Tuesday, May 31, 2011


I saw this article and thought it was a great reminder or lesson for everyone.  Now that summer is here, we can not be to save around water and watching those that we love in the water.  I hope you find it just as interesting as I did.

The new captain jumped from the deck, fully dressed, and sprinted through the water. A former lifeguard, he kept his eyes on his victim as he headed straight for the couple swimming between their anchored sport fisher and the beach. “I think he thinks you’re drowning,” the husband said to his wife. They had been splashing each other and she had screamed but now they were just standing, neck-deep on the sand bar. “We’re fine, what is he doing?” she asked, a little annoyed. “We’re fine!” the husband yelled, waving him off, but his captain kept swimming hard. ”Move!” he barked as he sprinted between the stunned owners. Directly behind them, not ten feet away, their nine-year-old daughter was drowning. Safely above the surface in the arms of the captain, she burst into tears, “Daddy!”

How did this captain know – from fifty feet away – what the father couldn’t recognize from just ten? Drowning is not the violent, splashing, call for help that most people expect. The captain was trained to recognize drowning by experts and years of experience. The father, on the other hand, had learned what drowning looks like by watching television. If you spend time on or near the water (hint: that’s all of us) then you should make sure that you and your crew knows what to look for whenever people enter the water. Until she cried a tearful, “Daddy,” she hadn’t made a sound. As a former Coast Guard rescue swimmer, I wasn’t surprised at all by this story. Drowning is almost always a deceptively quiet event. The waving, splashing, and yelling that dramatic conditioning (television) prepares us to look for, is rarely seen in real life.

The Instinctive Drowning Response – so named by Francesco A. Pia, Ph.D., is what people do to avoid actual or perceived suffocation in the water. And it does not look like most people expect. There is very little splashing, no waving, and no yelling or calls for help of any kind. To get an idea of just how quiet and undramatic from the surface drowning can be, consider this: It is the number two cause of accidental death in children, age 15 and under (just behind vehicle accidents) – of the approximately 750 children who will drown next year, about 375 of them will do so within 25 yards of a parent or other adult. In ten percent of those drownings, the adult will actually watch them do it, having no idea it is happening (source: CDC). Drowning does not look like drowning – Dr. Pia, in an article in the Coast Guard’s On Scene Magazine, described the instinctive drowning response like this:
  1. Except in rare circumstances, drowning people are physiologically unable to call out for help. The respiratory system was designed for breathing. Speech is the secondary or overlaid function. Breathing must be fulfilled, before speech occurs.
  2. Drowning people’s mouths alternately sink below and reappear above the surface of the water. The mouths of drowning people are not above the surface of the water long enough for them to exhale, inhale, and call out for help. When the drowning people’s mouths are above the surface, they exhale and inhale quickly as their mouths start to sink below the surface of the water.
  3. Drowning people cannot wave for help. Nature instinctively forces them to extend their arms laterally and press down on the water’s surface. Pressing down on the surface of the water, permits drowning people to leverage their bodies so they can lift their mouths out of the water to breathe.
  4. Throughout the Instinctive Drowning Response, drowning people cannot voluntarily control their arm movements. Physiologically, drowning people who are struggling on the surface of the water cannot stop drowning and perform voluntary movements such as waving for help, moving toward a rescuer, or reaching out for a piece of rescue equipment.
  5. From beginning to end of the Instinctive Drowning Response people’s bodies remain upright in the water, with no evidence of a supporting kick. Unless rescued by a trained lifeguard, these drowning people can only struggle on the surface of the water from 20 to 60 seconds before submersion occurs.
(Source: On Scene Magazine: Fall 2006 (page 14))
This doesn’t mean that a person that is yelling for help and thrashing isn’t in real trouble – they are experiencing aquatic distress. Not always present before the instinctive drowning response, aquatic distress doesn’t last long – but unlike true drowning, these victims can still assist in their own rescue. They can grab lifelines, throw rings, etc.
Look for these other signs of drowning when persons are in the water:
  • Head low in the water, mouth at water level
  • Head tilted back with mouth open
  • Eyes glassy and empty, unable to focus
  • Eyes closed
  • Hair over forehead or eyes
  • Not using legs – Vertical
  • Hyperventilating or gasping
  • Trying to swim in a particular direction but not making headway
  • Trying to roll over on the back
  • Appear to be climbing an invisible ladder.
So if a crew member falls overboard and everything looks OK – don’t be too sure. Sometimes the most common indication that someone is drowning is that they don’t look like they’re drowning. They may just look like they are treading water and looking up at the deck. One way to be sure? Ask them, “Are you alright?” If they can answer at all – they probably are. If they return a blank stare, you may have less than 30 seconds to get to them. And parents – children playing in the water make noise. When they get quiet, you get to them and find out why.

