August 30, 2010

Lake Water was Like Glass

We had a talk about it last week right after the rain stopped.

We hadn't been swimming for three days because of the weather, and we figured the rain would make the water quite chilly afterwards.

Well, we were wrong.

On 8/22, before the rain came, the water temp was 74 degrees and it was just gorgeous.

On 8/26, when the rain stopped, the temp was 71 degrees - only three degrees difference.

Not too bad.

And we made a pact before hand that we would go swimming no matter what - and for as long as we could this season.

So far, so good.

Tonight the water was just like glass - how easy it makes it to swim in such calm water.

Gliding along, not having to dodge the waves for a breath of air, struggling through the swells.

Just smooth strokes, and you know, we swam twice as far as we usually do.

I'll take this kind of exercise any day, and will remember it well when the lake is frozen solid in February!

August 27, 2010

Gunpowder Green Tea

I think that just the name makes this tea sound like it is quite strong.

And it really looks it too when it is brewed - it is so dark in the cup.

It's not like the regular green tea that I am used to with the light green color.

But I found this Gunpowder Green Tea to be so delightful!

It has a really mild flavor despite it's deep dark color in the cup.

There is no bitterness or bite to it, just a smooth flavor that tastes so fresh and good.

It is said to get its name because the tea leaves are rolled into pellets that resemble blackpowder grains.

This rolling preserves the flavor and aroma of the tea as there is less physical damage to the leaves.

Whatever it is, if you get the chance to have some - it will be a great treat.

Glad I was able to find some on sale at the market, and even happier that I decided to give it a try!

August 23, 2010

It's A Win-Win

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Woodrow Wilson. All opinions are 100% mine.

America's public school system is not what it used to be, especially for the high school aged children.

Our placement, compared with other developed countries, has been steadily falling over the last few years.

And the areas we are failing in most are science, technology, engineering, and math.

One program, located at, is taking the initiative and offering qualified candidates a $30,000 stipend to complete an intensive master’s degree program.

Upon completion of the Master's degree, in a STEM field (science, technology, engineering, or math), the Fellow will commit to a three year teaching position in a high-need school.

The purpose of the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship is to recruit quality teachers, prepare and train them, then retain them for the high-need schools that so desperately need them.

To be considered a candidate, one must have completed an undergraduate degree in a STEM field by June 2011 with a 3.0 grade average, and most importantly, be committed to the program.

Once chosen, the Fellow will complete their Master's degree in education and then commit to three years of teaching in a high-need school.

Receiving intensive support and mentoring in the classroom is also an important part of the program.

For those who qualify, this sounds like a win-win situation for all involved.

The teachers get paid to learn, and the students get quality teachers who care.

Visit my sponsor: The Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship

August 21, 2010

Swells and Whitecaps

The swimming was brisk today.

In fact, we were the only ones at the lake even swimming, and have been for the last few days.

To slowly get into the water is a big mistake - one would chicken out and leave because of the chilliness.

And getting out is the same way - especially when the wind is blowing.

Like it was today.

Man, the towel never felt so good.

The wind was so brisk, it was making whitecaps on the swells it was creating, and this is just a small lake.

Swimming against the wind had the waves slapping our faces quite strongly, making it almost impossible to swim in that direction.

How I missed the glassiness of the calm water on our evening swims of the weeks past.

But there is a storm moving in tomorrow.

It will deliver much needed rain to the parched lawns and low water level in the lake.

I am hoping to keep swimming through the end of the month, but with over two inches of rain predicted, the lake water will be even chillier than it is already.

It is supposed to be sunny again on Wednesday - can't wait to see how it is then - I will sorely miss the swimming exercise until then too!

August 13, 2010

Ginger Ale for an Upset Tummy

Ginger ale has always worked for me when I have a sour or upset stomach.

It needs to be warm or room temp, and it must be sipped.

