Archive for the ‘Activities, Hobbies, Sports’ Category

“GARDENING: I think green – let’s all grow flowers, vegetables, herbs and more!*”

Vol. 2,  No.3, May 22nd, 2011

TITLE: “GARDENING:  I think green – let’s all grow flowers, vegetables, herbs and more!*”


It’s that time of the year again.  By the end of May, gardening is on the agenda of most people.  My book of the week is: “ Gardening Basics For Canadians For Dummies” [Paperback] by Liz Primeau, Canadian Gardening, Steven A. Frowine and The National Gardening Association (Paperback – Jan 25 2008) . Hence my topic of the week is is gardening. (Editor’s Note: This is the second of a series of two blog posts on the subject of spring activities.)


I love flowers – I enjoy their visual beauty along with their aromatic scents. I love visiting Ottawa, Canada  especially at the time of the tulip festival. I marvel at the perfection of a friend’s lilac tree. The colour purple is my granddaugter’s favorite. I appreciate rows of vegetable plants. I don’t have much time to make a garden or plant flowers, but I still like it.  I am a fan of lush green spaces. With my busy schedule, I just barely have time to maintain the lawn.  There is nothing as beautiful as a cultivated yard.  And I do love the smell of newly cut grass.

Growing up, my parents always reserved a strip at the end of their backyard to grow vegetables. My father had a green thumb and the passion for all things growing. Until the day he died, he loved his garden. He grew tomatoes, long string beans, eggplants, parsley, basil, etc.  My parents gave the bulk of  their harvest to their family, friends and neighbours. 

As a young married, our household had a garden. I also had the experience, as a couple going to the farm to pick rapini, a leafy green vegetable favoured by people of Italian descent. By the way, now with grandkids, I have been invited to go to a pick- your- own farm. I’ll let you know how that works out. I am really looking forward to it. 

My aunt, who lives across the street from my mother, grows a big garden every year.  She takes much pleasure in planting and growing vegetables, flowers and plants.  Her yard is very important to her.  She also gives most of her vegetables to others. 

A few years ago, I planted three red rose bushes in a line by the railing of my front stairs. Then a funny thing happened- the outward one with the best chance to get sunlight, died. The other two survived …go figure. This is how I have red roses all summer. 

S & R* QUOTE(S) OF THE WEEK*:- Phyllis McGinley
“The trouble with gardening is that it does not remain an avocation. It becomes an obsession.”
(Source: Wisdom Quotes) –

S & R* QUOTE(S) OF THE WEEK*:Thomas Fuller

“Many things grow in the garden that were never sown there.” Gnomologia, 1732
(Source: Wisdom Quotes) –

S & R* QUOTE(S) OF THE WEEK*: Lou Erickson
“Gardening requires lots of water — most of it in the form of perspiration.”
(Source: Wisdom Quotes) –

S & R* QUOTE(S) OF THE WEEK*: Elizabeth Murray
“Gardening is the art that uses flowers and plants as paint, and the soil and sky as canvas.”
(Source: Wisdom Quotes) –

S & R* CHOICE ANECDOTAGE #1: Garden Party?
“One day while Groucho Marx was working in his garden (dressed in well-worn gardening attire), a wealthy woman pulled up in a Cadillac and attempted to persuade the “gardener” to come and work for her. “How much does the lady of the house pay you?” she asked. “Oh, I don’t get paid in dollars,” Groucho replied, looking up. “The lady of the house just a lets me sleep with her.”
[Sources: R. Kenin and J. Wintle, eds., Dictionary of Biographical Quotation]
(Source: –

S & R* CHOICE ANECDOTAGE #2: Leacock’s Garden
“The eccentric Canadian writer Stephen Leacock, who fancied himself to be something of a gardener, was once asked whether he did the digging in his garden. “Dig it? No. I hire a man to do that. And a boy to do the planting. And a woman to do the weeding. Apart from that I do it all myself.”
[Sources: Discovery Channel]
(Source: –

“Author Brendan Gill reports that the poet Robert Graves, a devoted gardener, has long been in the habit of naming compost heaps after friends. ‘During my visit,’ writes Gill, ‘he honoured me by naming his latest compost heap after me. A friend that Graves and I have in common – the banker-scholar Gordon Wasson – has recently been honoured in a similar fashion, I was understandably proud when, some months after my visit, I received a letter from Graves in which he mentioned that, ‘the Gordon Wasson is something of a disappointment, but the Brendan Gill is rotting nicely.'”
[Sources: The New Yorker, 1978]
(Source: –

THE AUTHOR: Liz Primeau

Liz Primeau was from Winnipeg, Canada. Her father had a vegetable garden. She was quoted as saying: “I quickly realized what a lot of city kids don’t, that gardens yield good things to eat.” Following the death of her father, her family moved to Paisley, Ontario. As a teenager, she became interested in flowers.  She explained that her uncle Ren, a school teacher -gardener became her mentor. He supplied her with unusual plants he’d grown from seed, and exotic mail-order bulbs like amaryllis and colchicum.  He even sent her home from weekend visits to Paisley with bushels of well-rotted manure in the trunk of the car.  “The poor kids had to hold their suitcases on their laps”, she chuckled.

