2017 Solar Eclipse Worksheet

With less than a week until the solar eclipse, I woke up this morning with an idea. Watching the solar eclipse is a big deal, and I want to help my kids remember the event so to commemorate the event I created a 2017 solar eclipse worksheet.

2017 Solar Eclipse Printable

Solar Eclipse Worksheet

Because we don’t have plans to travel for the eclipse, our big girls will be able Read more


Loaded Mexican Chicken and Potato Skillet

Loaded Mexican Chicken and Potato Skillet (Photo courtesy General Mills)

Loaded Mexican Chicken and Potato Skillet (Photo courtesy General Mills)

Loaded Mexican Chicken and Potato Skillet is a one-dish dinner that is on the table in less than an hour. Developed in the BettyCrocker.com test kitchens, the recipe is a road map that can take many diversions. Beef, turkey or pork can sub for chicken. Sweet bell peppers can add color and nutrients. And a different spice blend can change up the entire flavor profile. Add a tossed salad on the side and call everyone to dinner.

Loaded Mexican Chicken and Potato Skillet

Yield: 5-6 servings

3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

1 (20-ounce) bag refrigerated cooked diced potatoes with onions

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 (14.5-ounce) Mexican-style diced tomatoes, undrained

1/2 cup cooked and chopped bacon pieces

1/4 cup chopped green onions

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1 (8-ounce) container sour cream

1 tablespoon Old El Paso taco seasoning mix (from a 1-ounce package)

1. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat. Add potatoes; cover and cook 12 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly heated (potatoes will not brown). Transfer to bowl; keep warm.

2. In the same skillet, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Add chicken; cook 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink. Stir in potatoes and tomatoes; cook 2 to 3 minutes longer or until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle evenly with bacon pieces, 3 tablespoons of the onions and the shredded cheese. Reduce the heat to low; cover and cook 5 to 6 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

3. Meanwhile, in small bowl, stir sour cream and the taco seasoning mix until well blended. Serve skillet dinner with sour cream mixture and garnished with the remaining 1 tablespoon onions.

SOURCE: BettyCrocker.com

Caribbean Carnaval Buffet and Show at Sapphire Falls

Full disclosure: our meals were comped.

Caribbean Carnaval is a new buffet and floor show at theLoews Sapphire Falls Resort at Universal Orlando. It takes place underneath an un-walled roofed pavilion in a cove accessible to guests down a long hallway past convention rooms, down a staircase and through a door to the cove.

The food is a buffet island dishes with fish, beef and chicken. Several side dishes were various exotic vegetables mixed in sauces. The highlight was the giant apple-mouthed whole-bodied hog sleeping on a table, its innards removed and replaced with piles of cooked pork.

The show is non-stop high energy island music. It’s set up like you’re taking a trip. The host bounces from island to island, with new songs inspired by each island. It’s a mix of pop songs with Latin themes all the way to Rihanna. The backup band is solid and the singers are fun. The stage is roaming with dancers. While there are only 4, the choreographer makes full use of them. They always seem to be coming from a different entrance and exiting through another corridor, all the while changing costumes from one color-splashed outfit to the next.

The show is FUN! Your kids will enjoy it. Old people will sit and watch and enjoy it. It never gets boring.

60 Years Of Dove Beauty Must Have Event

I’ve long been a fan of Dove products. From Dove shampoo and conditioner to Dove antiperspirants and, of course, Dove soap, Dove products have always been in my life. After years of relying on Dove products as part of my daily beauty routine, I still love them. As the mother of three daughters, I also appreciate Dove’s commitment […]

The post 60 Years Of Dove Beauty Must Have Event appeared first on TheSuburbanMom.

