Friday, December 28, 2012

New Years Eve in New York

Why NYC Drops an 11,875 Pound Ball on New Year's Eve



By Conor Friedersdorf
The tradition dates back to December 31, 1907, though the balls have changed along with technology.
On New Year's Eve, a number of word class cities will harken in 2013 with giant fireworks displays. In New York City, a giant ball suspended above Times Square will slowly descend at midnight.
Until 1903, the largest New Year's Eve gathering of New Yorkers took place at Trinity Church on Wall Street and Broadway. The New York Times described the scene in 1897: "The crowds came from every section of the city, and among the thousands, who cheered or tooted tin horns, as the chimes were rung out on the night, were many from New Jersey, Long Island, and even Staten Island." Things were much the same for another half-dozen years. But as December 31, 1904 approached, many party-goers were persuaded to attend a different celebration far uptown. Until that time, the area where 7th Avenue, Broadway and 42 Street met was called Longacre Square. The Detroit Publishing Company sells a print showing what it looked like back in those days:

That narrow building rising all by itself, then the second tallest in New York City, is the just-finished headquarters of The New York Times newspaper. Its publisher, Alfred Ochs, had successfully lobbied city leaders to change Longacre Square's name to Times Square earlier that year. He then resolved to throw a New Year's Eve celebration that would be the talk of the town. "An all-day street festival culminated in a fireworks display set off from the base of the tower," according to an official history published by the Times Square District Management Association, "and at midnight the joyful sound of cheering, rattles and noisemakers from the over 200,000 attendees could be heard, it was said, from as far away as Croton-on-Hudson, thirty miles north."
An annual event was born -- but two years later, the city prohibited the fireworks display. "Ochs was undaunted," the official history continues. "He arranged to have a large, illuminated seven-hundred-pound iron and wood ball lowered from the tower flagpole precisely at midnight to signal the end of 1907 and the beginning of 1908." Thus the origin of today's celebration.

One Times Square has been home to a ball drop ever since, save in 1942 and 1943, when wartime light restrictions caused it to be canceled. The ball itself has changed with technology. The original ball of iron and wood was replaced in 1920 with a 400 pound orb of all iron. In 1955, an aluminum replacement weighed in at a considerably lighter 150 pounds, and was adorned with 180 light bulbs. The New York Times ran a photograph of that ball in 1978, (six years after Dick Clark starting broadcasting in Times Square). It's my favorite of any I've seen:

Though its bulbs were changed in the 1980s to make it look like an apple, that ball more or less survived until 1995, when it was "upgraded" with aluminum skin, rhinestones and computer controls. Are rhinestones ever an upgrade? Perhaps not. The new ball didn't last long. Did Y2K play any part in that first computerized ball's 1999 replacement? Despite some searching I couldn't find a definitive answer. In any case, a new ball of crystal dropped to mark the millennium.

In 2007, "modern LED technology replaced the light bulbs of the past for the 100th anniversary of the New Year's Eve ball." (pdf) And in 2008, today's gaudy orb debuted in its permanent location atop One Times Square (the Times sold the building way back in 1961).  The current owner of the building is also the owner of the iconic ball, and can visit it on this roof:
Weighing 11,875 pounds, today's ball is technically a geodesic sphere with a 12 foot diameter, covered in 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles with various designs invisible to the spectators below.

The triangles are bolted to 672 LED modules, each of them containing red, blue, white, and green LEDs ("light-emitting diodes," if you'd started to wonder). Says an official fact sheet (pdf), "The Ball is capable of creating a palette of more than 16 million vibrant colors and billions of patterns producing a spectacular kaleidoscope effect atop One Times Square." Most experts put the maximum number of colors distinguishable by the human eye at 10 million. If an 11,875 pound crystal ball is displaying many millions of colors no one can see are they really there?
How I lost 12 Kilos
Health to happiness

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Christmas is a great time to take family photo's and record them in scrapbooks or memory albumns.
It doesn't matter if you are an avid Scrapbooker it is easy to look online and find some ideas.
Unlock the secrets to scrapbooking books are available or Fast Scrapbooking layouts ideas as well.
Scrapbooking can also be digital some of the wonderful sites out there where so many people have put together kits available at reasonable prices and often have freebies.

I took on th task a few years ago of Scrapbooking my children's photo's from birth until they left high school.
It was quite a task as a lot of my older photo's were on slides.  But I managed to get a lovely memory albumn together for my children for their birthday's that year.

I was thinking this year I would start a Christmas memory albumn to record just Christmas photo's and with our family growing there will be quite a lot of shots to choose from, from the sleepyheads in the morning, opening of presents, Christmas morning breakfast, Christmas lunch, washing up (all hands on deck) more sleepheads and so on.

