Rice Krispies Treats

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Memories of crispy, buttery, marshmallow goodness flood my mind. My earliest recollection of making Rice Krispie Treats was in the kitchen with my mom. I was about seven years old, and it was a few days before Thanksgiving. I stood on a stepstool by the stove as my mom melted the butter in the saucepan. When it came time to add in the marshmallows, my mom gave me that important job. She also let me pour in the Rice Krispies, too. Later we would enjoy some with glasses of milk.

Rice Krispie Treats was the first recipe I learned to make when I was younger. They were, and still are, one of my favorite sweet treats to make, especially around the holidays. Now I often wait to make them when my great-niece and great-nephews are visiting, as I want to carry on the tradition that my mom started so many years ago.

Like with my family, many people have been enjoying these tasty morsels since 1939, when the home economics department at Kellogg’s first introduced them. Many variations of Rice Krispie Treats now exist, as cooks across America added in a number of other baking ingredients like chocolate chips, peanut butter, and assorted candies to the mix. I’ve tasted a few of these other concoctions, but the original recipe remains my personal favorite, and the one my family uses the most.

It includes:
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 package (10 oz., about 40) regular marshmallows
– OR –
4 cups miniature marshmallows
6 cups Rice Krispies Treat cereal
1. In a large saucepan melt butter or margarine over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.
2. Add Rice Krispies. Stir until well coated.
3. Using a buttered spatula or wax paper evenly press mixture into 13x9x2-inch pan coated with cooking spray or oiled with melted butter. Cool. Cut into 2-inch squares. Best served the same day.
It is best if you use fresh marshmallows. 1 (7oz) jar of marshmallow fluff can be substituted for marshmallows. I would not recommend using diet or reduced calorie margarine for this recipe as it affects the taste of these yummy treats. Store leftover treats in an airtight container for no more than two days.
Rice Krispies Treats are wonderful gifts to give friends and family over the holidays, to take to potluck dinners, or give out to children trick or treating on Halloween.


Wicca Symbols and their Meanings

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The Wicca religion is an Earth based one,and they incorporate many different symbols into their rituals and practices. Wicca’s use many symbols to represent the different deities they worship, among other things. Some of these symbols include:

The Pentagram or Pentacle is perhaps the most important symbol used by Wicca’s. It represents the four basic elements (water, air, fire, wind). Its usage is for protection, to draw energy toward you, or banish it.

Amulets made of amethyst or quartz, as well as other gemstones, for an added source of protection, for good luck, to promote good energy, or for their natural healing qualities.

Ankh, the Egyptian cross, symbolizes a mythical eternal life, rebirth, and the life giving power of the sun.

The Horned God represents the male aspects of the dual deities of Wicca.

Circles are an ancient and universal symbol of unity, wholeness, infinity, the Goddess, and female power. Many Wicca’s consider it their main symbol for transmitting the energy of the Goddess.

The Crescent Moon indicates the aging Goddess or Crone, who is held in high regard by all Wicca’s.

Symbols of the four basic elements are considered the first two passive and feminine, (water and earth), while the other two are active and masculine (air and fire). In Wicca rituals, the quartered circle represents a ‘sacred space’ or the ‘sacred earth’.

The Triquetra represents the three aspects of the moon: waxing, waning, and full. As well as the three stages of a woman’s life: mother, maiden, crone.

A Hexagram or Six Pointed Star represents the ‘divine mind’ to Wicca’s and other occult groups.

Wicca’s use the Besom or broom in many of their rituals, including their wedding or hand fasting ceremonies. The newly married couple jumps over the broom to solidify their vows when they cross the threshold of their new home.

In addition to these symbols, Wicca’s use an assortment of traditional tools to perform their spells or rituals. Among these are the:

The Athame is a basic symbol of Wicca, as well as an altar tool. It is used symbolically to cut through deceit and decipher truth, or represents the ability to change or dissipate unwanted options in a particular situation.

A Chalice represents the Great Goddess, or the sacred femininity.

Wicca’s use a ‘three legged pot’ or ‘cauldron’ to hold the key components of a spell, while they are performing the ritual.

