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Saturday, November 3, 2018

Happy Birthday to an American Hero Daniel Boone

Daniel Boone lived during a time of conflict. During the 1700s many civilizations were striving to live together without a lot of success. The American Revolution was keeping the colonist rather busy but they continued to push south and west. The movement disrupted hunting territories of Indian nations and sets off gruesome battles. Somewhere in the mix of all was Daniel Boone. Boone was born in 1734 to an all ready growing family. The sixth child born to a family would soon offer him 10 other siblings. 

Boone loved to search for what was out there. In 1769 he traveled on a 2-year hunting trip to Kentucky. By the Shawnee, the natives that lived there, thought of Boone as a trespasser who was there to poach on their hunting ground. Boone was stopped the natives took the skins he had and ordered Boone to leave the area. But Boone did not listen and in 1773 found his sons captured by the tribes Delaware, Shawnee and Cherokee. They tortured his sons to death. 

The news did not stop Boone or others from immigrating the natives land. War would pressure the Cherokee to sell their land to Kentucky. Boone and his men blazed a new passage following early trails made by Native Americans. A Wilderness Road would be hacked out. The new road would travel from Northern Virginia to Kentucky. 

Boone would join the military. While away the Shawnee Indians would kidnap his daughter Boone would rescue her within days. Boone it seemed battled with the Shawnee but could live among them as well. 
Daniel Boone also spent time working in the legislation. Boone would die in 1820 in Missouri where he loved to hunt with the Shawnee. Many legends abound concerning Daniel Boone. 
It was 284 years ago that Daniel Boone the great long hunter was born. The skill of this hunter as well as his charisma put him into leadership roles. As leader of the Ohio Valley frontier during the American Revolution he made his country proud. 

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Deviled Eggs 3 Way

5 boiled eggs How to Boil Eggs
3 TBS mayonnaise
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp yellow mustard
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp paprika or more
Parsley stems

Peel the eggs and cut them in half (lengthwise). Scoop out the yolks and toss them into a bowl.
Mix mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, yellow mustard, salt, and paprika with the yolks until smooth and creamy. Add more paprika as needed to get a beautiful orange shade.
Spoon the filling into a frosting bag with a basket weave tip. Pipe the filling into the egg halves.
Snip off a 1/2 inch piece of parsley stem for each egg half and stick them into the top of each pumpkin.
Make sure to cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate if they won't be served immediately.

recipe resource here

7 smoked eggs instructions in recipe notes
3 Tablespoons mayonnaise
2 Teaspoons stone ground coarse mustard
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons Homemade BBQ Sweet Rub link in recipe notes
1 Tablespoon pickled jalapenos diced
12 slices pickled jalapenos for garnish

Slice the 7 hard smoked eggs in half. Gently scoop the yolks out into a medium mixing bowl. You can eat or discard the two egg whites that look the most beat up. You need the additional yolk in the filling to make the deviled eggs nice and full.

Add in the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, BBQ rub, and pickled jalapenos to the egg yolks. Whisk vigorously to combine and fluff up the yolks.

Use a spoon to fill each egg white with about 1 Tablespoon of the yolk mixture. Top with a sliced pickled jalapeno for each egg and then sprinkle them all with additional BBQ rub. Serve chilled.
recipe resource here

Buffalo Fried Deviled Eggs

8 eggs
2 tablespoons ranch dip & dressing mix
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon celery, finely chopped, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

For frying:
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon Buffalo Wing Sauce Seasoning
2 eggs
1 tablespoon heavy cream
Vegetable oil, for frying

For the Buffalo Wing Sauce Seasoning:
1/4 cup granulated garlic
2 tablespoons mustard powder
2 tablespoons cayenne
1/4 cup chili powder
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup paprika
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
1/4 cup turbinado sugar
1/4 cup cumin seed

