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Friday, October 5, 2007

Early Detection Save Lives


See below for details for receiving your free Outlook Express Stationery
to use when you send email to your friends utilizing the above image design
for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Click image for better view.

As most people know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and it is a good time to address the importance of (BSE) Breast Self-Examination. It is widely known that early detection can save lives. One thing I have found astounding though, is that many women do not do regular self examinations. Now I am not sure of their reasons for this, but it is a relatively simple process. I have heard too that some women express the feeling that, "well breast cancer can never happen to me". The following is a link to an excellent 7 or 8 minute video on how to perform a BSE. It is very straightforward and will no doubt answer all of your questions about this very simple but important process.

Here are some helpful resources in regards to Breast Cancer:

For your free Outlook Express Stationery commemorating Breast Cancer Awareness Month click on the following link to download this stationery I made for you and save to your hard drive. All you need to do then is to open the file and it will open up in Outlook Express. When the e-mail opens just click "Forward" at the top and type your e-mail and VOILA! The stationery has a pretty pink textured background with the above image which I found on the Internet (Google Images) and I have included a quotation on the stationery by Christopher Reeve.

"Once you choose hope, anything's possible."

If you run into any problems with the stationery just e-mail me at:

and I will be more than happy to e-mail you the stationery.

The above link is good only for 100 downloads
or for 7 days from the date of this post.

Remember.....

Early Detection Saves Lives!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Spicy Ginger Cookies: Gift In A Jar



Click on image for full preview of your card template
and print!

My dear Friend Jana way up in British Columbia Canada tells me that it is already getting cold in North America and that there is snowfall on the mountains as well . When I hear of the cold setting in up there....so far from us down here in New Zealand I envision that Christmas and the holidays are just around the corner, which means I can almost smell the hearty aromas from Jana's famous 'Impossible Pies' and lovely warm muffins fresh out of the oven that must be such a great hit up her way during the colder times of the year.


Well it is a great time to start thinking ahead about your own personal upcoming Christmas baking, while at the same time you might like to think about some 'Gifts In A Jar' as Christmas gifts for your family and friends. A 'Gift In A Jar' is the perfect and inexpensive gift for anyone, and a cinch to put together. With a fancy little jar wrapping and gift card or label that you can print on your computer printer it awakens the true sense of the holidays in any home.

Today's holiday share is a recipe for a "Gift In A Jar' which I found last year, and I am including the template for printing this darling gift card with the actual recipe right on it.


Here it is!

Spicy Ginger Cookies


You need a mason jar with lid and rings for one Gift in a jar.

Ingredients:


4 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup molasses
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
vanilla

Keep in mind that the molasses, butter or shortening , eggs and vanilla are the only ingredients that will not be added to this gift jar. The recipient of this gift will have to add those to the recipe when they are making it.

Instructions For Items In The Jar

Combine flour, spices, salt, and baking soda - stir well. Place flour mixture in a clean mason jar. Pack down tight so everything will fit in the jar. (Use a spoon or a mallet.) Add other ingredients, one item at a time. Pack down tight so everything will fit in the jar. (Use a spoon or a mallet.)

Print a copy of a gift card with recipe instructions.


Trim all white areas, fold and punch a hole in the upper left corner; attach to ribbon.


Optional:

As an added touch top the jar with fabric circle, and tie the card around the ring. You can even tie a wooden spoon to the lid with a piece of ribbon for a charming effect.

Recipe By:
Card Template By:




Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Finding Happiness In The Pursuit


By M. P. DUNLEAVEY

Published: April 8, 2006


One of the great puzzles of human nature is why humans strive for more material things — money, jobs, homes, cars, flat-screen televisions — when they do not seem to make them any happier in the long run.
Philosophers have pondered this conundrum for centuries, and modern economists have been examining it over several decades in a multitude of cultures. Not only does greater wealth not guarantee happiness — even when you get what you want — research indicates that you will not find it as satisfying as you had hoped, and you will want something else.
Richard A. Easterlin, professor of economics at the University of Southern California, is a seminal researcher in this area. In effect, his work shows that if you think buying a three-bedroom condo and a Honda Element will make you happy, you had better think twice. In a few years, a) you're not likely to report being any happier, and b) you're likely to say that, now, finding a good private school for your children and buying a vacation home will really make you happy.
In Dr. Easterlin's view, this cycle of desire and dissatisfaction tends to keep people on an endless treadmill. This may sound self-defeating, but that is Dr. Easterlin's point. Why not get off the treadmill and pursue a life with fewer material ambitions? You would probably be happier.
Or would you? If material achievements tend to leave people only momentarily fulfilled, why do so many keep reaching for that next goal?
Claudia Senik, professor of economics at the Sorbonne, believes that the struggle for a certain achievement may offer a peculiar reward all its own. Although many people seem quite goal-oriented — especially when it comes to money, homes, cars, new kitchens and other goods that have become stand-ins for status — maybe it's not so much having the stuff that people really enjoy, but the struggle to obtain it.
In an unpublished paper called "Is Man Doomed to Progress?" which she presented at a symposium, "Economics and Happiness," last month at U.S.C., Dr. Senik examined the impact of anticipating future gains on a person's current level of well-being.
Researchers have noted that, for example, given the opportunity to schedule a fancy meal, many people tend to postpone the feast — to savor the anticipation of it. In fact, Dr. Senik found that when people aspire to a better quality of life within the next 12 months, the attempt to reach that goal alone — the anticipation independent of the outcome — seems to bestow happiness in the present.
"For the basic person there is pleasure in progress," Dr. Senik said. "We are proud to aim at something — to earn a degree, buy a house. So when I work to reach a higher position or earn a higher income, I'm already happy today."
Dr. Senik compares it somewhat humorously to being invited to a fabulous party. "Once you get there, maybe you enjoy the party or maybe you don't — but that doesn't matter because you've already spent the last few days looking forward to it."
Of course, that is not how most people view the quest for a better job, nicer car or bigger home. The glory is in getting what you want. Yet we have all experienced the phenomenon — behavioral economists call it adaptation — whereby once you attain whatever you most covet, it quickly loses its luster. Dr. Senik's research suggests that it's fine to crave the condo and the car as long as you realize there may be more pleasure in striving for those goals than in actually achieving them.
I find this oddly comforting, because like many people I am well acquainted with materialistic treadmills, and they are exhausting. You can feel like Sisyphus, pushing a boulder uphill over and over again to get the things you want.
It may seem that people are all hapless consumers, at the mercy of greed and needs (or cursed by Zeus). But Dr. Senik offers a more positive view. You can let go of the rather iffy rewards of getting and spending, and look for everyday pleasure while struggling to advance, improve, progress, achieve and attain.
As Dr. Easterlin said, "If you recognize that the striving can be of value in itself, then instead of taking a job that pays you the most, you may be better off taking work you'll enjoy." In other words, choose your treadmills carefully. Like Sisyphus, they're where most of us will spend our time.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Apple Cinnamon Potpourri

The holidays are coming fast and it will soon be time to venture into the attic to retrieve all the holiday decorations once again. Well don't forget to get an early start on making your Christmas Potpourri.......and you may also want to make some pretty gift jars of a scented potpourri for gift giving. They make a lovely gift and they are very inexpensive to make and take little time to put together. The rewards of a fragrant potpourri are so wonderful. There is nothing nicer than walking into someone's home on a cold winter's day and smelling the sweet and spicy aroma of an Apple Cinnamon potpourri. There are many variations of potpourri but my favorite is the apple cinnamon variety during the Christmas and Thanksgiving holidays. I will share three recipes today for potpourri.....one of which will be with dry ingredients for display in a pretty bowl or open container, and the other two which will be for a simmering variety which can be left simmering on the stove top or in a slow cooker.
The following is the recipe for the dry variety.