Monday, May 30, 2011


If you are like me, you don't really enjoy doing the wash. So, you just go on auto mode and toss the dirty clothes in the washer, put the soap in, turn the machine on and walk away.

Then you pull the clothes out of the washer and once in awhile, an item or two will drop on the floor so, you pick it up and toss it into the dryer with the other clothes.

Well, I got an email from my brother showing me that I need to be more careful when I do the wash. Not all towels are actually towels.

What looks like a bunched up white towel laying on the floor could actually be a wrinkled dog laying there taking a nap.

I thought it was funny and cute so I wanted to share this with you too. Hope it made you smile.

Friday, May 20, 2011


They say that people are either a cook or a baker. If that is true then, I must say I'm a bakers. I enjoy baking.

Cooking? Not so much.

It seems like there is so much prep in cooking. Cutting everything up in small bits.

Oh, and the onions! Those onions that always make me cry like a baby.

I have very sensitive eyes and they water for a lot of different reasons. But, put me near an onion and they burn so badly, I can't even describe it. Tears stream down like waterfalls.

I had to find out ways to get around this now that I'm cooking more.

I found some great tips. However, I do believe I found the perfect answer. Since, I don't think I'm alone in crying over onions, I wanted to share with you what I found.

The best tip is to stick your onion in the freezer for about 20 minutes before you are going to chop them.

This works every time! If you do nothing else. Freeze those onions first! You can thank me later.

Also, never cut off the root of the onion.

The reason onions make you cry is because they release a gas that is trapped inside the cells of the onions.

Freezing helps to keep the gas from being released.

Keeping the root on works because, there are more cells with gas near the root area then any other part of the onion.

Take your chilled onion, cut it in half with the root still intact.

Then take off the skin of the onion. Now you are ready to chop your onion.

Use a sharp knife as you do this. The sharp knife will rupture fewer onion cells. Therefore, less gas will be released.

Slice your onion into strips first. Don't go all the way down to the root though. Remember, you don't want to cut the root off.

Once you have all your slices it will still hold together if you do it right.

Cut your onion in closer strips for smaller pieces. Further away will make bigger pieces.

Then, turn the onion and make slices across all the strips. Again, the smaller the slices, the smaller your pieces will be.

Here you can see how your onions will be perfect and the root is still attached to the end of the onion.

Plus, you are not crying.

Other ways they claim that help with tears, though I have not tried them, is to cut your onions near your stove with the flame on. Since fire sucks in air to burn, they claim the air will go towards the flame and stay away from your eyes.

Or, you could cut your onions under water. The gas will be released into the water and not the air. I find this one just silly.

While I'm sure it would work, who wants to fish out all your little pieces of onions? Not me.

Oh, and did you know, you can plant the root end of your onion and they say, it will grow. So, you can always have fresh onions right in your own back yard.

I wanted to say that I did not take these photos. I found them on the Internet.

When I cut onions, I want to get them done as quickly as possible. So, I don't take time to take pictures while I'm cutting them.


Thursday, May 19, 2011


I have to admit, I have a pretty good life. A wonderful family. A nice home. Good friends. Little to no stress. Two dogs I love. I'm healthy and happy.

I may not have a lot of money but, I'm wealthy in so many other ways. Life is good.

Sometimes, it's good to stop and think about all the wonderful things you have in life. In this hustle and bustle world we live in, those things are often taken for granted. I never want to take all my blessings for granted.