Create a Blog

When: Saturday, February 11, 2017 – 12:30 AM – 1:30 AM

Where: South Trail Branch at South Trail – Computer Lab

Learn how to create an easy to use website where you can publish your thoughts, comments or pictures so you can share with family and friends. Recommended Audience: Adult

#tec101 #officetraining

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Cream of Mushroom Soup (Photo courtesy the Mushroom Council)

Cream of Mushroom Soup (Photo courtesy the Mushroom Council)

This Cream of Mushroom Soup was developed by chef Billy Parisi, a fantastic food content creator. He developed this recipe for the Mushroom Council. Florida mushrooms are in season year-round. These nutrient-dense vegetables go with nearly all of your favorite meals. To clean mushrooms, brush off any peat moss with your fingers or a damp paper towel, or rinse the mushrooms briefly under running water and pat dry with a paper towel. Do not soak mushrooms in water as they easily absorb moisture. If the stem is tough, trim it before using. For shiitakes, stems should be removed before use. For portabellas, gills may be removed upon preference, as they store a large amount of moisture. Many people prefer to keep the gills intact for more flavor.

Parisi’s recipe is a umami-rich meal option that will work for week night dinners or Super Bowl gatherings.

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Yield: Makes 1 gallon

8 slices bacon, chopped

1 small diced yellow onion

6 small diced stalks celery

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 pint button mushrooms

1 pint baby portabella mushrooms

1 cup shitake mushroom caps

1 cups oyster mushrooms, stems removed

1/4 cup flour

1 cup chardonnay

64 ounces chicken stock

2 cups of heavy cream

2 tablespoons freshly-chopped parsley

Coarse salt and cracked pepper to taste

Fresh thyme leaves for garnish

Freshly grated Parmesan for garnish

Croutons for garnish

1. In a large pot on high heat render the bacon fat until the bacon become crispy.

2. Remove the bacon and set aside. In the same pot, combine onions, celery and garlic and saute for 8-10 minutes over medium-high heat or until lightly browned.

3. Add the mushrooms and cook 20-25 minutes or until the mushrooms are browned.

4. Sprinkle the flour on top and then stir until it has been completely incorporated.

5. Deglaze the pan with the wine and cook until the liquid is almost gone.

6. Add the chicken stock and bring mixture to a boil. Cook and stir until mixture thickens.

7. Puree the mushroom soup until smooth with a hand blender or in batches in a regular blender.

8. Return the pureed soup to the pot and stir in the cream and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

9. Garnish with croutons, bacon, fresh thyme and Parmesan.

Musings on gender

gender 1

Once upon a time, one’s sex was a simple matter. No longer. As a physician, I can only shake my head in dismay at the direction of the national conversation on gender issues. We have taken a rare medical issue, mainstreamed it, and politicized it to the point of passing absurd legislation that rolls back established societal norms and makes it next to impossible to have a reasoned discussion. When will we learn?


Gender is a biologically determined feature of all sexual beings. It is not arbitrary or fluid nor is it determined by feelings or opinion polls. Even though some lower animals, such as some fish and amphibians, can change from one gender to the other, those that do harbor the biological features of both genders. You cannot extrapolate this to humans except in rare cases noted below. For humans, gender is genetically determined by the transmission of an X chromosome from the mother to her offspring and either an X or a Y chromosome from the father. If the child is XY, it is male; if XX, it is female. It really is that simple. This is not to say that errors in the biologic/genetic process of gender determination do not occur. Few things in nature are 100% without some exceptions. Humans are imperfect and errors in genetic inheritance do occur, although they are relatively rare.


The incidence of true intersex, individuals whose genetic gender and physical appearance do not line up and whose genitalia cannot be strictly classified as male or female, is a very low 0.018%, as far as we can tell. A person may possess different combinations of chromosomes, such as an XXY,  XXXY, XXY, or XXX. The first two are associated with a number of obvious physical problems, mental issues, or both. XXX and XYY chromosome carriers tend to be pretty normal for the most part. Despite these errors, there is no question of gender. If you have a Y chromosome, you are male and if you don’t, you are female.


Some homosexual males may behave effeminately, but they are unquestionably genetically and physically male. The converse applies to lesbian females. Bisexual individuals can be of either sex. Such individuals are identified by their sexual proclivities; their gender is not in question.


