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Large In Charge Magazine - Five Years on the Net!

 Issue #58 - January 2009

Welcome to LargeInCharge Magazine

In this Issue of L.I.C.


Raqui's Spot -  with our Founder Raqui


From the Plus Side ~ Emily Smiltneck

Good 4 U Food  ~ Xander


Big Girls on the Red Carpet  ~ Cher Rue


Hot & Heavy Entertainment ~ Stephanie Baham


DID YOU KNOW?  ~ Iolande Argent

National & International Plus Sized News


CONFESSIONS - Let It Go and Confess!

Fashion Furious - Fashion Finds with Plus Size style.

Product of the Month - Products for People of Size

Ask Raqui - Get some advice from one Big person to another.


LargeInChargeDating - Dating for the Large People who are going to be in Charge of their Love Lives!


LargeInCharge Friends - The Place for Big People to make Friends and maybe MUCH MORE!

Feature of the Month

Amish Crafted USA

Specialty Furniture for the Plus Sized



Amish Crafted USA

Written By: Raqui

I had known of Amish Crafted for some time but didn't have the chance to touch and sit in the Furniture itself until Vegas Bash 2008.

I was quite impressed and comfortable and would have gladly continued to sit there for hours.  After doing a short video interview (SEE VIDEO BELOW) with Dennis, watched his demonstrations with the furniture I was sold.

I had not sat in such comfortable furniture and I know for a fact I will be buying at least one piece from them in the future.

Meeting with Dennis at another time I was able to try a glider (SEE VIDEO BELOW) you cannot image what it felt like to be gliding back and forth and not worry about the chair breaking.

So much so that Dennis is giving LargeInCharge that same Glider to raffle off for the next 4 months.  So enter NOW to win the Glider.



Pictures and Video



High Back Slat Chair  /  Outdoor Chase  / Bow Arm Slat Glider & Ottoman Glider 



Anarondeck Glider & Table  /  Stick Mission Bed



Amish Crafted Furniture - VEGAS BASH



Interview with Dennis of Amish Crafted USA What is your name, your company, and title?


I am Dennis Wilson Co-Owner of "Size Friendly" by Amish Crafted Furniture Ltd. What type of product/products do you make for the Plus Sized Community?


We make custom Indoor and Outdoor Furniture with the Plus Sized Community in mind.  Everything from Chairs and Recliners to Gliders and Beds, Because every piece is made to order from Amish Craftsmen we can make allowances in dimensions and structure to fit the customer’s needs and desires at no extra cost. Does your company have a slogan?


We think “Size Friendly” pretty much says it all. We believe people of size deserve fine home furnishings that can enhance their comfort and reflect their style. Where is your company based?


We are based in Lagrange, Indiana, the Heart of Indiana Amish Country. Who works with you in making your product the best out there?


We believe the quality of workmanship and attention to detail the Amish provide make our products the very best in construction. We welcome the opinions of our customers and have taken many suggestions from people in the Plus Sized Community in our attempt to constantly improve what we offer. Tell us about the creation of your products?


The communities of Amish we work with are always interested in helping us create designs and styles. They are happy to adjust their products to make them "Size Friendly". They are always willing to try to create the special piece. Our Supersize Outdoor Glider is just one example. How did you get into the furniture business?


My Partner Joe Billman contacted me about 5 years ago with a request from Amish builders in his area to expand their reach into other than local markets. We sell all over the country and have a fairly good following in the commercial and household markets selling to other companies that resale to the public. What did you do before you started making these products?


I personally spent over 20 years in Automobile Sales, Yeah I’m an old used car salesman.  I also have a lot of wholesale to wholesale and retail experience in my own business holdings over the years. I acquired a vast amount of marketing skills which helped us to expand the market for the Amish. What inspired you to create furniture for people of size?


A friend of size was looking at our Hi-Back Cubic Slat Chair and said we should show it to the people of NAAFA at their convention in Chicago in 2007. The overwhelming response and excitement of people being comfortable and talking about how there wasn’t anything available at a reasonable price sold us on going back to the Amish and beginning to work on specialty products for people of size. Are you a person of size? And if so have you been Big all your life?


I still consider myself a person of size although some have said I am not. I am 5’10 and have weighed as much as 325 lbs. Due to many health concerns a few years ago I have dropped about 100 lbs. I definably relate to the small airplane seats and the problems of people of size, and how they are seen by others. Have you ever attended any of the BBW/BHM Events?


I attended the NAAFA Conference and the Vegas Bash for the last two years. The first year as just a vendor, this past year I attended as a participant who happens to be a vendor. The people are wonderful. I am usually seen at the Linda’s Big Connection Events in Chicago as a vendor and participant. What has been the reaction you have gotten from People of Size at the events?


Everyone has treated me great. The high level of acceptance for all sizes is truly different from the other shows and events I attend. I appreciate the connections and many friends I have made in the community. I believe they are all very special people with big hearts and acceptance of others. How long has your site been active? And do you get a lot of positive feedback?


Our Size Friendly Site has been up since September of 2007. It actually at times out performs our regular web site in hits and page views. Amish Crafted now has a myspace page and ask for comments on all the products we show in our pics section. Who came up with the name of your company?


“Size Friendly” by Amish Crafted Furniture was thought through by many people we knew. It wasn’t just one person's idea. We wanted to convey our interest in providing our products without making it sound it was only for a specific size or body type. "Size Friendly" means all people of any size. Tell us more about your creation of your company and products?


At every event we attend, comments are made to us by likely customers of something they would really like to see. We take all those ideas and comments and go back to the builders. We ask “Is this possible?”, and "How can we do it?" We are just starting to promote a Reclining Chaise Lounge to our outdoor line that was created because of the number of people who asked about us making one. Another example was the creation of our reinforced beds with solid oak side rails and mortised slats with legs, give you the support you need even when you are moving around a lot. Does your company personally manufacture the furniture?


We represent the manufactures, my business partner and I do not make it ourselves. We work with the families’ right inside their workshops and garages on the farms. We have over 35 families which supply our wide variety of products. This allows us to be creative in the design and have a close working relationship with a group of people who do not deal directly with the general public. Does your company make plus size furniture only or do you also make standard sizes?


Our company was originally started to introduce the Amish Products to the Restaurant, Bar and Hospitality Industry. We expanded into our “Size Friendly” line after our experiences in 2007 and we will be here a long time. What makes your products for plus sized people better than the rest?


Our Amish Quality and Reasonable Pricing. Many of the other custom manufactures charge $1,200.00 to $1,500.00 for their custom made indoor chair. Ours runs in the $800.00’s with your choice of hardwood construction, material and a size that we guarantee to fit and last forever. What were the things that concerned you when you think of making a quality product for people of size?


First and foremost: Durability. We know that because  of the way people of size get into and out of chairs, the chairs have to be able to carry the weight and the distribute it evenly.


Second: Comfort and Fit. It doesn’t help you if it’s just a bigger version if it is too hard or too soft. We have taken peoples measurements to be sure their hips fit between the arm rests or if their legs are shorter and have to adjust the height of the chair for easier access. We are constantly learning. We know one size doesn’t fit all.  We want to get as much information from the customer before we just build them a piece of furniture. Third: Style. We want our customers to be proud of what we place in their homes. Our styles are very traditional and not trendy. The furniture will be a welcome addition for years and will always be in style.
 Do you deliver?


We deliver all over the USA. We are continually looking for the best way to deliver at the lowest cost. We can provide curbside deliver for less than in home. We usually quote both. Sometimes I personally make a delivery if I am traveling to a show or event in that area, saving some of the shipping costs for the customer. What are your price ranges?


The flexibility of our pricing is based on volume, woods, stains, and sizes. We prefer to quote your pricing directly based on a solid understanding of your wants and needs.  As an approximate guide, all our Outdoor pieces fall under the $400.00 mark. Our Upholstered Pieces run from $700.00 for a chair to $1500.00 for a sofa.  Our prices are very comparable to a mid to high end furniture store, but our products are custom built. You don’t have to take what they offer and live with it. Does your furniture come with a guarantee or warranty?


We warranty our products for 10 years for workmanship and construction. We currently have pieces in bars and restaurants that have been used constantly for the last five years and still look brand new. Do you have a Financing program for your customers?


Currently we do not have an official financing program. We would be willing to provide a Lay-a-way type program but the construction of your chair wouldn’t begin until 50% of the price had been paid.  Our current purchase agreement requires 50% down in cash or credit card with the balance due when shipped. This is the same for commercial customers as well. They don’t get a better deal than you. What is your best seller? And how much does it cost?


Our Best selling Outdoor Piece by far is the “Adirondack Glider” $357.00

We are hoping our “Super Size Adirondack Glider” will be as popular soon. $397.00

Our Best selling Size Friendly Indoor Piece is the “Hi-Back Cubic Slat Chair” $768.00

Our Second Best selling Size Friendly Indoor Piece is the “Bow Arm Slat Glider” $792.00

Our Best Selling Size Friendly Bed is “070 Stick Mission King Size Bed” $666.00

(48 High” Headboard x 36 High” Foot Board)


The prices quoted here are special for Large In Charge. Please place "LIC" it in the Subject line if you Email us. These prices are subject to change in the future, but should be pretty close. All wood products priced in Oak. Is your furniture sold in retail stores?