Apple Cinnamon Potpourri

1 c. dried apple slices
2 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 c. whole allspice berries
2 tbsp. whole cloves
1/4 c. canella or nandina berries
10 sm. pinecones
7 drops cinnamon oil

Method:

Combine all ingredients and place in a tight jar or tin. Shake every few days. Cinnamon oil has an extremely strong scent that intensifies as it is absorbed. Add additional oil if needed.
The red sumac berries that grow wild can be used dried as a stabilizer for potpourri (in other recipes it takes the place of orris root which is very expensive).
When ready to display pour the contents into a small serving bowl or open container.
______________________________

Aunt Peggy's Potpourri Recipe



Courtesy of Paula Deen
See this recipe on air Thursday Sep. 27 at 1:00 PM ET/PT.
Show: Paula's Home Cooking Episode: Slow Cookin'

Sliced apples
Sliced lemons
Sliced oranges
Whole cloves Cinnamon sticks

In a slow-cooker, combine fruit to preferences of smell. Cover in water. Top with bay leaves, whole cloves, and cinnamon sticks. Leave slow-cooker on low.

______________________________

Christmas Simmering Potpourri
Ingredients:
3 cinnamon sticks
3 bay leaves
1/4 cup whole cloves
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 lemon slices, fresh or 2 tablespoonsdried lemon peel
2 tablespoons orange peel or dried orange peel
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 quart water
Method:

Mix the dry ingredients up in little Ziploc's to have them ready to add to water during the holiday season.

Mix all ingredients in medium saucepan. Simmer on low heat. Add more water as needed.

For other selections of lovely scented potpourri recipes visit

Sunday, September 23, 2007

CPR: Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

It would be wonderful if everyone knew how to administer CPR. When performed correctly, CPR can save a person's life by restoring breathing and circulation until advanced life support can be given by health care providers.

CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation, a combination of rescue breathing (mouth-to-mouth resuscitation) and chest compressions. If a person isn't breathing or circulating blood adequately, CPR can restore circulation of oxygen-rich blood to the brain. Without oxygen, permanent brain damage or death can occur in less than 8 minutes.
CPR may be necessary for people during many different emergencies, including accidents, near-drowning, suffocation, poisoning, smoke inhalation, electrocution injuries, and suspected sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Reading about CPR and learning when it's needed will give you a basic understanding of the concept and procedure, but it's strongly recommended that you learn the details of how to perform CPR by taking a course. If CPR is needed, using the correct technique will give the victim the best chance of recovery. In the meantime the following link offers excellent guidelines for administering CPR and may answer many of your questions.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Breast Cancer Awareness Computer Desktop Wallpaper



October is coming quickly and this is just a reminder that it will be Breast Cancer Awareness Month once again. I have a lovely desktop wallpaper for you commemorating Breast Cancer Awareness and it is available for download, and it is free for your personal use. The size is (800 X 600) but feel free to resize to accommodate your screen resolution. Just click on the above image to preview, and save the image to your hard drive and configure for your desktop as a wallpaper.


I will be posting more about Breast Cancer Awareness during the month of October.




Tuesday, September 18, 2007

It's Only A Mountain

A few weeks ago I had the privilege and pleasure of reading some articles and viewing some videos of a remarkable man name Dick Hoyt and his son Rick/aka/ Team Hoyt. Dick and Rick compete in marathons and triathlons together as well as other athletic competitions. Disabled at birth as a result of his umbilcal cord wrapped around his neck and suffering also from cerebral palsy, Rick, with the unconditional love from his Dad Dick have gone above and beyond the expectations of so many to prove that with a "Can Do" attitude, achieving a dream is within anyone's reach. I came across this following article yesterday, and well it says it all, so I thought I would share it in today's post. I had also posted the link on my sidebar recently to the first video of them which I had seen, but I will post it again below in case you might have missed it. It is a touching story that has left an indelible mark in my heart forever. Enjoy the following special moments.

Here is the article!