Happy Scrapbooking hope those who take it on have fun and find lots of interesting sayings, frames and so on to embellish your memory albumns.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


A week to go and it will be Christmas. I have one more present to buy and that is it but this person has everything and my budget is not huge. So I went in search of some ideas I had a look amazon 
they had heaps to choose from but a kindle was one thought seems to be gaining in popularity.  A kindle in case you do not know is an e-reader for books.  And there are a lot of free e-books available which is an added advantage.  Then I came upon this interesting site aquaexplorers  they have among other things a book about A Shipwreck.  Now that is something different.  These guys are into scuba diving and treasure hunting. Next I found the ultimate geek pen a biro as well as a stylus, I do like that idea very much as I find typing on my i-phone a little tedious as I keep hitting the wrong keys.  But I like the kindle so I will either buy on line or check out the local shopping centre.

Happy Shopping.

animated bell

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Seems a Company on the Gold Coast are causing a stir with the Government by selling stickers to cover the new 'plain packaging' which was introduced this year. Not sure why they call it plain packaging nothing plain about it at all but full of photos of what will happen to you if you smoke. Well I can't see the problem because if smokers want to cover these packets they can do so in many ways. Buy a cigarette case, buy other plastic cases in which the whole packet can be inserted or make there own stickers. I also wonder how high the prices are going to go - people still smoke and will find a way to buy tobacco, cigarettes etc regardless of the price. Maybe is a deterrent to some. But what about those smokers who have tried to give it up and would really would like to give it up but it just gets so bad when they do. Who end up feeling so depressed, anxious and physically sick that they cannot cope. The life of a smoker is made more and more difficult. I wonder what research the anti smoking groups have undertaken in relation to an alternative to smoking other than kicking the so called habit or nicotine addiction, if that is what it is that people smoke for. I wonder if we have some exsmokers out there who can identify with these feelings and would like to share with us how they did beat the nicotine habit. Did they beat it by using alternative drugs like Nicorette gum or Nicorette patches or did they go 'cold turkey'. And one thought is there any benefits of using nicotine?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Walk that Walk

Haven't been walking much lately so decided got to get back into building up my daily steps.  I have put on a few kilo's since being away on holidays so now need to get myself more active.  My diet is going okay and I am now woofing down my mufah's!! Let you now how they go.  Still trying to get some cultured vegies and activated nuts should be able to next time I am in he city.

Anyway back to the walking.  My daughter calls it 'The Nanny Walk' so what is the the Nanny Walk? It is building up the number of steps a day with the target being 9000.  First thing in the morning I walk 2000 steps around the house or inside the house, in and out of rooms up and down the passage. This takes me about 15 minutes. Don't have to worry about how you look, dogs in the street barking or jumping on you and you can shake it up as you go.  I try to make it as fun as possible. Then again before morning tea, and again before lunch, and again around afternoon tea. Not necessarily all in house just where I fancy. Depending on the day if I achieve these 8000 steps just by going through my daily routines I will add between 2 and 4000 steps.

So who is going to join me? 

If the 4 times a day is too much just two is going to increase your steps to start with or maybe you would prefer to break it into 3 lots of 3000.  Put on some music and move it, don't forget keeep your back straight, head up high and swing those arms. Using a pedometer is a great idea. There are many to choose from that clip on like the York Pedometer Pedometer which measures steps, distance, calories, time, and speed or Weight Watchers Pedometer with Points Tracker and Motion Sensor up to the more advanced like Nike Plus Sportband 2 Pedometer.

'Let's do the Nanny Walk'

Benefits of Walking

"Walking, like other exercise, can help you achieve a number of important health benefits. Walking can help you:
  • Lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the "bad" cholesterol)
  • Raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (the "good" cholesterol)
  • Lower your blood pressure
  • Reduce your risk of or manage type 2 diabetes
  • Manage your weight
  • Improve your mood
  • Stay strong and fit
All it takes to reap these benefits is a routine of brisk walking. It doesn't get much simpler than that. And you can forget the "no pain, no gain" talk. Research shows that regular, brisk walking can reduce the risk of heart attack by the same amount as more vigorous exercise, such as jogging."

What Does Walking Do To Your Body?

"Regualr walking, like most aerobic activities, is good for you because cardio-vascular exercise strengthens the heart and lungs, increasing overall fitness.
Together with diet and other exercise plans, it can also help with weight loss and tone up muscles.
Dr Craig Williams a sports science lecturer at the University of Exeter is a firm believer in the benefits of walking, and says: 'It can improve muscle endurance as well as muscle strength, especially in the lower body.
'It is good for bones and improves the body's cardiovascular system. It also helps boost circulation.
'Power-walking - keeping a brisk pace at moderate to high intensity - can burn the same amount of calories as jogging or running. So it is useful for helping with weight loss.'
And, he adds: 'Because it is lowimpact, it does not have the same potential for injury as jogging. Yet it can offer all the benefits.'"

Walking improves your brain power

" A study of people over 60 funded by the National Council on Aging, published in the July 29, 1999 issue of Nature, found that walking 45 minutes a day at 16-minute mile pace increased the thinking skills of those over 60. The participants started at 15 minutes of walking and built up their time and speed. The result was that the same people were mentally sharper after taking up this walking program."

Walking improves mood and relieves stress

" Walking and other exercise leads to the release of the body's natural happy drugs - endorphins. Most people notice an improvement in mood. A Nov. 9, 1999 study published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine showed that university students who walked and did other easy to moderate exercise regularly had lower stress levels than couch potatoes or those who exercised strenuously."