The ginger in it is the active ingredient and it has been used for many years as a folk remedy for motion sickness, nausea, colds, and coughing.

I have heard of it used as a tea but I have never tried it for my stomach.

Perhaps the next time I am in need of it, I will give it try.

I would love to know if anyone has tried the tea and had success with it.

Keeping things as natural as possible is always the best, and in this case, is the least costly too!

August 12, 2010

Help for Getting in Shape

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of All opinions are 100% mine.

Designing and sticking to a workout routine isn't always easy.

I have used books from the library, the internet, and friends for ideas and different routines.

The books were great, but I couldn't always tell if I was performing the exercise right from the little photos they had of the model doing them.

The internet is loaded with exercises and routines - some of them are good, and if they contain a video it is even better.

But the computer isn't in the workout area where you can follow along.

Friends are always great to work to with, but their routine isn't always what I want.

And forget the gyms and fitness centers - the costs are just too high, although they would offer the best for instruction and motivation.

So, I like to use workout videos - right in the comfort of my own home.

The TV screen is big enough to see what the instructor is doing, and I can pause it when I need to so I can get the positions just right.

I have used several DVD's from several of my favorite instructors.

Joyce Vedral is my most favorite and she has a walking video that is the best.

Kathy Smith and Denise Austin also have great workout videos.

And when these workouts get stale, I just head back over to for their great selection and super great prices.

Visit my sponsor: Fitness, Exercise, Workout Videos @

Tomato Sandwiches

I remember these from my youth.

I was never very fond of them at that time, but things do change as we grow older.

Now I look forward each summer to the fresh picked tomatoes - either from our garden or the farmer's market.

I dress the sandwiches up a bit more than my grandmother used to, and they are so delicious.

I toast the bread in the oven, and just before it is done, I add a slice of cheese on one piece of bread and let it melt a bit.

The tomato is sliced to the perfect thickness and placed on the cheese after it has been removed from the oven.

Then the best part - a sprig of fresh basil from the garden, spread in little pieces all over the tomato.

A bit of freshly ground pepper and the sandwich is complete.

Can't wait for lunch again tomorrow - so good and so good for you!

August 11, 2010

Social Networking From a Phone

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Boost Mobile. All opinions are 100% mine.

These days to get the best deals on mobile phones and their plans, one needs to sign a contract with a carrier.

Using the no-plan mobile phones are pretty costly - usually with hidden fees that one discovers as they go along.

They are convenient, but only for a very short period of time.

There is one company out there though, Boost Mobile, that offers a no contract deal with unlimited minutes, texts, and web usage.

I know a couple of people who would be very interested in this deal.

Keeping up with their social networking is very important, and it cost quite a bit more for them to have the internet available on their mobile phone.

And since they are already paying for a text plan, it would save in that area too.

They certainly can't afford to have unlimited minutes, so that alone is a great feature.

And they just moved to an new area that doesn't have good reception for their phones, and they are tied into their contract for another year and a half.

If they had only known beforehand about this deal.

The Re-Boost program also offers several ways to pay for the recharging service - online, in person, or through the phone itself with a debit or credit card for automatic payments to keep your phone ready to use.

They also offer some of the most popular phones, the Blackberry and my favorite the Motorola i1.

Great mobile phones without the contracts and hidden fees - the better choice for paying as you go.

Visit my sponsor: Reboost

August 7, 2010

An Early Swim

We usually do our daily swim at the lake about 5:30 in the late afternoon

Sometimes 7:30 or even 8:00 depending on what the day brought.

But today we went about 11:00 in the morning.

Not real early as we had been up for hours, but a first for us in many years.

It felt so different than it had those few short hours before in the evening.

The light was so strong and harsh - no long shadows or evening glows.

We thought the water would feel colder as the air temp was a bit warmer.

But it was actually pretty nice.

Even though it was Saturday, there were only a couple of other swimmers.

I don't think I have ever seen the lake so empty this time of the year - especially on a weekend.

