Thursday, July 31, 2008

Poor Fat Cat!

Poor fat cat!  44 pounds, found wandering around in NJ.  Owner came forward and said her house had been foreclosed on and she couldn't afford to keep him.

He looks a little like Snoop. Only bigger.

Fat cat turns out to be boy, foreclosure victim

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Article about Suzanne McMinn (Chickens in the Road)

Chickens in the Road is my favorite blog ever. And now there's an article in the local paper about the author. So cool!

Romance writer returns to her Mountain State roots with Roane County farm

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Friday, July 25, 2008

Bunnies by the Boulevard

On the way to work this morning, I stopped by the river to just enjoy the beautiful morning and noticed a bunny on the bottom sidewalk!  I've seen birds, geese and even a groundhog, but never a bunny there. While I was walking forward to get a good picture of him, I startled another bunny out of the grassy bank and you can see him leaping toward the sidewalk.

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New Job

Well I finally have an announcement I've been hoping to make for a few weeks. Today, I accepted a new job! I'm going to work for the Federal Public Defender's Office. As a federal job, it has great benefits and more time off (which is the most important thing to me - more time!). I start August 18.

I've worked in the area of civil litigation for the last 24 years, so this will be something completely different. I love learning new things and am excited to get started.

Although I'm glad for the new job, I am sad to be leaving the old one. I've only been there for two and a half years, but I felt at home from the first day. I have made good friends there, and they are like family. In addition, my main boss is one of my favorite attorneys I have ever worked with. We clicked immediately and worked really well together. I am going to miss working for her.

But it's time to start a new chapter in my professional life, and I am looking forward to it very much.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Car Show

There was a car show on the boulevard this week.  These were taken Monday. I don't really understand (1) how a car show can last 4 days (at least, not sure when the last day is) and (2) why they would have it during the week.  I do like when the boulevard is closed when I'm walking, it gives me something interesting to look at.  But it wreaks havoc with traffic.

These people were having so much fun, I wished I could join them.

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Simcor and Niacin Flushing

I recently started taking a new cholesterol medication called Simcor.  It is a combination of Zocor and Niaspan.  Niaspan is extended release niacin (which is one of the best ways to get your good cholesterol up, according to my doctor).  One of the side effects of high doses of niacin is something called "niacin flushing".  I have experienced this twice so far (I have taken the medication for 9 days now).  I wanted to look up more about it and thought I would share it here in case it helps anyone else.

My doctor advised me to take an aspirin or other anti-inflammatory 30 minutes before taking Simcor and then take Simcor when I go to bed. I have been taking ibruprofen (my anti-inflammatory of choice) every evening, but I also take a low dose aspirin regularly. I thought my doctor said "regular aspirin" but wondered if the low dose was enough. So last night I did not take my ibuprofen.  Mistake. 

I can't remember now what time it was that I woke up but I woke up feeling very hot. I realized right away what was happening. I had it happen once before, but it was not as bad that time. My skin felt tight, like it had been sunburned, and I could feel heat coming off my whole body. I could deal with that. The worst was that my skin was tingling and itching.  And if I scratched it, it was really painful.  I splashed some water on my face and arms but it didn't help much. I had some mosquito bites on the back of my leg behind the knee and one on my elbow and they started itching too.  I have a tea tree oil gel that has other soothing stuff in it too. I put that on my bug bites and got too much out so rubbed it over both my arms. It had somewhat of a cooling effect which was nice.  Then I just went back to bed and was able to go back to sleep after a few minutes.

I won't skip my anti-inflammatory again! 


Niacin is a water-soluble nutrient belonging to the vitamin B complex. It assists in metabolism of carbohydrates and fat. It is sometimes incorrectly referred to as vitamin B3.  It inhibits cholesterol synthesis.  And it opens the blood vessels wider.

Taking niacin supplements may also help with vertigo, tinnitus, PMS, headaches and osteoarthritis.  Tuna is one of the best sources of niacin.  Most processed grains are fortified with niacin. Meat and yeast are good sources.

High doses of niacin can help lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol BUT YOU SHOULD NOT DO THIS EXCEPT UNDER SUPERVISION OF A PHYSICIAN.  It can lead to liver damage, worsen gout and raise blood sugar in diabetics. It shouldn't be taken by people on high blood pressure medication.


