RE-POST from The Zeit

Finding alternative uses for vegetables keeps your taste buds guessing, and boosts your nutrition! Cauliflower contains sulforaphane, which acts as an antioxidant and helps detox your system utilizing enzymes. Cruciferous vegetables are believed to lower risk of cancer due to these beneficial sulforaphanes. Ricing or mashing cauliflower allows you to mold the flavors you desire […]

via I Mashed and Riced Cauliflower – This Is What Happened! — The Zeit

The 80s is our decade

The 80s is our decade



As a child of the early 60s, one can’t help but reflect what has been going on for the past little while.  For some of us, we can sense our world coming unhinged and return to the earliest hidden formative memories we probably have stifled.  Imagine?  Think so?  I certainly do.

Now where does one start to make the greatest impact where the reader will be captured to read on?  Certainly, an eye-catching title that says it like it is, tell what it’s about, and may target and attract a very select group of influencers, disposable income earners, executives, go to?

Well, I wrote about it on my other blog (of about 4, one mostly in pause mode) :: scientists, psychologists, media outlets, all speculate about what is the most bestest trait or gene one person can have?

The thought was provoked while reading a transformative blog from an unlikely source (for me) on Linked In.  I usually hoover around Twitter, Facebook, then Google.  Usually Linked In is on weekends :: I habit I formed when I first entered social media via LI.


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From Linked In, I was convinced to get on Twitter :: what an amazing world unfolded.  There were a lot of folk out there that I seemed to think were a lot like me, humbling so.  They were just plainly, simply smart.

Now social media skeptics are evangelists on the danger and murky waters of Twitter and Facebook.  Then there are a select few who were early adopters then invited to be early adopters under BETA initially for Google’s G+ long before KLOUT scores emerged or KRED established, Google was in a race to the finish line with our information and minds.  Google kind of identified some who were going to blast out into the stratosphere as multi-media socialpreneurs and innovators like Guy Kawasaki (one of these days Guy will acknowledge me as one of his first identifiers) with his historical superstardom meteoric rise that surpasses any movie or advertising budget or endorsement by anything but the shear number of followers, retweeters, likers, plussers.

A new form of currency emerges.  A #RT will cost a brand something, someone will create a PAYpal-for-social media-endorsers where your rate will be pre-determined by not only your KLOUT or KRED or following numbers, but captured by the greatest engine of imagineers:  Google who is leap years ahead with Google’s AdWorks.  (Which reminds me, I have to see if there is some sort of adoption of Google Alphabet?

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I’m sorry to say Apple, MicroSoft, IBM and HP are lost in Google’s dust.  What makes me say this?  Simple.  The greatest segment of influence right now are @InBetweeners :: those born between 1960 and 1965.  Lost for decades overclouded by the Baby Boomers and trying to stay ahead of being swallowed up by the Millennials who have already plastered GenXers.  Don’t you think?

If you really want to investigate what is making the world tick, just watch CNN advertising for the most part.  Makes me wonder who is behind the logistics of intelligence of determining their target audience revenue stream identification system ::

The greatest number of influencers are not from the washed up retiring Baby Boomers like so many agencies were feeding their big advertisers’ budget to deplete their funds on a misguided mission of empty promises.

The InBetweeners (1960-65) are THE most connected, intelligent, educated, hardship tested, boom or busted husslers.  I dare ya to contradict me!!


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What has gained my attention to get me all riled up?  By golly, it is the hardships and tests enveloping our friends and kin in Alberta northernest city:  Fort McMurray (insiders affectionately call Fort Mac).  First those incredibly resilient group of citizens were plummeted to unemployment when the price of oil took a nose dive and an under educated movie stud named Leonardo DiCaprio declared our neck of the woods undergoing an alarming rate of global warming :: when, in fact, he was just experiencing a unique weather pattern in our hemisphere that causes our atmosphere and weather to wander from cold tundra winter weather to baseball playing spring-like conditions in the middle of January!!

It got me to realize that while I watched the victims interviewed starting just last night, how many were in my similar age group.  And I thought “Good GOD, these poor people whom I don’t know but can relate to so humanely”.  I probably had a sneaky suspicion that it was the brotherhood and sisterhood of InBetweeners (1960-65) banding together under tragedy and survival with the same calmness as they did when they entered this very world.



Now, most of us wouldn’t remember that when we were born in the beginning of the 60s, the world had never been as settled as it has become today.  Our Millennial youngsters are watching our braveness and taking their cue from our response.  Most of who have survived numerous times, can clearly identify kinship with.  In the 60s people started to live in bomb shelters, not just build them.  If you ever want the best way to sense the panic, it reminds me of an episode of “Saving Hope”  that caught my instinctive eye only a few years ago when the premise was the mom stockpiling food, rations, in preparation of the end of the world.

