Seymour, the snow lover

Seymour, the snow lover

In case you haven’t heard it, there’s a good yarn going round at the moment about a guy who moved from San Diego to just outside a place called Truckee, California, with his new wife, to be close to her parents who lived just over the state border in Reno, Nevada.

Now, Truckee is a small mountain town which gets very cold in winter and sees a lot of snowfall. In fact it sees a whole lot of snowfall – an average of over forty inches of snow each month in the winter, and snow falling even in June, make it the snowiest town in the lower 48. Seymour, coming from San Diego, didn’t really seem to be able to get his head around these numbers. He was thrilled that he was going to live through a white Christmas and he was determined to enjoy every day of it. Having been born and raised in southern California, and lived there his whole life, he hadn’t really seen much snow at all.

At the end of October, Seymour started to get excited. They had had their first snowfall. It wasn’t all that deep, but he turned up the electric fire and asked his wife to share a glass of red wine with him by the window. This was exactly what he’d imagined – watching the flakes fall from the warmth of their house, holding hands just as newlyweds should. His wife decided to save the ‘by the time winter’s over, you’ll never want to see another snowflake again’ speech for another time.

Throughout November it continued to snow. Seymour had his shovel out for the first time and savored every moment of it, just like a child who plays in snow for the first time. The snow plough started to come out and that meant Seymour needed to use his shovel again to start digging them out. They changed their tires to snow tires, went down to the store and bought another shovel. His wife suggested that they buy a wood stove for the house, but Seymour thought it would be a lot of work to put it in at the moment and that they already had plenty of electric heaters in most of the rooms in the house anyway.

Seymour’s wife continued to be amused by her husband’s dedication to shoveling the snow. Every time the snow plough went past, it covered their driveway in snow, and Seymour was spending pretty much all day outside, shoveling. One evening, he’s just finished clearing the snow from the whole driveway and was walking back to the house with a proud look on his face, when he slipped and fell onto his back. His wife giggled from the doorway and then began to laugh out loud as she saw the snow plough approach again. Seymour barely had time to get up before he saw his driveway being covered with snow all over again. He didn’t talk much that night.

The next day, his wife didn’t talk to him. The power was cut off for half of the day, as seeing as they only had electric heaters and no wood stove, they had to sit around wrapped up in blankets and multiple layers of clothing, trying to keep warm, and Seymour trying not to irritate his wife any further. That evening he got on SnowShifts and tried to order himself a snowblower.

The following day Seymour got into a fight with the driver of the snow plough. He had been shoveling the driveway when the snow plough started to go past, undoing all his good work. In frustration, he threw his shovel at the plough, causing the driver to get out, and Seymour went for him. His wife didn’t become aware of it until the police showed up later and gave her husband a serious dressing down in the doorway. They said he was lucky they didn’t take him downtown right there and then. He closed the door on them and opened a bottle of whiskey.

The following morning Seymour woke up to find himself alone, with a note next to him on the bed. His wife had written that she hadn’t known about his violent side and was afraid to be in the house alone with him. She’d taken the car and gone to her parents’ place in Reno.

Seymour waited for the snow plough driver. He hailed him down and apologized. The driver agreed to give him a ride to town where Seymour bought his ticket back to San Diego.

How to get through the winter

How to get through the winter

Winter can be a frustrating time. It’s cold outside. There are fewer hours of daylight. It’s uncomfortable to go outside so you end up locking yourself indoors. Many people suffer from SAD – seasonal affective disorder – which makes them feel depressed during the winter months. This might be due to the lack of sunshine they see on a daily basis, reducing the amount of Vitamin D they receive. Whatever the cause, for many people, winter is depressing and it’s a time of year many just want to get through and get over with.

However, wishing away the winter is the same thing as wishing part of your life away. You’ll never have those December nights and January mornings again – not the same ones anyway. Will you even remember them? Perhaps you should have been doing something constructive instead of just whining about the dark and the cold – after all, you’re always complaining that you don’t have enough time to do all of the things you want to.