One of the most common side effects of taking high doses of niacin is "vasodilation", often called the niacin flush. It is very similar to hot flashes women experience during menopause. Flushing starts 2-4 hours after taking the medication and lasts 15-30 minutes. It is sometimes accompanied by a prickly or itching sensation. It is not dangerous but actually a sign of improved blood flow. It can also cause headaches, lightheadedness and low blood pressure.

Niacin causes flushing by stimulating a hormone called prostaglandin, which causes blood vessels to abruptly dilate and fill with blood. The flushing occurs because there is more blood near the surface of the body. As the blood flows in these areas, the cells of the small capilaries will be getting rid of their waste products and often produce histamine as part of this process, which causes an 'itchy' feeling.

To reduce flushing, you can:

  1. Take a regular-strength aspirin or ibuprofen 30 minutes before taking the medication
  2. Take the medication at bedtime (you'll be asleep and less likely to notice it).
  3. Take the medication after a low-fat snack (reduces the chance of stomach upset)
  4. Avoid alcohol, hot drinks, spicy foods, hot showers or baths and vigorous exercise a couple of hours before bedtime.

If you do have flushing, according to one doctor, drinking two 8-12 oz glasses of water breaks the flush within 3 minutes in the great majority of people. He recommends taking the medication at dinnertime so if you have the flush and have to drink water after, you should have time for your body to get rid of the excess water so sleep isn't disrupted.

The intensity of the niacin flush lessens and often disappears with chronic use.

Sources/More Info:
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Monday, July 21, 2008

Wonderful Watermelon

I had just finished eating some watermelon when my RealAge email came and it included an article about watermelon. How fortuitous!

"Here are three great health reasons to dig into this juicy fruit:
  1. It's loaded with lycopene. Watermelon juice actually gave tomato juice a run for the money in a recent study of lycopene levels. That’s good news for your body, because early research suggests that lycopene may be a cancer crusher
  2. It can make your skin pretty. Watermelon is loaded with a key compound credited with helping skin's healing and regenerative processes. Say no more -- bring on the melon!
  3. It's practically calorie-free. With fewer than 50 calories in every cup, watermelon is one smart way to satisfy a sweet tooth. And with a whopping 141 grams of water per cubed cup, watermelon will keep you hydrated, too."

And here's another article about chilling it:

"Ice-cold watermelon on a steamy summer day really hits the spot. But you'll be best served by keeping it on your countertop until cutting time.

Whole watermelons stored at room temperature deliver more cell-protecting antioxidants (specifically lycopene and beta carotene) than refrigerated or freshly picked melons. Here's why.

A Chilling Effect

After it's picked, watermelon continues to ripen and build up antioxidants. Cold temperatures appear to cut this process short. So leave your watermelon out, as long as you haven't sliced it. After it's cut, it should be stored in the refrigerator for food-safety reasons.

For an ice-cold treat, chill the fruit right before serving."
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Ganesha symbolism

Wondering about the symbolism of Ganesha this morning, since all Hindu religious art is very symbolic. 

"Significance of the Ganesha Form

Ganesha's head symbolizes the Atman or the soul, which is the ultimate supreme reality of human existence, and his human body signifies Maya or the earthly existence of human beings. The elephant head denotes wisdom and its trunk represents Om, the sound symbol of cosmic reality. In his upper right hand Ganesha holds a goad, which helps him propel mankind forward on the eternal path and remove obstacles from the way. The noose in Ganesha's left hand is a gentle implement to capture all difficulties.

The broken tusk that Ganesha holds like a pen in his lower right hand is a symbol of sacrifice, which he broke for writing the Mahabharata. The rosary in his other hand suggests that the pursuit of knowledge should be continuous. The laddoo (sweet) he holds in his trunk indicates that one must discover the sweetness of the Atman. His fan-like ears convey that he is all ears to our petition. The snake that runs round his waist represents energy in all forms. And he is humble enough to ride the lowest of creatures, a mouse."

"The curved trunk of Ganesh represents the arousal of the powers of the kundalini . Vast ears represent the ability to listen to and comprehend all that others say. The large stomach inspires us to keep all that is within our minds under wraps until it is accomplished.

