Author: Kristin Hernandez

Why is the American Health Care System Broken?

COMMENTARY The Institute of Medicine issued a lengthy report, “Best Care at Lower Cost,” on Thursday. In addition to offering potential solutions to the problems in American health care, the IOM spells out what many of us have known for years: Health care, as it currently delivered, is a broken system.

closeup photo of USA flag

Even though there are things you know without anyone having to tell you, namely the current state of health care, having the information quantified by a non-biased, non-political source is reassuring. As the AP reported, the IOM determined that the monstrous health care system in the United States wastes $750 billion annually. That figure translates into 30 cents of every health care dollar spent being wasted.

The blame for the broken system can’t be placed on any one person’s or entity’s shoulders. That’s OK, because there is plenty of blame to go around. People in the know, and in positions to make a difference, have failed to see the big picture, preferring to “solve” the situation with knee-jerk reactions or by focusing on a too narrow scope.

Putting things into perspective, the AP relates that the $750 billion-a-year waste figure represents more than the Pentagon’s annual budget and enough money to cover the costs of uninsured Americans. The figure also represents more than a decade of Medicare costs reductions as part of the new health care law.

It’s time to stop letting elected officials and those seeking to be elected determine what the important issues are to everyday Americans. Someone must take the bull by the horns and mandate the changes necessary to fix the broken health care system while at the same time trimming the egregiously wasted money. The IOM says that these two changes can be achieved simultaneously and even while doing so, health care and its outcomes will improve.

That’s what we really want, isn’t it? To get the best bang for our buck and quality health care. It wouldn’t hurt that by repairing the system and paring the waste, the nation would also be tackling the deficit.

Smack dab in the middle of the baby boomer generation, L.L. Woodard is a proud resident of “The Red Man” state. With what he hopes is an everyman’s view of life’s concerns both in his state and throughout the nation, Woodard presents facts and opinions based on common-sense solutions.

Viewing Websites on Your Kindle E-Ink

It is sometimes pretty difficult to view websites on your Kindle E-Ink. The reason being, the Kindle E-Ink will zoom the webpages out and make them really small. That means, you must strain your eyes to see the content on the webpage. However, there are a couple of ways to view websites that makes it a little less harder on the eyes. Continue reading this article to learn how to better view websites on your Kindle E-Ink.

Start by opening your browser and loading a webpage. Any webpage will work. When the webpage loads, you will need to load your settings menu. So press the Settings button on the bottom of your Kindle. When the Settings menu opens, you will have a couple of different options. Let’s take a look at those options.

Change Font Size

One of the things you can do is change the font size of the text on the site. If this is the option that you want to go with, move your cursor to that option in the Settings menu and select it. You will now see a few different options for changing the size of your text. Move the cursor to the option you want to go with. You can also rotate the screen to help you better view webpages. Once you make your selection, press the middle navigation button and the menu will close and you will see the font at a new size.

person reading story in Amazon Kindle tablet

Zoom In

Another option you can use for viewing webpages is the Zoom In option. This option allows you to zoom in to a webpage so you can easily read the content. To use the Zoom In option, you will need to open your Settings menu again. This time, instead of moving your line to the Change Font Size option, move it to the Zoom In option and select it by pressing the middle navigation button. That will close the Settings menu and you will see the site zoom in and get larger.

Either option you use will work just fine. If it is images you are looking at, it’s probably best to go with the Zoom In option. If it is just text, then using the Change Font Size option will work just fine.…

Corn and Crab Leftovers-What Not to Waste: Fast and Simple Recipes for Butter, Sauce and Stock

The traditions of summer eating usually include a barbeque of some sort and eating lots of fresh seafood. And nothing is fresher in the summer than sun-kissed corn on the cob to accompany a stack of ribs or a platter of crabs. But once the feasting is over, it never fails that there is always a pile of crab shells and leftover meat pickings, plus a stack of cobs and corn husks. Rather than throwing them out, or putting them in the compost pile, turn those leftovers into new and delicious uses that can add a subtle touch of summer into any dish.

orange crab on focus photography

Crab Butter

Crab-infused butter is a delicious condiment for sandwiches, or to mix in with pasta or soups. And of course, it’s perfect to dip in those extra crab claws.

