Monday, March 20, 2017

Apolo Anton Ohno - a Profile of My Favorite Sports Figure

I have great admiration for Apolo Anton Ohno, not only for his athletic agility but also for his personal attributes which are over and above those which are commonly seen in other champion athletes.

The 27-year-old Apolo competes in short track speed skating in which he has won eight Olympic medals – two gold, two silver, and four bronze. This year, he surpassed Bonnie Blair as the most decorated American Winter Olympic athlete of all time. He might have achieved a ninth medal in 2010 except that he was disqualified for interference in the Men’s Short Track 500 meter finals. He and many others, including myself, do not believe that he should have been disqualified. Apolo explained that he had put his hand out for protection, not to interfere with the skater’s performance. Having seen the clip several times and sensing Apolo’s penchant for honesty, I feel certain that this is an accurate summation of his actions. To his credit, Apolo accepted the ruling with grace and dignity.

Apolo is truly a role model for younger skaters as well as all young people who need to identify with a celebrated human being. In a TV interview, he related to Bob Costa that as a youngster he rebelled against his father’s training him as a skater. His father took Apolo out to a cabin in the woods, told him to decide what he wanted to do with his future, and left him there for several days. Chastened a bit from the ordeal, he made the decision to continue on with his skating career.

After the 2010 Olympics, when interviewers prodded him to reveal his plans for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Apolo seemed to sidestep the possibility of competing again in 2014. He instead said that he might be involved in other pursuits and cannot guarantee that he will go to Sochi. He hinted that he might like to pursue some sort of career in the entertainment field. This is understandable since Apolo was a winner in 2007 of the reality show “Dancing with the Stars.”

Several national and international companies have sponsored Apolo’s Olympic efforts. These include McDonald’s, General Electric, Vicks and Coca-Cola. He has his own charity, the Apolo Anton Ohno Foundation which discourages underage drinking and promotes a healthy lifestyle.

It is small wonder that I, and many others, look to Apolo to spread the news of the benefits of his mode of existence through his many appearances on TV, visits to children’s venues, videos, and his charitable causes.

We love you, Apolo. Keep up the good work!


NBC TV – XXI Winter Olympics

Labels: Apolo Anton Ohno - a Profile of My Favorite Sports Figure

Appendicitis or Ectopic Pregnancy

My appendix began rupturing in the middle of the night when I was 20 years old. I woke around 2 a.m. with sweat rolling off me. It was an unseasonably warm night in early September, so I did not think much of it. I stumbled to the window to turn on the air conditioner unit, grabbed a towel to mop the sweat from my face as I moved back to the bed. Jump forward to 7 a.m. I woke with a start. Before I opened my eyes, I realized I was in pain. Not normal ‘I have a headache’ or ‘must have pulled a muscle’ pain – this was something more intense than I’d ever felt in my young life. Panic tried to take over, but I knew I had to figure out what was happening. I tried to take inventory, make a mental list of what I was feeling to hopefully reconcile the symptoms with a cause. No luck. All I knew was that I had an intense burning pain in my stomach/abdomen area. And again with the sweating. I finally realized I was sweating from fever, not the unseasonably warm temperatures. It didn’t take long to figure I needed to go to the doctor.

Trying to get dressed, I realized I would not be able to drive. It was a weekday morning, so I jumped on the telephone trying to reach any of my friends who may have not already left for work. No luck, but did finally reach a good friend who was running late for a class – and managed to talk her into skipping class to take me to the doctor.

I couldn’t bear to put jeans on; the pain around my middle was too intense. I think I ended up in a pair of over-sized sweatpants and t-shirt. I guess I’d scared my friend on the phone. She was there to pick me up in minutes flat. Not sure where to go, we ended up at the neighborhood urgent care center.

I guess I looked pretty bad because they took me right back, immediately taking blood samples. Within minutes a doctor came in holding a clipboard of papers and asked if I was aware I was pregnant? Now the interesting thing here is that I had been sure I was pregnant, about four months along at that point, but all pregnancy tests I’d taken showed negative. I’d scheduled a doctor’s appointment for later that week to investigate. But here I was, in the urgent care, doubled over in pain so strong it really hurt to even breathe. I told the doctor I had thought I might be. He shook his head and said that it was not good news; he believed I had an ectopic pregnancy and that it was rupturing. I really had no idea what this meant; I just needed someone to make the pain stop. The doctor asked if I wanted to go to the hospital by car – or if I wanted him to call an ambulance. This was my first clue how serious this really was.

A painfully slow 10 minute car ride later, I was at the hospital, being examined by what felt like every doctor in the building. Plus a few extras they called in just for me. Apparently a rupturing ectopic pregnancy and appendicitis have similar symptoms. And they were having trouble deciding which was happening to me. I like to think the doctors finally listened to my request but am sure it was the only medical option they had at the time, but when I finally very loudly requested they just cut me open and take a look – well, they did.

Because I was pregnant and there was a chance it may still be a viable pregnancy, they did not put me under general anesthesia. So a few short hours after waking in excruciating pain, I found myself in the operating room, head propped on a pillow, arms tied over my head, and a curtain hung across my chest to block my view as they cut into my stomach – while I was wide-awake. Pretty cool from what I remember. I could feel everything they were doing, but without the pain (thanks to a local anesthetic.) I actually carried on a conversation with the surgeon. He was irritated with me at one point because I kept begging the nurse to move the curtain and let me look. How often do you get the chance to look inside your own body?? Of course they said no.

When I woke that morning I had no idea I was in such serious condition. If it had taken minutes longer to get into surgery and the rupture had been complete, massive amounts of infection would have been sent coursing though my body. That can be fatal. Luckily, mine did not have the opportunity to reach completion and a simple oral antibiotic for several days after surgery was all that was necessary to clear infection.

