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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Thursday, April 17, 2014

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The blood moon's comin'!
The blood moon's comin'!

Get out your crystals and buckle your celestial seatbelts

Tuesday is not only formidable for the obvious tax deadline, but for a far more cosmic reason too. 

The nighttime sky will reveal the "blood moon" or orange "pink full moon" on April 15. This visual phenomenon can be attributed to the beginning of a series of eclipses, each six months apart that will go on through 2015. 

For those of you who don’t follow or buy into this universal "hocus-pocus" like I do, let me please begin to make you aware of what I think is the real power of the moons to exert changes on your energy. (Stars and Moons! Unicorns and Fairies! I sure did just go there. Stop reading now if you don’t want to know why you feel wonky around the full and new moon, or why perhaps you or people around you are feeling anywhere on the spectrum of "out of sorts" to  "charged up" right now.)

For those who require a little more of an expert perspective on this impending astrological happening, this information (well, the "Blood Moon" eclipse and moon cycle info, that is) is available to you on NASA.gov.  If that’s not credible enough for you, you can go back to reading your horoscope and doing the word games in the "Good Morning" section now.

I first became aware of the energetic effect of the full and new moons on the physical human body and for those more sensitive – on the emotions, through my practice of Ashtanga Yoga. This style of yoga prescribes rest days on both full and new moons due to the energetic extremes the moon’s gravitational pull exerts on the body.

Since the human body is comprised of up to 70 percent water and water is affected by the moon’s relative position to the sun, it is only natural that we should "feel" something when the two most visible objects in the sky, which both exert gravitational pull, change positions. 

During full moon, most people tend to generally feel more energetic due to the upward and expansive force occurring. When the new moon is the sky, the feeling is typically the opposite – calmer and mo…

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Nope, don't want to see it.
Nope, don't want to see it.

Don't send me that in a text

And now, in stunning revelations …

I do read your "talkbacks" and your Facebook posts.

I was actually floored that it took so long – almost 36 hours to get a comment on my "Open letter to Brett Favre" that included a suggestion to use texting as a preferred mode of communication with the former Packers quarterback.

Now, we all know what that’s about, right?

In case you don’t, Mr. Favre’s intimate self-portrait of a smaller (this is of course, both subjective and relative) appendage he sent as a text (sext) to some lady made a little more Internet news than the guns he has on display in his current online photos. 

My husband (God love him for having any sense of humor about the smut I type) was actually the first to throw that clever texting zinger in my face upon my traditional pre-submit read aloud to him. My response to which, was an involuntary "ewwwww-ick" accompanied by a little vomit in my mouth.

Because I always feel the need to be precise and clarify, I’m strictly referring to the sending of sexy images via text here – specifically "dick pics." I am not talking about relationships or even real life physical interaction, just that very incriminating photo of male genitalia that seems to always be a bad idea for the owners of the offending attachment. 

Why is it a bad idea? Don’t all shout at once, but not only will that image inevitably come back to haunt you in some way personally or professionally, but in my very humble opinion, I just don’t think that most recipients of these gifts really assume the intended emotion or desired result of theses tell-all texts.

Ladies especially, I don’t know if you are with me on this one, but it’s not the isolated image of a penis I find hot or sexually titillating when I see a photograph of a scantily clad or nude male. If I’m going to be visually aroused – I need to see more than just that

I have an even more difficult time entertaining warm and fuzzy feelings when the body is dec…

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All hail the crock pot!
All hail the crock pot!
Do try this at home.
Do try this at home.

Get saucy in the kitchen

I hear it all the time.

"I don’t have time to eat healthy!" 

These moans are audible from stay-at-home and working moms, bachelors, single-ladies and college students alike. Heck, at my house, we’re empty nesters and are busier than ever!

But, nothing compares to the health and satisfaction of a home cooked meal prepared with wisely chosen ingredients. Does it take some planning? Yes. Does it take some organized shopping? Yes. Does it take a lot of time? Nope.

Ever heard of a crock pot? Well, OnMilwaukee.com sure has. The genius of this countertop slow-cooking appliance has been heralded several times on this very site and it’s about to get a shout-out again.

No crock pot? Kitchen rebels can make off-label use of their rice cooker, like I did for the recipe below.

Most rice cookers have different settings for various grains. Try using the setting that will cook your creation the longest (usually the brown rice setting) for more of a slow cooker effect. The great thing about using a rice cooker for one-pot meals is that the "white rice" setting will give you a quicker cooking option, with all the convenience and flavor of a crock pot meal!

Anyone can cook and enjoy healthy feasts with these common kitchen appliances. It’s as simple as throwing in a few ingredients, switching it on, going about your day as it does all the work and then simply serving it right from the vessel it simmered in.

So, when I was challenged by ModernMom.com to create a new twist on Ragú's Family Favorite Chili Mac to celebrate the reformulation of their Ragú Old World Style Traditional Sauce, I knew what I had to do. 

The recipe you’ll find below is easy, economical, flexible and made with ingredients you may even already have in the pantry, fridge and freezer! I’ve included variable options for meat eaters and vegetarians/vegans without losing any flavor.

I encourage you to try Ragú’s new sauce recipe (it’s richest, thickest yet!) made with 11 juicy tomatoes in e…

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The Silver Fox (on the right, of course.)
The Silver Fox (on the right, of course.) (Photo: Twitter via Kevin@CLEsportsFan10)

An open letter to Brett Favre

Hey No. 4.

I’m picking up what you're puttin’ down.

And probably pushing, pulling and plyo-ing.

Brett Favre, I’ve got one word for your spring 2014 look – dayuuuuuuuuuum.

You’ve combined the very on-trend "unkempt, rugged, mountain man" look with a completely jacked ‘bod to prove saxxxy really begins after retirement.

Your facial hair is beyond legitimate, challenging any reality star’s ducky mojo. Your strands unkempt and untouched by "Just for Men," have rallied and won for the title of "Silver Fox." I imagine that hairstyle is the product of a clean buzz grown out with nary a trim – brilliantly stating "DGAF."

The outfit is right in line with this. The simple, monochromatic T-shirt and jeans looks as if it was fetched out of the hamper and hastily thrown on after realizing that you needed something to holster your phone. 

But, it’s that physique that has my jaw dropping. Clearly, you’ve been working on your fitness, bro. You look ready to throw redwood tree trunks across the football field. 

I do hope you’ll divulge the training plan and nutritional fuel that has generated this transformation. And I hope even more that some sort of professional athletic endeavor has motivated it. (Or at least a Men’s Fitness Magazine cover to show off all that hard work!)

Until then, I’ll be dreaming of tree trunks sailing over the frozen tundra.