Seeing Red

Most farmers’ markets are only getting started this month, “setting up shop” in asphalt parking lots across the United States. But here in Danville, where our farmers’ market thrives year ‘round, we’re merely picking up speed. Tender young veggies abound, along with a seasonal kaleidoscope of locally-grown sweeties: look for plump apricots, luscious cherries, and juicy cantaloupe. And strawberries. O, those beautiful berries!

Some foods are so perfect in their natural state that it’s a shame to mess with them too much. Take farm-fresh strawberries, for instance. Oh sure, you can boil them up for jam or jelly. Or toss them with rhubarb for a rosy pie filling that tastes of spring. You can bake them into an airy soufflé or freeze them into icy sorbets. All very nice. Or you can just grab one by its little green cap and pop it into in your mouth…and the taste sensation probably won’t be any less spectacular.

But this month ushers in times—like a Memorial Day cookout, a bridal shower, or graduation party—when you feel the urge to gild the lily and showcase spring’s perfect strawberries in an original way… without spending hours in the kitchen. The following recipe could be the answer.

This two-part spread is a study in contrasts: warm, oozy cheese topped with cool, sweet-tart strawberries, made even more irresistible with the bite of fresh ginger, the mild heat of jalapeño, and the refreshing sensation of lime and mint. Best of all, it’s a snap to make, and feeds a crowd.

Instead of baking the cheese as directed in the recipe, you may choose to make your life easier still by simply spooning the salsa over a room-temperature wheel of brie or a log of California goat cheese.

Alternatively, double the salsa recipe and serve it as a dip for pita or tortilla chips, or alongside a plain omelet or cheese quesadilla. It also makes a tasty condiment for grilled or roasted pork or poultry. More adventurous souls will spoon it over chocolate ice cream for dessert. It’s all good.

There’s no need to wait for a special occasion to make this, however. This versatile, low-cal salsa is equally delish served over plain yogurt or cottage cheese.

Baked Brie with Fresh Strawberry Salsa

Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime

1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger

1 teaspoon local honey

1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 small jalapeño chili pepper

1 1/4 cups hulled and coarsely chopped strawberries (about half of a 1-pint basket)

1 or 2 green onions (scallions), thinly sliced

1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh mint leaves

1 (5-inch) wheel of brie (about 15 ounces)

  1. In a bowl, mix together the lime zest, lime juice, ginger, honey, and salt.
  2. Wearing rubber gloves, remove the stem, seeds, and ribs from the chili pepper and chop finely. Add to the lime mixture; then gently stir in the strawberries, green onion(s), and mint to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes (or as long as 6 hours) to blend flavors. This makes a generous 1-cup of salsa.
  3. About 45 minutes before serving, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the cheese on a heatproof serving dish and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the wheel of cheese is soft when touched in the center but still holds its shape. Spoon the chilled salsa over the hot cheese and serve with plain unsalted crackers (water biscuits), wheat biscuits, or baguette slices. Serves 10 to 12 as an appetizer.

Berry Good Things to Know

–A shiny berry is a fresh berry. Once picked, strawberries lose their natural sheen in a matter of days.

–Locally-grown berries are inevitably more flavorful and have a more succulent texture than varieties grown for shipping.

–Fresh green caps, intense perfume, and vibrant, uniform color are other qualities to look for in strawberries. Avoid those “white shoulders” that mean the berries were picked before their prime. Also remember that bigger is not always better!

–When stored properly, farm-fresh strawberries can last 1 week or longer in the refrigerator. Here’s the secret: Line a plastic container with a paper towel to absorb moisture. Gently pile in the unwashed strawberries with their green caps intact. Top with another paper towel, seal with an airtight lid, and store in the lowest part of the refrigerator. 

–Do not rinse strawberries or remove their green caps until just before using.  Rinsing berries removes their naturally protective outer layer; and their caps prevent water from soaking into the strawberries, diluting the flavor and altering their texture.

–To clean strawberries, place in a colander or large sieve and rinse quickly under a gentle spray of cold water. Pat dry with towels; then remove the green caps, if desired.

