Blueberry Muffins and Such

Blueberry Muffins and Such

Blueberry Muffins and Such

The 1950’s, the decade in which I was born, seemingly was a lot simpler than 2017.

Crime, for the most part, was kept locked behind closed doors. Yes, there was Dragnet, Highway Patrol, and my favorite, Perry Mason on television. However, the real life drama portrayed daily was how to get rid of the waxy yellow buildup on the kitchen floor or finding the right recipe for tonight’s dinner.

This brings me to the topic of Home Economics, that all-important subject in school.  In 8th grade, we had “Gertrude Someone” as our teacher.  I recall having to make these ugly green drawstring gym bags with our initials emblazoned on the front.  I struggled with sewing then as I do now. I believe I was better at baking for some reason.  It seemed somewhat magical to watch our teacher prepare the best smelling creations with precision, session after session, guiding us in the proper techniques of measuring, mixing, testing, table etiquette and more.

During the 50’s and 60’s the Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest was in its heyday, as was Julia Child.   There was no more fierce a competition than this one! Today, we have many competitions to watch –  the Amazing Race, Dancing with the Stars, the Voice, Design Competition etc., but they can’t compare if you’re a foodie.   Pillsbury’s Contest is still going strong if you have the proper cable station.

Since 1949, the Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest has inspired tens of thousands of people to submit original recipes and Pillsbury has awarded millions of dollars in prizes. We are currently assessing how this 67-year-old contest comes to life in a relevant way for a new generation of home chefs.” Ahhh, yes we must stay relevant! (Postscript- The biannual Bake-Off now awards a whopping $1 million to the first place winner!)

Their history began in 1949 when Pillsbury’s extravaganza was initially known as the Grand National Recipe and Baking Contest. Contestants flocked to New York’s Waldorf -Astoria Hotel to compete for the chance to win $50,000.To put this monetary amount in perspective, in 1949 an average home cost only  $14,500.and a loaf of bread cost 14 cents! Whoa!

Each baker’s creation had to be original and utilize Pillsbury flour, of course. In 2013, the big money came into being as well as the public deciding on the top 100 recipes, casting votes online followed by a panel of judges. In addition, categories were streamlined to just three and accepted in stages.  Examples of such categories were: “Quick Rise and Shine Breakfasts,”Amazing Doable Dinners,” and “Simple Sweets and Starters.” Other rules applied such as limiting oneself to seven ingredients (excluding salt, pepper, and water). However, today ingredients include a wide array of General  Mills products. Other perks include the publication of your original recipe in Pillsbury Cookbooks and winning GE appliances.  

Indeed, variety is the spice of life. Some of the Grand Prize winners in the 1960’s – It was all about casseroles such as Dilly Casserole Bread topped with cottage cheese, and a beef-laden Hungry Boy’s Casserole made with dough pinwheels.   Enter an attempt at healthy in the late 70’s with the winner being a Whole Wheat Raisin Loaf.  As we make our way into the more recent past, pizzazz and sophistication appears with the 2012 entry- a  pumpkin ravioli with salted caramel whipped cream!

Other Fascinating Facts

  • There were only four male category winners in 1978, 1990, 1992, 2002
  • There was only one male champion, Kurt Wait of Redwood City California winning in 1996; Kurt was a divorced Dad who began baking to pass the time. He won after making a macadamia fudge Torte, 460 calories per serving (But who’s really counting?)
  • Hosts of the Contest were many and varied – Arthur Godfrey, Art Linkletter, Bob Barker, Willard Scott; Alex Trebek (I’ll bet he gleaned some good Jeopardy questions!); Oprah Winfrey, Martha Stewart and more!

So, if you’re hungry, how about some magic marshmallow crescent puffs, open sesame pie, onion lover’s twist, some fudgy bonbons or loaded potato pinwheels? They’re all for the making and tasting by champions at Pillsbury!

Sorry, no “Killer Chocolate” has taken the Grand Prize…..yet!  