And who knows what else walking can help with seems the list goes on and on so come on join me and do

'The Nanny Walk'  

Special Diets





Thursday, November 29, 2012


I was watching the Dr Oz show and he was talking about foods that lose belly fat.  These foods contain MUFA's monounsaturated fatty acids.  According to the Mayo Clinic these are the foods that contain these acids and are a central part of the Mediterranean heart healthy diet. But can be included even if not following this diet.
  • Avocados
  • Canola oil
  • Nuts, such as almonds, cashews, pecans and macadamias
  • Nut butters
  • Olive oil
  • Olives
  • Peanut oil
But keep in mind PORTION SIZE  as with any foods and these foods are fats and one can eat too much.
So maybe there is something in this Flat Belly Diet now to find a book with some recipes or some recipes on line also worth checking with Amazon to see what they have available.

A MUFA at every meal

"What makes MUFAs healthy as compared to other fats, like saturated and trans, which are maligned in the media? MUFAs are unsaturated fats, which have been shown to lower bad cholesterol, prevent hardening of the arteries, and reduce the risk of heart disease. Additionally, research has linked MUFAs to reduced rates of Type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, breast cancer, lower blood pressure, brain health, lung function, anti-inflammation, lower body weight and reduced belly fat.

Vaccariello and Sass recommend a MUFA at every meal. What does that mean? Ditching your fat-fearing approach to losing weight and sinking your teeth into satisfying, delicious foods that are rich in monounsaturated fats, such as nuts, nut butters and nut oils; seeds and seed butter; canola and olive oils; olives and tapenade; avocados; edamame (soybeans); and even dark chocolate.

However, this doesn't mean the sky is the limit on fat intake. One of the Flat Belly Diet! principles is to stick to 400 calories per meal and to include a serving of MUFA-rich foods (the book has a handy MUFA serving chart). And don't worry if you think 400 calories isn't enough to satisfy you. According to the authors, eating a MUFA-rich diet will keep the hunger pangs at bay; plus they also recommend that you eat every four hours.

Flat belly recipes

In addition to a 4-Day Anti-Bloat Jumpstart, guidelines on living a MUFA-rich lifestyle, making healthy snacks and eating out without straying from your MUFA a meal plan, the Flat Belly Diet! has a delicious selection of MUFA-rich recipes that make it easy to reach your flat belly fitness goals. Here are four of the many mouthwatering recipes (each at around 400 calories) the Flat Belly Diet! has to offer."

Pumpkin Spiced Oatmeal

Serves 1

To make this a flat belly meal, serve with 1 cup skim milk.

Ingredients: 1 cup water
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup quick oats
1/4 cup canned pure pumpkin
2 tablespoons pecans, toasted and chopped (MUFA)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons brown sugar
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves

Directions: 1. In a saucepan over high heat, bring the water to a boil. Add the salt and oats. Cook, stirring, for 90 seconds.

2. Combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Reduce heat to low and stir in the pumpkin mixture.
Blah Blah Blah

Almond-Encrusted Chicken Breast

Serves 1

Serve this chicken with 1/4 cup nonfat cottage cheese and 1 cup grape tomatoes for a satisfying lunch or dinner.

Ingredients: 5 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup fat-free egg substitute
2 tablespoons almonds, finely chopped (MUFA)

Directions: 1. Sprinkle each side of the chicken breast with cornstarch. Dip into egg substitute to coat and then sprinkle with almonds.

2. Coat a small nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Cook chicken for 5 minutes on each side or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 165 degrees F.

Balsamic Roasted Carrots

Serves 1

Make this a meal by pairing it with 2 cups organic mixed greens, 1 cup grape tomatoes, and 1 Thomas Multigrain Pita.

8 medium carrots, quartered lengthwise
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided (MUFA)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In a roasting pan, combine carrots, 2 tablespoons olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Toss to coat.

2. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, tossing occasionally, until lightly caramelized and tender but still firm. Drizzle with remaining oil.

Citrus Ricotta Cannoli

Serves 12

Serve with 1 cup sliced strawberries and a small sliced banana.

Ingredients: 1 (16-ounce) container fat-free ricotta cheese
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided (MUFA)
12 large cannoli shells

Directions: 1. In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, sugar, zests and vanilla. With an electric mixer, whip mixture until light and fluffy. Gently fold in 2-1/2 cups chocolate chips, setting aside the remaining 1/2 cup.

2. To assemble, spoon filling into cannoli shells. Melt remaining chocolate and drizzle over each cannoli. "

Chocolate and Diet

"Chocolate contains monounsaturated fats plus other healthy ingredients. Chocolate as part of a jumbo-sized candy bar with nuts, caramel, peanut butter, marshmallows and other ingredients can add extra grams of calories and fat. The Mayo Clinic recommends plain and simple chocolates that contain 60 percent cocoa, such as dark chocolate. Candy bars often contain milk chocolate, which contains 25 percent or less cocoa. Eating one or two squares of dark chocolate daily should not impact your diet and weight-loss efforts."

