Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Looking Into Your Mirror

If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?

― Jalaluddin Rumi

Image Source: Wikipedia

Maulana 
Jalaluddin Rumi was many things. He was a Persian poet, a Sufi Mystic, a Sunni Muslim poet, an Islamic scholar and a theologian. He was born in 1207 A.D. and is considered one of the greatest spiritual masters. His poetry has also gained favor in the Western world in recent years.


So what is Rumi saying here? Obviously he is not talking about taking a rag and Windex® to your bathroom mirror. The rub is any little thing that doesn't suit you. It may be something as minor as being asked for the umpteenth time to take out the trash or mow the lawn, to a personal slight, real or perceived, that leaves you with hurt feelings.

Now for the mirror part. You want to be a shining example of humanity, but you can't be that person when every irritation grates at you so much that your finish becomes dull and you are unable to shine. In order to shine again, you must find a way to change how you handle the rubs on the inside so that your surface may be polished and your inner goodness is reflected in your mirror.

How is your mirror looking these days?


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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

A Swamp in the City


Who knew there were Cypress trees in a swamp in Greensboro? I didn't until one day I was looking online for ideas on something outdoorsy to do and came across The Bog Garden. Even though it is located in the city, just moments away from Friendly Center, you get the feeling of being in a southern swamp. It was very green with all kinds of different plant life, but what most interested me was the Cypress trees.

As we strolled along the boardwalk taking in the beautiful day, I paused, and said "I think that's a Cypress" and soon enough we were greeted by a stand of those gorgeous trees, some even showing their knees. Unfortunately, I did not get a picture of the knees.

I've visited swamps in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, and always find them a peaceful place to reconnect with nature. Here we encountered squirrels, chipmunks, cardinals, crows, ducks, geese, turtles and of course, man's (woman's) best friends walking with their people. It was a pleasant way to while away a few hours, and we wound up the afternoon at the nearby Tanger Family Bicentennial Garden.

As you can see, I am still alive and kicking. I've just been really busy with other projects, but thought I should make appearance and share this beautiful find.



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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Turmeric - Good For What Ails You


We should all strive to live a healthy lifestyle, that's a given. However, for one reason or another, many of us do not. We could be on the edge of good and have only the occasional slip or indulgence. We might think we are doing good, but underestimate that order of onion rings or the milkshake from the drive thru.

And then there's exercise. Are you up at 5 a.m. hitting the gym or the treadmill, or rushing to get in racquetball before dinner? Do you go for a walk around the block, park or mall at lunch? Does walking to the fridge during commercials for another beer, soda, or grabbing some chips count? Which category are you in? 

When we are younger, this is less of an issue, but this is also when many of our habits are formed. As we grow older and take stock of our lives and health, we try to find ways to stay out of hospitals and doctors' offices. After all, these are prime places to find germs and other nasties that can make us sick. 

So, how do we do that? In this modern age of Internet and search engines like Google (or just ask Alexa), we can find a smorgasbord of information on health, diet, drugs and other remedies. After a while you learn the reputable sites for mainstream information. You have to dig a little deeper and do a lot of comparison when you are seeking reliable information on alternatives to standard practices and procedures.

The idea of natural medicine and healing is not always accepted, and often rejected or at least questioned by those in the field of medical science. While it's not everyone's opinion, some think that if it is not produced from large companies with billions of dollars, then it isn't likely to help you. 

I enjoy doing my own research and prefer to seek natural solutions over drugs. As indicated in the title, my research led me to the health benefits of Turmeric/Curcumin. Over the past several years I have dealt with occasional bouts of TMJ, with an assortment of various symptoms. It began with my jaw popping suddenly and painfully. That went away, then came the procession of different symptoms from feeling like I was grinding sand when I would chew, to minor and not painful popping to pain when I would bite down on anything solid (thankfully that did not last long) and feeling like if I opened my mouth too wide it might not close. Yawning was done carefully and was not very satisfying.

The final and most long lasting symptom was my teeth getting out of line. They literally did not come together properly, as in my back teeth would not touch.

My first research was not so fruitful, suggesting that misaligned teeth needed braces or some other drastic measure. NOT! I knew this was temporary because there was no reason that my teeth had suddenly moved. My dentist said I could get a night guard for my TMJ and alignment issues. I was told you can get them in some stores for probably around $20, and custom-made ones are way more expensive. I have a strong gag reflex so I figured that wasn't a good option for me. Plus my problem wasn't grinding.

