Monday, June 30, 2008

Rustic Tuscan Pasta with Shrimp and Sausage

Rustic Tuscan Pasta with Shrimp and Sausage

Recipe By : Jeff Bacon CEC CCA AAC
Serving Size : 6 Preparation Time :1:00

Amt.--Measure-- Ingredient - Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 pound shrimp -- 21-25 Peeled and deveined
1 pound Italian sausage links -- cut 1/2" thick
1 pound Ziti pasta -or other hearty pasta
1 1/2 pounds Roma tomatoes -- split in half and sliced
3 each scallions --chopped and white part separated from green
2 ounces fresh basil -- chopped
2 tbsp. fresh oregano -- chopped
2 tbsp. fresh parsley -- chopped
1 cup white wine
1/2 cup Anaheim chili pepper - diced fine
1 tsp salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
6 cloves garlic
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Cook pasta. drain, oil and set aside
Fry sausage slices until done and reserve
Mix paprika, garlic powder salt and pepper and rub liberally on shrimp
Heat pan then add oil.
Sauté shrimp for about 3 minutes then add white part of scallions and
Anaheim chilis.
Add tomato, wine and garlic and cook until the liquid is about gone
Add fresh herbs, cooked sausage, pasta and green of scallion toss until mixed well.
Toss in butter and serve. Garnish with parmesan
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 764 Calories; 35g Fat (43.0%
calories from fat); 38g Protein; 67g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 183mg
Cholesterol; 1258mg Sodium.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Choosing a New AC Unit

Thanks once to the folks from Gwyn Electric, Plumbing, Heating and Cooling for coming on the Morning Show to offer advice on selecting a new AC for your home. Here are some links for more info:

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

8 Worst Things to Say in an Interview

Are you going on a job interview anytime soon? Then you should probably take heed of this's the "8 Worst Things to Say in an Interview" according to CNN and

Monday, June 23, 2008


This classic chilled tomato soup is chock full of garden-fresh vegetables, cholesterol free, and made with very little added oil.

4 C tomato juice*
1/2 medium onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 small green pepper, peeled, cored, seeded, and coarsely chopped
1 small cucumber, peeled, pared, seeded, and coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1 drop hot pepper sauce
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large tomato, finely diced
2 Tbsp minced chives or scallion tops
1 lemon, cut in 6 wedges

Put 2 cups of tomato juice and all other ingredients except diced tomato, chives, and lemon wedges in the blender.
Slowly add the remaining 2 cups of tomato juice to pureed mixture.
Add chopped tomato.
Serve icy cold in individual bowls garnished with chopped chives and lemon wedges.

Yield: 6 servings--Serving Size: 1 cup
Each serving provides:

Friday, June 20, 2008

Recession Proof Jobs

From USA Today

Worried about layoffs? Here are 5 jobs immune to recession
By Jill Phillips, The Indianapolis Star

With a souring economy and rising food and gas prices, workers worry about layoffs. But what if you worked in an industry immune from economic downturns?

According to Sophia Koropeckyj, senior economist at Moody's in West Chester, Pa., industries that may keep workers out of the unemployment office include health care, education, environment, security and energy.

The aging population will keep hiring for nurses steady, she said.
"The demand will continue to rise regardless of the economy," Koropeckyj said.

When it comes to security, there is an increasing demand for information technology specialists.
"Everyone is concerned about people getting access to private information," she said.

Government jobs
Government jobs may be affected only slightly by a downturn. The federal government outsources a lot of its jobs, including food provision, waste removal, security and call centers. While tax revenues may be down and hiring limited for state and municipal positions, there will always be a demand for public safety officers, court clerks, administrative service managers and the like.

Most in demand: Administrative services managers.
Training: Bachelor's degree preferred.
Average pay: $68,000.

Health care
A bad economy may limit what people spend but probably won't keep them from seeking medical attention. Health care is one of the fastest-growing job sectors. In demand are physicians, nurses, physical therapists, pharmacists and health aides. The need will grow as the population ages. Some hospitals offer signing bonuses and other perks.

Most in demand: Registered nurses.
Training: An associate or bachelor's degree; diploma from approved nursing program.
Average pay: $58,500.

A recession won't stop crime. In fact, as funds are limited more crimes may occur. The demand for police officers, port security specialists and security experts will increase. Data security specialists are sought to prevent terrorism and identity theft. "People depend more and more on computers to store information," said Koropeckyj. As technology gets more sophisticated, IT pros have to keep up with trends to combat hackers.

Most in demand: Data security specialist.
Training: Bachelor's degree in computer science preferred.
Average pay: $41,470.

Many Americans are thinking green to help combat global warming. As companies try to develop "green" technology, demand for engineers and scientists will grow. In high demand are environmental engineers who employ their knowledge to curb air, water and soil pollution.

