Monday, May 24, 2010

A Crazy Story From Time Spent With The U.S. Census

Do you ever ask someone a question that seems to break open a floodgate of information that you really didn't intend on getting, but you get it anyway?  A simple 'How Are You?' can trigger a load of information that may be better left on a counselor's couch than the two minutes you have available at the moment to listen.  Somehow the person is just bursting to tell somebody, right then and there. And you happen to be the lucky person who gets to be the listening ear, whether you want to be or not. That is the time when one needs to gauge the importance of listening to a fellow human being in need of venting or the need to continue on your own course of scheduled work, which is always SO important, because you own that piece of time, to do with whatever you may and it will never return to you again.

This is what happened to me just the other day when I was on the job working for the Census.  My job is to follow up with those folks who either didn't get their Census 2010 forms filled out and returned or they didn't get them for one reason or the other.  Most of the time, things go really smoothly.  I just need a count of who lived in the home on April 1st of 2010, the names if they have them, the dates of birth and race.  That's it. 

So, the other day (meaning sometime during the past two months) I knocked on a door and a kid answers (I say kid loosely, he was probably 22 - 23 years of age).  He was really polite and told me that he'd be happy to answer the Census questions except for the fact that he had to rush to court.  "I've GOT to make this". he said.  "I'll be in a world of hurt if I don't."  I wished him good luck and went on my way.

I found him home about a week later and he was in a more relaxed way and we proceeded to complete the census questionnaire both seated cross-legged on the front lawn.  I casually asked him how his court date went and that's when the floodgates came open.

He told me a 30 minute story that was amazing. A short, watered down version goes like this: "My sister and "this guy" had been dating for awhile, when she decided to call it off.  She, in the meantime, had decided to go on a mission for her church and was a virgin, saving herself for her marriage.  She went back to "this guy's" house to retrieve some items she had left there.  When she went into the house, he apprehended her and proceeded to assault her and rape her.  I happened to come up to the house because I was going to pick her up.  I heard her screaming before I got to the door and when I burst into the house, I saw "this guy" in the act of raping my sister.  I did what anyone with any love or loyalty for their family would do, I took a baseball bat and beat him to a bloody pulp.By the time I was through with him, he was lucky to be alive.  I told the cops what had happened and they told me they would do the same thing, if it had been them.  But when I got to the police station, it was a different story. I was treated badly, put in jail, left there for 2 weeks before being allowed to leave with bail, and was told I would most probably serve a minimum 10-year sentence in prison for 1st degree assault, a felony."  My eyes lit up and I gleefully exclaimed, because I'm bright like that, "So, THAT is where you were going in such a hurry when I came last time!"  "Yes, that's right", he patiently acknowledged.  By this time, I wasn't in as much of a hurry as I thought I was a few minutes before.

"So what happened in court?" 

"Well, they were ready to throw the book at me and send me to prison for 10 years or more.  The prosecuting attorney was demanding justice for what I had done, regardless of who "this guy" had hurt and who I was defending.  Things looked pretty bleak.  But then the defending attorney found some blatant discrepancies in the testimonies of the officers who were the first ones at the scene.  At first they said one thing about my statements and then they retracted that and said something else.  Because of that one thing, my defending attorney was able to get a jury to look at that and they found me 'Not Guilty' and I was dismissed of all charges. But even if I was found guilty and put in prison for years, I would still do the same thing.  Nobody is going to do that to my sister and not hear from me.  It turns out "this guy" was a married man and she didn't even know."

"I'm very glad that you're not in prison!" I said.  And thanks for sticking up for your sister and yet not killing that guy!  And most of all, thanks for helping me to help you get counted in Census 2010!  Have a great day!" 

As I drove away, I thought, "It's what anyone would do--listen to a fellow citizen!"  I'm glad I took the time to listen. he needed it, but more than that, I needed it. And it gave me some definite things to think about.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

CLOSED - Tropical Traditions Antioxidant Omega 3 Greens Review And Giveaway!