I try to be a good father. Give my kids mulligans. Work nights to pay For their text messaging. Take them to swimsuit shoots.But compared with Dick Hoyt, I suck.
Eighty-five times he's pushed his disabled son, Rick, 26.2 miles in Marathons. Eight times he's not only pushed him 26.2 miles in a Wheelchair but also towed him 2.4 miles in a dinghy while swimming and Pedaled him 112 miles in a seat on the handlebars--all in the same day.
Dick's also pulled him cross-country skiing, taken him on his back Mountain climbing and once hauled him across the U.S. On a bike. Makes Taking your son bowling look a little lame, right?
And what has Rick done for his father? Not much--except save his life.
This love story began in Winchester , Mass. , 43 years ago, when Rick Was strangled by the umbilical cord during birth, leaving him Brain-damaged and unable to control his limbs.
"He'll be a vegetable the rest of his life;'' Dick says doctors told him And his wife, Judy, when Rick was nine months old. ``Put him in an Institution.''
But the Hoyts weren't buying it. They noticed the way Rick's eyes Followed them around the room. When Rick was 11 they took him to the Engineering department at Tufts University and asked if there was Anything to help the boy communicate. ``No way,'' Dick says he was told. ``There's nothing going on in his brain.''
"Tell him a joke,'' Dick countered. They did. Rick laughed. Turns out a Lot was going on in his brain. Rigged up with a computer that allowed Him to control the cursor by touching a switch with the side of his Head, Rick was finally able to communicate. First words? ``Go Bruins!'' And after a high school classmate was paralyzed in an accident and the School organized a charity run for him, Rick pecked out, ``Dad, I want To do that.''
Yeah, right. How was Dick, a self-described ``porker'' who never ran More than a mile at a time, going to push his son five miles? Still, he Tried. ``Then it was me who was handicapped,'' Dick says. ``I was sore For two weeks.''
That day changed Rick's life. ``Dad,'' he typed, ``when we were running, It felt like I wasn't disabled anymore!''
And that sentence changed Dick's life. He became obsessed with giving Rick that feeling as often as he could. He got into such hard-belly Shape that he and Rick were ready to try the 1979 Boston Marathon.
``No way,'' Dick was told by a race official. The Hoyts weren't quite a Single runner, and they weren't quite a wheelchair competitor. For a few Years Dick and Rick just joined the massive field and ran anyway, then They found a way to get into the race Officially: In 1983 they ran another marathon so fast they made the Qualifying time for Boston the following year.Then somebody said, ``Hey, Dick, why not a triathlon?''
How's a guy who never learned to swim and hadn't ridden a bike since he Was six going to haul his 110-pound kid through a triathlon? Still, Dick Tried.Now they've done 212 triathlons, including four grueling 15-hour Ironmans in Hawaii . It must be a buzzkill to be a 25-year-old stud Getting passed by an old guy towing a grown man in a dinghy, don't you Think?
Hey, Dick, why not see how you'd do on your own? ``No way,'' he says. Dick does it purely for ``the awesome feeling'' he gets seeing Rick with A cantaloupe smile as they run, swim and ride together.
This year, at ages 65 and 43, Dick and Rick finished their 24th Boston Marathon, in 5,083rd place out of more than 20,000 starters. Their best Time? Two hours, 40 minutes in 1992--only 35 minutes off the world Record, which, in case you don't keep track of these things, happens to Be held by a guy who was not pushing another man in a wheelchair at the Time.``No question about it,'' Rick types. ``My dad is the Father of the Century.''
And Dick got something else out of all this too. Two years ago he had a Mild heart attack during a race. Doctors found that one of his arteries Was 95% clogged. ``If you hadn't been in such great shape,'' One doctor told him, ``you probably would've died 15 years ago.'' So, in a way, Dick and Rick saved each other's life.
Rick, who has his own apartment (he gets home care) and works in Boston, and Dick, retired from the military and living in Holland, Mass. , always find ways to be together. They give speeches around the country and compete in some backbreaking race every weekend, including this Father's Day.
That night, Rick will buy his dad dinner, but the thing he really wants to give him is a gift he can never buy.
``The thing I'd most like,'' Rick types, ``is that my dad sit in the chair and I push him once.''


~ Author Unknown

Monday, September 17, 2007

World Gratitude Day: September 21st

World Gratitude Day

When : September 21st


World Gratitude Day is your opportunity to show your gratitude and appreciation.
The United Nations Meditation Group created World Gratitude Day to express appreciation for the great things that individuals and groups do. This recognition is on a global basis. According to their website: "World Gratitude Day presents an award to someone who we feel has done something outstanding in the spirit of Globalism."
This group also suggests that you find something to be grateful for, and remember the feeling.
On a smaller scale, seek to give gratitude and appreciation to people in your life who have done good deeds. It could be something as simple as a "thank you" or a card of thanks to someone. Or, you could offer some type of certificate or plaque of appreciation from a group you belong to, for contributions from individuals inside or outside of your group.


Happy World Gratitude Day!