Most in demand: Environmental engineer.
Training: Bachelor's degree in environmental engineering. To hold title of professional engineer, must get license from state board of registration.
Average pay: $47,960.

As gas prices rise, those discovering new means of developing fossil and alternative fuels will be needed. About 80% of oil industry employees will reach retirement age in the next decade, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas. Jobs related to alternative and renewable energy should see steady growth. Physicists may be employed by energy companies to research ways to curb fuel consumption.

Most in demand: Physicist.
Training: Master's degree.
Average pay: $72,910.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

10 bad habits that lead to debt disaster

10 bad habits that lead to debt disaster
Monday June 16, 6:00 am ET
Leslie McFadden

Sometimes the only way to stop a snowballing problem is to go back to the top of the hill and find out what started it.

If you're up to your eyeballs in credit card debt, take a step back and recount your money missteps. Knowing your weaknesses could help prevent you from falling back into the bad credit pit and show you a way out.

Debt disaster

According to Gail Cunningham, vice president of business relations at Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Greater Dallas, a nonprofit financial management service, consumers mired in debt make common financial blunders, most of which they can prevent with discipline and behavior changes. Learn from these mistakes and start paying off your debt.

10 bad habits to break

Bad Habit No. 1: Misusing balance transfers.
Transferring balances on high-interest cards to lower-rate cards can be an effective technique, but it's easy to make it a good idea gone wrong. Transfer a balance onto a card with a low introductory rate and you can potentially save money on interest if you refrain from charging on it and focus on paying off the balance before that introductory rate expires. But most people continue to charge on the new card and wind up with more debt once the teaser rate expires, says Cunningham. In fact, new purchases may pull an altogether different interest rate. Read the fine print very carefully, and only attempt the balance-transfer maneuver if you can control your spending on the new -- and old -- card.

Try this: If you can't refrain from charging, balance transfers won't get you out of debt. If you're really in the hole, consider getting a part-time job and dedicating your earnings to your debt load. If that's not possible, go back to your budget and cut back on unnecessary expenses such as restaurant outings and cell phone extras. Put the money you save toward paying off your balances. Pay for new purchases with cash or debit.

Bad Habit No. 2: Not checking credit reports -- you can't change them anyway.
Wrong. If you have credit cards, pull your credit report at least once a year and check it for errors. Purging your record of inaccuracies can be crucial for getting better interest rates, landing the job you desire and stopping an identity thief from ruining your credit rating. Your credit report also affects your credit score, which determines how high your interest rates will be on future loans. Dispute anything you think should not be there. The Fair Credit Reporting Act allows for the correction or deletion of inaccurate, outdated or unverifiable information, provided that a reinvestigation into the disputed data sides in your favor. Unfortunately, negative but truthful data must stay put. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing, for instance, will remain on your credit report for 10 years, a Chapter 13 for seven years.

Try this: You can request one free copy from each of the credit reporting bureaus, Experian, TransUnion and Equifax, every year. Why bother? Errors on your report, such as a payment marked late that came in on time, could raise your interest rates, lower your credit score and affect your ability to obtain credit in the future.

If you do find a mistake, send a correction letter to each of the credit bureaus that show the error. Experian allows you to dispute errors online, as do TransUnion and Equifax.

Don't bother with so-called credit repair clinics that aim to charge you hundreds or thousands to fix your credit record. "Anything you can legally do to repair it you can legally do for free," says Cunningham. Of course, if you're not willing or dedicated enough to write those letters and follow up with the credit-reporting agencies, paying someone else to do it for you may not be such a bad idea. Better to have someone dispute the errors rather than no one. But be extremely careful in selecting such an organization -- try to get referrals and seek out others who have been satisfied with the service.

Bad Habit No. 3: Failing to alert creditors about a financial hardship.
You heard the rumor: Layoffs are coming to a department near you next week.

Don't wait until it happens to worry about how to pay your bills. Do some damage control right away.

Try this: "The best time to negotiate is before the problem spirals downhill," says Cunningham. Call the credit card company and explain the problem you're about to have. Ask if they could temporarily lower your interest rate or extend your payment deadline. Some issuers have in-house help programs that provide such short-term services to customers.

Bad Habit No. 4: Thinking of "budget" as a dirty word.
The word may call to mind tedious self-trickery meant for those with low incomes, but everyone could benefit from deciding on certain amounts for spending and sticking to the amount no matter what. It also makes sense to budget for known future expenses, such as quarterly insurance premiums, college textbooks and rent. Not saving up in advance means you'll have to charge expenses or cut into funds set aside for necessities. Budget these fixed costs while you can handle small financial pinches.