To schedule Donna R. Gore for your next conference, seminar or event, please contact ImaginePublicity.Phone: 843-808-0859 or Email:







“The Passers” of Social Media

Sharing on social media

Those of us who ride the wave of “minor celebrity” on social media have ups and downs in terms of who is paying attention to what, or whom, at any given time. If I took all the data on Twitter or Facebook to heart, I’d never get out of bed. I try  every day to be true to my missions, to be true to myself and ignore the fickle finger of others whims.

Similar to the fluctuations of the stock market, I can have great data in one category and plunge in another simultaneously.  Regardless of what all the numbers say, and those audience members who want to think of me as a one trick pony, (never venturing out of the homicide and missing persons box to spread my wings), I know in my heart and soul I do great things for others every day. They may be small things or big things, but good things just the same!

ImaginePublicity logoThat said, just as in a Broadway play, there are many people behind the scenes assisting in my success. One example is ImaginePublicity  my social media management agency. ImaginePublicity is behind the scenes and professional, performing the role of managing and training me on all aspects of social media, helping to make it all happen and never seeking the spotlight. The services are invaluable to me.

However, one overlooked element is the group of ever-present people I call “passers.” They are a very dedicated group who shares other’s information throughout social media networks. Perhaps that is their special talent. This role appears to be a combination observer, cheerleader, traffic director, traffic creator as opposed to a direct influencer. These people are unsung heroes who I’m sure are good neighbors too.

Let’s be clear, I didn’t know any of my passers previously. I never solicited their assistance. I never knew their value. They just added me to their list. I am so grateful!  Below are three people, good examples whom I would like to thank for this role in my on-line life.  It is high time they are given credit for their diligence and loyalty.

Paiger Swift –

She was the first person I really noticed who gravitated to my topics and selflessly passed on my posts.  She lives in Fort Lauderdale, is a “cool sistah” and is enamored with all things Peanuts cartoons. But, more importantly, she is a staunch advocate and huge fan/supporter for the mission and activities of the Cold Case Investigative Research Institute (CCIRI) in Atlanta. Sheryl McCollum and Holly Hughes are important mentors for Pager. Sheryl ‘Mac” McCollum made the following comment regarding Paiger’s important role, “She lives her heart! She supports the good fight and never fails to repost stories”!

Check out Cold Case Investigative Research Institute, an innovative organization which I have been fortunate to feature several times on Shattered Lives Radio!

Glenn Adams -aka “Wolfscratch” 

“Wolfscratch” was a Captain in the Atlanta Fire Department, worked as a hazardous materials smoke diver with expertise in fire technology and has worked with Monica Caison and the Cue Center for Missing Persons since 2008.

Currently, he spends his time researching missing persons’ investigations with a goal of identifying common denominators of the cases that are solved as opposed to those that grow cold.  As Glenn said, “The most important common denominator identified for those cases that are solved. Awareness is the key.” Analogous to a security camera across the landscape of America, citizens are the most valuable investigative resource for Law Enforcement when utilized.  Wolfscratch also researches cases where serial predators/killers are indicated. “I truly believe that there is a spiritual connection involved when these predators are apprehended.”

DeDe Keene –

From Southeast Texas and committed to spreading the word about missing persons on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and elsewhere, her job appears to be a full-time job by the volume of material that is re-posted daily on behalf of others. She is affiliated with A.M.A.L.P. Ministry. They are a Christian Ministry dedicated to assisting all FAMILIES of Missing Loved ones, and All LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES in the U.S.

Sharing on social media

Conclusion –

The moral of this story is, if you have any degree of celebrity, respect it, never take it for granted, don’t let your ego get carried away for that fame is fleeting and could come crashing down around you in a New York minute. In that equation, people like Paiger, Glenn and DeDe figure prominently.  Look them up. But, don’t expect them to have a lot of time to answer as they are too busy helping others! Yeah, my kind of people!  THANK YOU!

 Do You Copy? 10-4


There are several types of police and emergency scanners used by various first responders. It used to be the rage in the 80’s to have your very own police scanner in your home to monitor local emergencies. We had one.  But what I remembered about codes, you could put in a thimble and I’m sure there are many more these days, as life itself and certainly crime has become more complex.