At present our "Size Friendly" Products are not available through any other source than us directly. Can you customize the height, width of a chair?


Yes, there are certain restrictions on specific styles due to the stability of the product after completion. We can usually fit most people’s needs. Is it easy for plus sized people to get out of your furniture?


It is usually the first comment made by the customer when sitting in them is how easy it is to get in and out of them. How big and sturdy is your furniture?


Our wood furniture is made with 100% Oak, Cherry, Hickory and Hard Maple. We do not use plywood, veneer, or particle board. This is one of the main reasons for its durability and longevity. If someone has a problem with a piece they have bought what is your policy and how do you help the customer?


Due to the nature of our company you are talking to the complaint department. We do everything in our power to make it right for the customer. Our toll free 877-866-5283 number gets you a live response from me personally within 24 hours of your contact. We believe in “Customer Satisfaction” and will do whatever it takes to keep our customers happy. We are still a small enough company that myself or Joe are able to make decisions quickly and take decisive action without a lot of message taking and delays. If something breaks what is your policy?


We repair or replace it. It is our experience that the most dangerous handling our products get is during the delivery process. That is why we are currently using a new private service, rather than UPS or FedEx. What are your products made out of?


I spoke to our Wooden Products Earlier. Our Outdoor products are made from an extruded Plastic lumber which is recycled from plastic Milk Jugs. This comes to the Amish just like regular lumber and is shaped and formed in the Outdoor pieces. Our Outdoor family used to make Cedar Furniture and now exclusively works in the Recycled Plastic Lumber. Many of the patterns go back over 75 years in this family.  All the hardware on these products is stainless steel and will not rust. The plastic itself doesn’t fade, need any special care, and lasts virtually forever. What type of materials do you use on your products?


All our wood materials are the finest quality of American Re-Growth Trees and milled to perfection. Our surfaces are stained with top of the line varnishes and special stains sealed for the custom finishes you expect from the finest of furniture. Do you have a print catalog or website?


We have a website that shows our most requested products, all of those products and many specialty products are posted on our myspace site and announcements of our newest products are always there first. How can the readers of LargeInCharge help to support your company?


Help us by giving us a shot at your business, comment on our products, Email us questions. Keep us in mind when talking to friends and family. Word of mouth is the greatest advertising you can get.  

Our Thanks to Raqui and

Don’t forget to register for the FREE Super Size Glider

All my best to you





Contact Information:

Dennis Wilson
Size Friendly Furniture by Amish Crafted Furniture Ltd.
PO Box 11, LaGrange, IN 46761
Toll Free Phone: 877-866-5283

Join us on MySpace:  


Thank you for Reading The LargeInCharge Feature

Please send thoughts and comments to


Cover Model Voting


Enter to be a 2009 Cover Model


Vote one of our 2008 Cover Models to be the 2009 Cover Model of the Year!


Issue #48 - Isabel Garcia

Issue #49 - Talisa Hopson

Issue #50 - Stephanie Ripa

Issue #51 - Lakia Tribie

Issue #52 - Nicole Andrews

Issue #53 - Silvia Rho

Issue #54 - Jada Vegas

Issue #55 - Diana Hottie

Issue #56 - Chiquita McKenzie

Cover Model Sponsors

What will our Cover Model of the Year Win?



2009 Cover Model Search


Want to be a LargeInCharge Cover Model?

     It has been almost five years LargeInCharge opened its online doors to the Big World.  We started with 740 readers March 2004.  We have built up to over 70,000 readers a month.  We have continuously given the Big World article after article.  Fashion tips and clothing companies.   Hot events and self esteem advice. Interesting information and cool products.  We have changed, grown and become better.  Online Magazine's are the big now doing better than physical paper magazines.  Any successful magazine must have an online presence.  LargeInCharge has been leading the way.


     Now with our fourth annual Cover Model Search taking place we are beaming with pride.  LargeInCharge keeps our entrance to be a cover model free by using photographs that the person submits for our covers. We don’t ask for an entry or submission fee from our models.  All we ask for is clear good photographs that would be considered portfolio type of pictures. At the end of the year we have a voting for the public and name one of them Cover Model of the Year he or she wins prizes and possibly money from our sponsors depending on what our sponsors give that year.


     Being a LargeInCharge cover model can be a great add on to your comp card or resume.  It can also be a feather in the cap of aspiring models.  So many beautiful and handsome big men and women who are not professional models can now be featured where they will be appreciated.  NO MORE SIZE 20 or 2XL ONLY MODELS.  AGE DOESN'T MATTER.  NO MORE FETISH ONLY PICTURES. We like them professional and in all sizes INCLUDING SUPER SIZED.  There are no limits with us.





Application Process

NOTICE - Follow the Directions carefully, if you have a question you can email me and ask before you send in your entry.  Any Entries that are not sent in properly will be thrown out. Last year time was wasted because people did not ready the instructions. Take the time to send in your entry properly.

Send In the following - You must send at least one of each.

  • One or more Head shot Black & White / Color - in your modeling attire
  • One or more Full body shot Black & White / Color - in your modeling attire

NOTE: the more pictures you send it the better for us.

Type of pictures

  • Digital or scanned pictures only
  • The Picture must represent you in your Current State
  • Pictures must be of one person, no group shots.
  • Pictures of Big Males and Females only.
  • Pictures must be clear with no watermarks. (EXCEPTION: photographers watermark)
  • Pictures cannot be smaller than 300 DPI, 800 x 600 pixels
  • Pictures must be tasteful and fully clothed - Swimsuit and tasteful lingerie is allowed.
  • Nude is not allowed unless it is artistic.  No private areas shown.
  • If your pictures are professionally done be sure to have permission from the photographer.



  Cell Phone Camera small and Discolored

      Picture has distracting background                 

Webcam picture Fuzzy small & discolored


 Multiple people with people in the background

Poor lighting with dark background




Pictures are well lit, clear and centered, background is clear and natural, proper size.


Picture Categories - You can send in pictures for any of the below categories

  • Professional - done by photographer
  • Winter - Winter wear, coats etc. and Seasonal type of clothing, costumes and colors.  Winter backgrounds scenes
  • Spring - Spring wear, sweaters etc. bright, airy, wind blown. Spring backgrounds scenes
  • Summer - Swimsuits, wraps, summer dresses. Summer background scenes
  • Fall - Fall colors and sweaters.  Earthy natural settings. Fall Colors.
  • Ethnic - Ethnic prints and colors.  Ethnic combinations of fabric and prints.  Jewelry
  • Business - Suite and tie. City backgrounds
  • Sporty - Sports clothing of all types. participating in sports. Jogging, walking, basketball, football, Skating. Etc
  • Exercise - In exercise outfits, gym scene etc.
  • Gothic - Gothic clothing and costumes etc.





DOWNLOAD the following text file read and complete and send along with your pictures.




What will I receive if I am picked

  • You will be interviewed for the Month you appear as our Cover Model and remain in our database.
  • You will be entered in our Yearly Cover Model contest to win Cash and or Prizes at the end of the year.



Thanks for reading about our

Cover Model of the Month

Raqui's Spot

     Raqui the Owner and Founder of LargeInCharge Magazine.  This spot is dedicated to her thoughts, vents, and observations of Plus Sized Life.  Raqui's  "Tell it like it is" style of writing has brought thousands to her blogs and millions to  There is so much behind the woman who has brought this magazine into existence.  Being Internationally known as a wrestler/squasher lead the way to modeling for companies and being featured in magazines and documentaries from all over the world.  She has made a career out of her size and personality. Born, Raised and Residing in the Bronx NYC. This city girl is taking the world by storm.


     For the past 5 years Raqui officially moved into Size Acceptance and Empowerment.  With the creation of LargeInCharge she took what she said to individuals to a higher level and made it public to the internet world. She is a woman who doesn't let things get to her.  Knock her down for the moment but she will rise up stronger and better.  Being a speaker on behalf of many subjects and counseling Plus Sized people online her grace and style has made people love her.  Raqui continues to set an example of a powerful woman who will bend the world to fit her, her way.


     Raqui's appearances include, Uk Television, German TV, Japan, Europe, Sweden and the Spanish circuit.  Her many magazines appearances have been world wide.  She has hit American Television in 2006 with Good Morning American and since has appeared on The Cristina Show,  The Maury Show and The Tyra Banks Show.

To view her Online portfolio visit

Raqui Appears on The Christina Show                   Raqui Appears on The Maury Show

New Year, New Life

Written By: Raqui 

     I cant believe that it is now New Years Eve.  Yes I am writing this the Day Before New Years. Putting the last finishing touches on LargeInCharge for January.  My baby, my work for the past five years.  Yes March 2009 will be the Fifth Anniversary.  I always thought it was such a strange month to start something.  But I didn't want to wait another year.  When I came up with the idea five years ago while sitting with former Co-founder Jay and talking about business.  I didn't realize how much this would take over my life.  I knew I wanted to make a move toward helping people of size.  And thus LargeInCharge was born.  In April 2009 LargeInCharge Radio will be one year on the air not missing a Friday Night show so far!  It makes me smile inside.