I am a litle dubious about the recipes I found below but I am going to have to try one to see if I put on weight.



340 g soft silken tofu, drained
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1⁄8 teaspoon almond extract
200 g dark chocolate chips, melted
1⁄2 cup fat-free Greek-style yoghurt


1. Place the tofu, vanilla extract and almond extract in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add the chocolate and blend for
1 minute. Scrape the sides with a rubber spatula and blend for 1 minute longer or until incorporated. Pour into a large bowl.
2. Fold in the yoghurt just until blended. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Note: For chocolate semifreddo, place the mixture in a 20 cm loaf tin lined with foil. Cover and freeze for 3 to 4 hours or until just set. Serve immediately.


1,580 kilojoules; 14 g protein; 32 g carbohydrates; 21 g fat; 15 g saturated fat*; 4 mg cholesterol; 51 mg sodium; 4 g fibre"
How I Lost 12 Kilo's


Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Bought some kimchi and sauerkrout at the markets and I really like it.  Kimchi is great with anything and I find it especially good with fish.  So I am now hooked and wanting to make my own.  Looks like the vegetable starters are not so cheap eg Super Greens by Grainfields I found on line at $56.80 for 150gm.
I suppose it will go a fair way but I want to see what else I can find instead of using just salt.  I don't use salt these days other than Himilayan Crystalised Salt.

Back when I find out more. Any help here would be appreciated.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

How I lost 12 Kilos

Below is a link to how I lost 12 kilos.  I used diet and exercise.  I walked most days aiming to increase my steps for the day to 9000. Wearing a pedomiter is a great way to measure your steps.

How I lost 12 kilos

Cheers have a happy day


Well I soaked the almonds for 12 hours and now they are in the bin.  They smellt horrid and there was no way I was going to eat any.  So now going to look for some in the shops to buy. And the cultured vegies at home is now on hold.  Maybe the almonds I used where too old but not going to waste some good  vegies just to throw them in the bin.  I tried one health food shop and they are getting some of these products in.

Happy Tummies.


Monday, November 12, 2012

Trying my own raw foods

Well the almonds are soaking and waiting for activation!!  Let you know how they go.  Should be ready in another 6 hours.

Also have decided to try fermenting my own vegetables - scary!!  Did some further research on line and watched some videos of how it is done.  (It is just amazing what information we have on hand).  So I am going to start with carrots, cabbage, kale (if I can find it) and red peppers.  They all need to be chopped up finely, salt and starter added until there is some juice on the bottom.  Then they are bottled in a jar, sealed and kept on the bench for about 5 days.  Then they are ready and go into the fridge. Will be interesting to see how they taste. 


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Lest We Forget

What is the Last Post

"In military tradition, the Last Post is the bugle call that signifies the end of the day's activities. It is also sounded at military funerals to indicate that the soldier has gone to his final rest and at commemorative services such as ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day.
The Last Post is one of a number of bugle calls in military tradition that mark the phases of the day. While Reveille signals the start of a soldier's day, the Last Post signals its end.
The call is believed to have originally been part of a more elaborate routine, known in the British Army as "tattoo", that began in the 17th century. In the evening, a duty officer had to do the rounds of his unit's position, checking that the sentry posts were manned and rounding up the off-duty soldiers and packing them off to their beds or billets. The officer would be accompanied by one or more musicians. The "first post" was sounded when he started his rounds and, as the party went from post to post, a drum was played. The drum beats told off-duty soldiers it was time to rest; if the soldiers were in a town, the beats told them it was time to leave the pubs. (The word "tattoo" comes from the Dutch for "turn off the taps" of beer kegs; Americans call this "taps" or "drum taps".) Another bugle call was sounded when the officer's party completed its rounds, reaching the "last post" – this signalled that the night sentries were alert at their posts and gave one last warning to the other soldiers.
The Last Post was eventually incorporated into funeral and memorial services as a final farewell, and symbolises the duty of the dead is over and they can rest in peace."

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Here is a recipe for making your own Activated Almonds.
Let me know how you get on.  I am going to check out the local health food shop.
Activated Almonds

"The time
12-24 hrs soaking + up to 24 hrs drying

The ingredients
2 c raw almonds* (not roasted or salted)
enough water to cover the almonds in a dish
sea salt or garlic salt or dehydrated onion powder or tamari or curry powder (optional)

*You can use other nuts, too! Try brazil nuts, cashews, macadamias, hazelnuts, pistachios ...

** As always, use organic ingredients when you can.

The process
1. Soak the almonds in the water for 12 hrs. If you're using other hard nuts (like hazelnuts or brazil nuts) 12 hrs will also work. If you're using soft nuts, like cashews or pistachios - shorten soaking to 4-6 hrs.

NOTE: After soaking, the nuts will look nice and puffy and may even start to show signs of sprouting. (You can see this in the picture above.)

2. Rinse the nuts under running water, and if you want to add flavour - now is the time to do it. Just shake a couple of tsp of whichever flavour you want over the wet (rinsed) almonds, and stir to combine well.

