DIANE'S CORNER ... Celebrate Make a Friend Day
is the perfect way to break out of the overworked and just plain stressed out state of mind. We are busy leading such hectic lives, we barely have time for ourselves, much less maintaining old friendships. Whether old or new, friends serve an important role in our lives. Friends are our confidants. Real friends love us and like us for who we really are – the good, the bad and the ugly. And the older we get, the more valuable those friendships become. is the perfect opportunity to begin a new friendship.
Word of the Day
|Definition:||(noun) Defiant or swaggering behavior.|
In a moment it was hand-to-hand fighting, and Trent was cursing already the bravado which had brought him out to the open
|As a young man, Mandela was an active opponent of South Africa's apartheid regime. Initially committed to non-violent struggle, he became the leader of the armed wing of the African National Congress after the 1960 Sharpeville Massacre, when police opened fire on several thousand protesters. He was sentenced to life in prison in 1964, but international pressure led to his release in 1990.|
|Many elderly people use canes and walkers to get around, but a new study reveals how dangerous these aids can be when used without proper training. Untrained users tend to drag the cane or walker, thus creating a dangerous gait pattern that increases the risk of falling. The study focused on 43 older adults in an assisted living facility and found that those using walking aids were nearly four times more likely to fall than those without aids. Experts recommend training individuals to use such devices as well as instructing them in balance recovery and gait exercises.|
1752 - The Pennsylvania Hospital opened as the very first hospital in America.
1858 - A French girl, Bernadette Soubirous, claimed to have seen a vision of the Virgin Mary near Lourdes.
1937 - General Motors agreed to recognize the United Automobile Workers Union, which ended the current sit-down strike against them.
1958 - Ruth Carol Taylor was the first black woman to become a stewardess by making her initial flight.
1960 - Jack Paar walked off while live on the air on the "Tonight Show" with four minutes left. He did this in response to censors cutting out a joke from the show the night before
1975 - Margaret Thatcher became the first woman to head a major party in Britain when she was elected leader of the Conservative Party.
1989 - Rev. Barbara C. Harris became the first woman to be consecrated as a bishop in the Episcopal Church.
1993 - Janet Reno was appointed to the position of attorney general by U.S. President Clinton. She was the first female to hold the position.
2002 - The six stars on NBC's "Friends" signed a deal for $24 million each for the ninth and final season of the series.
2006 - In Texas, U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot and wounded a companion during a quail hunt.
If You Were Born Today, February 11
Strong, success-oriented, and possessing tremendous personal presence and appeal, there is very little that can stop you from achieving your dreams in life. You also have the power to influence and inspire others. Your perspective is unique, sometimes to the point that you rarely feel understood. You possess the courage to take some risks and to experiment in life, and you are always aware of the need to go through transformations and periodic renewals in order to better yourself. You are extremely creative and imaginative. Famous people born today: Thomas Edison, Jennifer Aniston, Sheryl Crow, Burt Reynolds, Leslie Nielson, Eva Gabor, Taylor Lautner, Damian Lewis.
Photograph by Stefano Unterthiner, National Geographic
A placid pond high in the Graian Alps mirrors the snow-crowned peaks of Italy’s Gran Paradiso National Park—the oldest protected area in a country known more for culture than for conservation.
knit, vintage, 2 needle
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crockpot pot daily!
Stephanie O Dea
--3 cans of black beans
--1 can of Itallian stewed tomatoes
--2 cups of broth (vegetable or chicken)
--2 T taco sauce (great use for those taco bell packets!)
--1 1/2 cups chopped vegetables
--chop up vegetables with a food processor or blender. I used my vitamix, because I love it. Deeply.
I had leftover roasted vegetables, and decided to use those. If I hadn't, I would have used frozen corn, peas, some carrots and some celery---anything I already had in the fridge and freezer. dump pulverized vegetables into stoneware insert.
--empty all cans into the crockpot insert. do not rinse the beans or drain the tomatoes.
--add broth and taco sauce.
--mix with spoon.
--cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 5-6. Soups taste better the longer you cook it.
Before serving, use an immersion blender to soupify the beans and tomatoes.
Serve with some shredded parmesan cheese and a dollop of sour cream.
The Verdict: I loved this and ate it daily for lunch for 6 days. I did find it to be a bit salty, however. Adam thought it was fine. Next time I might look for low sodium beans and tomatoes. One kid ate her serving and asked for seconds before being distracted by something noisy on the television. The other kid fell to the ground and said she would never eat anything that looked like dirt. She did end up eating enough to satisfy me, but it took a lot of cajoling. I need to find a way to make a pink soup.
Vintage Button - If you have some vintage buttons and some thumb tacks this is a great way to put them to use and showcase them. You could always use up some spare buttons you may have lying around.
'hello' in Thai (from Girl) sa-wa DEE kah
Extraordinary facts about North America's native bees
We all know bees are amazing. Without these pollinators, humans and many other creatures would starve to death. But there is so much about bees that most of us don't realize, including the sheer amount of diversity. There are over 4,000 species of native bees in North America alone. And with such diversity comes extraordinarily cool quirks and behaviors.
1. In the spring, a new queen bumble bee incubates her eggs in a little nest of straw much like a mother bird. By placing her abdomen over the eggs she is able to control their temperature, speeding up the development of her young. Once the eggs have hatched and the larvae have emerged, she will continue to keep her daughters warm until they are old enough to leave the nest for foraging. In order to retain her sitting position eggs for as long as possible she first constructs a little wax pot filled with sweet nectar next to the nest that she can sip from so that she doesn't have to leave her young too often.