This week I loss another 1.4 lbs. Some may say "Big deal, that's not much". But to me, it is great! The numbers on the scales are going down and that's all that matters. In three weeks I've lost 9.4 lbs.

Just another reason to smile!


Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Tonight I wanted to make something easy, quick and full of flavor. This dish fit those requirements perfectly.

I found this recipe on line but, I changed it up a little bit. I wish I could give credit to who posted this but I printed out so many recipes ages ago that I no longer remember where I got them. So, if this is yours, please let me know so I can give you credit.

For those of you who are not on Weight Watchers, you will still enjoy this dish. It does not taste like a "diet" food at all.

For those of you who are on other plans and wanted to know the calories, it comes out to 227 calories per serving. A serving is 1 1/2 cups.

Here is the recipe:

2 tsp butter
2 stalks of celery finely chopped
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
2 minced cloves of garlic
6 cups chicken broth (you may use vegetable broth if you like)
2 cups chicken stock
3 cups water
3 Tablespoons of Parmigiano grated
20 oz tortellini (pick your flavor) I used cheese tortellini
pepper to taste
salt to taste
1/2 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
2 cups spinach
more Parmigiano to garnish with

In large pot, melt butter and add celery, carrot, garlic and onion. Cook over low heat, covered, for about 8-10 mins or until tender.

Add chicken broth, stock and water. Bring to boil. Add grated parmigiano cheese, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stir. Reduce heat to low and add tortellini. Cook until tortellini is cooked (per package).

Add spinach. It will wilt pretty fast. Stir and serve. Top with a garnish of more grated Parmigiano cheese. Enjoy!

I think next time I make this I'm going to add some asparagus along with the spinach.

I go weigh in at Weight Watchers tomorrow. I know I forgot to post about my weigh in last week. Sorry.

I have lost a total of 8 lbs in two weeks. I'm actually looking forward to weighing in tomorrow to see what I lost this week.

I also wanted to thank everyone who wrote to me and told me how I have been an inspiration to help you lose weight. Not only this time but the last time I was on Weight Watchers. I had no idea!

I think that now I know I will be able to do even better because I don't want to let anyone down.

Together, we will make it!


Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Dinner tonight was great! I found this recipe on line and thought I would give it a try.

It is a simple pasta dish that has tons of asparagus, which is one of my favorite vegetables. If you don't care for them, I think this dish would work with just about any other vegetable too.

This serves four people so my sister and I had it tonight and we have enough left over for tomorrows dinner too.

There are only 227 calories and only 6 weight watcher points. It would be great with a salad and a slice of bread if you wanted.

Here is the recipe for those who want to give it a try.

1 lb. asparagus
6 oz. uncooked pasta
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano cheese
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 gloves of crushed garlic (this is to taste, use more or less as desired)
1 large egg yolk
salt and pepper to taste

Cook asparagus in boiling water for 3-5 mins. or until tender but still crisp. Drain asparagus but reserve 1 cup of liquid for later use.

Cook pasta per directions on package.

Saute olive oil and garlic then add asparagus. Cook for about 1-2 minutes. Tossing asparagus with oil and garlic.

In small bowl add egg yolk, parmigiano cheese and about 1/4 - 1/2 cup of the asparagus liquid. Mix well. After pasta is cooked and drain, return to pot and mix with egg mixture. Cook on medium heat about 2 mins. Sauce will start to thicken and stick to pasta. Add asparagus, garlic and oil. Mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste. If pasta seems to dry, add a little bit more of the asparagus liquid.

Garnish with a little bit of grated cheese.

Since I still had plenty of points left over today, I thought I would try out a cupcake recipe too.

This is a Pineapple/coconut cupcake that is only 3 points if you eat it alone and 4 points if you add the frosting.

Talk about a simple recipe! It's only one box of yellow cake mix and one 20 oz. can of crushed pineapple with juice.

Mix both together with mixer. Do not add the egg or oil or water that is listed on the cake mix box.