Try this: To find out what's draining your finances, keep track of where your money goes for a month. Use a spreadsheet, financial software or a pen and paper and categorize your expenses. Doing this will reveal whether you're spending too much on expenses you could trim, such as restaurant outings and gas. Then you can consider cooking at home more often or consolidating driving trips. Cut back as necessary without cutting out expenses important to you. Cunningham suggests that if you enjoy watching TV, but don't tune in to a majority of the 300-plus channels you have, consider cutting back on your cable package instead of cutting out TV altogether.

For a detailed household spending plan, try our home budget work sheet. Or, get help creating a budget with our budget calculator. Plan for future costs by figuring out the total amount you'll owe and divide by the number of months you have until that day, says Cunningham. If you have money due next month, divide by the number of weeks you have and save that amount every week.

Bad Habit No. 5: Using retail store credit cards to make use of discounts.
Chances are, that card carries a high interest rate you'll be forced to deal with if you don't pay off your balance each month.

Try this: If you must charge your purchase, use your general-purpose credit card, says Cunningham. If you can't pay off the balance, at least you'll pay a lower interest rate. Limit the total number of credit cards you have to just two, if you can: one you can pay off each month and one with a low interest rate for those large purchases you'll pay back over time.

Bad Habit No. 6: Procrastinating on creating an emergency fund.
Learn to save for financial emergencies. Even if you feel robust and invincible, a single emergency room trip or car accident could force you to put large balances on credit cards, causing interest to accrue and more debt to pile up. "That rainy day will happen," Cunningham says. "It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when." If your tire goes flat and you can't pay upfront for the replacement, for instance, you're stuck with charging it or reducing funds earmarked for necessities. That's where the emergency fund fits in.

Try this: Maintain an emergency fund of at least three to six months' worth of living expenses, and keep your insurance policies up to date. Work toward that goal by socking away 10 percent of your take-home pay each month in a liquid savings account, says Cunningham. If you receive a raise or bonus, add that money to savings. Since you're not used to the extra cash flow, you won't miss it.

Bad Habit No. 7: Denying yourself a financial education.
Trial and error makes for the best money lessons. If you've ever been wronged by a car dealership, applied for a credit card to get a discount on merchandise or threw away a receipt for a major purchase you needed later, you've made preventable money mistakes.

Education can make all the difference. "We find that few consumers have received financial education in schools or at home," says Cunningham. People are relying on their own judgment or their peers' advice for major money decisions. Unfortunately, the advice given isn't always sound or unbiased.

Try this: When faced with a financial decision new to you, get educated before you take action. If you've never had a credit card before, go online and learn how they work and what kind of card you need. If you're new to investing, research investment types and the potential risks and returns associated with them. If you want to save for your child's college tuition, learn about the best savings plans now. Research takes time and patience, but it will save money.

Bad Habit No. 8: Charging purchases instead of paying in cash or with a debit card.
How many times have you charged services or merchandise when you had the money to pay with cash or debit? Insignificant purchases of $20 and $30 made several times over can quickly add up, particularly if you already carry a balance. Balances you can't pay off each month mean paying interest charges and, subsequently, more money for items you could have bought outright, interest-free.

Try this: Make a habit of paying for purchases under $50 with cash, debit or check. Knowing that the money has to clear the bank sooner could help curb your spending habits. Just be sure to check your balance regularly to ensure that you have enough funds.

Bad Habit No. 9: Making credit payments late.
After all, it's only a $39 late fee. Besides wasting money you could've put toward the balance, a payment that arrives at least 30 days past due can throw your account into default and triple your interest rate. Plus, other creditors may start charging you a default interest rate as well, thanks to a universal default clause buried in your contract. "Creditors are constantly reviewing your credit activity, and if they see you falling behind with one creditor, even if you have a perfect payment history with them, they can raise your interest rate," Cunningham says.

Try this: On a calendar, mark upcoming paydays and payments that should come out of that paycheck, she says. If you're mailing payments, send them seven to 10 business days in advance. Better yet, sign up for online bill pay. Just check that the address on file and the address on the statement match, or the payment might not arrive on time. If you're still late, call the creditor, explain the situation and ask them to forgive the late fee. Check your credit report and be sure the information shows up correctly.

Bad Habit No. 10: Making the minimum payment only.
Paying the minimum is better than paying nothing, but it doesn't do much to pay off most balances and forces you to keep paying interest. By paying interest on interest, you lose any savings from buying a dress on sale, Cunningham says.

Try this: If you can afford to pay more or in full, go ahead and pay as much of the balance as you can. You never know when you're going to have a tough month. Pay in full every month and you can avoid interest charges altogether.

