors. Sensorineural hearing loss is the most common type of hearing loss and occurs when the inner ear nerves (and hair cells ) are damaged and / or do not properly transmit auditory signals to the brain. Sounds and speech may seem muffled and unclear. This type of hearing loss can not normally be corrected and is permanent. Causes for sensorineural hearing loss are:

  • Illness
  • Genetic or hereditary hearing loss
  • Aging 
  • Head trauma 
  • Malformation of the inner ear 
  • Exposure to loud noise

Conductive hearing loss is typically the result of obstructions in the outer or middle ear. When there is an obstruction sound does not properly conduct through the outer ear to the middle ear. Conductive hearing loss may cause reduction in sound level or ability to hear faint sounds. Treatment is possible and includes surgery, medicine and hearing aids Causes of this type of hearing loss include:
  • fluid in middle ear 
  • ear infections
  • allergies
  • poor eustachian tube function
  • perforated eardrum 
  • benign tumors
  • impacted earwax
  • infection in ear canal
  • swimmer's ear
  • presence of foreign body in ear
  • malformation of the outer ear, ear canal, or middle ear

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Letters of Appreciation

Letter writing is becoming a lost art in many areas. Today's world is full of text messaging and instant messaging. Letter writing is still a very valuable skill and is often appreciated to see one takes the time to do such an act. Whether it is from a business or personal note sending a letter is something that will impress the receiver. Taking the time to write a sincere letter that expresses ones thoughts and feelings , is grammatically correct and free of spelling errors should go along way in impressing an individual or group.

A few tips to keep in mind when writing a letter of appreciation

  • Write a letter of appreciation as early as possible. The individual receiving the letter should be able to remember who you are and what you are thanking them for.
  • Clearly explain why you are showing appreciation for them. 
  • A letter of appreciation should be kept short, concise and focused. A couple of paragraphs is normally all you will need. 
  • Sincerity is best expressed briefly and not going over the top. Stating how you value the individual that helped you out or the achievement they reached. 
  • Before sending the letter one of the most important steps is to edit, edit, edit. Proofreading the letter before sending it will help you make sure that your letter appears professional and polished. 

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Experience With A Baby With Colic

When I was only 16 I had my first child. A beautiful baby girl. The only thing was that at 16 I certainly had helped with babies but had never had one of my own. So when our little angel started fussing  the first thing I did was take her to the E.R. they found nothing wrong with her. Nothing wrong,,,, except that she was a colicky little baby.

If you have never had the opportunity to be around a baby with colic then let me tell you it was not the funnest adventure I had been on. A healthy baby that cries consistently for over 3 hours in a row, on 3 or more days a week for at least 3 weeks can be described as having colic. Colic often starts around six weeks and slows down around during the first few months. Colic can start at any time of day and as I experienced can get worse in the evening. As a teenage parent with a teenage husband and father for the baby we were desperate to find a reason or some way to help our precious baby. Looking back now all I know is that we had to give it time. I do recall taking her to the emergency room a time or two, looking for help from our families and consulting our pediatrician. All medical conditions were ruled out and our baby checked out with good health.

If you are struggling with a baby with colic you may want to try:

Lay him on his back in a dark, quiet room.
Swaddle him snugly in a blanket.
Lay him across your lap and gently rub his back.
Try infant massage.
Put a warm water bottle on your baby's belly.
Have him suck on a pacifier.
Soak him in a warm bath.

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Inspire Me Monday

Easy Rice Shamrock Craft

Dyed Green Rice made by using rubbing alcohol, liquid food color and rice. Pour rubbing alcohol into bowl add few drops food color and stir. Adding more food coloring will offer more intense color. Mix in rice and stir. Make sure to cover rice. Let sit 30 minutes Remove rice onto paper towel lined cookie sheet. Dry. Stir occasionally 

white glue 
shamrock template 
white construction paper, poster board, or cardboard

Create shamrock using a template and cut out of construction or poster board Spread glue around template, you can have kids help by using their fingers. Cover glue with rice. Make sure all gets covered well. Pat down rice and let dry. 

craft resource here

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Happy Birthday Alexander Graham Bell

Alexander Graham Bell celebrated his birthday from the day he was born March 3rd, 1847 til just after his 75th birthday in 1922. Bell was an immigrant from Scotland and has been credited with inventions, scientific information and engineering work. His innovative personality would lead to being credited with patenting the first practical telephone. He also found the great company of AT&T in 1885. 