Using the remaining crab shells, break them up into smaller pieces, either by hand or with a meat tenderizer (watch for flying flakes!). While breaking these up, have one stick of butter* resting on the counter to bring to room temperature, or for approximately 20 minutes until slightly soft but not runny. Add the butter in to a mixer and slowly begin to churn. When softened and somewhat creamy, add in the shell bits and continue to mix at a low speed until the shells flakes are combined well with the butter.

Take the mixture and cool overnight, or about 6 hours. Then slowly clarify the crab shell and butter mixture, which will allow for straining out the shell pieces. Then let the crab-infused butter cool in the refrigerator.

*Depending on the amount of leftover crab shells, it may be necessary to adjust the amount of butter used.


Crab Sauce

A light sauce that’s a tasty companion for crudités or as a spread on crackers.


2 tbs white wine vinegar

1 cup mayonnaise

1 tbs Dijon mustard

2 tbs lemon juice

3 minced garlic cloves

2 scallion, diced (white and light green parts only)

1 tsp soy sauce

¾ cup of flaked crab meat (do not use lump crab meat)

Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large bowl, mix together the vinegar and mayonnaise. Once combined, add the mustard, garlic, scallions and lemon juice. Stir well. Then add in the soy sauce and crab meat. Season well with salt and pepper.

Golden Corn Stock

Corn stock is an easy broth to make with leftover corn on the cob and is a tasty substitute to using chicken broth or water in corn-based soups. It’s fine to use corn on the cob that’s already been eaten, if washed thoroughly. Otherwise, using fresh ears of corn, simply remove the corn kernels with a sharp knife in a downward motion and save for another use.


8-10 ears of cobs, husks and silk included, rinsed

10 cups of water

To begin, rinse the cobs, husks and corn silk in cold water and discard any brown pieces of husk or silk. Then cut corn pieces into smaller chunks, approximately 2-3 …

Food Fit for a King Even Though You Are Camping!

Eating outside does not mean ‘hot dogs and beans’ or ‘hamburgers and chips’ anymore. Now is the time to bring the inside yummies outside.

Let’s look at a few possibilities of what you can cook while you and that special someone have set up camp away from any sight of civilization. That’s when the hunger sets in. Now it’s time to get creative and make some chow!

orange camping tent near green trees

Grab a big pot, fill it with water and put it on the grate over the fire. Once it starts boiling, add a little salt and toss in some pasta. Chop up some fresh veggies and plop them into the pasta about 5 minutes before the pasta is ready to be removed from the fire. When finished, drain the contents while holding the lid slightly ajar to allow the water to empty. Place the pasta and veggies into a bowl and toss in some evoo (extra virgin olive oil), maybe a touch of garlic powder and butter. A tasty side dish to compliment that chicken!

Another quick idea is breakfast! Get the pot of water boiling, then break out the ziplock baggies. Time to satisfy the hungriest with this easy campfire omlette! Let everyone make their own. Place any ingredients you want in the baggie, such as; mushrooms, onions, green pepper, cheese, then add a pat of butter. Break a couple eggs into the baggie. Secure it shut. Then shake the baggie’s contents until the eggs are mixed in. Drop the baggie into the boiling water and let it cook for about 3-5 minutes, tossing the bag from one side to the other to ensure cooking. You can be the judge of what degree you like your eggs cooked. And, presto, a yummy omeltte straight from the campfire!

Don’t let the outdoors make you think that eating outdoors is boring. You can cook just about anything you want outside. All you need to do is prepare your menu before you go so you bring all the necessities that will be needed to prepare your meals. Oh, don’t forget the main ingredient, Love!

Who said camping means you have to settle for boring food?…

YMCA, Health Advocates Kick off Monthlong Healthy Activities Initiative

According to America On The Move news release, America on the Move Foundation and YMCA have kicked off a national month long celebration to educate Americans on a healthy, active life.