The winner of this giveaway was "For Their Future" who said:
Shared this giveaway on facebook!!/hannahmommy?v=wall&story_fbid=125128447512359&ref=mf
I know that eating at least 6 fruits and vegetables is really important.  But a lot of days I see that this daily requirement isn't quite fulfilled for myself or my family.  One of the best ways to make up for this lack is through a green drink.  Depending upon the brand and method of manufacturing, these drinks can be fabulous for you. But there are drawbacks for me.  For one, the taste leaves a lot to be desired.  For the most part, the drinks taste like grass.  Grass doesn't have the best flavor on the planet!  I actually have several green drink containers hanging around my house that I have never finished because I didn't feel like buckling down and drinking them because of the taste.  Another drawback, as I mentioned, is the method of manufacturing the green drink.  If all the nutrients are destroyed in the manufacturing process because of heat, you end up with little or no nutrition.  Another concern is the quality of the food before the process even begins.  Are there heavy fertilizers in the soil it grew in?I believe I've found the perfect answer to all of my concerns in Tropical Traditions Antioxidant Omega 3 Greens Drink! For starters, the taste is great!  I ordered the berry flavor (they also have mint flavor) and it tastes like a fruit drink!  I can put it in my fruit smoothies and it tastes super good!  I can drink it plain without holding my nose to get it down, which is what I used to do with any green drink I might have tried.

It is also the highest quality blend of greens and whole food that provide a wonderful addition to my diet.  It contains:

2600 mg of certified organic flax per serving, which is very rich in Omega 3 in the most absorbable, cold-processed form!

Concentrate of Ionic Trace minerals in a form that my body recognizes and absorbs!  

Spirulina, which is the highest form of protein in any natural food!

Chlorella, which has an incredibly wide array of vitamins and minerals, which occur naturally!

Apple Fiber Pectin, a superb form of fiber, which is great for my digestive health.

A proprietary enzyme blend, which helps my body break down the foods I take into my body so I won't have to use my own anabolic enzymes used for my critical life functions and which I only have so many for that purpose, so I don't want to waste them on digesting my food if I can help it.

It also contains:  lecithin and licorice root extract, both great for immune system, nerve and adrenal gland function.  

I am very very excited about this find and I hope that you will visit Tropical Traditions and read more about their Antioxidant Omega 3 Greens! 
Of course you may purchase this and it will be well worth the price of $44.00. Tropical Traditions also has a Referral Program, so if you place an order with them as a first-time customer, please select “Referred by a friend” and in the box that says “How did you hear of us?” enter this sponsor ID # - 5954910. You will receive a complimentary copy of the book Virgin Coconut Oil: How it has changed people’s lives and how it can change yours! by Brian and Marianita Shilhavy with your first order! This book is filled with testimonies and research showing how healthy coconut oil is, and it also includes over 85 recipes showing how one can incorporate coconut into their diet.

Win It: Tropical Traditions is pleased to award one person with their own cannister of Antioxidant Omega 3 Greens!  Complete the first MANDY Entry and as many other entries as you care to after that!  Leave a comment for each extra entry that you complete!  Open to US and Canada, although Tropical Traditions is not responsible for customs or duties that Canada may charge if you decide to participate in this Tropical Traditions sponsored blog giveaway!

Mandy:  Visit Tropical Traditions on FACEBOOK, like (friend) them, and then tell them you're here from AGalNeeds... ! Leave me your FB friend first name and last initial in the comment! (Ex: Helena.L)

Other Entries:
  • Follow Tropical Traditions on Twitter and tweet this---Improve your health daily! Enter to #Win this Tropical Traditions #Giveaway~ ($44) Antioxidant Omega 3 Greens! 6/9/10  Can be tweeted twice daily for one entry each! Leave your tweet status!

  • Follow me on Google Friend Connect!  Let me know if you already do!
  • Grab my AGalNeeds...button on the right sidebar and post it on your blog main page!  (3 entries)

  • Visit Tropical Traditions and tell me of a product that you would be interested in trying! (2 entries)

  • Enter any of my other giveaways!  Tell me which ones! (2 entries each one)
  • Blog, Stumble or Facebook about this giveaway and tell me where you did by leaving me the link!  (5 entries each method)
  • Subscribe to my RSS Feed in a Reader of your choice.  (3 entries)
This giveaway will close on 6/9/10 at 11:59 pm MST!  Thanks for participating and thanks to Tropical Traditions for the chance to review and host this giveaway!  The opinions in this blog are mine and are honest and candid.  I was provided a product to sample and review!  Winners are chosen with!  The winner will be announced at the end of the giveaway here on this post!  Check back to see who won! 