NOTE: If you want, you can use and eat the activated almonds as they are, without roasting them.

3. Now, we want to 'roast' the almonds, without damaging all those nutrients we've activated. So we have to dry out the nuts on low heat - either in a dehydrator or on the lowest temperature your oven will do (mine is 60C, or 140F). This will take anywhere from 6-24 hrs, depending on the temperature you're using. The nuts will be done when they feel (and taste) dry.

You may have to sample several to figure this out ... lucky you!

4. Use your activated-dried almonds as you normally would use roasted almonds. They last really well in an airtight container. And they can be ground into almond meal, too!"

So then are Magnum Almond Ice Creams good for you too even if not activated?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012



Screen shot 2012 11 05 at 1.18.30 PM This man has activated nuts. Seriously.

 Screen shot 2012 11 05 at 1.16.55 PM This man has activated nuts. Seriously.
"We are also often asked, what are Activated Almonds?
They are raw organic almonds that are soaked for 12 hours to deactivate the enzyme inhibitors in them (raw nuts are hard to digest because of the enzyme inhibitors in them soaking them releases these inhibitors making them much easier to digest). Then we dehydrate them at 40ÂșC for 24 hours to make them crunchy again (roasting nuts kills a lot of their nutrient value). So essentially activating the nuts allows us to benefit fully from the nutrients they have to offer. The nuts are also much plumper and more satisfying."



"Weight Watchers backs almonds activator Peter Evans

WEIGHT Watchers has backed brand ambassador Peter Evans, despite a Twitter backlash over a foodie column he wrote that included activated almonds.
The hashtag #activatedalmonds is still trending at number one in Australia, with My Kitchen Rules chef Pete Evans trending at number four until it was replaced this afternoon by "Melbourne Cup" -- more than 24 hours after the foodie column that stopped the Twitterverse appeared in The Age's Sunday Age magazine."




Lepidium meyenii
Lepidium meyenii, known commonly as maca, is an herbaceous biennial plant or annual plant native to the high Andes of Peru and Bolivia. It's also cultivated in some parts of BraziL




 Coconut kefir is made from the juice (also called coconut water) of young coconuts -not the mature coconuts with the brown hairy shell.  This juice is then fermented by either using a kefir packet, or a water kefir grain. This converts the sugars in the juice into probiotics. This creates a bubbly, tasty drink


"Highly prized by the Aztecs and Mayans, Chia (Salvia Hispanica) is an ancient South American seed that had remained largely lost until recent times. It wasn’t until the clever folk at The Chia Co. realised that Western Australia possessed the ideal growing conditions for this notoriously fussy plant that this Southern Hemisphere superfood came back into our diet.
Australia is now the world’s largest producer of Chia and Bakers Delight is proud to offer these whole seeds to you as a miraculous ingredient in our Chia Omega-3 Loaves and Rolls.
  • Chia is the richest plant based source of omega-3 ALA, dietary fibre and protein,
    helping you maintain a healthy body and mind.
  • Just two slices of our White Chia Omega-3 Bread contains 100% of the adequate intake*
    of omega-3 ALA for women and children and 90% for men.
  • Protein and fibre to keep you feeling fuller for longer.
  • High in fibre for healthy insides.
  • Antioxidants for general wellbeing.
  • Key minerals (like magnesium and iron) for healthy muscles and to maintain energy levels.
  • Wholemeal Chia Omega-3 Bread contains 25% more fibre than ordinary supermarket bread"


"Cultured Vegetables
Body Ecology's Signature Superfood  
Cultured Vegetables are considered a “super” food that contributes immensely to the healing and building your inner ecosystem. These nutrient-dense fermented foods have been around for thousands of years and can be found in every long living society.
Cultured vegetables are “sauerkraut” (sauer = sour and kraut = greens or plants), not to be confused with the salted, pasteurized variety of sauerkraut sold in supermarkets.
“Other examples of cultured foods are pickles, yogurt, kefir, umeboshi plums, kimchee, unheated cheese, fermented gruels, miso, kombucha tea, and hundreds of others.  From Africa to Europe to the Orient, civilizations developed and used fermented, cultured foods.”

“What do all of these fermented foods have in common?  They contain concentrated, massive amounts of enzymes and friendly bacteria.”

“We can find foods in the U.S. that appear to be fermented (pickles are one example), but because of our wacky misunderstanding of the microbial world - and our relationship to it - we add one more step to our fermentation process; pasteurization.  Pasteurization eliminates virtually all probiotic and enzymatic activity.”
Cellular Cleansing Made Easy, by Scott Ohlgren"

" (NaturalNews) For centuries raw fermented vegetables have provided medicinal properties throughout different cultures of the world. The mouth-watering zing that tickles the palate provides the perfect balance of bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract.

Maintaining proper acid-alkaline pH is essential for life and a state of well-being. Balancing your body terrain can increase longevity, control cravings, and create a harmonious environment for a smoothly functioning digestive system by increasing the good bacteria in the intestines.