Other symbolic objects include colored candles, stones, and flowers.

Modesto, A Walk Through Its History

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A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, safe from the insidious grasp of the Imperial Empire and evil Emperor Palatine, is the planet called Earth. Nestled into the San Joaquin Valley of the planet’s most western state lays the civilization known as Modesto, California.

Although Modesto does not actually exist in the Star Wars galaxy, it is however, the birthplace of Star Wars creator George Lucas. Lucas and Star Wars are both icons in the pop culture world that is one of California’s leading industries. While Modesto is somewhat removed from all the glitter and glam, millionaires and paparazzi that permeate the Los Angeles and Hollywood areas, it is the place in which Lucas’ first film was based and filmed.

American Graffiti depicted the lives of Modesto teenagers in the turbulent 1960s. The 1960s were not the only turbulent times that Modesto had over the course of its history. It was founded in October 1870 with the coming of the railroad, and became known as one of the roughest, toughest, and rowdiest of the valley communities. The building of the Central Pacific Railroad, which would later become the Union Pacific, was the most important event to the economic growth to happen to the San Joaquin Valley.

A mass exodus occurred as residents arrived from neighboring communities. In just three weeks, the new village had 25 buildings and within three months, it had 75. It is amusing to think about how alarmed the citizens of Modesto in 1870 were to see this great influx of people, possessions, and buildings streaming into their small settlement, when the number of people moving into Modesto today is well into the thousands.

Today, Modesto is a community that readily accepts people of different cultures, backgrounds and religions. Modesto citizens are encouraged by their community leaders to actively participate in cultural events pertaining to their individual heritages. The kaleidoscope of nationalities rivals the beautiful and diverse landscape that abides in Modesto and the surrounding area. While it is not without its problems, Modesto is a terrific community to settle down and raise a family.

Land of The Lakes

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Fun, sun, excitement, and adventure await you at in the Ozarks Mountains of Southern Missouri. There are wonderful activities for tourists and families alike to participate in the beautiful and diverse area that makes up the landscape that make up the whole of the Lake of the Ozarks.

1. Lake of the Ozarks Park- Named for the area community in which it encompasses, Lake of the Ozarks has a wide variety of activity that is certain to satisfy everyone who takes a trip there.

It is the largest park, with a 17,441 parcel of land, 85 miles of shoreline, two public beaches, plus boat launching areas. Lake of the Ozarks Park has its own airport too. The Lee C. Fine Memorial Airport has a 6,500 by 100-ft. runway, terminal buildings, and parallel taxiway to accommodate pilots and their passengers.

Nature lovers will enjoy a number of programs presented in the open-air amphitheater from May until mid October, which features slide shows or movies highlighting the pure and unaffected wonders of the Ozarks. Hiking trails, horseback riding stables, bird watching, caving, cycling, and four organized youth camps are among the many activities offered for tourists to explore.

2. Ha Ha Tonka State Park- It contains over 3,600 acres on the Niangua Arm of the Lake of the Ozarks and is located five miles southwest of Camdenton on State Road D. There are 12 hiking trails, which will take tourists to such places as Devil¹s Kitchen and Turkey Pen Hollow, and eight caves in the area. There are numerous picnic areas, a playground, boating ramps,and outside exhibits to explore as well.

The rugged grandeur of the 3,600 area encompassed within Ha Ha Tonka State Park, first caught the attention of prominent Kansas City businessman, Robert McClure Snyder, at the turn of the century. Snyder became so enamored with the rare beauty of the landscape that includes underground streams and natural bridges. A large theater-like pit known in the area as the coliseum was formed over time when huge caves fell in on each other. A local legend states that the coliseum, was used by area Native Americans as a base for their tribal meetings.

Besides the day to day activities that are offered by both of these parks, annual events such as the: Cinco De Mayo Celebration, Mother’s Day Brunch, Spring Harbor Hop, Memorial Day’s Fireworks Celebration, and others are held at various times throughout the year. Anyone coming to the area and taking part in the many festivities offered by both of the state parks and the surrounding area are bound to come away from the experience with fond memories.