One I do remember from TV was a show my Dad used to watch about emergency rooms. This one extremely handsome doctor was always diagnosing someone and giving them some D5W.  It was NEVER explained or identified.  My Dad loved to shout out, “Give ‘em some D5W!“and then laugh!

Here’s the mystery unveiled: Dextrose, is a simple sugar that is an important source of energy for humans, animals and other organisms. 5% in water(D5W). This medication is a solution given by vein (through an IV). It is used to supply water and calories to the body. Ha! Water with 5% simple sugar. It sounded so important after all.

It’s kind of the same situation with all of those cop shows with which we grew up – Adam 12, Cagney and Lacey, etc. All of these codes in pursuit of the bad guy. We heard about “the domestic,” which is never just an argument between a married couple anymore.

Depending upon the type of scanner, according to information from Radio Lab there are Police Scanner 10 and 11, 1-37 codes which appears to encompass various communication terms and types of police related emergencies, beginning with 200s-600s including various crimes , Code Blue, Red, Purple, Medical Codes  and still more 5 digit crimes.

So, let’s try this out!

I’ll send you a message in code using some of the terms listed. The first one to figure out the  two scenario and contact me with the correct message will have a chance at a future Shattered Lives Radio podcast! Yeah!

MESSAGE; 1) CODE 2, We have a possible 187 with a 10-33, 10-45C. Also 10-66 involved and 10-72. Approach Code 3.  10-4?

2) 10-23, We have a 505, probable 502, 10-29, Code 4


Police Scanner 1-37 Codes…

Code 2 Urgent – no light or siren
Code 3 Use lights and siren
Code 4 No further assistance needed
Code 5 Stakeout
Code 6 Stay out of area
Code 7 Meal break
Code 8 Restroom break
Code 9 Summer uniform
Code 10 SWAT pre-call up
Code 11 SWAT Call up
Code 37 Subject/Property wanted

187 Homicide

207 Kidnapping
207A Kidnapping attempt
211 Robbery
211A Robbery alarm
211S Robbery alarm, silent
217 Assault with intent to murder
240 Assault
242 Battery
245 Assault with a deadly weapon
246 Shooting at inhabited dwelling
261 Rape
261A Attempted rape
273A Child neglect
273D Wife beating – Felony
288 Lewd conduct
311 Indecent exposure
314 Indecent exposure
374B Illegal dumping
390 Drunk
390D Drunk, unconscious
415 Disturbance
417 Person with a gun
417A Person with a knife
459 Burglary
459A Burglar alarm
459S Burglar alarm, silent
470 Forgery
480 Hit and run – Felony
481 Hit and run – Misdemeanor
484 Petty theft
487 Grand theft
488 Petty theft
502 Drunk Driving
503 Auto theft
504 Tampering with a vehicle
505 Reckless driving
507 Public nuisance
510 Speeding or racing vehicles
586 Illegal parking
594 Malicious mischief
595 Runaway car
604 Throwing missiles
647 Lewd conduct
653M Threatening phone calls






Sitting in the doctor’s office in the skimpy paper gown, all I could think of was,“I don’t have time for all of these referrals!” It was time to check this, check that and the other thing, not because I am chronically, or even temporally, ill. It was because Big Brother Insurance (cousin to Big Pharma) prescribes it is time and because I’m of that “magic age” 60!   People say I don’t look 60 and I don’t feel it most of the time.  In my mind’s eye and heart, I’m really 30 years old.  Try telling that to the medical community.

Don’t get me wrong, traditional medicine was a very valuable asset as a child in the 50’s, 60’s and beyond, for how could I EVER have gotten through about 17 orthopedic and 33 throat surgeries without them? I shudder to think about what they did in ancient times putting “people like me” with significant disabilities on paper in institutions. However, medical care is all about mergers, big business and profitability with insurance companies, the pharmaceutical industry and many others as co-conspirators.

We still have so much education to do regarding the acceptance of integrative medicine and naturopathic methods. It’s a long and rare find to get a traditionally trained internal medicine physician to consider any natural methods to your body’s conditions.  It’s like putting your shoes on the wrong feet, I guess.  An integrative approach takes advantage of both worlds in medicine, traditional and holistic (more at Imagine Wellness Centre).