Male Cuckoo Bee (Nomada sp), Chatanooga, TN
2. After copulation, a male cuckoo bee in the genus Nomada transfers an 'invisibility cloak' of pheromones to his mate that allows her to slip, undetected, into the nest of her host bee species. The entrances of solitary bee nests are lined with a unique chemical signature that serves as a type of intruder detection system for unwanted visitors. However a female cuckoo bee is able to pass by without much trouble thanks to this unique gift from her mate.
Night-flying Sweat Bee (Megalopta sp), Kanuku Mountains, Guyana
3. Most bees fly during the day. However a few North American species (such as a sweat bee, Lasioglossum texana) are able to navigate by the light of the moon and stars, which allows them to collect pollen and nectar from nocturnally blooming plants such as the evening primrose. Nocturnal species, such as the night-flying South American sweat bee shown here, have enlarged simple eyes known as ocelli (the 3 small eyes centered between the larger compound eyes) that help them to navigate in very low levels of illumination.
Fuzzy-legged Leafcutter Bee (Megachile melanophaea), Madison, WI
4. Leafcutter bees are raised in narrow, tube-like nests that are lined with leaves by their mother. Typically, the bees hatch from the entrance (the last eggs laid) to the back of the nest so that everyone can leave in an orderly fashion. Occasionally, a young bee may ‘sleep in’ too long, blocking the exit and causing a traffic jam for the remainder of its nest mates. When this happens, the nest mate who is next in line will give her drowsy sibling a gentle nip on the end of the abdomen as a cue that it is time to wake up and get moving.
Thistle long-horned bee (Melissodes desponsa), sleeping on a goldenrod
5. Solitary bees, as you might guess from their name, don’t live in colonies like honey bees. Since there is no communal home to return to, many solitary species such as the thistle long-horned bee will rest at night by clamping their mandibles onto a bit of vegetation. After finding a suitable roosting site at dusk, the bee will enter in a state of suspended animation until the next morning when the sun’s warmth makes it possible for it to fly once again. This is a trait that is also still shared by some of bees’ ancient wasp ancestors in the family Sphecidae.
A Beewolf (Philanthus gibbosus) holds a Sweat Bee (Lasioglossum pilosum) beneath her abdomen before transporting it back to her nest as paralyzed, living food for her young.
6. Which came first, bees or wasps? Many evolutionary biologists believe that bees are essentially a lineage of pollen collecting wasps that are directly descended from a group of predatory wasps in the family Crabronidae. Wasps in this family –Bee Wolves, for example– often visit flowers in search of insect prey to feed their young. The captured prey is often coated in pollen when fed to the young wasps. In the beginning this served as an additional source of protein for the young wasps but over time one or more species began to feed their young a strict pollen diet. This eventually led to the rise of the insects that we now call bees. Bees feed strictly on nectar and pollen and utilize uniquely shaped hairs called scopa that allow a female bee to collect pollen for her young.
A stingless bee (Trigona sp) from the Kanuku Mountains, Guyana
7. All bees don’t produce honey or the kind that we like to have on our toast anyway. Most people are familiar with honey bees and their ability to take a flower’s nectar– via an amazing biological process– and turn it into delicious honey. However, the majority of bee species are solitary, or only social on a very limited basis, which means that they don’t need to store up a stockpile of readily available food for their ever-growing colony. While many solitary bees do mix a bit of a honey-like substance with a small provision of pollen for their young, ‘true’ honey is only made by a few species of bees in the family Apidae, which includes honey bees and a diverse group known as stingless bees. Stingless bees are also reared for honey throughout much of the world’s tropical regions.
Southeastern Blueberry Bee (Habropoda laboriosa)
8. Native bees deserve more credit for producing the foods that we enjoy each day. Did you know that honey bees are not always the most efficient pollinators of native North American crops such as blueberries and squash? Blueberry pollen is held tightly within the flower’s anthers, which makes it very difficult for honey bees to access it. Bumble bees and specialist species such as the Southeastern blueberry bee use a technique known as buzz pollination or sonication to release this pollen. To do this, the bees unhinge their flight muscles and vibrate them at a rapid pace, dislodging the pollen and causing it to fall from the blueberry flower onto their bodies. It has been estimated that a productive Southern Blueberry Bee will visit as many as 50,000 flowers in its lifetime, resulting in the production of somewhere in the neighborhood of 6,000 blueberries. Not bad for a little bee!
Rusty Patched Bumble Bee (Bombus affinis). Photographed in Madison, WI
9. While there are approximately 4,000 species of native bees in North America many are in serious trouble due to a variety of factors including loss of habitat and the use of pesticides such as neonicotinoids. In many cases, pesticides don’t directly kill a pollinating bee but rather do so indirectly by affecting its ability to reproduce or store body fat, resulting in a slow death. A tragic example of a North American bee in serious decline is the rusty patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis), whose numbers have dropped 87% in the past 15 years. This beautiful bumble bee and other closely related species have been inflicted with an internal pathogen that was introduced into North America when bumble bees imported from Europe to pollinate greenhouse tomatoes escaped into the wild and came in contact with wild bees. Franklin’s bumble bee (Bombus franklini), a relative of the rusty patched bumble bee that has also been affected by this pathogen has not been seen since 2006.
The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation has filed a petition (PDF) to have this important bee listed for protection under the Endangered Species Act before its too late. Believe it or not, despite all of the news that we hear about the decline of bees, there isn't a single species out of the approximately 4,000 species of native North American bees that enjoy federal protection here in the US. Thankfully, the rusty patched bumble bee is protected in Canada, but to date this has the unfortunate designation of being the only instance of this level of protection in North America.