Archive for August, 2011|Monthly archive page

The Power of Prayer

In This & That on August 31, 2011 at 3:03 am

This story just makes me laugh. Every time I think about that poor kitten it amuses me; hope this story leaves a bright spot in your day. Whoever said the Creator doesn’t have a sense of humor?

Dwight Nelson recently told a true story about the Pastor of his church. He had a kitten that climbed up a tree in his backyard and then was afraid to come down. The Pastor coaxed and offered warm milk but the kitten would not come down. The tree was not sturdy enough to climb, so the Paster decided that if he tied a rope to his car and pulled it until the tree bent down he could then reach up and get the kitten.

That’s what he did, all the while checking his progress in the car. He then figured if he went just a little bit further, the tree would be bent sufficiently for him to reach the kitten. But as he moved the car a little further forward, the rope broke. The tree went ‘bong!’ and the kitten instantly sailed through the air – out of sight!

The Paster felt terrible. He walked all over the neighborhood asking people if they’d seen a little kitten. Nobody had. So he prayed, “Lord, I just commit this kitten to your keeping”, and went about his day.

A few days later he was at the grocery store and met one of his church members. He happened to look into her shopping cart and was amazed to see cat food. This woman did not like cats and everyone knew it, so he asked her, “Why are you buying cat food when you hate cats so much?”

She replied, “You won’t believe this”, then told him how her little girl had been begging for a kitten but the mother kept refusing. Then a few days before, the child begged again, so the mother finally told her little girl, “Well if God gives you a cat, I’ll let you keep it.” She told the Pastor, “I watched my child go out in the yard, get on her knees and ask God for a cat. And really Pastor, you won’t believe this but I saw it with my own eyes. A kitten suddenly came flying out of the blue sky, with its paws outspread, and landed right in front of her!”

Oh the power of prayer!


Who Cares for Mom?

In caregiving on August 30, 2011 at 2:06 am

There are so many challenges facing sibling caregivers today. Studies show that daughters are more likely than sons to become caregivers. Geographic location rules and siblings are the greatest source of help for caregiving, but they’re also the biggest source of interpersonal stress.

When a parent’s health fails and help is necessary, who steps up? Usually it is the child who lives the closest. This in it self causes tension between siblings (resentment, anger and misunderstanding). For most of our lives our parents were the ones that made the decisions and had all the wisdom; we were the children and it was easy. When caregiving of a parent becomes necessary, gone is the old parent/child relationship we were used to. It becomes necessary for us, the children, to set up and become the parent (so to speak). Most of us don’t plan for this day, it is much easier to put it off for sometime in the future. Unfortunately the future sneaks up on you and voila! Before you know it you are caught unprepared to deal with taking care of a parent. Caregiving doesn’t just change your life but it changes the lives of your family. There is no magic solution however the choices you make have a profound impact on the outcome of the entire situation for everyone involved. One of the major decisions in caregiving is where does your loved one live and who is the primary caregiver?

The Options:
-Move your loved one in with a family member to make caregiving somewhat easier. This can save money and travel time. The negative to this is the stress it can put on the entire family and if no one is home during the day your loved one is still alone. If this is the case an adult day care could be an option if your loved one is healthy enough. Adult day care facilities provide socialization and allow your loved one to remain active.
-Allow your loved one to remain in their own home. Home Health Providers can fill in the gaps and provide companionship, transportation, medication reminders and do all of the caregiving necessary to allow your loved one to age in the comfort of their own home. People usually do much better in their own homes and this option can be a cost-effective alternative to hospital stays or skilled nursing facilities. It can get expensive if around the clock care is necessary and specialty services are required.
-Assisted Living Facilities provide housing, support services and health care to persons needing help with daily activities. They provide a social setting and staff around the clock in case of emergency. Unlike a Nursing Facility, residents must be able to leave the facility in a an emergency situation (mobility is required). Stable health is required and only limited health care or treatment is available. This option is usually very expensive and there are times that a loved one may still need additional caregiving outside of the facility staff.
-Nursing Centers provide health care services to residents who need regular or continuous care. Medical, nursing, dietary, recreational, rehabilitative and social services are provided. This option can also be very expensive but is a safer alternative if your loved one is in poor health. The mental state of your loved one should be considered as a nursing home is usually viewed by the resident as a “final destination”.

Caregiving decisions should involve the entire family including the family member needing the help. If everyone is on board with the decisions made, life will be much less stressful for everyone, your loved one will be happier and your chances of squabbles and hurt feelings among siblings will be greatly reduced. If you choose to become the primary caregiver, please make sure to make time for yourself. Don’t give up your hobbies or all of your social life. This will increase your stress level which could jeopardize your health. Most of all, have a plan!