"Gratitude is the most exquisite form of courtesy."-- Jacques Maritain



Gratitude is an Open Door: Three Stories About Wealth and Poverty


By Kate Judd

Let me tell you a story. I had two good friends who had never met each other. They were close in age. They were each divorced; they came from the same ethnic background. One had one teenager, the other had three. They shared many interests. I thought they would love each other. At a party at my home, I introduced my friends to each other. “Annette, this is Barbara; Barbara, Annette. You have so much in common.”
Annette was a talkative type. Right away, she began to tell Barbara about her life. “It’s so tough being divorced, isn’t it?” Annette said. “I mean, money is so tight. My new house cost two hundred and seventy thousand dollars. I had to get financial help from my father. It’s not that Daddy doesn’t have it— he just endowed a chair at a major university. But I hate to ask. Of course, I do have the alimony from Bill, my ex; but I don’t feel that I should rely on that. I’m putting it away for my retirement—that’s what my accountant says I should do. And the house that Bill and I built just won’t sell. I don’t know why. We spent nine hundred thousand dollars on that house, it’s absolutely perfect.
“It doesn’t matter so much to Bill if the house doesn’t sell. He’s the vice president of a big bank in the city. But I’m really struggling. I mean, I don’t make much. I’m just a music teacher. So, anyway, what I’ve decided to do is build an addition onto my new house: a little apartment. I don’t know where I’m gong to come up with the money. It’s going to cost sixty thousand. But, you know, it’s a tremendous investment in the long run. It adds to the value of the house. And I’m going to rent it out, so then I’ll have the rent every month to add to my income. It’s worth it to scrape a little while I’m having it built.”
My friend Barbara sat silent. She had a smile fixed firmly on her face. I had never heard Barbara say anything unkind about anyone—ever. She never said a word against Annette, either; but after the party, she told me she would prefer not to see Annette again.
You see, I had forgotten one thing: while Annette, who was worth several hundred thousand dollars, worried about whether she had enough to survive, Barbara was supporting herself and her teenage child on ten thousand dollars a year, which she earned by mopping floors and scrubbing toilets. And she never complained.
Before this, what had I thought about wealth? About poverty? I had grown up in comfort, never lacking for any material thing—indeed, indulged in anything money could buy. I had known that there was a difference between me and most of the other children at the tiny rural school where I had gone as a child. But I had not realized that the difference had to do with money. Like many a young member of the upper classes, I did not know what I was.
Sitting with Annette and Barbara, I knew. I thought, “Let me never take what I have for granted. Let me never complain about being poor, when I am really rich.”
If you had asked Barbara if she was poor, she would probably have denied it. She would have said, “I have a child who loves me. We have a house to live in. I have my health, so that I can work for my living. Sure, we have to get food from the Community Pantry sometimes, but we always have enough to eat. I’m even able to scrape together enough to go to school, so that some day I’ll be qualified for a better job which still allows me to take care of my emotionally troubled child. I have a family who cares about me. I’m thankful to have so much.”
Maybe I should take Barbara for an example? Maybe I should be grateful for what I have—however much or little it is.
Let me tell you another story: I have a middle aged relative who lives alone in a large house. Mentally somewhat disabled, she does not work, but is supported by a large trust fund set up by her late parents. Though her life style is not opulent by North American standards, she is always beautifully dressed, well fed, and can afford to hire people to do any job she cannot, or does not wish to do herself.
One day my relative went to the supermarket (how much we take for granted)! Another friend of mine once hosted a professor from Russia. The professor was overwhelmed and enchanted by the small local supermarket. She exclaimed, “In America, your markets are like museums!” My relative, her eyes glazed and her feet sore after a long trip through the abundantly stocked aisles, decided to go to the flower case and pick out a refreshing bouquet for herself. In front of the buckets overflowing with big, richly colored roses stood an old Asian woman, who was silent as my relative selected her flowers. “So cheap” my relative thought. “Only a dollar a stem!” She chose a large bunch.
The other woman still stood there. “It’s hard to pick, isn’t it?” my relative said. “Oh, I cannot buy any,” said the old woman. “Too expensive. I only like to come and look. They are so beautiful.”
So this woman was grateful for the free beauty of flowers in a supermarket/museum. Was that all? Did she feel her poverty, in not being able to afford a one dollar rose? There are those who would argue that this woman was wealthier than my friend Annette, who has a great deal of money but feels always impoverished. In this case, my relative should not have felt any guilt or worry, but should have taken her flowers home and enjoyed them, secure in the notion that we must each simply be thankful for what we have, no matter how we came to have it. Or should my relative have offered to buy some flowers for the old woman? That is another popular solution: those who have more should make private donations to those who have less. Perhaps my relative should have put her own flowers back in the case, and donated her money to some worthy organization—one which fights poverty?
What am I to learn from all this? Surely it is good to be grateful for what we have. Like my friend Barbara, I am grateful in this minute for so much: the beautiful Vermont landscape outside my window, the fruits of my abundant garden, the house in which I live, my beloved husband, my job, my health, my friends. And yet — it seems to me that as long as others do not have what I have, my gratitude is not enough. If others lack for beauty to see, good and wholesome food to eat, a home (or even a roof over their heads), love and friendship, work that rewards them, health and the care to maintain it, then my gratitude is just a beginning. A door to the next step. I can open that door of gratitude, and walk forward, doing what I can to help others achieve what I have. Or I can close the door. Then gratitude becomes complacency, and I am trapped.
Let me stop philosophizing for a moment, and tell you one more story: Once, I saved up my money all year long so that I could go to a workshop. The workshop took place at an institution that specialized in “self actualization,” “spiritual exploration,” “natural healing” and so forth. At this institution there were perhaps a few hundred people who had come to take workshops in pursuit of these vague but laudable goals. Among them I saw perhaps ten who were not white. Although it was more difficult to tell, I would guess that there were equally few who were not economically quite well-off. Although I come from “the whitest state in the union” I felt uncomfortable with this lack of ethnic and class diversity. Still, I quite enjoyed the workshop I was attending.
One night I was standing in the dinner line next to the person who was presenting the workshop, a woman of extraordinary power and charisma. She stretched her arms akimbo and proclaimed in a loud voice, “Ah! It’s good to be alive!”
Something must have registered on my face. Perhaps I drew slightly away from her. I know that for the rest of the workshop, she looked faintly displeased with me. But you see, I was thinking, For you it is good to be alive. For me it is good to be alive. But what about the homeless person who is sleeping tonight in a public park? What about the person who has just discovered they have cancer, and have no health insurance to cover treatment? What about the residents of other, less wealthy countries—the man who lives in a tin shed in Mexico, the woman who begs in the streets of Bombay? What about the children who are starving, and the mothers who cannot feed them? Just what do you mean, “it’s good to be alive?!”
I do not intend to be sanctimonious. I am a privileged, middle class person, who has had a very fortunate life. What I wish for is that everyone could have what I do. This is naive, I suppose. Idealistic, certainly. And what, after all, do I propose to do about it? Where is my plan, my solution to the poverty and hunger that plague the majority of the world’s population?
I am not arrogant enough to propose a solution. Others smarter, wiser, more politically shrewd, more religiously dogmatic, have proposed solutions since the beginning of time, it seems. I only know I cannot wish idly for others to have a better life. I must try to work for it in whatever ways I can. Otherwise, my gratitude becomes meaningless. I will have closed the door, and left the better part of humanity beyond it, sitting alone, gloating over my wealth like a miser, cut off from the love, learning and pain that are as essential to living as the material comforts I rejoice in, trapped in complacency. Then, I am very poor indeed.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Surfin Pup!

Photo courtesy of Don and Joan Dobbin

I always love to hear a perfect ending to any story, and this story was one that fell near to my heart. It also reinforces to me that there really are some wonderful people in this world, some even ready to put their life on the line to save a drowning dog. Here is the article from the Muskegon Chronicle in Michigan.

Drowning Dog Gets Surfboard Ride To Shore

The waves on Lake Michigan Tuesday afternoon "were about as big as they get," surfer Matt Smolenski said. And the rip current along the Grand Haven pier was "really strong."
One of those big waves swept a man's dog off the pier around 2:30 p.m., and it was Smolenski who rode a wave in to save the struggling pet, said off-duty Muskegon Heights police officer Royce Rodgers, who witnessed the rescue.
Smolenski, 25, of Grand Haven "was able to grab the dog's collar," said Rodgers. "He put the dog up on his surfboard and the dog rode the surfboard in to shore."
"When I got to the dog, it wasn't dog-paddling anymore," Smolenski said.
While Smolenski said he didn't know the dog's owner, he was familiar with the man and his four-legged companion because they regularly head for the pier when the waves are big.
"I've watched the dog about a million times. He barks at the waves and then jumps back when they wash up on the pier," Smolenski said, adding that he was surprised the black and brown mixed-breed animal wound up in the water.
Rodgers said he had taken his own dog, Buster, out on the pier on a leash. He said the man with the other dog, which was unleashed, came out about the same time he did.
But Rodgers said he and his dog stopped about halfway out because "the waves were too big." The other dog owner, who has a disability, continued on with his pet.
"I was just watching the waves coming up one after another, and I witnessed an especially big wave wash up on the pier," Rodgers said.
That wave caught the dog owner first and "knocked him off his feet," Rodgers said, then knocked the dog into the water.
"The dog was trying to swim, but the waves were very large. It was struggling," Royce said. "The owner was screaming for the dog."
Smolenski saw the familiar dog owner, then said something to his surfing buddy, Joe Riopelle, 24, also of Grand Haven, like: "Oh man, that guy's dog went in. I'm going to go for it."
Smolenski rode in on the surfboard on his stomach, then rolled off the board when he got close to the dog. "I realized I was not going in (to shore) without that dog," he said. "That dog is that guy's best friend."
Smolenski got the 30- to 40-pound dog onto his surfboard and he stayed in the water, fighting the strong current to get to shore.
"I got pretty tired," he said. "I had a hard time getting in myself." He was joined by Riopelle, who helped both to shore.
The rescue took "a good five or six minutes," Rodgers said, adding that he didn't think the dog, which looked "pretty old," could have lasted much longer.
Once the rescue party was on shore, the dog's owner gave the surfer "a high five and said: 'Thank you, brother,' then left so fast I couldn't get his name," Rodgers said.
Smolenski is a dog-lover himself. He has a toy poodle named "Kobie."