The men in Bell's family had all been involved in the education and speech field. His mother and wife were both deaf and Bell made it his life's work to help them. He researched and experimented with many hearing devices eventually patenting the first telephone in 1876. Bell did not delight in his invention as much as others as he thought it to be an intrusion into his real work. He refused to have telephone in his scientific studies. Bell work would in later life would lead him into more groundbreaking work. He would be one of 33 founders o the National Geographic Society and would serve as the second president for 5 years. 

Alexander Bell was born in Edinburgh, Scotland the middle brother of Melville and Edward. His brothers would both die of TB. His father also with the name of Alexander was a professor, and a phonetician. On Bell's 11th birthday he received a gift he much wanted, a middle name, Graham

Alexander Graham Bell's father was invited to the Boston School for Deaf Mutes (Horace Mann School for the Deaf) There he would introduce the visible speech system but he did not attend rather he sent his son. This would not be the only teaching assignment he would have as he trained teachers and staff in many areas. While at the school he worked on an invention to transfer sound and created the telephone. Alexander Graham Bell would make the first call on March 10, 1876 to his assistant Thomas Watson "Mr. Watson - come here - I want to see you" With the money he made with the invention he not only took care of himself, those he loved and the many causes he cared for he also helped other inventors.

Bell was never far from scientific experiments. He would crusade tirelessly for the deaf, encourage their integration into society with aide of lip reading and other techniques. In 1890 he created the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf.

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Friday, March 2, 2018

World Day of Prayer

March 2nd 2018 is also World Prayer Day. This event is always celebrated on the first Friday in March every year. Christian women in the U.S. and Canada started a movement in the 19th century this grew into a worldwide prayer in 1927. The motto of this special day is "Informed Prayer and Prayerful Action". 

While the event was created by women the day is celebrated by men and children as well. Christians of many cultures, traditions, and races in over 170 countries around the world unite in prayer. Everyone is encouraged to participate. People around the world will unite to affirm their belief and faith in Christ. The experiences of other Christians around the world will help enrich the experience of coming together. Participants may become more aware of services that they can use their own talent in to help others. God loves all people everywhere is expressed within the world day of prayer. 

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Read Across America

The National Education Association created Read Across America to serve as an initiative on reading. March 2nd is not only the birthday of Dr. Seuss but also National Read Across America Day in the United States. If March 2nd is not a school day then the event is hosted on the school closest to March 2nd. 

May 1997 the NEA created a small reading task force to come with a big idea. The group wanted to make reading exciting for children. The idea was to hold it in conjunction on Dr. Seuss's Birthday. March 2nd 1998 was the first reading celebration in America. Read Across America was to help motivate children to read. As we all know reading is an important factor in student success. Creating successful readers in our children should be motivation for them to do better in school. 

Elementary teachers, secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators, and students preparing to become teachers who make up NEA members in national organizations and associations to give their support to Read Across America. 

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Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss

Today is the birthday of Theodor Seuss Geisel. Born March 2nd 1904 Theodor lived for 87 years. During his lifetime he was an American author, political cartoonist, poet, animator, book publisher and artist. He was best known under his pen name Doctor Seuss. Seuss authored more than 60 children's books including some of the most popular children's books of all time. With over 600 million copies in more than 20 languages Seuss is well known. 

Theodor Geisel adopted the name "Dr. Seuss" while attending Dartmouth College and later as a graduate student at the University of Oxford. In 1927 Seuss began a career as an illustrator and cartoonist working for magazines such as Life, Vanity Fair and others. Geisel also created illustrations for ad campaigns such as standard oil. His first children's book was And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street . The book was authored in 1937 During World War II took a brief hiatus from children's literature and worked in an animation department in U.S. Army. Short films were created during this time. 
In 1950 Seuss returned to writing children's books with the book If I Ran The Zoo. A total of 60 books were authored for children. From these books 11 t.v. specials, 4 feature films, a Broadway musical and 4 t.v. series were spawned. 

