Saturday, December 31, 2011

Nako Survives Wolf Attack

Injured puppy's owner astounded by generous community response

The owner of a puppy suspected of being attacked by a wolf in Black Creek says she is astounded and deeply touched by people's generosity and love. Eight-month-old Nako - a border collie cross - is back home after two operations at Van Isle Veterinary Hospital in Courtenay.

The complex procedures and medication resulted in a total bill of $4,700 - with a possible third surgery yet to come. To help cover some of the cost, hospital staff have been accepting donations from people who had heard about the puppy's plight through the Echo and other media.
Those donations alone have covered about a third of the bill, and another $2,000 more has been offered online through dozens of individual pledges via the internet, including through facebook postings. "People from as far away as Hawaii and Australia have contributed - it's absolutely overwhelming," Nako's owner, Samantha Garstang, told the Echo on Wednesday. "It just shows that community has no borders. It's just beautiful to experience and really quite inspiring."

Ten days before Christmas, Garstang had let Nako out to relieve himself in the yard, but when he hadn't returned after 20 minutes she went in search of him. He was found curled up, with part of his tail missing and his rear quarters heavily chewed and dripping with blood.
Later a B.C. Conservation Officer told her the injuries were consistent with those that would be incurred in a wolf attack.

Nako spent several days at the vets before returning home in time for Christmas, where he comforted himself with a stuffed reindeer toy a well-wisher had left for him. "He's doing pretty well considering what he's gone through." said Garstang. "He's still on sedatives, so he's not jumping around yet. But he's got amazing spirit."
Nako was back at the veterinary hospital on Tuesday for further work on his wound, and may need additional medical attention down the line. "Staff at Van Isle have been amazing," said Garstang. "They really worked collaboratively on what was a challenging case, and they have done so much to help above and beyond the medical care."
Van Isle Veterinary Hospital administrator Leslie Sweeney said it had been refreshing to see a community come together in a time of need.  "When Nako was attacked by a wild animal, his owner reached out to the community for help," she said. "Van Isle Veterinary Hospital has been accepting donations to aid Nako's surgeries and recovery.

"We are touched by the generosity of the people of the Comox Valley, who have showed us true holiday spirit and real community support. Thanks to you, Nako is doing well, and is continuing his recovery at home."

Celebrity Deaths of 2011

Friday, December 30, 2011

11 Biggest Celebrity Wedding Of 2011 !

                                                   Shania Twain &  Frederic Thiebaud

The pair kicked off the  new year by making it official in Purrto Rico . It was a happy ending for the couple , who got together after their former spouses  , Mutt Lange and Marie-Anne Thiebaud , reportedly had an affair .
                                  Kelsey Grammer  &  Kayte Walsh
On February 25 , just weeks after finalizing his divorce from Camille Grammer , the "Boss" star married Walsh at the Longacre Thearter on Broadway . The couple then threw a lavish  reception at the Plaza Hotel .
                                     Reese Witherspoon  & Jim Toth
On March 26 , the actress and her agent  beau tied the knot at her estate in Ojai in front of  125 guests , including Scarlett Johansson , Sean Penn , Matthew McConaughey and Renee Zellweger.
                          Prince William   & Kate Middleton
Americans voluntarily woke up before 5 a.m. on April 22  to watch the Royal Wedding of William and Kate . Highlights included Kate's stunning Alexander  McQueen wedding gown , her sister Pippa's now famous derrier , and Princess Beatrice  gaudy fascinator .

                        Rachel Weisz   & Daniel Craig
In late June , the pair secertly tied the knot in New York before just four guests . They got together after Weisz ssplit from director Darren Aronosiky last November.

                           Kate Moss  &  Jamie Hince
The supermodel and rocker got hitched in Gloustershire , England on July 1 in front of stars such as Stella McCartney , Naomi Campbell and Jude Law .

                                          Nick Lachey  & Vanessa Minnillo
The duo wed at Richard Branson's private Nec ker Island on July 15 . The nuptials were televised as "Nick and Vanessa's Dream Wedding " on TLC.

                             Kim Kardashian   & Kris Humphries
Kardashian and Humphries married on August 20 in front of appoximately 500 of their closest pals for a televised  E ! special . Just 72 days later , she filed for divorce .