For the seasoning:
  1. Mix them all up in a bowl.
For the eggs:
  1. Place eggs in a large saucepan and cover by at least an inch with cold water. Bring to a rolling boil then remove from heat and let sit, covered, for 15 minutes. Drain and transfer eggs to a large bowl of ice water to cool. Peel eggs and slice in half lengthwise. Scoop yolks into a small bowl and place whites on a paper towel-lined plate. Mix yolks with remaining ingredients until well blended.
For the frying:
  1. Combine bread crumbs and seasoning in a shallow bowl. Whisk eggs and cream together in another shallow bowl. Place flour in a third shallow bowl. Place at least an inch of vegetable oil in a medium saucepan and heat to 350 degrees. Dip each egg white half in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs. Drop 4 or 5 coated eggs at a time into the oil for a few minutes until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Once all eggs are fried, top each with 1 teaspoon (or so) of deviled egg filling and sprinkle with celery and parsley.
recipe resource here

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Cookie Monster Do You Know Who He Is

Monsters are normally scary and ugly but there is one monster that is neither of these things. If you are cookie then you should watch out, otherwise you may be like me and love this monster known as the "cookie monster".

The Cookie Monster is one of the main characters on Sesame Street. He is covered in blue fur and his major facial feature is a pair of googly eyes. He lives up to his name with a major craving and appetite for cookies. When searching for cookies he often devours everything that he can find from food to letters to flatware and everything in between. He is a loud eater making sensational chewing noises.

If you ever have a chance to talk to the Cookie Monster he will answer in a deep, growly voice often using the phrase "Me Want Cookie!!!" The Cookie Monster is also the host of Monsterpiece Theater

Cookie Monster's early life was developed via Jim Henson's Designs and Doodles In 1966 There were originally three monsters who were featured eating crunchy snacks, the ad was never aired. All three monsters had a future in the Muppet cast.

In 1968 a Cookie Monster character appeared on a series of commercials selling Frito Lay chips.

The blue fur first appeared his first time on Sesame Street. He appeared as a no-named monster. He had yet to earn a name or grow fame. The scene that helped create the cookie monster was when he appeared with Ernie continuously nipping his milk and cookies. Yet another scene, included the Cookie Monster appearing on a game show where he chose cookies over a luxurious prize.

The no-named monster eventually was named "Cookie Monster" and is a beloved character favored by many. There are a few concerns that some parents have

  • his babyishness personified
  • Cookie monster does not always use good grammar skills 
  • the eating habits are very un-ordinary

The cookie monster does try to convince watchers that a balanced diet is better to enjoy and only enjoy cookies as a "sometimes food" So what do you think?? Do you love cookie monster as much as I do??

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Sibling Love To The End and After

When we think abou November we often think about family and being together during the holidays. We also think about those that will not be here this year because of their passing away. It makes no difference whether it was a surprise or expected, a death is a death and hurts inside. Perhaps, when it is a close relative like a child, parent or sibling this pain is even tougher

November plays host to bereaved sibling month.  I, myself, am a bereaved sibling. Two brothers, I never was able to meet was taken away without any brotherly chats or time to bond. The bond, was created somehow as I often wonder what having an older brother would have been like and would have loved the chance to spoil and pick on a baby brother as well. While others may have been able to know their siblings before they were taken to rest high on that mountain the pain to me is the same.

If you know someone who has lost a brother or sister be sure to let them know you are thinking about them. The loss of a sibling causes pain that nobody can imagine unless they have experienced a lost that great. Adult siblings are often not allowed to grieve as they are often busy taking care of funeral details. Likewise, siblings of the younger generation are also left out as the parents are being comforted.

Siblings are often our first real friends. The loss of a sibling can be a great issue this is made even harder if the sibling dies to young. Feelings of guilt, abandonment, loss of innocence, fallout from family, fear and anxiety are all common when a sibling is lost.