If that isn’t enough to convince skeptics what we were surrounded by, think about what was going on when we were graduating from high school  in 1979?  Well, for sure I could say the 1980 Olympics in Russia was the first sign of the cold war ::  doubters go read back.  This was long before they had a Russian power that was homophobic leadership, they were in a power struggle with the United States.

Look at both those countries now?  The mirror opposite is astounding:  the US is burdened with military blight, financial cusp of ruin, mad political maneuvering.  Those of us hitting our 20s in 1980, witnessed the most non-political event in the world and in history:  turn into a political lobby for power.



It is only now that I can see through the fog with a degree of intelligence because I churn through so much information, read such varying articles from humanity to politics to the world :: that we are in a very delicate time and period in history.

I am almost laughing to myself as I recognize the labeling of being a conspiracy theorist could be just a few steps away.  I hold back because that is not who I am.  I really want the world to be a better place for everyone and every living thing our planet inhabits.  I want to drown out the noise by those dimwits that use a power from when people are zoning out and escaping reality by watching TV or movies.  We are under the influence of FAME.  Not the psycodellic (I give up on the spelling for now) drugs of the 70s that made Jim Morrison and The Doors famous, revered by our elders emerging at the time:: Baby Boomers.  Nor the mind-escaping, dangerous drugs the Millennials are darting around right now.




What biggest drug in the world that hasn’t even been identified yet is FAME !!  Just ask yourself:  who wants to be at the top of Twitter trending on any given day for free?  You are a fame-monger for sure.  They are far more destructive than a fear-monger, warlord, radical movement or druglord those FAME acclaimers and wannabes.

I digress, because the real FAME is being discovered and recognized and promoted by Google, Twitter, Apple and Facebook.  They are preselecting our viewing enjoyment by getting to invasive that they know what we may be looking for long before we even do.

Talk about the cloud::  we are sharing pretty much everything about ourselves online with the most vulnerable being those who think they are safe.  The InBetweeners are a smart bunch.  They are navigating and controlling the personality they are online to be close to a personal and professional match beyond an HR test or scientific analysis.



You do know that Steve Jobbs identified us?  Perhaps he feared our power?  He certainly spoke to us personally and at the heart:  the pioneers, the visionaries, the survivors I affectionately identify as the InBetweeners (born 1960 to 1965).  Sure we lost a few lost souls to GenX but those people get lost no matter what, and no matter anywhere.

Look at the politics:  Hilary Clinton is talking to the Baby Boomers who are dwindling but by sure size still are a dominable size; Ernie Sanders resonates with the Millennials, yet it is Donald Trump who zero’d in on the influence of the InBetweeners !!

Inbetweeners by their sure intelligence and karma and charisma are showing the Boomers and Millennials the survival and inspirational way.  Out of the dark dangerous murky waters of what is before us:  radicalism threat, privacy invasion, political prowess, global warming warnings.



I haven’t even started on the victims who fall in the cracks in this explosive environment through unemployment, endangerment (floods, wildfires, mud slides, earthquake) catastrophes.  What I am saying is this:  mark my words :: it will be the InBetweeners who uplift, help, support and use their influence to make our world a better place will implode their following numbers :: leaving FAME to the narcissistic imposters who are quickly sifted out by the force of the InBetweeners who claim who and what really is the #bestofeverything .  Simply because, as leaders, they will latch on to that hashtag and recognize and adopt it as their uncommon voice to what we think, how we think, and why we think what we do :: WITHOUT the influence of the media, advertisers, scientists, engineers, based on information, ourselves, independently consolidated, dissect and reject.   Emerging as the purist thermometre on how to solve most of our world’s problems by just listening to each other and acting upon the #bestofeverything .  Where brands can still be members, just by using the hashtag, and without monetary influence are held to the test of who really is the best, as defined by the uncommon voice.

God bless all the victims, families, workers, emergency, responders, donators to the devastation happening in northern Alberta where oil price is at the bottom of their concern right now!!







Health matters




Now that we hit a certain age, health matters differently to each age group:

:: Teens: I only go to the doctor when my mom takes me/makes me

:: 20s:  Why would I bother going to see a doctor?