                          Seth Rogers   & Lauren Miller
The comedian married his longtime love at a vineyard in Sonoma, California on October 2 , Jonah Hill , Paul Rudd , Craig Robinson , Adam Sandler and Judd Apatow attended the nuptials.
                                        Nancy Shevell  & Paul McCartney
The Beatle and New York businesswoman said "I do" at London's Old Marylebone Hall on October 9 . They later celebrated at his London estate with a slew of celebrities such as Ringo Starr , Kate Moss and Twiggy .
                                        LeAnn Rimes  & Eddie Cibrian
The couple exchanged vows in Malibu on April 22 in front of 40 guests . It was the second marriage for both  Rimes and Cibrian , who was married to others when they began their romance on the set of the Lifetime movie  Northern Lights. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Spain's Duchess of Alba is Marge Simpson's Sister

Here is Spain's Dona Maria del Rosario Cayetana Fitz-James Stuarty Silva , 18th Duches of Alba , 85 , in Madrid the other day (left) ... And Marge  Simpson's sister  ... Selma Bouvier-Terivilliger- Hutz-McClure-Stu-Simpson-D`amico on "The Simpsons." (right)

One is quite the character .

We;re are just sayin.'

Justin Bieber's Grandparents Injured In Major Car Accident

Justin Bierber's grandparents were injured in a major car accident .

Patti Mallette , Bieber's mom revealed on twitter that her parents Diane and Bruce Dale were driving when :they flipped into a ditch and totaled the car."

Bruce suffered broken ribs , " but thank God they are alive ," she wrote.

Still Mallette asked for fans to "Plz pray 4 him 4 quick healing ."

"Count your blessing  and forgive ur parents always," she added. "U never know what tomorrow holds !!!

Bieber's grandparents who helped raise him were seen affectionately discussing his childhood in Justin Bieber : Never Say Never , which was released in theaters earlier this year.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Days After Christmas

The day after Christmas has always been a little bit sad. After all, the anticipation part of the big day is over. Only New Year's to look forward to, and for a non-partier like me that's not much of a holiday.

Normally I spend weeks preparing for Christmas. Decorating, shopping, wrapping and baking; and there are always a thousand little details and incidentals to take care of.
 Buying several gifts for each member of the family is a tradition I grew up with. My parents didn't have a lot of money when they were young but they still managed to fill up the space below the Christmas tree with all kinds of things. Most only cost a few dollars—but it was the fun of seeing so many wrapped presents and wondering what they could be. Lots of little but thoughtful presents are the tradition in my family, one I've tried to carry on even as it's become harder to keep the cost reasonable.

Then there is a special Christmas meal, preparing something that's a bit out of the ordinary or a little more lavish than the everyday cooking that usually goes on around here. My bathroom scale attests to the fact that around the days leading up to and including Christmas are filled with lots of fun calories.
But now the days ahead will get back to "normal." Apart from the relief that the number on that scale shouldn't keep going up (but hopefully back down once the last cookie disappears!) it's a bit of a let down to have the festivities over and done.

Perhaps the European way is better. I've heard in Germany they celebrate St. Nicholas Day (December 6th) with gifts for the children, but Christmas Day is reserved for more spiritual reflection. It would  be a good way to avoid that after Christmasx let-down. After a day of somber thinking and reflecting, the following day would seem much more cheerful.
Christmas in this country is what it is: material, commercialized, secularized in so many ways. Some of the traditions I carry on, and will no doubt continue to carry on, reflect that. But it's fun, it's a happy time, it's filled with cheer. And on this day or so after Christmas, instead of feeling let down that it's all over, as I have always felt, I find that the older I get and the faster this day seems to come each year, I'm feeling more relieved than sad. I realize perhaps today is every bit as wonderful as those leading up to Christmas. This is the day I take time to count the many blessings in my life—I saw them on the happy faces of my family. This morning as I walked the dog, when the sun was just a promise in the sky and lit the frost on the grass and the rooftops the most spectacular shade of bluish green, I felt that life was pretty good and although the world is in sorry shape it is full of hope and good things and good people who care.

Life really is a miracle. Just the fact that we are here is a miracle, whether they find the Higg's Boson or not ( don't ask). And so, on with life as usual . . . The sales are really good this week; I may start stocking up for next Christmas.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011

Three Milk Cake - Pastel Tres Leches

Savor this creamy cake that will melt in your mouth. Its blends of milk make this traditional cake of Latin origin an excellent way to impress your guests.