September 24, 1991 Seuss died of oral cancer at the age of 87. In 1995 the University of California, San Diego University Library Building was renamed the Geisel Library in honor of Geisel. Springfield Mass. opened a Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden in 2002. May 28, 2008 California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and first lady Maria Shriver announced Geisel being inducted into California Hall of Fame at California Museum for History, Women and Arts. The work of Dr. Seuss has been honored with Academy Awards, two emmy awards, peabody award, Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal and Pulitzer Prize.  Seuss has also been awarded with Hollywood Walk of Fame. 

Wear Blue ---- Colorectal Awareness

March 2nd is a great day to dress in blue. In fact, wearing blue today is a way of joining together to try to end colorectal cancer. Wearing blue and raising funds will help bring awareness to this disease and support our work. My mother in law is one of the many individuals who is honored by wearing blue as she and many others have suffered from colorectal cancer.

More than 135,000 individuals will be diagnosed with this highly preventable disease.There have been more than 1.4 million colorectal cancer patients. March 2nd we honor all of them.

Colorectal cancer starts in the colon or rectum and is the third most common type of cancer in men and women in the United States. It is one of the most treatable forms of cancer when found early. Screenings is the earliest way to find colorectal cancer in the earliest stages before it grows or develops. All men and women should be screened for colon cancer. Most adults should be screened starting at the age of 50. Risk factors may determine if you should be screened earlier in life.  Risk factors for Colorectal cancer include:

  • ethnicity
  • lifestyle
  • family history

This important health informational post shared at
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Pet Sitters

My daughter and her husband has a dog that they love with all their hearts. In fact this pup is spoiled just a bit, treated just like they would their child. The lucky part is that they work opposing shifts so "Kizzy" is never alone. If she was I would imagine they would hire a pet sitter. Pet sitters are become popular for those with pets who can not be there all the time. In fact it is so popular that in 1995 Professional Pet Sitters Week was established. The first week of March honors professional pet care providers and seeks to educate the public about the profession of in home pet care.

Pet Sitting and Dog Walking are both popular and needed jobs. Many individuals have started up businesses based on growing need of pet care. Pet lovers may consider the job "easy" and be willing to post an online profile to offer their services, ongoing education of best business practices and latest in pet care, health and behavior. It is not enough to simply love pets.

In addition, pet care providers often carry pet sitter insurance and bonding, a local business license or permits, a pet sitter contract, a criminal history report. If you consider hiring a pet sitter then consider some of these questions when you interview a potential pet sitter:

  • job references from other pet owner clients they have worked for
  • do they have knowledge of pet first aide
  • what are the hours of the pet sitter and how soon can they start
  • what is the cost of pet sitter services.

Have you ever hired a pet sitter?? Are you a pet sitter?? I would love for you to share in comments any information I may have left out. There are times that those who have experience have knowledge that others may not. 

Look at The Life Of A SalesPerson

Many of you may know that I do not make my own income from blogging. One day, I would love for that to happen but til then I have a real job as well. My full time job is that of a nurse aide. I am the head CNA where I work at as I have been in the business for 25+ years. I do have to admit I do love it, but there has been other chances. I once was owned a shop with my family and loved it. Have you ever thought about being a retail salesperson?? 

The job of a retail salesperson includes:
  • greeting customers and making them feel welcome
  • being able to answer any questions or find the answer to the questions customers may have
  • take care of cash register including making change, 
  • taking care of any coupons and / or vouchers that customers may have 
  • knowing what to do with charge slips 
  • making deposits 

Individuals who hold the position of salesperson often have the same characteristics. Some of these include:
  • loving what they do as well as have knowledge of the product
  • being assertive
  • have the strive to succeed
  • have sales individuals that they model their own career
  • ability to hold customers attention
  •  being able to not only communicate well but listen is important

March ---- Deaf History Month

One of the immediate thoughts that comes to mind when you think of someone that is deaf is sign language. Individuals from the deaf community feel at home within their own deaf world. As a young girl, I stayed with a family for a short period of time. It was the family of my dad's boss and also one of my best friends. Her brother, while only a few years older than us, did not live at home. He lived near a deaf school that he attended and lived near the community where other hard of hearing individuals lived. The deaf culture is a global culture where many around the world who suffer from hearing loss live. The Deaf world do not consider being deaf a disability. They see the world as their world as a language minority. 