Common Sense

In This & That on August 19, 2011 at 1:27 am

Most of us have it but few of use it. Many people I come in contact with on a daily basis complain about other people today. The complaints are almost always the same: “What is wrong with people today?” “People today have their heads in the sand.” (sand is usually not the word they use) You get the picture. If we all feel this way, who is everyone referring to? I believe we all fall in this category at times. How many times while driving does someone try to change lanes on you and you think to yourself “I am driving a big (black, red, blue, whatever color) car and this person can’t see me?” But ask yourself, have you ever tried to pull into a lane on someone else? What were you thinking? Your mind was most likely not on your driving. We are all in our own little worlds today and sometimes this causes us to be obviously to others.

Had your hands full lately and approached a closed-door with people going in or out of that door? When is the last time someone held the door for you? The first thing we think is “that person is rude! They see me with my hands full and they don’t even try to help me!” Problem is you have probably done this to someone recently without even paying attention. I believe most people are not intentionally rude, they are just not paying attention to the world around them.

What to do? This is a very difficult question to answer. Back in the day you used to trust your politician, they told the truth. Back in the day you used to trust your neighbor, now we don’t even know our neighbors. Back in the day you could stop and render aid to someone who was in need, now we keep going and pretend we don’t see because we are afraid of trouble. Back in the day we questioned people who said things that didn’t sound right, took responsibility for our own actions instead of pointing the finger at someone else and raised our own children instead of putting schools and teachers in charge of this important task.

Until we all start paying more attention to the world around us, stop complaining and start doing, things will remain the same. It has to start with us! How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Hello, My Name is Rose

In This & That on August 18, 2011 at 2:59 am

The first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn’t already know. I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder. I turned around to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that lit up her entire being..

She said, ‘Hi handsome. My name is Rose. I’m eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?’ I laughed and enthusiastically responded, ‘Of course you may!’ and she gave me a giant squeeze..

‘Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?’ I asked. She jokingly replied, ‘I’m here to meet a rich husband, get married, and have a couple of kids…’

‘No seriously,’ I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age. ‘I always dreamed of having a college education and now I’m getting one!’ she told me.

After class we walked to the student union building and shared a chocolate milkshake.

We became instant friends. Every day for the next three months we would leave class together and talk nonstop. I was always mesmerized listening to this ‘time machine’ as she shared her wisdom and experience with me..

Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went. She loved to dress up and she reveled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it up.

At the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet I’ll never forget what she taught us. She was introduced and stepped up to the podium. As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three by five cards on the floor.

Frustrated and a little embarrassed she leaned into the microphone and simply said, ‘I’m sorry I’m so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this whiskey is killing me! I’ll never get my speech back in order so let me just tell you what I know.’

As we laughed she cleared her throat and began, ‘ We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing.

There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving success. You have to laugh and find humor every day. You’ve got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die.

We have so many people walking around who are dead and don’t even know it! There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up.

If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don’t do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn eighty-eight.

Anybody! Can grow older. That doesn’t take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding opportunity in change. Have no regrets. The elderly usually don’t have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those with regrets..’

She concluded her speech by courageously singing ‘The Rose.’

She challenged each of us to study the lyrics and live them out in our daily lives. At the year’s end Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those months ago.

One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep. Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it’s never too late to be all you can possibly be.

These words have been passed along in loving memory of ROSE.

REMEMBER, GROWING OLDER IS MANDATORY. GROWING UP IS OPTIONAL. We make a Living by what we get. We make a Life by what we give.

Humor! We All Need Some!

In This & That on August 16, 2011 at 2:41 am

A couple had two little boys, ages 8 and 10, who were excessively mischievous. The two were always getting into trouble and their parents could be assured that if any mischief occurred in their town their two young sons were in some way involved.
The parents were at their wits end as to what to do about their sons’ behavior. The mother had heard that a clergyman in town had been successful in disciplining children in the past, so she asked her husband if he thought they should send the boys to speak with the clergyman.

The husband said, ‘We might as well. We need to do something before I really lose my temper!’ The clergyman agreed to speak with the boys, but asked to see them individually. The 8 year old went to meet with him first. The clergyman sat the boy down and asked him sternly,’Where is God?’

The boy made no response, so the clergyman repeated the question in an even sterner tone, ‘Where is God?’ Again the boy made no attempt to answer. So the clergyman raised his voice even more and shook his finger in the boy’s face, ‘WHERE IS GOD?’

At that the boy bolted from the room and ran directly home, slamming himself in the closet. His older brother followed him into the closet and asked what had happened. The younger brother replied, ‘We are in BIG trouble this time. God is missing and they think we did it.’


A man was being tailgated by a stressed out woman on a busy boulevard. Suddenly, the light turned yellow, just in front of him. He did the right thing, stopping at the crosswalk, even though he could have beaten The red light by accelerating through the intersection.

The tailgating woman was furious and honked her horn, screaming in frustration as she missed her chance to get through the intersection, dropping her cell phone and makeup.