  • 6 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 can (14 oz.) NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 can (7.6 fl. oz.) NESTLÉ Media Crema, or 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2/3 cup (5 fl.-oz. can) NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
PREHEAT oven to 375° F. Grease and flour 9-inch springform pan.

BEAT egg whites and 1/4 cup sugar in large mixer bowl until stiff peaks form. Combine egg yolks and remaining sugar in medium bowl; beat until light yellow in color. Fold egg white mixture and flour alternately into egg yolk mixture. Pour into prepared pan.

BAKE for 15 to 20 minutes or until just golden and wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven to wire rack.

FOR CREAM:COMBINE sweetened condensed milk, media crema, evaporated milk, brandy and vanilla extract in medium bowl; stir well. Prick top of cake thoroughly with wooden pick. Pour 2 cups cream over cake. Spoon excess cream from side of pan over top of cake. Let stand for 30 minutes or until cake absorbs cream. Remove side of pan.

cream, sugar and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until stiff peaks form. Spread over top and sides of cake. Serve immediately with remaining cream.
Prep:30 mins----Cooking:15 mins----Cooling:30 mins----Yields:12 servings
Comments made in the year 1955!
I'll tell you one thing, if things keep going the way they are, it's going to be
 impossible to buy a week's groceries for $10.00.

Have you seen the new cars
coming out next year? It won't be long before $2,000.00 will only buy a used one.

If cigarettes keep going up in
price, I'm going to quit; 20 cents a pack is ridiculous.
Did you hear the post office is
thinking about charging 7 cents just to mail a letter.
If they raise the minimum wage
to $1.00, nobody will be able to hire outside help at the store.
When I first started driving, who
would have thought gas would someday cost 25 cents a gallon. Guess we'd be
 better off leaving
the car in the garage.
I'm afraid to send my kids to the
movies any more. Ever since they let Clark Gable get by with saying DAMN in
GONE WITH THE WIND, it seems every new movie has either HELL or DAMN in it.

I read the other day where some
scientist thinks it's possible to put a man on the moon by the end of the century.
They even have some fellows they call astronauts preparing for it down in Texas .
Did you see where some baseball
player just signed a contract for $50,000 a year just to play ball? It wouldn't
 surprise me if someday they'll be making more than the President.
I never thought I'd see the day
all our kitchen appliances would be electric. They're even making electric typewriters now.
It's too bad things are so tough
nowadays. I see where a few married women are having to work to make ends meet.
It won't be long before young
couples are going to have to hire someone to watch their kids so they can both work.

I'm afraid the Volkswagen car
is going to open the door to a whole lot of foreign business.
Thank goodness I won't live to
see the day when the Government takes half our income in taxes. I sometimes wonder
 if we are electing the best people to government.

The fast food restaurant is
convenient for a quick meal, but I seriously doubt they will ever catch on.
There is no sense going on short
trips anymore for a weekend. It costs nearly $2.00 a night to stay in a hotel.
No one can afford to be sick
anymore. At $15.00 a day in the hospital, it's too rich for my blood.

If they think I'll pay 30 cents for a haircut,
 forget it.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Caramel Walnut Dream Bars


How to make it

  • Preheat oven to 350. Prepare rectangular cake pan with cooking spray then set aside. Combine cake mix, butter and one egg in a mixing bowl then mix until crumbly. Press mixture onto bottom of prepared pan then set aside. In another mixing bowl combine milk, remaining egg, extract, walnuts and toffee bits. Mix well and pour over base in pan. Bake for 35 minutes.

    Saturday, December 17, 2011

    US-Mexico Immigration: Even Oceans Have Borders

    The border fence
    The US government is erecting a fence in the ocean to divide California from Tijuana, Mexico. Immigration and environmental activists say it is a costly, dangerous endeavour that will do little to keep out unauthorized migrants. On a sunny strip of beach south of San Diego, California, the US government is literally battling the tide of illegal immigration.

    Border authorities are building a fence extending 300ft (91m) into the surf, in an effort to prevent would-be migrants from walking over the frontier from Mexico's Tijuana Beach to Imperial Beach, California, during low tide. The US government's latest  effort will make an existing fence longer, higher, tougher to scale and, officials say, more resilient to the tide.