She was highly visible in the neighbourhood working in her garden. In 1999, along with Kathy Atkins, she formed the Applewood Garden Club. She thinks back: “I wrote a small notice for The Apple Press asking if anyone was interested in forming a club, and 12 people responded,”  It combined community beautification projects together with educational and social activities  She explains: “I’m glad to see membership growing and more speakers at meetings” ….”And there’s nothing like a good party every now and then to keep a group together”.

She started writing magazine articles. In 1990, on the launch of Canadian Gardening magazine, she was hired as the founding editor of Canadian Gardening, the definitive magazine for Canadian gardeners. For three years, she was host of HGTV’s Canadian Gardening, She is the author of several gardening books.  A much-in-demand speaker, she frequently gives talks at horticultural society meetings and garden shows across Canada and the United States. She lives in Mississauga, Ontario.
(Fact source: Dianne Sciarra) –

Steven A. Frowine: He is a professional horticulturist and a longtime avid gardener.


* Canadian Gardening” on HGTV channel (host of)
Some books by Liz Primeau are:

  • My Natural History, The Evolution of a Gardener
  • City Gardens
  •  Front Yard Gardens: Growing More Than Grass
  •  Favourite Plants
  • Gardening Basics For Canadians For Dummies” [Paperback] by Liz Primeau, Canadian Gardening, Steven A. Frowine and The National Gardening Association (Paperback – Jan 25 2008)

THE BOOK: “” Gardening Basics For Canadians For Dummies” [Paperback] by Liz Primeau, Canadian Gardening, Steven A. Frowine and The National Gardening Association (Paperback – Jan 25 2008)

This is a gardening manual, a gradening How-To, from A-to-Z.. It is start-up through to the tougher grows. It is really for beginners, but experts would find it a good reference book as well. It is like a garden- by- numbers. It is a great resource to create the ideal garden. It deals not only with the plants, but also the equipment. It covers flower beds, herbs, vegetables, trees, shrubs, lawns, etc. It is beautifully illustrated. It is a delightful read that will give you pleasure through the years.


Being a gardener is a state of mind and a way of life.

My personal comments

Being close to nature is a wonderful thing. There is nothing more positive than making things grow. And picking your own vegetables is great summer fun on a sunny day. The taste of freshly- picked vegetables washed in a water tub is a fine out-of-doors experience. Cooking up a batch of these juicy and/or crunchy all stars is an exquisite gourmet cooking experience. Eating the garden-to-table way is extremely rewarding.

The point

Gardening can be a great family outdoor activity. Do it and make it a favourite!


1. Recognize that there is a place for plants and a place for flowers; there is also the correct time for this.  
2. Learn about flowers, plants, trees, etc.; research thoroughly; 
3. Pick the best plants for your climate;
4. Plan your garden, part vegetables and part flowers (e.g. annuals & perennials);

5. Create unique water and container gardens;

6. Ensure that your gardening is eco-smart;
7. Prep your garden to this end, (a) Weed extensively; (b) Upturn the earth; (c) Add new black soil where needed;
8. Keep your plants healthy;
9. Troubleshoot common problems;
10. Enjoy…it takes time and hard work, but the rewards are at times breath-taking; 
11. Aspire to garden; if you make it an aim, and try it, you will like it – it will probably become a passion! 

Take a bite…wasn’t that really good…Oh shucks, you took too big a bite!*

Take it out for a spin and tell me if you agree.
And that’s my thought of the week on books, what’s yours? *
“Books are life; and they make life better!*”
-Web Tech:
The above is a new media production of Valente under its “United Author*”program.
*TM/© 2011 Practitioners’ Press Inc. – All Rights Reserved.

Schedule 1
For today, my word/phrase(s) are: “gardening”; perennials.

“Gardening is the practice of growing plants. Ornamental plants are normally grown for their flowers, foliage, overall appearance, or for their dyes. Useful plants are grown for consumption (vegetables, fruits, herbs, and leaf vegetables) or for medicinal use. A gardener is someone who practices gardening.””
(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) –


“A perennial plant or simply perennial (Latin per, “through”, annus, “year”) is a plant that lives for more than two years.[1] The term is often used to differentiate a plant from shorter lived annuals and biennials. When used by gardeners or horticulturalists, perennial applies specifically to winter hardy herbaceous plants. Scientifically, woody plants like shrubs and trees are also perennial in their habit.

