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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Audio Podcast: Episode 90 - Excercising

With the upcoming stresses that we're going to be going through with the economy, getting in shape is an important preparedness item.


Financial Preparedness: You Can Avoid Becoming a Victim of Fraud

I received a brochure in the mail from the Federal Trade Commission and thought the information might be helpful to you.  In my lifetime, I have seen far too many people get taken by "get rich quick schemes" and scams because they don't recognize the warning signs.  Educate yourself so you can be prepared!

  • Sounds too good to be true
  • Pressures you to act "right away."
  • Guarantees success.
  • Promises unusually high returns.
  • Requires an upfront investment--even for a "free" prize.
  • Buyers want to overpay you for an item and have you send them the difference.
  • Doesn't have the look of a real business.
  • Something just doesn't feel right.
  • Never click on a link inside an email to visit a Web site.  Type the address into your browser instead.
  • It's easy for a business to look legitimate online.  If you have any doubts, verify the company with the Better Business Bureau.
  • Only 2% of reported identity theft occurs through the mail.  Report online fraud to the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov/complaint.
  • Retain your receipts, statements, and packing slips.  Review them for accuracy.
  • Shred confidential documents instead of simply discarding them in the trash.
  • Your bank will never e-mail or call you for your account number.
  • Don't wire money to people you don't know.
  • Be cautious of work-at-home job offers.
  • Check out the company with the Better Business Bureau.
  • There are no legitimate jobs that involve reshipping items or financial instruments from your home.
  • Foreign lotteries are illegal in the U.S.  You can't win no matter what they say.
  • Check your monthly bank statements for charges you don't recognize.
  • Order a copy of your credit report from each of the three national credit bureaus once a year from annualcreditreport.com
  • It's never too early to become an informed consumer.  Point out "too good to be true" offers to your kids, and teach them to be skeptical.
  • Take an active interest in the financial activities of your aging parents.
  • Share information about scams with friends and family.  Use social networking to help keep them safe.
If you've received a suspected fraud through the U.S. Mail, or if the mail was used in the furtherance of a crime that began on the Internet, telephone or in person, report it to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service:

U.S. Postal Inspection Service
Criminal Investigations Service Center
ATTN:  Mail Fraud
222 S. Riverside Plaza
Chicago, IL 60606-6100

The Federal Trade Commission, the nation's consumer protection agency, works to prevent fraud and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid it.  To file a complaint or get free information on consumer issues, visit ftc.gov or call 1-877-FTC-HELP.  Watch a new video, How to File a Complaint, at ftc.gov/video to learn more.

Rosemary Herb, Grow, Dry, Crush



If you like the flavor of Rosemary herb (especially delicious on chicken and poultry), no matter what time of year, you can benefit from growing and processing (dry) your own Rosemary.
I have to say, home grown dry crushed Rosemary tastes SO much better then grocery store spice-in-a-jar Rosemary. You will never go back once you start growing your own.
If you live in regions where temperatures drop much below freezing during the winter, you can still grow your own Rosemary in a pot, inside. Pick one up at a nursery. During the winter the Rosemary plant will need at least 6 hours of sunlight each day to survive, so either a proper facing window or grow light will be required.

How to dry Rosemary herb leaves

The process to dry your own is very simple. Snip a few sprigs (branch sections). I will typically snip 3 or 4 tips of branches, each about 6 to 8 inches long. In the end, this will provide about a half ounce of dry Rosemary leaves.
Hold the sprigs and bunch up one end and tie them all together at the end with a string, so you can hang it. Then, hang it (I hang Rosemary indoors and out of direct sunlight). So long as the environment isn’t terribly humid, it will dry out just fine.
After about 2 weeks, or whenever the leaves easily come off the branch when handled, scrunch each branch with your hand so that the Rosemary leaves will fall into a bowl.
Then, pick up handfuls and crush the leaves until they are as small as you prefer. When the leaves are dry enough, they will split into smaller pieces easily when crushed . Otherwise you could use a mortar and pestle and crush them using the tool.
I store mine in a small jam sized canning jar to keep it fresh. After several months it will lose some potency, but that’s not a problem – just dry some more!
You can even order a Rosemary Plant online.

Here is a short video of the process
Click here to view the embedded video.

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