    Border officials note that during November officers caught several undocumented migrants swimming in the Pacific Ocean or landing ashore in small fishing boats. "There is a clear operational need for this development," says Michael Hance, field operation supervisor with the border patrol in the San Diego sector. "The southern side of the border is densely populated and in the past many people found an easy way into the US through these beaches. We need physical infrastructure as well as border agents in the area." But critics say the $4.3m (£2.79m) extension is unnecessary, noting that heavy surveillance near San Diego has driven most of the migrant flow eastward into the Arizona desert. And environmental activists fear the heavy metal barrier sunk into the ocean will harm marine life. That physical infrastructure has interrupted the sandy landscape of the Tijuana and San Diego beaches since the early 1990s, when the first fence was built to run 22km inland from the Pacific shore.

    On the beach, the fence is made of iron bars sunk into the sand, and further inland, the bars are replaced by graffiti-marred corrugated iron sheets, bent and torn by the marine wind.  The sections extending into the surf remain under construction, and today a visitor sees a pier constructed to allow heavy equipmnet to pound support piles into the sand. On the southern side of the wall, the Playa de Tijuana teems on weekends with families from the poor neighbourhoods along the border.

    The beach is also a meeting place for friends and loved ones on either side of the border. Here, people chat and hug through the fence. The latest $4.3m renovation, just under way, will extend the fence further into the ocean and increase its height to about 18ft (5.4m) from about 13ft, allowing it to protrude above the surface no matter the tide. The steel poles holding up the wall will be treated with an anti-corrosion coating. The poles will also be given a slick coating to make them harder to climb.

    The wall is scheduled to be completed in March and is expected to last 30 years. For all the expense and effort the government is throwing into fencing off the ocean, statistics show arrests in the area are already at an all-time low.

    A BBC television camera shot of the wall, 2001 

    Before the new work, low tide exposed a stretch of passable ground. Here, the wall is shown in 2001
      Border patrol agents detained 68,000 undocumented immigrants in 2010 in the San Diego sector, down from 630,000 in 1986, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency statistics. Local immigration activists put the decline down to a steady increase in manned patrols and surveillance over the last six years.

    "We don't understand why they are spending so much money here: it is just a symbolic move to say that they are actually doing something to prevent undocumented immigration," says Pedro Rios of the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium.

    "The new surf fence is being built in what is probably the area where the rate of border crossings has gone down most dramatically." Furthermore, environmental organizations say the metal barrier in the water is an invasion of the ocean that will most certainly take its toll on the local fauna.

    The border fence

    US engineers built a pier to facilitate the fence's construction
     Dan Millis, borderlands team coordinator at the Sierra Club, says sections of the wall erected in the Arizona desert have had "a major effect on the migration patterns of desert species". Architect Teddy Cruz of the University of California at San Diego predicts the fence will increase sedimentation and flooding in the Tijuana estuary. "There are natural canyons in the region that cross the border without following political conventions," Mr Cruz says. "The effect will be worse for those that live in settlements on the Mexican side of the border, the waste from these settlements flows towards the estuary blocking water circulation."

    The Border Patrol argues the surf fence's environmental impact will be minimal. "Our experts have done environmental assessments and they did not find any evidence that the habitat will be damaged," says Mr Hance.  "We do what we have to do. And this project, both in terms of design and investment, is appropriate for the safety requirements in the San Diego area."

    Friday, December 16, 2011

    Chelsea Clinton Joins NBC News

    Chelsea Clinton has joined NBC News , where she'll contribute  "Making a Difference" stories to "Rock Center with Brian Williams" and "NBC Nightly News."

    The segments profile "everyday people doing extraordinary things" in the Uniited States and around the world .

    "People who imagine and implement solutions to challengers in their own lives , in their communities , in our country and in our world have always inspired me ," said Clinton in a statement . "I hope telling stories through 'Making a Difference' ... will help me live to my grandmother's adage of 'Life is not about what happens to you , but about what you do with what happens to you."

    She said she was "grateful for the opportunity to contribute" to the network's history of "sharing stories of empowerment.

    "Chelsea is a remarkable woman who will be a great addition to NBC News ," said the divison's president , Steve Capus . "WE are proud she will be bringing her considerable unique talents and dedicated to NBC News.