The single tusk reminds us of that time during the Mahabharata, when the great rishi Ved Vyas, found that he could not even start writing the epic. He then invoked Ganesh, who though cursed by the moon to lack lunar energy (energy for creativity and romance), heard his soulful, truthful pleas, giving him one of his tusks to be fashioned into a pen so that the task of writing the great epic, could be initiated. Hence, the irreplaceable use of Ivory in precious works of art was started.

The vehicle of Ganeshji is the mouse. The unique quality of the mouse is that, while the rest of the world sleeps with great abandon, it quietly hoards all sorts of things in its hole, to be discovered only when its young ones start playing around!

Similarly, before starting any task, it is essential to undergo the penance of collecting all related information and making necessary preparations. This wisdom fuelled by hard work is the vehicle for success, signified by the laddoos in Ganeshji’s hands! This is his true worship or stuti . A stuti is the expression of a humble desire, of working towards realising and consequently actualising these qualities.

There is yet another important social message communicated by the symbol of Ganeshji. That is, if anywhere around us, at home or outside, there is someone with an unusual physical form, we should respectfully include such a person in our celebrations, especially when we are staring something new, because wishes from the truthful heart of such an individual, assist in making the task obstacle-free and successful. "
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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Cracker Barrel Chicken!

Why is there a chicken hanging out in the Cracker Barrel parking lot???  She's in front of the sign in this picture

I tried to lure her to my car but she ran away whenever I walked toward her.

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I picked up a Ganesha figurine at Mountain Mama's Saturday when I was there for the psychic fair (where I had a GREAT reading by Aeson!!).

Read more about Ganesha here:

Friday, July 18, 2008

lolgoats!! ha!

more cat pictures

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Vision Boards

Instead of cutting and pasting, I'm making mine electronic.

Click on images to see a larger version in a new window.

Dream House:

Oh the Places I'll Go:

Intangible things I want (okay money is tangible, I actually just called this "personal"; I don't want Maya Angelou, but she's someone whose qualities I would like to have, and I'd really really like to meet her. 

A few of the things I want:

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Five Simple Weight-Loss Tips

"We all know the "secret" of successful weight-loss: Eat less and exercise more. It's not always easy, but by adopting healthy eating habits and a regular exercise routine, you are sure to lose weight without depriving yourself of nourishing, satisfying food. And if you continue those good habits after you reach your goal, you will have an excellent chance of maintaining your desired weight. Here are some tips for successful weight-loss:

1. Avoid artificial sweeteners and synthetic fat substitutes. They are unhealthy and not conducive to the development of good eating habits.

2. Dietary supplements or "fat-burning herbs" are usually just stimulants - don't rely on them. The pounds will surely return once you've stopped taking them.

3.   Build lean body mass. Strength training burns excess calories and influences the way your brain regulates hunger, making you less susceptible to food cravings.

4.  Pay attention to the mental and spiritual aspects of weight control. Use relaxation exercises - instead of food - to combat anxiety.

5.  Accept your body. You may see it as less than perfect, but it is beautiful just the same."

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Friday, July 11, 2008

The Tree of Life

I'm semi-obsessed with trees and I love the symbolism of the tree of life. I wear a pewter Celtic tree of life pendant frequently (I have it on now). I painted a tree a few weeks ago and need to do another, I want to do a tree of life tree too.

This is just an excerpt from the article linked at the end.  The actual article gives examples from various religions, which I find quite interesting.

"The Tree of Life is an important symbol in nearly every culture. With its branches reaching into the sky, and roots deep in the earth, it dwells in three worlds- a link between heaven, the earth, and the underworld, uniting above and below. It is both a feminine symbol, bearing sustenance, and a masculine, visibly phallic symbol- another union.

In Jewish and Christian mythology, a tree sits at the center of both the Heavenly and Earthly Edens. The Norse cosmic World Ash, Ygdrassil, has its roots in the underworld while its branches support the abode of the Gods. The Egyptian's Holy Sycamore stood on the threshold of life and death, connecting the worlds. To the Mayas, it is Yaxche, whose branches support the heavens.

The tree has other characteristics which lend easily to symbolism. Many trees take on the appearance of death in the winter- losing their leaves, only to sprout new growth with the return of spring. This aspect makes the tree a symbol of resurrection ... .