People don't know what they are missing on a gorgeous summer day.

We certainly enjoy it!

August 5, 2010

Baby Supplies Online

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of PBM Products. All opinions are 100% mine.


Babies are expensive - nobody will argue that fact.

But even with all the needs that they do have, parents these days can save money while still buying these necessities.

I remember when my children were born, these were only two kinds of formula available.

So when my daughter was expecting last year, she asked what kind I used.

She tried what I told her she had used as a baby, then she decided to try another brand.

There was no difference in the ingredients, and she could save substantially by using it.

The baby likes it just as well.

The company changed their label a while back, and she thought that perhaps the formula had been changed as well.

But that's not case, and the new design just makes it easier for her to find on the shelf when she is in a hurry.

She say's the only way it could get better would be to buy it online - she wouldn't have to use gas to run to the store - which is quite a trip now that she has moved.

I will be happy to let her know that Bright Beginnings available at, has come to the internet.

She will be so pleased.

They offer free shipping and a coupon for $5.00 off.

How the savings add up with this deal!

Visit my sponsor: Bright Beginnings

Pumpkin Yogurt

Many years ago around the holidays in November and December, my supermarket carried a flavor of yogurt that I just loved.

It was discontinued after the holidays were done, and it never reappeared again in the following years.

It was pumpkin flavored yogurt - and man was that good!

Never forgetting it, I tried my own version of it a couple of years ago, and I must say, it is excellent.

We now have it whenever we want it, and it is so easy to make.

You will need:

2 pound container of non-fat unflavored yogurt

15 oz can of pumpkin

3/4 -1 cup of sugar - depending on taste

1 tsp of vanilla

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Mix it all together very thoroughly in a large bowl.

Cover and let it sit for about an hour in the refrigerator so the flavors can blend.

It's now ready to eat, and the longer it sits, the better it gets.

It's a great source of calcium and the pumpkin supplies vitamin A, potassium, fiber, and lots of antioxidants.

If you try it, let me know what you think!

August 3, 2010


This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Kissimmee Tourism. All opinions are 100% mine.


Not too sure about one of those in the near future, but it is always fun to look on the internet at different places and far away lands.

And sometimes they don't have to be too far away.

We are in New England and for the most part take day trips which aren't too expensive for us.

We tend to stay away from the busy tourist places - we would rather explore nature areas on our own at our own pace.

A hike to us is way more interesting than shopping or theme parks.

We have some friends who have retired in Florida, and they are always after us to come and visit.

No hotel expenses, they tell us, and Disney Land and Seaworld are practically next door.

They live in the Kissimmee area which is right close to all these places.

We told them we would rather spend time with them hiking or taking a ride on one of those airboats through the swamp.

They were kind of disappointed that the theme parks didn't interest us as much as the swamp did.

Then we asked about the fishing in the area.

That was a hit - they said they have the best Bass fishing lakes in the whole of the south.

So, if we ever get down to Florida to visit them, fishing and an airboat ride in the swamp are on the list.

And of course, a visit to their beloved theme parks will be scheduled in too.

It would certainly be something different for us - and I am sure they would make it most enjoyable.

Sounds like there is something for everyone in the area down there - check it out and see for yourself!

Visit my sponsor: What's Your Kissimmee Story?

The Benefits of Bananas

Mom always said they were good for you, but just how good are they?

Here are some of the major health benefits to eating a banana each day:

Bananas are fairly high in iron - that is something I didn't know - which helps to reduce anemia.

They may not look it, but they are also a good source of fiber - 2 to 4 grams depending on the size.

Their high potassium content helps prevent high blood pressure and strokes.

They are also considered a natural antacid and can help prevent heartburn and stomach ulcers.

They also contribute to healthy bones and kidneys and nerves.

All of these are great reasons for making a banana a part of your daily routine.

And I forgot the best part - they taste so good!

Have you noticed how many anodynes there are laying around on the floor