I was left with two souvenirs of that day, just in case I ever forget the details. One is a six-inch long, one-inch wide scar across my lower right abdomen. I was never shy about showing my scar by wearing a bikini to the beach. If anyone had the curiosity to comment on it, I’ve had a great story to tell. The second souvenir is my son, who turned 26 earlier this year. Thankfully it was my appendix that was rupturing; my pregnancy was safe and sound in my uterus as it should have been. As the incision healed and turned to a scar, my belly was growing with the baby inside. This caused the scar to stretch as it healed; now looking quite as bad as the story sounds. I don’t mind at all.

Labels: Appendicitis or Ectopic Pregnancy

A Review of Yoplait Light Fat Free Blueberry Patch Yogurt: High in Calcium

I enjoy trying different brands and flavors of yogurt. It seems that the flavor choice grows larger every day. I recently came across Yoplait Light Fat Free Blueberry Patch Yogurt in the yogurt section at my local grocery store. I decided to purchase this fruit flavored treat, try it out and write a product review all about it. Here is what I discovered!

Yoplait Light Fat Free Blueberry Patch Yogurt is very affordable, I discovered. This product usually costs around seventy cents a cup at my favorite local grocery store. It is also often on sale and that is nice. The creative dessert flavors that Yoplait offers are really special, in my opinion. Key lime pie, Boston cream pie, strawberry shortcake, these are just a few of the fantastic fat free yogurt flavors. I love blueberries and when I saw Yoplait Light Fat Free Blueberry Patch Yogurt, I knew that I wanted to try it. I thought the name “blueberry patch” was really cute. Maybe soon, there will a blueberry pie or blueberry cobbler flavor offered as well.

When I tasted Yoplait Light Fat Free Blueberry Patch Yogurt, I was impressed. This fat free yogurt does not taste fat free at all. This yogurt is rich, sweet and creamy. It is full of blueberry flavor. It is delicious. If you are a blueberry yogurt lover, you will love this. Very fruity and bursting with blueberry taste. I rate Yoplait Light Fat Free Blueberry Patch Yogurt four stars out of five stars. I will be buying it again. This brand is high quality and also very high in taste. Many of my relatives and friends love this yogurt.

Yoplait Light Fat Free Blueberry Patch Yogurt has only one hundred calories. True, some other brands of yogurt have less calories but, in my opinion, Yoplait has better taste. This yogurt is fat free, gluten free, high in calcium and vitamin D, it has active live cultures and it equals only one skim milk on the diet exchange. All of that information is great for dieters. This yogurt tastes like a rich and fattening dessert. I love that!

One serving of Yoplait Light Fat Free Blueberry Patch Yogurt contains one hundred calories. Zero of these calories are from fat. One serving has zero grams of total fat, zero grams of saturated fat, zero grams of trans fat, less than five mg’s of cholesterol, two hundred and fifty mg’s of potassium, eighty-five mg’s of sodium, nineteen grams of total carbs, fourteen grams of sugars and five grams of protein. This yogurt has vitamins A, D, calcium and phosphorus in it.

I enjoyed trying Yoplait Light Fat Free Blueberry Patch Yogurt and writing a review about it. You can find this yogurt in many grocery stores. For more information about this and other Yoplait food products, you can visit the web site.

Labels: A Review of Yoplait Light Fat Free Blueberry Patch Yogurt: High in Calcium

A High Hematocrit May Increase the Risk of Heart Failure

If you have a high hematocrit, you may be at greater risk for heart failure. According to new research, men and women with hematocrit levels at the high end of normal may be at risk for heart problems.

High Hematocrit Count: Does It Increase the Risk of Heart Failure?

When researchers looked at hematocrit levels in 3,523 healthy people between the ages of 50 and 65 as part of the Framingham Heart Study, they found a linear relationship between hematocrit level and their risk of heart failure.

Those with a high-normal hematocrit had twice the risk of developing heart failure relative to those with a low hematocrit level. Women with a hematocrit count greater than 46% and men with a level greater than 50% were at higher risk for heart failure irrespective of other factors. The higher risk of heart failure among those with a high hematocrit or high-normal reading held true even after researchers controlled for other factors that could affect heart failure risk.

Why Would a High Hematocrit Level Be Linked With Heart Failure?

Researchers don’t know for sure why high hematocrit levels and heart failure are linked. One theory is that a high-normal hematocrit reduces the ability of blood vessels to expand. This would put additional strain on the heart and increase the risk of heart failure. A high hematocrit also increases the viscosity of the blood, which means the heart has to work harder to pump the thicker blood through the body.

More research is needed to find out whether this association holds true in larger populations. The limitation of this study was that it included a large number of smokers, which researchers adjusted for, but it still isn’t representative of the average population.

If these results hold true in future studies, it’s possible that doctors will recommend that people with high-normal hematocrit levels donate blood to bring it down. Quitting smoking will also help reduce high hematocrit levels. Some people have elevated hematocrit levels due to dehydration, so drinking more water may help.

The Bottom Line?

If you have a high hematocrit, talk to your doctor. Certain medical conditions can cause hematocrit levels to be high including polycythemia vera and chronic lung disease – and it’s important to treat these conditions if you have them.


Family Practice News. February 1, 2011. page 22.

Labels: A High Hematocrit May Increase the Risk of Heart Failure

A Living Wreath: Quick and Easy to Make

Living wreaths hung beside the front door or on the patio create a gorgeous display of fresh flowers or herbs, but can be expensive to purchase. Fortunately making your own is not that difficult to do and you can tailor it to fit your individual style and taste. With a little time and patience, you too can make a living wreath with a simple wreath frame and some cuttings from your favorite plants.

Purchase or make a wreath frame. You will need a beveled frame designed for flowers. You can also make a simple frame with plywood and create the planting area with chicken wire. Simply cut the wire with wire cutters and bend into a dome. Check that the form is uniform in shape.