    Monday, December 12, 2011

    A Safe Place

    We all need a refuge , a safe harbor in which to rest and be replenished  -- a sanctuary created by the magical mystery of our imagination . Such a haven might be a beautiful  green , sheltered garden where we meet , talk with and are comforted by a wise and loving advisor . In our often  fragmented days it is important for us to create such a sanctuary , a place  from which to gather courage , strength and balance to creatively live our daily lives . An inner garden is often the most powerful solace we can find .

    Close your eyes now  and imagine yourself in a beautiful place . Feel yourself wrapped in the healing and protective embrace of someone who has only your best interest at heart . If no one you know comes to mind  , create a loving person . Rest in his or her arms  -- a precious and valued child protected from all harm . Feel  the caring  and carry the feeling throughout your day .

    After we have established an inner retreat , we can return to it by merely remembering its beauty and peace . If there is a time in our day when we need reassurance or peace of mind , we can take a moment or two  to revisit out sanctuary  and be replenished in the safe embrace of our inner  guardian .
    Words of  Wisdom
    I am loved and protected , I am safe in this world , I use my wise imagination to create a safe harbor for myself . I give myself permission to fill my vase to overflowing . I freely love others from a sense of overflow  , it is loving for me to fill my own vase .I open myself to receive all good things . I love others unconditional from the fullness of my own heart .I express myself with love  and kindness , I have the courage to be nice , and I enjoy it . I communicate who I really am  --- a being of love .

    Friday, December 9, 2011

    Vitamin D Deficiancy Linked to MS

    A rare genetic variant which causes reduced levels of vitamin D appears to be directly linked to multiple sclerosis, says an Oxford University study. UK and Canadian scientists identified the mutated gene in 35 parents of a child with MS and, in each case, the child inherited it.

    Researchers say this adds weight to suggestions of a link between vitamin D deficiency and MS.
    Multiple sclerosis is an inflammatory disease of the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord).
    Although the cause of MS is not yet conclusively known, both genetic and environmental factors and their interactions are known to be important.

    Oxford University researchers, along with Canadian colleagues at the University of Ottawa, University of British Columbia and McGill University, set out to look for rare genetic changes that could explain strong clustering of MS cases in some families in an existing Canadian study. They sequenced all the gene-coding regions in the genomes of 43 individuals selected from families with four or more members with MS.

    The team compared the DNA changes they found against existing databases, and identified a change in the gene CYP27B1 as being important. When people inherit two copies of this gene they develop a genetic form of rickets - a disease caused by vitamin D deficiency. Just one copy of the mutated CYP27B1 gene affects a key enzyme which leads people with it to have lower levels of vitamin D.

    The researchers then looked for the rare gene variant in over 3,000 families of unaffected parents with a child with MS.  They found 35 parents who carried one copy of this variant along with one normal copy.  In every one of these 35 cases, the child with MS had inherited the mutated version of the gene.
    The likelihood of this gene's transmission being unconnected to the MS is billions to one against, say the researchers.

    Prof George Ebers, lead study author at Oxford University, says the odds are overwhelming. "All 35 children inheriting the variant is like flipping a coin 35 times and getting 35 heads, entailing odds of 32 billion to one against." He added: "This type of finding has not been seen in any complex disease. The uniform transmission of a variant to offspring with MS is without precedent but there will have been interaction with other factors." Prof Ebers believes that this new evidence adds to previous observational studies which have suggested that sunshine levels around the globe - the body needs sunshine to generate vitamin D - are linked to MS.

    He maintained that there was now enough evidence to carry out large-scale studies of vitamin D supplements for preventing multiple sclerosis. "It would be important particularly in countries like Scotland and the rest of the UK where sunshine levels are low for large parts of the year. Scotland has the greatest incidence of multiple sclerosis of any country in the world."

    Dr Doug Brown, head of biomedical research at the MS Society, called it an important development.
    "This shines more light on the potential role of vitamin D deficiency on increasing the risk of developing MS."
    "This research is gathering momentum and will be the subject of discussion at an international expert meeting in the USA this month, the outcomes of which will shape future research that will give us the answers we so desperately need about the potential risks and benefit of vitamin D supplementation."

    Current opinion suggests that a combination of genetic predisposition, environmental factors such as exposure to sunlight and possibly some sort of trigger, such as a viral infection, interact in some way to start the development of MS. This is another step towards finding ways to reduce the risk of developing MS, but it is likely to be some years yet before we can gauge the significance of vitamin D deficiency to MS.