America On The Move is hoping to encourage Americans to take 2,000 more steps a day, and to eat 100 fewer calories a day. The program is trying to have people make small daily changes in their life. During the month of September, anyone can visit and participate in the campaign. People can make two pledges each day to make their lives better. Once you make your pledges you are eligible to win prizes such as an iPod or a $500 shopping spree at Dick’s Sporting Goods.

America on the Move activities will include between September 22-27 one week with the YMCA. 1,500 YMCA’s around the country will participate and help individuals and families to take small steps and get active. Along with the YMCA’s nationwide participation, thousands of America on the Move organizations will help host 2,000 step activities all around the nation. As part of the month long celebration, America on the Move will also announce the results of a national poll that will show Americans new information regarding the rise of obesity and new healthy lifestyles.

girl standing near plants

Neil Nicoll, the President and CEO of YMCA of the USA states that “as YMCAs nationwide expand their efforts to encourage healthier lifestyles, we are excited to join AOM in celebrating Steptember through America On the Move Week with the YMCA,”he also goes on to add that “Our nation’s health crisis is the defining issue of this generation and the next, and through YMCA Activate America we are reaching out to engage all people who seek well-being of spirit, mind and body. The small-changes message fits well with our efforts, and we look forward to sharing it with the thousands of communities and millions of people that YMCAs serve.”

America on the Move Foundation is a nationwide non profit organization that helps individuals, families, as well as communities all across the nation that helps make positive changes that improve the health and quality of life. In the America on the Move Foundation there are nearly one million participants on and offline that initiates and helps maintain, individual, social, and environmental behavior changes that help support healthy eating and healthy active habits throughout our society. To learn more about The America On The Move program, please visit their website at,

You can also go to the YMCA’s website located at The YMCA has over 2500 different locations throughout the United States and serves nearly 20.2 million people each year. Of those 20.2 million, 9.4 million of those people are under the age of 18.

SOURCE : America On the Move and More Than 1,500 YMCAs Kick Off September 2007


SOURCE : America on the Move website

14-Pound Healthy Baby Born: Are SuperSized Babies on the Rise?

COMMENTARY I thought squeezing out an almost nine-pound baby vaginally was rough. Kendall Stewardson gave birth to a 13-pound, 13-ounce baby boy in Des Moines, Iowa on Jan. 26. The baby, Asher Stewardson, also has a younger brother born 15 months earlier who weighed 12 pounds, 1 ounce. The Associated Press reported that only 1 percent of all babies born even top 11 pounds at birth, a fact many moms are likely happy about.

The world record in regards to infants born without surgery, was taken in 1879 to a Canadian woman in Ohio who pushed out a whopping 23-pound, 12-ounce baby, which sadly did not survive. Another woman, Carmelina Fedele of Italy, gave birth to a healthy 22-pound, 8-ounce baby boy in 1955. He did survive according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

baby under purple blanket

The average newborn is about five to eight pounds. The size of both parents, of course, can factor in to baby size, but the recent increase in super-sized babies ranging from 12 to 16 pounds is likely due to an increase in gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is a condition which can lead to increased fetal growth. Rates of the condition have been on the rise for some time, nearly tripling in the last decade, according to a study done at Northwest Memorial hospital in 2018 suggested. Lead author of the study, Boyd Metzger, M.D, believes this may be due to the growing rate of obesity, which is a risk factor for gestational diabetes.

Having had gestational diabetes in the pregnancy that produced said almost nine-pound baby, I can attest to the baby enlarging power of the condition myself. It’s important that those planning a pregnancy or currently pregnant review the risk factors for gestational diabetes and stay current with proper prenatal care. While little Asher was born healthy after six hours of labor, many over-sized infants are not so lucky. Birthing a large baby is dangerous both to the baby and his or her mom. In many cases, proper lifestyle changes can make a world of difference in slowing fetal growth in mothers with gestational diabetes making labor and delivery easier on everyone.…

Why Food Network is the Top TV Channel of All-Time

One of the first things I discovered when I got Dish Network, almost 10 years ago, was Food Network. I was immediately in love with this channel even though I was only 14 years old. For those of you who don’t know me, I started learning how to cook when I was really young. I watched my great grandmother make fried chicken and homemade biscuits every Sunday. I baked cookies with my Granny. I watched my great aunt make all kinds of different dishes, including her wonderful salmon patties. Last but certainly not least, I cooked hundreds of dishes with my mother. I’ve had a life filled with cooking and eating. To put it simply, I’m a foodie. So when I found Food Network, I was in love. But what makes Food Network so great? What makes Food Network the top TV channel of all time?