Guilt may be present when a sibling dies because:

  • you are the sibling that survived while your sibling is now gone
  • perhaps you and your sibling were great friends and you knew each other well but you did not know the struggles or hardships that led to death
  • you could not protect your sibling from harm
  • …you know how fragile life is.
  • …you’re worried others in your family may die.
Everyone will grieve over a loss as well they should. The grieving process may differ from parents, siblings and other family members. Misunderstandings may arise when the reaction is different for all. The key idea is to support each other.

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Who Invented the First Airplane

November is aviation month. It was not without trial and error that the first airplane was first put in the air. The creativity brought along with it perplexing and danger times with disaster within site many different times. While many only know of one airplane, the truth is that the Wright brothers built a total of seven flying machines. Each crash led to more knowledge on which the next was built. Within 10 years the Wright brothers had taught themselves to fly.

In 1899 the Wright Brothers search for an answer to aviation. Wilbur devises an aircraft control system. The duo tries the idea on a kite and it works great. The next spring and summer the Wrights would continue on their search. This time they are searching for a glider as well. Kitty hawk is located and North Carolina is selected. It is thought with the high winds the state features as well as the soft sands to cushion landing will fit nicely. By fall of 1900 the Wrights are ready to fly Kitty Hawk the result is that a bit more work is needed

Through the next several years the brothers continue to work on their planes. In 1905 the Wrights have a plane that they are able to fly for 39 minutes. It covers 24 miles and runs out of gas. By the time the plane is ready fly the duo was super happy, they may or may not have been aware that they were not the first to get an airplane in the air That aviation fact and flight belong to Gustave Whitehead a German pilot. . He was able to fly the Condor in August 1901.

Weisskopf emigrated to America from Germany and changed his name to Whitehead. While he may have had his plane in the air prior to the Wright brothers he may also hold the invention of the flying car.

No matter to the holder of the first these men are all heroes in the Aviation World. Without them the history of Aviation would be a different world

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Thursday, November 1, 2018

Military Teams Play to Defend and WIn

When we think of the military we think of discipline, basic training, sending our boys off and welcoming them back home after battle but I normally do not think of them playing sports. The sport would be football and the branches of military would be U.S. Army and U.S. Navy. So the first thought is how long have they been playing and when did it all begin. It all began as a challenge issued by the Navy to the Army. A football game would be played at West Point.

The first game between the two great military teams started November 29, 1890 Since 1930 the football game between the two has been an annual tradition. The two teams Army vs. Navy have played a total of 116 times. Navy has won more games including that first time all that many years ago when the Navy defeated the army. While the two teams have played each other many times there was several years when the two did not play the anual game.

The annual army vs. navy game was not played between years 1894 to 1898. The reason was a debate between the Army general and Navy admiral that occured after the 1893 game that ended in a duel. The game was not played in 1909 either due to the death of Cadet Eugene Byrne who had been injured in October game against Harvard and later died. However, those were just a few of the games cancelled during the years of competition. 

During World War I the games that would be played in 1917 an 1918 were cancelled. The War Department called the games as the troops were needed elsewhere. The Army / Navy game was held in Chicago Soldier Field to honor all American servicemen November 27, 1926. Academic eligibility standards failed to allow players to play in the years 1928 and 1929. 

The Army and Navy teams both have mascots that they are proud of . The mule showed up as the Army mascot in 1899. The navy has long loved their goat mascot. 

In 1983 the Rose Bowl hosted the Army Navy game. The Army / Navy games are full of comradare as both teams sing the alma maters of the teams at the end of each game. The winning team will join the losing team and sing facing the teams students. The losing team will then travel to the other side of the field and sing the winner's alma mater. A show of mutual respect and solidarity.

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boxers or briefs

O.K ,, lets face it we all may have to one day purchase underwear for the opposite sex. Yes, there is reasoning to it whether we buy if for someone who is unable to or as a gift that someone has requested we may all want to recognize the difference between them and what we would select if we had to wear them. So today we take a look at that age old debate of Boxers or Briefs.