–To hull strawberries (i.e., remove the green caps), use the sharp tip of a paring knife; the pointed end of a swivel-bladed vegetable peeler; or a strawberry huller—an inexpensive tweezer-like gadget available at most cookware shops. This removes not only the leafy green cap, but also the tough little core beneath it.

–For best flavor, eat strawberries at cool room temperature.

–1 cup of halved raw strawberries weighs in at around 49 calories. They are a good source of vitamin C, and also contain potassium, iron, and folic acid.

The  Danville Certified Farmers’ Market, located at Railroad & Prospect, is open every Saturday, rain or shine, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. For specific crop information call the Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association at 1-800-949-FARM, or visit their web site at www.pcfma.org. This market is made possible through the generous support of the Town of Danville. Please show your appreciation by patronizing the many fine shops and restaurants located in downtown Danville. Buy fresh. Buy local. Live well!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Butterflies, Christmas Trees & Wisteria

Q. I would like to attract more butterflies to our garden. What plants can I plant to encourage them into taking up residence in our neck of the woods?

A. Attracting butterflies to your garden can be a rewarding venture. A Butterfly Garden is a mixture of perennials and annuals plants along with some ornamentals. They can be rewarding as it can also attract hummingbirds and bees. But for all their benefits, it may not be ideal for everyone. The plants that attract butterflies are divided into two types, the host and nectar food plants. Host plants are used by the adult butterfly to lays its eggs on while the nectar plants attract the mature adult butterflies. The eggs hatch into caterpillars (ugh) that feeds on the host plant so be prepared for lots of leaves that have been chewed on. Baby caterpillars eat quite a lot and will make your plants look as if they are being destroyed, but don’t worry about that, this is necessary for their survival. The young caterpillars feed on the host plants until they form their cocoons and emerge later as an adult. If you don’t want to look at the eaten plants, simply plant them in the center or the back of your butterfly garden or in areas that are not highly visible. But, don’t plant your host plants too far away from the nectar plants. It’s best to plant them right next to each other or in close proximity, as the tiny caterpillars cannot travel far to find their own food. Most species of caterpillars are particular about the type of plants they eat. If the eggs are not laid on the correct plant(s), the new caterpillars will not survive. Hence it’s not advisable to plant a Butterfly Garden over a large area. If you choose not to provide any host plants, you will have fewer butterflies. Ceanothus, Penstemon and Aster are a few of the host plants while nectar plants include Toyon, Lantana, Marigolds Verbena, and Milkweed. For a more complete list, check your favorite garden centers for a handout. And finally, here is an online resource. http://www.gardenswithwings.com/what-is-a-butterfly-garden/host-plants.html

Q. We bought a five-gallon pine tree last Christmas. We now want to transplant it into a larger container or should we wait? Also, how might we keep it from getting too big?

A. There is no need to waiting as they can be transplanted now. You should select a large container, about the size of a half a wine barrel or twenty-four by eighteen inch lightweight plastic pot. Most of the pine trees used as living Christmas trees are not small trees by nature. When mature, these rapidly growing evergreen trees can reach a height of fifty to eighty feet with a wide spread. The young growth of the plant is groomed or sheared to have that “Christmas Tree” shape. However, they will lose this shape quickly as they mature. Their natural shape is more oval or round. You can control the size by trimming the new growth or “candle growth.” The candle growth is the long, very upright shoot that is visible in the spring. They will extend above the mature needles at the end of the branches. With a pair of hand shears, I’d cut the new growth off where the new growth meets the old. Eventually, your tree will need to be planted in the ground but it may be too big for most of today’s smaller yards.

Q. I have a Wisteria that’s fifteen years old. It grows by leaps and bounds every year but blooms only in the spring. My neighbor’s Wisteria blooms and re blooms for months every year. What do I need to do to get mine to bloom and bloom again?

A. The simple answer is that there is not a thing you can do to extend the blooming season. With Wisterias, Mother Nature is in control of the entire repeat blooming cycles. It’s more likely to happen when temperatures go from mild to hot then back to mild. This type of change is the trigger for a flowering cycle. This is more likely to occur where there is a strong marine influence and unlikely in the warmer, inland areas. On a personal note, my blue Wisteria is in bloom for Easter while the pink one blooms around Mother’s Day. Also, the blue Wisteria always has a repeat blooming cycle, while the pink one re-blooms periodically. However, this year, it has finished blooming.