The history of the deaf world is one that those who know sign language are proud of. In 1816 a deaf educator from France came to the United States. Laurent Clerc would help build the first permanent school for deaf children in the United States. Many times the lives of the deaf population came up for discussion. From building a state of their own to the well known 1880 rule on the Education of the Deaf where they attempted to remove sign language from the classroom. The thought was to teach only in oral method there was much debate today the thought is behind lip reading with limited use or no use of sign language. The thought has presented debate of what is the best way to teach. For most sign language is part of the deaf world and should remain. 

Debate over where the system of sign language came about is part of the deaf history as well. Sign language may have originally came from the rudiment devise of pointing and gesturing to make one understood. Juan Pablo de Bonet authored a book containing the first known manual alphabet system in 1620. The hand shapes represented different speech sounds. Others believe that it was the deaf community living in and around Martha's Vineyard that invented sign language. Martha Vineyard Massachusetts was the home to many who suffered from deafness due to hereditary. The community devised a "language" to communicate with each other. 

The first public school for the deaf was established in Paris France in 1771. Abbe Charles Michel de L'Epee was the instructor who was given credit for the establishment and education the deaf with standard sign language that he was thought to create. Others disagree on the fact that many children from all over the world including Marthas vineyard came to the school and brought along their own forms of sign language. 

America would have their first school for the deaf shortly after the school established in France. In 1817 Laurent Clerc and Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet created the first school in America and are also credited with establishing the American Sign Language. The combination of the students sign language and french sign language established a combination known as American Sign Language. 

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Taking care of a new Guinea Pig

So you have a new guinea pig now what?? What will you need to properly care for guinea pig?? Here are some ideas:

Solid-bottom cage (minimum 24 x 12 x 12 inches)
Water bottle
Food bowl
Hay rack
A hide house (store-bought, or use a small flower pot)
Chew toys
Aspen, pine, or recycled paper bedding (but NOT cedar – it’s toxic for your pet!)
Timothy hay, orchard grass, or oat grass

Guinea pigs enjoy a home that is away from lots of noisy distractions, and away from drafty places.
Your new pet will enjoy fresh hay in their food bowl daily. Every other day give them a special treat of salad made of kale, collard greens, zucchini or shredded carrots. Special treats once a week can include a special fruit treat of banana or mango. Once a month raisins and alfalfa will delight your guinea pig. A diet of 20% vegetables and 5% fruit will be a nutritional fine diet.

Cleaning up after your pet is easy if you take away their food dish four hours after feedings and once a month clean the cage. Just like cleaning up after your pet responsible pet owners will want to take them to the vet as well The vet should see the new pet a few days after they come home a yearly check up after that should be followed up. If your guinea pig displays symptoms such as lethargy, not eating or eating very little, you notice they are not having a bowel movement or are going to much, take your pet to the vet at once.

Alport syndrome

Alport syndrome is a new disorder to me The syndrome can be classified as a rare disease as 1 in 50,000 newborns are found to have the syndrome Alport syndrome is a genetic disorder characterized by premature fusion of certain skull bones. The fusion prevents the skull from growing normally and affects the shape of the head and face. Fingers and toes may be fused together as well 

Alport syndrome is characterized by kidney disease, hearing loss, and eye abnormalities. Progressive loss of kidney function. Individuals with the syndrome often have blood in their urine. The blood is an indication that the kidneys are not functioning normally. High levels of protein in their urine leading to the kidneys functioning less as the condition progresses. The syndrome often leads to end stage renal disease. 

Sensorineural hearing loss caused by abnormalties of the inner ear is another effects linked to Alport syndrome. Late childhood or early adolescence suffering from the syndrome may also have abnormalities with their eyes leading to vision loss. Hearing loss, eye abnormalities and progressive kidney disease are often symptoms expressed more from males suffering from Alport syndrome. 

There are no specific treatments for AS. Minimizing loss of protein in the urine to help stabilize kidney function is the current focus. Research to find treatment continues.

.Annies Home tries to bring you an abundance of post in a variety of themes. From sports to cooking we want to help enlighten our readers knowledge. If you would like to see a post on a subject we have not included please let us know. 