Many say that the trunks offer comfort and support at the same time. Others say that boxers offer more comfort and great leg movement. Yet, lots not forget the common wedgies that occur with loose fitting boxers. Briefs often leave the male feeling a bit undersized as briefs may make a male look fat in front. Perhaps the best answer is boxer brief that offer support without diminishing assets.

Now that we have found a possible answer to the first question here is another to think about. What color should we buy??

  • white is a common color for mens boxers or briefs but also show stains easier than other colors
  • will you buy bottoms to match the tees?? If so what color tee are you purchasing?? White will smooth out appearance and can not be seen under shirt. Also consider how white tees will show sweat and need to be recycled every other month or so

One of the most important things to consider when buying drawers is size. Too big or too small is what you do not want to consider. Waist band and leg bands need to be loose enough so not to constrict and you don't want sagging either. You want to ensure you have a good fit on your underwear.

Generations ago the best answer to the question boxers or briefs was neither "I wear long johns" The world has changed and along with it comes new styles the best style is the one that you like the best

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Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Did You Know ==== Down Syndrome

Every October you will find those involved in the Down Syndrome organization celebrating National Down Syndrome Awareness MOnth across the country. It is a chance to not just bring awareness to needs but to celebrate the abilities and accomplishments of individuals with Down Syndrome.

That someone would be the son of a good friend and co-worker. My friend gave birth to 1 boy with Down Syndrome and 3 girls without. I believe that he was quite spoiled and loved by all. He has many talents and has made us all proud. The day is to applaud the hard work of parents, self advocates, medical professionals, researchers and educators. It honors the individuals who step out and above in the community of Down Syndrome.

Facts about Down syndrome:

An Individual with either a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21 is born with additional genetic materials that causes characteristics associated with Down Syndrome. There are 3 types of Down Syndrome

  • Trisomy 21---- 95% of all cases of Down Syndrome
  • Translocation ----- 4% 
  • mosaicism --- 1%.
One in every 691 babies born in the United States are born with the chromosomal condition Down Syndrome. This accounts for about 6,000 each year Currently there are approximately 400,000 people living with Down Syndrome in the United States.

Down Syndrome does not discriminate and occurs in all races and economic levels. The age of the mother seems to be discriminatory factor. 

Individuals with Down Syndrome are at an increased risk for medical conditions such as congenital heart defects, respiratory, and hearing problems. Childhood leukemia and thyroid conditions seem to be common diagnoses for those born with Downs as well. Most children with Down Syndrome live healthy lives but there are some physical traits in individuals with Down Syndrome :
  • low muscle tone
  • small stature
  • upward slant in eyes
  • single deep crease across the center of palm  

Individuals with Down Syndrome are just unique individuals. They may have all, some or none of the listed characteristics Thirty years ago the life expectancy of individuals with Down Syndrome would only live to about 25 years of age but today it has increased to 60 years. Life is similar to the ones of those individuals who do not possess Down Syndrome. They attend school, work, participate in decisions affecting their lives, have relationships, vote and have social lives as well.

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Pumpkin Risotto

2 cups rice
2 tbsp butter
¼ cup mascarpone cheese
¼ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 small-medium pumpkin
3-4 cups hot chicken or vegetable stock
3 tbsp toasted pine nuts