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Godwit E-7 Returns: First Sign Of Spring In New Zealand


E-7 Being Fitted For A Satellite Transmission Tracking Device
For Her Long Migratory Journey


A New Zealand Bar-Tailed Godwit



Another New Zealand Godwit



Godwits In Flight

Now whether we would like to call her Elissa the Elusive, or Enid the Enigma, birdlife researchers from Massey University in New Zealand actually have labeled her (1st photo) E-7. E-7 along with several other New Zealand Godwits also known as Kuakas, were fitted with tracking devices in the early part of the year to track their migratory journey to Alaska and back to New Zealand. E-7 arrived back to Miranda, New Zealand at 3 am on Sunday. The incredible thing about her long journey was that she made a remarkable record and had travelled 11,500 miles one way non-stop. Her long and tedious non-stop migratory journey has broken all record making history for migratory birds. This must have been an unbelievable feat for her. The return of the Godwits is always considered the first sign of Spring in New Zealand.

I first heard the news as I was washing dishes listening to the radio the other night, I thought it was all just so exciting that I had to do some reasearch on this awe-inspiring bird.

HERE is a short radio broadcast replay on New Zealand National Radio for you to hear a little bit more about E-7's return to New Zealand last Sunday.

The satellite tracking of the Godwits can be viewed online HERE

Massey University Article of the Godwits HERE.

Birdlife International

Wikipedia: Bar-Tailed Godwits

Video: Bar-Tailed Godwits



InfoNews.Co.NZ


Godwit E7 returns from Alaska, non-stop, to the Thames MudflatsBy NZPA28 views
THAMES


A bar-tailed godwit -- known to researchers as E7 -- is now back on her favourite mudflat on the Firth of Thames after a round trip of nearly 30,000km to Alaska and back.
E7 is the first godwit to have her full annual migration monitored by satellite. It included a southern return leg of more than 11,500km -- the longest non-stop flight by a bird to be recorded.
"From the speed that she was going, I'm absolutely confident that she came direct," said Massey ecologist Dr Phil Battley, who tagged 16 bar-tailed godwits to identify how they made their way to and from Alaska.
The south side of the Firth of Thames, near Miranda, was a muddy spot with difficult access, so it had not been possible to photograph the bird, which arrived l ate on Friday night.
Her transmitter switched itself on for six hours every 36 hours and on Friday afternoon she was south-west of Ninety Mile Beach in Northland. By 3am on Sunday morning she was back at Miranda where she is expected to stay " resting and refuelling" until about March, when she will make her way back to Alaska to lay eggs.
Dr Battley said E7 took off from the Yukon delta and could have shortened her journey by moving down to the Alaskan Peninsula to take off from about 500km further south.
"But she didn't do that," he said. "This indicates the long journey is not such a problem to her".
"It's quite amazing that even on a journey of 11,500km she's not trying to make it any shorter. She's got enough in reserve to cope.
Dr Battley is now awaiting the arrival of four other birds with transmitters still working.
Eight male birds fitted with backpack tracking devices have not been monitored because the devices appear to interfered with their flight or to have fallen off.
The transmitters on three of the eight birds, including E7, which had the devices surgically implanted also appear to have stopped working. Another female, tagged as Y3, spent the winter near Farewell Spit, and four others are still in Alaska.
Dr Battley's next project involves similar work with a sub-population of the bar-tailed godwit population in northwest Australia, allowing comparison of the migratory habits of the two populations.




Kuaka

What are you doing, all flocked on Reinga?
What is your hurry - the trees are all gold?
Sweeting, we gather because we must leave you.
April is cold; April is cold!
Oh! We shall miss you, my little kuaka;Where will you go then, my wild little one?
Over the sea to the country of Russia,Into the sun; into the sun.
We'll nest on the steppes and put on our red kirtles.
Teaching our scared little children to fly.
Then we stretch wing for the sea and the summer,Forth in July; forth in July.
Where will you be in the windy September?
Little kuaka, where will you be?
In China, the land of the iris and poppy, on a white tree; on a white tree.
Will you forget us, or will you remember? I shall remember, wherever I roam. Look for me, sweet, on the first of December I shall come home; I shall come home.

~ Eileen Duggan






Come Fly With Me!: Alex The Gifted Parrot


Alex was no ordinary parrot, in fact his cognitive abilities and amazing intelligence has astonished his owner Irene Pepperberg and researchers for 34 years. Alex was found dead in his cage on Friday morning.
Alex was an African Grey parrot which is a breed of parrot with great charm and character. He has amazed Irene and his researchers with his qualities of being able to count to "6" and identify colors among many other amazing achievements. The following video with Alex and his owner Irene Pepperberg and Alan Alda is a real treat and will certainly speak for itself.

Associated Press: Updated: 10:47 a.m. ET Sept. 11, 2007
WALTHAM, Mass. - A gifted parrot that could count to six, identify colors and even express frustration with repetitive scientific trials has died after 30 years of helping researchers better understand the avian brain.
The death of Alex, an African Grey parrot, left scientists at Brandeis University feeling as if they'd lost a colleague.
"It's devastating to lose an individual you've worked with pretty much every day for 30 years," scientist Irene Pepperberg told The Boston Globe. "Someone was working with him 8 to 12 hours every day of his life."
Alex's advanced language and recognition skills revolutionized the understanding of the avian brain.
After Pepperberg bought Alex from an animal shop in 1973, the parrot learned enough English to identify 50 different objects, seven colors, and five shapes.
He could count up to six, including zero, was able to express desires, including his frustration with the repetitive research.
He also occasionally instructed two other parrots at the lab to "talk better" if they mumbled, though it wasn't clear if he was simply mimicking researchers.
Pepperberg said Alex hadn't reached his full cognitive potential and was demonstrating the ability to take distinct sounds from words he knew and combine them to form new words. Just last month he pronounced the word "seven" for the first time.
The cause of Alex's death was unknown. The African Grey parrot's average life span is 50 years, Pepperberg said.
She said Alex was discovered dead in his cage Friday morning. Pepperberg said she waited to release the news until Monday so grieving researchers could get over the shock and talk about it.
Pepperberg said the last time she saw Alex on Thursday, they went through their goodnight routine, in which she told him it was time to go in the cage and said: "You be good, I love you. I'll see you tomorrow."
Alex responded, "You'll be in tomorrow."