     Through many obstacles LargeInCharge has persevered.  No matter what I went through I stayed dedicated and others dedicated of themselves. (NOTE MY WONDERFUL WRITERS).  Now with 2009 in front of me what are my plans for myself, and how do I continue on my path? 


     Some things I cant even answer because they are thoughts that go back and forth through my head.  But some things I know I have to do.  So my resolutions are simple and direct.  Much like myself.


  • I am going to love myself first, love my work, stay dedicated to the right things.

  • Never let myself down, try my best, take credit often.

  • Cry if I need to and think of myself and my feelings as well as others.  (I feel I have scarified to much at times)

  • I'm going to let people go, If they want me they will find me, If they love me they wont hurt me.

  • Cherish the people who are true friends, turn away from those who fake it.


  • SHINE - brighter than the stars and strive to reach them.

  • LOVE - only those who love me.

Some of these are sad some are powerful but all of them are points that I want to live by.  I believe this year I will Shine, I think people will realize the hard work that is put in and the love of my community.  I believe that people will know that I do this because of my love for my people.  That is what I want, to love my community with an open heart and to be loved back.  We all need someone to love us.  2009 will be my year to feel it.




LargeInCharge Radio - Weekly Radio show discussing Plus Sized Issues.  Friday's 7-9 pm EST - Call in & Chat in our Chat Room.

Raqui's Cool Links  

Raqui's My Space Page

Raqui's Yahoo 360 Page

Thank you for Reading Raqui's Spot

Please send thoughts and comments to

Super Sized Sounds



     Super Sized Sounds will be a Music Column that will feature those who are in the industry or up and coming who are size positive. Giving recognition to the plus sized people who are out there and showcasing themselves.  Reviews, Interview, News and more from our new writer Super Sized Spanishfly Lynx.


      Lynx Garcia, also known as "SUPERSIZE SPANISHFLY", is a Latina BBW from Queens NYC.  Lynx is an activist speaking out against size discrimination and began performing back in 1996 at social events for big beautiful women and big handsome males and their admirers. Her special mixture of sound held true as she sang, spat, danced and performed spoken word, soon she was in demand by Big and Beautiful parties nationwide.  Lynx taking her "look" and sound mainstream was rejected because of her size. She did not let this break her spirit, hurt her confidence or minimize her drive. Instead she rose up and started a public access show (LYNX' LAIR) aired in Queens on TIME WARNER QPTV . Combination of comedy and sexy style, she showcased underground artists of all walks of life. The response to her show was less than a year she has showcased many artist, some who moved to bigger and better things.


     Currently Lynx has caught the attention of Joey Mekkah of BLACK SOLARIS ENTERTAINMENT and found herself on the Grandmaster MELLE MEL's SOLO ALBUM "MUSCLES" featured on the hot latin hip-hop track called 'DIMELO", she is the only collaboration on the album. Lynx recently has started her own radio show on EXTRAVAGANGSTARADIO.COM  called Ladies Night. EXTRAVAGANGSTARADIO is #1 on the itunes network.





click here And here is the Mocha and Praline Sundae (Raq Place photo here) T.I. Ft Rihanna “Live your Life”

     Oh, my people, mi gente…The holidays are already here. I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving and are preparing for the holidays. Usually I give you some audio treats of the latest hot new single but since it’s the season to be giving I’ve decided to give you full mixtapes of the hottest Hip Hop Artists. Merry Christmas,

 Happy Hanukkah and Happy Kwanza , be safe. .

 50 cent . Pictures, Images and Photos

Mixtape:50 Cent Is President

Mixtape: Joe Buden Halfway House

Before Padded Room Joe Budden drops Halfway House
Charles Hamilton Pictures, Images and Photos

Mixtape: Charles Hamilton Sonic The Hamilton


Mixtape: Sky High: A We Got The Remix Special Edition - DJ Benzi , Plain Pat , Kanye West


And for more Audio Downloads and the latest music videos visit where the latest hip hop news and gossip live! Video Treat There Are Always Two Sides To Every Situation

 Beyonce :If I Were A Boy”

Boys II Men's Shawn Stockman “If You Were A Boy”

Want to send in your Voice in for review? Are you a singer, rapper, or poet who performs spoken word?  Up and Coming, already established?  Contact Lynx through her Myspace page or email and all information will be forwarded to her (PUT "FOR LYNX" IN THE SUBJECT AREA) 

You must be a Size Positive Artist, or a Plus Sized Supporter.

Thanks for reading

Super Sized Sounds with Lynx


Lynx Cool Links

From the Plus Side


Emily Smiltneck

     From the Plus side will be column dedicated to short stories that deal with all aspects of Plus size Life.  Emily Smiltneck was chosen for this position because of her dedication, and realistic writing style. She captures the emotional and mental rollercoaster those who are Plus Sized go through.


     Emily Susanne Smiltneck lives in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (pretty much dead center in the middle of nowhere). She is a substitute teacher, and has recently started a tutoring business. Emily is currently working on several writing projects, including a historical fiction novel and several collections of poetry.

Emily Smiltneck receives recognition in Neighbors Daily Press - See article below


     It is a great joy when our fellow Plus Sized people receive recognition for their life's work.  Join me in this Joyous moment when one of our LargeInCharge writers is seen for her contribution and great dedication to her goals in life.  Click the images above to read the article about our dear Emily. When the page open click on the article to zoom in and read it.


The Adventures of Phatgurl

by Emily Suzanne Smiltneck  

The Adventures Of Phatgurl is a serial collection of stories about the adventures of Jany, a plus-sized young woman who, in desperation, places an ad on a personals website.  As she embarks on her dates, she meets many different kinds of men who expect many different things from her.  Some of her adventures are wildly amusing and others are more serious and even sad. 

If you have any ideas or experiences, funny or otherwise, that you would like to see depicted in a future Phatgurl story, please e-mail me at  I will do my very best to incorporate all reader ideas into future columns.  Thanks!


The Ad

SWSSBBW seeks SM willing to ask her out.  Need not buy gifts, remember dates, put toilet seat down.  Video game fanatics and men who require guys’ nights out okay.  Willing to watch action movies and avoid “the talk.”  Reply to:


Candidate 4: The Man-Infant  



Subject: i need a squeeze!!!

wanna give me one?  please?  pretty, pretty please?




Subject: Re: i need a squeeze!!!

Um, wow.  I’m really not sure how to respond to that.  Do you mean a squeeze as in a hug?  And in any case, with me in front of this computer and you in front of some other computer somewhere else, I don’t think it’d work very well.  lol  So, yeah.  Tell me more about yourself?




Subject: Re: Re: i need a squeeze!!!

yes, a squeeze as in a hug.  but more than that.  my bones hurt so bad.  i need to be squeezed hard by big pillowy arms to stop them from hurting.  it’s the only thing that works.  will you send me a picture?  please, mama?




Subject: I am NOT yo’ mama!

lmao But here is a pic anyway.  And really.  Feel free to tell me more about yourself.  Where do you live?  What are you looking for in a woman?  Got a pic?

 I’ll start off by telling you a little bit about me.  I work in an art gallery.  I don’t do the whole art thing myself, just do sales and cleaning and stuff.  It’s a lot of fun, though.  I take different art classes sometimes, in the evenings or whatever, and maybe someday I’ll be able to have my own gallery.  I like to listen to music, especially live, and watch movies, especially horror and comedy.  I also love to read just about anything.

Oh, yeah, and my name is Jany.  Okay, your turn.




Subject: Re: I am NOT yo’ mama!

i am tim.  sorry, didn’t mean to offend you.  you are so beautiful!  i live in cutler, maine.  i like big girls because they’re soft. skinny girls hurt when they hug you.  and most of them don’t like me.  i work as a janitor in the school here.  i like to play video games and read comic books.  you sound so much better than the girls here.  you look better too.  i love your picture.  i want to meet you.  all I really care about in a woman is that she is fluffy and doesn’t do anything to hurt me.  can i come visit you?  please?


            Visit?  From Maine?  Jany sat back and contemplated.  Absentmindedly, she drummed her fingers on her desk.  What was his name again?  She scrolled back up to his message.  Tim, that was it.  He seemed so—needy.  Young.  Weird.  But he seemed to like her.  He might not be that bad.

            She wanted to believe he wouldn’t be that bad, because she was worried about the karma of the whole thing.  Say she turned this Tim guy down, didn’t even consider him, just forgot all about him.  She might never have another chance.  With anyone.  She went into the bathroom and stood in front of her full length mirror.  Nothing much to look at, really.  She wasn’t hideous, but it took a special kind of person to appreciate her.  Jany suspected that if she had been born thin, she might even have been considered attractive.  But she hadn’t been that fortunate.  And so she knew how it felt to be lonely.  And she knew how it felt to be overlooked, or even rudely rejected, because she wasn’t the norm.  There was no way she could do the same thing to Jim.  Or Tim.  Or whatever his name was.

            She slowly and thoughtfully made her way back to her computer and sat down.  Before she could change her mind, she typed a message to Tim and told him that he was welcome to come and visit her.