Cut the pumpkin into 3 thick slices and roast in the oven, with a bit of olive oil and salt, on medium heat for about an hour.  Time may vary per oven; continuously check to see how soft it becomes.  The goal is to be able to effortlessly slice the pumpkin off the skin.
Place pine nuts on baking sheet and roast on low heat for no more than 4 minutes (most likely less).
Boil 4 cups of water and put in the chicken or veggie stock cube. Set aside after cube dissolves, leave in pot.
How-to-make-the-perfect-pumpkin-risotto-step-4Peel the pumpkin off the skin and place in a medium sized bowl.  With a hand blender, liquidize the pumpkin.  You can also use a mixer here.  Don’t worry if small lumps still exist, they will be melted later.
In a large saucepan, melt the butter till it starts to bubble.
Pour in 2 cups of rice and stir till it’s coated with butter.
Gradually add stock and pumpkin mixture.  One ladle of stock at a time, and roughly 2 tbsp of pumpkin at a time.  Stir continuously after each addition.
How-to-make-the-perfect-pumpkin-risotto-step-5Continue adding stock and pumpkin, always slowly stirring.  At this point, begin to taste the risotto to see if you want more pumpkin puree and stock added. The amount added can be personal preference.  You want the risotto to be thicker with the stock absorbed, not like soup.
When it has the flavor you want and the rice is al dente, stir in the mascarpone, making sure it is all melted before turning off the heat. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve in bowls, top with the roasted pine nuts and grated parmesan.

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Get Your Energy Back

We are all familiar with time The same amount of time is equal to your amount of time as well. For instance 15 minutes spent talking to you, means you took up 15 minutes listening (hopefully but it is still the same 15 minutes). While it may be a valued 15 minutes or not we don't have to worry as we all get a new 24 hours each and every day. So that 15 minutes that we spoke of is not going to change as we spent 15 minutes not 22 or 8 it was 15 minutes of time that we spent. While it is a great resource to be able to count time and know it is never going to change energy is not the same

We are not real sure what gives us energy and what gives me energy may make you loose yours. Unlike daytime hours where we always get the same amount, the amount of energy for us may and normally does differ day to day. Time is not relevant when it comes to energy.

If you have ever heard someone say or said I am "exhausted" then you understand and can see that we often run out of energy before time is up. Time is predictable where energy is not. Energy is a precious resource that can help reduce exhaustion, frustration and anxiety.

Boost Your Energy thru food

exercise daily



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Seafood Recipe ---- Crunchy Witches Fingers

300g white fish (especially WITCH!), cut into finger-sized pieces
1 tbsp rapeseed or vegetable oil plus extra to grease
3 tbsp plain flour
1 large egg, beaten
50g breadcrumbs
Skin from 1 large tomato, cut into finger nail shapes
4tbsp tomato ketchup, to serve

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/fan 180ºC/gas mark 6. Lightly grease a large baking tray with oil.
Season the flour with a little salt and pepper and place in a wide, shallow bowl. Place the egg and breadcrumbs in separate bowls. Working in batches, coat the fish strips in the seasoned flour, then in the beaten egg and finally the breadcrumbs. Arrange the ‘fish fingers’ in a single layer on the baking tray. Drizzle with the 1 tbsp of oil and bake for about 10 minutes, turning over halfway until the fish is firm and cooked through.
Serve immediately, topped with a piece of tomato skin at the end of each finger to make a nail, and served with the tomato ketchup and the lettuce.
Tip: As an alternative to ketchup, try homemade tomato sauce or salsa. This goes well with oven-baked wedges or mashed potatoes and baked beans or peas

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Monday, October 29, 2018

Loaded Baked Potato Soup #Recipe

4-5 medium russet potatoes
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, divided
6 cups milk ( I used 2%)
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1/2 cup light sour cream

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prick the potatoes all over with a fork and then place on a baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour. Remove from oven, and let sit until cool enough to handle.
Scoop the insides of the potatoes into a large bowl, discarding the peels. Take a knife and break apart the potatoes into small chunks.
In a large dutch oven or pot, melt the butter. Add 1/4 cup of flour into the pot and whisk into the butter. Cook, and whisk constantly for 2 minutes, or until golden brown. Whisk in the milk and the rest of the flour. Cook until thick and bubbly, about 10 or so minutes. Mix in the potato chunks. Whisk in the salt, pepper and cheddar cheese. Continue to whisk until cheese is melted.
Remove from heat, then stir in sour cream and green onions. Serve immediately. Garnish with extra sour cream, cheese, green onion and bacon, as desired. Enjoy