Perennials, especially small flowering plants, grow and bloom over the spring and summer and then die back every autumn and winter, then return in the spring from their root-stock rather than seeding themselves as an annual plant does. These are known as herbaceous perennials. However, depending on the rigors of local climate, a plant that is a perennial in its native habitat, or in a milder garden, may be treated by a gardener as an annual and planted out every year, from seed, from cuttings or from divisions.

The symbol for a perennial plant, based on Species Plantarum by Linnaeus, is , which is also the astronomical symbol for the planet Jupiter.[2]”

(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) –

Schedule 2

STUDY/STATISTICS: Facts for features – CB07-FF.03-January 4, 2007
Percentage of women who participated in gardening at least once in the past 12 months, compared with 37 percent of men. Women were also much more likely than men to have done charity work (32 percent versus 26 percent), attended arts and crafts fairs (39 percent versus 27 percent) and read literature (55 percent versus 38 percent).”
(Source: U.S. Census Bureau) –

Schedule 3
S & R* NEWS ALERT* #1: Gardening “ make it a family adventure!
“Summer is all about spending time outdoors and enjoying the warm weather. Gardening is a great way for families to spend time together away from television and video games, while learning about nature and getting in some great exercise. The President’s Choice brand’s garden guru Peter Cantley, “president, Floral and Garden at Loblaw Companies Limited, has more than 45 years of experience. Want to help get kids excited about gardening? Follow Peter’s simple tips for parents and soon your kids will have green thumbs of their own! Kids love getting dirty “ so let them! Weeding and planting is an easy activity to get kids started. Kids can join parents in the garden by digging in the soil with a small spade and finding roots and worms. Engage little ones in the responsibility. If your child is old enough, ask them to help water the lawn or plants. If your child is really taking an interest in helping out, why not give them their own section of the garden? Watching plants grow from seeds into flowers or vegetables is not only fun for kids, but a great learning
opportunity. To mark their special spot, have them make signs identifying each type of produce in their garden.Share your love of gardening with others! If the family is headed over to visit friends for Sunday night barbecue, pick some fresh tomatoes from your garden and bring them over as a thoughtful hostess gift the kids can be proud to give.Remember to have fun. Canadians only have the summer heat for a short time so make the most of it and start planting!For more tips on planning a garden and President’s Choice garden products visit”

S & R* NEWS ALERT* #2: Follow the 4Rs to a Healthy Lawn
”Despite a slow start to the season, warmer temperatures and sunnier days mean one thing: the green of spring is not far away. And when it comes to lawns, a little care now will go a long way to ensuring plant health in the dog days of summer that lie ahead. The Urban Fertilizer Council suggests following the 4Rs to ensure your lawn is getting the nutrients it  needs to stay healthy from season to season:
Right Source: buy a fertilizer recommended for your lawn or garden
Right Rate: know the size of your lawn and only buy what you need. Apply at the application rate as recommended on the label, using a good quality fertilizer spreader
Right Time: apply fertilizer in the correct season. Spring and fall are the best times to fertilize. Don’t apply if heavy rain is expected, or on frozen ground;
Right Place: fertilizer can’t do its job if it’s not on your lawn or garden. Sweep on to the lawn any fertilizer that might land on hard surfaces such as sidewalks and driveways’
Don’t apply fertilizer near ponds, streams, rivers or lakes, or use a low phosphorus or phosphorus “free fertilizer on established lawns. New lawns (under two years old) will benefit greatly from a lawn fertilizer with phosphorus. Ideally, take a soil sample to determine if your lawn needs phosphorous, and if it does “ apply with care by following the 4Rs.
More fertilizer tips and best practices can be found online at (launching May 2011).

*TM/© 2011 Practitioners’ Press Inc. – All Rights Reserved.

Posted by on May 22nd, 2011 Comments Off on “GARDENING: I think green – let’s all grow flowers, vegetables, herbs and more!*”

“Health and fitness: I say that there is no shortcut – it takes better choices and work!*”

Vol. 1,  No. 23, November 21st, 2010

TITLE: “Health and fitness: I say that there is no shortcut  – it takes better choices and work!*”


My book of the week is “Your Best Body Now: Look and Feel Fabulous at Any Age the Eat-Clean Way” by Tosca Reno. Hence my topic is health and fitness.


For today, my words/phrases are” healthy diet”, “physical exercise”,” quality of life”,
“longevity”, “circuit training” ,”pilates” and “endorphin rush”.

Healthy diet

“Fresh vegetables are important components of a healthy diet. A healthy diet is one that helps maintain or improve health. It is important for the prevention of many chronic health risks such as: obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.[1] A healthy diet involves consuming appropriate amounts of all nutrients, and an adequate amount of water. Nutrients can be obtained from many different foods, so there are a wide variety of diets that may be considered healthy diets. A healthy diet needs to have a balance of macronutrients / energy ( fats, proteins, and carbohydrates ) and micronutrients to meet the needs for human nutrition without inducing toxicity from excessive amounts.”
(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia.)

