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Recipes: Use for over ripe bananas

September 4, 2012

It always seems that I end up with 2-3 over ripe bananas.   I also had some blueberries that were at risk of becoming garbage fodder in a few days.  I found a recipe on that sounded easy enough and I had all the ingredients in the house.

Banana Blueberry Oatmeal Bread.

I made two modification

  • Instead of 2/3 cup sugar, I used 1/3 cup white sugar and 1/3 cup brown sugar.
  • Instead of greasing and flouring the pan, I lined it with parchment paper.

I baked the loaf for an hour.  The knife came out almost dry when I tested for doneness.   If I make the recipe again, I will probably leave it in a little longer, until the knife is completely clean when removed.  It started to brown nicely during the last 10 minutes, so leaving it in the oven an additional 5-10 minutes may have resulted in a more even golder brown color.

Fundraising ideas: Pink pumpkins

September 3, 2012

With Halloween and Breast Cancer Awareness month both falling in October, my friend Sharon found a way to combine both into a fundraiser.  She paints the pumpkins pink, writes  a message, and adorns them with a pink ribbon.

Send out a notice to your friends and family starting early in September. Ask for a donation, Sharon request $15.  Remind them to place the orders well enough in advance so you have time to procure and decorate the pumpkins.

Pumpkins can be purchased from a variety of places, including your local Mega-Marts, farmers markets, and directly from the farm.  My favorite place to get pumpkins is at a pick-your-own farm.  It’s a great way to spend an afternoon, especially if you have young-uns. This site ( lists pick your own pumpkin patches. The last entries were from 2010, so call before you visit to ensure there are pumpkins this year.

Post edit: Sharon commented that she uses white craft pumpkins. Fooled me. The pumpkin looked real. The craft pumpkins can be found at Michael’s and other craft stores.  An advantage to the plastic craft pumpkin, you can use it again.

Fundraising idea: Canning

September 2, 2012

An easy fundraising technique is canning.  No, not canning as in putting up food for the winter, but rather asking drivers for money.  Yesterday my friends Sharon, Janet, their kids (who are on Youth Crew) and I spent the morning at an intersection near the Home Depot.  We arrived early, dressed in our Walk T-shirts and plastic containers labeled with the Walk info.

It turned out to be a very slow day… Saturday morning, Labor Day weekend and there were very few cars.  But, almost every driver that exited the Home Depot rolled downed their window and put some money in the jar.  What surprised me most is that 90+ percent of the donors were male, mostly contractors or other building professionals!

It was similar along the other side of the street as well.  Not sure if there were just more men out that early, or they are more generous.  Some findings, people in beat-up cars were more likely to donate that those in luxury SUVs.  Some women who saw us  reached for the center console of their vehicles (mostly SUVs) leading us to believe they were reaching for a donation. Nope. Fooled us every time. They grabbed their cellphones and made a pretense of being too busy. People with small children in the car were less likely to donate, but cars with multiple adult passengers had everyone reaching for their wallets.  One city bus driver (female) waved me over and opened the bus door and gave a donation, while two subsequent buses driven by men did not acknowledge me.

About 4 hours of canning resulted in $350.  Very respectable for a slow holiday weekend.

Should you consider canning, please contact your locale city hall to find out the town requirements and see if you need a permit.  Use caution while approaching vehicles.  Just because you think they see you, doesn’t mean they have.  Look for traffic before stepping off the curb.  Don’t obstruct traffic.  Be considerate and thank everyone who places money in the can. And be even nicer to the people who don’t donate.  – Two people actually came back and made a donation later!

Why I walk….

September 1, 2012

People ask me why I walk, raise money, and am so involved with the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. To understand, watch the short video of photos I took at the Boston Closing Ceremony. You’ll see the youth crew members in their bright yellow sweatshirts. The tears they shed are for family members who have died from breast cancer. One of them commented that she wishes she could have a hug from her mother. Need I say more as to why I do this? Read more…

Early spring

March 14, 2012

Spring has come early to the North East this year. Actually, we never really had a winter.  It’s March 14 and the high temperature in North New Jersey was 70F.  For most of this week, the temperature has been well into the 60s.   Linda and I were able to walk almost all winter.  With no snow, the walking paths were clear and ice free all season.  There were only a few days where it was really cold – otherwise, it was ideal for long 5+ mile walks on the weekends.

