Types of Yogurt To Use in Recipes


Pictured here are the two types of yogurts I use. They are not the only brands that can be used.

There are two types of yogurt that I use in recipes.

For example, one is for preparing dense foods while the other is primarily for fermenting recipes for beverages. These types of yogurts are named full fat (strained) greek yogurt and (an unstrained) probiotic yogurt.
Trying to strain greek (strained) yogurt to make whey makes a mess.


Before I provide recipes for both types of yogurt, it is important to explain the necessity of which yogurt to use.

For example, straining the wrong type of yogurt can lengthen the process, waste yogurt as well as making a mess. In fact, the recipe may not work at all.

The reason is that greek yogurt is already strained yogurt. In fact that is one of its main properties. This photo shows the mess I made from trying to strain greek yogurt to make whey.


Dried edible flower petals

Yogurt Pudding with Edible Flower Petals. Transfer the contents of a container of greek yogurt into a serving container that has a cover. Remember, do not strain the yogurt.

Flavor enhancer: Add extracts to the yogurt like vanilla, almond or orange. In addition, add shaved chocolate to the top before serving.

Next, sprinkle the yogurt with edible flowers. this picture shows what they look like. In fact, they are easily found on Amazon. Before serving, cover the container and let the recipe sit.

Actually, while this treat is waiting to be served the edible flowers will blossom and become full petals again. Finally, you will be amazed at how beautiful it looks upon serving.

Greek yogurt with edible flower petals


Fermented Limeade or Lemonade This is one of my favorite summertime thirst quenchers. In fact, there is a bottled lemon and limeade that is so pure that I do not have to squeeze my own citrus. To prepare this recipe all that is necessary is to add whey to an almost full bottle. Just remove some juice to make room for the whey at the top.
Pictured here are the perfect bottled limeade to use, the perfect yogurt and how the whey should look.

Making Whey This is a process that requires carefully following the directions. This is when the type of yogurt used is crucial. Remember, use only unstrained yogurt. Above is a photo of the perfect bottled limeade, perfect yogurt, and the right whey.

Homemade limeade with a homemade label on the ideal bottle for fermented limeade for refrigeration.

Do not use greek yogurt. In fact, the reason is explained above. Use only unstrained yogurt. The whey made from unstrained yogurt should look like this picture once it is strained. It should be mostly clear. A bit of cloudiness at the bottom is acceptable.

The Finished Product This is most delicious refreshing fermented beverage. Once the fermentation process is complete, put the limeade is this type of bottle. Recycled grolsch beer bottles are perfect for the job. In fact, you don’t have to buy all that beer first. This type of bottle can be gotten new and reused online.


1. Q & A About Yogurt
2. O Sugar | Chobani Yogurt
3. Two Good©
4. Siggis Yogurt
5. Chobani Greek Yogurt
6. Stonyfield Probiotic Yogurt
7. History of Yogurt
8. A Short History of Yogurt
8. Yogurt from Britanica
9. TOP 5 Probiotic Yoghurt In The US – June 2023
10. Yes, Whey: How Yogurt’s Leftovers Are Getting a Second Life
11. How to Make Yogurt Cheese (and Where Do I Find Whey?)
12. 5 Ways to Make Fresh Whey (1 serving or a quart!)


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Patent Leather Perfection


A pair of hot pink Oka b ballet shoes with a bow on the back from oka-b.com

Patent Leather Perfection is the name of my latest handbag discovery. In fact, it came about completely by accident. I was looking for details about a pair of hot pink Oka b ballet shoes.

Somehow I landed on Pinterest after searching on Instagram and there they were. Not the Oka b hot pink ballet shoes but a whole new collection of handbags.

Pink + Orange Matched to perfection, of course because I love pink. On Pinterest, I found a purse that fits into Patent Leather Perfection. Actually it’s a perfect match to the pink Oka b slip ons.

A pink + orange purse found on Pinterest.com
Green + Pink Jelly Couture Pink Meadow Limited Edition Then I found another bag not only with pink but also in my favorite, popular color combination of green with pink.