Physical exercise

“Physical exercise is any bodily activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness and overall health or wellness. It is performed for various reasons. These include strengthening muscles and the cardiovascular system, honing athletic skills, weight loss or maintenance and for enjoyment. Frequent and regular physical exercise boosts the immune system, and helps prevent the “diseases of affluence” such as heart disease, cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and obesity.[1][2] It also improves mental health, helps prevent depression, helps to promote or maintain positive self-esteem, and can even augment an individual’s sex appeal or body image, which again is also linked with higher levels of self-esteem.[3] Childhood obesity is a growing global concern[4] and physical exercise may help decrease the effects of childhood obesity in developed countries.” (Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia.)

Quality of life

“The term quality of life is used to evaluate the general well-being of individuals and societies. The term is used in a wide range of contexts, including the fields of international development, healthcare, and politics. Quality of life should not be confused with the concept of standard of living, which is based primarily on income. Instead, standard indicators of the quality of life include not only wealth and employment, but also the built environment, physical and mental health, education, recreation and leisure time, and social belonging.[1] According to ecological economist Robert Costanza:While Quality of Life (QOL) has long been an explicit or implicit policy goal, adequate definition and measurement have been elusive. Diverse “objective” and “subjective” indicators across a range of disciplines and scales, and recent work on subjective well-being (SWB) surveys and the psychology of happiness have spurred renewed interest.[2]Also frequently related are concepts such as freedom, human rights, and happiness. However, since happiness is subjective and hard to measure, other measures are generally given priority. It has also been shown that happiness, as much as it can be measured, does not necessarily increase correspondingly with the comfort that results from increasing income. As a result, standard of living should not be taken to be a measure of happiness.[1][3] Contents [hide]”
(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia.)


“The word “longevity” is sometimes used as a synonym for “life expectancy” in demography or to connote “long life”, especially when it concerns someone or something lasting longer than expected (an ancient tree, for example).Reflections on longevity have usually gone beyond acknowledging the brevity of human life and have included thinking about methods to extend life. Longevity has been a topic not only for the scientific community but also for writers of travel, science fiction, and utopian novels.There are many difficulties in authenticating the longest human life span ever by modern verification standards, owing to inaccurate or incomplete birth statistics. Fiction, legend, and folklore have proposed or claimed life spans in the past or future vastly longer than those verified by modern standards, and longevity narratives and unverified longevity claims frequently speak of their existence in the present. A life annuity is a form of longevity insurance.”
(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia.)

Circuit Training

“Circuit training is a form of high-intensity aerobics and resistance training designed to be easy to follow and target fat loss, muscle building and heart fitness. An exercise “circuit” is one completion of all prescribed exercises in the program. When one circuit is complete, one begins the first exercise again for another circuit. Traditionally, the time between exercises in circuit training is short, often with rapid movement to the next exercise.”
(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia.)


“Pilates … is a physical fitness system developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates in Germany,[1] the UK and the USA. As of 2005, there were 11 million people who practice the discipline regularly and 14,000 instructors in the United States.[2]Pilates called his method Contrology (from control and Greek … -logia), because he believed his method uses the mind to control the muscles.[1] The Pilates method seeks to increase the strength, flexibility and control of the body.”
(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia.)

Endorphin rush

“The term endorphin rush has been adopted in popular speech to refer to feelings of exhilaration brought on by pain, danger, or other forms of stress,[2] supposedly due to the influence of endorphins. When a nerve impulse reaches the spinal cord, endorphins are released which prevent nerve cells from releasing more pain signals. Immediately after injury, endorphins allow animals to feel a sense of power and control over themselves that allows them to persist with activity for an extended time.”

(Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia.)

“According to the NIH:
* Globally, more than 1 billion adults are overweight, at least 300 million of them obese.
* An estimated 22 million children under five are overweight.
* Obesity and overweight pose a major risk for type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure (hypertension) and stroke, and certain forms of cancer.
* Key causes: increased consumption of energy-dense foods high in saturated fats and sugars, and reduced physical activity.
In an extensive report on overweight and obesity in America, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that average adult Americans are 25 pounds heavier than they were in 1960.”
(Source: NIH Medline Plus)

S & R* NEWS ALERT* #1: “Lose weight, gain rewards”

“Overweight girls who lose weight before adulthood can reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes. That’s the most common form of the disease. NIH researchers analyzed information provided by nearly 110,000 women. Those who were overweight children but lean adults did not have an increased risk of diabetes. But women who said they were overweight as children and into their adult years were 15 times more likely to develop the disease.” Researchers at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development conducted the study.”
(Source: NIH Medline Plus)

S & R* NEWS ALERT* #2: “Physical activity improves health and well-being”

“Physical activity improves health and well-being. It reduces stress, strengthens the heart and lungs, increases energy levels, helps you maintain and achieve a healthy body weight and it improves your outlook on life.

