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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

April is sexual assault month. All to often we hear about this terrible crime occurring but what exactly does it include??

Sexual Abuse is considered any sexual act without consent no matter who the abuser is. 

Sexual Assault occurs when someone is forced by another person using threats or force.

Date Rape occurs when unwanted intercourse by someone the victim knows
Many times sexual assault and rape occur because the person wants to gain power over the victim.

Actions that are included under Sexual Abuse

  Sexual Harassment includes behavior that makes your school, work, or home environment intimidating, hostile or offensive. Sexual harassment occurs when someone offers unwanted sexual remarks, behavior or touching. Both male and females can be accused of sexual harassment.

  • Telling unwanted sexual stories or jokes
  • Making sexual remarks about a person’s clothing & the way it fits on the person’s body
  • Staring at a person’s body or body parts 
  • Continuously asking a person out or sending gifts, s, or love notes after they ask you to stop
  • Touching, patting, or pinching someone in a sexual way 
  • Getting too close to or brushing up against someone 
  • Offering something a person needs in return for sex.
If you feel you are being sexually harassed then you should tell the harasser to stop and report the harassment to someone in charge


Knowing how to protect yourself from sexual abuse and violence is something we all need to know Some of the first things you can do to protect yourself are:

  • Keep windows/doors locked.
  • -Don’t open doors for strangers.
  • -Make sure you know neighbors.
  • -Don’t be out alone, night
  • -Be alert.
  • -If you feel threatened yell & run to people
  • -Avoid hostile or disrespectful people.
  • -Be careful about meeting people from the Internet.
All to often people that are sexual assaulted refuse to report the event. Some of these reasons include:

  • they Know their attacker
  • Want to forget it happened.
  • Are embarrassed
  • Feel guilty & blame themselves
  • Are afraid of their attacker, family, friends, &/or partners
If you are sexually assaulted you should

  • Get away from further harm.
  • Call 911 & then call family &/or a friend
  • Don’t change your clothes or take a shower!
  • Go to a hospital or a police station before going anywhere else.
  • Seek therapy or counseling.

Not reporting or reporting later can have consequences 
  • You can’t seek medical care.
  • If it is not reported, it can happen to someone else.
  • It will be hard to prove you were assaulted.

Those that are sexually assaulted say that in many ways their lives are never the same. Often they have been through a very physical and emotional event full of trauma Because of the event they may also suffered injuries, bruises, cuts and / or broken bones. The fear of a possible pregnancy or STD is also a major concern. In the end many that suffer through a sexual assault will later be classified as having PSD.

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Tuesday, April 23, 2019

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare both was born and died in the month of April. The English poet, playwright and actor is often refereed to as "Bard of Avon" His work consist of 39 plays, 154 sonnets, 2 long narrative poems, and a few other verses. Have you ever imagine what life would have been like in the days of William Shakespeare?? In those days and times:

  • Most children both rich and poor would leave home to train for their futures
  • clothing in those days was determined by law so that you could tell at once if the individual was rich or poor
  • women and actors wore makeup made up of chalk, lead and powdered mouse bones
  • A few recipes from the Shakespearean days

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Monday, April 22, 2019

Healthy Avocado Salad

2 whole Avocados
4 whole Hard Boiled Eggs
6 whole Hard Boiled Egg Whites
1 whole Lemon, Juiced
½ cups Red Onion, Diced
½ cups Cherry Tomatoes, Diced
3 Tablespoons Capers
¼ cups Fresh Dill

In a large bowl, use the back of a fork to mash the avocado. Chop hard boiled eggs and hard boiled egg whites.
Add eggs, lemon, red onion, tomatoes, capers and dill into the bowl with the avocado and mix to combine.
Eat by itself, in a wrap, with crackers or on a sandwich for a delicious healthy avocado egg salad.

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apple and fennel salad

1 Granny Smith apple
1 Pink Lady apple
1 bulb fennel (fronds reserved)
Korean Licorice Mint leaves (optional)
Pecans (candied or not)

2 Tbsp White Balsamic vinegar
4 Tbsps Olive Oil
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
Sea salt

Core apples and slice to 1/8th an inch thick.
Shave fennel as thinly as possible. You can do this with a knife or using a vegetable peeler.
Add shaved fennel to bowl, top with apple slices, pecans, a scattering of fennel fronds and Korean Licorice Mint.
Dress salad and eat.

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Sunday, April 21, 2019

Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree

One tradition in America that dates back to the Civil War era was wearing a yellow ribbon in your hair to let others know you were "taken" by a man who was absent due to their service in the U.S. army cavalry. The song by Tony Orlando titled "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree" written in the same thought in place topped U.S. song charts April of 1973. Not only was the song a top hit in the United States but also in the United Kingdom.

The song tells the story of a man who upon returning home after being gone in prison for 3 years and eagerly awaits that his love would be welcoming him home by tying a yellow ribbon around a tree. In 1981 a tradition had begun of yellow ribbons being tied to welcome home the Iranian hostages.

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Cool Snack #Recipe

2 cups strawberries, fresh or frozen
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
4 plain yogurt (your favorite flavor)
1 cup cashews
1 cup chocolate chips

Combine strawberries, water and sugar in a small pot, and cook on medium heat for 15 minutes. Allow to cool.
Divide the yogurt into 4 cups. Pour some of the preparation over, add cashews and finish with chocolate chips.

Serve immediately.