Fill cupcake liners about 3/4 of the way full. Will fill 24 liners. If you have less, take some out or you will have to count them as more points.

Cook per cake mix directions.

You can see the chunks of pineapple when they are baked. They smell wonderful!

For the frosting you will need:

8 oz. package of 1/3 less fat cream cheese. DO NOT get the fat free kind.
1 cup of sweetened coconut
1 20 oz. can of crushed pineapple well drained
1/4 of a cup of sugar.

Mix all ingredients in mixer. Will look lumpy and almost like cottage cheese.

Chill in refrigerator. Then frost cupcakes.

Enjoy! These are good! However, I'm not sure if I would bother with the frosting. I like them plain. Perhaps add the coconut into the cupcake batter would be better.

I hope you will give these recipes a try. I know both are going in my recipe book to keep.


Sunday, May 8, 2011


Yesterday, I took my girl scout troop to the San Diego Zoo. We had a blast!

We saw lots of beautiful animals. This guy was roaming around. It was hard to tell if he was watching us or we were watching him.

We were lucky enough to watch the polar bear get fed. Of course one should never do this in the wild! But, here at the zoo, they do things a little different.

Even though this guy was so big! He took the food from the girls hand like he was a little baby. So easy and gentle.

He was so sweet, it's hard to think this guy would ever hurt anyone. Yet, one swipe of his paw...well, I just don't want to think about it.

Even though it was a lovely cool day, most of the animals were laying around sleeping and some were even hiding, making it hard to find them.

The Pandas were the biggest draw! There was even a line to get in to see them. Then we had to be very quiet so no one scared them.

There were two just laying there eating away. This one was the baby. The are SO cute!

You get really close to them so it's worth the wait.

Watching the monkeys are always fun. You never know what they will do. These guys were in a very playful mood and kept the crowd entertained.

We watched them for a long time, laughing and laughing at them. I had to actually pull the girls away so we could see the rest of the animals. They wanted to stay the whole day there.

I admit I loved watching the monkeys play too. But, I also loved watching the girls watching them more. They really were having fun.

At the end of the night, when we had to leave I couldn't help but notice the girls all looked a little different then when we first got there. Not sure what it was though...

What a fun day and great memories.


Thursday, May 5, 2011


I'm down 4.6 lbs that is. Today was my first weigh in since heading back to Weight Watchers.

It was very easy to stay on plan this week. My head is finally in the right spot and I'm excited to watch the scale go down each week.

Hope all of you are doing well on your diet plan too! Let me know how you did.




Sunday, May 1, 2011


I have been doing great on Weight Watchers this time around. I think making sure I don't eat the same old "diet" food is really going to help.

I went shopping and bought just good ol' healthy food. I don't want to eat only "diet" food. I don't want to feel like I'm on a diet.

This time around I'm going to eat things I really love.

If I want a piece of candy, I'm going to plan in that candy and eat it. I'm not going to go for the "diet" candy that really doesn't taste good and doesn't really satisfy me.

I will have low fat or light items only if I like them and would be fine always eating them.

Tonight I felt like tacos so that's what I had. No not the fried shell tacos with tons of chips and salsa like I would have had before.

This time I made healthy tacos that I not only loved but would eat all the time.

I used flour tortillas that are called Lite Balance. They still have some fat in them but not like the regular ones.

I heated them up in a frying pan but didn't use oil. They do get crusty but still stay soft.

Then I used black beans (I don't eat meat) and add lots of lettuce, tomatoes, salsa and cilantro. I had to have cheese too. I mean really. What is a taco without cheese?

I just used regular grated cheese but used a much smaller amount then I would have before.

I was able to have two tacos and even a cup of Santa Fe rice. Boy was I full after eating this.

Eating healthy really can be tasty. It doesn't take that long to make healthy food either.

I'm going on my 4th day of being on Weight Watchers and while we don't weigh in but once a week, I have gotten on my scales at home and have already lost some weight. Of course, that just makes me want to stay on track even more.

Hope all of you who emailed and left messages saying you were also going to be starting WW or another form of a diet/healthy eating plan are doing well too.