Here is another absolutely wonderful video of a lady with her African Grey Parrot appearing as a guest on a televison show showing off her wonderfully intelligent pet parrot. You just have to see this one!

click above


The African grey parrot has got to be one of the most charming parrots. The African grey parrot has a wonderful character, a combination of intelligence and charm. African grey parrots have been kept as pets for over 4000 years. The Egyptians are thought to be the first to keep the African grey parrot as pets, as depicted in their hieroglyphics. The Greeks also highly valued the African grey parrot as pets, as did the Romans who kept these intelligent birds in highly ornate cages. The tradition of keeping the African grey parrot continued with King Henry VIII keeping one as a pet. Today, the African grey parrot is still kept as a prized pet.
The African Grey Parrot.Com


I am sure Alex will be missed by all those who cherished him.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

911: A Brother's Remembrance





Tears In Heaven: Eric Clapton


As I sadly reflect on the events of September 11, 2001, I recalled having saved a poignant article written in 2002 by a gentleman who had lost his brother in the fall of the Twin Towers. It had inspired me so much when I had first read it, and I have read it over and over many times since. It seemed to epitomize to me exactly the feelings of every individual who had lost a loved one during those horrific events. His words are the embodiment of every good reason why we should be so thankful for what we have in this life, especially for those whom we hold so close and dear to our hearts. Let us never forget those victims, and the families and friends who must forever live with the memory of that fateful day. May God help us all.

The article is a bit lengthy but every word worthwhile.


The River and The Creek



Translated by Chi Chung


February 20, 2002

Moments before the World Trade Center was attacked, I called my brother from my office to surprise him with a gift he had always wanted. When no one answered, I hung up the phone without leaving a message. It didn't occur to me that it would have been the last time he would have heard my voice. After I heard the news of the attack, I could not stop trembling because I knew that he always arrived at his office on the 95th floor of the north tower of the World Trade Center before 8:30 a.m. Twenty minutes later, another hijacked Boeing 767 struck the south tower of the World Trade Center. Not hearing from him, I knew that something must have happened to him. He would never let his family worry unnecessarily.
The company I work for sent all of its employees home after the second attack. Knowing that I was anxious to look for him, my colleagues persuaded me to stay away from the still dangerous southern part of Manhattan. While fleeing with the crowds to the Queens Bridge to get to New Jersey, I kept looking back to where the Twin Towers once stood. There was nothing left but dust and soot. My face was covered with tears during the six-hour ride home. I collapsed with disbelief on the front door step, grieving for my lost sibling. He was my beloved eldest brother.
We were born eight years apart. My father named him "River" and me "Creek," implying that we shared the same water. My brother left home for high school when I was in the second grade. While I have few memories of him at that age, he was already my mentor. He was an attractive individual with intelligence, compassion and leadership. He was always the one among us siblings to receive the most attention from our relatives. In return, he helped to care for his younger brothers and sister.
My sister once told me a touching story. Back in our school days in Taiwan, every student carried a lunch box that had to be sent to the school kitchen to be heated up before noon. As the oldest brother, he had the responsibility of delivering the lunch box for his sister. One day, my sister noticed that her lunch box had been switched with his. Immediately, she ran to his classroom and found him enjoying her lunch with his mouth filled with "dirty" food. With a smile on his face, he confessed to my sister that he had stumbled and spilled the contents of her lunch box while crossing the soccer field. As he picked up the soiled contents, he decided to exchange his sister's lunch with his clean one.
My brother was very protective of his siblings. In his elementary school days, he acted as a bodyguard to my second brother at school. On one occasion, he saw his brother being bullied in the playground. Although he was aware that our father would not tolerate misbehavior in school, he unhesitatingly fought the bully and saved his brother, receiving a bloody head for his efforts. Although I was too young to fully understand what happened, my respect for my brother's heroic act has never left my memory.
I finally got an opportunity to know my brother well when he came home to prepare for his college entrance examinations. We shared the same bedroom and even though he was quite busy with his exam preparations, he still found time to counsel me through my childhood years. We became best friends.
Our mother passed away when I was fourteen years old. I will never forget that day. When my brother entered the classroom with tears on his face, my teacher just happened to be telling us a story about a boy who had lost his own mother. I knew what had happened as soon as I saw his tearful face and heard him asking permission from my teacher to take me home. I immediately burst into tears and ran into his arms. He hugged me and sincerely promised me that he would look after me like our mother had. Even today, I can hardly believe that he was just a junior college student when he made that promise. True to his word, throughout my teenage years, he delivered what he had promised, teaching encouragement, enlightenment, and proper social behavior.
My brother went to America in 1980 for his graduate studies. I arrived in 1985. After that, we spoke almost daily on the phone. We continued this routine even after we both had our own families to take care of. We shared everything that was happening in our lives, just like those days when we were roommates in Taiwan. We often talked of our dream of starting our own business. Finally, in 1992, the opportunity arrived after we both lost our jobs due to the recession. We took over a retail store and hoped to use it as a base for expansion. Due to our lack of business experience, we had a very bumpy ride. Our college education and long fourteen-hour workdays did little to help smooth that journey. During those difficult times, we were both exhausted at the end of each day. Nevertheless, each of us would cheerfully work a few more hours in order to give the other person some free time. We worked well as a team and believed that there would be a light at the end of the tunnel. On those occasions when I became discouraged with our prospects for success, my brother was there to comfort me with confidence. Without him, our business venture would have quickly failed. To make a living, we struggled through this tough journey together for a long time. Our business income was significantly less than what we had earned from our previous jobs, but we never argued over how to share the profits. We never got to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We eventually went back and had successful careers at company jobs. We have had no regrets on our start-up venture. It gave us many precious memories. Our father and other relatives were all impressed by the strong kinship we demonstrated during those hard times.
Over the years, our financial situations improved considerably. My brother had two children, outstanding both academically and professionally. On September 10, I called to congratulate him since his dream of retiring to do full-time voluntary work in his church would soon come true. On September 11, it became an unfinished dream. After the attack on the Twin Towers, I visited every local hospital hoping to find my brother's name on the patient lists, knowing it would take a miracle. As I went from one hospital to another, I felt disappointment and grief. I did not want to accept that our physical bond had ended. He was still alive inside of me. It took me no time at all to fill out the lengthy ten-page application form for a lost person report. I was amazed at how much I knew about my brother, especially after the past seventeen years in America.
After work, I have been hosting a radio program on one of the Chinese community stations. On many occasions, I have discussed life and death with my audience. I thought that I could face death gracefully. However, I found it very difficult to accept the loss of my oldest brother. My father, suppressing his deep grief, reminded us to bury our brother in our hearts and to look to the future. I am father to my children; I am supposed to act like an adult. However, it is not possible for me to deal with my brother's death like an adult. I have always been a little brother who depended on his older brother's guidance throughout the years. How can I keep tears from streaming down my face whenever I think of him or when talking to my other brother and sister about him?
In high school, I read a touching memorial article, "Message To My Deceased Sister," written by Yan Mei. At that time, I was very surprised by the deep sorrow that one could have at losing a sister. Now, I completely understand the writer's feelings. Although I do not have Yan Mei's literary talent, my grief at the loss of my brother is no less intense. He will not fade away from his family's memory. My sister and second brother are coming to his memorial service in the U.S. during the Chinese Moon Festival. This will be the first Moon Festival that we have spent together since each of us got married. In our childhood, we used to share a moon-cake in four equal parts and enjoy memories of our past under the full moon. It will be impossible to have the same enjoyment when our oldest brother will not be there to take his quarter of the moon-cake. Time may diminish our sorrow, but nothing will bring back our lost brother. I am sure that the strong bond built between us will never be broken, just as it is impossible to separate water merged from a creek and a river. My only wish right now is to have time reverse itself and bring back my beloved brother. I will not give up waiting for this dream to come true.