A tree also bears seeds or fruits, which contain the essence of the tree, and this continuous regeneration is a potent symbol of immortality. ... This aspect of the tree as a giver of gifts and spiritual wisdom is also quite common.
This tree and its gifts of immortality are not easy to discover. It is historically difficult to find, and almost invariably guarded.
The tree as the abode of the Gods is another feature common to many mythologies; in some, the tree itself is a God.
Another form, the inverted Tree, represents spiritual growth, as well as the human nervous system. This tree, with its roots in heaven, and its branches growing downward, is most commonly found in Kabbalistic imagery. A similar tree is mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita ... ."


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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Chasing Bird Shadows

We have a sheet up on the back door/window for when the sun gets really bright in the evening, to help keep the house cool. Roscoe and Stubby are now obsessed with watching and trying to catch the shadows of the birds at the feeders. Snoop gets in on it occasionally too. They are so funny.

Roscoe can jump high!!  He totally would have had that bird.

Snoop wants in on the action

Stubby keeps annoying Snoop, so Snoop smacks him in the head

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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Into every life a little rain must fall

Just not so much at one time, please.

That gas station ALWAYS floods when it rains hard. Which causes one to wonder why I didn't take an alternate route. But at least I got a picture. I had to turn around and go up Reunion Road.

There was evidence everywhere on water over the roads but by the time I came through most of it was gone.

On the road to my house, the creek was to the top of its banks in many places. The little waterfall was roaring. I didn't manage to get a picture of it.

Tree in the road, but luckily not completely blocking it.

Everything at Harman Estates was fine, except for a few wet cats.

Sunday, July 06, 2008


More on the lovely and nutritious dandelion.  My brother-in-law says his dad used to eat dandelion greens all the time.  He suggests picking them while they are young and tender, because they will get bitter.

"Dandelion is an herbal plant with long, pointed shaped leaves commonly used for salads and teas. The origin of its name came from French, dent-de-lion, meaning “Lion’s tooth” because of its coarsely-toothed leaves, looking very much like an old lance.

Dandelion is a rich source of vitamins and minerals and supplements are available in tablets and liquid form. The leaves have high levels of iron and calcium, superior levels than spinach for example. Substantial levels of vitamin A and vitamin C can also be found on Dandelion leaves.

The herb has been traditionally used to stimulate overall digestion, but it can be recommended for a few different reasons. Dandelion also strengthens the gallbladder and liver, and it can also be used as a mild laxative as well. In addition, people with liver problems due to overuse of alcohol and poor diet can use Dandelion to increase the bile flow, reducing inflammation and getting rid of gallstones.

Some people use dandelion for cooking and even making wine! You may sauté dandelion flowers with onions and garlic. Its bright yellow color may add some interesting look to your dishes.

Dandelion grows in the wild practically everywhere in the world. It is easily found in gardens and health food stores."

Herb of the Week: Dandelion

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My dream life

I have a dream.  To own a little farm, with just a few of each animal I want (goats, chickens, cows, horses), and a little garden.  And no need to make a living.  

This woman has my dream life.  (Not that she doesn't have to make a living, but she is able to make a living as writer apparently and that is awesome.)

Her blog is also entertaining and interesting.  I am just so envious.

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Snacking Healthy

"[T]here is nothing inherently wrong with a bite between meals. In fact, snacking might be the missing ingredient that will help you reach your weight loss goals.
Snacking doesn’t serve to replace a meal. In fact, you should spread meals and snacks out by an hour or two, and snacks should total a couple hundred calories or less.

Munching between meals can actually reduce your overall caloric intake by curbing overeating at your next meal. By controlling later binging, snacking can help you stay on track.
How You Snack Can Make or Break Your Diet
There is definitely a wrong way and a right way to snack. You should avoid sugary items like candy and soda, and shouldn’t be consuming enough calories to constitute a meal. Instead, steer towards foods that will satisfy you and keep you feeling fuller longer. Fruits and vegetables are always a safe bet because they are low in fat and calories. (Just be sure to avoid high-calorie dips.) Yogurt, fruit smoothies, even a slice of whole-wheat toast all make great snacks during the day. Combining lean protein, some healthy fat, and complex carbohydrates will help you feel fuller longer.

Mini Meals
Many experts are recommending several smaller meals throughout the day instead of the usual three. By eating at regular intervals, your blood sugar levels (and therefore your energy levels) remain stable. So, instead of that mid-afternoon crash, you’ll be full of vigor through dinnertime! Eating every few hours (especially if you chew on fruits and veggies) can also help add extra nutrition that might be missing from other meals.