Or, if paying more than the minimum proves difficult, consider working an extra part-time job or decreasing your expenses -- or both, says Cunningham. Put all of your extra earnings toward the debt. Use our minimum payment calculator to see how much you're saving in interest charges.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Garlic Crusted Chicken Breast with Summer Butter Sauce

Garlic Crusted Chicken Breast with Summer Butter Sauce

Recipe By :Jeff Bacon CEC CCA AAC
Serving Size : 6 Preparation Time :1:00

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
2 1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast --pounded to even thickness
2 each garlic cloves -- minced
1 ounce parmesan cheese -- preferably cut from chunk
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups flour
4 ounces water
2 each eggs
1 teaspoon salt
4 slices crusty rolls – or bread to make 2 cups
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, oil-packed --or dried
1/2 cup fresh parsley -- chopped
1 cup White wine
2 tablespoons lemon juice
8 ounces butter
1 pinch salt and pepper -- to taste

Pound (6) 6 ounce breast halves until even thickness, slightly less than 1/2 inch thick

Toast bread slices slightly then add to processor with garlic, cheese, ¼ cup of parsley, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper grind until coarse crumbs are formed

Beat eggs into the water to make an egg wash

Dredge chicken in flour then dip in egg then into crumb mixture. Set aside

Heat oil in large non stick skillet

Cook breasts in skillet until golden brown on both sides. Finish in hot oven (about 7 minutes)

While breasts are cooking, reduce white wine and shallots in a shallow sauce pan to about 1/2 its original volume. 1/2 cup

Reduce heat, add sundried tomato and parsley. Add in juice of 1 lemon and remove from heat

Swirl in butter off heat until all is incorporated and sauce thickens slightly.

Adjust seasoning and serve sauce over sliced chicken breast

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 897 Calories; 48g Fat (50.0% calories from fat); 52g Protein; 56g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 248mg Cholesterol; 1833mg Sodium.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Couple of Cool Contests

The Food Network has a new addition to their website called "Let's Eat In". They offer time saving tips and recipes for the kitchen plus they are offering a chance to win kitchen appliances from Whirlpool and Newman's Own products. Here's a link:

Hyatt Resorts is giving away some awesome summer vacations on their website:

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Birthday Freebies!

I was browsing my favorite cheapie website,, and came acorss this very handy list of restaurants that will send you coupons for free stuff on your birthday. If you don't mind getting regular email form these restaurants (how hard is it to hit delete?) they'll reward you on your special day, and possibly other times through the year as well. The original list had lots of restaurants that are not in this area and I have tried to weed those out. Sorry if I missed a few. Enjoy!

Special Offer for your birthday

Free ice cream on your birthday and a discount on birthday cake

Bruster's Ice Cream
Receive sweet reward

Chuck E. Cheese's
Receive our best one-time special offer plus exclusive coupons,
promotions and birthday specials.

Cold Stone Creamery
Free Creation on your birthday

Receive coupon for $10 off $25 or more purchase

Fire Mountain Grill
Receive a Birthday coupon, an eClub Anniversary coupon.
Plus, get a free buffet meal just for joining.

Fudds Club members receive special offer and discounts

Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon
Receive birthday gift

LongHorn Steakhouse
Receive a complimentary appetizer

The Melting Pot
Free Chocolate Fondue for 2

Moe's Southwest Grill
Free Moe’s entrée

O'Charley's Restaurant
Receive a gift for joining and on your birthday

Orange Julius
An e-mail coupon for a BOGO Free 20 oz. Julius Fruit Smoothie and coupon for your birthday

Qdoba Mexican Grill
Receive a voucher for free chips n' salsa and a big surprise on your birthday

Red Lobster
Receive a birthday gift

Red Robin
Receive a gift for joining and a Free Burger on your birthday

Romano's Macaroni Grill
Receive a Free Appetizer

Ruby Tuesday
Receive a birthday gift

Texas Roadhouse
Receive a delicious gift

T.G.I. Friday's
Free appetizer

Zax Mail™ Club receive Free Meal Deal Coupon

Zax Kidz™ Club receive Free cookie Card and Free Meal for Birthday

Friday, June 06, 2008

Another Hair-a-Thon!

Once again WBFJ and Mike Todd Serenity Salon and Spa in Winston-Salem are partnering up to bring you the Locks of Love "Hair-a-thon" on Monday, June 16. If you have at least 10 inches of hair that you'd like to donate to Locks of Love, we'd love to see you there! Here's your chance to not only donate hair to a very worthy cause, but you'll also get a free shampoo and finished hair cut from the professional stylists at Mike Todd Serenity Salon. Plus, Verne and I from the Family Friendly Morning Show will be there broadcasting live and having lots of fun!