For more information on either of these two parks, please notify Lake of the Ozarks personnel at 573-348-2694, 573-348-1233 Store/Marina, or 572-348-6670 Stables. http://www.mostateparks.com/lakeozark.htm .Or Ha Ha Tonka at 573-346-2986

Feral Cats Responsibility of All

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They hide in the shadows, their multi-hued fur coats shaking, and slivered eyes consistently scanning their surroundings, fear of humans obvious.
Mason, Dallas, Carolina, and Dakota are feral cats. They live by their wits in a wooded acreage of land on the outskirts of Kansas City, Missouri. Several other cats occupy the same space of land with Mason, Dallas, Carolina, and Dakota. These cats are the lost generations of domestic felines who for one reason or another found themselves without a home or a human family to care for them.
This colony is only one of many that populate Missouri, as well as most of the major cities of the United States. There is also news that this widespread problem exists in other countries around the world as well where human population exists.
Feral cats have been defined as cats which were once domesticated, but were abandoned, lost, or ran away. First generation of ‘feral’ cats are called strays, and only later referred to as ‘feral’. The distinction between a wild animal and a feral animal lies in the typically urban habitat of feral animals and the fact that members of the species are traditionally domesticated. Aside from tradition, in areas sparsely occupied by people there is little reason to call a wild-born cat “feral,” as opposed to “wild.”
Adult feral cats are nearly impossible to domesticate, while strays are sometimes re-socialized. Feral kittens, however, can be socialized before they reach about twelve weeks old. Feral cats often form colonies in a particular location around a common food source, such as a dumpster, open garbage dump, or where people offer handouts. The colony size is necessarily dependent on the size of the food source. Abandoned or lost domestic cats often join feral colonies out of necessity, the only readily available food source having been claimed by the colony.
A feral cat lives a more tumultuous and dangerous lifestyle, than their domesticated counterparts. The lifespan for a feral cat is usually around two years, while a housecat often lives to be fourteen to twenty years old. The risks of disease from malnutrition or injury due to fighting and traffic are three times as great to a feral cat, than to a house cat.
Feral cat colonies are of great concern to the communities where they reside because of their potential to drastically alter the ecosystems through predation. The question of who is responsible for these animals must be addressed.
There are several animal organizations, as well as private citizens, who have taken the feral cat overpopulation very seriously. They have begun to ‘TNR’ feral cat colonies in their communities.
‘TNR’ means to Trap, Neuter, and Return. “TNR,” became popular in the 1990s as a humane way to control the population of feral cats. With TNR, the cats are typically trapped, spayed or neutered, and vaccinated against rabies and distemper (an often fatal virus). They have their left ears “tipped” (clipped) for identification as a sterile cat, and then are released into a “colony.” The colony is usually managed by volunteers who feed and monitor the cats.
Some city, state, and local officials don’t believe that ‘TNR’ is a viable method of handling feral cat populations. Feral cats who have been fixed, vaccinated and returned to the area in which they have designated as their territories still pose a risk to ecosystem. Even though they might have human caregivers who regularly feed them they still often prey on wildlife such as birds and other small creatures.
These people believe that the best method in dealing with feral cats is to eradicate them permanently.
TNR participants oppose kill methods because it is inhumane and unethical to destroy cats whose existence is entirely a result of human irresponsibility.
Humans need to make more responsible choices regarding animals. Do not take on more than one cat or dog if you are not sure you will be able to properly take care of them for the duration of their lives. Spay and neuter your animals to reduce the chances of an unwanted pregnancy occurring.
If you want to find out more information about the feral cat problem or how you might help please notify: http://www.feralcat.com/, http://www.carrmo.org, http://www.kcpets.org/feralcats.php4, http://amby.com/cat_site/feral.html.


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Finding out you have diabetes is a life altering experience. It is important to learn all you can about what form of diabetes you have and how it is treated.

Diabetes or diabetes mellitus is a metabolism disorder in which a person has high blood glucose (blood sugars), either because a body’s cells do not respond properly to insulin or because their body’s production of insulin is not accurate. People who are first diagnosed with diabetes will have any number of symptoms, including blurred vision, clammy skin, extreme thirst, urination, or hunger.