Insert a layer of moistened sphagnum moss to cover the bottom and part of the sides. Add lightweight potting soil such as seed starter to fill the cavity. Cover the soil with more moistened sphagnum moss. Attach the edges of the chicken wire to the back of the plywood with staples for homemade frames, or secure the moss to purchased wreath frames with floral wire.

Cover the outside of the wreath with sheet moss. You can purchase this from the florist or in craft stores, but natural moss from outside is a great alternative, if you have access to a wooded area. Look for moss on rocks, trees or in shaded areas beneath trees. Areas near streams are usually moss covered.

Use U shaped floral pins to anchor the moss to the wreath. This provides a green background for your plants. Although plants will fill in the areas as they grow, a moss covered background camouflages the wreath base until lush new growth occurs.

Select small seedlings or plant cuttings for your living wreath. Consider ivies, vines, and small flowering plants like petunias, impatiens or orchids. Coleus also make a beautiful multicolored wreath. Cuttings should be dipped in rooting hormone prior to planting.

Lay the wreath down on a flat surface. You will need to leave the wreath in this position until the cuttings or seedlings are established. Choose an area that receives filtered light and is protected from harsh weather or temperature fluctuations.

Arrange plants on the wreath before you begin planting. Try out several arrangements until you find the look you desire. Keep in mind that as plants grow they will fill in the entire area. Experiment with color and texture. Small sections of ivies or ornamental foliage between flowering plants adds interest and texture to a living wreath.

Make a hole through the moss and into the soil with your fingers or pencil. Work the soil away from the sides to allow room for the roots of your plant.

Insert the root ball into the soil and firm the soil around the plant. Secure moss around the base of the plant with florist pins.

Mist the wreath with tepid water to keep the soil moist and to increase humidity. Living wreaths must be established before hanging. Allow roots to form and seedlings to become accustomed to their new home. Generally, your wreath will be ready for hanging in about a week. Test to see if plants have established roots by tugging gently. Resistance to your tugs indicate roots have formed.

Hang in the desired location. Mist daily to maintain moisture. To water, lay the wreath flat and pour water into the soil. Allow to drain and rehang the wreath.

Making your own living wreath provides the opportunity to customize it for your own personal tastes in plants and flowers; and creates as a beautiful hanging garden to display as a welcome to your home, or to bring nature to any deck or patio. Although they may look complicated and difficult to make, you can do it yourself in a few hours. Living wreaths are the perfect decorations for outside weddings and summer parties. With a little care, they will last all season long.

Labels: A Living Wreath: Quick and Easy to Make

April Fool's Day Lesson Plan Ideas for ESL and ELD

Help your ESL/ELD students get the most out of their first April Fool’s Day jokes and fun with these language building activities. These sites are all geared to the older ESL and ELD students: junior high, high school, and adult learners will all benefit.

An introduction to basic April Fool’s Day vocabulary is a prerequisite for all of these activities. Here are a few basic words and phrases used on April Fool’s Day: April Fool’s Day, prank, practical joke, joke, gullible, fool, hoax, play a joke (on), jokester, joker, laugh, laughter, giggle, funny, hilarious, chuckle, crafty, kidding, just kidding, humor, humorous, clever, April, surprise, annoy

Worksheets to Teach April Fool’s Day Concepts and Vocabulary

Once you have introduced basic April Fool’s Day vocabulary, has a nice selection of skill building worksheets. All of the worksheets are ready to print, but you must have the Flash 10 plug in installed on your computer in order to view and to print them. Worksheets are all April Fool’s themed and include: alphabetization activities, word searches, crosswords, and more. To access the worksheets, click here.

Another website with free worksheets is April Fool’s Downloads are divided into lesson plans, clip art, worksheets, and other. For’s collection of worksheets, click here.

April Fool’s History has a brief history of April Fools’ Day on its website. To access the site, click here. A short video on the topic of April Fool’s Day is also available on by clicking here.

April Fool’s Writing and Speaking Topics for ESL and ELD students

Journal and discussion topics can be used to assess students’ understanding of the culture and history of April Fool’s Day. Sample questions include:

How do you thing April Fool’s Day began?

What is the funniest practical joke you have ever heard about?

Have you ever fooled anyone on April Fool’s Day? What did you do?

Have you ever been fooled on April Fool’s Day? What happened?

Are practical jokes ever wrong? When?

Teaching Jokes on April Fool’s Day

Jokes are one of the signature features of April Fool’s Day. ESL students will enjoy decoding a few jokes for April Fool’s Day. For a full lesson on teaching jokes in the ESL classroom, click here. One of the best websites to find jokes for teaching ESL or ELD classes is on the Internet TESL Journal. Jokes on this site are submitted by ESL teachers who have used the jokes in their classroom already. Joke books found in children’s section of the bookstore are also a source of appropriate jokes for students.

More Holiday ESL/ELD Lesson Plans by this Author

Easter Lesson Plan for ESL and ELD Students

Valentine’s Lesson Plan for ESL and ELD Students

St. Patrick’s Day Lesson Plan for ESL and ELD Students

Thanksgiving Lesson Plan for ESL and ELD Students

Christmas Lesson Plan for ESL and ELD Students

New Year’s Lesson Plan for ESL and ELD Students

More ESL/ELD Vocabulary Lists by this Author

140+ Winter Vocabulary Words for ESL and ELD Students

Giant Fall Vocabulary List for ESL and ELD Students

Giant Spring Vocabulary List for ESl and ELD

Easter Vocabulary List For ESL and ELD Students

100+ Valentine’s Day Vocabulary Words and Activities for ESL and ELD

Labels: April Fool's Day Lesson Plan Ideas for ESL and ELD

After Fukushima: Monitoring Radioactive Contamination

Months after the earthquake and tsunami that wrecked the Daiichi nuclear plant at Fukushima, local Japanese people living in the area took to monitoring radioactivity levels themselves.