:: 30s:  I know I should go see a doctor but with this and that I don’t have time

:: 40s: I owe it to myself to go for an annual checkup even if I dread it

:: 50s:  My social dinners carry a conversation about health with those of same age

:: 60s:  I go to the doctor frequently and have a lot of different medications

:: 70s:  I talk a lot about others’ health problems, who’s still alive

:: 80s:  I am may need help to get to the doctor, it’s the one appointment I won’t miss

:: 90s:  I am happy to be alive and around to go see my doctor

:: 100s:  I like the fuss from the media for my age, even if I’ve done more in life

Genetics play a defining role in what our health footprint may be.  If you have been paying attention, you have noticed health issues from our parents and even siblings.   If you have been an observer of population trends, you may understand why pharmaceuticals have gotten so big and important:  The Baby Boomers are over 65 and consumed with turning back the clock.  InBETWEENers are coming to grips with medical diagnosis and taking strides to beat the clock.  GenXers may start to understand why health is a looming concern for most citizens.  Millennials are arrogant to believe that they have a long life ahead of them.

When I was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes almost two years ago:  it was a shake up and a wake up call.  Almost grieving, or full board grief to the loss of the clean bill of health.  There were blood tests and dietician appointments to monitor my diet.  It was a bit of a challenge because my husband had been faced with gluten intolerance.   Reading labels, incorporating a balanced diet, choosing low fat over trans fat wasn’t a difficult change.

If you are like me, I have a lot of things on the go, with work and a shrunk family home, but necessity to be “on call” to my four blended children is always a priority.  Often, my own health takes a back seat.

When each of us faces our wake up call can vary.  Whether we embrace it, study the heck out of it to bridge understanding, or ignore it all depends only on each individual.  Often, we lose a family member or know someone who’s life is cut very short by a heart attack or some other mortal event.  That is when we may take our own mortality and health more seriously.

fruit choice

I’m glad that the GenX community is a very healthy, active bunch.  They, and the Inbetweeners, have observed the effects of poor choices impact others:  a sibling, a close friend or an acquaintance.

For our Millennial children, they have formed habits, live a lifestyle that is much milder than their predecessors whether it was the hard drinking, heavily smoking, less active Baby Boomers or the stress-burdened inBetweeners parents.  They aren’t out of the weeds, however.  The poor choices in drugs is astounding to me.  The availability and acceptability of drugs started at a super young age, compared to their parents: The Baby Boomers and InBetweeners.  Peer pressure and social environment influences whether Millennials partake in drugs, most many of us hadn’t even heard of until the threat loomed from our children.

Baby Boomers, Inbetweeners and GenX knew about the effects of alcohol, more likely because of a family members addiction.  Besides weed, cocaine was off in the distance for the faster crowd associated with the big cities like New York or mega-athletes, or Hollywood crashes.  Not something that was around us until much later on, and less likely automatically there like it is for Millennials who can say “Meth, extasy, crack” more easily than their older influences who base it more on television, media or movies consumption.


I’m thankful that the drugs that our kids, The Millennials, have to face were not around when I was growing up.  I often base that on the concentrated choice to put figure skating ahead of social pressure.  Even when I went to college, it just wasn’t around, or I had already formed a good habit of understanding that “I am who I surround myself with”.

I appreciate and don’t take for granted the influence of myself and my kids father gave them:  a leaning towards a balanced diet, lifelong athleticism, and although not perfect, still much better than they can see from those in the same age bracket.

There is a close correlation between having an athletic extra-curricular focus that influenced a healthier attitude.  I think that one of Stephen Harper’s (Canada’s former Prime Minister who was ousted due to lack of popularity) biggest legacy may be the extra-curricular tax break.  It promotes parents to get their kids involved in a sport or activity that would distract them from making poor choices or bridges awareness to avoid those spiraling downwards by participating in activities that will crop up later on with health.  There is likely some very good research out there that defines kids with extra-curricular activities, most often sports, are least likely to impact themselves and their families with drug addiction, sexual permissivity, putting them at a major risk to disease, career malfunction, or burden on society or government resources.



It all starts with each of us.  Are we putting ourselves first in our health considerations?  Are we setting a good example for our children?  Are our children equipped to avoid the trappings of peer pressure, or, at least, making choices recognizing that they become who they surround themselves by?

Our governments can help, but it isn’t their responsibility.  It all starts at the doorstep of our own youth, career influence or social environment.  It can be offset by the habits we form, with a focus on making us better, not weakening our ability to be there to help others.  Who need us, count on us …. to be THERE!





#TGIF #Friday

#TGIF #Friday


I wrote this last night. Rarely would I think this reminiscing should appear on the more serious veneer of optioneerJM or expose a side of Jeannette Marshall, not many have seen. 

It does tend to fall into our twenties. Not important, the early or late years. Your career starts to take off somehow. You spin around, just to see everyone IS looking at you.

You are a model citizen, responsible adult with some post-secondary education that no matter how thick is a foundation you can pull forward in those wondering times. Was it work ethic, looks, personality, education or street smarts? That won many others over and where you were allowed to spread your wings.