            Less than a week later, on Saturday afternoon, Jany was on the train to the airport.  She had expected Tim to take the train in on his own, but he had been afraid to.  Something about people spitting on him in the mall, and he was afraid to be alone with strangers.  Maybe his odd explanation was why there was a heavy feeling in the pit of Jany’s stomach.  Like she had eaten bad seafood or something.  Or maybe it was just a bad omen.  She almost wished she had ignored Tim’s message in the first place.  Too late to go back now, though.  She checked her wallet to be sure the key to Tim’s hotel room was still tucked safely inside.  There was no way a stranger was going to see where she lived, but she felt bad telling him that, so she had offered to get a hotel room for the two nights of his stay.

            When the train finally stopped at the airport, Jany stood up slowly and stretched.  His plane was due in fifteen minutes.  She made her way to the seating outside of the baggage claim area and pulled a magazine out of her bag.  She had only been reading for a few minutes when she felt someone staring at her.  She assumed it was just another stranger staring at her oversized body in horror and didn’t bother looking up, but she wasn’t reading anymore.  Couldn’t, with a pair of eyes burning into her like that.

            “Ahem.  Mhmm.  Ahem!”

            Whoever was staring was close to her, and trying to get her attention with increasingly louder throat-clearing noises.  Reluctantly, she lifted her eyes and peered over the top of the magazine.  There was a skinny, bony, blonde guy standing an arm’s length in front of her.  He looked awkward, like his joints were too big for his bones and his body was made up of spare parts.

            “Hey!” he said loudly.  “How are ya?”

            “Uh—”  Jany looked around to see if there was anyone else he could be talking to.  Random men didn’t come up and start conversations with her.  Not usually, anyway, but there was no one else around.  “I’m okay.  Um.  How are you?”

            “You don’t know who I am, do you?”

            “Sure, I do—alright, no.  Not a clue.  Sorry.”  Jany looked down, her face flushing.  She met a lot of people in the gallery, and whenever she sold someone an especially striking piece of art, the buyer always seemed to remember her.  She wished she had a better memory for faces and names.

            “It’s me, silly!  Tim!”

            Jany’s head snapped back up.

            “Tim?  Oh, wow.  I thought your plane wasn’t due for another five minutes!”

            “Well, I was afraid you’d get here and leave if I wasn’t here yet, so I managed to get an earlier flight.  My brother works for the airline, so he took care of the ticket for me.  I get to fly anywhere I want to for like forty bucks.”

            “Ah, yeah.  Cool.”  Jany had no idea what to say next, so she waited in silence for a topic of conversation to present itself.  Or, more accurately, for Tim to present a topic of conversation.  He didn’t.  Finally, the silence grew uncomfortable enough that Jany found her voice.

            “You—ya wanna sit down?  Or head for the train?”


            “Okay.  Um.  Which one?”

            “Whatever one takes us to where we’re going.”

            “What—oh.  Oh, wow, I didn’t mean which train.  But okay.  Let’s go.”

            Jany tucked her magazine back into her oversized purse and started walking.  When she realized that Tim was following her and not stepping into place alongside her, she found herself adding a little wiggle to every step.  It was hard to be shy around someone who was so painfully awkward. 

            She pulled both of their train tickets out of her purse and soon they were seated side by side on the train, with Tim’s bag crammed in front of their knees.  She had suggested he put it on the rack above them, but he didn’t want to.  He was afraid it might fall and hurt someone, even though there were at least a dozen other bags the same size on the rack already.  They talked a little, but mostly when Jany asked a question, Tim answered it with two or three words and trailed off.  He sat with his back pushed up against the window and stared at the side of Jany’s head.  She fidgeted with her purse handle until finally he turned so that he was sitting next to her again, right up against her.

            “You’re really pretty,” he said, looking straight ahead.

            “Um, thanks.” Jany said with a giggle.  It was nice to hear, but the whole situation felt stiff and strange. She wondered if she was supposed to say he looked good, too.  The problem was, she didn’t really find him attractive.  But maybe that’s what girls did with guys.  Maybe they lied.  She couldn’t force herself to do it, though.  Instead, she tried for more conversation.  “So, did you have a good trip?”

            “Yes.  It was nice.”  His voice had taken on an odd tone.  He sounded almost like a little boy.  Suddenly, he leaned his head against her arm.  Not even her shoulder, but her arm.  He had scooted down in the seat so that his head was just above her elbow.  Jany sat without moving.  She felt a sneeze coming on but held it back because she didn’t know quite how to go about sneezing without disturbing Tim.  Finally, when her hand had fallen asleep and her whole arm was tingling painfully, Jany slowly slid her arm out from under him.  She suspected he might take it as a rejection of some sort, since he seemed so insecure.  He didn’t take it that way, though.

            Instead, he was only too willing to snuggle his head against the side of her body.  He nestled it into her armpit at first, then slid it forward so that it was resting on her chest.  Jany froze, her tingling arm still raised in the air.

            “Um—uh—yeah, we’re almost there now,” she said quietly, so as not to startle him.  Her body convulsed with silent giggles that she barely managed to keep from erupting.  She struggled to stay still.

            “Okay,” Tim said back, his voice muffled by her breast.  He moved his hand up and placed it on her body, just in front of his face.  On her breast.  Not like a man touching a woman, though.  Like a little boy settling into his pillow at night.  “I like the way your tummy jiggles when you talk,” he told her.  He reached out and patted her stomach and then returned his hand to its place on her breast.

            Jany frantically looked around the train car to see if anyone was watching.  She hoped no one was.  Tim’s behavior seemed like the kind of thing that might attract attention.  And not the kind of attention she wanted.  There was a part of her, though, that hoped that everyone in the whole world was watching, that everyone would know there was someone in the world who thought she was beautiful, worth spending time with, someone who wanted to touch her.  She hated that part of herself.  It was that part of herself that held her back from everything in life even more than her appearance did.  It was that part of herself that made her so desperate for affection.

            She couldn’t hold her hand in the air any longer.  The only place to put it was over Tim’s shoulder.  Either that, or on his head.  Jany lowered her hand over his shoulder and let it dangle in the air in front of them.  They sat quietly.  Jany could hear a noise coming from the general area of Tim’s mouth.  It sounded suspiciously like a suckling sound.  She strained her neck to look around his head and see what he was doing; she couldn’t see his face, but when he snuggled more deeply into her breast and started snoring gently, she had her answer.

            Jany was on her feet before the train fully stopped at the station.  She had Tim’s bag in one hand and her purse in the other and was headed for the door by the time Tim was awake enough to know what was going on.  He rested one elbow on the seat and stuck his head out into the aisle, like a confused child.

            “Jany?  Jany, where are you going?  Are you leaving me?”  His voice sounded tiny and trembly.

            “We’re here.  It’s time to get off the train.  Of course I’m not leaving you, silly.   Come on!”  Jany sort of wished she was leaving him.

            He stood up and followed her down the aisle and off the train.  By the time he had caught up with her, Jany was already down the platform stairs and standing on the sidewalk.

             “Wow.  You’re fast for a big girl!” he said, with a big, dumb grin on his face.

            “Uh, thanks?  I guess?”

            She expected him to offer to take his own bag, but no such luck.  He just stood next to her with his stupid grin and asked where they were going.

            “To the hotel.  It’s a block down on that street over there,” she told him, pointing.

            “Where do you live?”

            “Not far away.  About three blocks past the hotel and one block over.  I can walk from my house to the hotel in ten minutes.”

            “Walk?  You mean, you’re not going to stay there with me?”

            “Uh, no.  I wasn’t going to.  I mean, we’ll go out to dinner and do something together.  I’m not going to abandon you.  I can hang out there with you.  But since it’s our first time meeting, I don’t think we should spend the night together.”  She wasn’t about to tell him she’d never had the courage to tell anyone else the same thing.  That, right there, was the point of her ad: to find someone who didn’t just want sex.  And with Tim, she had the confidence to push the issue. 

            “You’re not gonna leave me, though, right?  If you go home, you’ll come back?  I could just stay at your house.  I promise I’ll be good.”

            “I already made the reservation.  Sorry.  I promise I won’t leave you.  If you thought I was the kind of person who would do that, why did you even want to come meet me?”

            “Because I love you.”

            Jany stopped in her tracks.  He loved her?  How the hell was she supposed to respond to that?  She had sent the guy approximately five e-mails, talked to him on the phone once, and had met him in person less than forty-five minutes ago.  He loved her?  She stared at him.

            “Do you believe in love at first sight?” he asked her.

            “No.  Not really.  In my experience, love at first sight is lust, plain and simple.  And that’s what I’m trying to avoid, just so you know.  I mean, lust is great, I’m not saying it isn’t.  But I want the lust to come after the like for once.  Okay?  And it’s too early for like yet, much less love.  You hardly know me.”

            “Okay.  But I still love you.  You’ll see.”

            They went into the hotel and Jany led Tim to his room.  She had checked in before she’d gone to meet him so he wouldn’t know how much she had spent to get him a room near her apartment.  She’d managed to get a great rate on her apartment because she’d taken over the lease for a woman she knew through the gallery, who’d lived there forever, but it was an expensive neighborhood.  She’d wanted him near her, though, so it wouldn’t be hard to get from home to the hotel.

