Conversations about optimal health.


I’m a Social Media Outlaw or How Being Restricted on Linked-In and Google + Made Me Not Better, Just Mad.

  Yes I am a Social Media Outlaw.  I have been restricted on Linked-In from making connections because apparently I had too many people who said “no” to my invitations by clicking an “I don’t know you” response.  So, their Social Media nanny had to tell me to take my toys and go home. I guess the whole point of Linked-In is to connect with people who you already know and ask them about their lives, which you already know about, because you already know them.

Eventually everyone is going to catch on and move to other sites like Google +. 
However, I hope you have a “normal” American name because if you don’t you will end up like me, restricted on Google + as well. I understand that it takes months to have an abnormal name approved like my husbands’, which happens to be Like. 

Here I was having a really good time making new friends and building business opportunities for myself and others.  I was researching profiles to make sure that I could add value to their professional lives and reading the great group discussions and connecting to like-minded people.

Oh well, back to skulking around the mall, meeting people at the grocery store, and resurrecting my holiday card lists. I’m sure that all the truly mature people on Linked-In would say that obstacles make you a better person and mountains are there to climb.  Nope, not me, I’m an outlaw so this hasn’t made me better, just mad. 
Forgive the Rant, The Social Media Outlaw 

Restaurant Review – Family Meal, Frederick, MD

Usually I don’t write reviews but I’ve been so inspired by the cuisine at the Family Meal that I have to tell someone. So, you, my faithful blog readers get to enjoy my first Restaurant Review ever. The Voltaggio brothers came to my attention when they competed on a reality TV show for Chefs. During or after their TV debut, Bryan Voltaggio remodeled a lovely old office building in downtown Frederick and opened the VOLT restaurant for high-end foodies from around the country. Of course the menu is posted outside of the restaurant without prices which is a signal to my budget that I’m not goin’ there.

Fortunately for Frederick, we now have another medium priced restaurant opened by Mr Voltaggio in an old car dealership which has been vacant for years on the industrial side of town. The Family Meal provides a diner style atmosphere with standard menu items that have been given a Voltaggio remodel.

I tried the Chicken Pot Pie Fritters as an appetizer and they were a delightful surprise. Just a bite of authentic potpie taste and texture. I could have eaten a whole mountain of them but would have been too full for the next course. The chopped greens salad with country ham and hard cooked eggs was fresh, beautiful to look at and didn’t taste like a typical chef salad. The combination of ingredients and salad dressing gave every bite  a complete combination of flavors.  Along with the salad I ordered french fries cooked in peanut oil with 3 dipping sauces. The perfectly cooked fries and the dipping sauces were sublime. The spicy Aioli was my husbands favorite and I loved the Smokey Ketchup and Cilantro Oil as well.  At this point I will apologize to the restaurant for not listing the exact names off of the menu. My memory will have to suffice.  Red Velvet Cake served like a trifle with rich frozen custard and raspberry jam finished the meal.  I accompanied my desert with coffee served in a diner mug with a tin creamer shaped like an open milk box. The roasted coffee has just enough flavor to be distinctive rather than Starbucks burned.

Overall, there were only 2 disappointments.The menu listed country ham as part of my salad, and in this part of the country that would have been sugar-cured ham. This was not the case. And the concentration of flavors in my dessert were in layers so in order to experience them together I would have needed a very tall spoon.  However, these disappointments are not enough to keep me away. Now, I want to go back to try the Fries in Duck Fat, Fried Chicken with Buttermilk biscuits and the Apple Crisp with Ice Cream.

The cost was in the medium range. A satisfying meal for 2 with tip was 54.00. Thank you Bryan Voltaggio for providing gourmet meals for frugal foodies like me. Looking forward to the next . . .


Listening to Vince Guaraldi

Listening to A Charlie Brown Christmas by Vince Guaraldi takes me back to my storybook childhood when everyone believed in God and Country; parents stayed together and raised their own children; and I could ride my bike anywhere in the neighborhood without fear.   All the moms baked Christmas cookies and we sampled them at every house.  The excitement of the holidays kept building with stacks of cards coming in the mail and  family dropping off presents placed under the real tree. The candlelight service on Christmas Eve was the climax and opening presents early the next morning was a fitting denouement.

Recreating the absolute peace and security of those Christmases with my own children has been hard because the story has changed.  A post-Christian society with divisions in the country, divorce, both parents working, families separated by distance, unsafe neighborhoods and store-bought everything have made it impossible.  Yet, my childhood will be preserved in my memory and I still have Vince Guaraldi to bring it alive once again.

Eating Anger

What do you do with anger?  Do you express it in a personally responsible way or do you follow my solution . . . stay away from the offending person and consume three turtle candies in quick succession.  At least they help me to calm down and think about why I’m angry.  Usually it’s life and people not doing what I think they should be doing.  Of course, I, Me, Mine is the operative driving force.  What ever happened to righteous anger? I don’t think I’ve ever experienced it.

Some day soon I will have to learn how to release my anger in a healthy way that corresponds with serene conflict resolution principles.  Until that day comes I hope they keep making turtles because I think they are keeping me out of jail.

Baking Christmas Cookies

The night before a Christmas cookie swap, I was mixing up cookie dough and decided to use some of the opened bakers chocolate stored in the spice cupboard.  First mistake, the chocolate tasted like all of the ingredients it had been stored with.  Second mistake, mixing the dough with a Kitchenaid paddle that was losing it’s plastic coating.  After removing the paddle from the dough there was an even larger area of exposed metal than when I started and it ended up in the cookie dough.  The obvious remedy was to search through the cookie dough for the large piece of white plastic and throw it out, pretending that the cookie dough is still edible.  Unfortunately, the plastic had been pulverized into tiny, white, grains by a very efficient Kitchenaid mixer.  This brings us to the moral dilemma of swapping cookies with unsuspecting friends, when I know that they will be consuming plastic but they don’t know it. That would be the third mistake.  Once baked, the cookies had an essence of spice cupboard to go along with the plastic.  So, being the last-minute, resouceful, moral person that I am, I will bake the cookies for my family, buy sugar cookie dough from Uncle Ralph’s and decorate it with pink sugar to make them look homemade.  Then, if my unsuspecting friends want to swap amusing stories along with their cookies they can read my blog.