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Synergy Kombucha - The Natural Energy Drink

Kombucha is an ancient Chinese drink making a renewed appearance as a healthy drink that has many benefits!  Many people make it at home from a sort of starter called a mushroom, mother, or scoby. It is widely available in Health Food Stores and the raw, organic sections of grocery stores. 

The scientific and pharmaceutical communities have not been overly enthusiastic about conducting controlled studies on Kombucha because, for one reason, of a fear that it won't be profitable for them, since it can be produced relatively inexpensively and cannot be patented. However, there have been extensive testimonials and informal studies done, as well as a few promising preliminary scientific studies. An early 1996 survey conducted by Colleen Allen and written by Ariana Estelle Ph.D, resulted in a variety of health benefit claims from over 600 people who used it worldwide.  Among the claims were an 81% feeling of general well being, 30% success with weight loss, 82% resistance to colds and flues. These are just a few of the health claims made by these varied users.  Now in 2010, there are over 3 million people who are benefiting from the goodness of Kombucha!

I believe that if you give Kombucha a try, you'll love it!  That's why I am excited to introduce you to Millenium Products' 'Synergy' Raw & Organic Kombucha!  Not long ago, I did a Review on Kombucha, where I tried it for the first time.  I now drink Kombucha on a regular basis, as a drink of choice!  The taste has grown on me as well as some beneficial effects I've noticed!  I definitely have more energy and clarity of thought. It may be a little early to tell about some of the other effects I am experiencing.  But the taste has definitely grown on me.  It is naturally effervescent but not carbonated, so I feel like I'm drinking a soft drink, but not getting all of the negative effects that carbonated drinks have. I really like the Synergy drinks because they are raw and organic, 95% pure Kombucha with 5% real fruit juice added to give variety.  I love some of the flavors they have.  I'm drinking the Divine Grape on ice as I post this giveaway!

GET IT:  Find out where you can get Synergy Raw & Organic Kombucha by going to their website and finding your state.  They provide a list of all the stores in your state where Synergy Kombucha is available.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Congratulations! 'Timeless' Winner!

I ran my numbers and picked #2 , Fab Kate, who said,
Sunblock is the #1 way I protect my skin.
Thanks to ALL who entered!  I wish I could give each and everyone of you a vial of this wonderful stuff!  Congratulations again, Kate!  It's your time, I can tell!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

To Your Health! GT's Synergy Kombucha Drink!

I recently stumbled upon an article about Kombucha, the wonder tonic that is being touted as the year's hottest cool beverage!  Apparently, it has replaced the craze for Acai and Pomegranate juice and has the likes of Reese Witherspoon carrying it around on New York City streets.
 The recorded history of Kombucha begins in 19th Century Russia, but is thought to date back to early China, during the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC).  It was called 'The Drink of Immortaility', and today still has many health claims, the main one being that it detoxifies the body and energizes the mind'.  There are many Kombucha enthusiasts, who swear by the beneficial results Kombucha consumption brings!  A recent study suggests that glucaric acid, the active ingredient in Kombucha,  probably makes the liver more efficient.  Also, Glucaric acid is commonly found in fruits and vegetables, and is being explored independently as a cancer preventive agent.
The general consensus seems to be that with regular, daily consumption, you’ll notice improvement in immune system functioning and energy levels within about a week, the healing of more minor ailments within a month or so, and the healing of more radical illnesses within a year or so.
Enter G.T. Dave and Synergy drinks--In 1995, Millennium Products founder GT Dave's life came crashing down when he heard that his mother, Laraine Dave had just been diagnosed with a highly aggressive form of breast cancer. After a week of emotional turmoil, he was relieved to find out that her breast cancer had not spread and that the pungent tasting cultured tea that she had been drinking was part of the reason why.
Some of the nutrients found in Kombucha are:
Active Enzymes - These are the "life force" of the most vital raw foods.  Research shows that every human is born with a plentiful amount of enzymes.  However, they bigin to diminish as we get older which results in signs of agin. When these enzymes are replenished the body is able to maintain a more youthful state.  They also assist in the stomach's metabolism of foods, soothe indigestion and calm the appetite to prevent overeating.
Natural Antibiotics - These antibiotics only target the "bad" bacteria and naturally prevent and treat infections.  (Not to be confused with pharmaceutical antibiotics which are prescribed by physicians or the ones used in meats and dairy.)
Mucointinsulfat Acid - Repairs the stomach lining.
My first experience with Synergy Kombucha was funny because I wasn't expecting what I tasted.  This is a sweetened tea, that’s been fermented by a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast (a SCOBY, a.k.a. “mother” because of its ability to reproduce, or “mushroom” because of its appearance).  I was expecting a sort of fruity taste because I got the 'Cosmic Cranberry' for my first bottle.  Instead, I got a tart, vinegary, fermented, trace of alchohol, sort of taste and I really didn't like it that much.  But I forged ahead and got through the bottle. The next flavor I tried was the Strawberry Serenity.  This was much easier to drink and by then I had figured out that this isn't a drink that you chug down.  It's something you sip throughout the day, maybe before a workout, or before a meal to control appetite.  There is no wrong time to drink Synergy Kombusha.  So the way I like to drink it is throughout the day.  I did have immediate results or signs of improvement.  I felt more energetic and had more clarity of thought.  I felt better digestive processes and I felt more able to wake up in the morning.  Is it because of Kombucha? I'm not sure.  Apparently, there are over 3 million people who regularly drink Kombucha, according to a report on NBC's Dateline.  They must see something beneficial about it. So, may I recommend Synergy's Organic & Raw Kombucha to you?  Other flavors include Mystic Mango and Divine Grape, among others! It's definitely worth a try!  Get it at your local health food store or where quality health products are sold!