Lack of faith in the Japanese government and its assurances that radioactivity around Fukushima remained low meant that locals sought independent information about contamination.

The New York Times (NYT) reported in August 2011, that many Japanese residents in the stricken areas doubted that the government’s standards were rigorous enough and that state bureacrats were testing for contamination thoroughly.

The Japanese are not used to taking such matters into their own hands. In normal times, government officials would be expected to handle civic matters such as health and safety. After the tsunami and earthquake though, faith in politicians and government fell. One radiation expert who worked for the Japanese Health Ministry quit his job when he realised the state was responding inadequately to the danger posed by radioactivity after the nuclear disaster. Shinzo Kimura began instead to help local officials in Fukushima to carry out their own monitoring procedures.

Confidence in government was not helped when a senior government adviser resigned in tears after a news conference on safe radiation levels for children. He quit, saying he couldn’t accept that children should be exposed to such levels of radiation. Fears about contamination were further increased when it was found that radioactive beef from cattle raised near Fukushima was on sale in food stores.

One local woman who began using a dosimeter was Kiyoko Okoshi. Living within 20 miles of the Daiichi nuclear plant, she stayed in her home after the disaster. Her daughter left, however, taking her young sons with her. Although the family quickly wished to reunite in Mrs Okoshi’s home, the two women were not reassured by official statements that contamination around Fukushima was below dangerous levels. Mrs. Okoshi bought a dosimeter and began using it to check cesium levels on forest roads and in rice paddies around her home. The dosimeter detected up to 67 microsieverts of radioactivity per hour – a level potentially harmful to health.

Kazuyoshi Sato is a councillor in the Fukushima region. He was concerned by the cesium levels detected by Mrs Okoshi and sent Shinzo Kimura to investigate further. Sato knew that dosimeter measurements have limited validity. (The machines only measure one kind of radiation emission.) Sato had seen a map of airborne and soil contamination which was produced by the United States Department of Energy. It revealed dangerous levels of radioactive isotopes cesium 134 and cesium 137 around Mrs Okoshi’s home. Shinzo Kimura subsequently verified that those readings were accurate. Worse, he found that soil samples from one area near Fukushima revealed levels of radioactive contamination equal to those found in the evacuation zone around the Chernobyl nuclear accident site in Ukraine.

The Japanese government was undoubtedly overwhelmed by the scale of the twin catastrophe in March 2011 and by the nuclear disaster unleashed by the earthquake and tsunami. The authorities need to get to grips, however, with the ongoing dangers posed by radiation levels in air, soil, water and food if they are to offer protection to the Japanese people currently at risk. For those in the worst affected areas, near Fukushima, the fear must be that a realistic response – if and when it comes – may be too little, too late.


Labels: After Fukushima: Monitoring Radioactive Contamination

5 Tips to Establishing a Good Work Ethic

With today’s job market, you have to do more than the average worker. Mediocrity will hinder your growth as you mature from being just an employee to being an asset to a major corporation. The idea is to take the skills you have acquired in your experiences then utilize them; not just putting the statement in the headline of your resume. Having a good work ethic shows your willingness to advance in the job market and capability to maximize your potential.

Whether you are taking orders at a local fast food chain or managing high profiled accounts at a major financial institution, the objective is to have a good work ethic no matter where you are working.

Be Dependable

Punctuality is a must when it comes to having a good work ethic. Time is money and when employers set aside a schedule for you to adhere to this means they have factored in how the company’s financial needs will be met. Dependability is not just being present and on time but also being prepared. Preparation is having your necessary paperwork, supplies, tools and any other essential items you will need to complete your work. You cannot be relied upon if you are there but forgot your portfolio to show to your potential client.

Represent Your Company

The best way to represent your company is by your physical appearance and verbal communication. Behaviors such as frowning, no eye contact, crossed arms and you appearing to not be paying attention; can be very abrasive and send an intimidating message. By smiling and having an assertive body language you are sending a more welcoming message. When you exhibit yourself suitably then you exhibit the company suitably. These behaviors and attitudes are not just conducive to the working environment but outside of work as well. Even though you are not servicing clients or working on a team of co-workers while eating at a restaurant; by implementing these behaviors in other aspects of your life they will stay with you permanently .

Follow Through

Complete all assigned tasks. Do not leave work half finished or for someone else to complete. This includes cleaning your work area, not skipping over tasks and not taking shortcuts in order to finish the work. Carrying through all assigned and even unassigned work shows reliability.

Be Adaptable

Many work environments change daily. One day there may be a stern policy and the next day that policy may have changed. Be prepared to adjust in any given situation that may be thrown your way.
Employers want someone whom is flexible. They like workers that can tolerate the highs and lows of the company along with the down time and high stress periods of work. Being a flexible worker allows you to reap the benefits of what the company has to offer. It also allows the company to benefit as well. Workers who are more adaptable are the ones who potentially have more advancement within the company.

Have an Owner Mentality

This is not saying to go bossing everyone around. This means putting yourself in the owners and operators shoes. If you were an owner would you want your employees to be rude to customers, have employees steal company time or maybe even take short cuts in their work which might cost you thousands of dollars? No, you would not. Bear in mind you are the face of the company and if you had people to represent your company, wouldn’t you want them to do so respectfully?

You maybe asking yourself, why any of these tips are necessary. Instituting these habits in the most basic entry level jobs can prepare for the highest executive level jobs. It is not everything you need as a worker, but it’s a good start to establishing a good report with a company. Having a good work ethic is being a good worker.

Labels: 5 Tips to Establishing a Good Work Ethic

Are Adult Children of Active Duty Personnel Entitled to Any Military Benefits?

Active duty personnel act as direct sponsors for their spouses and minor children for the duration of their military career. But what about adult children? Are adult children also entitled to receive any military benefits?