If you really hate winter that much, you should use it as time to do all the things you constantly claim you don’t have time to do. You often talk about wanting to read more books, to study and perhaps do some writing. Winter is the perfect time of year for all of those things. On a work evening, turn off the TV and cozy up to the fire. It’s a great place to be reading and you’ll get through a lot more than you would if the weather was beautiful and sunny outside. With no distractions, you’ll be able to study regularly for at least a few hours per night during the week and even more on the weekends. Malcolm Gladwell claimed that it takes about 10,000 hours of study to master a new skill, which will see you studying for ten years at that rate. But Gladwell was talking about absolute mastery on the level of a Chess Grandmaster. If you’re learning Spanish for your next vacation, you won’t have to rewrite Don Quixote – just learning a few phrases such as ‘unacervezapor favor’ and ‘una mas’ should be enough for your needs and you’ll be able to get them down if you study seriously through the winter.

You can also prepare for you vacation in other ways over the winter. Locking yourself up at home and living off takeaway food and leftover Christmas cake won’t do much for you figure at all. Come March, you’ll be panicking about fitting into your swimsuit or your speedos and you’ll wish you’d made better use of all that time you had during the winter months of boredom. So you should check out this buyers’ guide at, to see which treadmill would go best in your home and start burning off the blubber now. By the time your vacation comes around, not only will you be impressing everyone with your fluent Spanish linguistic skillset, you’ll be wowing everyone with your ripped and cut physique, all thanks to how much you dislike winter.

If you’re not really a fitness or a study type and you’re sure that the winter is having a negative effect on your mood, it’s likely time that you grabbed the bull by the horns and embraced it head on. You can’t just wish the winter away, so you may as well find ways to have fun. There are so many fun winter activities that it’s surprising. Take a few days off work and go to a skiing resort with some friends. You don’t have to be great at skiing – you could be beginners – the main thing is that you have fun and make some memories. If that sounds a bit much, then why not try ice fishing. Go with an organized group of individuals who know what they are doing. You’ll be surprised what a kick you can get from fishing through the ice. You’ll spend all day trying to catch something and making new friends only to cook on an outdoor grill and then eat your catches. Hot grill, hot food outside in the snow is a winning combination which, even if you’ve never tried before, you’ll soon swear by.

most out of life

Are you really getting the most out of life?

I’m not a big fan of TV in general, but I do love documentaries about things that I don’t see on a daily basis – polar bears, extreme sports, survival, the natural world, space exploration and that kind of thing. I figured what was the point of sitting at home in front of a box watching people do things I could see them doing in daily life – shopping, getting drunk, falling asleep in meetings, arguing, waiting in traffic and so on. Then it struck me that I was actually more boring than any of those people in the situations I described. Here, I was, spending my life – the only one I’ll ever have – sitting in front of a box surrounded by four concrete walls, dreaming of the world I actually live in. How stupid was that?

That’s when I decided I was through with the mediocre life I was living and I was going to jump headfirst into something else and let the current take me wherever it wanted, whether that meant the top of Mount Everest, the middle of a desert or even locked up in a maximum security correctional facility. Wherever I went would be worth it and ten times more exciting and ‘vivrant’ than commuting to and from my sterile office every day and spending my free time on my couch in a rented house in Whittier.

There are so many ways that you can add excitement to your life. You don’t necessarily have to be as extreme as me and quit working. You could simply change your career – there are plenty of jobs that will put you in new, exciting situations. Join the army and find out what it’s like to be on a real battlefield in the middle of a war – something most people only read about or see in movies. Join a shipping company and see the other surface of the world that most of us forget is even there (Whittier is about a half hour drive from the ocean but I think I only saw it three or four times in twenty years). Feel the excitement of watching pirates come speeding towards you on their skiffs, their teenage hands barely able to cope with their aging AK-47s. Marvel as you see dolphins and whales swim alongside your vessel.

You could be like Christopher McCandless and ditch everything you own, making your way from place to place, trying out different jobs, getting to know different people, learning new skills, hunting and foraging for your own food. Don’t die from eating poisonous berries though!

You could become a mountaineer, scaling the peaks of the world, or a free climber, conquering the man-made mountains of our biggest cities, knowing that with each movement and each slight gust of wind, the chance of slipping and falling to your certain death increases. You could become a squatter in Seattle and join the next big grunge band or whatever – touring the world and resenting it all. Or go to live in the jungles of Africa and become a member of a pack of gorillas, forgetting that you ever lived in civilization.

If you want to know what I did, just in case it’s for you – well I bought several Greyhound tickets, saw some amazing places like Salt Lake City, Idaho Falls and Butte, MT. I eventually found a great place to build a new life with a live-in farm labouring job I got in North Dakota. I spent the rest of the money I had on some tools and my pride and joy – my saw which I first laid eyes on at The Sharp Cut. Now I have got together a group of guys and in our spare time we build and fly gliders. I wouldn’t change it for my old life ever!