2017 Hyundai Elantra

Sporty& fun!

How the times are changing. We have seen the progression in design, quality and performance improve over the years for many Asian automotive manufacturers from Japan to Korea. One of the lines that has taken the largest leap, especially in the past ten years has been Hyundai—namely the Hyundai Elantra.

The Elantra, now in its 6th generation, first entered the market in October of 1990. It was a simple car that lacked in quality, styling and performance and it stayed that way for the next three generations, until the magical 5th rendition in 2010. Swooping lines began flowing across the apex points forming a dynamic and aggressive profile. Then, in 2015, Hyundai engineers and designers launched a more mature version that softened the angles.

The 2017 Elantra sedan is a total redesign and is available in five trim levels: SE ($17,150) Eco ($20,650), Sport ($21,650) and Limited ($22,370). Most of the 2017 Elantras come with a new 2.0-liter 1-4 with 147hp (26 mpg City and 36 mpg Highway) and 132 lb.-ft. of torque mated to a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. The Eco model is powered by a 1.4-liter turbo 4-cylinder (28 mpg City and 37 mpg Highway) with 128hp and 156 lb.-ft.of torque and is paired to a 7-speed twin-clutch automatic transmission.

The Elantra Sport is the newest trim in the lineup and was my test model. It is a blast to drive. It was designed to target the Honda Civic Si and Volkswagen Jetta GLI. The Sport is powered by a 1.6-liter turbo 4 rated around 200hp and 190 lb.-ft. mated to either a 6- speed manual (22/30 mpg) or a 7-speed twin-clutch automatic (26/33 mpg). To add to the fun, the Elantra Sport sits on a performance-oriented suspension.

As noted above, the new styling for 2017 appears more conservative than the swooping lines of the exiting model. Is it better? Well, that depends on what you are looking for, however, the 2016, with its curvy attitude might be considered more exciting and sporty. With that said, the 2017 overall appearance is very nice.  The changes are apparent, starting with the new, large grille.

The interior is comfortable and spacious with subtle sporty-trim touches inside – especially on the Sport trim. The seats were comfortable with the back suited for more for two or three passengers.

An amazing option for this price group is front and rear heated seats. The infotainment system is controlled through the touchscreen and large clear buttons are available to operate the audio functions including knobs for volume and tuning. Climate controls are laid out smartly displaying temperature and other custom settings on the dual-zone system.

Steering and handling have both improved over last year’s model with a new rear suspension design, but, are not as engaging as the Honda Civic and Mazda3.

Cool Features:

  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
  • Segment First Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection
  • Frontand rear heated seats

The 2017 Hyundai Elantra is well-equipped with safety features including: dual front advanced airbags, driver and front-passage side-impact airbags, side curtain airbags, driver’s knee airbag, ABS brakes with Brake Assist System, Electronic Stability Control, Hill-Start Assist Control, rear camera, drivers blind spot mirror, blind spot detection and rear cross-traffic alert and lane change assist (avail. on some models), and more. Optional safety features are Forward Collision Warning system, Lane Departure Warning system, and Smart Cruise Control on the Limited trim.

In Summary – The 2017 Hyundai Elantra is a fun vehicle to drive. In Hyundai’s typical style, you’ll find many technology features that you would expect from a more expensive model. This, plus Hyundai’s 100,000-mile powertrain warranty and assistance programs make the Elantra an excellent value.