The event runs from 8-5 on June 16. Walk-ins will be accepted if possible, but a reservation will hold your spot. Call Mike Todd Serenity Salon at 774-8999 to make a reservation. Women, Kids and even Men who have at least 10 inches of hair to donate are welcome. For details about hair donation visit Locks of Love . For more info about Mike Todd Serenity Salon and Spa visit their website: .

If you have any other questions, feel free to email me: .

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Summer Skin Care and a Sale on Sunblock

Thanks to Dr. David Spencer from Piedmont Cosmetic Surgery and Dermatology for joining us on the Morning Show today to talk about summer skin protection and skin cancer prevention. To contact Dr. Spencer here is his contact information:

Winston Salem:
765 Highland Oaks Dr., Suite 100
Winston Salem, NC 27103
Phone 336-760-4004
Fax 336-760-6632
Toll Free: 888-473-0218

Mount Airy:
911 Worth Street .
Mt. Airy, NC 27030
Phone: 336-789-1654
Fax: 336-789-9502
Toll Free: 888-473-0218

North Wilkesboro:
1915 West Park Drive, Suite 105
North Wilkesboro, NC 28659
Phone: 336-667-3708
Fax: 336-667-3235
Toll Free: 888-473-0218


Also...Good News! Aldi will have Banana Boat Products on sale for $5.99 for a 10 oz. tube. Sale begins Sunday, June 8. Here's a link:

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Tips for Surviving a Sudden Crisis...From Dwight Bain, Life Works Group

Surviving Major Life Crisis
10 insights to guide you through stressful events with greater strength

by: Dwight Bain, Nationally Certified Counselor & Certified Life Coach

Life is harder than ever it seems, yet not everyone seems to be completely overwhelmed because of it. Why do some people face major life transitions like financial stress, death, divorce, health problems, job loss, or business problems with a hopeful attitude of rebuilding and recovery while others just want to hide in fear? Everyone will face times of major life crisis, but not everyone will know how to respond to move beyond the challenge today to build confidence tomorrow. Here are ten things about crisis that will help guide you through the process of managing stressful situations to come out stronger on the other side.

1) Crisis events are more common than you think.
Every time you watch the evening news you are hearing about someone in crisis, but it doesn't really affect you as much because you probably don't know them. Accidents, fires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, terrorist attacks, bank robberies, child abuse, sex scandals, corporate fraud, crime, corporate downsizing and on and on the list goes. It's like the only thing you ever hear about on the news is the bad news! Thankfully, these terrible events don't happen to all of us at the same time, which is why some people can hear about it and not really be affected. Their life is insulated from crisis at that moment, so they don't really think about it much, however, stressful events happen all the time and at some point will affect you as well. If your life is going well, be grateful as you count your blessings. If it's falling apart, know that it's part of life and won't go on forever, so hang on as you keep reading about more ways to deal with life crisis.

2) Crisis affects people of all ages and stages of life.
There is an old saying that cancer doesn't care where you live, which is another way of saying that disease affects the rich and poor, young and old. Crisis is like that too because it's a common part of every stage of life, but impacts us differently at each stage. Not having a date for the prom can feel like a crisis to a high school student, while being fired from a job may seem like the end of the world to a man in the middle years of life. The level of stress and trauma is based on a lot of factors, including age, gender, personality, educational level, family connection, network of friends, emotional health, physical energy and spiritual maturity.

The more life experiences you have gone through, the more likely you will view a major event with a hopeful perspective about the outcome instead of gloom and doom. Life is about growing and crisis events can often force us to change faster than we wanted to, yet with a positive end result if we learn to see it as a predictable part of the lifecycle. This is the process of moving from 'Why me?' to 'why not me?' and is a sign that you are growing beyond the simplistic view of the world as you want it to gain a greater awareness to see more of the real world with the real difficulties that people are forced to deal with every day.

3) There are no easy answers for traumatic events.
"I know how you feel," is one of the worst things that you could ever say to another human being. That is unless you really have walked in their shoes through the same type of life crisis. Everyone who hears about the challenge that you are facing will want to make it better in one way or another, but often there are no quick solutions or instant pop-psychology advice available. Sometimes bad things happen to good people and there just isn't anything to say to make it better, so don't even try to help with words. Rather, help with your presence, or just help with a meal, or arrange for childcare while an exhausted Mom gets a night off, or line up some gift certificates to help out, or pitch in to help pay for a needed car repair, or just remember to pray for someone you know in crisis. While you may not have any real answers, you may have some encouraging words of hope to someone feeling very scared and alone.