Nowadays, to get a foot in the door, you have to have heeps of experience, or make degrees into diplomas or walk out of the door. How lucky I am and even at the time I still did. How did magical things happen to this average ole kid.

Wait a minute. You were an average old kid? Like does that mean when you were a kid you seemed older, or as you got older you got hipper? I mean average. Really? Does that mean academics?

Should you be reminded how in grade school, your meanest toughest teacher on record, yet you don’t even remember his name. The one who pushed you above so many in leaps and bounds. So that the next year, away you sat with three other boys, working on math from the proceeding years, For those who may benefit. Guess that ain’t ole average after all.

I got on a tangent as I often do. Forcing my attention back to the matter at hand.

The 1980s were fab-tas-tic-u-lust. Opps, was that an accident or on purpose? I’d hazard a guess that what makes a writer creative is the disguise he or she wears creating characters that they could dream up while never would dare, do or try what their characters could.

Some call the 60s just outtasight. But wasn’t it the 70s that gave us our might? Skipping along with our brothers or sis humming or tap tap tapping like a drum.  To the music that made those a decade ahead, believe that peace, science and academics were what matters in stead.

I was born in the shadows of that rebirth, long before greed, politics, money because the currency of luck.  After all, our immediate forefathers, young enough and wise enough who we may have considered brothers.

Then what happened? We huddled behind our desks, cozied up on our couch, watching wholesome TV shows like Mr. Ed the horse, or the Mr. Ed before Sullivan.  Bewitched, Three’s Company long before Friends.

We were too young to understand all the fuss over four young men arrived on the continent on a bus, or was that an airplane?

Don’t laugh too hard but when we graduated from High School, it was all about Disco, lights and all that fuzz.  Agreeably, we were mostly ignorant about beer or getting a buzz.


That wasn’t our scene.  Do you wanna know what was?  Going to school, then getting all gussied up like those 50s gals, except with very high heels and more conservative skirts than the 60s, yet not abandoned like the 70s.

We were a generation when it was about life being about the basics:  having a family, going to Midnight Mass at Christmas, with newcomers at the table because it was unthinkable, while it was not at all that new yet authentic, for anyone from the neighbourhood, school or work be left alone on the Holidays.  Funny, some folks even went to church, more often than not, which was never a conversation at the

dinner table was religion a topic sought.

Yes, the 80s were rad.  You can’t disagree when all the Millinnials embrace the decade.  It was a time when life was pretty basic, much less controversies, scandals, violence in our sphere.  We pushed on, went to school, excelled in athletics or guide/scouts, year after year.

We weren’t in the years when what our peers did or thought, was more important than our home, our families, parents, siblings and such.

Now there was drugs, alcohol, and permiscuaty in talked in back alleys not permiated by media, television, radio, newspapers and magazines.  In fact, that is when I read and read.  Nothing felt better or safer than in bed, with a book.  Being called to set the table, dinner was ready, would nearly break the imagination captured, dreading to just put it down.  Then we skooted outside so the adults could breathe, instead of the chatter and noise four kids bring, when turning on the TV was the very last thing.

Whoop whoop to the 80s.  Think about it, that was when the computer and music playing instruments were being revolutionized.  Ignorant were we that it would only be a phase.


The emergence of drugs and crime started to hold us spellbound.  Theatrics and lies joined them as the norm in the 90s.

Then we hit a new century.  Brought on alongside sheer panic that we were doomed when the clock was to pass midnight 23:59 1999 to 24:00 2000.  Makes you think, maybe we were really that lucky.

We were into our 30s by then.  Usually happily married or two times past.  Consumed with a passion never before known:  the power of money over towered us, some cast in gloom.

Whoever said “money can’t buy you love” as a quote turned into a famous tune?  Wasn’t really far off when you consider how fast hatred, jealousy, terrorism, violence can grow. 

Our own children now in their twenties as we near closer to 2020s.  Mixed with fear, and far less optimism than we were allowed.  Where diseases as bola, violence created by religion long before born.  

Yet they are the children of the 80s youngsters born of the 60s, wherein lies as when the basics were born.  Long before when a child could ride a bike alone, and still make it home.   Long before millions became billions …. in debt.  Where politicians, not parents or teachers, became scorned.

We were brought up in a world where politics were faded in the background, until a corrupt President was ousted.  Scandals were drugs, pre-marital sex very private, and violence against women, far less, children was even known.

The faint dew drops of that optimism allows many to soar.  Behind them strong parents, with morals from when the ideal foundation was formed.

When searching for royalty free images to enhance this Blog, I thought it ironic what the iconimic image covering The Times would symbolize the new century.  When the horror in Paris would mark this year approaching its end: 2015 my friend.