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A Variety of Uses of Hemp

Cannabis has been a crop grown by civilizations for thousands of years. The Egyptians, Chinese, Persians, British and even early settlers to the United States have grown the crop. While Hemp and Marijuana are both from the cannabis genus when the plant Cannabis was outlawed so was the use of hemp. However, the use of hemp continued in many other places

Many confuse hemp with the marijuana plant. They are closely related but hemp is taller than the marijuana plant. The marijuana plant requires more care than the hemp plant. In addition the hemp plant grows quicker and easier and has a great variety of uses.

Hemp can be cultivated for industrial purposes for many years. China and the Middle East have used hemp in a variety of ways since 8000 BC. Hemp plant fiber and seeds are used in a wide range of textiles such as canvas, boat sails, clothes, paper, twine, fish nets and more.

Are you aware that hemp can be eaten and is used in many different recipes. Hemp seed can be snacked on like common nuts or added to cake batter to produce baked goods. Hemp offers essential fatty acids and amino acids that our bodies need. Likewise, hemp seeds can be used to make oils and / or flour.

Not only is the hemp plant edible and useful in human food it can also be used to make pet food. Hemp helps makes cats coats shiny and healthy. Dogs, cows and horses are offered added dietary supplement in hemp. Perhaps you have smaller animals like guinea pigs or other rodent, use the seeds as pet bedding.

Hemp offers content that aids in regeneration of cracked and dry skin. It is also a great moisturizer. The oil in hemp can be used in a variety of items like candles, lanterns and paint. In addition, when added to paint the paint job will last a lot longer and there is not need to worry about toxins or harming the environment as hemp is a natural product

Other uses of hemp include making clothes such as jeans, sports wear and lingerie. Clothes made with hemp have a longer use life. Some labels that have been known to use hemp fiber in their clothing include Ralph Lauren, Armani and Calvin Klein. Another great use for hemp is in plastics as hemp is biodegradable and can help with the over filling landfills.

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Bulldogs are Beautiful Day

Each year on April 21st Bulldogs are flattered with the day of Bulldogs are Beautiful day. This celebrates the bulldog and all they have to offer including those droops and wrinkles. Bulldogs have saggy skin and an incredible under bite that makes them appear to have frowns all the time. In addition this day challenges individuals to offer a message of acceptance of the bulldog.

The bulldogs stout bodies often make them look stern. The drooling and slobbering of these dogs also make them appear a bit gross.Many sport teams, universities,military institutions and other organizations including the United Kingdom use the bulldog as their mascot. Perhaps you should also know I am a bit partial to bulldogs as they are our local school mascot.

Before I close some fun facts about bulldogs:

  • Bulldogs are in the same family as ancient Asiatic Mastiffs that were very intelligent with strong jaws that were used to defend man and livestock
  • There is a great variety of bulldogs including () english bulldog () bull mastiff () bull terrier ()Straffordshire Bull Terrier () American bulldog () American Pit Bull 
  • Both President Franklin Roosevelt and Helen Keller both owned Pit Bulls
  • A bulldog named Sergeant Stubby was honored as a WWII hero

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Move Over Slow Down

This year there has all ready been 2 deaths due to careless drivers on the roads. The deaths were caused by crashes into stopped squad cars on Illinois roadways. These wrecks could have been avoided if drivers would slow down and move over for emergency vehicles. In addition, Scott's Law created when a trooper was struck and killed while responding to a car crash is currently only an act but state officials are urging congress to pass it.

For those that break Scott's Law tougher punishes are being created. The bill if passed will slap drivers with a misdemeanor charge for any crashes that lead to injury or death. However, the law only allows violators to face up to 10,000 dollar fine and loss of their license

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National Park Service Week

We are lucky enough here in Southern Illinois to have a National Park close by.

The third week of April is set aside to celebrate National Park Week. Through out the country there will be programs and events to get more people out to visit the National Park There are many lessons that we can all learn from the land and park rangers that have vast knowledge as well. Perhaps no one quite knew how large the National Park service would be when the first Yellowstone National Park was created

Yellowstone National Park was first admitted in 1872. It was the world's first true national park and was made up of 2 million plus acres of land from the territories of Montana and Wyoming. The Secretary of the Interior was given the responsibility of preserving all timber, mineral deposits and other resources in the park. Now, there are 417 national parks, each with their own tale to tell. '

Some ways to enjoy national parks include:

  • Have a night sky party and enjoy looking at the stars in the sky
  • check out the variety of birds
  • see what National monuments and Historic Shrines are located in the parks
  • check out the variety of festivals hosted by the parks
  • try something new , many parks host events you may never have seen before

The National Park Service was established in 1916. National parks, monuments, and hot springs and reservations were placed under the management of Congress.

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Italian Anise Cookies #Recipe

For the Anise Cookies
3 c. All Purpose Flour
3 tsp. Baking Powder
3/4 c. Granulated Sugar
3 large Eggs
1/2 c. Butter, melted
1 tsp. Anise Extract
Nonpareils, for decoration
For the Icing
1 c. Confectioners Sugar
1 tsp. Anise Extract
2 tbsp. Milk

For the Anise Cookies
Preheat oven to  350 degrees F.

Start by adding all ingredients to your mixer; then slowly blend until the dough forms.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat mat and drop 1 tbsp. of the dough onto the pan. (The cookie won't spread much so you can place them about 2" apart.)
Bake for about 10 minutes or until the bottoms turn a light brown. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Once the cookies have cooled, dip the top of the cookie into the sugar mixture, place back on the wire rack; then sprinkle with nonpareils. (I like to dip about three to four cookies; then sprinkle because you want to make sure the sugar is still wet so the nonpareils will adhere.)

For the Icing
Combine the confectioners sugar, anise extract and milk in a small bowl and mix until the sugar is smooth.

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Calories in Common Easter Candy

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Alll Because of His Love

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