I'd love to know if you've tried Kombucha and what you thought about it.  Please leave me a comment here.  If you haven't tried it, does it sound interesting, or just another health fad, here today, gone tomorrow? 

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Breeze Comfort Sports Bra Giveaway!


I recently did a review on a Breeze Comfort Sport Bra.  I am now happy to announce a giveaway for someone else to win a Breeze Comfort sports Bra of their own!  If  you want a bra that supports, doesn't pinch under your arms or your shoulders, and wicks away sweat, this one is for you!  They have recently added even more to their bras, including:

Two sets of exchangeable, perforated bra pads: a softer set for everyday wear and lower impact activities such as yoga and Pilates and a firmer set to provide more support for medium/high impact activities.

Mesh lining for breathability in high sweat area.

Adjustable straps for better fit.

Supple, smooth moisture wicking fabric.


To WIN this contest and get a Breeze Comfort Sports Bra of your choice, please complete the mandy (mandatory entry) and any others that you care to in order to increase your odds of winning!  Thanks in advance.  The winner will be notified by e-mail (so please provide me with that) and asked to provide their shipping information!  Breeze Comfort will then ship your choice of Sport Bra to you!
Mandy:  Visit Breeze Comfort and tell me which sports bra you'd like and in which color! (If you win, you may change selections!)

Extra Entries (The numbers in bold are the extra entries you can earn!  Please leave a comment for EACH extra entry!):

+2 Look at my Breeze Comfort Review and tell me something about it.  What did you learn, what would you  have liked in it that wasn't, too long, too short, etc.

+3 Grab my button and put it on your blog's main page! 

+2 Follow Breeze Comfort on Twitter here!

+2 Friend Breeze Comfort on Facebook and post on their wall that I sent you and what you learned about Breeze Comfort!  Ex: "I am here from AGalNeeds...!  I learned that (tell them something you learned!)"

+3 Friend me on Facebook! 

+2 Be my follower on Google Friend Connect!

+2 Follow me on Twitter

 +2 Enter any of my other Giveaways! Tell me which ones!

+5 Blog this and leave a link to this post AND to Breeze Comfort!  Tell me where you did by leaving the link to your post!

+1 Tweet about this giveaway and leave me the tweet status! (Can be done daily!)

