Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Holidays

Christmas2 Wishing you and yours  merry and bright holidays!!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

HINI (Swine Flu) Declared National Emergency

Over the weekend, President Obama declared a national emergency as the HINI virus has now spread to 46 US states and claimed 1000 lives thus far. Widespread shortages in the availability of the HINI vaccine around the country has resulted in long lines outside health clinics and mounting frustration for parents of the young children who have emerged as the most at risk group from this virus wanting to vaccinate and protect their children. Health experts admit that the production of the HINI vaccine dosages has been slower than originally projected, however they are quick to assure the public that the vaccine will be widely available by mid-November.

If you are among the many people who are waiting for the vaccination to become available in your area there are things that you can do to reduce your risks of exposure to the HINI virus.

· Cough/sneeze into your elbow and not into your hands. This goes against the longstanding advice most are familiar with to cover your mouth and nose with your hands whenever you cough or sneeze. This practice prevents bacteria expelled from the nose and mouth from ending up on your hands and either re-entering your body when you touch your eyes, nose, or mouth, or from contaminating the surfaces and other people that you come into contact with around you.

·Frequent hand-washing with antibacterial soap and very warm water, as well as using hand sanitizers in gel form or wipes, is also recommended for reducing your exposure to the HINI flu virus. Sanitizer wipes tend to be more practical for younger children while teens generally find hand sanitizing gels more practical for them. Wash your hands after any possible exposure to HINI germs such as touching surfaces, handling money, or shaking hands with someone.

·Some people are pushing the ‘elbow-bump’ as the newest and safest way to greet someone else. This may not always be possible or appropriate in a business setting. In business and social settings today with everyone aware of the HINI pandemic it is acceptable to carry and use hand sanitizers after shaking hands to protect yourself from this deadly virus.

·Do not re-use tissues. Throw away your tissue after a single use and get a fresh one to avoid re-introducing germs back into your body that your immune system and body has already worked hard to get rid of.

·Avoid enclosed areas lacking proper ventilation with people in them wherever possible. Offices and other work spaces, restaurants, meeting places, as well as classrooms all need good ventilation to reduce the spreading of the HINI virus from person to person. Certainly if you or your child is sick with HINI, stay home until you have not had a fever for at least 24hrs without using fever-reducing medications, and do not expose others to the virus.

·Do your best not to panic over the presence of HINI this flu season. Top health experts have staid that there will be enough vaccines available in just a few weeks for everyone wanting the HINI flu vaccine. Media coverage of the HINI pandemic is sure to expand as confirmed cases of HINI grows and the government’s health department and health organizations issue new warnings to the public on how they can protect themselves from this deadly flu virus.

Stay healthy!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Neighboring Canine Pals

BuddyandAiden

This is a snapshot of my neighbor’s dogs. I watched them this weekend and they have become very good canine pals of mine. They can never take my Hannah Lilly’s place of course but they have great personalities and are mostly obedient considering I am not their human pack leader.  Buddy is the Sheepdog and Aiden is the Spaniel.

I should pay my neighbor a fee for the weight I am sure the spaniel helped me to walk off this weekend trying not to lose him as he kept up a steady and very fast clip on all of our walks.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Electronic Cigarettes Pose Cancer Risk

Smoking is a hard habit to break. Many people ask their doctor to prescribe a medication to help them stop smoking or they may use a variety of OTC products for help in quitting smoking. Although the E-Cigarette looked promising especially to the many smokers wanting to stop smoking while avoiding withdrawal symptoms recently targeted in a large-scale media blitz by the makers of the E-Cigarette. The FDA warns that these electronic cigarettes (that mimic the feel and brain stimulation of real tobacco cigarettes) are themselves dangerous because they contain cancer-causing chemicals and advise consumers not to use them. Read more about this warning about the E-Cigarette.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Little Biblical Humor

His mama carried the family bible to church every Sunday. She would read the bible to herself in the afternoons he often observed, and on many occasions, she read him a story from the bible before helping him to say his prayers and tucking him into bed. One day Billy decided to see for himself why mama was so fond of the bible. Looking through the pages quickly with a very concentrated look on his face, a pressed dry leaf falls out from between the two pages where someone had placed it long ago. Billy picked up the leaf and ran to find his mama to show her what he had just found. He shouted excitedly as he ran into the kitchen where his mama was preparing lunch, “Mama! Mama!” Look what I found! ”

“What did you find honey?” his mama asked him. Billy replied, “I think it is Adams underwear.”

