Monday, July 6, 2015

Examiner Writer

When I get the opportunity to write about Disney, it's a real treat.

Regular posts about the happenings at Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure are available at

Friday, June 26, 2015

Peter and the Wolf

It isn't the first time that I've had the profound realization that music has a special power. 

Music makes people smile. 
Music makes people cry. 
It can raise emotions to anger or motivate a nation to patriotic fervor for the good of human rights or to the decimation of war. 

But today, a regular day with nothing notable to it, a song came on the radio as I drove up the street to my favorite coffee place to have tea. Not really a conformist no matter how hard I try. 

Anyway, as I punched the buttons through the commercials I came to the classical station and there, just beginning was the symphony, Peter and the Wolf. Instantly, I was transformed to a 7 year old girl sitting on my Dad's lap as he identified the different instruments; narrating as the music progressed. Until my imagniation took over and I watched as Peter hunted for the Wolf. 

What wondrous power music has to melt the years away, and what a wonderful piece of music to do it

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Gene Tierney

Gene Tierney created Mrs. Muir for the Ghost and Mrs. Muir. She was among the most popular actresses at the time. Her beauty and grace placed a high bar for actresses portraying ladies of the Victorian era. 

She worked with Hollywood greats such as John Ford, Joseph Mankiewicz creating memorable pictures with Rex Harrison and Rory Calhoun among others. 

Personally, she was married twice. Her first husband was Oleg Cassini with whom she had two daughters. She and Oleg remarried but the reunion didn't work out.  Her second husband was W Howard Lee, a Texas oil man.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Chihuahuas Like Cheese

Chihuahuas Like Cheese
Written by: Janice Kingsbury
Illustrated by: Rachael Haffey
2015: Outerbooks Publishing, LLC
ISBN: 13:9780692378915

Audience: Pre K-Grade 3, or story-time/family reading.

‘Chihuahuas Like Cheese’ is a delightful story about dogs, adoptions and living happily with a life time supply of cheese.

This story is about one little Chihuahua named Bogie who finds himself homeless, staying in a shelter. Rescued from the shelter, his foster mom tries to have him adopted by nice people at the PetSmart adoption day. But Bogie has other plans.

Bogie comes to his foster home and doesn’t want to leave. Even though he’s the smallest, he lines up for treats with the other dogs: Beau, Lexi, Beemer, Jack, Rascal and Hannah. While the other dogs sit for their treats, Bogie feels too small at the end of the line. So he jumps up and down. He gets so into jumping around, he missed the cheese.

For a while Bogie feels sad. He hides under blankets and doesn’t play as much with the other dogs. One day, Bogie notices something out of the ordinary. He barks. He brings attention to events that have gone terribly wrong.

To find out how Bogie becomes a hero, read ‘Chihuahuas Like Cheese.’

Illustrations of dogs and all the action colorfully represent the story.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Creating a Better Team or How to Make Cheesecake

Many hands make for light work as the elders used to say and they were right. The more people involved in a project, the faster it goes and the better it can turn out. 

This weekend we baked cheesecake. There were three of us. The boss read the directions. The cook placed all the items in logical order and helped the apprentice learn by doing.

  • Shopping – we picked up the ingredients that we didn’t already have available.
  • Crust – Following the directions for a graham cracker crust, the crumbs were made the butter softened, and we mixed, mixed, mixed.
  • Pie Crust – Pushing the mix into the pie pan and up the side of the pan required a light touch and patience.
  • Filling – Placing all the ingredients into the blender, mix on high then voila.
  • Baking – 350 for nearly an hour, until it’s not jiggly. 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

10 Reasons to Eat Cucumbers

Cucumbers are a vegetable from the gourd family. The vine produces a cylindrical vegetable which have culinary uses. The three main varieties of cucumber are for burpless, pickled and slicing.

Cucumbers have been grown for consumption for at least 3,000 years in Europe. In fact, cucumbers are mentioned in Gilgamesh. The gourd became popular is France and England during the Dark Ages.