Better to say, 'hang in there and I'm here to help if I can," than to retreat in silence and do nothing because you aren't sure of what to say. Take action to do something positive to get through the day right now instead of spending massive amounts of time and energy trying to figure out the answer to some of the questions that likely could never be answered anyway. Knowing that you have closed the door to all of the 'what ifs' will allow your mind to open up other doors of options and possibilities, even in the most challenging of situations.

4) Crisis events reveal your biggest fears and deepest beliefs.
Thousands of years ago the Psalmist wrote, "God is a very present help in times of trouble," and that's more true today than ever. Critical incidents will instantly reveal more about you than you ever thought possible. What you believe about life, money, love, family, honesty, courage, hope, faith and a whole lot more will come out when everything that you thought that you believed in is suddenly shaken. Know that a crisis may take you straight to the very thing that you fear the most, which will be hard, but ultimately good because you don't have any choice but to face it and get through it the best way you can. None of this is easy, but the character and maturity you develop while struggling to just get through the day will last for years.

Also, it is helpful to journal out those fears and spend some time writing down what you believe during times like this because the insights you generate about your own identity can help you get through future events faster and stronger than you ever imagined. This is the process of removing fear to replace it with a deeper faith.

5) Some very good people may give you some very bad advice.
The Biblical story of Job tells of a man who loses everything. Kids, money, power, career, big house, company, employees, marital connection to his wife and every single material possession. His health was destroyed and as he scraped his skin to lance the boils the only thing he could hear was the bad advice and judgmental questioning of his three friends. While it is good that they can to be with him during his time of crisis, their efforts at 'helping' seemed to turn toward putting more pressure on Job than actually making his life any more bearable. When helping people through a time of crisis I often remind them of the first rule in a crisis, which is 'don't make a bad situation worse.'

No matter what you are facing today, keep in mind that while someone has it worse than you, there are a truck load of people who don't even have a clue! If someone gives you bad advice because they have been blessed to not have experienced the level of pain and suffering that you have, cut them some slack because of their naive view of life, or try to avoid them. In a crisis you don't have time or energy to try to change someone who doesn't understand painful trauma, so sometimes it really would be preferable to just try to avoid that person. Better to seek out others who have walked on the same road of grief that you are on so that you can learn from their insights instead of feeling misunderstood by the lectures of those who haven't been tested in those areas of character development. At some point there is a time to move on to learn the lesson that Job did so long ago. God is always faithful, even when your closest friends let you down.

6) Major world events like terrorism or natural disasters can magnify the stress and pressure you are already facing.
Whatever you are going through is intensified by other factors, like terrorism or a community wide disaster. If your marriage is breaking up while you are trying to deal with finding ice or gasoline to run a generator it will feel overwhelming all the time. We can only deal with a certain amount of stress and pressure from crisis events, no matter where they are coming from. If you are totally focused on tuning in to see if terrorists are being brought to justice while trying to care for your aged parents who are facing huge financial challenges, you will run out of emotional energy to cope really, really fast. Better to just pray for those people affected by terrorism around the world and then turn all of your energy toward dealing with what's on your plate right here and right now. Unless you have to watch the video footage from other world events for your job, turn the TV off to turn toward reducing the amount of painful issues on your plate for today.

You will make it through seasons of crisis a lot better if you remove any outside source that you don't have to deal with today. This includes things like being overwhelmed by future events like funding your three year old daughters college tuition or if you will keep your job until the next Presidential election. You must manage your emotional energy wisely today by not worrying about things too far down the road during a time of crisis. Stabilize the crisis today so that you can see clearly to deal with the future events when you are at a stronger and more focused place.

7) Strength, confidence and character come on the other side of life crisis.
Someone once said that hard times will make you bitter or they will make you better and that is especially true during seasons of trials and discouragement. We know that the difficult challenges can make us prone to anxiety, depression, fears, doubts, resentfulness, hatefulness and bitterness. What we fail to think about is that those very same crisis events can push us to stretch and grow into a more disciplined and focused human being. Here's an insight though, it's either one or the other. It's been my experience that people either allow the circumstances of life to shape them into stronger people, or they spend their life whining about how unfair life is to them. Hey, a lot of the good things in life are dramatically affected by how you look at it. Some people view being fired from a job that they really didn't like as a blessing, while others may think that it spells out financial ruin and bankruptcy.

Learn to see crisis events for what they are-an event. They are not usually the end of life, however they may spell out the beginning of a major change, which will greatly impact life. It's sort of like sweating in the gym while exercising your body to achieve a healthier result. The painful process of pushing your body with weights and aerobic gradually activity brings a better result. St. James said it this way, "The testing of your faith builds patience and maturity." To have deep inner faith and personal power you have to press on through the trials of life, instead of just avoiding them or asking others to sort it all out for you. No one can take action to get confidence for you, but you! Get up as you can and move forward so that you can make positive growth in the days ahead.