Research shows that physical inactivity can cause premature death, chronic disease and disability. Health Canada encourages Canadians to integrate physical activity into their every day life; at home, at school, at work, at play and on the way … that’s active living!”
(Source: Health Canada)


Early in my life, I recognized: (a) That weight was a huge issue for many people, particularly girls and women; (b) That many females have concerns over body shape and size and self image; and (c) That the media lend credence to an unrealistic standard and bring misery to many who feel themselves far from the optimum weight, shape and size. (I think that this constitutes knowing and intentional misinformation; and I vigorously object!)   As a girl, a young woman and now middle-aged, I was/am just as concerned over my body as the next female. While I never had real weight issues, I knew women who did – my mom for one.  She struggled with her weight all of her life. This is a VERY serious topic of great concern to many. I have thought about this a lot.

THE AUTHOR: Reno Tosca

Reno Tosca was born May 22, 1959 in Lachine, Quebec. Unhappily married, overweight and miserable, she decided to change things around in her life at the age of 40.  By the age of 50 she had accomplished what she had set out to do.  She has 3 children and 2 stepchildren.  She has appeared on numerous national television and radio programs and now travels across North America appearing at book signings and seminars  to convey her  message of health, wellness and inspiration.She is now a successful author, motivational speaker and wellness consultant, media personality and model.  She has earned a B. Sc. from Queen’s University and B.Ed. from York University in Toronto.  Her husband, Robert Kennedy, is a publisher and author of several bodybuilding books.  He is also the publisher of Eat-Clean Diet and hundreds of magazine and healthy eating, fitness, and bodybuilding books.
(Source/Fact source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Her published works are:
• The Butt Book (2007)
• The Eat-Clean Diet Book (2007)
• The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook (2007)
• The Eat-Clean Diet Workout (2008)
• The Eat-Clean Diet Workout Journal (2008)
• The Eat-Clean Diet for Family and Kids (2008)
• The Eat-Clean Diet for Men (2009)
• The Eat-Clean Diet Companion (2009)
• Tosca Reno’s Eat Clean Cookbook (2009)
• The Eat-Clean Diet Recharged (2009)
• Your Best Body Now (2009
(Source/Fact source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

THE BOOK:  “The Eat-Clean Diet “Your Best Body Now: Look and Feel Fabulous at Any Age the Eat-Clean Way” by Tosca Reno

First, I look at the messenger. I found the author believable. Reno understands how you feel because she was once over 200+ pounds and is now a slim and sexy fitness expert.  She has earned my respect from the fact that she turned her life around.  I also look at the results achieved.

Second, I look at the message. This book is about eating healthy. As for example,  Reno encourages eating natural foods without preservatives. She also urges exercise. Reno emphasizes the importance of doing both. In this book, Reno divulges her secrets on the following:

  • Boost your metabolism to burn fat fast
  • Turn back the clock and age-proof your body
  • Look and feel younger than you have in years
  • Create your best body—now!

The provided information and suggestions appear to me to be sound  I think that this is a worthwhile read. It will grow your knowledge about diet and physical training. Depending if you act upon her material, it should help you achieve some of your goals, health- wise.  (Source/Fact source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)


Ladies and gentlemen, I give you healthy eating and exercise. I say that they contribute to a quality of life. Together, they are the natural  fountain of youth; and if you desire longevity, this is the way to go. And once you embrace this healthy tandem, … after a while, such becomes a way of life and a GOOD part of your everyday!  It is a positive in every aspect. And don’t forget the Endorphin rush.

Nobody can guarantee anyone excellent health, but doing this, is a  step in the right direction.

My personal comments

My theory is that there there are three issues here.

1) First, there is the issue of healthy eating. Eating right is beneficial in so many different ways – with good food and diet,  (a) you have energy; (b) you are helping your gastro system to work better; (c) you cut down on those items doing you no good; (d) you reduce your fat intake; etc. I support the proposition of healthy eating. In the past, while I had little time after having worked all day, I made it a priority to prepare a healthy dinner meal. It wasn’t easy, but I did my best.

2) Second, there is an issue of physical activity in general and exercise in particular.I support the proposition of getting “physical” and doing exercise.  After bearing two children, I realized that if I wanted to be as fit and firm as I used to be, I had to exercise. I tried many types of exercise, jazzercise, step classes, different aerobics classes, pilates, yoga, weight training, etc.  Finally, I found my favorite exercises – weights, circuit training and sometimes Pilates. I do it at lunchtime several times a week with a small group of female colleagues at work.