Friday, September 7, 2007

Remembering Luciano Pavarotti

Luciano Pavarotti
October 12, 1935 - September 6, 2007

click arrow above on the left to hear Luciano Pavarotti singing
Nessun Dorma

Yesterday was a very sad day for me as I heard of the passing of one of the most famous Tenors that ever lived. Luciano Pavarotti died at the age of 71 as a result of complications of Pancreatic Cancer at his home in Modena, Italy. It is a great loss for so many people throughout the world, and the opera, classical, and pop music stages will never be the same without the powerful voice and presence of this master performer who has pleased and overwhelmed the world for decades. I for one love classical music and opera more than any other kind of music and Luciano Pavarotti's music has always touched my heart so deeply. I have always considered him to be one of the most consummate performing artists in the world. I am fortunate to have a great collection of his music, and I hope by sharing the above song "Nessun Dorma" with you that you that you might find enjoyment in the same.


We will dearly miss you Luciano!

You can also view a You Tube Video of Pavarotti singing Nessun Dorma HERE





Lyrics: Nessun Dorma
ITALIAN:

Nessun dorma! Nessun dorma! Tu pure, o,
Principessa, nella tua fredda stanza, guardi le stelleche fremono d'amoree di
speranza. Ma il mio mistero e chiuso in me, il nome mio nessun sapra! No, no, sulla
tua bocca lo diroquando la luce splendera! Ed il mio bacio sciogliera il
silenzioche ti fa mia! ( Il nome suo nessun sapra!...e noi dovrem, ahime,
morir!) Dilegua, o notte! Tramontate, stelle! Tramontate, stelle! All'alba
vincero!vincero, vincero!

ENGLISH:

None must sleep! None must sleep! And you, too,
Princess, in your cold room, gaze at the stars which tremble with love and hope! But my mystery is locked within me, no-one shall know my name! No, no, I shall say it
as my mouth meets yours when the dawn is breaking! And my kiss will break the
silence which makes you mine! (No-one shall know his name, and we, alas, shall
die!) Vanish, o night! Fade, stars! At dawn I shall win!



Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Global Warming: Where Do We Go From Here?

While the world always seems to balance on the brink of good and evil, the world also teeters on the edge of another foreboding dilemma, and it is that of global warming and its effects. Now there are many that believe that global warming is merely a hoax at its best, but how can one deny the facts that have been scientifically proven by some of the most intelligent scientific minds in the world, let alone the sheer weight of evidence that we see flashing on our television screens of the news reports of the devastation occuring all around the world. Global warming is a real scenario, and there are consequences that have and will continue to come to pass if we don't heed the call NOW! I won't go into all the manifestations of global warming in this post as I am sure you have heard a good deal about it already, or maybe even too much. Now I am not a scientist by any stretch of the imagination, nor do I even belong to any environmental organization, but I am just a concerned citizen with a family that I cherish dearly....and I am concerned about their future as well as the future of all of mankind, and for those succeeding us. I never had the opportunity to see Al Gore's movie, An Inconvenient Truth but I do a lot of research and keep up with the world news and what is happening to this planet every day of the week. I am planning to see The 11th Hour with Leonardo Di Caprio however, so I can learn more about this exisiting problem that we are all facing, and I want to learn what more I can do as an individual to help this world we live in.


About The 11th Hour:

'The 11th Hour' Warns of Environmental Collapse By Penelope Poulou Washington DC27
August 2007


The new documentary "The 11th Hour' sounds the alarm over global warming and offers insight into the causes and effects of global pollution.
The documentary starts with news footage of hurricanes raging, floods taking homes, people drowning. Others, on their rooftops, are pleading for help. These images are not new. Nor is the message they evoke: extreme weather phenomena can destroy human life. Like the Oscar winning documentary "An Inconvenient Truth," "The 11th Hour" warns against global warming. But the focus goes beyond climate change. It deals with the human dynamics that contributed to these changes since the industrial revolution.
To do that, movie directors Nadia Conners and her sister, Leila Conners Petersen, interviewed more than 50 scientists, ecologists, authors, professors and other experts on climate change. One of them is environmentalist Kenny Ausubel. Ausuber says that human society exploits nature to such a degree that it risks depleting it. He says, if people continue to live at odds with nature, their existence is at stake.
Leila Conners Petersen says as challenging as it was to gather all these interviews it was not difficult to convince these people to give their input on global warming. "A lot of them felt an urgency about the situation just like we did," she says. "And the fact that Leo was involved they felt 'Oh my Gosh! Now, we're going to be heard!'"
Actor Leonardo Di Caprio produced and presents the documentary "The 11th Hour" "Leo" is none other than actor Leonardo Di Caprio. He is the producer and the presenter of the movie. Standing in front of a mountainside, Di Caprio is warning the end of a healthy planet is near.
Scientists such as Patrick J. Michaels, senior fellow of environmental studies at Cato Institute, disagree.
"We (climatologists) know, I think to a pretty small range of error, how much it's gonna warm in the next 20 to 50 years or so," he says. "It's not that much. It will be about eight tenths of a degree Celsius or so. To spin that into the end of the world story is absurd. It stands history on its head," he notes.
The scientists who warn against global warming are as vocal as global warming doubters. They say time is running out and change has to occur on all social levels, from the administrations to the corporations to the local communities right down to the individual. In spite of its doomsday scenario, filmmaker Nadia Conners says the film ends with a message of hope.
"It is a very hopeful time," she says. One of our favorite lines in the film -- the Paul Hawken line, 'What an incredible time to be born -- because it's this generation that gets to change this world.' And everything that we do has to be redesigned."
Although not the most visually exciting film, "The 11th Hour" has a sobering effect. At the same time, it inspires the viewer to get up from his seat and go do something to make this a better world .


More Information about Global Warming:


See Video HERE


Wikepedia: The 11th Hour


The following is an excellent video that I highly recommend you viewing at your convenience.

click above


Also I have posted a poll on this blog "How Do You Feel About Global Warming" You can find it by scrolling down on the right hand side of this page. I would appreciate you taking 10 seconds of your time to participate in my poll if possible. It is merely for my own personal use as I am curious as to know how others feel about this issue.


Thanks for reading my post about a serious issue that faces us all.

Friday, August 31, 2007

You Are Loved






The first track from Josh Groban's new upcoming album is available!


click above

SODIUM: The Silent Killer?