            Tim sat down on the bed and watched as Jany dropped his bag on the floor and set her purse on the desk.  She sat in the room’s only chair.

            “You can come sit on the bed by me,” Tim told her hopefully.

            “I’m good here, thanks,” she replied.  “Are you hungry?  Did you want to go get something to eat?”

            “No, thanks.  Not yet.  Come on, come sit by me for a while.  We’ll watch TV.”  He picked up the remote control and flipped through the channels until he found an old movie.  “Here.  You said you like comedies.”

            Jany figured she’d be safe on the bed with him if they were watching TV.  He didn’t seem like the type that could concentrate on more than one thing at a time.  She laid next to him on the bed, on her stomach, and rested her chin in her hands.

            He followed suit, then glanced over his shoulder, turned to her, and grinned. 

            “Nice butt, mama.  Can I call you mama?  Do you mind?”

            “Would you tell your mother she has a nice butt?  Of course I mind.  I told ya, I’m not your mama,” Jany said frantically.  She stared at the television and tried to forget that Tim was next to her.  It didn’t work, though, because she was trying too hard.  She was aware of every breath he took, every move he made.

            “I’m sorry.  I need a squeeze.”

            Jany looked sideways at him.  She sighed.  She knew what it must be like to be a beautiful woman, now.  Trying to keep a guy’s hands off you was exhausting.  What could it hurt to give him a hug?  She reached an arm across his back and hugged him lightly.

            “Harder, mama.  Hold me harder.  Make it stop hurting.  I try to find someone to love me all the time and they don’t do it.  They spit on me.  Please, mama.  Squeeze me.  Squeeze me hard.”

            Tim was almost crying.  Or maybe he was crying.  Jany couldn’t see his face well enough, in the dim room, to be sure.  Her gentle nature, her womanly instinct to protect and to heal, took over then.  She wrapped her arms around him and rocked gently back and forth on the bed.  For several minutes, Jany held Tim, her arms encircling his body and pinning his arms to his side as if he was an infant.  Neither of them spoke.  In fact, Jany began to wonder if Tim had fallen asleep, until she felt his arm moving rhythmically against her stomach, like maybe he was rubbing his leg or something.

            Then it occurred to her that it might not be his leg he was rubbing.  The thought of what he might be rubbing instead horrified her.  Slowly, she pulled away from him, as if she were stretching, and glanced downward.  Without sitting completely upright and staring at him in a very obvious way, she couldn’t be sure, but it did appear as though he was rubbing something that definitely was not his leg.  He was almost definitely rubbing his—no, she couldn’t even think the word.

            Panic-stricken, Jany leapt from the bed.

            “Mama, where are you going?  Come back.  I need you, Mama.”

            Jany opened her purse and frantically pretended to be searching for something important.  In reality, she was so flustered she could barely see what was in front of her.  She suddenly found her cell phone in her hand and quickly took advantage of the situation.  She flipped it open and stared blankly at the empty screen.

            “Mama.  I need you.”  Tim’s voice was whiny and desperate, and he was masturbating openly now, rubbing himself feverishly through his pants.

            Jany choked out the word, “Voicemail,” and ducked into a corner of the room, under the guise of finding decent cell reception.  Her cheeks burned and there were tears in her eyes.  Tears of humiliation, even though she knew there was no reason in the world why she should be the one who was humiliated, but there were tears of mirth, too.  From the outside, the scene must look like something from a stupid movie, or a sitcom.  Even in the midst of her panic, even though she had not the faintest clue what she was going to do or say when she had to turn around and face him again, it wasn’t hard to recognize how hysterically funny the whole thing really was.  Almost sad, but hilariously funny.

            “Hurry up, Mama!” she heard him say breathlessly.  And that was it.  She exploded into uproarious laughter.  Judging by the sounds coming from the bed, Tim was dealing with an explosion of his own.  Jany leaned against the wall and laughed until her face hurt, her head hurt, her lungs hurt.  She laughed until she was crying, crying because way in the back of her mind she was remembering the pathetic, child-like man who had settled himself so snugly into her chest on the train ride into town.  She couldn’t begin to imagine what he must have seen in his lifetime, or not see in his lifetime, to have become the kind of person he was. 

            When she finally dared to look over at the bed, Tim was sleeping soundly, a thumb planted firmly in his mouth.  After writing a note on the hotel stationery and placing it under his cell phone, she headed for the door.  Before she left, she leaned down and kissed him gently on the cheek.  She couldn’t help herself.


Thanks for reading

From the Plus Side with Emily Smiltneck


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Good 4 U Food

Recipes for Good... Healthy Food

By: Xander - The Food Dude


Just When you Though it was Safe... It Still is

by Xander The Food Dude


I sit in front of my computer re-writing this months article.  I’m already a day late on it’s submission.  Last Tuesday, I was professing to everyone that it had shaped up to be a rather good holiday, despite the facts that I now have an ex-girlfriend after four years and newly appointed ex-friend after 20 or so years of friendship.  No, the two situations are not connected.  This brings me back to “Hey, its STILL been a really good season”.  Fast forward three days.  I get back into town from a job trip.  I’m in the office at 8 p.m., and I get the phone call.  The nurse on the other end of the phone tells me that my mother is in the emergency room.  I do the usual series of questions.  “She’s broken her arm, she’s alright”.  Note at this point:  worry, but a sigh of relief hat it’s not more serious.  

I should tell you that it’s seem like I’m constantly telling my mom not to do something for fear that she might get hurt.  In this case it would seem I’m right.  My frustration level rises and finally hits mixed with anxiety and turns into a nice red shade of upset.

I get to the emergency room, a neighbor is there with her.  My mother knows she’s in trouble with me.  I do a fairly good job of restraint, I mean I recognize that it does no good to get into this argument now (it didn’t do any good before that accident) so why get into it.

The doctor says it’s a nasty break.  It snapped both bones, close to the wrist.  An operation will be done tonight to put in pins and plates.  I should not that over the last couple of years my mother has had a variety of operations for different reasons.  Up until about a year an half ago I was pretty cool about it.  Then, before one of the operations the admitting nurse asks if my mother has a living will.  “No, why do I need one ?”  The nurse gives the usual run down of potential reactions during operations that result in death.  She ends with saying “It doesn’t happen a lot, but we want everyone to be prepared.”   WOW !!  While at first I see this admitting nurse with the beside manner of a grave digger, it hits me that she’s right.

So now every operation I think to myself “I could be talking to my mother for the last time”.  So while she’s in the operating room , I’m thinking that the last thought of my hurting mother was that she was in trouble with me.  Not that when my son gets here I’ll feel safer that I know he’ll protect me.  To say that this realizations affects me is an understatement..  I’ve always seen my job as being the act of protecting my mother from anything and anyone that would scare or harm her. 

I think back to Tuesday and laugh… yeah right, the season is going SO great !  But I look back at it now while I write this out  seeing a better clarity to the situation that’s difficult to see when the demons are at the gates wanting us to make bad decisions.  Those demons are there for us all the time just waiting for a moment of weakness in each of us to take hold and grow fear, defeat, panic, rage, anger, deceit, lies, and hate.  They thrive on our being locked in a moment and seeing no way out.  Even in a season that is based around hope, faith, cheer, and goodwill to all, the lie in wait for the moment.  When it happens, they react and take advantage of every situation to destroy us.

I know what your thinking…. 

This is a New Year Article ??  Well, I get your point.  So here’s mine.

Even the worst of situations can be seen for two things… potentially ending of a world, or the start of a new one.  Not knowing each of your religions I don’t want to single out God, Allah, Budda, or any one of many other beliefs as being more important that any other.  I can say this, that in the religions and beliefs of the world each one of them has a vast variety of commonalities.  One of these commonalities is a period of destruction, then rebirth, then renewal.  The dawn after the storm is much sweeter than the dawn before the storm.  It is the times of trial in our lives that show us weaknesses and greatest strengths.

It is a fact that if things are going good, it can change in a heartbeat.  In the like, if things are going bad, it can change in a heartbeat.  The only difference is that the change from good to bad is so much easier to recognize.  One of my favorite quotes comes from one of my least liked movies (Weird huh ??)  The quote went something like this:

“Every moment of our lives provides us with another opportunity to turns things around”

Do I believe it ?  Yes !  Is it easy to see when the storm rages ?  No !  But the seeds of greatness that lie dormant within each of us are waiting be called upon.  The abilities that we have to survive and thrive are sometimes hidden until we dig deep down to find what we need.

The broken arm my mother suffered (suffers from) could have been a lot worse.  It’s my job now to help beat back the demons just waiting at the doorstep to feed on her doubt and despair.  If I truly want to protect my mother then I set an example that I may be down, but I’m never out.  Maybe someday, it will get to the point where she doesn’t need me to protector her.  That will be a proud day for me.  For now as  when I was younger she protected me with out rest without doubt that she would stop anything or anyone who could possibly bring me harm.  It is now my turn, my job, to return the favor.