Benefits from Birth or Adoption

Natural and adopted children of active duty personnel are entitled to receive full military benefits such as medical care from the date of birth or adoption. Their enrolment in DEERS will ensure that they are covered and accounted for whenever they need treatment. Children who reside with both parents will not normally need to receive an ID card until they reach the age of 10. However, if a child resides with a non-custodial parent who is not entitled to any military benefits, then the sponsor will need to ensure that their child has their own ID card earlier in case they need to access military installations and facilities closer to where they live.

Living Abroad

Children of active duty personnel are entitled to live abroad with their parents for the duration of their parent’s tour without having to go through a lengthy, costly visa application process. That means they can attend school and apply for work within the local community (in some countries) if they so choose. But they are not always entitled to take advantage of higher education benefits that would ordinarily be reserved for local residents. A child who goes abroad with their parents at the age of 15 can live abroad while their parents are stationed abroad. Their visa will be valid until their parents are due to return to America. This is a benefit that many children would not usually be able to experience.

Turning 21

Benefits of having an active duty parent will change once a child turns 21. Circumstances vary, but usually, the military will look at an adult child’s status in order to decide whether or not to issue another ID card to adult children of active duty personnel. If an adult child is enrolled in full-time education by the time they turn 21 and the parents can prove that they contribute at least 50% towards their child’s education and upkeep, then adult children are entitled to keep their ID card and full military benefits until they reach 23.

Young children of active duty personnel can keep benefits into their early twenties as long as they are in full-time education. If not, their benefits will end.

Labels: Are Adult Children of Active Duty Personnel Entitled to Any Military Benefits?

9 Signs that Your Relationship Will Last

Until now, things were fine, your lover reached your expectations and, even you have had just a few dates with him, you’re convinced that your relationship will last. How can you be sure you’re right?

Is it true that there are no identical couples and that each relationship has its own particularities, but certain signs can suggest you if you have or not a future together, as a couple.

In this way you’ll succeed to protect yourself by an unshared love and by the sufferance after a painful breakup.

1. You have time for one another

We must recognize that we live in a society that doesn’t have too much time for anything, especially when it comes about love proofs and romance. If your boyfriend finds some moments to be carrying and to prove you how much he loves you, then you surely have changes to get over the problems inevitable in a couple.

2. You have almost the same age

We don’t care anymore about the taboos related to age, but are the disproportionate couples, regarding the partners’ age, truly happy or even sustainable?

-Studies shown that they aren’t. As long as there is a big age difference, the couple’s problems will be in imminent. We know that men grown up harder and that they need to reach a certain age to have the same mental maturity of women, but this difference should not be bigger than 7 years.

3. His ex relationships lasted

It will be easier for you to understand him if you know more about his former relationships. If he is the kind of man who had only long term relationships then your relationship may also last.

Meanwhile you can understand from his former relationships which are the reasons why he given up his girlfriends and how can you prevent the same problems in your couple.

4. The sex is good

The relationships in which the sex is a problem are not likely to succeed, that is why it would be ideal as before the relationship goes further to make sure that you are sexually compatible.

Try to solve the possible problems and to be opened to one another. In this way the relationship will provide additional content and more chances for success.

5. You are good friends

Even if the transition from friend to lover can be difficult if you were initially just good friends, your relationship might be more likely to succeed. That’s because you are used to say everything you feel and you know what the other wants from a relationship.

6. You know the future plans

If your boyfriend told you already what are his future plans and you are part of them, then there isn’t any doubt that he loves you and he wants your relationship to last.

Don’t try to force him to tell you more if he doesn’t want this, but pay attention to his wording and see how he perceives your relationship on long term.

7. You want the same thing

The relationships that last succeed to meet the needs of both partners. So make sure you and your lover will want the same things. In this way you avoid further problems and make efforts in a constructive manner.

8. Families / friends support you

You can not build a house on unstable land, as you can not build any relationship into a hostile environment. It’s true; you can make an effort worthy of Atlas to make things work, but does it works on long term?

We like stories in which the partners get over their problems, ending by getting married. But wouldn’t it be better to be little more diplomats and have a cordial relationship with your families and friends?

9. Love is in the air

You can tell that the relationship will last only if you’re sure that there is love. Try to find out what are the true feelings of your boyfriend (and yours), in order to understand if your relationship is a long term one or just an affair.


Labels: 9 Signs that Your Relationship Will Last

Annuals for Attracting Butterflies to Your Houston, Texas Garden

One of the best things about attracting butterflies to your garden is that butterflies are drawn to an explosion of color, making attracting them a delight. Butterflies look for flowers that supply them with nectar, and many gorgeous annuals are a great source. If you plant annuals that bloom in different seasons, you will provide your butterflies with a constant supply of nectar, enticing them to hang about your Houston, Texas garden. Below are some great annuals to try.

Bachelor’s Buttons. This pink flower will draw butterflies, honey bees and bumble bees to your Houston, Texas garden, blooming from late spring to the first frost. Plant in the spring or summer in full sun, and these annuals will grow to be about 12 inches tall. They also do well in containers.

Ageratum. Blue, pink and white blooms will attract butterflies from April through November. Plant in full sun to light shade in your Houston, Texas garden. Some varieties will reseed. These annuals will grow to be about eighteen inches tall.

Snow Princess Alyssum. These annuals bloom almost year round, assuring your butterflies a constant supply of nectar. Plant them in full to partial sun and keep them well watered. This annual will trail nicely from a container or spread as groundcover in your Houston, Texas garden. It can survive temperatures down to 32 degrees.

Painted Nettle Coleus (Black Dragon). Butterflies are drawn to the very light blue flowers that bloom from late spring to early summer. These are very pretty annuals, with dark purple (almost black) leaves that have rose highlights. This flower will also bring bees to your garden, and grows to be about eighteen inches tall. Plant in full sun to partial shade in your Houston, Texas garden.