Monday, July 13, 2009

Is a Hurried Life a Fulfilled Life?

A reader sent this to me. Thanks Joe.

Muscian
Musician playing violin in a Washington DC
Metro Station on a cold January morning
in 2007.

He played six Bach pieces for about 60 minutes. During that time approximately 2,000 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After:

3 minutes

A middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule.
4 minutes
The violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping, continued to walk.
6 minutes
A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.
10 minutes
A three year old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly, as the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time.. This action was repeated by several other children. Every parent, without exception, forced them to move on.
45 minutes
The musician played. Only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32.
1 hour:
He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.
This is a real story. The
Washington Post, as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people's priorities, arranged the entire scenario. Playing incognito, no one knew the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days prior to this, Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the tickets averaged $100 per seat.
The questions raised:
In a common place environment at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty; do we stop to appreciate it;
do we recognize talent in such an unexpected context?
One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be:
If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ....... How many other things are we missing?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Do Americans Need to Check Their Priorities?

Someone sent me an email today containing a letter purportedly composed by a soldier. I have decided to post it here because I believe it raises some valid points about the people that many Americans choose to give priority to while many times ignoring the significant and selfless contributions of other people like the brave souls in our military services. Below is the message I received in its entirety. You may draw your own conclusions as to whether you think the message expressed in this letter has some validity to it or not.

 

THIS WAS WRITTEN BY A SOLDIER IN IRAQ.
>
>
> I was just watching the news, and I caught part of a report on Michael
> Jackson . As we all know, Jackson died the other day. He was an
> entertainer who performed for decades. He made millions, he spent
> millions, and he did a lot of things that make him a villain to many
> people. I understand that his death would affect a lot of people, and
> I respect those people who mourn his death, but that isn't the point
> of my rant.
>
> Why is it that when ONE man dies, the whole of America loses their
> minds with grief. When a man dies whose only contribution to the
> country was to ENTERTAIN people, the American people find the need to
> flock to a memorial in Hollywood , and even Congress sees the need to
> hold a "moment of silence" for his passing?
>
> Am I missing something here? ONE man dies, and all of a sudden he's a freaking martyr because he entertained us for a few decades? What
> about all those SOLDIERS who have died to give us freedom? All those
> Soldiers who, knowing that they would be asked to fight in a war,
> still raised their 2 hands and swore to defend the Constitution and the
> United States of America . Where is there moment of silence? Where
> are the people flocking to their graves or memorials and mourning over
> them because they made the ultimate sacrifice? Why is it when a
> Soldier dies, there are more people saying "good riddance," and "thank
> God for IEDs?" When did this country become so calloused to the
> sacrifice of GOOD MEN and WOMEN, that they can arbitrarily blow off
> their deaths, and instead, throw themselves into mourning for a "Pop
> Icon?"
>
> I think that if they are going to hold a moment of silence IN CONGRESS
> for Michael Jackson, they need to hold a moment of silence for every
> service member killed in Iraq and Afghanistan . They need to PUBLICLY
> recognize every life that has been lost so that the American people
> can live their callous little lives in the luxury and freedom that WE,
> those that are living and those that have gone on, have provided for
> them. But, wait, that would take too much time, because there have
> been so many willing to make that sacrifice. After all, we will never
> make millions of dollars. We will never star in movies, or write hit
> songs that the world will listen too. We only shed our blood, sweat
> and tears so that people can enjoy what they have.
>
> Sorry if I have offended, but I needed to say it. Feel free to pass
> this along if you want.
>
> Remember these five words the next time you think of someone who is
> serving in the military;
> "So that others may live..."
>
>
> Only two people have ever effectively given their lives for you.
>
> Jesus Christ and The American G.I.
>
> One died for your sins, the other died to give you freedom.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Don’t Become A Feast for Mosquitoes

Many regions around the country experienced above-average amounts of rainfall during the month of June. This trend is continuing into July in many areas. All this extra rain has resulted in mosquitoes breeding at 3 to 4 times their normal rate. If you have spent any time outdoors lately, you have undoubtedly noticed that there are a lot more mosquitoes buzzing around this year than in recent years. These buggers are carriers of the West Nile Virus and have insatiable appetites for feeding on the blood of humans and animals. Even if the mosquitoes that bite you and your family do not transmit disease, the intense itching caused by their bites can be very uncomfortable.