Pink and Green Jelly Couture Pink Meadow Limited Edition on Pinterest.com
Arcadia and Furla Round Bags Not only am I partial to certain color combinations but I also adore certain brands and shapes of handbags and shoes. Yes, Arcadia is one of them and Furla is the other. Both are unique to their brand. They’re round and both are part of patent leather perfection.

Here are two collectible round bags. One is an orange Arcadia. The other is a red Furla.

Speaking of Furla I found the most outrageous Furla bags on Pinterest. I adore them. In fact, I wish I could afford them. There is no coincidence that Furla named this style their jelly and candy collection.

A Furla handbag in red-white-and-blue from their jelly collection on Pinterest.com


Oka b Hot Pink Ballet flats with back bow on Instagram
Patriotic colors Furla bag
Pink plus orange bag
Pink and Green Jelly Couture Pink Meadow Limited Edition
Arcadia orange round bag
Furla round red leather bag
Furla Pink + Purple Jelly
History of Furla Fashion

Furla | History, Trivia, All About


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The World of Okabashi Footwear for Women and Men


Okabashi footwear is a new addition to my wardrobe. Their company has a trilogy of design divisions which include the original Okabashi, Oka b and Third Oak. To my surprise, I actually found the basic Okabashi style at my local CVS store.

Whenever I discover a new product, I like to research it thoroughly. In this case, I found out what makes Okabashi footwear so unique. This discovery actually came as quite a surprise to me. Here’s why.
The introduction to the concept of Okabashi shoe for women and men from their website Okabshi.com
In addition, discovering them was very exciting because there are three style themes to choose from not just the one basic type style. My introduction was initially to this basic Okabashi summer shoe. The reason was that I was looking for my summer minimal type shoe. Fortunately, I found two simple pairs at CVS my go to source for them.
Okabashi basic styles found at CVS, women’s cruise and breeze footwear
Oka b Continuing with my research, I discovered another style. At first, I thought it was discontinued but then I found this style both new on Amazon as well as new and second hand on Poshmark.

In fact, this style is my favorite. That’s because they are is most decorative and colorful. If I had the budget, I would buy them in many colors. Here are two that I love.

Two versions of the decorative Oka b style footwear from Okabashi.com
Third Oak Ultimately, the third and final style in the trilogy of Okabashi footwear is their Third Oak Collection. Although the simplest, they are the sleekest and sophisticated of all even though they are flip flops. In addition they are available online as well as in higher end retail destinations. Here are examples of what they look like. By the way, some even include a dust bag.

Third Oak Scout flip flops in three of their color themes, Moss Gold, Toffee Copper, Blush Pearl


If their history and story interest you, I have included an abundance of sources and resources below. In fact, this is an award winning story of how one company survived adversity. In addition, their survival is part of a technical marvel. Okabashi not only eco-friendly, made in the USA, guaranteed for two years, machine washable and an affordable, attractive purchase.


NEWSLETTERS SUBSCRIBE MAIN STREET This Family Lost Its Footwear Company in the Iranian Revolution. Now, It Makes 1.2 Million Shoes a Year in Georgia
Award-Winning Georgia-Based Shoe Company Okabashi Brands Creates over 340 Jobs in Gwinnett County Through Major Onshoring
American-Made Shoe Company Okabashi Brands Inc. Expands; Adds Hundreds of Jobs in Gwinnett County
Okabashi Third Oak


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Why Buy Second Hand


Buying second hand is growing in popularity these days. In fact, there are numerous very good reasons for buying second hand. In this blog post I will attempt to explain some of them. Of greatest importance is the fact that we are actually bordering on a global crisis that needs a permanent antidote not just a booster for a passing phase.

Discover the Apple Certified Refurbished promise from apple.com
Economy is one of the main reasons to buy second hand. Actually many people cannot afford to pay their bills and buy necessary things. As a result, second hand options can be a lifesaver as far as cost goes. For example refurbished products like computers are significantly less expensive than new ones. But the quality can be almost like new.

New cars specifically are known to lose thousands of dollars in value the moment they are driven off the lot. Thus economy is a great reason to buy a ‘previously owned’ product. In fact, in the movie Driving Miss Daisy, every time Jessica Tandy got a new car, her chauffer played by Morgan Freeman would purchase the car her son traded in for her new one.

