Thursday, April 24, 2014

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge - U #atozchallenge

Now I'm really feeling like we're in the homestretch of the Blogging from A To Z April Challenge. If I've made it this far, I'll make it to the end. Here is today's randomness.

Umbriferous - giving or bearing shade. The woods around our house are umbriferous.

UGLI® - these are tangelos from Jamaica. According to the company's website, UGLI was found growing wild in Jamaica over 80 years ago, and then developed into the commercial variety available now. "The original tree is believed to have been a hybrid formed from the Seville orange, the grapefruit and the tangerine families." For more information, you can visit

Union issues code of conduct for soldiers - On April 24, 1863, "the Union army issued General Orders No. 100, which provided a code of conduct for Federal soldiers and officers when dealing with Confederate prisoners and civilians." The orders established policies for the treatment of prisoners, prisoner exchanges, and flags of truce. You can find out more at

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Guest Post: Taking Care of Oral Health by Stephanie Ingram

Think about the fearful moment when you sit in a dentist’s chair and have the noisy drill inside your mouth. The little noise of that drill thunders in your head and you feel like shouting out of fear.

Healthy teeth and gums are good for your general health and encourage a confident smile. A bright shiny smile can boost your social life and confidence. Here are the Top 5 Oral Health Dangers:

With proper care, you can waive off the dreaded moments in a dentist’s clinic. Here are some dental health care tips:

Maintain Dental Hygiene
Brushing, flossing, and rinsing are essential steps for optimal dental health. Brushing in the morning is an age-old practice that has its own benefits, but proper technique should be considered to maintain dental hygiene. Brushing twice a day is advised, but doing so after every meal is a much better practice. Changing the brush every three to four months is also recommended by dentists. Rotate a soft bristle brush with a fluoride toothpaste in circular motions for two to three minutes. Flossing removes plaque and tiny food particles that stick between your teeth. Be gentle to your teeth and gums during both brushing and flossing. Rinsing well is essential to cleaning up the mouth.

Consume a Balanced Diet
Receive the essential nutrients via lots of vegetables and fruits and drink plenty of water to maintain a balanced diet. A balanced diet aids in having naturally strong and healthy teeth and gums. Food with high sugar content should be avoided to decrease the risk of damage to teeth, plaque, and growth of bacteria. Avoid eating right before going to bed and never sleep without brushing your teeth. Dairy products including milk, yogurt, and cheese are a perfect choice to maintain oral health. The high amount of calcium and phosphorus in dairy items aids in protecting the natural enamel and strength of teeth. Unsweetened beverages, plain water, and herbal and green teas inhibit bacteria growth and fight bad breath. Just a few smart changes in your diet and dental routine will help you to have a strong set of teeth with a shiny smile.

Regular Dental Checkups
Many people only go to dentists when they have a toothache. To keep yourself free from common oral health problems, make it a habit to visit your dentist every four to six months, whether you have a problem or not. This will provide you with insight into your oral health and how to take care of common teeth and gum problems in the initial stages. Don’t risk your oral health with home remedies and self medications. A periodical dental checkup helps prevent long-term suffering.

Stephanie Ingram is a blogger, writer and an enthusiast to spend her efforts and time in learning, applying and writing fitness articles, listening Zumba songs, food and nutrition, health care and green living. She has been passionate about learning and sharing the ways to improve fitness and maintain optimal health in order to live an active life.

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge - T #atozchallenge

Less than a week remains in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. It's been another wild ride this year. It's been tough to keep up sometimes, but overall I'm glad I opted to participate again.

Theurgy - magic or miracles by the agency of good spirits. Merriam-Webster gives a slightly different definition: the art or technique of compelling or persuading a god or beneficent or supernatural power to do or refrain from doing something. All I know is that the prayers all my friends lifted up helped me to pass my real estate exam yesterday. It was the hardest test I've ever taken. Thankfully, I never need to do that again.