So, be like me – get out into the real world, see it in all its splendor and start to realize that you have no limits.

Life after alcohol

Life after alcohol

Back in my drinking days, pretty much every Sunday was a write-off. Whatever I needed or wanted to do on that day would just have to be postponed in favor of wallowing in a sweaty bed, unable to sleep, incapable of getting up. The reason? My hangover, of course! In fact, it wasn’t just Sundays – sometimes it was two or three days. Sometimes my hangovers seemed to be trying to kill me and so I missed work, missed getting paid, dragged my reputation a little further into the gutter. But no matter how badly my hangover affected me, I was quite happy to do it all over again – and again.

The reason? Alcohol was a huge part of my life – how was I supposed to catch up with my friends without a drink? What was I supposed to order to compliment my dinner? How could I watch football? What would I do with myself?

As it turns out, my hangovers were actually trying to kill me and alcohol withdrawal landed me in emergency care twice before I realized I had to get off the booze. In my case it was, in the early days of sobriety, mostly fear which kept me from going back to the bottle. Just in case you haven’t heard – alcohol dependence sneaks up on people. Once it has, withdrawal can kill you, especially after a binge. And it’s one of the scariest and most terrifying deaths you could have opted for – your central nervous system will go into overload – you will shake uncontrollably, your heart will race and pound like never before, you will feel hot, breathless and very weak. You will have nightmarish hallucinations (fingers melting, spiders all over your body and the like). And it will last for hours until you eventually collapse in a seizure, at which point you are almost certain to die. A good number of alcoholics who have recognized these symptoms have jumped from balconies or shot themselves just to put an end to the intense fear.

So, not wanting to experience anything like that helped me to avoid alcohol. I didn’t go out to bars or restaurants and I didn’t keep any booze in the house. And yes, my life suddenly became really boring. Everything seemed less fun without a drink. I guess I realized that actually I was a boring guy without alcohol. And a lot of my drinking buddies were the same – boring and bored if they didn’t drink.

Then, one evening I had kind of an epiphany. I was sipping my cup of herbal tea and watching TV, reflecting again on how little these TV folks resembled anyone I actually knew. They all looked like they had money and were in good shape. Neither myself or any of my friends had money or were in good shape. I made enough money to have some left at the end of the week, and that got spent at the bar. The dead calories of countless beers, shots and glasses of wine had furnished me with about two inches of fat to keep my abs warm. That’s why I wasn’t like those people on TV. The reason I was fat and broke and didn’t know any attractive or interesting people was that booze took me in the opposite direction.

Time for some life-changing decisions. As I wasn’t drinking any more, I did actually have a little bit of money saved up. Every drink I didn’t buy meant money staying in my bank account, earning interest. I thought about joining a gym or a fitness club but I guessed if I did it wouldn’t be long until I started finding excuses not to go – it’s too cold outside, I can’t face the traffic etc. What I settled on was a resistance trainer from Indoor Ellipticals. I set it up in front of the TV which was great because I could throw on whatever movie or show I wanted and work out while I watched. The thing about this method of exercise, at least for me, is that you can get so engrossed in whatever you’re watching that you forget you’re doing exercise. Every evening I was watching a movie and working up a real sweat, and it made a real difference – the belly was slowly disappearing!

Getting into shape, feeling healthier and having money in my pocket gave my confidence a massive boost. I could talk to anyone – even those folks who looked like they should be in a TV commercial. Another thing was telling people about overcoming alcoholism. I was always afraid of how people would react to this – would they think of me as a deadbeat and a loser? Well, let me tell you: Some people will respect you for your honesty and strength of character, others will find it endearing as you’ve shared your ‘vulnerability’ with them. Finally, you’ll be surprised at just how many people have been in your shoes. If you want to make interesting friends who won’t insist you have a drink, look no further than the legions of ex-drinkers out there. The ones who have money to spend on foreign holidays, the ones who dress well, have interesting stories and look like, well, they look like they should be on TV!

Birthday Cake Surprise

A Birthday Cake Surprise

I am sure I am like a lot of men out there, terrible at surprises. My wife constantly tells me I don’t surprise her, that I am not romantic enough, and that the occasional little thought would mean the world.