Flamenco Cha Cha Cuphea. These annuals have very large fuchsia flowers with purple centers. Planted in your Houston, Texas garden, these flowers will bring butterflies and hummingbirds from spring through fall. They do best in full sun, but will tolerate partial. This variety of cuphea is heat and drought tolerant, as well as disease resistant. These annuals also do well in containers, and will grow to be about eighteen inches tall.

First Love Dianthus. The pink and white flowers on these annuals will attract lots of butterflies to your Houston, Texas garden. Plant them in full or partial sun, or bright shade. The flowers bloom almost year round, important for a constant nectar supply for your butterflies. These annuals are very fragrant, and do well in containers and rock gardens.

Deep Purple Fuchsia. Both hummingbirds and butterflies are attracted to these cascading flowers. Plant them in hanging baskets or containers in your Houston, Texas garden. They also do well in shade gardens. These annuals will bloom from January through May, and grow to be about twelve inches tall. They can withstand temperatures down to 35 degrees.

Fireworks Gomphrena. The pink starburst flowers of these annuals will bring butterflies flocking to your Houston, Texas garden. Plant this flower in full sun and it will bloom from the spring through the fall. This is a fast growing plant that can reach heights of four feet, and also does very well in containers. These annuals are drought tolerant and withstand temperatures down to 35 degrees.

Source list:

Personal experience

Labels: Annuals for Attracting Butterflies to Your Houston, Texas Garden

A Biography of Paul Gauguin

Paris, the name alone is enough to spark thoughts of romance, fine wines, and haute cuisine. It is a place of dream vacations, art galleries, bistros, and music, but in the imaginings of those who wish for nothing more than an extended holiday…… it is so much more. Paris is a place of historic artistry, and it has been home to a countless number of the world’s greatest artists.

Da Vinci, Monet, Manet, Picasso, Renoir, Utrillo, Dali, Van Gogh, Degas, and Toulouse-Lautrec all lived with Paris’ city limits, almost exclusively in the Montmartre district. An artist’s haven, Montmartre was filled with studios, entertainment, and boasted the area’s finest wine. Made by local nuns, the wine was responsible for Montmartre’s irresistible, popular drinking spots, and if the wine weren’t enough, exemption from Paris taxes due to the area’s location on the city limits served to make the area even more appealing.

Paul Gauguin was born in Paris on June 7, 1848, a time in which the city was far different place from the way we romanticize it today. Gauguin’s father hailed from Orleans; his mother was of Spanish Peruvian lineage. Not quite five months before Gauguin’s birth, riots had broken out in the city. Discontent with France’s reigning monarch, King Louis Philippe, in addition to over population and horrific living conditions caused students, radicals, and unemployed workers to join together in dissent. Barricades were built by these protesters using anything readily available; trees were cut down, pavements dislodged, and private carriages overturned. Chaos ruled the day.

At the time of his birth, Gauguin’s father, Clovis, was a French journalist; his mother, Alina, was the daughter of socialist writer and activist Flora Tristan. At the age of three, due to the constant political unrest and victory of Louis Napoleon (1769-1821), Paul’s family embarked on a ship headed for Lima, Peru. His father died during the trip.

Gauguin, his older sister, and his mother remained in Lima for four years. There the young Gauguin lived a comfortable life surrounded by his mother’s relatives. In his seventh year, the small family returned to Orleans. Gauguin later found his way back to Paris, where he attended the seminary. At the age of seventeen, Paul Gauguin enlisted in the merchant marine (people who work on commercial ships), in order to fulfill his military obligations. He would spend the next six years sailing, taking in the landscapes (seascapes if you will), and falling in love with the beauty of the world.

In 1870, Gauguin began a career as a stockbroker and remained in this profession for twelve years. It was during this time that he met and married a Danish girl, Mette Sophia Gad. The couple seemed destined for a comfortable, middle-class existence from the onset, but Paul’s love of art and dreams of becoming an artist would interfere. It’s funny how our true destinies sometimes tend to fool us.

Paul and Mette’s family blossomed, and they went on to have five children together. They lived the bourgeois dream. Money was no object. That Gauguin was a successful stockbroker is without question, that he would delve into the world of art as a painter in his adulthood must have shocked many. Painting began as a hobby, Sunday afternoons rich with canvas, brushes, and oils. Accompanied by a co-worker, what began as a pastime soon became a journey into the world of Impressionism. Gauguin embraced the movement, attracted by its use of soft colors to depict everyday life. He befriended the likes of Degas, Pissarro, and Van Gogh, who tutored him in technique and style. Van Gogh became a huge fan, while other Impressionists like Monet and Cezzane were far from enthusiastic about neither the man nor his art.

Between the years 1876 and 1886, Gauguin exhibited his work alongside France’s greatest Impressionists five times. In 1883, he left his job to live the dream. Soon, the family that had enjoyed all they could have asked for found itself destitute. Lack of patrons and depleted savings forced the family’s relocation to Copenhagen where they found shelter with Mette’s family. When things didn’t go well, Paul returned to Paris leaving his family behind.

Paul’s return to Paris was short lived. Disenchanted with the busy, dirty streets of the big city, and determined to find his own unique mode of artistic expression, Paul moved to Brittany. Western France captivated the budding artist. He was mesmerized by its breathtaking countryside, its people, and most of all by its culture. His world was no longer shadowed by the dark hues of the city. Color entered his life in the form of bright costumes, and the animation of the people who wore them. Gauguin began to mix the rich colors on his palette creating bright and sometimes whimsical canvases.

From 1886 to 1891, Gauguin considered Brittany his home, and during that time he gained the respect and admiration of Europe’s finest artists. Unfortunately, that was where the accolades ended. Collectors had no interest. He couldn’t sell his work, he couldn’t afford to live, and yet he continued to strive to become a better painter. Gauguin believed that in order to reach that goal he would need to move yet again. His destination…… the South Seas.