There are three types of diabetes that a person can be diagnosed with: Type 1, Type 2, and Gestational. Type 1 is not as common as Type 2, and means that a patient does not produce any insulin, and usually occurs before a person turns 40. People with Type 1 diabetes will have to have to take insulin for the rest of their life.

Type 2 is the most common diabetes. Over 90% of worldwide cases known to date have this type of diabetes, and it is usually caused when a person’s body does not produce enough insulin. People diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes are commonly pre-diabetic and had higher levels of glucose in their bodies because the cells in their bodies were becoming more resistant to insulin.

Gestational diabetes occurs only in pregnant women. During pregnancy, some women have higher levels of glucose in their blood, and their bodies are unable to produce enough insulin to break down the glucose.

All types of diabetes are treatable. Gestational diabetes usually reverts itself once a woman has given birth. Patients who are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes will have it for the rest of their lives. While most people with Type 2 diabetes also have it for the rest of their lives, some have managed to rid themselves of their diabetic symptoms through a strict exercise regime and loss of weight.

Here are some important questions you should ask your doctor after you learn your diagnosis:

What types of medication will you have to take?
How often will you have to give yourself insulin?
Will you have to change you diet?
What kind of other medical complications can occur now that you are diabetic?
How often will you have to check your blood sugar levels?
How can weight loss improve your condition?
How will changing your exercise routine improve your health?
Do you need to start seeing other medical professionals more often?

It is important to understand that while learning you have diabetes is life altering, and even scary, that you can live a pretty normal life, as long as you follow your doctor’s orders.

Medicine plus: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/patientinstructions/000217.htm

Candle Magic

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Candle Magic is widely performed and easy to use. It is an excellent starting point for beginners. A candle is also a key component in any given Wicca ritual or spell, because it represents the element of fire. A seasoned or experienced Wicca can also use a candle as a focus point in which they can concentrate their will in order to meditate, seek out guidance or bring about change in their lives.

It is important that a newcomer to Wicca familiarize themselves with the many uses and colors for which candles are used, so that they do not inadvertently call forth negative energies into their circle or pentagram. Experienced Wicca’s are already aware of this possibility, and take great measures to avoid any mishaps.

Rituals and spells require different colors of candles to promote different kinds of energies and sensations, so it is advisable to any Wicca, beginner or experienced, to purchase the correct color.

Some of the colors of candles and their meanings are:

Red- Energy, strength, passion, courage, element of fire ,fast action, lust, blood of the moon, vibrancy, Driving force, love, survival, war and aggression.

Orange-Business goals, Property deals, Ambition, Career goals, General Success, justice, Legal matters, Selling, Action, to attract love and communication

Gold-Wealth, The God, Promote winning, Safety and power of the male, Happiness, Playful Humor

Yellow-The Sun , Intelligence, learning, Memory, Imagination, Breaking Mental Blocks, Selling Yourself, confidence, charm, and cheer.

White- A balance of all colors; Spiritual enlightenment, cleansing, clairvoyance, healing, truth seeking; Rituals involving lunar energy’ May be substituted for any color candle.

Purple-Power, success, idealism, psychic manifestations, ideals for rituals to secure ambitions, independence, financial rewards, or to make contact with the spiritual other world, increases Neptune energy.

Silver: Removes negativity and encourages stability; helps develop psychic abilities; attracts the influence of the Mother Goddess.

Pink: Promotes romance, friendship, standard color for rituals to draw affections; a color of femininity, honor, service, brings friendly, lively conversation to the dinner table.

When using Candle Magic it is important to remember a couple of things.

1. Never, reuse a candle because each candle is usually inscribed with special markings to promote a positive outcome for any given candle, and re-usage will dampen this energy or change the outcome of a spell or ritual.

2. Once you buy candles for a specific spell, try to refrain from using them for other rituals or spells, because it will be a waste of positive energy.

3. Store your candles in a place where they will not get broken or melt.

As long as a beginner remembers these few rules then their candle rituals will be a success.

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