Sour cream
Shredded cheese
Chopped green onion
Chopped cooked bacon pieces

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Caffeine Good or Bad

Caffeine is a common stimulant drug. It occurs in coffee , tea, and other plants naturally. Many consumer products like energy drinks use caffeine as an additive. Soda pop flavors such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi use caffeine as a flavoring agent. Unlike other drugs caffeine blocks adenosine which causes the body to crave sleep

There are 4 caffeine related disorders (1) intoxication (2) withdrawal (3) anxiety and (4) sleep

Excessive caffeine intake can lead to a mild physical dependence. Caffeine addiction has yet to be documented in humans. Just one cup of coffee a day or 100 mg of caffeine a day can lead to a physical dependence that triggers withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms include headaches, muscle pain and stiffness, lethargy, nausea, vomiting, depression and irritability.

Withdrawal symptoms can show up as early as 12 to 24 hours after stopping caffeine intake and could last as long as 9 days. Constant caffeine intake increases tolerance and will increase the withdrawal symptoms of caffeine as body will be more sensitive to side effects of adenosine.

 Most individuals over the age of 18 living in the United States use some form of caffeine. Coffee, soda, energy drinks and chocolate When one suddenly drinking less coffee than usual they may experience tiredness, headaches, insomnia and other symptoms. The act of needing caffeine is more of a dependency than an addiction.

Three cups of coffee or 300 milligrams is considered a moderate amount and normally causes no harm to the body of healthy adults. When taking at high levels, around 750 milligrams a day caffeine may increase calcium and magnesium loss in urine. Recent studies have shared that caffeine does not increase risk of bone loss when enough calcium is taken in. For every cup of coffee you drink add 2 Tbsps of milk this will help offset the calcium lost.

The March of Dimes does not recommend more than 200 milligrams of caffeine a day. While no studies show a link between low amounts of caffeine (a cup of coffee a day) and

  • trouble conceiving
  • miscarriage
  • birth defects
  • premature birth
  • low birth rate
the March of Dimes based their decision on limited studies, where women consumed higher amounts of caffeine and the risk of miscarriage increased

It is recommended that children stay away from caffeine. Most caffeine sources kids use include energy drinks, sweet tea and soda pop. This means that in addition to caffeine possibly hurting them the sweet drinks may lead to obesity as well.

With all the negativity about caffeine it may be thought that there is no good sources. However this would not be right Caffeine has a potential to improve alertness, concentration, energy, clear headedness and sociability. Headache pain and asthma can also be helped by caffeine. More research is needed but it is thought that it may help reduce risk of :
  • Parkinson's disease
  • liver disease
  • colorectal cancer 
  • type 2 diabetes
  • dementia
The potential benefits still have to be studied to measure adverse effects with benefits. 

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Understanding Dyslexia

Individuals that struggle to translate letters into sounds and vice versa may suffer from Dyslexia. Dyslexia is a neurological condition that affects the acquisition and processing of print and language. A true struggle with writing, reading and sounding out words often occurs. Dyslexia may also leak over to other subjects as well. Dyslexia occurs in a range from mild to severe. Therefore, early detection and treatment offers a more favorable outcome but never give up hope as adults with dyslexia can improve on language skills as well.

Children with dyslexia often struggle in learning to read. The struggle may lead to children disguising the issues they are having. Our oldest daughter struggled to read but had great memory skills and performed as if she was reading. Later it was found she was struggling.

There are 3 forms of dyslexia: (1) Primary dyslexia is hereditary and results from cerebral cortex damage. More common in boys than girls primary dyslexia continues through life (2) Developmental Dyslexia occurs in early fetal stage but may lessen as the child grows Seen more in boys and (3) Acquired Dyslexia  that is rare but occurs after an injury or brain trauma that affects part of brain responsible for reading and writing.