Specifications

2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport

 

Base price:                  $21,650as driven: $25,010(including destination & optional
                                    features)

Engine:                       1.6-liter Turbo GDI 4-cylinder engine

Horsepower:               201hp @ 6000RPM and 43hp

Torque:                       195 @ 1500 RPM

Transmission             6-Speedmanual

Drive:                          Front-wheel Drive

Seating:                       4-passenger

Turning circle:           17.4 feet

Cargo space:              14.4 cubic feet

Curb weight:              3,042 pounds

Fuel capacity              14 gallons        

EPA mileage:              City 22/Hwy 30

Wheel Base:                  106.3 inches

Warranty:                    10 years/100,000-miles powertrain limited

Also consider:               Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Mazda3, Toyota Corolla,

                                       Volkswagen Jetta

 

A Special Kind of Stupid

In recent news it was reported that BART is losing somewhere between $15 million and $25 million per year due to riders who intentionally evade paying fares—“cheaters.” In one report on KTVU, reporter Amber Lee interviewed one of the cheaters—a young female college student—who admitted, on camera, that she rode BART regularly (daily) without paying. With a sheepish grin she remarked, “No, I don’t feel bad about it because, for one, I need to get where I need to go.” She further excused her theft habit by explaining that she didn’t have enough money for the fare because she didn’t have a job.

Later in the KTVU report, BART Director Bevan Dufty said with a smile (that was oddly similar to the college student’s) that “fixes” for the problem could take a “little while” because “BART is not as fast moving as our trains are…”   

Let’s put this admission into the proper perspective for a moment. While the bulk of BART operations are funded by riders’ fares, about 25% of operations rely upon taxpayer dollars. Add to this the billions in additional taxpayer funding for expansion and improvement projects and it’s clear, whether you ride BART or not, we are paying a lot for this transit system. This past November alone, Bay Area residents agreed to an additional $3.5 billion dollars in sales taxes to fund improvements to the system.

Now for a little more perspective, let’s think about how long BART has been in operation. I believe this coming September will mark its 45th year. Even assuming that those “cheater losses” were considerably less in previous years, the executives at BART just told us that due to their incompetence, at a minimum, hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars have essentially been “flushed.”

Is it just me, or does this strike you as just plain stupid? Apparently these losses don’t impact Mr.Dufty’s take-home pay, nor does it affect the compensation of BART management. But it ought to. If BART was operated without the “welfare” benefit of taxpayer dollars (like a business) this kind of operational “oversight” would have been handled in year one.

The sad fact is, when it comes to so many taxpayer-supported agencies, programs, and services like BART, proper accountability and fiscal responsibility are generally after-thoughts at best. And as stupid as all this might seem, there is apparently a special kind of stupid in California these days—it’s those who continue voting “yes” for tax increases that continue to prop up incompetent, misguided services like BART.       

The Great Cadence Debate

Over the years I’ve had countless dialogs and debates about cycling cadence and performance. I’ve read copious amounts of research and literature advocating for high cadence easy effort to “save the legs,” “easy stroke,” “light on the pedals,” etc.  

In my view, if an athlete has not had competitive cycling experience, the ability to learn how to ‘feel’ the pedal stroke, which enables a rider to spin effectively, is lost to all but an exceptional few. Not only that, but there is an aerobic cost that gets lost in the process as well.

Indeed, many professional cyclists who train between 750km to 1200 km a week never acquire the ability to use the high-cadence technique effectively. So if professional riders spending six days a week training a minimum of four to five hours a day are not able to find it, then what hope does someone with no cycling background putting in a maximum of 200km have of mastering the ‘Lance Armstrong high cadence’ model? In my experience, very little.

Yes, there are exceptions, but how many do you think? I tend to train not for the exception, but instead make adjustments when they come along every generation or so.

Many field and lab tests have attempted to show that high cadence spinning is more efficient to the newcomer than just stomping the big gear. Yet the results in nearly all cases only serve to prove that the exact opposite is true. In fact most tests show that tri-athletes produce more torque/power between 78-84 rpm without sacrificing aerobic cost putting them in a stronger state for the run to follow. Any higher and the efficiency is lost. I’ve seen studies from USA, Australia, England and even France that all come to similar conclusions.

A common theme across all studies is that the heart rate began to climb at the various cadence levels and that once the riding novices were asked to hold 100 cadences, not only did their performance diminish, but also their heart rate rose to levels approaching 15 % below maximum for the entire test. The data on this is pretty clear cut and I would hope to any reasonable person, it’s not a debatable point.

So how does this knowledge inform my opinion on using low cadence work?