In 1966 I lost my dear Father to a cerebral hemmorhage. His stroke was very sudden and left the whole family in total shock. He was a young man, 53 years of age and in good health all of his life, other than the fact that he did have hypertension (high blood pressure). He always had frequent headaches, yet we always thought they were from the pressures of raising a large family and the stresses of working seven days a week. As I look back on my Father's hypertension, and having hypertension myself now for many years, and having regular headaches myself, I often wonder whether something could have been done back then to prevent his early demise. I would often note even as a young girl that he would use large amounts of salt on his food. I have analyzed over the years that whenever I have eaten anything salty I wind up with an excruciating headache, and I find it so totally agonizing. Now I have not cooked with salt for many years, nor do I put salt on any of my food items when eating, all well knowing that I will wind up with an exploding headache...but gosh there is sodium in just about everything these days.....just check out some food items in your cupboard and you will see what I mean. I still notice if I have cooked certain food items which already contain sodium, especially canned items I still get headaches. It almost can't be helped. But I must say I have become ever more vigilant in checking labels for sodium content as I have an increasing awareness of the risk factors in using salt or sodium related products. I must admit that I am always concerned about a stroke and the medical factors that can lead to a stroke, so I hope today's post might behoove others to consider some of the factors. Increased intake of sodium is a known risk for strokes and other medical ailments. The following is an article you might find helpful, and possibly the following links might prove to be a benefit to you and hopefully will answer some of your questions about hypertension, strokes, and other related disorders. Increased cholesterol and triglyceride levels are also a great risk and can also cause strokes as well as heart disease. I have also taken a very new interest in these two levels myself as I have recently been told that both of my levels were well out of the normal range. So I am also including some links here that will again hopefully answer some of your questions about cholesterol and triglycerides and the risks of stroke and heart disease.


Article:


Modest reductions in salt intake can dramatically lower heart disease risk, new research shows.
In an extended follow-up of two rigorously designed trials, people who reduced their dietary sodium while participating in the studies saw 25 percent reductions in heart disease and stroke risk 10 to 15 years later, compared with people who ate their usual diets.
Most people in the intervention arm of the studies -- where participants reduced the sodium in their diet -- lowered their sodium intake by 25 percent to 30 percent, researcher Nancy Cook, ScD, of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, tells WebMD.
"This was not salt restriction, it was salt reduction," she says. "These people ate normal diets, but we taught them how to look out for hidden salt and avoid it."
5 Tips on Reducing Salt IntakeEating less sodium can help lower some people's blood pressure. This can help reduce the risk of heart disease. Sodium is something we need in our diets, but most of us eat too much of it. Much of the sodium we eat comes from salt we add to our food at the table or that food companies add to their foods. So, avoid adding salt to foods at the table and use these 5 tips to reduce your salt intake:
Take stock of the sources of salt in your diet, such as restaurant meals, salt-based condiments, and convenience foods. Some of these are really loaded with salt.
Read the labels when shopping. Look for lower sodium in cereals, crackers, pasta sauces, canned vegetables, or any foods with low-salt options.
If you think your meals are high in sodium, balance them by adding high-potassium foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables.
Ask about salt added to food, especially at restaurants. Most restaurant chefs will omit salt when requested.
If you need to salt while cooking, add the salt at the end; you will need to add much less. The longer the food cooks, the more the salty flavor is muted and at the end, the final taste is on the top layer.


Sodium and Health

Heart Disease: Mayo Clinic

Hypertension: Mayo Clinic

High Cholesterol Risk Factors

High Triglyceride Risk Factors

The Symptom Checker

Diagnostic Blood Test Normal Ranges: Merck Manual Home Edition



Remembering Princess Diana: 7/1/61-8/31/97

Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.
~ Diana Spencer

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Taking A Bite Out Of Crime





Taking a bite out of crime is the first thing this precious 8 lb. police dog pup has on her mind these days. Meet Midge the friendly drug sniffing chihuahua-rat terrier and her colleague Brutus. Midge has gone down in history as the smallest drug sniffing police dog in the world in the Guiness Book of World Records...and she means business as usual. See her video HERE as she combs an area seeking out drugs. Don't let her size fool you....she is just as well thought of in the police business as her friend Brutus above.


Here is an article about Midge!

By Michael O'Mara

Drug sniffing chihuahua is now in the Guinness Book of World Records. We first introduced you to little "Midge" ten months ago when she was just a puppy. Since then, "Midge" has charmed even the most cynical residents of Geauga county, including her partner in police work, "Brutus" the sheriff department's big German Sheppard.
"Midge" has now passed her test and recieved her certification as a real K-9 drug detector in the state of Ohio.
Her boss and trainer, Geauga County Sheriff, Dan McClelland, will take the small dog anywhere he has to go. They are ready in the event that the department needs "Midge" to go to work.
The 8 pound chihuahua/rat terrier mix has now set the world record as the smallest drug dog on the planet. The Guinness Book of World Records sent the Sheriff's Department the certificate to recognize the achievement.
"Midge is the little dog, the underdog, said Sheriff McClelland. "It's the fact that a small dog is doing big things that so impressive."
The tiny dog has become a huge celebrity. Open up a tabloid magazine like the National Examiner and there is "Midge" getting the star treatment.
"Midge" has shown up in newspapers and magazine articles as far away as Switzerland and China. Some of her fans even send her gifts like a camoflauge vest, hand painted portraits, and scarves.
Chat with residents in dowtown Chardon, Ohio and almost everybody knows the story about the small dog.
Said resident, Linda Inghram, "everybody has seen little Midge."
Vickie Intihar said "Midge is just too cute to resist".
Glen Miller, the editor for the Geauga County Maple Leaf newspaper, said "Midge" became an immediate sensation.
Said Miller, "Midge is small and he's lovable. Oops, I mean "she". Midge is just so different."
The little crime fighting dog is so popular that she has her own trading cards. The Sheriff's Department has already handed out five thousand "Midge" cards.
It's very clear, that "Midge" is a star. Fan mail for "Midge" can be sent to: midge@co.geauga.oh.us

Breast Cancer Awareness


"One must always be aware, to notice.....even though the cost of noticing is to become responsible. "



~Author Thylias Moss



click above



click above


The above is a comprehensive resource directory and index on anything relating to Breast Cancer. Please take time to become more aware about Breast Cancer. Early detection can save a life!



Monday, August 27, 2007

Love Recipe

Photo By: Babi Santander

Ingredients

2 Hearts Full of Love
2 Heaping Cups of Kindness
2 Armfuls of Gentleness
2 Cups of Friendship
2 Cups of Joy
2 Big Hearts Full of Forgiveness
1 Lifetime of Togetherness
2 Minds Full of Tenderness

Method

Stir daily with Happiness, Humor and Patience. Serve with Warmth and Compassion, Respect and Loyalty.

~ Author Unknown