10 Reasons Why Food Network Is the of All Time #1: Recipes

Food Network has so many great recipes. You will find everything from Italian recipes to Southern recipes and these recipes are actually written by people who are Southern and Italian. There are recipes to please every taste.

variety of sliced fruits

10 Reasons Why Food Network Is the Top TV Channel of All Time #2: Chefs

Food Network wouldn’t be anything without the chefs. There are chefs who are funny, educational, and just down to earth. You will be able to find chefs that cook the recipes you are interested in. You’ll even find chefs that attractive on Food Network.

10 Reasons Why Food Network Is the Top TV Channel of All Time #3: Entertainment

Food Network is a very entertaining TV channel. There are competitions, educational shows, and so much more. If you don’t like to cook, don’t worry, there will still be a show that you will find entertaining.

10 Reasons Why Food Network Is the Top TV Channel of All Time #4: Variety

Food Network offers so much for one TV channel. For example there are shows that focus on the background of companies and how foods are made. There are also shows that focus on eating foods around the country. Some shows on this TV channel don’t even focus on cooking, just eating.

10 Reasons Why Food Network Is the Top TV Channel of All Time #5: Something for Everyone

This channel has something for everyone. Men who don’t really like to cook still enjoy Food Network because there are interesting shows and entertaining chefs. For example, most guys love Iron Chef and Good Eats.

10 Reasons Why Food Network Is the Top TV Channel of All Time #6: Educational

Of course, I couldn’t talk about this TV channel without mentioned the fact that it’s educational. Not only will you learn new recipes, but there are shows that also tell you how your favorite foods are made. Also Food Network has some shows that focus on basic cooking techniques.

10 Reasons Why Food Network Is the Top TV Channel of All

How to Find Free Sheet Music Online

If you’re a music nut like I am, you probably spend a rather large amount of time looking for sheet music. However, as most people know, it can be quite difficult to find good free sheet music online. That is why I have carefully constructed this guide, complete with a multitude of helpful tips and incredibly useful links.

Tip #1: Please be aware that a number of free sheet music that can be found online is not arranged by the original person. It is possible that the sheet music you are obtaining for free could not be entirely true to the original song. Be sure that you trust the source you’re getting your sheet music from. (Although, no matter how reputable the website is supposed to be, arrangement mistakes do happen.)

Tip #2: You should attempt to look at musical education websites first, such as These websites usually have a few free music sheets to print out. Normally the sheet music these websites provide are for well-known songs.

Tip #3: It is always better in the long run to purchase the sheet music. This ensures a 100% guarantee of correctness. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to find out that I’ve been playing the wrong sheet music of a song for two years.

woman standing watching LED light musical instrument

Here are a few links to websites that offer free piano sheet music (please note that these can work with the harp too):

Pianolicious – This contains hundreds of music sheets for popular songs such as Bella’s Lullaby, Bring Me To Life, etc.

Jeanies’ Home Studio – This contains some easy and fun sheet music, including the Harry Potter theme song.

Solo Sheets – I highly recommend this well organized website. It contains a good amount of relaxing New Age sheet music.

If you happen to play other instruments, here are generic free sheet music websites for you to peruse:

Making Music Fun – Contains sheet music for the piano, strings, woodwinds, and brass.

Celtic Sheet Music – This website is one of my personal favorites. It contains over 3,000 old Celtic tunes.

Download Sheet Music Online – Contains a fair amount of popular sheet music.

These websites contain a plethora of wonderful sheet music, both modern and classic. Hopefully these will aid you in your everlasting search for sheet music.…

Technology for Older Generations

If you stop and think about it the foundation of almost all the technology we use today was already in place at the end of World War II. We had computer, television, radio, radar, telephone, rocket and jet power, automobiles, x-ray, and even nuclear power. Most advances that have occurred since 1945 have been the refinement and mass use of all those things.