With 8 calories per ½ cup of slices, these vegetables should be supremely popular with dieters. With only nominal amounts of vitamin A, the cucumber has 65 mg potassium

A multitude of health benefits credited to cucumbers including:
  • Helps stabilize blood pressure
  • Reduces diabetic tendency
  • High silica for silky hair
  • Reduces risk of cancer
  • Prevents headaches
  • Promotes digestion
  • Promotes weight loss
  • Reduces cholesterol
  • Reduces inflammation / gout
  • Relieves joint pain 

Friday, May 1, 2015

Thank you A to Z

Thank you to the A to Z organizers and volunteers for another interesting challenge. 

Thank you to the bloggers, I loved reading your stuff. 

Thank you to the readers who read. 

A special thank you to the readers who comment, I often wonder if anyone is reading my posts. Thanks for letting me know your thoughts. 

Please let's stay in contact here and through facebook. 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Zea mays

Zea Mays or Indian corn is easily identifiable around the world. Containing significant amounts of potassium, the various parts of the plant are used for food and medicinal uses. 

The silks are used to aid in wound healing topically. Brewed into a detoxification tea Zea mays aids with healing prostate problems, skin irritation, bedwetting and urinary tract troubles. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


Yarrow is easily identifiable in the fields for this reason it was used through the millennium by soldier's to stop bleeding. Herbal myth says that Achilles' troops used Yarrow to heal after battle. 

The plant is also helpful to stop diarrhea and relieve dysentery. Mothers often use it to calm the colic.  

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Xi Shu

Xi Shu is a Chinese herb, also known as Happy Tree. the plant has camptothecin whichis known for cancer-fighting properties. 

Medicinal indications are stomach ailments, liver ailments and colds. 

Witch Hazel

Victorian ladies knew all about Witch Hazel. Used as an astringent, the bush provides the perfect answer to most skin problems including ache and diaper rash. 

Local pharmacies stock witch hazel in the beauty section. It's a clear liquid that is applied directly to the skin. 

Monday, April 27, 2015


Verbena is also known as Vervain or Herb of the Cross. The pretty flowers grow on a low growing plant. 

Medicinal indications include colds, flu, cramps, and stress headaches. 

Saturday, April 25, 2015


The umbrella plant is more commonly known as Mandrake. 

Native Americans knew the plants were toxic. Medicinal use is cautioned as the mandrake causes loosens the bowels. The most common topical use is for snakebites.  

Thursday, April 23, 2015


It's known as Tarragon in the culinary community but it's fiercest name is Dragon's Mugwort. 

Used in recipes that require a licorice or anise flavor, it is related to wormwood. The flavor-full leaves are often among the ingredients for marinades, vinegars and sauces. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


A sacred plant to the Native Americans, the sage plant is used for a variety of common ailments. 

Traditional use includes smudge ceremony. 

Medicinal indicates use for sore gums, digestive disorders, colds, fevers, asthma, and infertility.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


A rose by any other name is still a rose. 

By the language of the flowers, most people know that Red Roses communicate love. Roses are also used in aromatherapy to raise the mood. Medicinally, rose hips aid in fighting colds and flu by increasing vitamin C. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Queen Anne's Lace

Queen Anne's Lace marks the plant as an identifier in the wild. These lovely flowers offer seeds in the fall and indicate the location of the root known as a carrot. 

Carrots are found around the world and are a valuable vegetable offering vitamins and minerals. The active ingredient, beta-carotene reduces risk of heart attack and stroke. 

Saturday, April 18, 2015


Pleurisy is edible when boiled like spinach. 

Medicinally pleurisy root was used for respiratory ailments, pneumonia, asthma, and whooping cough. The herbal tea induces sweating to move the infection out. 

Don't use this herb if you have a heart condition. 

Friday, April 17, 2015


Oregano and Marjoram are the same plant. It's common to see recipes calling for either herb. The word Oregano comes from Greek. 

Medicinally Oregano is used for bronchitis and asthma as well as digestive disorders. 