My instant reply is that she has watched too many blockbuster Hollywood movies where the leading man constantly sweeps his love interest off of here feet. We don’t live in a fairy-tale after all. This always results with me spending the night on the couch and the cold shoulder for the next day or so.

The last time we fell out happened three weeks before her birthday. I felt terrible and decided that being an uncaring husband was not for me anymore, something had to change, so I thought it was best that it was me!

Hotel, Champagne and A Night at The Theatre 

When I say I am not the romantic type, I mean it. I do not have the first clue where to start or what to do, in actual fact, romance makes me feel a little stupid if I am honest, like I am lying about being someone I am most definitely not.

I needed some help, and fast. I looked around for nice things to treat my wife to, and found a trip to New York. It was a three-night stay in a posh hotel, a bottle of champagne would be supplied and included 2 tickets to a Broadway show.

It was the perfect gift in my eyes. It was available for a brilliant price, I don’t mean I wouldn’t have spent more, but everyone has to watch the purse strings these days, I didn’t want to be told off for spending too much!

Still Not Good Enough?!? 

I was so proud of myself, so proud in fact that I called my sister-in-law, Julia, to gloat in my new found achievement. She informed me that while the long weekend in New York was a fantastic gift, it still wasn’t from me. She said I needed to make something, like a home made card or a cake, a cake?? I didn’t know anything about baking a cake, but Julia said that is why it would be so special. She told me to look on the internet for a decent stand mixer and some recipes.

I was shocked to find how many makes and models were available. I wanted to buy a decent model, this way my wife could use the mixer when I was done with it. I searched for some stand mixer reviews and found the perfect model.

New Stand Mixer

I purchased a Kitchenaid model, it has ten speed settings, this came in very handy, and was also supplied with some handy accessories, a flat beater, a wire whip and a dough hook. It also came with a guide which included instructions, mixing tips and a lot of recipes. One of which I used to create a birthday masterpiece. It also looks very nice, so I knew after I had given her the cake, she would be able to keep the new appliance out on the counter top.

After about three practise attempts at the cake, I had started to create some fairly decent looking cakes. The last one was going to be cake that we would celebrate my wife’s birthday with.

The Weekend

I had sent the cake to the hotel through the post, after all, my wife would wonder why I had a freshly home baked cake with me at the airport. When we arrived at the hotel and were shown to our room, not only was my wife overwhelmed that I had booked the whole weekend without her knowing, she was over the moon that I had baked her a cake, she couldn’t believe I had managed it.

The weekend went perfectly, the champagne was a treat and the theatre was brilliant. Since our return home, I have had some of our male friends calling, telling me that my little stunt had made their life hell, each of their wives saying if I could do it, why couldn’t they. I didn’t mind, I would rather my friends grumpy with me than my wife! I am just hoping that my wife doesn’t expect me to beat that weekend on her next birthday.

Gas Powered Generator

Caff-POW for your Power Needs: The Right Gas Powered Generator

Gas powered generators offer a certain amount of convenience, particularly for short-term generator use, as gasoline is slightly less expensive than diesel. If you aren’t talking about running a generator for long periods of time continuously, the occasional use of a gas powered generator can be slightly more economical. There are certainly a lot of gas powered generators available; determining the best gas powered portable generator for your particular needs is a little more of a challenge. Given the initial cost of a generator, and the potential savings involved in using one that will suit your power draw, you don’t want to make the wrong decision here. Or, maybe, you do… but in that case, we can’t help you. Just buy one.

Most of our information comes from the conclusions drawn by other bloggers and reviewers online. Our goal, according to the weekly motivational meeting, is to provide a useful service in boiling down the tremendous amount of material that is available to the consumer online, providing a succinct conclusion in terms of a short list of excellent products which we highly recommend. What follows below is the result of that – a list of four gasoline powered portable generators which have fetched high marks consistently. Give it a look over, see if there’s something that suits your needs, and – as always – let us know what you think!

Rally Manufacturing 8-in-1 Power Generator

This is one of those small, convenient little gas-powered inverter generators that is good for the home, the office, the recreational vehicle, or even the odd “back to nature” camping trip. It’s excellent to have along in your car in the case of roadside emergencies, as it can easily jump start your car battery – or virtually any other twelve-volt battery. At just thirteen pounds, this generator is almost preeminently portable. It includes AC/DC adapters, a safety shutoff switch in case of emergencies, and an LED indicator for battery status. It even includes a USB port to provide charge to a wide variety of modern devices – such as a cellphone or a tablet. With one of these ready and waiting in the trunk of your car, you’ll never have to worry about being stranded in the middle of nowhere (we don’t know about you, but that’s our most frequent worry… honestly, we’re a little obsessive over it).