While symptoms vary from child to child they often exhibit one or more signs:

  • Troubles remembering and learning printed words
  • Number reversal such as 6 for 9
  • Letter reversal such as p for q and b for d
  • Reordering letters in words and numbers such as tar for rat or 12 for 21.
  • Inability to sound out words
  • Problems with rhyming
  • Repetitive speaking of nonsense phrases and words
  • Comprehension problems
  • Difficulty recognizing two words
  • Persistent spelling errors
Other symptoms of dyslexia may include clumsiness, struggle to pick the right words to express thought and direction, struggle with time issues such as up and down, before, after, tomorrow and yesterday.

Diagnosing dyslexia is hard for health professionals. A series of test are given to reach a diagnosis. The individuals reading skill and level are compared to their potential, A standard intelligence test is also administered. A test to see how a child learns is taken There is no stress or pressure in these test and results are guaranteed. Tests are administered via games and puzzles. Children should be well rested, with a full belly so that the test gain the best results.

Parents and teachers can help those with children with dyslexia. Treatment procedures include:

  • to begin with the child's learning style and development methods should stimulate them to use their skills
  • allowing the child to listen to audio books or read to them to help reduce stress when struggling to read. 
  • practice repetitive activities by having them do the same hands on activities multiple times 
  • place children with dyslexia in small groups to work with
  • allow them to take oral test rather than written ones as well as offer extra time. 

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Halloween Boney Breadsticks

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons water 70° to 80°
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons sugar
3 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoons of onion powder
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon minced fresh basil or 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon  black pepper or 3-4 pepper corns
2 cups /280g bread flour
1 cup/ all purpose flour
21/4 teaspoons  instant yeast/if using active dry yeast make sure to proof
1 tablespoon butter melted

In a bowl of kitchen aid stand mixer add all the ingredients except water and melted butter and with dough hook attachment, slowly add water to form soft pliable dough. (In a coffee blender add all the herbs including basil and grind well so that herbs won’t remain as big pieces)
Transfer to a well greased bowl cover with plastic wrap and damp towel and set aside for 1 hour or double in size. Once it is doubled transfer the dough to work table and spread it into 10 inch wide and 12 inch rectangle. Then cut it in the center to create two pieces.
Then with one half, cut into 10 inch long and 1 ½ inch wide pieces. For the bread sticks shaped as serious eats article roll each piece into a single rope and tie knot at each end. Transfer to baking sheet lined with parchment paper and set aside for  doubling for another 30 minutes.
Then with second part of dough cut it into 10 inch long and 1 ½ inch wide pieces. Then at the each end make a cut at 1 inch deep (I think making ½ inch is enough mine was little longer) so that you can make a small twist on each ends. Set aside for proofing for another 30 minutes.
By the end of the second proofing, preheat oven to 350F. Brush the sticks with melted before going into oven. Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and again brush them once again with melted butter.
Set aside for cooling in the pan for about 5 minutes and then transfer to wire rack.
Serve with marinara while they are warm.

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Frankenstein Day

Frankenstein is the monster created in the laboratory of scientist Victor Frankenstein. With a gentle and intelligent personality when you got to know that but at first sight his scary, monstrous appearance causes everyone to run before getting a chance to know him or to love him.

The original book was published in 1818. The first story the monster was not given a name and was only referred to as "Frankenstein's Monster" but over the years the name shortened to "Frankenstein" the last name of his creator Scientist Victor Frankenstein. The scientist had built his monster from collection of body parts from dead people and was brought to life with electricity. The thought behind creating such a being was to help humanity, however the monster brought fear from the crowds and was mistreated by them as well. When Victor Frankenstein seen the experiment going awry but the monster instead killed his creator.

Mary Shelley was the author of the original horror novel that was published in 1818. Since that time Frankenstein has been featured in many movies, television programs and cartoons. The t.v. show The Munsters a comedy series from 1964=1966 featured Frankenstein as Herman.