In triathlon we have to train not one, but three disciplines and our actual bike hours are limited for training compared to cyclists.

Most, if not all triathletes are not ex-professional cyclists with an innate feel of the pedals. Thus the style of spinning may be detrimental to them riding to the best of their ability.

In triathlon, the race is not over once the bike leg is finished. Riding with an elevated heart rate close to one’s anaerobic threshold is not advisable if one wants to jump off and run at an optimal pace. Hence the reason I advocate using low gear, moderate cadence training. Over the years, experience and results have proven this effective as all age-group athletes I have worked with have gone on to make rapid and sustainable gains on the bike.

Tri-Active Endurance is more concerned with function than form. What works for the individual is what’s right. Watching a 100kg athlete spinning down the road at 100 cadence makes me want to cry, as does watching certified level coaches teaching 50kg, 5’2 females how to swim like Michael Phelps for their upcoming tri races. It is not right. Phelps is 6’6 and has the wingspan of a small jet. What works for the top 1% of athletes at the top 1% of their sports is not the model that is going to improve your triathlon.

Construct a plan for the athlete, don’t put an athlete in a plan.

Challenge Yourself

CHALLENGE YOURSELF FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE

Challenges in general keep us alive. Without them, there is little to look forward to. This, I believe, is the same for everyone, regardless of age. When we are younger, we eagerly anticipate challenges and accept them as part of life because we are told that it’s part of growing up.  Most children are eager to grown up, therefore they look upon challenges as milestones on the way to adulthood. For example, learning to drive, graduating from high school and college, getting the first job, and buying a first home are all challenges that most young adults eagerly accept and accomplish.

As we get older, we tend to eschew change and even new challenges. Our perception may be that “change” and “challenge” are synonymous with “failure” and “work.” The fact is, however, that even failure and work will lead us to a better future if we have persistence. More importantly though, is the idea that we either forget or don’t realize that challenges keep us happy and motivated for the future.

Physical challenges are important for many reasons. Pushing your body to perform at a higher level than the usual function increases endorphin levels, libido, mental clarity, emotional well-being, heart health and metabolism. These benefits lead to longer and more productive lifestyles.

Regardless of one’s age, one of the best ways to ensure that life remains vital and fulfilling is to embrace challenges.

The Importance of Deep Sleep

There are many different treatment modalities for OSA (obstructive sleep apnea).  It is well documented that over 40% of CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) owners are non-compliant and 17% of people that are diagnosed with OSA refuse to even consider CPAP therapy.  Here at Advanced Oral Diagnosis and Treatment Center (AODTC), we find a much higher rate of compliance with dental appliances for OSA.

It is extremely important that OSA be treated and that your sleep hygiene is in such order that deep (delta sleep) is achieved.  Delta is usually associated with deep, slow-wave sleep, where the body is at total rest. This allows a very important phenomenon to occur promoting the health of the brain.

Among our neurons are Glial cells of which there are several varieties, one of which has a special purpose to protect the other cells from damage, much like how styrofoam protects fine crystal in a box.  Once the body ceases to have strong movement, these cells shrink to one tenth their size, thus allowing fluids to be exchanged and the brain to be cleansed of debris, such as dead cells, cellular waste, and harmful chemicals like MSG and accutane. This could easily explain the 200% increased chance of developing Alzheimer’s when OSA is not corrected.

Earlier I mentioned sleep hygiene.  There are many factors that interfere with sleep in addition to OSA. For millions of years, when the sun went down, all we had for a light source was fire, which stimulates the production of melatonin, the opposite of serotonin. Now we have blue light in the form of TV, cell phones, computers, games and fluorescent lights. Between smart meters and wifi we are now flooded with EMF (Electromagnetic Frequency), which has also been found to mess up your sleep hygiene.

Eating too soon before bed can also cause poor sleep, especially if alcohol or sugar are added. In an earlier ALIVE article I mentioned that lights ought to be removed from soccer fields so that kids can get a family dinner with conversation, and achieve healthy sleep. It’s frightening to think what the youth of today may face in the form of mental health, as they age due to these many modern abuses.