Champion Power Equipment Portable Generator

This portable gas-powered generator comes in a bright yellow, because yellow is the color of happy. It’s also been known to terrify children who are afraid of clowns. Moving right along, now, this Champion model is one of the mid-level portable generators, with a fuel tank capacity of just under four gallons. It is air-cooled, with a low oil shutoff and a recoil start. It has a stainless steel frame, with cast iron sleeves to protect its engine from wear and tear, accidental damage, or deliberate tampering. It is compliant with environmental guidelines in forty-nine out of fifty states, and has push-to-reset circuit breakers for added convenience.

Honda Portable Inverter Generator

Power. Efficiency. Compact convenience. This generator offers all of the above and more. At just over forty-seven pounds in weight, the Honda portable inverter generator uses patented technology to regulate how quickly it spends its fuel, by matching the rate of power output to what is actually being demanded of it – not corresponding to a pre-established level. With this kind of smart technology on board, this small and environmentally friendly generator (it is completely compliant with all federally mandated carbon emissions standards) can provide up to ten hours of consistent power on a single tank (preferably one with fuel in it, though I’m sure it’ll try its best either way). This is an excellent generator for use in the home, to power specific appliances in the event of an outage – though you’ll want to ensure that your house is well ventilated. Honda’s technology also assures nearly silent operation of this remarkable little generator.

Sportsman Gasoline Powered Electric Start Portable Generator

This is a charming-looking generator, which comes in John Deere green, and weighs in at a little over one hundred and sixty pounds. With its rear wheel assembly and handle, however, it’s really quite portable, and is designed to be used in the home or office as a temporary backup to conventional electrical sources. Fully fueled, it holds seven gallons, and it eats through a little over half a gallon when running at half its maximum draw consistently; it can run for a little over twelve hours at that rate. It comes with the capacity for a manual or an automatic start, in the event that pulling on a power cord over and over again just isn’t really “for you.” Sportsman is a long-time reliable name in heavy-duty hardware for the home and the workshop, and this particular model of portable gas powered generator definitely maintains their reputation.

crock pot reviews

It’s a Whole Lotta Mouth-Watering Goodness

I have a lot of fond memories going back to my childhood of my mother preparing a classic “pot roast” dish in her crock pot. She used to use just the right kind of beef, along with carrots and potatoes. In more recent years, she’s added parsnips – I’m not too crazy about that, but I can’t deny that their flavor is almost eloquently preserved, while adding a certain earthiness to the overall dish that is not unpleasant in and of itself.

It’s amazing, that aside, how much information there is online about crock pots. You wouldn’t think it in advance – I didn’t, at least – but there’s a significant amount of controversy based on things like brand name, manual versus “set and forget,” and other considerations that seem to have peoples’ tempers… dare I say it… simmering? Apparently, I do dare. At any rate, I scoured the Web for a few of the best crock pot reviews that I could find, gave their products a try, and hit upon three that I feel embody the best of those classic crock pot attributes – the ones that made the prospect of a crock pot dinner so appealing while I was growing up.

Elite Gourmet 2-Quart Oval Slow Cooker

This handy little item is just perfect for the dedicated bachelor or bachelorette, and it makes for a great kitchen accessory for students living away from home for the first time. You can take a plethora of ingredients, throw them in, turn it on, and a few hours later you’ll have a deliciously mouth-watering meal… hopefully with enough for some leftovers, appetite depending! The two-quart capacity is more than friendly for an individual, or for a young couple just getting started. The cool-touch handles make handling this pot a breeze, and the removable stoneware pot makes cleanup a snap; it’s dishwasher-safe, as well as being easy to scrub, while the exterior can simply be wiped clean of most messes.