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National Farm To School Month ++++ Recipe included

Farm to School is an idea that is working out well. Solving two major challenges that are facing society (1) diet and health of children (2) small farms disappearing. The schools purchase locally grown produce that they serve to students. This allows students to be served fresher produce and new farms are offered a chance to sell more. The community is brought closer together and impacts the lives of those involved in the school including the students as well as offers an education in ag. 

October is National Farm to School Month. Thousands of Schools, early care and education sites, farms, communities and organizations across the country as food education, school gardens and lunch trays are filled with healthy, local ingredients. Now, is the time to get informed, be inspired and take action for farm to school.

Schools can get involved with farm to school initiative. Here are some ways;

  • Serve local food at breakfast, lunch or during snack time.
  • Incorporate school gardens or food preparation within classroom lessons.
  • Feature local foods in healthy school fundraisers.
  • Engage students in trips to a farm or farmer presentations.
  • Establish composting and waste management programs.

October is National Farm to School Month is a time to recognize that our children's nutrition is important. With 2/3 of a child's nutrition intake at school it only makes sense for schools and farms to combine. It also means local economical support as our farmers often purchase items in the local area as well. 
Check out this nutritional rich recipe. 

16 oz lasagna noodles cooked and cooled
1/2 pound cooked Italian sausage omit if you want to make them vegetarian
2 cup marinara sauce
16 ounces Prairie Farms cottage cheese
1 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese shredded

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray 2 standard 12 cup muffin tins with cooking spray. Crumble cooked Italian sausage. Mix together sausage and marinara sauce in a medium bowl.
With a round cookie cutter press circles out of the cooked lasagna noodles. If you do not have a round cookie cutter use kitchen scissors to cut circles.
Press circular noodles into each muffin tin so that it forms a cup to hold the filling.
Divide about 1 tablespoon of cottage cheese into the base of each cup. Cover cottage cheese with about a tablespoon of the meat sauce. Sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese on top.
Using oven mitts, place the tray in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the edges of the noodles are golden brown.
Set aside extra marinara sauce for dipping. Let cool and enjoy!

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How has Halloween Changed from the Beginning

I shared earlier about the history of Halloween but one aspect that was left out was how religion, yes I said religion, helped to form the holiday. The celtics are believed to be the community behind Halloween. In the early part of the A.D the Roman empire controlled most of the land that Celtics called home. The area now known as U.K. Ireland and northern France was ruled by the Romans. Because of the control they had over the land they had a chance to change the festival celebrated by the Celts.

The Romans celebrated Feralia which was the day to celebrate those that had died. They also celebrated Pomona which was the day they worshipped the goddess of fruit and tress. The symbol of Pomona's is apples so bobbing for apples was a new tradition and still remains tradition of Halloween. The day after Halloween, November 1st was later made the day of the dead. Likewise, the celts often wore costumes and danced around sacred bonfires in hopes the crops and animals would do well. The day before the Day of the Dead became known as All-Hallows Eve or Halloween during the 9th century.

When Halloween arrived in the United States it was primarily celebrated in Maryland and other southern colonies. The beliefs of Native Americans and Europeans came together to create a modern day Halloween. Early years of Halloween saw what was known as play parties that acted out scary stories, pranks were played, fortunes were told and song and dance performances were part of the celebration. Immigrants would bring more traditions. The Irish brought custom of wearing costumes and going trick or treating (money and food were begged) So what do we do today to make Halloween fun but not all about the dark force??

As Christians we can let children know the truth. There are those that practice Wicca and profess to be Satanists but many have strived to make the night even more scarier than reality. Books and films as well as other sources have tried to influence the night. Telling our children that we can have fun, dress up and trick or treat without being influenced by evil. There are no spirits watching us or roaming the streets The truth is there are groups that practice magic, contact the dead but they do not have an exclusive right on Halloween as they practice their craft all year long not just one night a year.

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