Quick Pizza Sauce
1/4 cup tomato sauce
2 Tbsp garlic, minced
2 Tbsp onion, diced
4 mushrooms, diced 
2 tsp oregano
Saute in a skillet until hot.
Spread sauce on bread, cover with cheese.  
Toast in a toaster oven or broil in conventional oven. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015


Nettles is most famous for the astringent properties which are used topically to stop bleeding. It's also used to stop nose bleeds and to control heavy menstrual bleeding. 

Also known as stinging Nettles, the plant offers iron and potassium when brewed as a tea. Nettles is also recommended for ulcers and other digestive disorders. 

A wild weed, it grows typically two feet in height.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


Melissa is a member of the mint family. It's also known as lemon balm for the lemon scent and bee balm because bees love it. 

Melissa tea or bath infusion gives a calming effect. Internal use soothes the stomach. External use calms the mind and muscles. 

Culinary uses find Melissa in salads as well as herbs in jams, vinegars, and meat-stuffing.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


A culinary, aromatic and medicinal herb, lavender grows in abundance in the South of Europe. 

A main ingredient in natural perfumes and aromatherapy, Lavender helps alleviate tension headaches, depression and insomnia. 

Lavender Cookies 
1/2 cup butter, melted 
1/2 sugar
1 large egg
1 Tbsp lavender
1 1/2 cups flour 
1/2 cup colored sugar
1 tsp lavender
Cream butter, sugar together. Blend egg, lavender and flour. Drop teaspoons of dough on cookie sheet. Heat oven to 350. Bake 15-20 minutes. Sprinkle with topping.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Kava Kava

Found on tropical islands, Kava Kava is widely used among island people for a variety of treatments of ailments from body system stresses such as gout, tooth aches and asthma. 

Continued usage or overdose leads to numbness and discoloration of skin and nails as well as photo-sensitivity. 

Saturday, April 11, 2015


Jasmine, used mostly in aromatherapy is known to clam nerves and help regulate blood pressure. 

Studies are underway to determine if jasmine aids in decreasing risk factors for certain cancers. 

As a tea ingredient, jasmine is often combined with green tea. 

Caution is suggested for people with grass allergies. 

Friday, April 10, 2015


Saving lives around the world, Ipecac clears the system of ailments caused by poisoning, parasites and viruses. In proper dosage it causes vomiting which clears the system and allows for healing. 

Originally an Amazon plant, Ipecac became a household product in the 20th century, administered by mothers when children ate household poisons. Ipecac should be used with the advice of medical professionals. 

Thursday, April 9, 2015


Brewers have used hops in beer making for centuries. Hops is the aroma associated with the brewery vats. 

Hops is also a valuable remedy for inflammation throughout the body as well as headaches. Topical application includes killing bacteria in wounds and alleviating dandruff.  

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


Ginseng grows on the Asia continent. It's properties are best used by men. 

It is recommended for ailments related to stress, hypertension, ulcers, and depression. Used as a tonic, ginseng helps to balance glandular systems including immune system and sexual functions. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015


Fabulous remedy for fevers! But it one of the foremost herbs to help relieve migraines. 

As the name suggests, it works well to regulate temperature through evening the blood flow.  It's on the herbal list for birthing and hot flashes. 

Monday, April 6, 2015


Elder, Elderberry or Elder flower all come from the same shrub/bush. The flowers are small and delicate stars. 

Most common use is for detoxification. Combinations with Elder aid for flu, arthritis and stomach problems. Elder helps ease hay fever as well as chicken pox. 

Elderberry Wine 
2 lbs elderberries
2 lbs brown sugar
1 tsp allspice
5 cloves
1 Tbsp diced ginger roots
16 cups water 
1 oz toast 
1 Tbsp wine yeast
In a pan, bring six ingredients to a slow boil for 30 minutes. Pour in a glass jar, add yeast & bread. Store in the cellar at 68 degrees or less for 20 days. Strain & store for 2 months. Check for proper fermentation before drinking.