Raw fermentation is live food with naturally occurring essential enzymes and lactobacillus ("friendly" bacteria) cultures. Many commercially cultured vegetables are heat-pasteurized, which can destroy beneficial bacteria. Making your own or purchasing freshly made raw will ensure you are getting the highest quality that will aid in supporting health and longevity. The existence of living lactobacilli in fermented foods enhances digestibility, as well as increases phytonutrients (disease preventing properties) and vitamin content. Lactobacilli and lactic acid (a natural preservative that inhibits pathogenic bacteria) promote healthy flora throughout the intestines, as well as help to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.

There have been numerous digestive disturbances such as candida, peptic ulcers, ulcerative colitis, colic, a variety of food allergies, cystitis, and vaginal yeast infections - to name a few - that have received help and support from the beneficial bacteria that exist in raw cultured vegetables. These bacteria thereby assist the working of one's inner ecosystem at an optimum level. As a result, your immune system is stronger.

Cultured veggies are made by shredding or chopping cabbage, carrots, beets, garlic, onions, turnips, etc., and even certain fruits, adding a little good quality sea salt and/or sea veggies like Dulse or perhaps some caraway seeds, and massaging the mixture (approximately 10 minutes) to create juice, or brine. Pack tightly into a clean crock. Cover the mixture with a plate or some other lid that fits snugly inside to create an airtight environment, and place a clean weight (i.e., a quart mason jar filled with water) on top of the plate. This will force water out of the veggies and keep them submerged under the brine. Cover with a clean towel to keep dust and flies out. This container should be kept in a temperature environment of 59 - 71 degrees Fahrenheit anywhere from 3 - 7 days, and possibly longer depending on air temperature and your particular tastes. (The longer it ferments, the more zing you will experience.) During this time friendly bacteria multiply, converting the sugars and starches that naturally occur in the vegetables to lactic acid. Check every day or two and remove any surface mold; the kraut itself is safe under the anaerobic protection of the brine. When desired taste has been reached, scoop out into a covered jar and keep in the refrigerator.

Cultured veggies can be eaten with any meal and can be refrigerated for up to six months. They are less expensive than probiotics and contain essential enzymes and lactobacillus that are not depleted during shelf life."


"What is Cacao? Health Benefits

Cacao is a type of tropical tree, part of the evergreen family, that produces the world’s chocolate in raw form, before fat, sugar, and other “sweeteners” are added. The cacao tree grows in a few specific regions of the world naturally, including Mexico and South America, where most of the cacao or chocolate beans/seeds come from. Cacao trees only grow in tropical areas with the right combination of climate, temperature, and environment factors. You can’t just plant a cacao tree anywhere – it won’t grow or survive in the wrong conditions.
The Cacao tree has been grown and harvested for thousands of years, and still so today, for its powerful chocolate seeds. Many things are made from this raw seed, such as cocoa (pulverized cacao seed mixed with sweeteners), chocolate (candy, drinks, etc…) and cocoa butter. The cacao tree can reach a height of 25 feet, with “seed pods” growing up to four inches thick and a foot long. The shell is a leathery texture, much like that of a coconut."


Saturday, April 7, 2012


We have the most beautiful day sun is shining on a perfect autumn day.  But I do have one gripe.  I don't consider myself old fashioned and keep up with the times but really Hot Cross Buns have been in the shops for weeks now. What happened to ones simple pleasures like enjoying the tast of a delicious hot cross bun with or without butter only on the Easter Weekend.  I don't support the supermarkets and bakeries who have the hot cross buns available before Easter and refuse to purchase them. The original idea of the bun was to be eaten on Good Friday with the cross representing the crucifix  and is still  a practise of  many Christians I am sure.

That being said wishing you all a happy, safe and healthy Easter.

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Did you know that Scotland does not have any probate records they have Wills and Testaments.
The Images of these documents from 1513 to 1901 can be purchased online from  The originals of these documents are held at the National Archives of Scotland, in Edinburgh but are no longer available to the public.

Wills and Testaments

"Probate records are court records dealing with the distribution of a person’s estate after death. Information recorded may include the death date, names of heirs and guardian, relationships, residences, inventories of the estate (including household goods), and names of witnesses.
In Scotland before 1868, it was not possible to leave land to a person by using a will. It was only possible to give other types of property, known as moveable property, by means of a testament. There are two types of testaments:
  • If a person died leaving a testament that named an executor, the document confirming that executorship and the attached testament is called a testament-testamentar.
  • If a person died without leaving a testament and the court appointed an executor to administer the estate, then the confirming document is called a testament- dative."

"Testaments are court records dealing with the distribution of a person’s estate after death. These records can be very helpful because they were recorded long before statutory birth, marriage, and death registration began in 1855. Testaments were made primarily by the middle and upper classes, most of whom were nobility, gentry, merchants, or tradesmen. However, they are a very valuable source not to be overlooked regardless of the social standing of your ancestors.
Information recorded in testaments may include the death date, names of heirs and guardian, relationships, residences, inventories of the estate (including household goods), and names of witnesses. On the other hand, as there were very strict rules about the distribution of moveable property, there was no need to name a widow/widower or children, and often they are not named at all.
Essentially, a surviving spouse had to inherit a third, the children one third and the deceased could dispose of the last third (the deid's part) by a latterwill or legacie. There were further rules to complicate matters, but that's the essentials of it.