Ham Recipe === Drunken Pig Style

1 shot of whiskey (reserved)
1 bone in smoked ham, (12-14 pounds)
olive oil
2 tablespoons black peppercorns, coarsely crushed (zipper bag and hammer)
2 tablespoons mustard seed, coarsely crushed (zipper bag and hammer)
1 cup of your favorite sour mash or bourbon whiskey (Jack Daniels, AKA old No.7)
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 cup “stone ground” or “course ground” style mustard (I use Inglehoffer or Beaver Brand. See for info)
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon molasses (that’ll teach them damn moles) shopping list
You can substitute good quality gold tequila for the whiskey (Jose Cuervo AKA liquid psychos

Drink the reserved shot of whiskey
Allow ham to rest at room temp for 1 hour before cooking. Prepping can be done during this time
Score ham by making shallow (3/8 inch deep) diagonal cuts about an inch apart to form a diamond pattern
Coat with olive oil
Mix crushed peppercorns and crushed mustard seeds together and rub over ham.
Insert the thermometer probe to as close to center of ham as practical staying clear of bone and set temperature alarm to 140F
Ham is now ready to cook, do not baste yet
Combine basting ingredients together in a resalable jar or plastic container and shake well to mix. Reserve to later use

Setup grill for indirect cooking, and preheat. If you don’t know what indirect grilling is ask or look it up. This is extremely important if you intend to eat the results
Place ham in baking pan and place on covered grill
Grill with indirect low heat to 140F internal temperature, 3-4 hours depending on ham size and grill heat, watch your thermometer rise to get an accurately adjusted cook time
Add hickory chips to fire as needed for smoke for the first hour
Baste with prepared basting mix the last 30 minutes or so, start when the internal temp is around 115F
Remove from grill at 140F internal temperature and allow to rest 15 minutes before carving
Serve hot or room temp

Adjust oven rack in cold oven to place ham near center of oven
Preheat oven to 300F
Place ham in baking pan and place in oven
Bake to 140F internal temperature, 3-4 hours depending on ham size, watch your thermometer rise to get an accurately adjusted cook time
Baste with prepared basting mix the last 30 minutes or so, start when the internal temp is around 115F
Remove from oven at 140F internal temperature and allow to rest 15 minutes before carving
Serve hot or room temp

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Women's History Month ::: Deborah Sampson

There have been many individuals who have stood out in history. Both men and women have attributed building this great country. March 1987 the National Women's History Project petitioned congress to designate the month of March as Women's History Month. After that time schools and communities together began to celebrate Women's History Month. 

The first "Women's History Week" took place in Sonoma California 1978. Since that time every state honors womens history month

One area that women have helped this country grow was in the military. Women from the beginning have served in the U.S. Army in positions such as cooks, laundresses, nurses, and seamstresses. These roles were important to help service member's have tolerable lives. As early as the American Revolution women have chose to forgo traditional roles and serve in combat roles. There they fought along side their husbands or disguised their selves as men. There were other courageous women who took on roles as spies. The number has grown since that time and now include women in many U.S. military branches. 

One of these courageous ladies was Deborah Sampson. Sampson was a hero of the American Revolution. During the war she disguised herself as a man and fought side by side her fellow patriots. For her bravery she received a full military pension. The only woman to do so in the Revolutionary War. 

Deborah Sampson Gannett was born December 17, 1760. She was a Massachusetts women who served 17 months in the army under the name "Robert Shritliff" In 1782 Sampson was wounded and honorable discharged at West Point New York in 1783. 

Deborah Sampson was one of seven children. She was born to parents who were members of the preeminent pilgrims. The family struggled financially and the father was lost at sea. Deborah ended up being as an indentured servant to a farmer with a large family. The indenture was complete when Deborah turned 18 and worked as a teacher during summer sessions for a couple of years and a weaver in the winter. 

The Revolutionary war had begun and was in full when in 1782 Deborah Sampson decided to enter the war. She could not enter as herself as women in that time could not engage in war so she disguised herself as a man and joined the 4th Massachusetts regiment. She was assigned to light infantry and scouted neutral territory to assess British surplus. This was a dangerous task for sure. Sampson along with two sergeants led 30 men into confrontation. Deborah helped dig trenches at Yorktown , helped storm a British redoubt and endured canon fire all jobs women were not allowed to do. 