In the days, weeks, and months ahead, there will be many people in your life, prompting you with the “bad” that’s happening, how we don’t stand a chance against the demons out there.  It is true that there are going to be some tough time ahead for us as individuals and as a county this year and even after, but there is no storm that cannot be weathered if we know our course.  I hope, urge, implore, and beg each of you to face the future with a solid conviction that each moment is an opportunity to make things better.  Face each day with the knowledge that part of our job is to protect each other with nothing can tear us apart.  As firefighters, police officers, military, and other service providers like to say “Not On My Watch”, meaning that no harm with come to you while I’m on duty.

Be Bold and Brave for each other…  Be Good to each other… 


May Each of you be blessed in the coming year.



Taking Stock Of It All

Considering the time of year, soup and stocks are a great way to get healthy and stay healthy.  In the following paragraphs are some great ideas for making your own soup starter and stock.  Keep in mind that there are a variety of ways to use stocks from soups or even just plain for a healthy hit of vitamins and minerals to ward off those illnesses.  Low cal, and packed full of health, what could be better.  These stock are literally the bases for thousands of dishes throughout the world.

Our grocery stores are crammed with canned, cubed, and powdered soup stocks. Pre-packaged broths have made it quick and easy to whip up a big, flavorful pot o' soup, rather than an all-day affair. But if time isn't an issue, why not do it the old-fashioned way and make your own stock from scratch? The flavorful rewards are worth the extra effort involved. Your choices for flavor are limited only by the contents of your vegetable crisper, your leftovers and your imagination. Stock provides a background to soup, so the ingredients you choose should be supportive, not overwhelming. There are several keys to good, basic stocks.

Best Bets

Stocks are not compost heaps. If you wouldn't eat that moldy old mushroom or aging chicken as is, then don't use them! Yesterday's, or even last week's, vegetables are fine, as long as they're still healthy. The beauty of stock ingredients is that the ideal ingredients are usually the trimmings from the soup you're about to make (leek roots and leaves, tiny, end-of-the-head garlic cloves, potato parings, celery leaves, parsley stems, etc.)

More Tips

Use a stockpot that is tall and narrow to help slow water loss from evaporation. To extract the most flavor from your stock ingredients, start with cold water. Meat stocks benefit from long, slow cooking. Vegetable stocks do not. Quick vegetable stocks should take 25 to 30 minutes; basic vegetable stocks, 45 minutes to one hour. Chicken or beef stocks can take anywhere from one hour to five--longer if you're using a slow cooker. Certain herbs and vegetables will turn bitter as they steep. Strain as soon as the stock is finished.  

Dos and Don'ts

Some vegetables should be avoided altogether in stocks. The cabbage family (turnips, rutabagas, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.) does not do well in stock. Nor do most powdered herbs, ground black pepper, artichoke trimmings, or too many greens. Use whole peppercorns and bay leaves, as these are easy to strain out.

Cool your strained stock by filling the kitchen sink with ice water. Place the pot in the cold water bath, and stir every once in awhile, or until the broth is cool. Store in the refrigerator for up to five days, or in the freezer for up to three months.

Xander's Recipe of the Month


Basic Chicken Stock


  • 1 pound chicken parts
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 stalks celery, including some leaves
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/4 cup cold water (optional)
  • 1 egg



  1. Quarter onion. Chop scrubbed celery and carrot into 1 inch chunks. Place chicken pieces, onion, celery, carrot, salt, and cloves in large soup pot or Dutch oven. Add 6 cups water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 1 hour.
  2. Remove chicken and vegetables. Strain stock. Skim fat off the surface.
  3. To clarify stock for clear soup, removing solid flecks that are too small to be strained out with cheesecloth, follow this method. Separate the egg white from the egg yolk, and reserve the shell. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup cold water, egg white, and crushed eggshell. Add to strained stock, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, and let stand 5 minutes. Strain again through a sieve lined with cheesecloth.


Basic Beef Stock


  • 6 pounds beef soup bones
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 large carrots
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 stalks celery, including some leaves
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsnip
  • 1/2 cup cubed potatoes
  • 8 whole black peppercorns
  • 4 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 12 cups water



  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Slice onion. Chop scrubbed celery and carrots into 1-inch chunks. In a large shallow roasting pan place soup bones, onion, and carrots. Bake, uncovered, about 30 minutes or until the bones are well browned, turning occasionally.
  2. Drain off fat. Place the browned bones, onion, and carrots in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Pour 1/2 cup water into the roasting pan and rinse. Pour this liquid into soup pot. Add celery, tomato, parsnips, potato parings, peppercorns, parsley, bay leaf, salt, thyme, and garlic. Add the 12 cups water.
  3. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 5 hours. Strain stock. Discard meat, vegetables, and seasonings.
  4. To clarify stock for clear soup: In order to remove solid flecks that are too small to be strained out with cheesecloth, combine 1/4 cup cold water, 1 egg white, and 1 crushed eggshell. Add to strained stock. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat, and let stand 5 minutes. Strain again through a sieve lined with cheesecloth.


Basic Vegetable Broth


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 stalks celery, including some leaves
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 quarts water



  1. Chop scrubbed vegetables into 1-inch chunks. Remember, the greater the surface area, the more quickly vegetables will yield their flavor.
  2. Heat oil in a soup pot. Add onion, celery, carrots, scallions, garlic, parsley, thyme, and bay leaves. Cook over high heat for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Add salt and water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Strain. Discard vegetables.
  4. Other ingredients to consider: mushrooms, eggplant, asparagus (butt ends), corn cobs, fennel (stalks and trimmings), bell peppers, pea pods, chard (stems and leaves), celery root parings, marjoram (stems and leaves), basil, potato parings . . . Get the idea?  

Thank you for Reading Good Food 4U

By Xander the Food Dude

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Big Girls on the Red Carpet


Cher was born in Los Angeles California in 1955. Being adopted by wonderful parents she grew up in the city of Encino, and was always surrounded by loving caring family and friends. Growing up with a thin mother, who was always trying to get Cher to lose weight, diets of all types, sending her to fat camp, bribing her, and
not ever having sweets in their home.

Growing up Cher never was lacking in friends and boyfriends who loved her personality and her kindness.
Guys in her life always were saying your so pretty but why don't you lose some weight. This she heard all of her life but her weight just would go up and down.

Cher has always loved seeing others happy and helping others to find their inner self and beauty.
Ten years ago, she found the plus size community and she knew this is where she would focus on helping others who were like her and had some of her experiences and pain that she went through.

Cher has been in the community working with others for size acceptance. She was seen on "Dr.Phil, "Good Morning America","Entertainment Tonight", "Russian, British, Japanese,and Viet Vietnamese Television". Also a documentary filmed at the Las Vegas Bash on the Travel channel, and Current TV, a online station, with numerous radio interviews talking about size acceptance.

She was a promoter for the number one BBW hip hop club in California, and seeing people come into the club and make new friends and feel good about themselves warmed her heart.

Her love for helping others to feel better about themselves and to help mainstream accept the plus size community is her focus and goal. She is Vice President of "Hollywood Cure For Pain" a celebrity movement to help those who suffer in chronic pain. She is now showing mainstream that "Big Girls can rock the Red Carpet"! Besides being a wife, mother and activist, playing with her Chocolate Lab Ruby is what she loves best!


Good Old FASHION Christmas

Article by: Cher Rue 


'A Good Old FASHION Christmas' Celebrity Fashion Show Benefit
for St. Jude Children's Research Center & Toys for Tots
"Models and celebrities walked for a cause... "

     Hollywood, CA (December 11, 2008) – 'A Good Old FASHION Christmas' celebrity fashion show benefit, produced by Jovy Janolo and Cher Rue together with event sponsors, (Global Fashion Network) and Max Nugus Haute Couture (Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Hong Kong), had models and celebrities walk for a cause. It was a fundraiser for St. Jude Children's Research Center and toy drive event for Toys for Tots held at ELEVEN Restaurant and Nightclub on Santa Monica Blvd. The night ended with smiles on everyone's faces, especially on the delegates of St. Jude. Interesting enough, Toys for Tots' Marine soldiers hauled away boxes filled with toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community.



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Thanks for reading Big Girls on the Red Carpet

Hot & Heavy Entertainment


     Stephanie Baham is a native of Los Angeles, CA and now resides in the San Francisco area. She's a 38 year old professional who has long enjoyed the craft of writing. Her other interests include film, theatre, yoga, dancing, literature and politics. Stephanie holds a Bachelor's degree from Cal State University, Long Beach in Theatre Arts. She is currently working towards her degree in Psychology.


Juan Miguel Mas and Danza voluminosa

with Stephanie Baham



Danza Voluminosa are a group of plus-sized women who have become a well-established and respected troupe on the Cuban arts circuit. Their performances draw large audiences and favorable reviews.  Their performances challenge stereotypes about beauty and the arts.  The group has become quite popular in Cuba. Members of the six-woman troupe weigh between 200 and 300 pounds. 


Founder and choreographer Juan Miguel Mas, 42, came up with the idea in 1996.   He was inspired by his own experiences as a plus-sized performer who loved modern dance.

"The first performance was received with a lot of expectation and reservations," he said. "The house was full and some people laughed, but others applauded. At the end, there was a big debate about whether it was appropriate for the stage and whether it was aesthetic or not. But we have continued, and we are breaking down barriers."


The choreography by Mas follows several classical themes, including African, modern, jazz and Caribbean dance. His dances also tell stories about the challenges and discrimination faced by the plus-sized.  And sometimes the performances are whimsical, including a parody of the classic Swan Lake.


