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Pining for a Volvo with Cadillac Service

My husband says that car service departments see me coming and that I may as well have a sign on my back that says “TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ME” The thing is I am – like most people – at the mercy of a car service department. If a mechanic or service manager tells me I need to spend $386 to have my shocks replaced, I have no way of knowing whether this is true or not. For that reason, my husband, who owned automotive service centers for two decades, usually handles the car repairs. He is not, as I say “snowable.” Read more »


10 Key Executives Made $7.7 Million at the NRA

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

The National Rifle Association of America (NRA) is a non-profit 501 (c) (4) organization that fights tirelessly for our second amendment rights. Whether or not you believe the second amendment refers to “militia” or “the people” has always been controversial but is even more so in the wake of the near daily occurrence of mass shootings in this country. People are screaming out for gun control because quite frankly, there are too many guns and assault weapons in the hands of the wrong people. Read more »


Parma Vegan Cheese

Parma is good karma!

Watching a fresh hunk of Italian parmesan cheese turn into a snowfest on top of my pasta used to make me giddy with delight. After all, what’s better than a big bowl of pasta covered in tomato or pesto sauce and freshly grated parmesan cheese? Few things are, so going dairy-free relegated parmesan cheese to a distant bittersweet memory. But life has a way of opening a new door after one has been shut.  Read more »


“A Personal Matter”

Every time you stand at a crossroads of life and death, you have two universes in front of you, one loses all relation to you because you die, the other maintains its relation for you to survive in it.

Kenzaburō Ōe is a Japanese writer of essays, short stories, and novels that primarily deal with social, cultural, political, and philosophical issues. Born in 1935, Ōe has had many of his works translated into English and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1994. Influenced by Kafka, Twain, Lagerlöf, and a host of French writers, Ōe often writes of the desire for adventure, the mundane parts of life, and the truly horrific parts of our existence in a nuclear age. But, the biggest influence on Ōe’s literary career seems to be his firstborn son, Hikari. Read more »


The 5-Minute Super (Healthy) Sandwich

Grabbing an energy bar for a late morning or afternoon snack beats the hunger blues but for a tasty change, consider the 5-Minute Super (Healthy) Sandwich. Packed with nutrients and fiber, this easy-to-make sandwich is a feast for the senses: colorful, delicious, and a handful.

Creamy avocado with sun-ripened fresh tomato slices along with crunchy sprouts give this big fat sandwich a variety of flavors and textures that make it one very satisfying snack. When I served this sandwich to a friend, he stared at it, said that he felt like he was in California where “everyone” eats healthy, and then gobbled it up. It’s that good. Read more »


Where does $1 to the Salvation Army go?

During the holiday season, The Salvation Army operates its Red Kettle Campaign throughout the nation. Local volunteers (often working with their families) and paid workers stand by the iconic red kettle ringing a bell, and smiling while donations are placed in the red kettle.

It’s hard for anyone to walk by without placing a $1 or loose change in the kettle of one of the most recognizable charitable fundraisers in this country. But, where does $1 to the Salvation Army go? That’s the $4 billion dollar (the amount of revenue reported in the US in 2014) question, keeping in mind the Salvation Army organizations in the US have more than $11 billion in net assets.  Read more »


6 Ways to Make Your Donations Go Further

Tis the season for giving. We receive mail and on-line requests, buy tickets for charitable events, and get solicited at work, the grocery store, drug store, the mall, and a zillion other places. Many charities do really good work in our communities but many also have very high administrative and fundraising expenses along with high executive salaries which means our donations don’t go as far as we want them to go.  To make your charitable dollars go further, consider the following six recommendations: Read more »


What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Last week, The Wall Street Journal published an article entitled “The Truth Behind the Sell-By Date” but with a headline of “Don’t Toss the Milk, Dear” which addressed the expiration date on foods – an interesting topic for sure. But, the photograph that accompanied the article on the front page of The Personal Journal was even more thought provoking. Read more »


Foodie Gift Ideas

The holiday season is all about food and lots of it at the office, restaurants, and at home. So many of the rich foods associated with the holidays contain dairy (i.e. butter, milk, cream), eggs, or animal products but there are many specialty holiday foods without these ingredients that are fresh and taste as rich and delicious as traditional favorites.  Here are a few great gift ideas for the foodie in your life: Read more »


Jennifer’s Homemade Breadsticks and Flatbread

You can taste the love in every bite.

Jennifer’s Homemade Breadsticks and Flatbread are made from scratch with only the finest natural ingredients:  wheat flour, extra virgin olive oil, kosher salt and fresh rosemary. Crunchy, delicious, and naturally vegan, the breadsticks and flatbread are versatile which makes them perfect for snacking and entertaining. Simply place the flatbreads in a bread basket or the breadsticks in a wide mouth jar on a table and watch them disappear. Read more »