Gauguin arrived in Tahiti in 1891, after assuring his wife and family that one day they would reunite. He was wrong. Far from the paradise he believed he’d find there, Paul was disappointed no only by the island, but by its similarities to the place he’d just left. Tahiti was ruled by the French government, and Gauguin had no desire to live as he’d lived in France. Forays into the wilderness and exploration of nearby islands granted him the serenity and inspiration he searched for. Where his painting had initially explored Impressionism, and was later replaced by the broad, bright, flat colors he’d discovered in Brittany, the South Seas sparked his imagination.

Paul Gauguin’s former landscapes became a world of dreams. Nature was rearranged; the world took on new hues of color and fantastical imagery. The artist himself worked day and night, basking in the realization that he loved his own work, that he was happy with himself. How sad that the joy he felt in his art couldn’t have warmed the rest of his life.

Using different forms of art from around the globe, stained glass windows, Japanese prints, the ancient art of Egypt and Persia, Gauguin found the muses to develop his own personal style. His art bloomed while his health failed; he became rich with talent while living the life of a very poor man. It is believed that his waning health, lack of funds, loneliness, and possibly a sense of guilt all contributed to his alleged suicide attempt in January of 1901.

Nine months after his alleged suicide attempt, Gauguin relocated to the island of Hive Oa, a member of the Marquesas. After purchasing a sizable plot of land, Gauguin with the help of his neighbors constructed a home. This elaborate construction was seen as a work of art and its decorations were inspired by the Maori works Gauguin had fallen in love with during a trip to New Zealand. Due to its luxuriant decor and impeccably carved friezes, Gauguin’s accommodations were soon known as “the house of pleasure.”

It wasn’t long before Gauguin once again became disenchanted with French rule and argued with French authorities. Had he been healthy, he may have made a desired move to Spain. Unfortunately, the year 1902 found Gauguin battling an advanced case of syphilis which tremendously limited his mobility. Those limitations however, did not interfere with his artistic productivity, and he concentrated his remaining energy on drawing and writing, especially his memoir, Avant et Apres. Gauguin died on May 8, 1903 in his self proclaimed “house of pleasure.” He died alone.

To an outsider, Gauguin’s life must have seemed exciting and full of adventure. What a wonderful thing to be able to live a dream. For Gauguin, however, the end of his life was anything but pleasurable. Most of the years he spent in the South Sea were unhappy, plagued with illness, and ridden by poverty. He had reached a point where he was happy with his art, but was sadly unable to achieve acceptance from others.

Today, Gauguin’s work is hailed as some of the best; his style drawn from a mixture of experience, travel, and imagination. If the viewer is lucky enough to look closely at his paintings they’ll notice the variety of mediums Gauguin used. His canvases were far more than we would envision, and upon close inspection one might see that he often used the readily available burlap sack that instantly provided him with the textures he desired in his paintings. Less known are his wood carvings, something he studied while living in Tahiti and borrowed from the native culture.

Gauguin completed his memoirs before his death, but they were not published until 1923. His writings allow the reader a glimpse into the rich Bohemian culture of the past, and provide a first hand account of an amazing group of artists and their relationships with each other, albeit a biased account. As with his paintings, what we see or read in Gauguin’s works depends entirely upon our own interpretations. Our perceptions are individual as are our beliefs.


“Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists, Gauguin; Mike Venezia; Childrens Press, Chicago @ 1988

“Paul Gauguin.” 2011. 9 May 2011, 11:58 .

Labels: A Biography of Paul Gauguin

5 Ways to Refresh Yourself During a 15-Minute Break

You might think that a 15-minute break at work is insignificant. After all, what can you really accomplish in 15 minutes, besides using the bathroom and grabbing a snack? Actually, you can accomplish a lot more than that. You can refresh yourself, physically and mentally, by trying the following rejuvenating activities:

1. Get some fresh air. If you work indoors, you can benefit from a five-minute walk outside. Whether it is sunny, rainy, or snowing, just getting out of your building and rejuvenating yourself by inhaling some fresh air can make a big difference in your mood and physical state.

2. Write in your journal. Take five minutes to record your thoughts in a journal. This rejuvenating activity is easy to do and can be done anywhere. You don’t have to write great literature – just let your mind wander away from work long enough to refresh yourself.

3. Listen to an audiobook. No matter where you are when you take your break, you can stealthily listen to a chapter or two of your favorite book on your iPod or other MP3-playing device. This rejuvenating activity is great because it takes your mind off of work and lets you become absorbed in another world. You can also do other things (eat, walk, etc.) at the same time.

4. Exercise. Depending on your work situation, it might be difficult to get any real exercise during your break. If you cannot reasonably go for a jog or do push-ups, you can at least do some stretches. Refresh yourself by focusing on your physical well-being for a few minutes.

5. Speak with someone. If you are taking a break, there is a good chance someone else at your office is doing the same. Find someone else on break and strike up a conversation. A little casual conversation now will make you feel better, and might lead to a better work environment, as well.

In fifteen minutes, you can rejuvenate yourself and feel better about work and life. Just take a few minutes to use one of these suggested activities to refresh yourself.

Labels: 5 Ways to Refresh Yourself During a 15-Minute Break

8 Tricks to Help Your Sick Child Sleep Better

All parents have experienced sleepless nights here and there, but none are as challenging as when you have a sick child. The following step by step guide has helped my children and many of my friends children achieve a good night sleep, or at least a better night sleep when they are sick.