Ecology is another reason to buy second hand. The United States for example is known for its garbage. Things are disposed of long before it is necessary. Quality items are needlessly replaced with the latest (often poorly produced) items. In fact there is so much garbage that the planet is choking with it.

Actually, there is almost nothing that man has made that cannot have a second life either in whole or in part. In other words, we are unnecessarily creating mountain of garbage and trash instead of practicing reduce-reuse-recycle.

Garbage: The Back End of the Renewable Economy from huffpost.com

The Production/Consumption Cycle

Ending the Over-Production/Over-Consumption Cycle Our economy runs on a very toxic system known as the production/consumption cycle. In other words people have to produce and people have to consume to keep our current economic cycle going. Unfortunately this system involves overproduction and overconsumption. Gluttony, too much garbage, and national debt are the result.

flashy new car

New products may seem preferable, even justified conspicuous consumption. But are they worth it? In fact, they are often poorly made. The result may well be a flashy but short-lived ride to the garbage dump.

Both necessity and over-consumption may lead consumers into debt. Thus, we need to incorporate additional components into our current production/consumption cycle for economic solvency. One of these additions is called ‘buying second hand’. As a result, this can be part of a permanent cure, not just a temporary band aid to our current broken system.

reduce, reuse, recycle
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle-Inspire Health and Spirit from Inspire Health and Spirit.com

Challenges and Solutions There are items to buy second hand and other things to stay away from.

What to Buy Second Hand There are some great second hand suggestions from buying second hand from Best Second-Hand Deals on Buzzfeed.com.

buying second hand
Buying second hand from Best Second-Hand Deals on BuzzFeed.com
What Not to Buy Second Hand Stay away from non-perishable packaged and canned items with expired dates on them, the same with OTC medicine, etc.

7 Tips for Eco-Conscious Living Without Sacrificing Comfort and Style

On the whole though there is much more that does fit into the reduce, reuse, and recycle cycle. Therefore do everything possible to to participate in this system by buying second hand. As a result, it will help you and the planet.


Things to Buy Second Hand
Why You Should Buy A Used Car Instead of New.
Garbage: The Back End of the Renewable Economy
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
About Refurbished Computers from Apple
7 Tips for Eco-Conscious Living Without Sacrificing Comfort and Style


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A General History of Pencils


Researching a general history of pencils reveals how long this story is but also how recent it has become to its ending as a primary writing tool. Especially now that we have access to personal computers of all shapes and sizes for just about every task, pencils have become somewhat archaic for everyday use. But there is an exception to this rule.

Writing Tablets
history of pencils
Double Sided Old School Slate/Chalkboard-Ebay
Let’s go back a bit in the history of writing before pencils were available. I refer in fact primarily two types of writing systems.

Chalkboard One was only a few centuries ago using chalk as the writing instrument over slate as the surface. (Left)

Ancient Tablet Then the other was from ancient Rome using wax covered wood as the writing surface with a stylus as the writing instrument. (Below)

history of pencils

History of the Pencil This section is quoted from Wikipedia.

history of pencils

history of pencils

history of pencils

Special Pencils For everyday use the pencil is somewhat of a dinosaur. As mentioned earlier, the primary system is once again a tablet or a pad. But now it is a computer not slate, wood, wax or clay.

But in one situation, there is still a need and use for the pencil. This is in the area of drawing also known as art or illustration. In this area there are some very special pencils. For example, there is the Blackwing. The original ones are shown below costing $1,520 for a dozen.

original blackwing pencils 1Dozen Brand New – Eberhard Faber Blackwing 602 Pencils with Original Box Perfect Brand New $1,520.00 Extra 5% off with coupon or Best Offer + $8.00 shipping on Ebay

More About Pencils In future posts, there will be more information focusing on Blackwing 620, Staedtler, and Eberhard Faber.