I am fortunate to belong to several medically-oriented societies—especially alternative medicine—and I see a shift happening today in the medical community toward considering our evolution and ancient history more seriously in terms of health. Changing dietary, lifestyle and family practices, among other rituals, can have disastrous consequences. There was a lot of very useful knowledge in Plato’s time and before, that would serve present day man quite well.

At AODTC all of our methods come from a holistic approach.  Our results demonstrate the benefits.  For more information please visit www.aodtc.com.

 

 

 

Calming Restless Legs Syndrome Naturally

What exactly is restless leg syndrome?

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a neurological disorder characterized by throbbing, pulling, creeping, or other unpleasant sensations in the legs and an uncontrollable, and sometimes overwhelming, urge to move them. Symptoms occur primarily at night when a person is relaxing or at rest and can increase in severity during the night. Moving the legs relieves the discomfort, which can range in severity from uncomfortable or irritating to painful.

The most distinctive or unusual aspect of RLS that lying down and trying to relax activates the symptoms. Most people with RLS have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. Left untreated, the condition causes exhaustion and daytime fatigue. Many people with RLS report that their job, personal relations, and activities of daily living are strongly affected as a result of their sleep deprivation.

Who’s at risk for RLS?

  • Individuals with iron deficiency anemia
  • Individuals on antidepressant medication
  • Pregnant women
  • Frequent blood donors
  • Those who have undergone gastric surgery
  • Chronic smokers and alcoholics
  • Children with ADD/ADHD

RLS has been linked to low levels of dopamine. The neurotransmitter Dopamine is an important messenger in the brain helping to regulate much of our body’s functions, including thinking, behavior, mood, and especially in the case of RLS – rest and movement. Low levels of dopamine can trigger the urge to move our limbs, as found in RLS.

RLS drugs and their side effects

The drugs approved by the FDA for treatment of RLS are Mirapex, Neupro and Requip. These medications (originally developed for treatment of Parkinson’s disease) work by making dopamine more available to receptors. These medications can have side effects from nausea, depression, vomiting, dizziness, fatigue, and impulse control disorders. RLS will certainly affect quality of life, but so do these other severe side effects. Research is now revealing the significant role of nutrition, and other natural approaches to RLS.

Key ingredients to reduce RLS

Both iron and folate play key roles in the production of dopamine. In fact, iron deficiency anemia is a known condition associated with RLS. Magnesium and zinc levels also have an impact on RLS. I personally believe in running specific blood tests in order to zero in on what is deficient in each individual to ensure the most effective outcome. Micronutrient Testing allows a person to know exactly what to eat and specifically what to supplement in order to support the healing of their RLS.

Healing your RLS

Conditions like restless legs syndrome can significantly interrupt daily life, but we work to figure out what the body needs, and provide that in a course of treatment. Through natural techniques based in science such as specialty lab testing, personalized supplementation, low force chiropractic to restore nerve function and laser therapy to speed up the healing process we can correct the critical imbalances causing the RLS.There is nothing more gratifying than helping a patient resolve an issue utilizing natural therapies that give them their life and their joy back.

Dr. Niele Maimone, DC is the owner of Align Healing Center in Danville, CA.  For more information or to set up a complimentary consult call 925.362.8283 or visit www.alignhealingcenter.com.

 

The Next Generation Lip Color

There’s a certain je ne sais quoi to the natural glow of flushed cheeks and rosy lips. Of course, not all of us are blessed with a perpetual glow and just-bitten pout. But the good news is that the makeup industry has done its best to give us what nature should have through the ingenious invention of lip stains.

While lip stains have been around for a while, the color of the stains were never attractive and they were very drying, but now we have available new, revolutionary technologies in lip stains and they are all about modern colors, super hydration, and feel. Previous lip stains were so drying that we all stayed away, as dry, cracking lips were not worth the application of the stain. But with new technologies in lip stains we can now enjoy a new concept in all-day-wear.

At The Rouge Cosmetics, we are introducing a new revolutionary lip product called Genius Lip Color Stains. These new Genius Lip Stains have perfect staying power and wear-ability, and feel amazing.  Our outstanding lip stains include Vitamin E and provide antioxidant protection, all while conditioning lips for continued softness. And, they are paraben and fragrance-free!