As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window and looked up into the face of a very serious police officer. The officer ordered her to exit her car with her hands up. He took her to the police station where she was searched, finger printed, photographed, and placed in a hold ing cell. After a couple of hours, a policeman approached the cell and opened the door. She was escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting with her personal effects.

He said, “I’m very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping off the guy in front of you, and cussing a blue streak at him. I noticed the ‘What Would Jesus Do’ bumper sticker, the ‘Choose Life’ license plate holder, the ‘Follow Me to Sunday-School’ bumper sticker, and the chrome-plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk, Naturally… I assumed you had stolen the car.”

We all need a little laughter in our lives…pass it on!

Dogs Can Make You Healthier

In Health on August 14, 2011 at 1:47 am

While most dog owners are clear about the immediate joys that come with sharing their lives with companion animals, many remain unaware of the physical and mental health benefits that can also accompany the pleasure of playing with or snuggling up to a furry friend. It’s only recently that studies have begun to scientifically explore the benefits of the human-animal bond. Studies have found that:

People who interact with dogs regularly are less likely to suffer from depression than those without access to them.
People who interact with dogs have lower blood pressure in stressful situations than those who do not.
Playing with a dog can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which calm and relax.
People who regularly interact with dogs have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels (indicators of heart disease) than those who don’t.
Heart attack patients with dogs survive longer than those without.
People over the age 65 who regularly interact with dogs make 30 percent fewer visits to their doctors than those who do not.

One of the reasons for these therapeutic effects is that most dogs fulfill the basic human need to touch. Even hardened criminals in prison have shown long-term changes in their behavior after interacting with dogs, many of them experiencing mutual affection for the first time. Stroking, holding, cuddling, or otherwise touching a loving animal can rapidly calm and soothe us when we’re stressed. The companionship of a dog can also ease loneliness, and are a great stimulus for healthy exercise, which can substantially boost mood.

Don’t have access to a dog? Even watching fish in an aquarium can help reduce muscle tension and pulse rate.

Laughter Better than Medicine

In Health on August 14, 2011 at 1:20 am

Humor is infectious. The sound of roaring laughter is far more contagious than any cough, sniffle, or sneeze. When laughter is shared, it binds people together and increases happiness and intimacy. In addition to the domino effect of joy and amusement, laughter also triggers healthy physical changes in the body. Humor and laughter strengthen your immune system, boost your energy, diminish pain, and protect you from the damaging effects of stress. Best of all, this priceless medicine is fun, free, and easy to use. Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress, pain, and conflict. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hopes, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert. With so much power to heal and renew, the ability to laugh easily and frequently is a tremendous resource for surmounting problems, enhancing your relationships, and supporting both physical and emotional health.

-Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
-Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
-Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
-Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.

Bringing more humor and laughter into your life:

Smile. Smiling is the beginning of laughter. Like laughter, it’s contagious. Pioneers in “laugh therapy,” find it’s possible to laugh without even experiencing a funny event. The same holds for smiling. When you look at someone or see something even mildly pleasing, practice smiling.

Count your blessings. Literally make a list. The simple act of considering the good things in your life will distance you from negative thoughts that are a barrier to humor and laughter. When in a state of sadness, we have further to travel to get to humor and laughter.

When you hear laughter, move toward it. Sometimes humor and laughter are private, a shared joke among a small group, but usually not. More often, people are very happy to share something funny because it gives them an opportunity to laugh again and feed off the humor you find in it. When you hear laughter, seek it out and ask, “What’s funny?”

Spend time with fun, playful people. These are people who laugh easily–both at themselves and at life’s absurdities–and who routinely find the humor in everyday events. Their playful point of view and laughter are contagious.

Bring humor into conversations. Ask people, “What’s the funniest thing that happened to you today? This week? In your life?”

A funny

In This & That on August 11, 2011 at 2:00 am

Love this Doctor!

Q: Doctor, I’ve heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life. Is this true?
A: Heart only good for so many beats, and that it… Don’t waste on exercise. Everything wear out eventually. Speeding up heart not make you live longer; it like saying you extend life of car by driving faster. Want to live longer? Take nap.

Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?
A: Oh no. Wine made from fruit. Brandy distilled wine, that mean they take water out of fruity bit so you get even more of goodness that way. Beer also made of grain. Bottom up!

Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?
A: Well, if you have body and you have fat, your ratio one to one. If you have two body, your ratio two to one.

Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?
A: Can’t think of single one, sorry. My philosophy: No pain…good!

Q: Aren’t fried foods bad for you?
A: YOU NOT LISTENING! Food fried in vegetable oil. How getting more vegetable be bad?

Q : Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?
A: Oh no! When you exercise muscle, it get bigger. You should only be doing sit-up if you want bigger stomach.