Movable Property Only

In Scotland before 1868, it was not possible to leave immoveable property (land, buildings, titles or other heritables) to a person by means of a will. It was only possible to give personal property, known as moveable property, by means of a testament.
There are two types of testaments:
  • If a person died leaving a testament that named an executor, the document confirming that executorship and the attached testament is called a testament testamentar. This will include a latterwill or legacie expressing the deceased's wishes.
  • If a person died without leaving a testament and the court appointed an executor to administer the estate, then the confirming document is called a testament dative.
  • Both of these will also contain an inventar (inventory of moveable property)

Immovable Property

To inherit immovable property such as land, heirs had to prove to an Inquisition (essentially a jury of local people) their right to inherit. The records granting these rights are called retours or services of heirs. Records of actual transfers of land are called sasines. You will find more information about these records in the Land and Property section of the Wiki.

Determining Court Jurisdictions

Before the Scottish Reformation and the establishment of the Presbyterian Church in 1592, confirmation of testaments was the prerogative of Episcopal (bishop’s) courts. Their subordinates, called official or commissariat courts actually carried out the probate function.
After the reformation in 1560, fifteen (eventually 22) commissariats were established by royal authority. The principal commissariat court was in Edinburgh, and it had both local and general jurisdiction. The territorial extent of the commissariat courts paid little attention to county boundaries. This system stayed in force until the end of 1823. 
To help you determine which commissariat court had jurisdiction over which parishes and counties, go to the ScotlandsPeople website and its 'Courts Map' page, which identifies which courts operate in a given county by clicking on the appropriate county; or see the following guides:
  • Testaments and Commissariat Records of Scotland. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1972. (Family History Library book 941 P2gs; fiche 6054479.)
  • Cecil Sinclair. Tracing Your Scottish Ancestors: A Guide to Ancestry Research in the Scottish Record Office. Edinburgh, Scotland: Her Magesty’s Stationery Office, 1990. (Family History Library book 941 D27s). Identifies court(s) by county along with ending dates for Commissariot and beginning dates for Sheriffs Court, which often overlap.
  • Kathleen Cory. Tracing Your Scottish Ancestors, Third Edition. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2004. Appendix III provides a table listing all parishes, among other things identifying Commissariot(s) which included that parish, and date of first testament or inventory for the parish.
But bear in mind there was no compulsion to have a testament confirmed in any particular commissariat, and many chose to use the Edinburgh court (as the premier one). So it may be necessary to search them all.
After 1823 (the system took a few years to fully evolve), testaments were confirmed by commissariat departments within the sheriff courts. The boundaries of these courts’ jurisdictions are the same as the county boundaries, but the names of the courts are not necessarily the same as the names of the counties.
To determine a court after 1823 you need only know in which county your ancestor lived. You can then use the records of the sheriff court for that county. Lists of the counties and their sheriff courts are found on the website and in the guides mentioned above. This list comes from ScotlandsPeople
In 1876 the commissariats were absorbed by the sheriff courts, which now handle executory matters.

Finding Testamentary Records

The original records of the commissariat and sheriff courts are housed at the National Archives of Scotland in Edinburgh.
The Family History Library has microfilm copies of the commissariat court records to 1823 and some sheriff court records. To find these records, look in the Locality Search of the Family History Library Catalog under:
  • Scotland -- Probate records
  • Scotland, [County] -- Probate records
You may also access testamentary records online through the ScotlandsPeople web site (see Indexes below). 

Online indexes to Testamentary Records

Indexes are being compiled for these wonderful records: 1513-1901 The wills & testaments index contains over 611,000 index entries to Scottish wills and testaments dating from 1513 to 1901"

Friday, February 24, 2012

Kevin Rudd Media Announcement 2.30pm Today 24/12/12

At 2.30pm EST Kevin Rudd announced to the media that he would contest the ballot for Prime Minister.

He again gave an account of what he had achieved while he was Prime Minister and said he was proud of each and everyone of those achievements.

He spoke about democracy and the secret ballot known around the world as the Australian ballot. He asked that the Prime Minister ensure that the ballot on Monday was a secret ballot.  And also asked that she confirm the preselections of all candidates regardless of how they vote.

Kevin Rudd stressed the importance of beating Mr Abbot – he stated that Australia could do better than Mr Abbot.  He said beating Mr Abbot was vital and beating Mr Abbot was possible.  He said of Abbot that he was the single most negative force in politics he had ever seen.

Rudd stated that the ballot on Monday would be tough.  That if he lost he would go to the back bench and not challenge a second time.

Rudd took questions after his speech and in reply to the last question he took he said that there have been problems in the government that he was in no way responsible for, that everyone seemed to be blaming him when in fact he took no part in many of these decisions like the Malaysia solution. That he was also sometimes out of the country.  Rudd said if he was not around that they would be looking for someone to replace Julia Gillard.