It’s never too early to start your walk preparation.   The first walk of the season is coming up soon – Houston TX on April 21 -22, 2012.

This year Avon Walk is offering a new event to help new walkers prepare.  Of course repeat walkers are welcome, too:  Boot Camp.  To sign up for the NY event – RSVP here.

Activities will include:

  • Physical Training. Join our 5-mile Training Walk (8:30 am).
  • Fearless Fundraising. Exercise your skill.
  • Learn the ropes. Attend our Training Workshop.
  • Day in the Life Clinic.  It’s Avon Walk Basic Training from A to Z.
  • Attend a clinic with REI staff members. Learn the basics of appropriate Avon Walk footwear and clothing.
  • Meet Alumni Walkers, Sponsors and Staff


Facebook Fixes: How to prevent articles you have read online from showing up on your wall

March 4, 2012

You’ve probably seen a list of articles your friends have read showing up on your news feed.  Could be interesting to learn about a news story you hadn’t heard about.  Could reveal that your friend is fixated on the Kardashians. I posted how to stop seeing these news articles here:

List of news stories read by my friends

If you have clicked on one of the news stories from your news feed,  you were taken to a page that asked you to accept adding the reader application to your profile.  For example, if you clicked on a story from the Washington Post, you saw a pop-up box that looks like the one below.  This is the only opt-in for the app.  Notice on the left side, you have the option to set up who can see the stories posted to your wall by the Washington Post.  If you care who can review what stories you are reading, you might want to set this to “Only Me”.

If you clicked “Go to App”, you opted into the Washington Post Social Reader application. The next page will be the Washington Post website framed inside your Facebook page.

Did you know that you can click on “Cancel” when presented with the opt-in pop-up?  Clicking “Cancel” will take you to the article on the Washington Post website… and your friends won’t see that you read it.

Now let’s assume that you already opted into any of the reader apps. You can update what you allow the app to post to your wall.  Go to the top right corner of your Facebook page and click the down arrow. Select “Privacy Settings”.  Next to “Apps and Websites” click on “Edit Settings”. You will see a list of all the apps you have allowed to access your Facebook information.  Click on the one you want to update the settings for.  I am using the Washington Post Social Reader app as my example.

You have some options here.

You can remove the app – this deletes it and prevents it from accessing your data.

You can click the “x” for the “This app can also” item. This will prevent it from posting to your wall. The app still has access to  your personal data (that’s a whole other discussion).

If you hadn’t predefined who could see the wall posts when you enabled the app, you can do so now. Selecting “Only me” for “App activity privacy” will show the post only to you on your wall.

You can learn more here: Facebook Privacy Tip: How to Disable Sharing in Social Reader Apps. Some Facebook users are unintentionally broadcasting their reading habits to their network. Here’s how to find out if you’ve added one of these social reading apps and how to adjust your privacy settings.

Facebook Fixes: How to hide recently read articles by your friends

March 3, 2012

As part of Facebook’s Open Graph project, websites like Washington Post, Huffington Post,  and Yahoo! news have partnered to show content from their sites on Facebook.  Reading stories on those sites will not automatically trigger a posting on your wall. You need to add the application to your Facebook page. Once you have accepted the terms of the app, any news story you read from that point forward will post to your wall – and show up in your friends’ news feeds.

Depending on how many friends you have and how many articles they read, this can take up quite a bit of space on your news feed.  Personally, I have no interest in what my friends are reading.  I am a bit surprised by some of the articles, especially the number of articles about Justin Bieber.

It is possible to hide this content, in just a few steps.

First, hover your mouse over the right top corner of the article box.  A drop down arrow will appear (see photo below).  Click the arrow to open the menu choices.  Click on “Hide all by….”

You will now be asked which sources you want to hide.  Click on the “Hide all by Huffington Post” to hide those stories posted by Huffington Post.  Repeat this for each source from which you no longer want to see information posted.

You will get the confirmation message displayed below. Should you want to see the posts in the future, you can return them to your news feed by using the Edit News Feed Options found at the bottom of your News Feed.

NOTE:  This will only remove the news stories from your friends.  If you are using these apps to read news, the stories you read will still post to your friends’ news feeds.