"The idea is to expand dance and culture, creating respect for diversity," Says Mas.


Mas says he has heard of other troupes of large dancers in places as far as Moscow and London, but none seemed to have achieved the professional status that Danza Voluminosa has achieved in Cuba.


The group has official sanction, conducting practices and performances in the National Theater.  Mas receives a government salary for his work with the troupe and other activities.

But the dancers typically work regular jobs, squeezing in rehearsals and performances around the demands of their daily lives.


Barbara Paula is a member of Danza Voluminosa.  When Paula speaks of dancing on the stage, her face glows with confidence.  "I always wanted to be a dancer, but I was heavy and never had the opportunity.  Becoming a dancer has changed my life 120 percent. It's given me confidence and helped me emotionally."


"I always liked to dance," said dancer, Mailin Daza, who weighs 286 pounds. "I wanted to dance in the classical ballet, but my mother told me fat girls could not dance. I always dreamed of being a ballerina. With this group I feel I am a ballerina."


Expanding from his work with the dancers, Mas also runs workshops and seminars, sometimes for visiting international groups. Some of his work combines yoga and dance, and some of his seminars use dance as therapy, helping build self-esteem. But the Danza Voluminosa troupe remains his main focus, an unexpected success that has been accepted with enthusiasm.


"This January we shared the stage with three thin dancers in a production called Alliances," Mas said. "We looked for alliances between these types of bodies, in the end creating one body with the bodies of six dancers. It was a call for respect of our differences, not just between body types."


With more than 30 dancers trained over the past 11 years, Mas keeps his regular company at six performers and enjoys no shortage of interest from women wanting to join the group. He also has no problems scheduling performances.


"Most of our dancers are afraid to appear in public the first time, but their confidence grows when they see the audience's reactions," he said. "And while that first audience laughed at the idea, now it's different. People come now to the theater with expectations to see a serious work. It's serious and professional."


For the dancers, working with Mr. Mas has changed their lives. Several said they suffered from constant embarrassment and guilt over their weight before they began dancing. But dancing has taught them to accept, if not love, their bodies. They also say that after a performance, they feel a sense of self-esteem and pride.


“We have always had those who laugh at first, but by the end of the show there is a standing ovation,” said Xiomara González, 43, a 180-pound mother of two who gave up her job to dance. “And this is a beautiful thing, a very beautiful thing.”


Please visit Danza Voluminosa online at




Thanks for reading Hot & Heavy Entertainment


National and International Plus Size News


     I am a former plus-size model and stage performer. I have written articles that have appeared in local newspapers, college magazines and I was a sports editor for my school newspaper. Currently I have a book coming out in May 08, How to Make a Living Without a Job: the Guide to Professional Temping. It will be available online through Amazon and can be ordered through Barnes & Noble or Borders. I split my time between the Bay Area, CA and Houston, TX.


International Size Acceptance - Fatima Parker
with Iolande Argent

International Size Acceptance Association (ISAA)

For those in the know and actively seeking a place to commune with people of size I offer the International Size Acceptance Association (ISAA). The ISAA is dedicated to size acceptance and bringing and end to what it feels is unfair discrimination against large people.

You know you’ve reached a good place when you read the first paragraph of its Mission Statement (available in English, German, French, Spanish and Italian) reads:

The mission of the International Size Acceptance Association (ISAA) is to promote Size Acceptance and fight size discrimination throughout the world by means of advocacy and visible, lawful actions.

Size Acceptance groups are becoming more widespread in today’s world of “thinner living by medicine, self-loathing, and fear” campaigns. To combat that several organizations promoting self-esteem, and size acceptance and advocating the inclusion of the large people have sprang up all over the world. Here in the United States the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA) is one of the largest, and it hosts many functions, rallies, and doing media events from coast to coast.

The smaller, ISAA, based in Austin, TX, is another organization also aimed at advancing Size Acceptance, But unlike its brethren the NAAFA, its membership is not just on the US homeland front. As the name indicates this group is truly international. There are “physical branches” located in the United Kingdom and New Zealand as well as “virtual chapters” located in Russia, Norway, the Philippines and Australia.

The United Kingdom branch is represented by the lovely powerhouse personality, Fatima Parker. She is a big woman doing a big job in the media industry and works for the benefit of better treatment and understanding of plus-size adults and children alike. She not only represents the ISSA in the UK but she also tries to maintain the ISSA’s presence in the United Arabic Emirate (UAE) as well.

ISAA also has an alliance with “Allegro Fortissimo” of France.

The people behind the ISSA are founder and director Allen Steadham, Vice President Russell Williams and Grace Moredock who acts as secretary and editor. She is also the editor for the online magazine “Without Measure”. The first issue of Without Measure came out in August, and set out the ISAA's mission and position regarding Weight Loss Surgery (WLS) and media and medical world's treatment of fat people. From its early days, it has been a predominantly web based organization, and has always relied heavily on the internet to expand, organize and campaign.

The main publication that the association runs in the on-line magazine "Without Measure" and a new addition is usually published twice annually, but not on a regular schedule. The length of the publications varies dramatically from less than 10 pages to more than 30. It is available free of charge to all and it is published online (

Since the ISAA doesn't have the mass scale of some more mainstream Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) like NAAFA, it doesn’t maintain many printed publications. Much of the organization is centered on online campaigns and information, and media interviews. ISAA does keep an archive of printable flyers and leaflets on its website for members to print and distribute, and encourages people to link to its site.

The best part about the ISAA being eco-friendly (no large amounts of printed media) as well as size-positive is that it has offered a variety of podcast productions since 2002.

"Today Size Acceptance Has A Voice!" (Archived), the ISAA Rapport was broadcast via streaming Windows Media, Gia Marciano and Allen Steadham broadcasted over the internet from Austin, Texas in a contemporary "talk radio" format. Gia and Allen blended humor and insight with the hard-hitting topics of interest to the Size Acceptance Community and also inform the general public about size-related issues (for some people, for the first time).

In addition to Gia and Allen's take on today's size-related issues, "The ISAA Rapport" featured live interviews with well-known and always fascinating guests on a variety of subjects, from self-esteem to fashion to politics.

Currently, ISAA's main podcast is called “PODWOM”. PODWOM is the abbreviation for “Podcast Without Measure”. And if you hadn’t guessed it; it’s the podcast edition of official ISSA online magazine. “Without Measure” (WOM). Each podcast features unique segments, commentary plus in-depth discussions and interviews conducted by the show's host, ISAA Founder and Director, Allen Steadham.

Like WOM, each segment reflects a different element of interest concerning size acceptance, Respect Fitness Health, science, fashion, current events and much more. PODWOM's aim is to present each segment in an entertaining and informative way, made available in downloadable MP3 format.

PODWOM's theme song is taken with permission from the song "In Him," performed by the Des Moines-based Christian band, Coram Deo.

ISAA is no longer a membership organization, effective September 1, 2006. Prior to that, membership cost 20.00USD. ISAA has had as many as 2500 members worldwide but membership was never ISAA's main focus so much as public participation in size activism and education.

One of the biggest notches for the ISAA happened in June 1997, when Steadham wrote to then American President Bill Clinton. He received a personal letter in response which is now posted on the ISAA website. The other was an in-depth radio interview by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in the UK in February 2006 with ISAA UK head, Fatima Parker.

Despite being of relatively small size, ISAA has managed to pull media attention, being mentioned by Yomiuri, CNN, Los Angeles Times, TIME Magazine, FOX News, and the New York Times.

If you are looking for a location in the US here are the branches:

Some local chapters also keep their own website, either independent or as a subsection of the main ISAA site.

ISAA strongly encourages members and prospective members to set up branches in their own area.


Thanks for reading Did You Know


Time to tell it like it is!


     This is an experiment in Confession, you can anonymously confess, or let everyone know something that you feel.  Every Month we will post all the confessions and you can come and view them and be inspired to make your own.


     You can send in a picture,  You can make a graphic,  You can just send in your written words.  You can do it anonymously and get something off your chest.  You can let everyone know who you are and liberate yourself.


     Hope you enjoy Confession!  Send in your own check the bottom of this page!





I dream that one day I can look in the mirror and just love myself.






2009 I promise that I will do things i always wanted to do.

My size will not stop me!





This has stayed with me so many, many years.
I had become friendly with a woman through my work.

We would go to lunch, dinner, hang out together.

I'm white, she Black, which was no problem.

She was very large -- 5'10", 235 lbs.

When she suggested we consider becoming an item, I backed away.

Her size--, what?
Intimidated me? Embarrassed me? But why?

She was gorgeous, so very pretty, sweet, bright. A delight to be around.
What a damned fool!

Chris Holden




Last month he touched my Belly... this month he touched my heart!






Send in your own Confession,  Use the email to the Right and send in a your confession, weather it is a graphic you made (NO BIGGER THAN 5x7 92 DPI) or a picture you saw.  You can also just send in text words.  Your Confession can be Anonymous or you can tell everyone who you are.

Send in your Confession NOW!

Thanks for reading Confession

Send in your Confession to


Large In Charge Guest Spot

We want to hear and see your talents!