3) Third, there is the matter of attitude. How you view healthy eating and exercise will directly impact upon whether you actually do it, whether you continue with it regularly and also if you make any real progress. Honestly, I agree that it is work-like, … taking effort. But, I have made this time somewhat social, the thing I do with a few workplace women friends. I have found the exercises which I prefer, creating a routine, bordering on…wait for it – fun.  I have inserted my exercise slots at noon. (I do not exercise every day – so I still have free time other days.)  I admit that I  sacrifice some do-nothing time at lunch break. But I feel productive; and my exercise day still works with my busy life.

As an add-on to attitude, I say: “Don’t worry about the “d” word: discipline.” Just start. At the beginning, it will be harder. Focus on the fun side and reward yourself with a treat. Once you have done it awhile, it will become commonplace, with your mind and body half expecting the exercise activity. It will be like a wheel, turned hard, spinning on and on. In the end, surprise … surprise,  you will be exercising on a regular basis; and such shows that you indeed have discipline.

As a further add-on to attitude, I say that we all should make it our business to fight the misinformation rampant out there. I say that females everywhere, regardless of age, should: (a) Object to and argue against the drivel, spewing from media about the “perfect 10” body; (b) Set the record straight, in contrast, about body mass being in proportion to sex, height, etc.

The point

You should decide to do better when it comes to health and fitness. Yes, I know that it is hard.  But, I believe in you; and I know that you can do it. You should create your very own self- improvement program. Here are my seven steps:
Eating right
1. Read up about eating right; in particular, (a) Inquire into: (i). Food groups; (ii). Calorie appropriate portions; (b) Good habits like: (i). Cutting out between meal treats; (ii). Eating more often in smaller amounts every day; (iii). Eating slower; (c) Drinking water;  etc.
2. Plan your meals one week in advance; and in this regard, (a) Make a list ONLY of healthy foods before going grocery shopping; (b) Allow yourself a food treat, desired but not healthy, only once a week AFTER you complete your program requirements; etc.
Physical Fitness
3. Make physical fitness a big part of your life; and with this in mind,
(a) Inquire into the gyms in your community; and check them out and take advantage of free day or weekly trials; (b) Figure out the preferred exercise routine; (c) Set a goal to exercise 3 or 4 times a week, at minimum 30 minutes each time; and (d) Find out what you enjoy doing:  exercise, sports or walking, etc., make the time for it and stick to it!
4. Find a sport that you really enjoy and participate regularly.
5. Decide that you are beautiful, both inside and outside, regardless how you compare to the fantasy image in the fashion mags or on TV;
6. Recognize that it is in your control to better yourself, in and by breaking down the steps into little goals, and take the first step and accomplish the first goal and then the next, etc.
7. Surprise yourself, discipline-wise – you do have this very important quality!

Now please pass me a towel….my oatmeal is ready!

Take it out for a spin and tell me if you agree.
And that’s my thought of the week on books, what’s yours?
Books are life; and they make life better!*
-Web Tech

The above is a new media production of Valente under its United Author* program.

*TM/© 2010 Practitioners’ Press Inc. – All Rights Reserved.

Posted by on November 21st, 2010 Comments Off on “Health and fitness: I say that there is no shortcut – it takes better choices and work!*”

“Games of Delhi 2010 – I appreciate my diverse friends: Indians from India (Part #1)*”

Vol. 1,  No. 17, October 3rd , 2010

TITLE: “Games of Delhi 2010 – I appreciate my diverse friends : Indians from India (Part #1)*”

Today on October 3rd, 2010, it is the opening day/ceremonies of the Commonwealth Games situate at Delhi, India. My book of the week is: “Tandoori Cooking @ Home [Paperback] by Sanjeev Kapoor  (Author). Hence, my topic is India, its expanding economy of increasing global importance, its wonderful people, its delicious food, etc. and also my great friends of Indian descent.


For today, my word is “India”; and my phrases are: “Incredible India” and “Tandoori Cooking”.


India ( /ˈɪndiə/), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: भारत गणराज्य Bhārat Gaṇarājya; see also official names of India), is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.18 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world.[16][17] Mainland India is bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the west, and the Bay of Bengal on the east; and it is bordered by Pakistan to the west;[note] Bhutan, the People’s Republic of China and Nepal to the north; and Bangladesh and Burma to the east. In the Indian Ocean, mainland India and the Lakshadweep Islands are in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives, while India’s Andaman and Nicobar Islands share maritime border with Thailand and the Indonesian island of Sumatra in the Andaman Sea.[18] India has a coastline of 7,517 kilometres (4,700 mi).[19] (Source: Wikipedia the free Enctclopedia/

Incredible India (Tourism)