Tea - I've been a lover of tea since I was a kid. Not all the weird flavors, but the standard orange or black tea. I've stuck mainly to decaffeinated versions for years. One of the things I do with used tea bags is soothe irritated eyes. The Lil' Diva and I have allergies, so watery, itchy eyes are something we deal with seasonally. My eyes can swell up almost to the point of shutting. That's when I make a cup of tea, pull out the bags without squeezing them, cool them, and place them on my eyes. Works every time.

Tea also makes a good natural cleanser. Fox News ran an article titled "49 Uses for Tea." You can find it at

To Kill a Mockingbird - Can you believe I've never read this classic novel by Harper Lee? I really am bad when it comes to classics. I think being forced to read them in high school turned me off them. I need to change that.

First published in 1960, To Kill A Mockingbird  won a Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was made into a film in 1962 starring Gregory Peck. Atticus Finch (Peck) is a lawyer in the Depression-era South who defends a black man against an undeserved rape charge, and his kids against prejudice.

What are some classics you haven't read yet?

Book Spotlight: Directory of Federal Prisons by Christopher Zoukis and Dr. Randall Radic

The DIRECTORY OF FEDERAL PRISONS:'s Federal Bureau of Prisons Facility Directory by Christopher Zoukis and Dr. Randall Radic is a comprehensive, yet succinct, guide to the contact information and basic character profile information of every prison within the Federal Bureau of Prisons, plus all private prisons under contract with the Federal Bureau of Prisons to house federal inmates.

It is an essential guide for everyone who knows anyone incarcerated within the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and sets the standard for basic character profiles and contact information for the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

This electronic guidebook enables attorneys, family members and friends of federal prisoners, journalists, government officials, prison volunteers, and members of the general public to quickly locate the contact information and inmate correspondence address of every prison within the Federal Bureau of Prisons and every private prison which houses federal inmates.

Purchase your copy at AMAZON 

Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE

Book Excerpt:

A day doesn't go by that we don’t receive email at or at from a friend, family member, or from an attorney representing a federal prisoner who is seeking the proper mailing address for a federal prisoner or official contact information for a specific federal prison. It would be helpful if the Federal Bureau of Prisons would publish a hardcopy version of this basic information. Unfortunately, it is only available for those who are technologically savvy enough to locate the information on the Federal Bureau of Prisons' website – if, in fact, the seeker knows that this is where to go.

The Directory of Federal Prisons, envisioned as a solution to this problem, is an inexpensive, regularly updated, quick reference guide to contact information and basic character profiles for every prison within the Federal Bureau of Prisons, including private prisons which house federal prisoners. While this information is generally static -- other than population numbers, that is -- it must be updated periodically to reflect local policy revisions that impact information, such as the inmate correspondence address and new prisons being built (or, in the case of private prisons, new contracts awarded or old contracts not renewed).

Our solution is a concise directory containing official contact information, inmate correspondence addresses, and other basic character profile information about each federal prison, such as the gender of the inmates, security level, federal district, population number, and adjacent satellite prison camp, if there is one, etc.
The reader can simply flip to the regional chapter containing the federal prison in question and locate the specific prison in an alphabetical listing. That’s it. All the information is there. It is that easy to use.No more digging through the Federal Bureau of Prisons' website or purchasing expensive legal texts or worry about losing contact with a family member, friend, or client.

To make the information even more accessible, we have cross-referenced the listing of prison facilities in six appendices, five of which further categorize every federal prison to make locating them within the text even easier.

• Appendix 1 divides every federal prison by BOP region,
• Appendix 2 provides an alphabetical list of all federal prisons listed in the directory,
• Appendix 3 lists every federal prison which houses female prisoners, and does this by the BOP region in which it is contained,
• Appendix 4 divides all federal prisons by security level. And,
• Appendix 5 provides a list of every satellite prison camp, also divided by BOP region, and the gender of prisoners housed therein.

Each appendix provides an additional vehicle for locating information about the federal prison which our reader seeks, in a format that they find easiest to use.

On a cautionary note, some of the information will, of course, change. For this reason, we plan to update the text periodically. If you, our reader, locate errors or outdated information, please feel free to contact us at We will gladly make the updates and we will provide you with a free copy of the next edition of the text.