I lost the attention of the most highly rated dermatologist in the State of Connecticut when she staunchly refused to open her mind to consider any other methods after all of her expensive injector drugs, IV’s and creams failed to work on my plaque psoriasis. I still like her as a person, but I am disappointed that she was so closed-minded.

The best news of all was that Dr. Dalal Akoury of AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center in Myrtle Beach, SC wasAWAREmed, Dr. Dalal Akoury truly the answer to my problems, for she took great care to diagnose and treat the root cause versus the symptom. I am successfully carrying on nearly three years later, despite my crazy stressful life. And I’m just one example in a million.

With pen and paper or computer mouse poised for action, I love the question each time an exam is due, “So what medications are you taking now? I revel in saying “None, I just take natural supplements.”  They really can’t deal with that, it does not compute, it’s Greek to them. They have never heard of the companies or the names, nor can they spell them. If you’re not going to CVS three times a week, they can’t deal. Poor them! I choose to spend my time elsewhere.

And then there’s the health care plan with State Government rules imposed. I am so fortunate to have Cadillac level insurance for just about anything that might happen.  Around 2011 or so, state government got smart and decided to become the health care police for all of the expensive benefits if employees weren’t paying attention!  They decided to contrive a Health Enhancement Plan.

From the Current Employee Handbook-

The Health Enhancement Program (HEP)

Regardless of what health plan you select, you and your family can enroll in the Health Enhancement Program (HEP). HEP encourages employees and their enrolled family members to take charge of their health and health care by following health guidelines defined by the program. By signing up for HEP, you can save $100 per month in premiums and become eligible for waiver of an annual in-network deductible of $350 per member (up to a maximum of $1400 per family).

From the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (i.e. Unions)

This voluntary enhancement program shall be made available to all state employees and retirees (including all enrolled dependents) during each open enrollment as part of all of the Point of Enrollment and Point of Service plans currently available. 

It shall include a written commitment) to the requirements of the program in order to be admitted and remain admitted to the program, including agreed upon health assessments and screenings designed to provide early diagnosis and appropriate information to patients so that they and their doctors can choose the best treatment of any illness; This program is designed to enhance the ability of patients with their doctors to make the most informed decisions about staying healthy, and, if ill, to treat their illness.

They set up a plan in which you can track your progress with a timeline.  What fun!  If you have one of “The Big 5” and don’t pay attention, you will be fined each month.

i. Diabetes, both Type 1 and 2

ii. Asthma and COPD –Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

iii. Heart failure/heart disease

iv. Hyperlipidemia- Hyperlipidiemia is a mouthful, but it’s really just a fancy word for too many lipids – or fats – in the blood.  That can cover many conditions, but for most people, it comes down to two well-known terms: high cholesterol and high triglycerides.

v. Hypertension- High Blood Pressure

Analogy –

In concept, I agree with this plan. It’s almost like trying to keep track of multiple offenders in the criminal justice system. If you can nip marijuana in the bud, potentially no escalation to heroin. If you can reform someone who steals a car, perhaps you will have less homicide – in theory. If you can get your cholesterol levels down, less chance to have a heart attack or CVA-stroke. Genetics also plays a role whether you have “the disease” or not, if it’s in the family you must be tested!  Hmmm… Think about George Burns, smoking cigars well into his 90’s. Genetics is the magic formula.

Donna R. Gore

Not so bad for 60!

Back to my Exam – As someone told me, “You’re in the system, they’ve got you.” Recommended examples for someone my age in good health with my family profile:   Mammogram, Colonoscopy, Blood levels for Cholesterol, Bone Density Scan.

When I can fit them in, I’m doing it “just because” and I don’t want to miss something bad!  I don’t want to have a devastating  surprise, but that would be a fatalist’s point of view. I prefer to be optimistic. After all, the law of averages says that I have had enough health problems on paper for ten people, so I’m not worried. But, I’d rather be writing, helping crime victims or a million other things.

Age is just a state of mind, anyway!