In 1827 Deborah Sampson died of yellow mountain fever. She was buried in Rock Ridge cemetery in Sharon Mass. Several statues and monuments have been placed in the area. The local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution war and many others have considered her a Daughter of Liberty The Massachusetts legislature declared Sampson the official state heroine in 1982. May 23 has been declared "Deborah Sampson Day" On this day many will dress up in costume and retell her story. 

Resources in writing this informational post come from many sources including
Michals, Debra.  " Deborah Sampson."  National Women's History Museum.  National Women's History Museum, 2015

Self Injury Awareness Day

Self Injury Awareness Day occurs every year on March 1st. It is an international event that is recognized across the globe. Raising awareness is important as it will lead to understanding and empathy. Fear of other judging leads to those who suffer with the desire to self injury to keep it behind closed doors.

Thirty years ago I had a good friend who confided in me that they "hurt" their self. They would when ever under stress cut their selves or do something else. They believed that the pain they suffered some how took the shame and stress away from other areas. Soon after we talked and I listened she talked to her parents and got some help. The thing is that she needed someone to listen and because we were friends and we shared things talking to me helped. Often that is what we need to do simply listen.

Awareness would bring about education for those who do not understand self injure and to help reach those who do. Individuals participating in this day will write "LOVE" on their arms, draw a butterfly on their wrists "The Butterfly Porject" The goal is to break down the stereotypes of self harm and education medical professionals.

Those who self harm also often suffer from depression. An average of two million Americans engage in self harm. Cutting, scratching, bruising, and hitting as well as other harmful methods are all considered self harm. Some of the signs that someone is self harming self include

  • scars from burns or cuts 
  • fresh cuts, scratches or other wounds
  • bruises
  • hair loss or bald spots
  • broken bones
  • keeping sharp objects on hand
  • spending a lot of time alone
  • wearing long sleeves or long pants even in hot weather

Self harm by itself is not a mental illness , rather it is a behavior that indicates the individual is struggling to cope with what is going on in their life and / or environment. At times, self harm can go side by side with borderline personality disorder, eating disorder, anxiety or PTSD. If you know someone who may be self harming their self there are a few things you can do to help them:
  • inquire about how their day is and how they may be feeling
  • most importantly do not judge or make them feel guilty about how their behavior may be causing effect on others
  • Remind the individual who may self harm their self that you do care about them and listen to them. While allowing them to know how you feel about them let them vent to you, the more you talk the more they may feel ready to tell you about what is really going on.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Easy Chocolate Souffle

The word souffle is the past of a French word souffler. The definition of souffler means to "blow up" or more loosely "puff up" A souffle is a lightly baked cake made with egg yolks and beaten egg whites that are combined with other ingredients to make the dish either a savory main dish or a sweet dessert. There are two essential components that make up a souffle. First, it is a French creme patisserie based / flavored cream sauce or puree and second that the egg whites have been beaten to soft peak meringue.

The flavor comes from the base and the egg whites offer the lift to puff up. The flavor can come from cheeses, jams, fruits, or chocolate. Many times the top of the souffle will be punctured and more sauce will be poured on the top.

Easy Chocolate Souffle
recipe resource here

½ cup heavy cream
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
2 egg yolks
6 egg whites
2 tablespoons sugar
butter and sugar for greasing ramekins

Prepare ramekins by greasing the bottom and sides with butter. Sprinkle a little sugar on them.
In a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream over medium heat. Put the chopped chocolate into a mixing bowl. When the cream starts to simmer, immediately remove it from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Let it stand for a couple minutes and then stir it until smooth.
Add the vanilla, pinch of salt, and egg yolks to the chocolate and stir until thoroughly combined and smooth. Set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Put the egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer. Whip on high, gradually adding in the sugar, until the whites form stiff peaks. This should take several minutes. Stiff peaks mean you can stick a spoon or rubber scraper in and pull it out and the egg whites form a little self-holding peak instead of just melting back into place.
Fold the egg white mixture into the cooled chocolate mixture, until it seems pretty well combined. Folding means using a rubber scraper/spatula to scrape down to the bottom and fold it over onto the top, turning your bowl as you go. You'll know it is combined when you can't see bits of the white egg anymore. Folding keeps it fluffy, while mixing would kill the fluffiness. Pour into the prepared ramekins.
Put them in the oven and close the door. Reduce the heat setting to 375 degrees. Bake for 15 minutes for small ramekins, and 25 minutes for larger ones.

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