Category Archives: Reviews

Apples, Coffee, Music, and Flying Cows

Now that it is March and spring is only days away, Rochesterians are thawing out in record numbers.  Best place to be on the weekend – our Public Market on Union Street.  Since 1905 the Rochester public market has provided our community with fresh produce, delicacies, ethnic delights, and a big city feel. Besides snagging amazing deals and spying interesting folks, I got some great photos I thought you might enjoy.

First stop: Boulder for fresh roasted coffee beans and cappuccino.

We timed it just right to hear good music.

Next stop: pastries and fresh bread at Union Street Bakery.

Stocked up on blueberries, apples, and oranges.

More music-wait, is that Bob Marley?

Always get at least one empanada.

As promised, the flying cow.

Highschool Art Curriculum and Sister Wendy

Teaching high school art is intimidating and challenging to a parent like me who has no artistic talents. I am so art challenged that my husband even forbids me from painting a wall because I miss spots and leave unsightly drip marks. But, I am excellent at following instructions and have a knack for recognizing quality curriculum. When it comes to teaching art, Artistic Pursuits has nailed it. The focus of the teaching is on the elements of art and the principles of design. The student will be creating his own amazing works of art through conversational presentations of art vocabulary, techniques, and blazing colorful reproductions of both well known European artists and outstanding student examples. Read the review its entirety here.

Supplement your curriculum with an expert’s interpretation of art. Have you seen any of Sister Wendy’s art videos? Such a treat! I love her.



How Educational Flash Cards Stimulate Learning

I  have always incorporated flash cards whenever necessary to help my boys recall vocabulary words, solidify math facts, or memorize verses. My meager 3×5 index cards hastily penned with sloppy handwriting are no match for Lone Star Learning’s quality, thoughtfully conceptualized Targeted Vocabulary Pictures cards. This type of visual mnemonic is a fantastic tool – see the word being used as what it means helps spark connections. If my short attention span auditory learner likes these cards, that is my proof that any type of learner can use these successfully. Read my review in it’s entirety here.

How adult learners use flash cards and tips for making your own.


The Fifth Element and The Cure for The Common Cold

are five elements:







Louis Diat




Garlic has a history.

The buff Egyptian pyramid builders were fueled by it, and 18th-century frenchmen added it to wine to prevent plague infection.

Docs gave it to World Wars I/II soldiers to prevent gangrene. Marco Polo documented its use for food preservation. Hippocrates prescribed it to treat lung disease and cervical cancer.

Garlic has amazing properties – anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, antifungal, lnhibits placque formation, lowers blood pressure, helps digestion, regulates cholesterol and blood sugar, stimulates the immune system, increases metabolism, and may help improve erectile dysfunction.


It’s easy to grow and great for keeping away garden pests like deer and vampires.

I know, it’s the smell that concerns you – me too.  But unless you bathe in it (some do), or dab it behind your ears as a pheromone to attract old italian guys, then it shouldn’t cause a problem.







All garlic is good, but fresh is best. I can testify it works better than anything I have tried for cold prevention.  As soon as I get that sore throat feeling I run for garlic. I pop a clove, chew and swallow.  Yeah, it burns and even the dog won’t kiss me but it sure beats dealing with a cold. Long live allium sativum!

Head’s up: Garlic has blood-thinning properties. if you are on meds or have upcoming surgery consult your PCP before adding it to your diet.

Check this site out for an ode to garlic and a must have recipe.

And all garlic lovers need this: a good Garlic Press.



Top Screwups Doctors Make and Drop Dead


Do not read, as children do, to amuse yourself, or like the ambitious, for the purpose of instruction. No, read in order to live. Gustave Flaubert



Drop Dead Healthy By  A.J. Jacobs is my number one pick this week.  He chronicles his quest to achieve maximum health by personally trying all the toted popular advice for getting in shape physically, mentally, and nutritionally.  Not quite finished reading it, but loving his dry sense of humor, and enjoying his blunt honest feedback on flavonoids, exercise, and the art of chewing food.

The New Writer’s Handbook 2007 By Philip Martin (editor) features the best advice on the craft of writing. Contributors include some of my favorite authors – Jane Yolen, Neil Gaiman, Linda Sue Park, and others who have experience, insight and are able to sift through the hooey out there and give us their jewels and writer’s wisdom. I am so getting Volume 2.

Developing the Leaders Around You: How to Help Others Reacher Their Full Potential By John Maxwell will teach you how to help those in your sphere of influence to be better leaders. I read anything by John Maxwell.

The Honest Truth about Dishonesty By Dan Ariely takes a look at why all sorts of people cheat and steal. I picked this one up on a whim, thinking it would give me insight as to why my 12-year-old is lying to my husband and me.  Not sure I like this book yet, instead of offering me insight into my son’s problem, it’s making me feel a little uncomfortable with some aspects of my own behavior. Plus, it has too many studies and experiments – I know I should find that stuff interesting, but I’m happy to let researchers do their thing and just give me the concluding evidence.

Top Screwups Doctors Make and How to Avoid Them By Joe Graedon validates what I already knew.  What I didn’t realize was how many mistakes get buried.  The author experienced a tragic screwup with his own mother, but instead of pursuing a million dollar lawsuit he used his powerful situation to make impacting changes in a major health institution.


The Bell Jar By Sylvia Plath is a classic that I’ve always wanted to read.  I’m 50% done and doubt I’ll finish it. Terrific writing, compelling. I was really most interested in learning more about Plath, and understand what led her to commit suicide at such a young age. I work with clinically depressed patients with varying stages of illness, anything that might help me better understand the illness in order to help them is worth my attention.


The Secrets of People Who Never Get Sick

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to never get sick – no more bronchitis, stomach bug, or other nasty viruses? Close to $40 billion a year is spent treating the common cold. But what if there was a simple solution to avoid sickness? Imagine how much more you could do and the money you’d save if you never got sick. In his book The Secrets of People Who Never Get Sick, Gene Stone found a sampling of everyday people who claimed to never get ill. 25 healthy living “secrets”, some unique, others well known. Meet Patricia, a native New Yorker who eats dirt, and Phil, a teacher who claims detoxification cured his cancer. Take a peek into the lives of regular people, who do a little something extra – eat fresh garlic, consume only plant based foods, take probiotics, make a habit of napping. They all swear their routine keeps them healthy. Will their tips work for you? Read the full review and find the “secret” website here.