The authors push forward, shoulder to shoulder with our readers, in the struggle for a criminal justice system which will be more equitable and innovative and which will transcend locked doors, shattered lives, and broken families. We are with you. You are not forgotten.

Christopher Zoukis is an impassioned advocate for prison education, a legal scholar, and a prolific writer of books, book reviews, and articles. His articles on prison education and prison law appear frequently in Prison Legal News, and have been published in The Kansas City Star, The Sacramento Bee, Blog Critics, and Midwest Book Review, among other national, regional, and specialty publications.

Mr. Zoukis is often quoted on matters concerning prison law, criminal law, prisoners' rights, and prison education. Recently, he was the focus of an article at concerning America's broken criminal justice system and potential solutions to the current crisis.

When not in the thick of the battle for prison reform, prison education, or prisoners' rights advocacy, Mr. Zoukis can be found blogging at,, and

Randall Radic is the Senior Editor and Chief Operating Officer of Middle Street Publishing (MSP), where he superintends and, and manages all of MSP's print and online endeavors.

After graduating from the University of Arizona with a B.A. in the classics, Dr. Radic matriculated at Agape Seminary, where he received the degree of Doctor of Sacred Theology, and then Trinity Seminary where he received the degree of Doctor of Theology.

Dr. Radic is the author of several non-fiction books, including Blood In, Blood Out: The Violent Empire of the Aryan Brotherhood (Headpress, 2011), The Sound of Meat (Ephemera Bound Publishing, 2008), A Priest in Hell: True Crimes of America's Clergy (ECW Press, 2009), and Terminal Disaster: Inside the Money Machine (Sunbury Press, 2012).

Dr. Radic has appeared on National Public Radio and A&E Television discussing prison education and America's prison gangs.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge - S #atozchallenge

Moving right along with the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge, we're up to the letter S--the only letter I know of that is shaped like an animal.

Saccadic - jerky movement of the eye as it jumps from one fixation point to another; twitching.

Soap (as in goat's milk soap) - A few years back, I agreed to review some soap from Happy Goats Soap. Little did I know it would mean I would forever turn away from store-bought soap. I love it because it doesn't irritate my sensitive skin the way other soaps do. In addition, I can choose all kinds of neat shapes and sizes, scented or unscented. That, and I love following the antics of Pricilla, her herd, and the farm cats over at their blog:

Shakespeare - The birthday of William Shakespeare is coming up tomorrow; well they don't really know when he was born, but they place his date of birth as three days prior to his baptism on April 26, which was the custom then. While not a lot is known about his life, his plays have been performed and analyzed extensively. I haven't read as many as a writer probably should, but I recall reading Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet in high school, and having to memorize lines from the latter. Have you read any Shakespeare?

Monday, April 21, 2014

Celebrate ARTHUR “Outdoor Week” on PBS KIDS

Join PBS KIDS and ARTHUR this week to celebrate ARTHUR “Outdoor Week” with two all-new episodes.

Beginning today and ending Friday, Arthur and friends will explore the outdoors in a week of fun-filled, outdoor-themed episodes. “Outdoor Week” includes the premieres of two all-new ARTHUR episodes, “Speak Up Francine/Waiting for Snow,” which airs on April 21, and “Pets and Pests/Go Fly a Kite,” which airs on April 22.

A new ARTHUR digital game, “Backyard Jungle,” will also launch in April. In “Backyard Jungle,” kids will join D.W. and Bud as they embark on an epic adventure using the power of their imaginations.

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge - R #atozchallenge

Today starts the fourth week of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. We're at the letter R.

Runcation - action of weeding. Really? I've always just called it weeding.

Rosewood Oil - According to Experience-Essential-Oils, rosewood oil rejuvenates the skin. What I like about this website is that it offers a great deal of information and even historical tidbits on essential oils. You can check out what they have to say about rosewood oil at

Rome - According to legend, on April 21, 753 B.C., Rome was founded by twin brothers Romulus and Remus. Find out more at