Bowing my head over these keys, gives me pause as our refugees arrive in Canada today with the belief that ours is a much safer world, with opportunity, humanity and peace.  Let us remember that “our” means our world, our harmony, our hope, our peace is not your, mine, me, or I.  It takes a lot of people to keep us from harm.


Vincent Van Gogh “Sunny Meadow”

Can we get back to the basics?  Only personally and privately we may have to reflect.  Will we help others, the poor, the fearful, the aging, the lonely, to never neglect.  We do have the power to make it basic again.

Sunny camomile meadow – Margaret Raven Art Gallery

Balance balance

Regardless of age, everyone hears the hoopla on how important a balanced diet it.  That’s fine and dandy if you have a lot of time, which most of us in this INBETWEENERS age group don’t seem to have enough of.

Oftentimes we are in a power struggle between 1) work, 2) home and what always comes last 3) health.

There are a few tricks that help offset the pitfalls of this battle between wellness and reality.  The best way, I’ve discovered, is to make batches of healthy soups, chowders or chilli in advance and invest in great freezer to microwave containers.


Correlle’s containers take the gold medal for me because of the snap lock lid and the glass bottom that is their trademark for not breaking.  I’ve learned by trial and error that the investment is worth having soup spill out and is plain ugly.

Leftovers are usually not something that I’m a fan of so instead, I will pop leftovers like chicken or beef it in the freezer for pulling out on my energetic cooking days.

Granted it takes planning.  Yet you can make a plan to have back ups and that is just as awesome.

Make a deal with yourself that you won’t resort to take out or dinner outs — it is something your health will thank you for in the long run.  Making the easy to go or easy to eat containers is also cheaper.  Then again, we INBETWEENERS  aren’t necessarily pinching at the pocket book so we can form bad habits without pause.

Soups and chowders are especially hardy and filling.  I have found a few tricks to help speed up the preparation time so that you can’t fall on the excuse of not having anything.   Just yesterday, I was making home made lasagna for my adult kids to come over and have a little chat and some quality times.  I sure miss those times.  You’d think that this would take a long time to make, but it really didn’t.  Setting a lovely table and choosing a wine took more thought.


The only canned item in my pantry is canned tomatoes and sauce, on the ready in a pinch.  I also buy fresh baby spinach, wash it and put in a bag and yes, you got it, put it into the freezer.  I have consciously made that a habit that has expanded to fresh cilantro, parsley and basil from my garden days, each into a bag, on the ready for my culinary creations adding great flavour, but more importantly healthy ingredients.


I found these lasagna in a new Italian Supermarket fairly close by in my neighbourhood.  Truth be told, I’m not a big fan of shopping for groceries.  Yet take me to a cool store like this, and I can wander around and pick up a few things to inspire me to try something new.  Going to a specialty supermarket or farmers market to me is relaxing and enjoyable.  I don’t chose to do it when I’m on a shopping mission, because that just destroys the pleasure.  I’m open to new ideas by wandering around in the crowd of anxious shoppers, feeling I have one up on them, that I’m not in a hurry and it is an excursion, not a chore.

To make my lasagna, I had 3/4 of the ingredients on hand.  First up was creating my always new sauce, which I go by appeal and color:

  • A can of 28 oz cubed tomatoes (I like Roma = best for italian)
  • A can of 28 oz ready made tomato sauce – Hunts tends to be on sale
  • I tossed in a couple of small containers of pizza sauce in my fridge


I found this brilliant must have when one of our largest department stores was closing down.  In the meandering mood of wandering around to discoverimages anything I may not buy at full price to try.  This gadget has been the wunderkind in my kitchen.  So much so, that I did pay full price to give to my daughters for Christmas.  Talk about chopping onions and tears?  Not with this, you just peal the onion, cut it into quarters and plop it in, yank the puller as many times as coarseness desired.  It turns chopping hassle into speed fun!  They can be found in your department store kitchen gadgets area and cost no more than $20.  It is a gift that keeps on giving.


I put on a largish pot with water and a tsp of olive oil to come to a rapid boil before I begin the sauce.  I then start with the canned cubed tomatoes and tomato sauce in a medium saucepan to start a slow simmer while I pulled out and washed what I could find in my vegetable container:  fresh mushroom, small onion, orange pepper, and a full garlic.  30 seconds to rinse and plopped in to pull the string and voila, minced ingredients.  In a separate smaller saucepan, I plopped in a blob of Becel margarine (that tastes like butter) and set the minced ingredients to soften to a bubble then added it to the sauce.  Great color and texture already unfolding and the aroma enveloped the house.