The transgender issue is therefore not so much a discussion of biology as it is one of identity. We are talking here about a genetically and biologically normal male who believes he is female or vice versa. Now, you have left the realm of medicine and entered the area of psychology, identity, socialization, and belief. Here, there are few absolutes.


gender 6It is instructive in studying transgender to examine the problem of anorexia nervosa. This is a known medical condition which can kill an otherwise healthy person. It almost invariably affects girls. The problem is not a metabolic or anatomical defect. It is a mental condition characterized by delusional thinking. A delusion is a firmly held belief that runs counter to reality. A young woman with anorexia can be rail thin but when she looks in the mirror, she sees a fat person. She may literally starve herself to death believing all the while that she is fat. If we dealt with anorexia the way we deal with transgender, we would be encouraging this delusion, maybe even giving them diet pills or offering them liposuction!


In my own profession of plastic surgery we have a known psychological disorder called body dysmorphic disorder. In this condition, people with normal physical features see themselves as ugly or even grossly disfigured and seek repeated surgeries to correct this. The treatment of BDD is not surgery, it is psychological or psychiatric treatment.


Some have advanced the position that we should deal with teenagers struggling with gender related issues by allowing them to use bathrooms of the opposite sex and providing them with hormones to suppress their normal hormonal changes until they are old enough to have surgery to change to them to the gender they identify with. This is so ludicrous as to evoke disbelief but our culture of self and “affirmation” has gotten to the point where supposedly intelligent people are promoting such an approach.


Studies have shown that the 80% or more of gender-confused teenagers soon settle into their biological gender without further conflict. The idea that teens wrestling with gender issues should be offered hormones to delay puberty so that future gender reassignment surgery will be easier is a monstrosity right up there with eugenics and frontal lobotomies. If advocates of protecting the rights of a confused, “transgender” teen boy by allowing them to use the girls bathroom succeed, I cannot help but wonder about the rights of a teenage girl when she is told she must share her restroom with this individual. There must be a better way to deal compassionately with the latter while upholding the right of the former to exclusive use of a bathroom for her gender.


gender 4Experts in child psychology and development cite numerous examples of cases in which supposed transgender was an effort by the individual to avoid the assumed demands and responsibilities of their biological gender or to escape perceived consequences of remaining in that gender, e.g. in some cases of abuse. The solution in such cases is clearly not to change their gender but to deal with the issue underlying this.


No less of an authority than Paul McHugh, MD, University Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medical School and the former psychiatrist in chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital ( which pioneered sexual reassignment surgery in 1965, then discontinued this in the 1970’s, only to resume recently), has weighed in on this issue. Dr. McHugh asserts the immutability of sexual gender and of the futility of trying to change such a fundamental aspect of the nature of every person. Surgery does not turn a man into a woman or vice versa; it only creates a feminized or masculine version of the opposite sex. He questions the wisdom of gender reassignment and cites a 2011 study of 324 people who underwent sex reassignment surgery with a follow up of thirty years conducted at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, where the culture is very favorably disposed toward the transgendered. This study showed that ten to fifteen years after sexual reassignment surgery, suicide rates among the transgendered rose to twenty times that of comparable peers. That is a pretty sobering statistic.


gender 3And, what of Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner, arguably the modern poster child for the transgendered? Dr. McHugh provides some interesting insights into that situation and closes with the hope that Caitlyn will receive competent long term follow up and appropriate therapy given the admittedly guarded prognosis in transgender individuals achieving a long term, stable degree of happiness.


I think we abdicate our responsibility as physicians if we do not speak up against political correctness when it goes against good science and sound medical practice, and urge caution in moving too quickly to affirm a pathology that is rare, poorly understood, and will self-correct in most people if we do not encourage it. The forces arrayed against a medically sound approach to transgender are great. Already, state and federal governments are exploring legislation that would prevent medical professionals from providing counseling to teenagers with gender issues if that counseling “can be construed as challenging the assumptions and choices of transgendered youngsters.” Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to President Obama, has stated, “as part of our dedication to protecting America’s youth, this administration supports efforts to ban the use of conversion therapy (to be clear, this is to realign their thinking with their biologic gender) for minors.”

Once gender becomes a matter of opinion or belief, it opens the floodgates of confusion in what should be, 99% of the time, a simple matter. Only politicians could turn a disorder in need of compassionate treatment and a strong dose of reality, into a civil right in need of defending.

Dr. McHugh’s closing statement is telling. He states, “Gird your loins if you would confront this matter. Hell hath no fury like a vested interest masquerading as a moral principle.”