“Incredible India Tourism gets your pulse racing as you explore its incredible tourist attractions. Travel to India, the extravagantly beautiful land, and your India Holidays will surely become tantamount to a wonderful ‘celebration’. India is a repertoire of surprises and delights, ready to leave you spell bound. India Tour offers amazing tourist destinations, which smile at you with their own specialties. Travel to India where its attractions never cease to amaze tourists who come here from across the globe. Laced with glorious culture and breathtaking attractions, India is a dream destination for all seasons.” (Source:

Tandoori Cooking

This is about cooking on a tandoor. A tandoor (Persian: تنور, Hindi: तन्दूर, Urdu: تندور, Armenian: Թոնիր) is a cylindrical clay oven used in cooking and baking. The tandoor is used for cooking in India, Turkey, Iran, Armenia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Transcaucasus, the Balkans, the Middle East, Central Asia as well as Burma and Bangladesh[citation needed]. (Source: Wikipedia the free enctclopedia/


“In 2009, India’s nominal GDP stood at US$1.243 trillion, which makes it the eleventh-largesteconomy in the world.[117] If PPP is taken into account, India’s economy is the fourth largestin the world at US$3.561 trillion,[118] corresponding to a per capita income of US$3,100.[119]The country ranks 139th in nominal GDP per capita and 128th in GDP per capita at PPP.[117] With an average annual GDP growth rate of 5.8% for the past two decades, India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world.[120](Source: Wikipedia the free Enctclopedia/

Bonus fact #1:  Women’s rights

In India, there is a Women Reservation Bill 2010. Of course, I am for the rights of women. I found this particularly interesting.  Here is an explanation.

“1. The women reservation bill will reserve the 33 percent seats in Parliament and state legislatures for the females.
2. The bill is pending from the year 1996 proving that Indian politicians are not ready to accept this bill so every time we see the new drama, new demand from political parties.
3. The women reservation bill will provide Reservation for women at each level of legislative decision-making, starting with the Lok Sabha, down to state and local legislatures.”

Bonus fact #2: Indian- Canadian Comedian: Russel Peters

I saw Russell Peters on television. “Russell Dominic Peters[3] (born September 29, 1970)[4] is a Canadian stand-up comic and actor. Peters was born in Toronto, raised in Brampton, and is of Anglo-Indian descent”  (Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia/ He is supremely funny. Check him out!

S & R* NEWS ALERT* – NEW DELHI : “Games all set for a gala opening”

“New Delhi: About 7,000 men, women and children will dish out a show of India’s cultural heritage in a gala Commonwealth Games opening ceremony with the icing on the cake being Maestro A R Rahman’s performance at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Sunday.

With most of the tickets already sold out, the two-hour ceremony, scheduled from 7 p m, will start with President Pratibha Patil and Britain’s Prince Charles expected to declare the Games open in front of a packed stadium of 65,000 capacity tomorrow.

The 619-member strong Indian contingent will be led by Olympic gold medalist Abhinav Bindra who will carry the Indian flag during the ceremony.

Even as tennis sensation Sania Mirza will not be part of the Indian march-past as the Hyederabadi ace has preferred to rest, badminton star Saina Nehwal, Beijing Olympic Games bronze medalist boxer Vijender Kumar and wrestler Sushil Kumar will be among the six who will carry the baton during the formal part of the pageant.” (Source: Games all set for a gala opening”, Press Trust of India, Updated: Sat, Oct 2, 2010 22:10 IST/,-the-day-before-Commonwealth-Games-56523.html)


I am a people person. I enjoy meeting people of diverse origins. Today, I will speak about Indians from India. Like Italians, Indians from India emigrated to all parts of the world and brought their culture, tradition and cuisine to many countries.  Thirty years ago, I met a female co-worker, of Indian origin, born and raised in Trinidad. We soon became best-friends. Along with her husband, a fine man, they made a great couple. We were neighbors. Our respective children not only played together, they also grew up together. As families, we socialized. We were very fortunate to have found such people with great intelligence, qualities and warmth. Indeed, our family adopted their family and their family adopted us, and we all became extended family, (e.g., aunts, uncles and cousins), by mutural appointment. For my daughters, this lovely couple became uncle and auntie.

I was often invited to their home. As soon as you entered, you felt the friendship and hospitality. Fine food lived there – it was made from a variety of exotic ingredients.  The sit down meal and the finger foods were all delicious. I developed a taste for Indian food. Especially at family feasts on religious festivals and high holidays, the food was particularly delicate,  most colorful and beautifully presented. I will never forget these times. It is with this life experience and perspective that I considered my book for today.

THE AUTHOR: “Tandoori Cooking @ Home [Paperback] by Sanjeev Kapoor (Author).

“Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine today. Chef Extraordinaire, TV show host, author of best selling cookbooks, restaurant consultant, architect of a unique range of food products and winner of numerous culinary awards, Chef Kapoor is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one cuisine in the world and empowering women of this country towards making a healthy India – the motto being ‘Eat Well Live Well’.”(Source:

He surely is an expert in the field of Indian cooking.


TV program

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is also a TV personality. His credits include:

  • “Khana Khazana, the cookery show – he has been the host for more than16 years. It has won the ‘Best Cookery Show’ award by Indian Television Academy (ITA) and Indian Telly awards year after year. The show has completed more than 800 episodes. “
  • “‘Rasoi Khajina’ – this was an earlier home production – in Marathi telecast on DD Sahayadri.
  • Book collection

    Some of his books are:

  • “Khazana of Indian Recipes, Khazana of Healthy Tasty Recipes, Khana Khazana: Celebration of Indian Cookery, Low Calorie Vegetarian Cookbook, Any Time Temptations, ATT series of four small books, Best of Chinese Cooking, Microwave Cooking Made Easy, Simply Indian, Konkan Cook Book, No Oil Cooking, Cakes & Bakes, Chaats, Dal & Kadhi, Royal Hyderabadi Cooking, Party Cooking, T.V. Dinners, Wrap N Roll, Tandoori Cooking @ Home, Flavours of the Orient, Marwari Vegetarian Cooking, Cooking with Olive Oil,  Dakshin Delights and Simply Stylish Entertaining@Home;
  • The pocket books ATT Series Soups Salads Sandwiches, ATT Series Vegetarian Snacks and Starters, ATT Series Non Vegetarian Snacks and Starters, ATT Series Sweet Encounters, Punjabi, Non Vegetarian Chinese, Vegetarian Chinese, Microwave Desi Cooking, Chicken Recipes, Seafood, Non Vegetarian Recipes from Around the World, Vegetarian Recipes from Around the World, Desi Sabziyan, Dal Roti, Sweet Temptations, Italian, Paneer, Salad, Drinks and Mocktails, Thai, Street Foods, No Oil Vegetarian Cookbook,  Kadai Cooking, Pressure Cooking, Rice Biryani and Pulao, Vegetarian Rice, Biryani and Pulao, Vegetarian Breakfasts, Desi Mutton, Egg, Desi Aloo, Makai Magic, Dahi, Mushroom Mania, Noodles and Pasta, Pickles Chutneys n More, Say Cheese, Chai Nashta, Mirch Mazaa, Simple Home Baking, Tawa Handi Recipes, Sunday Special and Mango Masti;
  • THE BOOK:”Tandoori Cooking @ Home [Paperback] by Sanjeev Kapoor

    As we have seen, a Tandoor is a clay oven; and cooking on one is not the same as our everyday home stove. Indian specialties, the Tandoori way, takes a particular knowledge.  Sanjeev Kapoor, our master chef, knows how and he tells us not only how-to do it, but more, how-to do it WELL. In particular, he explains how to use a Tawa, an oven, an OTG and even a pressure cooker. The tandoori dishes include:  Poti Kabab; Aloo Nazakat; Tiranga Paneer Tikka; Mahi Tikka Lehsuni and Kakori Kabab.


    As you can see, I cherish my dear friends of Indian descent. I love the cuisine from India. But, as my final word, I want to leave with you something to take away from this piece. It is friendship, with those close and dear in general  and also the extra joy of enjoying the company of people not from your background.

    The point

    In order to achieve greater success in this regard, I say:

    1. Overcome shyness – being shy is a handicap to a fuller social life.

    2. Be open – you never know who will enter.  However, this does not mean, that in this world also including evil people, you should not be prudent, keeping your guard up. This is especially important for women. In support of this proposition,  I relate a recent occurrence. A new neighbor rang my doorbell, bearing gifts and saying “Hello”. I  was touched by this couple’s neighborliness. They made my day. Indeed, I believe that a stranger is a friend who you have not yet met!

    3. Be audacious when it comes to different groups, (e.g., ethnic, cultural, religious, etc.). Now proactive, say: “Hello” and ask these new acquaintances to tell you about themselves. It is very stimulating to learn about others. You become enriched. And  now more worldly, with more stories from real life experiences, you yourself, become more interesting. Now that ‘s win- win.

    I will close with the question, “Who in our global village, will I next introduce you to?” Coyly, I will answer “No comment.” In any event, it will appear soon in this space. Watch for it! I love people, don’t you?

    Take it out for a spin and tell me if you agree.

    And that’s my thought of the week on books, what’s yours? *


    “Books are life; and they make life better!*”


    -Web Tech:

    The above is a new media production of Valente under its “United Author*” program.

    *TM/© 2010 Practitioners’ Press Inc. – All Rights Reserved.

    Posted by on October 3rd, 2010 7 Comments