This is when I pulled out a handful of frozen bagged spinach rinsed it and added to sauce for health smart zest.  Along with it went a half a cup of frozen cilantro (Italian parsley).

I tend to judge by color, texture and aroma when I am adding spices:  flaked oregano, basil — I’d say a good tablespoon of each.  I let the sauce simmer and the water for the pasta to boil.

I did have to run out to the grocery store to get important ingredients for the lasagna – but it is always better that way, in my opinion, because you have a list, you have dinner half way done, so there is no time to add temptations or uncalled from items.  What I bought was:

ss1mbukojvymd06zlnkmCheese Mixture:

  • 1 container of cottage cheese (low fat is my motto whenever possible)
  • 1 container of ready flaked parmesan cheese
  • a container of Romano dry cheese from Kraft
  • pre-shredded mozzarella cheese package (about 1.5 cups)
  • a heaping handful of frozen spinach rinsed with warm water to soften

It took me maybe 20 minutes to zip out and get those ingredients along with a case of Coke Zero that was on sale!  Another 5 to the liquor store next door for a Black Tower white wine (I know red wine is usually best but I had two adult kids that may want a glass of wine with dinner and I was working within a budget).  It cost $20 Cdn.  Sadly, they didn’t have my favorite wine from Australia BIN555 (below).

When I returned home to the still boiling water (my son was home from work so, no, I didn’t leave the house unattended while the stove was on), I preset the oven at 375 F for one hour.

I gently added about 8 strips of the lasagna to the boiling water for no more than 7 minutes, just enough to soften, long before mushy.

I combined the cheese mixture (above) in a glass bowl.  Then it was time for assembly:


  • Drizzle some olive oil along the bottom of the glass dish and use washed fingers to smooth it around so that stickiness isn’t an issue
  • Place a heaping spoonful of sauce on the bottom, don’t be shy but don’t be too generous
  • Gently place take one pasta sheet and lay it on one end of dish, repeat with a second one at the other end so they overlap.
  • Add the cheese mixture and drop in on top of the pasta.  (Don’t worry about making it smooth or if it appears in a clump, because when it bakes, it will even out.)  Use all of the cheese mixture.
  • Add another couple of the pasta sheets over the cheese mixture, then add generous amount of sauce, leaving a bit for the last.
  • Add another couple of the pasta sheets again over the sauce.
  • Finally add a generous amount of mozzarella all over the lasagna, ensuring that there it covers all the sauce, end to end in the dish.
  • Sprinkle some parmesan shredded chips all over,  top with Romano cheese and a few sprinkles of dried parsley for color

Pop goes the lasagna into the preheated oven, noting that it probably says 30 minutes left.  You have a generous allowance of time to set a beautiful table.  I usually have lemon on hand, and today I had some red grapes.  So I put crushed ice with the rinsed lemon and grapes into a glass pitcher, adding water.  I’ve seen people do it with a sprig of mint and a fresh cranberry for color and taste, but I was working with what I had on hand.


Once the 30 minutes passed, my daughter had arrived, candles were lit with my son was drooling at the aroma, I pulled the lasagna out of the oven.  15 minutes is the right of time to exchange pleasantries and being seated, pouring either wine or nutrient rich water.  (Go figure, they were both being responsible and stuck to water — the cook had three glasses as a reward to creating the treasured moments.)

The secret to the best lasagna, is letting it set for 10-15 minutes before serving so it comes out in cut pieces instead of slop if you’re too impatient.

This isn’t the most calorie conscious menu, but it has a strong combination of nutrients with the spinach and garlic.  You can ease back on the cheese layer and topping if that appeals to your waistline, but remember if you go for a brisk walk for a good 30-45 minutes, it will allow you the freedom to eat balanced without depriving yourself a delicious food.



BIN 555 Shiraz from South Australia’s Wyndham Estate is a safe bet for me most of the time.  Rate as a 4-star, you can’t go wrong, especially in the pocket book because it prices around $15 Cdn.



54 is a jolly good age

There are plenty of noteworthy athletes, royals, authors, etc. who were born in 1961.  Mostly living, they have made their mark in our lives and how we define success.