Bella 3 x 1.5-Quart Triple Slow Cooker

This is an unusual model, and one that I felt I had to try myself. I wasn’t disappointed! Its strength lies in its separate three-cooker composition; a total capacity of four and one-half quarts allows it to feed a decent-sized family without much ado, but the division into three separate cookers allows it to handle a combination of ingredients that you might not want to mix together – or, which might ideally require separate temperatures, or cooking times. It doesn’t allow for the ability to mix a full four and one-half quart capacity together so that the flavors all mix and simmer together, but it does allow for a greater variety of dishes within a given meal, while serving a single resident or a family equally well. If your family likes variety, there is no better option – given the hundreds of crock pot recipe books out there today – than this three-pot triple cooker.

Crock-Pot 6-Quart Hinged Lid Slow Cooker

No list of crock pots would be complete without at least one option from the company that lent its name to slow cookers across America a long time ago. From Crock-Pot, a name which is synonymous with quality and rugged, long-term endurance comes this six-quart hinged-lid model. The hinged lid itself, coupled with a snug-fitting rubber gasket, make this crock pot particularly well-suited for travel – I know how much I enjoy bringing one of my own favorite dishes to a relative’s house over the holiday season! – and its six-quart capacity makes it suitable for satisfying the appetites of your entire family. It has multiple temperature settings, including one to warm up your food once you arrive at wherever you’re going – and its stoneware construction makes it ideal for distributing heat slowly and evenly, cooking (or warming) your food consistently.


Review of the Cuisinart PSC-350 Rice Cooker

Slow cooking is a convenient and healthy way to make my favorite meals. The Cuisinart PSC-350 3 1/2-quart programmable slow cooker is a top rated product designed to simplify my life by making cooking easier. There are literally thousands of recipes for slow cookers to make endless delicious meals.


The PSC-350 Cuisinart is a 3 ½ quart ceramic pot, which is the perfect size for single-person or smaller family meals. It is oval-shaped and measures 14-1/4 by 16-1/2 by 11-3/4 inches and weighs about 9 pounds.


The ceramic cooking pot is stick resistant and dish washer safe. All the parts of the cooker that come in contact with food are BPA-Free. I love that I can keep an eye on the cooking with the see-through glass lid, which has a chrome-plated knob on top. The housing unit is attractive with brushed stainless steel and cool-touch side handles for easy transporting. This slow cooker would look clean and modern on my kitchen countertop.


The Cuisinart slow cooker has many modern features making it very convenient for me to use. With a 24 hour cooking timer and a blue LCD display setting the slow cooker shows me the remaining cooking time as well as current cooking time. The smart designed touchpad control panel allows me to set the cooker to High, Low, Simmer or Warm and automatically shifts to warm when the cook time has ended and will remain on warm for up to 8 hours. I love this feature as it will ensure I do not overcook my rice.


The Cuisinart slow cooker comes with a three year limited warranty. So if my slow cooker is defective during the warranty timeframe they will repair or replace it for me.


According to the hundreds of customer reviews I found on the Cuisinart PSC-350 slow cooker it appears to be a good value for a smaller slow cooker. It is available at a discount from the list price on Amazon and qualifies for free shipping. I would use it for a quick healthy meal at home and I am impressed with the features and modern design.

Visit first to be eligible for the free shipping!

Scalp Treatment

The Best Remedies For A Dry Scalp

One of The most annoying things I don’t like is when my scalp is dry. It can be irritating, painful and even ugly. There are dry scalp remedies that come in a variety of sizes, shapes and methods although they are not created equal.

The mistake most people do is to discount our dry skin as nothing more than just a minor irritation. However, what we don’t know is that a flaky scalp and other skin condition can be a sign that there is a serious problem in our health. My doctor told me a better solution for my scalp is finding out what causes this problem and eliminating it in the first place. Below are some of the causes of scalp problems. This means that eliminating these causes is a good remedy for that scalp.

Using a blow dryer

This seems overly simple but blow drying my hair with hot hair actually dries my scalp and causes flaking and irritation. This is why I would also advise you to use a cool air setting if you must blow dry your hair. Keeping my blow dryer more than ten inches from my head also helps.

Rubbing and scratching the skin

This is also simple but also real. If you haven’t notices, scratching and rubbing an already irritated skin only makes it worse. I came to realize that fact but wondered what to do since difficult not to scratch. I use a natural moisturizer that has been formulated to suit my scalp. I do this to eliminate the cause of my scalp so that I can avoid scratching my scalp.

Taking in too much sugar

In order to metabolize sugar in our system, our bodies need B vitamins. When a person consumes too much sugar, B vitamins actually becomes deficient and this can lead to a number of ailments one of them being a dry skin. A remedy to this cause is very easy. What I normally do in order to remedy my scalp is cutting back on sugar I take per day and instead take a high potency B complex.