Q: Is chocolate bad for me?
A: You crazy?!? HEL-LO-O!! Cocoa bean! Another vegetable! It best feel-good food around!

Q: Is swimming good for your figure?
A: If swimming good for figure, explain whale to me.

Q: Is getting in shape important for my lifestyle?
A: Hey! ‘Round’ is shape!

Well… I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food and diets. It is good to laugh…laughing does a body good!

Seven Secrets of High Energy People

In Health on August 6, 2011 at 2:51 am

1. Do something genuinely new.
Very little that’s new occurs in our lives. The impact of this sameness on our emotional energy is gradual, but huge: It’s like a tire with a slow leak. You don’t notice it at first, but eventually you’ll get a flat. It’s up to you to plug the leak — even though there are always a dozen reasons to stay stuck in your rut. Here’s a challenge: If it’s something you wouldn’t ordinarily do, do it. Try a cuisine you’ve never eaten. Drive home via a different, scenic route. Listen to music you’d ordinarily tune out. You’ll discover that small gestures pack a powerful emotional energy punch.

2. Reclaim life’s meaning. So many people tell me that their lives used to have meaning, but that somewhere along the line things went stale. The foundation is there, but the urgency is missing.
The first step in solving this meaning shortage is to figure out what you really care about, then do something about it. That’s what meaning is: a heartfelt concern that is woven into your everyday life. A case in point is Ivy, 57, a pioneer in investment banking. “I mistakenly believed that all the money I made would mean something,” she says. “But I feel rudderless, like a 22-year-old wondering what to do with her life.” Ivy’s solution? She started a program that shows Wall Streeters how to donate time and money to underprivileged children. In the process, Ivy infused meaning into her own life.

3. Put yourself in the fun zone. Most of us grown-ups are seriously fun-deprived, and it shows in our flagging energy levels. High-energy people have the same day-to-day grinds as the rest of us, but they manage to find something enjoyable in every situation. A real-estate broker I know, whose work load is enormous, keeps herself amused — and energized — on the job by mentally redecorating the houses she shows to clients. “I love imagining what even the most dilapidated fixer-upper could look like with a little TLC,” she says. “It’s a challenge — and the least desirable properties are usually the most fun.” We all define fun differently, of course, but I can vouch for this: If you lighten up and inject just a bit of it into your day, your energy will zoom.

4. Bid farewell to guilt and regret. Everyone’s past is filled with regrets, mistakes, and missed opportunities that still cause pain. These feelings are an index of our humanity, evidence that we have a heart and a conscience. But from an emotional energy point of view, they are deadweights that keep us from moving forward. While they can’t merely be willed away, I do recommend you give yourself a good talking-to. Remind yourself that everyone has negative experiences. But whatever happened is in the past, and nothing can change that. Holding on to the memory only allows the damage to continue into the present.

5. Keep your flywheel spinning. People always talk about finding a passion, but something that exalted can end up being more draining than energizing. That’s why I talk about flywheels, mechanical devices that store energy, then give it back to you as needed. High-energy people always have a flywheel — an interest they connect with, no matter how eccentric. For Leslie, 29, that flywheel is collecting antique recipes. She loves to browse secondhand bookstores for old cookbooks. “I feel like an archaeologist who finds a rare dinosaur bone, only I bring the dinosaur back to life,” she says. If you don’t have a flywheel, find one. Anything fun and absorbing will do, from bike riding to gardening. Anticipating the activity can get you up in the morning and get you through an otherwise blah day.

6. Make up your mind. Say you’ve been thinking about cutting your hair short. Will it look stylish — or too extreme? You endlessly mull it over, debate the matter with friends. Having the decision hanging over your head is a huge energy drain. High-energy people make a choice and don’t look back. The emotionally exhausted stay stuck, forever vacillating. Every time you can’t decide, you burden yourself with alternatives. How to break the impasse? Quit thinking that you have to make the right decision; instead, make a good-enough decision. Any decision. Decide what you’re going to eat tonight. Then decide about the haircut. That will get you in the ballpark of deciding about your future. In emotional energy land, what matters is ending your ambivalence.

7. Give to get. Emotional energy has a kind of magical quality: The more you give, the more you get back. This underscores the fundamental difference between emotional energy and physical energy. With the latter, you have to get it to be able to give it. With emotional energy, however, you get it by giving it. But you have to take specific action. Start by asking everyone you meet, “How are you?” as if you really want to know, then listen to the reply. Be the one who hears. Most of us also need to smile more often. If you don’t smile at the person you love first thing in the morning, you’re sucking energy out of your relationship. Finally, help another person — and make the help real, concrete. Give a massage to someone you love, run an errand for him, or cook her dinner. Then, expand the circle to work. Try going through an entire day asking yourself what you’d do if your goal were to be helpful rather than efficient.

After all, if it’s true that what goes around comes around, why not make sure that what’s circulating around you is the good stuff?