Some of the more prolific tend to be athletes, while others may not immediately come to mind when we think of notable inbetweeners.  Here are some worth taking note of born in 1961:

New York Islanders v Edmonton Oilers
EDMONTON, AB – Wayne Gretzky gives a press conference between periods during an NHL game between the Edmonton Oilers and the New York Islanders at Rexall Place on March 06, 2014 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)

Wayne Douglas Gretzky CC (/ˈɡrɛtski/; born January 26, 1961) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player and former head coach. He played 20 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) for four teams from 1979 to 1999. Nicknamed “The Great One“, he has been called “the greatest hockey player ever”[1] by many sportswriters, players, and the NHL itself. He is the leading scorer in NHL history, with more goals and more assists than any other player. He scored more assists than any other player scored total points, and is the only NHL player to total over 200 points in one season – a feat he accomplished four times. In addition, he tallied over 100 points in 16 professional seasons, 14 of them consecutive. At the time of his retirement in 1999, he held 61 NHL records: 40 regular-season records, 15 playoff records, and six All-Star records.[1] As of 2014, he still holds 60 NHL records.[2]


St Louis Rams v Miami Dolphins
MIAMI GARDENS, FL – AUGUST 28: Former Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino stands on the sidelines before the Dolphins met the St. Louis Rams at Sun Life Stadium on August 28, 2014 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)


Daniel Constantine “DanMarino, Jr. (born September 15, 1961) is an American former football player who was a quarterback for the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League (NFL). The last quarterback of theQuarterback Class of 1983 to be taken in the first round, Marino held or currently holds dozens of NFL records associated with the quarterback position. Despite never being on a Super Bowl-winning team, he is recognized as one of the greatest quarterbacks in football history. Best remembered for his quick release and powerful arm,Marino led the Dolphins to the playoffs ten times in his seventeen-season career. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2005.




Dennis Keith Rodman (born May 13, 1961)[2] is a retired American professional basketball player, who played for the Detroit Pistons, San Antonio Spurs, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers, and Dallas Mavericks in theNational Basketball Association (NBA). He was nicknamed “The Worm” and was known for his fierce defensiveand rebounding abilities.

Rodman experienced an unhappy childhood and was shy and introverted in his early years. After aborting a suicide attempt in 1993, he reinvented himself as a “bad boy” and became notorious for numerous controversial antics. He repeatedly dyed his hair in artificial colors, had many piercings and tattoos, and regularly disrupted games by clashing with opposing players and officials. He famously wore a wedding dress to promote his 1996 autobiography Bad As I Wanna Be.


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Nadia Elena Comăneci (Romanian pronunciation: [ˈnadi.a koməˈnet͡ʃʲ]; born November 12, 1961) is a former Romanian gymnast, winner of three Olympic gold medals at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal and the first female gymnast to be awarded a perfect score of 10 in an Olympic gymnastic event. She also won two gold medals at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow. She is one of the best-known gymnasts in the world.[1][2][3] In 2000 Comăneci was named as one of the Athletes of the Century by the Laureus World Sports Academy.[4]

Comăneci began gymnastics in kindergarten with a local team called Flacăra (“The Flame”), with coaches Duncan and Munteanu.[8][9] At age 6 she was chosen to attend Béla Károlyi‘s experimental gymnastics school after Károlyi spotted her and a friend turning cartwheels in a schoolyard.[5][10][11] Károlyi was looking for gymnasts he could train from a young age and saw the two girls during recess. When recess ended the girls ran inside. Károlyi went around the classrooms trying to find the girls, eventually spotting Nadia in a classroom. 



George Robert Stephanopoulos (born February 10, 1961) is an American journalist, a former U.S. Democratic Partypolitical advisor, and chief anchor of ABC News.

Stephanopoulos was born in Fall River, Massachusetts, the son of Nickolitsa “Nikki” Gloria (née Chafos) and Robert George Stephanopoulos.  His father always wanted his son to become a lawyer, if not a priest. Promising him he would attend law school eventually.

Stephanopoulos rose to early prominence as a communications director for the 1992 U.S. presidential campaign of Bill Clinton,[3] subsequently becoming White House Communications Director, then Senior Advisor for Policy and Strategy before departing in December 1996. Today he is chief anchor[4] and chief political correspondent for ABC News, co-anchor of ABC News’ Good Morning America, and host of ABC’s Sunday morning This Week.[5]


Diana, Princess of Wales (Diana Frances;[fn 1] née Spencer; 1 July 1961 – 31 August 1997), was the first wife ofCharles, Prince of Wales, who is the eldest child and heir apparent of Queen Elizabeth II.[2]

Diana was born into a family of British nobility with royal ancestry as The Honourable Diana Frances Spencer. She was the fourth child and third daughter of John Spencer, 8th Earl Spencer and The Honourable Frances Shand Kydd. Following her parents’ divorce, Diana grew up in Park House, which is situated on the Queen’s Sandringham estate, and was educated in England and Switzerland. In 1975, she became Lady Diana Spencer, after her father inherited the title ofEarl Spencer.

As Princess of Wales, Diana undertook royal duties on behalf of the Queen and represented her at functions overseas. She was celebrated for her charity work and for her support of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. She was involved with dozens of charities, including London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, of which she was president from 1989.