Example of a wax tablet with Roman stylus
Slate School Writing Tablet | Chalk Teacher Student Classroom | Remote Learning
Cuneiform Writing: How Clay And Reeds Changed the World
1 Dozen Brand New – Eberhard Faber Blackwing 602 Pencils with Original Box Perfect
Definition and History-Wikipedia

Carpenter Pencil (Top and bottom image of this blog post)

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Drafting Tools Before The Computer


Pre computer drafting tools are the precursor to what the computer came to be able to produce. In fact several great manual tool companies existed during this pre computer time. One happens to be, Keuffel & Esser.

History of Keuffel & Esser
History of K & E from Wikipedia

a metal tool box with a USC School of Architecture sticker on it
My Interest in K & E In 1966 when I entered the School of Architecture & Fine Arts at the University of Southern California, personal computers were not yet available. At that time, everything had to be drawn by hand in other words with pre computer drafting tools. This meant that tools such as a drafting set were particularly essential. As a result, I bought what I could collecting the best.

 K & E drafting set
my K & E drafting set bought in the Los Angeles K & E store in 1966 when I majored in Architecture at the University of Southern California

The Charrette Corporation

Decades later, I worked for the West Side Highway Project in Lower Manhattan. That was just about the time that the dynasty of K & E pre computer drafting tools ceased. Meanwhile another great company was born, the Charrette Corporation. Read all about the Charrette Corporation in a series of blog posts that I wrote.

Drafting Tools and Equipment Born in a janitor’s closet of the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Charrette evolved into the largest and most prestigious company of its kind with stores over a good part of the East Coast. Actually, their warehouse in Woburn, Massachusetts carried more stock for example of Letraset dry transfer lettering than the Letraset Corporation itself.

Letraset© and the Charrette Red Van
The Charrette Red Van Equally unique to Charrette was the red van that made trips every evening between the Boston (Woburn) warehouse and NYC for its high end clients. Quality was as much a part of Charrette’s service as it was of the products themselves.

Pencils There were several kinds of pencils considered highly functional during the pre computer time continuing to the present. Specifically, they ranged from wooden to metal mechanical. Currently there is one brand of pencil that is highly prized, the Eberhard Faber Blackwing.

Blackwing pencils
The Eberhard Faber Blackwing Pencil available for $920.
T-squares, Triangles, and . . . When I began this post it never occurred to me how much there would be to write about. Therefore there will be more on this topic. But at another time.


History of Keuffel & Esser
The Day the Slide Rule Arrived
Slide Rule
Technical Pens
Rapidograph Pens
On Writing Well: The History of Blackwing Pencils
Charrette Corporation
Objects | Charrette Corporation
The History of Blackwing Pencils


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Black Money Love As Laura Redux


Elif the Socialite with her star crossed lover Omer the ‘cop’ from Black Money Love

I believe that Black Money Love, the present day Turkish Netflix series was inspired by the 1944 Academy Award winning American film classic Laura.

In fact my husband and I used to wonder who would make a good cast for a remake of one of our favorite film noir movies. Perhaps Ashley Judd and a younger Harrison Ford? Maybe, but not really.

Laura Redux And then it came to me, like a sudden spark in a quiet moment as I dove off to sleep. There is already a remake so to speak. Actually, it may be with a broad interpretive brush, not a tight translation. But nonetheless, a Turkish series on Netflix, Black Money Love shares enough of a resemblance to fit the inspirational bill.
Dana Andrews, the ‘cop’ interrogating Gene Tierney, the Socialite from Laura.


Primarily the storyline targets the on-again-off-again love affair between a socialite and a cop. In fact this is one of the major themes where the two productions share their stories and what joins them as original theme and remake.
How The Lovers Meet The second coincidence is that both sets of lovers meet over the death of someone they knew. In fact, the peculiarity of such a meeting ties both stories closely together in their similarities as reflections of each other.
Subplots Then going into the detail of their subplots, there are more similarities. For example, the story pits good against evil, love versus greed, themes that further reflect each other.


In case this all seems to far fetched, one can just compare the characters in each production. I wish to leave this exercise to the reader. Again it is uncanny the number of similarities to draw from this task.


We may never know if Laura was in the minds of the creators of Black Money Love when the latter was made. The refrain from overt violence in Laura is exploited in Black Money Love. But that is typical of present day cinema.