KRudd as he referred to himself a number of times would not discuss the numbers, just said the ballot would be tough.  He called on the public again to contact their MP's or the media and let them know who they wanted as Prime Minister.  He said it was their country and they had more influence than they perhaps thought.

Julia Gillard will address the media at 4pm.  The fight is on.  Can KRudd win?  I don’t think he has the numbers but maybe enough not to feel disgraced if he loses plus he has the rest of today and the weekend to hit the phone. A lot can happen in a day of Politics.  Will this once and for all fix this crisis in the labour party and allow them to lick their wounds and start repairing the damage to this labour party.  Personally, I don’t think Julia Gillard would win the next election so I wonder if by asking the public to lobby their labour MP's will this be enough to get KRudd over the line.  Time will tell

Thursday, February 23, 2012


The stand off between Gillard and Rudd has been coming to a head in the last few weeks.  Yesterday Rudd made his move with his surprise announcement from Washington of his resignation as Foreign Minister because as he stated

 " The truth is I can only serve as Foreign Minister if I have the confidence of Prime Minister Gillard and her senior ministers. In recent days, Minister Crean and a number of other faceless men have publicly attacked my integrity and therefore my fitness to serve as a minister in the government. When challenged today on these attacks, Prime Minister Gillard chose not to repudiate them. I can only reluctantly conclude that she therefore shares these views. The simple truth is that I cannot continue to serve as Foreign Minister if I do not have Prime Minister Gillard's support."

Then another annoucement this morning from Washington shortly before boarding a flight back to Australia  Rudd sounded like he was on an election campaign . He indicated that he would contest the leadership but would not make an annoucement about this until he was back in Australia. He spoke of attacks on him yesterday by Wayne Swan and others and asked his supporters not to retaliate and act in the same way as he felt it was unaustralian.  Rudd outlined his achievements while he was Prime Minister and he asked Australians to contact their local members and representative and tell them who they wanted for Prime Minister (seen as bold and unusual move by commentators later). Also to his caucus colleages "There is one overriding question to my caucus collegues who is best placed to defeat Tony Abbot at the next election".  (Food for thought!).

Julia Gillard media announcement this morning from Adelaide.

She stated I have decided at 10 am Monday morning to call a ballot for the leadership.  Gillard said we need a leadership ballot to settle this once and for all. For all to long we have seen squabbling within the party. That this has moved to a distraction and Australians are rightly sick of this and they want it brought to an end so that Labor can proceed with unity and determination.  She stated "But let me be very clear about this if I lose" she would go to the backbench and make no further leadership claims and act in the benefit of the party and nation and she said she would invite Kevin Rudd to the ballot and ask him to give the same undertaking. She spoke of how before she took over from Rudd in 2010 how she tried to hold the Rudd governemnt together to end the paralisys.

 Laurie Oakes, Political Journalist when asked by Carl Stefanovic on the Today show this morning who would win the ballot on Monday said he thought that Julia Gillard would as it was clear that Kevin Rudd did not have the numbers but now it is out in the open he can campaign. Laurie said he was "not sure he will accept Julia Gillard's timing for Monday it's got a few problems with it apart from the fact that it is to advantage her so no one has a chance to campaign. It also means that if Kevin Rudd did happen to win the ballot on Monday morning parliament sits in the afternoon". Therefore not giving Kevin Rudd time to negotiate with anyone and the possibility of a no confidence motion. Peter Beattie has ruled out Friday but as there is no parliament sitting that day would be a better day to give the winner of the ballot a chance to do what has to be done. Laurie spoke of a comment to him recently from a member of the Liberal Party" if we don't win this election they will have to do a boat people in reverse"

I can imagine the scurrying around the corridors and the phone calls and meetings behind closed doors in the lead up to the ballot which may or may not be on Monday.  In the meantime Kevin Rudd has tweeted @KRuddMP
"Heading back home to Brissie. Not exactly the visit I had planned to Washington! A big thank you for all the support. KRudd"

"My resignation speech is here - thanks to everyone in the twitterverse for your kind words. Much appreciated. KRudd"

Who will  win who's campaign will reign supreme!!


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Links for Free Family History Research

Hi Everyone,

Well a little late to wish you Happy New Year but is my first post for the year .  So back at it and hope to bring you all some interesting Tit Bits about historical people and events, Family Trees and healthy tips.  I have been on a diet and details are on my web page at How I lost 12 kilo's .

To start with this year some freebies - a few links that are free to research. Hope they are of some help and interest. So many wonderful sites out there now that are free to access not just to research but results as well are free.  These are a little more unusual I thought and will try to find some more during the weeks ahead.

Until tomorrow

1911 Irish Census
1841 to 1891 UK Census
UK Chronological Table of Public and Private Acts
England Genealogy Forum
Migration Histories and Resources-Caribbean, Irish, Jewish, South Asian
Norwich Census of the Poor 1570
Victoria County History

More Free Scottish Records

Below are extracts from OPR’s purchased mostly from LDS who were additional entries on pages I ordered. Free to search and cop...