Rinsing the hair with hot water

I feel really good when am in a hot shower and so does most people. Especially when the weather is cold. However, as much as this feeling is good, this can wreak havoc on our skin. Pores of our skin open up in hot water. Hot water and soap strips this skin of its natural oils leaving our skin dry. This is why I recommend a cold shower even when it’s not the best shower. When it’s too hard to handle a cold water, I at least make your water cooler to rinse my head, this equally works for my scalp.

Over activity of the oil glands

In order to keep our skin health and avoid becoming too dry, our human body naturally produces oil through hair follicles. There are also various conditions that may cause our bodies to produce too much oil which can plug our follicles with oil and dead skin cells. Bacteria can also become trapped on top of this and it may be the origin of a number of problems. Two of which are dehydrated flaking skin and acne.

I also consider the following home remedies that help me avoid a dry scalp.

  • Olive and almond oil-these being natural oils, they will have some hydrating effect on our scalp and make it soft.
  • Apple cider vinegar-a severe dryness in our scalp forms a residue over the scalp and this can be reduced by using vinegar. To do this, I dilute half cup of apple cider vinegar in one-fourth cup of water then add two drops of lavender oil. I also add two tea spoons of honey in it.

Now that I have highlighted simple causes of a dry scalp and how to fix them, it should be easy to keep your hair moisturized. If the cause of your dry scalp is far more serious than those mentioned above, it is advisable that you consult a doctor to eliminate this problem at its root. Remedies for a scalp that’s itchy are easy to find, you only need to know what’s suitable for your skin.

Risotto in the Rice Cooker

Risotto in the Rice Cooker

With so many different recipes for your rice cooker available it is difficult to know where to begin.  I like this one because risotto is so satisfying and making it on the stove can be a bit labor intensive as you need to gradually add the liquid and keep stirring constantly to make a perfect dish.  Then you want to be able to eat it right away that is what risotto is all about. Do make sure you use Arborio rice or other suitable risotto rice!

Cooking risotto in the rice cooker does away with the intensive labor and you can keep it warm as well. If you get distracted, no problem, the risotto will cook itself.

Shrimp (prawn) and lemon risotto


  • Some nice olive oil (2 tablespoons)
  • Butter (5 teaspoons)
  • Finely chopped onion (1 cup)
  • Finely grated lemon zest (peel) (1 tablespoon)
  • Arborio rice                                     (1 cup)
  • White wine (1/4 cup)
  • Chicken broth (3 cups)
  • Shrimp (prawns) 12 peeled
  • Lemon juice (3 tablespoons)
  • Fresh parmesan cheese (1/2 cup)
  • Freshly ground Pepper to season
  • Chopped parsley (1 tablespoon for garnish)
  • Salt to season


  1. Set the rice cooker for the Quick cook or Regular cycle. When it heats up add the oil and some of the butter, melt the butter, sauté the onion for a few minutes and stir in lemon zest (peel).
  2. Stir the rice in and coat in oil mixture, sauté for around 4 minutes, when it is nearly translucent stir in the wine. Cook for another 4 minutes or until it is evaporated. Stir in the broth and close the lid. Reset the cooker for the Porridge or Regular cycle. Set a timer for 20 minutes. Stir 2 or 3 times to turn the rice while it is cooking.
  3. After 20 minutes, add the shrimp (prawns) and lemon juice. Set the timer for 5 minutes.
  4. After 5 minutes check that the rice and prawns are cooked. Continue 5 minutes more if necessary. Fold in the butter, fold in the parmesan cheese. Season and serve with parsley.

You can add ¼ cup of liquid and put the cooker on Keep Warm cycle for an hour, this makes it extra creamy.

This recipe calls for a fuzzy logic cooker, it would be ideal.  For an Aroma 3 cup rice cooker, take a look at this link.

If this recipe doesn’t make your mouth water I don’t know what would.  If you would prefer a vegetarian option you can add peas instead of shrimps, vegetable stock in place of chicken.

If you do not want sea food then substitute with some cooked chicken.

Mushroom risotto is another option for vegetarians or vegans leaving out the butter and cheese of course.

The method would be the same, adding onion, wine and seasoning.  Use really good mushroom soup in place of the chicken broth.