Snacking Isn’t Grazing
Mindless eating is often the downfall of many snackers. You may start with only a handful of your favorite crackers, only to finish the entire box, without even thinking about it. Obviously, this example isn’t the healthy snacking that can help you reach your weight loss goals.
Practice Moderation
As with the rest of your diet, moderation is crucial when snacking.
Don’t sabotage your diet with unhealthy nibbles throughout the day; stick to nourishing foods whenever possible. If you know you have a weakness for junk food, do yourself a favor and don’t purchase these items next time you are at the grocery store. Then you won’t have to fight the temptation of ice cream or potato chips when hunger pangs hit."

Entire article here:  Snacking Healthy: Add Snacks to Subtract Pounds

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Saturday, July 05, 2008

Garden Photos

After the Rain

Finally, blooms on the green pepper plants. One of them, anyway.

Not only blooms, but I found a tiny pepper too

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Cats, cats and more cats (photos)

This is Snoop in his "bedroom". I sat this picture here before hanging it - I need to add a hanger thingie to it. And he would sit and stare at it. Then started laying in front of it. I put some old flannel lounge pants Dave doesn't wear down there for him to lay on so now it's Snoop's "bedroom". Although lately he hasn't actually been sleeping there. Maybe I need to wash his bedding. He was sleeping there all the time for awhile.

Growing Cats and Cucumbers

Eb (short for Ebony) seems to have become a permanent part of the porch family. He is the kitten who we heard crying during a storm a long time ago. He's Stubbette's kitten. Stubbette is Stubby's evil twin, or at least that's what I call her. She looks just like Stubby only with a tail. She's probably his half sister. Sorry I don't have a recent picture of her, but she does come and eat here a lot.

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Incense as an Antidepressant

"Inhaling the combustion products of frankincense - which is the resin of the Boswellia plant - may activate regions of the brain that can alleviate anxiety and depression, according to an international team of scientists, including researchers from Johns Hopkins University and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

The authors found that injecting incensole acetate, a Boswellia resin constituent, lowered anxiety in mice and led to behaviors typical of antidepressant drug administration, and they speculated that inhaling its combustion products may have a similar effect. The researchers also theorized that the burning of incense in religious ceremonies for millennia may not be a coincidence, since it does appear to have the effect of calming and cheering those who inhale it.

This is interesting news. The sense of smell is strongly linked to our limbic system, the part of the brain that regulates emotions and motivations. Depression and anxiety affect nearly 60 million Americans. Inhaling diffused incense in moderation is low-risk, and certainly worth a try for those who suffer from these difficult conditions"

Is Incense an Antidepressant?
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Friday, July 04, 2008

Speed up your metabolism

I think part of my success is metabolism related.  I try not to let myself get very hungry, by eating little snacks throughout the day - fruit, vegetables, almonds, pretzels.  OK and nilla wafers too.  I also take Green Tea supplements.

"1. Get active - it's a sure-fire way to increase the amount of muscle you have, which in turn will speed up your metabolism. Do a mixture of aerobic and resistance training for best results. And don't forget to be more active in your daily life too.

2. Eat little and often - there's evidence that eating small, regular meals throughout the day, rather than one or two large meals, may help to keep your metabolism ticking over. Surprisingly, around 10 percent of the calories we use each day go on digesting and absorbing food - so the more times you eat, the greater this effect is likely to be.

3. Eat plenty of protein-rich foods - research shows that around 25 percent of calories in a protein-rich meal may be burnt off. But make sure you choose low-fat protein foods such as lean meat, skinless chicken and low-fat dairy products.

4. Spice up meals - it's not an old wives tale after all! Spices like chilli are thought to raise metabolism by up to 50 percent for up to three hours after eating, due to increasing your heart rate. But before putting the local Indian takeaway on speed dial, work out which curries have the lowest calorie and fat content.

5. Swap you daily cuppa for green tea - there's evidence that it contains antioxidants that speed up metabolism.

6. Try a CLA supplement - more extensive studies need to be carried out before any definite conclusions can be drawn, but research has shown that conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) might increase muscle and therefore boost metabolism.

7. Chill out - research shows that being very cold can increase metabolism by up to 20 percent.

8. Have a sauna - being very hot is also thought to boost metabolism by about 20 percent (but check you don't have any underlying medical problems that mean you shouldn't go in saunas or steam rooms).