8) The greater the crisis, the greater you need others to get through it.
You can get through a bad hair day alone, but you can't get through a loved one's cancer treatments without major levels of support. We need others to make it through life and that is particularly true during crisis events. The bigger the challenge you are facing, the more supports, coping skills and healthy behaviors are required to move through it. Obviously this issue takes every positive resource that you can find, while avoiding the negatives. So begin to seek out the counselors, pastors, social workers, psychologists, physicians, nurses, attorneys, law enforcement, chiropractors or support groups that will be needed to challenge the process and bring about change.

In many regions of the country there are hotline telephone numbers linked to community resource agencies that offer all kinds of help and guidance, much of which is free. (In central Florida where I live it's accessed by dialing '211' from any telephone, which links to a live operator who has a listing of thousands of people and places to address every issue from Adoption to Alzheimer's. Another great resource on managing crisis events is through the writings of June Hunt at ). You and I need others and would likely go out of our way to help others if the roles were reversed, so don't be afraid to ask for help if you find yourself in the position to need it. Letting other people help you can unlock a whole new world of service and insight into how others are dealing and coping to grow to a stronger place on the other side of crisis.

9) Stressful or traumatic events don't go on forever.
Someone once said that the often quoted phrase, 'things come to pass' would be better stated as, 'things come to pass, but they don't come to stay.' Keeping your focus on getting through the day and moving past the past to move toward a better place ahead is essential if you want to get to a better place after a life crisis. There are seasons in life and they are constantly changing, even when we don't realize it. Consider an event like a college student moving out of their parents home to their first apartment. If that young person is prepared for the road ahead, this will be one of their most exciting and fulfilling times. If they aren't, then they may find every excuse to avoid dealing the logical progression of reality that will force them to grow up anyway, or over-invest in pushing their Mom to build the nest bigger to keep them from feeling the stress of changing roles, (letting go of their mommy to gain her back as a mentor).

Change is hard on everyone, but change is the most common part of life, so when you hear someone tell you that the present trends will continue and that the sky is actually going to fall one day, please ignore them. Nothing lasts forever, including times of life crisis. If you are in a time of testing and trial, know that it won't go on forever, nor will the calmness of those who haven't had a real crisis event in their entire life. To that person I say 'buckle up' because it may be that God will one day take them to some steep places to show that what they said they believed is really true. Oh yes and to show a better way to view maintaining balance in life when you don't have to stay in control of everything that you really couldn't control anyway.

10) Crisis events prove true the promises of God.
For over twenty years I've been honored to work as a counselor with wonderful people who often were at the hardest part of their life because of major crisis or painful trauma. The bad news is that they had been knocked down and thrown off course from the life that they wanted by various critical incidents and crisis events. Someone told me once that 'there is no testimony with out a test' and I believe that is true because I believe that God allows every thing to happen for a reason. However, the good news is that they were able to get through it and became stronger in the process of moving through the crisis, instead of running away from it.

I've seen it thousands of times, regular people facing horrible circumstances became more balanced and focused in every area of life because of it. The crisis was hard, but in the process of just getting through the day they discovered more about what they believed and how much better life could be than they ever before could have imagined. Life takes on a new meaning when what you believe has gone through the fire, because something in the fire burns away the impurities and the wastefulness to plainly reveal what matters most. I've watched people who didn't believe in anything spiritual become filled with a sense of direction and purpose to make a positive difference in the world with God's help. The crisis revealed what they could be, as well as what would have to change to grow to a new level of success.

The hard lessons that come from crisis have long lasting and life-changing results. I've seen people change in more ways than you could imagine because of having a season of carrying the crucible of a crisis. Things like daddy's who were too busy to spend five minutes playing catch with a child become 'father of the year' candidates after an emergency room experience. Mother's who were obsessed with shopping become budget-minded financial managers while rebuilding their life after their husband died. Men who loved their careers more than they ever would love a wife become softened and surrendered to view that woman as the most important person in their world. Women who placed their children above all else become insightful and aware of their own insecurities and need for control to release those kids to become who they were supposed to be, instead of being stuck in the shadows of their mother's expectations. Young people who moved from meaningless relationships and empty jobs to connected friendships and purpose-driven careers. People give up spending money on drugs, gambling, pornography or alcohol to let go of the addictions and grab hold of a stable life with careful financial management leading them to be free from debt forever.

I've seen miracles through crisis situations so many times that I can tell you that prayer is real and essential to experience peace during the stormy trials of life. I know that God's promises to comfort, protect, guide, cover and bless his children are real. I know it because of what I've seen in walking through crisis with people from every culture, every age group and every
background. They got better as they prayerfully moved toward truth and allowed others to help them get back on track to a better quality of life in spite of the difficulties of their painful past. They got better and I'm glad, yet I have one last question, "so how about you?" When is it your turn to have a better quality of life in spite of difficulty? My hope is that you will turn the corner right now to boldly move in a new direction away from the stress and pressure to move toward the strength and purpose that only comes because of a life-changing word...Crisis.