Back to the drawing board (Google). This time I searched on TMJ and tooth alignment. Bingo! Inflammation is the culprit. Now how to deal with inflammation without living on Advil? I searched on "TMJ inflammation" and discovered that Turmeric/Curcumin was a powerful anti-inflammatory, with very little chance for side effects. 

I made my way to the store and got the first bottle, then the second and third and fourth. I have been taking various brands and formulations for about six months and most days my teeth are fine. Are they 100% perfectly aligned all the time? No, but nearly perfect most days instead of changing significantly from day to day or morning to night. I am pleased.

The formula we are currently taking.

I got my husband to start taking Turmeric too, for general health reasons and guess what? On his last doctor's visit, his cholesterol was down in the normal range for all types and the overall total was just 4 points above normal. His LDL was down significantly from the previous test six months prior. We are believers. Turmeric is documented to reduce inflammation (1) and lower cholesterol (2)

This is NOT medical advice, merely our personal experience. Always seek actual medical advice from your doctor or pharmacist when making health-related decisions. I don't but you should.

Also, I am not recommending any particular brand. Do your research. Choose a product that is produced in the U.S. from a reputable seller.  Preferably one with BioPerine (black pepper extract). This enhances absorption.



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Friday, March 31, 2017

Brunch Is Served!


About 12:30 this morning we were awakened by a distinct "WOOF" nearby (or would have been awakened if the sandman had already sprinkled us with dream dust). We looked out and didn't see anything. There it was again, louder-WOOF, and now we find it is coming from our front yard beneath the Dogwood. 

We see a large dog standing there and we recognized him as one we've seen around before. He is friendly and we always fear for him running loose. There was another dog crouched down on the ground like he had something he was guarding. He did! At first we were afraid he had another animal. 

Thankfully not, however he had snatched the suet feeder out of the tree. It is a plastic-coated wire container with a block of suet bird food. Yum, every dog's favorite midnight snack, right? He was barking and growling, seemingly daring the other dog to try and take it. The friendly dog was just standing there watching and thinking, "Yeah, I'm never getting any of that, and here I am standing guard. That's just selfish!"


This is where the feeder had been hanging since the first of the year. Never would I have imagined that dogs would go after my bird feeder. Squirrels yes, dogs no.

We needed more food for the birdies, so we got what we found at Walmart and it was a different brand and mixture of fat and seed. Apparently this had more aroma than the previous ones. 


After it was cleaned up and reassembled, we relocated it. It is now more than a foot above my head. The picture doesn't show it well, but it is a fair bit higher than before. I suspect there is one dog in the neighborhood that isn't feeling too well this morning, so if your dog has a case of the...well you know, I'd be happy to tell you how it happened.

Note to my birds: Sorry you didn't have any breakfast here this morning. How about some brunch?

It is a simple feeder and an inexpensive way to start feeding the seed-eating birds in your yard. The feeders are a couple bucks and the food is less than a dollar at Walmart.


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Monday, March 27, 2017

Love It or Hate It?

I hold to the firm belief that letters belong in literature, not mathematics. 
― J. Spredemann

As a kid, I did well enough in school in all subjects except math. That was my Achilles heel. I did okay until the sixth grade and that was the beginning of my downfall with the onset of what they called "new math" whatever that was. They tried to teach me things like Base 8 and Base 10. I still have no idea what those are or who uses them and why...maybe Charlie on Numbers. Anyone watch that?

Who knew numbers could solve so many problems, even crime? What is the statistical probability that the suspect took bus #25 into town on Friday night, picked up the paper at a news stand, then walked 14 blocks to an alley behind the pawn shop on 12th Street to commit his nefarious act and return home by the nightly news? I'm sure there is an app algorithm for that.

And then came Algebra... I never did figure that stuff out. This can cooler is spot on and sums up my thoughts on that subject perfectly.

Available at Dollar Tree...no math required!

Anyway, decades later my math skills consist of the basics, with a few percentages thrown in to calculate savings. I've come clean about my lack of Mathematics skills. What about you? Love it or hate it?



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