  1. Start getting your child ready for bed long before their actual bedtime. A good rule of thumb is to begin the following steps about an hour before bedtime. For older children, make sure to give them at least a 15 minute warning that they will need to stop their activity and get ready for bed. For younger children, including toddlers you can start picking up toys to help them get the idea that play time is over. Remember when your child is sick they are more likely to react in a negative way to change, be patient, and start early. By giving yourself and your child extra time to get in bed you will both experience less stress

  2. Step 2

    Give your child a warm bath, if possible, run the bath through the shower head while you keep the bathroom door shut. The steam and humidity are excellent for a child with congestion or a cough. Allow your child to spend a good amount of time in the bath tub, the warm water is soothing and will help them wind down. Also try to remember how achy you can get when your sick, a warm bath probably feels just as good to your little one as it does to you

  3. Step 3

    For younger children when bath time is over put them on a flat surface, try to avoid any drafty areas. Begin to massage your child with oil or lotion. I like to start with their legs and feet and work my way up. Pay close attention to your child’s reaction, some children do not like to be massaged or have certain areas that they like to be massaged more than others. Make sure prior to dressing your child that you put Vick’s on their chest (or feet for younger children).

  4. Step 4

    For a child with congestion or a stuffy nose use some type of saline spray this will help their nose run. The clearer you can get their nose before bed time the better they will sleep. For children still drinking from a bottle now is a good time to use the saline as it allows for the mucus to be washed down with their nighttime bottle. For older children this allows enough time for the saline to work and them to blow their nose. If you have an older child you might look intobreathe right nose strips for children (my husband and I swear by these) they will better help your child to breathe.

  5. Step 5

    This next step is highly recommended, and might be something you have never heard of before. Make a cup of tea for your child. For older children I would recommend sleepy time tea with a tiny bit of raw honey. For older and younger children (as young as 6 months) I recommend that you purchase organic throat coat tea. Most local health food stores offer some variation of tea specifically designed for children. It’s not expensive and even my 1 year old will drink this.

  6. Step 6

    Some of the night waking children experience when they are sick is due to night terrors. Night terrors can be very frightening for children, in fact, sometimes night terrors even cause children to be fearful of their parents as they don’t recognize them. So what can you do to prevent these horrifying experiences? Well, in my experience Highlands brand tablets called “calms forte” are the best thing. These tablets are taken sublingually. When my little girl was sick she didn’t sleep longer than an 1.5 hours for over a week. My husband and I gave her the calms forte and she was able to sleep 4 hours straight, thus avoiding 2-3 episodes of night terrors.

  7. Step 7

    From this point on I suggest you continue with the remainder of your night time routine, brushing teeth, reading a story, being tucked in, bottles, rocking, whatever the routine. Keep in mind that your child may need a little more soothing to initially fall asleep. Try stroking your child from the top of their forehead down their temple to their cheek bone, gently and slowly, a hormone is released when you do this that aids relaxation.

  8. Step 8

    Lastly, make sure that you are using a humidifier and that it is close enough to the child to be providing a real benefit. People tend to underestimate the effectiveness of a humidifier, and other external, i.e. non medicinal means of making their child more comfortable. Just remember using vicks, offering your child tea, or turning on that humidifier may take a few minutes of your time but.. they may finally allow you to get some much needed rest!

Things to Remember:

  • Remember to watch your reactions and interactions with your child, they can sense when you are irritated with them, or are rushing through the routine, try to stay levelheaded (I.E pretend like you aren’t completely sleep deprived), patient, and empathetic

  • There are many different natural remedies to help your children sleep, the older they are the more options you will have, talk to your local health food store, they can generally guide you in the right direction

Labels: 8 Tricks to Help Your Sick Child Sleep Better

6 Top Tips for Making Money Online - How to Make More Money

So you want to make some extra money but perhaps don’t know where to start, or perhaps you want to make more money online than you currently are, or perhaps you are just starting out and looking for helpful advice and guidance on how to avoid getting sucked into a SCAM.

So here you go, here are a few useful tips for making money online.

1. Decide how much you want to make and stick to it.

Perhaps you want to just generate some extra income, maybe topping up your monthly income with say £100/$200 per month. If so then stick to this, decide how much you need to make and also how much free time you currently have to earn this money. Bare in mind you might have prior work, family, social commitments and so on, do take these into consideration.

2. Start researching money making and money saving forums.

The best place to start before you part with any money is forums where home workers and online workers and earners gather. Spend a couple of weeks researching and reading forums, asking questions and so on. Remember people have made mistakes and errors when it comes to making money online, so rather than do the same, learn from them.

3. Decide what you can do.

Can you review products and places, are you a writer, an author maybe even a blogger at heart. There are in fact lots of ways you can make money online, but half of these are totally eclipsed by the huge amount of scams out there. Please don’t pay any money up front to work from home, these are usually almost scams, you will never get your money back, and it will put a dent in your self confidence and ability to earn online. Remember if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

4. Decide what hours you can work.

Perhaps if you can offer hours after 9-5, or time at the weekend you could earn money through blogging or article writing. Perhaps if you work at the weekends or at nights, you could make money selling on eBay, or maybe even being an online researcher or virtual assistant. Remember don’t overwork yourself, start off just working a few hours a week or month online and see how it fits in with your prior commitments. Don’t go mad and try to work every hour god sends, it will not, you will not keep it up and you will end up ill.

5. Research, research and research some more.

Always research money making opportunities’ thoroughly, ask questions, don’t pay any money until you are 1000% sure that the opportunity is genuine. Ask about opportunities on forums, on blogs, and remember if someone is enthusiastically telling you how much they are earning for doing absolutely nothing, shut your ears. Nobody can earn money online for doing nothing online, and no opportunities exist to get paid hundreds of pounds or dollars to post on forums, blog etc. Be weary and always keep your guard up until you are 1000% sure about an idea or opportunity.

6. Build it up.

Don’t go mad and try to make millions over night, like I said before it just wont work, instead set yourself small but regular goals to achieve, for example say you want to start off by earning £100 or $200 a month in 6 months time, and so on. Don’t try to compete with other people who might or might not be making money online, just do what you can, and remember that every little bit helps no matter how little it is you end up earning.

Good luck, I hope these tips and this article will help you.

Labels: 6 Top Tips for Making Money Online - How to Make More Money

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...