One of our favorite parts of the Magazine.  The Guest Spot is for our readers to submit there talents to be viewed.  We want to see all you wonderful supporters making moves of your own.  If you write poetry, short stories, commentaries, or just thoughts in general, please submit them to us.  If your a designer we want to see pictures of your clothing.   We would love to include your talents in our newsletter.  We hope you take an active part in the L.I.C. newsletter. Send in your article, poetry, comments to -

NOTE: The Opinion of the writer is not always the opinion of The Large in Charge Staff.  We support the Right to all views.  We do not Condemn or Approve writing based on our personal thoughts.  We approve writing based on if the subject is a concern for the BBW / SSBBW / BHM Community.  Thank you for your writing and please send in those articles!  - The Large in Charge Staff

Writers Search


Looking for new Writers for 2009



About Our Writers Search:

     LargeInCharge is looking for Volunteer Writers for our Online Magazine.  We are looking for Males and Females who wants to write about issues that concern large people.  We need people who will be dedicated to writing columns or doing an interview once a month in a timely manner.  You do not need to be a professional writer,  Good writing, and typing skills, the ability to spell check, understand grammar and have your article sent in on time is what we are looking for.


     We want to bring the voice of the people to the people.  Give them something they can related to and enjoy on a monthly basis.


    LargeInCharge is a non-profit Online magazine which is why we are asking for Volunteer's.  This is a great opportunity to brush up on your writing skills and learn different writing styles.


NOTICE:  This is not a responsibility to be taken lightly.  You must be able to hand in one article on time monthly for a period of at least 12 months.  If you wish to continue after 12 months then you may stay if your track record is good.


We are looking for writers for the following Positions.

  • A Big Man's World - a writer who will write about living life as a Big Man in this Society.

  • Product Review - A writer to search for and find products that are beneficial for plus sized people.

  • Make- up, Medicine and Body - External to internal make your body feel and look great!

  • Inspiration - Inspirational stories, interviews and articles on loving yourself as is.

  • My Life Before and After Gastric bypass - we are looking for a writer who will document there life before and after this controversial surgery.  Positive and Negative experiences are welcome.

  • The Erotic Phatty - Erotic stories and poetry for the Full Figured form.


Would you like to be a writer?  If you have an idea for a column let me know.





Interested in applying for a writers position?


     Send in the information below along with a clear photograph of yourself and one complete article at least 300 words.  Please make sure your article is matching the position your applying for.  If you are a versatile writer and applying for more than one position send in one article for each position.


     Any submissions maybe be used in the magazine as a guest article or other wise if you do not receive a position.  If you are picked for a position it will be used as a back up for your column in case of emergency.


I want to Apply for a Writers Position:


My Name is:

My email address is:

My Phone Number is:

My location/address is:

The position I am applying for is:


Here is my article:


I am allowing LargeInCharge to use my image and article as they see fit.  By typing my name and date I understand that I agree to the above.   NAME/DATE


Send to:


Thank you

Send in your Work to Appear in LargeInCharge

We love our guest writers, they help us to make LargeInCharge more personal and reader friendly place.  We bring the people words from there own peers.  If you always wanted to write but never knew what to do with your thoughts and opinions.  Send them in to us we love to feature you in our guest spot.


What type of entries do we accept?

  • Original Articles that have not been placed in publication.

  • Size Empowerment Stories

  • Discovery of Size Acceptance

  • Romance of Large Size

  • Poetry - at least 25 lines in length

  • Complaints about Society

  • Complaints about what is provided for Big People

  • Complaints about Health Care

  • Weight Loss Surgery Experiences

  • Dealing with Doctors

  • The Joy of being Big

  • Learning to Love yourself

  • etc.

How to Submit my Article for review?

  • Check your article for spelling and correct format, We do not edit articles.
  • Attach your article either in Word, Text Format, or in the Body of your email.
  • In your email send your Real Name, E-mail and Address (state, location).
  • Under your Name and Address include date, and the line. "I give and there owners, permission to use my written article. I am submitting it for there use at their discretion."
  • Include a picture if you so wish in .jpg or .gif format and a brief description of yourself.

Send in your stories, poems, etc. to



Ask Raqui

Ask your Questions and We will answer!

Send your question to Raqui -

NOTE: The Opinion of Raqui  is just that. I do not claim to be professional or to solve your problems.  I can however give you a real answer that may help you out.

Ask Raqui
Q:  I ordered an item from a new online store for Plus Sized People... I never received my order or my money back.  It has been about 6 months what should I do. They dont answer any of my emails or phone calls.
Raqui: I have heard of this problem before with a friend of mine. We continued to call and to email until there was a response but still a year and a half later she never received her over 100.00 order or a refund.  I suggest you blog about it and also contact the Better Business Bureau for there area if you can.  At the very least be very persistent and warn as many other plus sized people as possible about your experience. Maybe then the company will take notice.

Q:  I have a problem estimating my size when ordering clothes.  I know I don't fit most clothes in the stores. What should I do about ordering from catalogs?


Raqui: This was the same reason why I didn't order clothing from companies some years ago.  First check about the return policy for whatever website you want to order from.  Many will take returns at no cost or will charge you a flat rate of $5.95 to return.   Some you will have to pull money out of your pocket to return the item and if you are returning many things it might be costly.


     I would start with a company that lets you return for free or a flat rate no matter how much you return.  To judge how a certain companies clothes fit get the clothing in 3 sizes.  Many times according to the measurements the item doesn't seem like it would fit me but then when I get the item it does.  Always get 3 sizes and see which fits you best, and return the rest.  Remember clothes that are not stretchy will fit different than those that do.


     If you want a little help you can email me personally and I will try to judge by your picture around what size you are from my knowledge, that will give you a good start.  E-mail me at


Q:  I just heard the radio show how can I suggest a topic



Raqui: I All you have to do is send an email to and describe the topic and why it is benifical for plus sized people. I all reply to email.  



Thank you for Reading Ask Raqui

Please send thoughts, comments and questions to

Large In Charge

Fashion Furious

BBW/BHM Fashion of the Month

     We all hate how the Fashion Industry is just scratching the surface when it comes to Large Sized Fashion.  But I have found out that many clothing stores and online companies are beginning to take up the slack.  Creative BBW, SSBBW and BHM's are making there own clothing or mix matching and finding basic everyday wear and night club wear. 

     Making it affordable is what can be hard so showcase your wonderful finds here.  If your a regular shopper, sew your own clothing or a designer showcase your clothing here by submitting a picture for Fashion Furious of the month.


Fashion Furious of the Month

How to send in your Fashion Find. Send a Clear Picture as an attachment

and use the Format Below to describe your Fashion Furious picture.

Email to Raqui:

Fashion Find by: Raqui

Fashion Type:  Dress - Elegant

Why I Like this Item: Igigi - I remember them when they first started and I saw right away that they were an amazing company.  The designs are wonderful and compliment the Plus Sized Form.  Now in sizes 12-32 most plus sized women can not wear an amazing item from IGIGI.  Hurry now while the sale is still on :)






Send in your Fashion Furious Picture and Details to

Large In Charge

Product of the Month!

What is good for Big Sized Bodies


    A very important and necessary part of LargeInCharge.  Find out what is helpful for big bodies.  Keep your self straight with some of our tips and tricks. Find out what other Big Sized people use to keep themselves smelling, feeling, looking, and living a proper life.  What kind of products are allowed. Anything that deal with the body. From cleaning aids to soap, lotions, powder, healing aids etc.  anything that can help a big body!

NOTE: The Opinion of those who submit items are not professional.  They are everyday people who found something that worked for them.  We are not held responsible for there opinion - The Large in Charge Staff

Send your favorite Item to be Product of the Month - Follow format below, include a picture of product (most can be found online) and Send to

Product of the Month

About the Product

Recommender: Raqui

Name of Product:
NordicTrack C3

Type of Product: Fitness Specialty Machine

Cost of Product: $399.99 ON SALE

Where Product can be found: 
Fitness & Sports > Cycles, Steppers, & Specialty Machines


The NordicTrack C3 si is fully equipped with the latest in fitness technology. Plug-in iFit® Workout Cards and get a personalized workout from a Certified Personal Trainer. Categories range from Weight Loss to Wellness to accommodate your wants and needs. The Easy Entry™ Upright of this recumbent bike provides amazing comfort to an action-packed workout. And don't for get your favorite music, the built-in speaker offers beautiful sound to match your perfect pedaling.
  • iFit® Workout Card Technology
  • Easy Entry™ Upright
  • 10 Personal Trainer Workouts
  • Interplay™ Music Port
  • Grafixx™ Display
  • SMR™ Silent Magnetic Resistance
  • Adjustable Seat
  • 300 lb. Weight Capacity
  • Lifetime Frame Warranty and 1-Year Parts and Labor

Why I like this Product:
I believe this product will be great for plus sized people who need to sit and exercise. Now you can do so from the convince of your home all year round.  Sit it somewhere so you can watch TV or listen to the Radio and pedal on.  It has a 300lbs weight limit so many will be able to use this and there are many more models to choose from.  So take a little time to check them out.  Get the Blood Flowing in the New Year :)



Send in your Product recommendation to

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