Thanks in advance to YOU for participating in  this giveaway and thanks to Comfort Breeze for this opportunity to provide one of my readers a chance to win!  This giveaway will close on 5/27/10 at 11:59 pm MST!  I was provided with a product to review and give my own opinion, which I did!  All winners are chosen with  I will choose an alternate winner if giveaway qualifications are not met!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

My Breeze Comfort Review

I'm of the opinion that the less my girls jiggle, wiggle or bounce during a work-out, the better.  So when I was asked to review the Breeze Comfort Sports Bra ($39.99), I was happy to give it a go.  I was sent the Silver/Black Peek-a-Boo Sports Bra and I got it in my size, which I was surprised that my size encompassed several sizes.  For instance, if I (hypothetically, you understand) wear a 34D, that size also is the size for 34C and 36C and 36B).  In other words, that would be the medium size sports bra. "Wow!", I thought to myself, "that is a lot of "wiggle" room!"  I was a little bit skeptical that if someone has a smaller frame and a larger cup, or a larger frame and smaller cup, maybe that wouldn't give the full support they would need for an extreme sport, like running or aerobics.
A Little Bit About Breeze Comfort
 The patented ventilated bra pads are a godsend for women because they allow air to flow through so that sweat doesn't build up in any one area. This patented process lets heat and moisture out but allows air and circulation in.  These tiny perforations aren't visible from the outside, so you don't have to worry about the bra being sheer or see-through!

I love it when an online company provides free shipping.  Even if the shipping cost is absorbed into the retail price, I still feel like I'm getting a deal!  All US orders are free shipping and all $50 International orders are free shipping!

They are having a great sale right now!  Buy any 2 basic or basic push up bra and get one of their free breathable sports bras!  This is going on thru May 9th!  So free shipping plus a free sports bra! 

My Experience and Recommendations
I really love the style of the Peek-a-Boo Sports bra.  It has just enough pizazz to make me feel like I'm stylin' while I work out and I like that.  The comfort and breathability is amazing.  If you, like me, are someone who needs absolute support while working out, please order a smaller size.  If you are a medium, order a small because, while there is adequate support, my standard of absolutely no "wiggle room" was not quite there for the extreme sports!  All in all, however, I loved this sports bra and I would recommend it to my friends!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Famous Last Words! I Hate Entering Contests On Wordpress!

I, personally, will never switch to Wordpress!  Yes, I understand it's the supposed greatest piece of shiz to hit the bloggy world.  But try to enter a contest with Wordpress.  Geez!  It's like the Wordpress police are always riding you to post your life history before each comment that you make. Also, if you post at any speed at all, there's Wordpress, telling you you're posting too fast.  And then tonight, I was posting my entries in a nice little contest and I was told that I looked like a spammer and to please punch in the magic letters before I could go further.  I did so, and then it told me that I had posted this comment before.  Hello?  It's a multiple entry comment.  Do I now need to be creative and say something new and different in each multiple entry giveaway comment?  How many ways can I say "I blogged"?  I did blog this!  I therefore blogged my arse off for this!  I will now declare that I heretoforewith blogged this! etc. etc. ARGGGGGH!  Next, it just shut me down in the middle of my entries and told me to contact the blog administrator because I had used up my comment privileges.  Crap!  I'm never going to enter a giveaway on a Wordpress Stream again. (Those indeed were famous last words - I enter WordPress contests all the time, although they still aren't my favorites!  I have learned to multi-task while I'm waiting for the comment to sync and I can submit another comment!)  I would never put my own readers through what I had and do go through every time I enter a giveaway hosted with Wordpress.  Thanks, I'll keep my Blogger-owned blog and trust that they will be more polite to those who visit here.

On an aside note, I understand the need for security on a website that does monetary transactions.  Wordpress is a good bet for someone who does that, based on all the red tape I have to go through just to enter a giveaway.  But even that has failures. I know of a Wordpress Website Builder, Suzanne Bird-Harris,  who has several clients that have had their sites hacked.  One of these clients had to have her site rebuilt 3 different times.  I imagine she didn't like the bill for that. 

The best way to avoid hacks into any site where you go to get or give secure information is to have great passwords that you change regularly.  I know, it's such a pain, but it's the safest way.  You can do it easier by having a combination of CAPITAL LETTERS, lower case letters, numbers, special characters (#$^@$&$&*),  and at least 8 characters long.  To make the hassle a little easier, you can use add-ons such as SECURE LOGIN for Firefox and other such programs that automatically load and remember all your passwords.
Update 6/21/12 - These days, most of the giveaways I enter are done on Rafflecopter.  I, too, have switched over to this nifty little gadget.  Entering is a snap and because of it, more people are enticed to enter!  Practically gone are the days of low-entry giveaways, although there are still some to be found.  But he new definition of a low-entry giveaway is anything under 1200 entries!