This next generation lip color will not only protect your lips but impart long lasting color that stays in place for hours. It moisturizes and provides full-coverage without feeling heavy, sticky or tacky.

Why use lip stains? Many women like to use them because they act like semi-permanent make-up allowing one to have color all day without smearing, fading or feathering. With new, modern colors, they naturally and safely enhance your look for hours on end. Now, you can apply your lip stain and go, focusing on living life to the fullest.

While the Genius Lip Stains are a great way to keep lip color on all day, lip liner stains are also extremely popular, long wearing and waterproof. Our new Luxury Lip Liner Stains glide onto the lips for transfer-proof, non-feathering wear—for up to seven hours! I like to use a lip liner stain for a precision line and to give my lips a fuller look.

For that perfect lip line and to make your lips look fuller, apply a lip liner stain, followed by Genius Lip Color Stain, for all-day, smear-proof perfection. 

Stop by The Rouge Cosmetics and master the techniques of the future with a next generation lip color consultation with one of our expert make-up professionals, and find your perfect color with the new revolutionary Genius Lip Color Stain or Luxury Lip Liner Stain.       

 

 

Hacksaw Ridge

Crazy, brilliant, destructive, genius, passionate…all words that could well describe the amazing Mel Gibson. From his Mad Max and Lethal Weapon days to Hacksaw Ridge, you never quite know what to expect.

I have to admit I waited for Hacksaw Ridge to come out on DVD to watch it.  Did I want to watch it?  Not really, but once again I was drawn to a film that I believed I needed to see. Movies are like traveling, sometimes you go to just soak up the sun, drink a Pina Colada or two and unwind. Other times, you go to explore, learn and see things you’ve never seen before; things that will teach you about the big wonderful world in which we live. 

Hacksaw Ridge was based on the true story of Pfc. Desmond T. Doss, a humble boy from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Growing up with a violent father and a religious mother taught Desmond a few things—faith in God and a strong belief in “due no harm.” 

When WWII came around all the boys in town were volunteering for service, Desmond volunteered as well.  He was told he could be a Medic and not fight or carry a gun.  With patriotism running high, the military didn’t honor that promise at first. Des fought for the right to go to war, but as a Conscientious Objector he just didn’t want to carry a weapon. 

Having gotten married to the love of his life during his first leave, he was off to war—Okinawa to be exact. The 1945 battle was bloody.  I’m kind of a “wuss” when it comes to movies so now you know why I waited for it to come out on DVD.  This movie is bloody, gory and tense, but then again, like Passion of the Christ or Braveheart, that’s what Director Mel Gibson does best.  I only paused Hacksaw Ridge twice. I was very proud of myself!

There is no other way to tell this story. The real event had to be even more bloody and gory. They don’t make commemorative statues out of less. The taking of Okinawa was a turning point in WWII. Long after the others had pulled off the ridge, surrounded by Japanese, Private Desmond (Des) Doss stayed, saving the lives of 75 wounded soldiers.

Exhausted, hurting but determined, Des prayed. His cry to God, “What is it you want me to do?  I don’t understand. I can’t hear you.” A quiet moment; then he returns to save more lives with his mantra of, “One more. Help me get one more.”

Hacksaw Ridge, the movie, is a slice of history; a moment in time that should never be forgotten.  Mel Gibson has honored our valiant soldiers of one of the bloodiest battles of the bloodiest war in history with this movie.

Young actor, Andrew Garfield plays Doss brilliantly. He actually looks like him. Des was the only Conscientious Objector to ever be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Doss lived with his lovely wife to a ripe old age; humbleness was still a vital part of his character.

Gibson’s directing was genius. His film was awarded Oscars for Best Film Editing and Best Sound Mixing. It was nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Directing and Best Sound Editing and that’s just the Academy Awards.

While it’s R rated and may not be appropriate for the whole family, I highly recommend Hacksaw Ridge.  Thank you, again, Mel Gibson.  Send your comments to chastings@rockcliff.com.