NOTE: you can freely redistribute this resource, electronically or in print, provided you leave the authors contact information intact in the box below.

About the Author:
Dwight Bain is a Nationally Certified Counselor & Certified Family Law Mediator in practice since 1984 with a primary focus on solving crisis events and managing major change. Critical Incident Stress Management expert with the Orange County Sheriffs Office, founder of and trainer for over 1,500 business groups on the topic of making strategic change to overcome major stress- both personally & professionally. He is a professional member of the National Speakers Association and partners with corporations and organizations to make a positive difference in our culture.

Access more complimentary counseling and coaching resources from The LifeWorks Group by visiting their extensive posting of blog's and special reports designed to save you time by strategically solving problems at

Monday, June 02, 2008

Triad Community Kitchen Graduation

Congratulations to Chef Jef Bacon and the Eta Class of Traid Community Kitchen. The class graduates today. Chef Jeff reports that 2 of the graduates already have jobs and the others have great prospects!

Students who attend Triad Community Kitchen’s free, 10-week culinary training program - the only one of its kind in Northwest NC, are referred by program partners like Goodwill Industries of Northwest NC and generally are underemployed or unemployed and in some cases homeless. Throughout the 10-week session, students have the opportunity to “give back” to Second Harvest Food Bank as they use donated and purchased food to produce vacuum sealed, ready-to-heat meals in bags for distribution to our partner agencies. The ultimate goal for graduates of the program is to secure sustainable, gainful employment in the understaffed food service and hospitality industries.

Under the direction of Chef Jeff Bacon, a certified executive chef, students participate in a ten-week curriculum designed by Guilford Technical College's Culinary Program. The class is offered at no charge to the student and bus passes are available. Students are trained and certified in ServSafe® sanitation and learn basic culinary skills, knife skills, kitchen safety, mass food production and cook chill technology. Real world job experience is gained through a one-week internship with a local food service organization or restaurant, preparing participants for sustainable, gainful employment in the under staffed food service and hospitality industries.

Overcoming the barriers to employment that many Triad Community Kitchen students have faced is an important key to their ultimate success. For this reason, the program incorporates instruction and activities designed to help them improve their level of workplace readiness. A national program of America’s Second Harvest -The Nation’s Food Bank Network, there are currently 38 network members operating Community Kitchens across the nation, and an additional 50 independently operated programs.

Class Schedule Through December 2008
Theta Class
Starts: June 9, 2008-- Graduation: Aug. 25
Iota Class Starts: Sept. 2, 2008-- Graduation: Nov. 10
Kappa Class Starts:Nov. 17, 2008-- Graduation: Feb. 9

For general questions about the program, contact Program Director/Executive Chef Jeff Bacon at (336) 784-5770 or

To apply to enter the program, download and complete the application. For assistance regarding the application process, contact Ms. Rosa Williams at Goodwill Industries at (336) 724-3625.

Chef Jeff's Sautéed Chicken with Garden Herb Cream Sauce and Julienne Vegetables

Recipe By : Jeff Bacon CEC CCA AAC
Serving Size : 6

Amount--Measure--Ingredient--Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
2 1/4 --pounds --boneless skinless chicken breast 6 ounce portions
1 each shallot --minced
1 cup cream
1/4 cup white wine
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon -- chopped
2 tablespoons parsley -- chopped
2 tablespoons fresh basil -- chopped
2 tablespoons chives -- chopped
1 pinch pepper
1 Dash salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 ounces carrot --julienne
6 ounces yellow bell pepper -- julienne
6 ounces celery -- julienne

-Heat sauté pan an oil until about to smoke.
-Season chicken and add to pan
-Sauté each side 2 minutes depending upon thickness,
until nice golden brown color is reached.
-While or before chicken cooks, steam the julienne vegetables
in a small amount of water in the microwave with a lid
for about 1 1/2 minutes or until just soft.
-Remove chicken to warm oven and add shallot in remaining oil
and sauté 2 minutes until soft.
-Deglaze pan with wine and scrape and browned bits from pan into sauce.
-Add cream and simmer until thickened slightly
-Season sauce and add herbs.
-Add sauce to warm plate. Slice chicken and place on sauce then
arrange vegetables on top of chicken.

"2 1/4 pounds"
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 355 Calories; 17g Fat (44.0%
calories from fat); 41g Protein; 7g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 134mg
Cholesterol; 203mg Sodium.