Diana remained the object of worldwide media scrutiny during and after her marriage, which ended in divorce on 28 August 1996. Media attention and public mourning were extensive after her death in a car crash in Paris on 31 August 1997 and subsequent televised funeral.

So there you have it.  Some of this year’s notable 54 year olds.  An exercise in discovery for me.  Low hanging fruit to be sure.  Those that are easier to find because of notoriety.

I will keep digging to find more inbetweeners who have never graced the cover of People Magazine or The National Enquirer.  They’re out there.  Keep the faith, I’ll find them for both of us.



BIOS:  Wikipedia




Identify identity

Identify identity

I begin this blog in November 2015, 19th to be exact.  The day after I went to the doctor because I was under the weather.  I had a couple of zits developing on my chin, was feeling exhausted, less than my usual energetic exuberant self.

I could have attributed it towards stress, however, in the grand scheme of things, I didn’t carry the normal stress that most would say contributes to high stress, for example:

  • FINANCIAL:  I am not living paycheque to paycheque, nor am I fighting off debtors.  I live within my means.
  • FAMILY:  Can be a pain in the ass.  They can be sources of great strength or detriment to our overall wellbeing.  That in and of itself will fill pages of blog posts.  Family dynamics with parents, siblings, children, and stepchild.  Overall, it is on a fairly even keel these days.
  • EVENTS:  Yes, we’re ramping up for the Holidays.  That can cause people a lot of stress, financially and emotionally. I’ve got a kickstart on Christmas shopping.
  • WORK:  That is probably my highest contributor these days.  I’m neither failing nor am I soaring.  I took a job at an entry level to get into a great company.  That is going to be worth pondering about here are there.  There are stress factors in and of itself.
  • HEALTH:  That is where I go from hero to zero.  Recently diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, I am not paying attention to my body or what track I’m on that will ensure a fruitfall 20 or more years.
  • RETIREMENT:  Count me among the thousands of 50+ who don’t think they have planned their retirement as well as they could have.  I can blame a divorce that divided up assets and job turnover.  As many have before me, I’ve used savings to offset unemployment to meet bills and avoid financial disaster.

I have written a lot about business, sales, leadership and social media in my “optioneerjm” blog that has had a chunk of viewers in the 130,000 page views over 5 years.  Nothing remarkable, yet steady.

I exude my creative side with “meanderingsabout”  a blog about beauty, fashion, movies, books, and world events that I want to talk about.




group-people-clip-art-1719138This blog is about so many of us out there.  We have an in between identity:  we are at the tail end of the baby boomers, often counted in and counted out.  Many of us are parents of Millennials, those born in the 1980s to early 2000s, or GenY.  Some consider us GenXers born in the early 1960s to the early 1980s.   Other times, we’re told that we are part of the Baby Boom generation.  Mostly, I’m talking about those of us who are born in between, 1960 to 1965 — the cusp of GenX (1965-1980) or the end of Baby Boomers.

  1. Baby boomers are people born during the demographic post–World War II baby boom approximately between the years 1946 and 1964, giving an age range between 50 and 69 as of 2015. (Source:  Wikipedia)
  2. Generation X, commonly abbreviated to Gen X, is the generation born after the Western Post–World War II baby boom. Demographers and commentators use birth dates ranging from the early 1960s to the early 1980s. (Source:  Wikipedia)
  3. Millennials (also known as the Millennial Generation[1] or Generation Y) are the demographic cohort following Generation X. There are no precise dates when thegeneration starts and ends; most researchers and commentators use birth years ranging from the early 1980s to the early 2000s. (Source: Wikipedia)



No wonder we have a group identity crisis.   You’d think we don’t belong anywhere.  Caught between the two largest population bubbles, yet we have a voice to be reckoned with.  We’re finished with having children, worried about what will be left for us at retirement, since we seem to be glossed over in so many instances, we have health uppermost on our minds.

After all, if we don’t take care of our health, we won’t have to worry about  the next phase in life: grandparenting, retirement.  That is about to change, if we want it to.  We can focus on our health, both mental and physical, to ensure that the next 20 or 30 years are full of life, living, loving and contributing guidance to our millennial children.

I start this journey privately, with a keyboard at my disposal.  To document, share, inspire, teach others to love ourselves first is to take care of our health and wellbeing most.




“The mere process of growing old together will make the slightest acquaintance seem a bosom friend.” Ed Koch

Thanks for joining me.  We will create a common voice for those born between 1960 and 1965.  We have unique concerns.  Perhaps not as pressing as Baby Boomers nor consumed by GenX.  We can help each other.  Your visits will inspire me to write more, your comments motivate others to pay attention.  We’re in this together.