However that difference does not separate them. It is merely expletive style. Whether one of these series was based on the brilliance of the other may never be actually documented. Nonetheless, the similarities that clearly exist leave plenty of room for speculation as well as ample entertainment.


Gene Tierney Movie Page
Kara Para Ask
Film Noir


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Hudson Bay Blanket History


The Hudson Bay Blanket is an historical item that actually fascinates me.

In fact, not only does it have its own history but it also has a background that has interested me for many decades. Eventually this item went on to become used for outerwear in addition to the original blankets. Foremost, this blanket and the clothing that came from it are part of my half century learning and sharing passion or my ikigai.
Hudson-Bay-Blanket with inset
Vintage Rare Hudson Bay 4 point blanket from Etsy.com with inset of 1936 ad for Mackinaw jacket
“The classic Hudson Bay Point blanket. This is a 4 point Beacon blanket. Has gold tag. Wonderful wool blanket with the iconic stripes. Blanket is in fantastic shape. No moth holes or big issues. There is one faint blemish as pictured. Otherwise in near perfect shape. Great for winter as these blankets are excellent and a great piece for the collector as these don’t come around too often in this shape.” Etsy

Hudson’s Bay point blanket from Wikipedia.org
Origin Paraphrased from The Canadian Encyclopedia: The first point blankets were created by French weavers who developed a “point system” — a way to specify the finished size of a blanket — sometime in the 17th century. (See also Weaving.)

The term “point,” in this case, originates from the French word empointer, which means “to make threaded stitches on cloth.” The points were simply a series of thin black lines on one of the corners of the blanket, which were used to identify the size of the blanket.

Even though the points on the blankets did not have an inherent value, merchants during the fur trade often priced point blankets according to the number of points on the blanket, with one point assigned for small blankets and four points designated for very large blankets.


Mackinaw Jacket When all hope failed that a shipment of military greatcoats would arrive from Britain, alternatives named Mackinaw jackets were made from these blankets. Their shorter length jacket was more fitting for travel between Montreal and Mackinaw with its deep snow drifts. In other words, two uses not just one came from the Hudson Bay point blankets. In addition, the Mackinaw jackets were of a superior quality to the British Greatcoats.
Trading with the Indians There is in fact a very controversial side to the story of trading with the Indians. Reference is made to it in the podcast above. It is not my intention to ignore this aspect of the history. But it is my preference to focus on the positive aspects of the Hudson Bay Blanket as an historical rather than politically motivated chronicle.

trading with the Indians “Pioneer at Fort Garry 1861” from The Point Blankets site

The section below Trading with the Indians is reprinted with permission from Harold Tichenor, author of The Point Blankets Site.

Sources & Resources*

Vintage RARE Hudson Bay 4 point Wool blanket With Gold Label
Hudson’s Bay Point Blanket – Origin
Hudson’s Bay point blanket – History
Woven Textiles from the Canadian Encyclopedia
THE BAY – Multistripe Point Blanket
The Remarkable History of the Hudson’s Bay Company
Who Made That Hudson’s Bay Blanket
Mackinaw Jackets
The Point Blankets Site

*The border at the top and bottom of this post is based on an earlier Hudson Bay Company brand.

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Beet Kvass: Origins and Variations Recipes

beet kvass
A brief history of Kvass, Russia’s ‘bread in a bottle’
Kira Lisitskaya (Photo: Legion Media; Sputnik)

Beet Kvass is attributed to being Russian although the earliest recordings can be traced as far back as Ancient Greece and Egypt.(1) Ultimately today, recipes come from many parts of the globe and in many variations exist.

Beet Kvass went in and out of popularity in Russia. At one point it was a noble drink. Over time peasants were saved from starvation drinking it. It was called ‘bread in a bottle’ due to its highly nutritional value. But then it sank to being considered vulgar for poor folks.(2) Today it is experiencing an upswing as its health benefits are revealed again. Clearly beet kvass origins and recipes are not limited to a narrow story.
Barrel with kvass
Harrison Foreman / russiainphoto.ru
Varieties of Kvass With its popularity due to health benefits, many recipes developed. But first I would like to present the simplest recipes to the most complicated.