8 Ways to Speed Up Your Metabolism

(thanks sufisister)

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Thursday, July 03, 2008

Sinus and ear problems

I have been taking Sudafed and Mucinex for years to deal with sinus and ear problems that started in 2003 after my office suffered a flood.  I believe our office was contaminated with mold (water sat in the elevator shaft for two weeks!) and that started the whole thing.

Anyway, I found a homeopathic herbal remedy on Lucky Vitamin that is working for me!!  I have stopped taking Sudafed altogether (except when I ran out of the other stuff briefly) and only take Mucinex once or twice a week.  I am so happy about this I can't tell you.  I also have started sleeping much better (I did not realize how much the Sudafed was affecting my sleep!).  I've been taking this for 3 or 4 weeks now. 

I had been taking Allegra D (just because it's easier getting Sudafed that way - it's hard to find real Sudafed around here because it's always sold out) and the new product is definitely cheaper than the Allegra D.  I hope I don't have to take it forever. 

The product I've been taking is Clear Sinus & Ear by Clear Products. So far Lucky Vitamin has the best price I've found for it ($8.65):

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How West Virginia sees the rest of the U.S.

Got this from Mountain Laurel, who got it from

Click to see the bigger version

How California sees the rest of the U.S.

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"Ground Beef Recall

Due to a potential health hazard, Customers who purchased any of the item(s) below should NOT eat the product.

Please return the product to the store for a full refund.

Based on the latest information from the USDA, Kroger is expanding the recall to include ground beef products in Styrofoam tray packages wrapped in clear cellophane or purchased from an in-store service counter from the stores described below.

There are various “sell by” dates on the ground beef being recalled due to different Nebraska Beef production dates.

The following chart explains the range of “sell by” dates that customers should check:

Fred Meyer May 21-July 5
QFC May 21-July 5
Kroger stores May 21-July 3 *

(*except Kroger stores in Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, and Knoxville, Tenn. and Kroger’s Mid-Atlantic division, which includes stores in North Carolina, Northeastern Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. Kroger stores in Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Knoxville, Tenn. are not involved in the recall of ground beef in Styrofoam trays or from in-store service counters.)

Kroger Mid-Atlantic May 19-June 6 [this includes WV stores]
Fry’s May 21-July 3
Ralphs May 21-July 3 Smith’s May 21-July 3
Baker’s May 17-June 4
King Soopers June 20-July 3
City Market June 20-July 3

Customers who shop at Hilander, Owen’s, Pay Less, and Scott’s should follow the “sell by” dates listed above for Kroger stores.

In addition to the ground beef described above, Kroger is recalling Private Selection Natural ground beef sold in 16 oz. packages that were in the self-service meat case. The “sell by” dates for this product is July 11 through July 21, 2008. The product was available at all Kroger stores (including Kroger Mid-Atlantic and stores in Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Knoxville, Tenn.) and Dillons, Fred Meyer, Baker’s, Smith’s and Fry’s.

Reason: The product may be contaminated with E. COLI O157:H7 and, if eaten, could result in severe illness to those individuals with a weakened immune system.

Click here to view a press release about this recall.

For more information on Kroger's food safety practices, click here.

Items NOT included in this recall are:

1. Kroger Ground Beef in Tubes Ground Beef in sealed tubes: 1, 3 or 5 LB. sizes

2. Kroger Frozen Beef Patties Frozen Ground Beef Patties sold from frozen food aisle."

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Tuesday, July 01, 2008

I can't help but be on their side

"(CNN) -- Fifteen camels, several llamas and a potbellied pig broke out of a circus near Amsterdam on Monday. The ringleader? A giraffe who bolted, too.

Police said the giraffe kicked open a fence and walked out.

"The other animals walked out with him," said Amsterdam police spokesman Rob Van Der Veen.

The animals were part of a traveling circus that had set up its tents in the city of Amstelveen, six miles outside the Dutch capital.

They made their break about 5:45 a.m., wandering about a residential street and riling up a neighborhood dog, police said.

Officers and circus employees rounded them up before they could get too far and returned them to their pens.

"It must have been a funny sight," Van Der Veen said. "Waking up in the morning and looking out the window to see those animals walk through the streets."

Giraffe gathers troops, leads great escape from circus

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