So, there 21st century isn’t all that scary after all. In many ways the 21st century isn’t much different from the 20th century. If you’re considering or just beginning to use the newer technologies here are some tips that may help.

men's white dress shirt

  1. There’s nothing to fear from consumer technology: It won’t hurt you and you can’t hurt it. Go ahead and jump on in.
  2. Decide what you want or need and don’t let someone else decide for you: What are you wanting to do? Is it listen to music, watch big screen television, record shows, take photographs, receive and send email, make phone calls just about anywhere, access the internet, play games or exercise, join a social networking site, do research, watch movies on a computer?

Those are all things technology can help you with and make easier, faster, and more enjoyable. There are flat screen tvs, digital cameras, cell phones, Smartphones, IPods, laptop computers, GPS and more.

But don’t buy technology just to be buying it. You don’t need more stuff sitting around gathering dust.

  1. Contact a trustworthy relative or friend and ask for advice: Now that you’ve decided to jump in and you have some idea of what you want from technology, ask a knowledgeable relative or friend about different devices and manufacturers.
  2. Purchase only from well-known and trusted sources whether brick-n-mortar store or internet: Schemers and scammers are everywhere. Don’t be tricked by promises of cheap stuff and saving money. Buy from established retailers and wholesalers whether you go to their stores or their websites.
  3. Start simple but with quality: If you’re just starting out, keep it simple. If all you want to do is access the internet and send email, get a quality computer (AppleTM for my money) but don’t purchase extra computing power or fancy software you’re not going to use.
  4. Ask your retailer to suggest good instruction; book, class, or course: Electronics stores and book stores have good selection of instruction books or take a course from a local continuing education college. It’ll be fun.
  5. Start using your technological gadget: Okay, you got it now start using it. Put in that DVD, listen to that IPod, send some emails, give everyone you know you’re cell phone number, post some messages on Facebook, do some web searches on topics you’re interested in-the important thing is to start using your new gadgets.
  6. Experiment with more advanced applications: You’re having fun using what you have and that’s great. Now learn how to upload photos onto Facebook, or play games on your cell phone, or watch movies

Online Coupon Code Websites Easily Save Your Time and Money

Many of us clip coupons. It’s an easy way to save a few bucks here and there. However it does take time to go through all the newspapers and magazine clipping out the coupons you think you’ll use, and then it’s a nightmare keeping it all organized for the next time you go shopping. Also, many of us are now shopping online more and more, and enjoying the convenience, and quite often the savings. These days, most online stores now have an option to enter a coupon code during checkout.

Unfortunately, these coupon codes are sometimes hidden on a page on the site you didn’t visit or in magazines you don’t subscribe to. But with coupon code websites, you don’t have to spend your life looking for coupon codes you only might use later. With the convenience of coupon code websites, you can simply search for the website you’re purchasing from on the coupon site before checking out to make sure you aren’t missing out on a deal.

My favorite is, but there’s also and, just to name a few. Also, you can easily more by simply using your favorite search engine to search for “coupon codes.” Once you find some websites you like, bookmark them for later. When you are actually making a purchase from a site, load up the websites and search them for the specific site you’re ordering from. By searching for the codes only once you decide to buy from a particular place, you save time spent finding and organizing coupons you don’t even end up using.

assorted-color abstract painting

Sometimes you’ll search everywhere but there are no deals to be found. This happens, but this is one of the times where the coupon sites show their convenience. It takes, at best, two minutes to search through several coupon sites. If you don’t find anything, you’ve wasted only two minutes. If you do find a deal, you’ve probably saved more dollars than minutes spent.

Some stores are more likely to have codes floating around than others. In fact, some stores never have any. However if even only one or two of your regular stores consistently has codes, you can save quite a few dollars over time. Online coupon code sites have the same savings as traditional coupon clipping, but with significantly less time spent. This makes these websites appealing to both regular coupon clippers, and those who had never wanted to spend the time on it. Coupon code websites are a new opportunity to save a little green.…

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