Beet Kvass photo by Bobbi Lin
Red Beet Kvass The simplest recipe requires just filtered water, beets, and sea salt.
Taking the kvass one step further it can list filtered water, chopped red beets, whey to quicken fermentation, sea salt, or sugar, or even honey. Recipes are in the Source & Resource section at the end of this post.(3)(4)(5)

Golden Beet Kvass Although I have not yet made golden beet kvass, it looks fascinating and delicious. One particular recipe includes crusts of rye bread to add to the richness in fermentation and nutrition.

Sparkling Golden Beet Kvass Made the Traditional Way
from the CulturedGuru.com

Golden beet kvass involves a more complicated recipe, possibly with more powerful results. I have not made this kvass yet. But I will as soon as I purchase some golden beets and fermented rye bread.


(1)(2)(3)(4)(5)A brief history of Kvass, Russia’s ‘bread in a bottle’
a.Urban Farmie Beet kvass
b.Nourishing Gourmet Beet Kvass
c.Three Stone Hearth Beet Kvass
d.How to Make Beet Kvass
d.Honey Fermented Sweet Beet Kvass
e.How to make sweet honey and Beet Kvass
f.Golden Beet Kvass
g.Golden Beet & Turmeric Kvass: A Fermented Home Brew Recipe for a Healthy Probiotic Drink

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A Living Healthier Plan

Please note: This post has been written as more of a personal diary entry than a blog post with details that should apply to anyone else. It is the plan I aim to follow at this point of my life. In other words, it is designed for me by me. It is not a medical or nutritional recommendation for anyone else.

A living healthier plan
It became necessary not long ago to make a change when I started to feel dizzy and unstable when I walked. The conclusion became imperative when I made a whirling dervish spin. Had it not been for my crash into the wall of a hallway, I would have landed on the floor. As a result, I probably would have broken a bone or two not to mention other damage, aches, and pains.

Falling down people. People of different ages stumbling and jumping down stairs, slipping wet floor, injured men, women, children vector flat cartoon isolated unbalanced characters from istockphoto.com
The Do’s and Don’ts
A living healthier plan would have to include a food plan, a meal and snack schedule, as well as prescription drugs and a supplement regimen. In addition reducing sugary foods needed to become more of a priority.
A Sweet Challenge-Cutting Back on sugars-cornerstonefamilydentistry.ca
Actually this plan felt like more of a step than a difficult leap. Somehow, my craving for sugary food decreased due to my desire to eliminate painful reactions to eating too many sweets. In fact, I developed itching and a painful rash that accompanied their consumption. I also wished to reduce my weight. As a result, these two situations were enough of an incentive to really cut back on those treats.
Itching and Rash
Woman Scratching Her Itchy Neck With Allergy Rash from dreamstime.com

A living healthier plan clearly would be facilitated by a regular routine. I had undeniably gotten off course in this area. So without much difficulty, if I could tweek my current routine, a positive change should not be that difficult to achieve.
Filtered Water
The health benefits of drinking water and why it good to drink a lot from www.mirror.co.uk
What had to come first and foremost was to drink more water. The fermented drinks that I love to make would help as well. But water was the most important liquid. Once I got that in place, I could begin my new eating plan.
A sampling of some of the Zero Water Filter Dispensers
Begin Each Day
It is suggested to drink an 8 oz glass of water upon rising. I always drink filtered water using the Zero System. My cup of water is accompanied by a supplement. In this case it is a once daily New Chapter Every Woman’s Multivitamin. I think this is an excellent company with a growing selection of quality supplements. No food is required to take this multivitamin.
New Chapter Once Daily Every Woman’s Multivitamin from NewChapter.com

Certain prescription medication and then at least a small amount of food are essential for me to start my day. This can range from a fruit snack to a full breakfast. But most important is that I drink my water, take my morning medication, and have a bite to eat. It is preferable that I do this between 8-9am.

This blog post continues with Part Two, A Living Healthier Food Plan.


Cutting Back on Sweets.

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