There are three keys to protecting yourself and family from mosquitoes looking for a feast. The first key is to eliminate areas of standing water in your yard and near your home’s foundation. Fill-in holes you find in your yard and around your homes foundation. Look for other things like overturned trashcan lids and containers, and large cracks in concrete that can collect rainwater and provide mosquitoes with the perfect spot for breeding hordes of mosquito babies, and fix them to ward off a mosquito population explosion.

The second key is to use mosquito and insect repellent to keep bugs from bugging you. You should read the instructions provided with whatever product you decide to use to ensure its safe use. Experts recommend using personal repellent products that contain ingredients such as DEET, eucalyptus, lemon oil, and Picaridin as the best repelling protection from mosquitoes and other insects. There are also many different mosquito/insect repelling products to choose from for your yard to help protect you and your family from biting insects so that you can enjoy outdoor activities. Mosquitoes and other insects dislike the scent of lavender. For a natural repellent use 1 part oil of lavender to 3 parts water in a quart-sized spray bottle and spray on yourself, family members and even your pets to keep insects at bay. Repeat applications frequently.

The color of your clothing is the third key to preventing mosquitoes from making a feast out of you. Darker clothing is a magnate for mosquitoes so you should wear lighter colored clothing to help repel them when you are outdoors. It is also advisable, although not the most comfortable of ideas in hot summer temperatures to wear long sleeved shirts and long pants when you are outside, and especially when you are in tall grassy or wooded areas. This can protect you from ticks as well, which carry Lyme disease.

Prime biting time for mosquitoes is from dusk to dawn. The very best protection from them is to stay indoors during these hours whenever possible. Hoping you and yours have a wonderful and safe summer and that the tips illustrated above will help protect you and your family from the insurgence of the abundant numbers of mosquitoes we have this year.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Someone special sent me this funny animal video on July 4th. that I am just now getting around to posting. Thanks for this funny video of animal thievery- Joe!!!



You can view the video here.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Fourth of July 2009

FourthofJuly1 

As we celebrate our nation’s independence and the freedoms we enjoys as Americans let’s pause, remember, and say thanks to those brave men and women past and present who selflessly make great sacrifices in the pursuit to keep freedom alive.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Safety Recall Alert: Inflatable Baby Floats

The U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced today that Aqua Leisure Industries is voluntarily recalling 14 of its baby inflatable floating baby seats models constituting nearly 4 million baby floats sold nationwide. The leg straps, which are supposed to keep babies and toddlers in place, can break, allowing children to slide through into the water. With so many families planning to be poolside or heading to the beach this weekend, parents and caregivers should discontinue the use of these aqua baby floats. Read this full CNN article on this safety recall.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Protecting Your Pets this 4th of July

Do not let the celebration of our nation’s Independence and its various festivities including fireworks displays become a tragedy for your family by the loss of a beloved pet. Scores of dogs and other pets die each year because of the dangers this holiday can present to pets. Accidents with fireworks being set off near pets and panicked pets being hit and killed by running into the path of moving vehicles, are two of the primary causes for the loss of many pet lives each summer. Pets startled by fireworks and other holiday activities that stray away from home, become lost and end up in shelters, are subject to euthanasia if their owners do not claim them within 7-10 days in many shelters, also claims the lives of many family pets each year. Protect your pet from the dangers this holiday poses to them with these tips.

  • Whenever possible the safest place for your pets is indoors when fireworks displays and other loud activities are taking place.
  • Providing “white noise” to help hide the noises of the holiday like turning on a fan, radio, or TV can help to keep your pet calm.
  • Close window shades so that pets cannot see fireworks in the sky or people passing by and become agitated by those sights.
  • Supply outdoor pets with a protected area for them to be in while various 4th of July celebrations are under way. make sure that they are securely confined to the area you have chosen. Panicked dogs can easily break free from chains and tie-out stakes when frightened.
  • Do not light fireworks anywhere near your pet or where they could fall on and severely injure your pet. Children should always be supervised while using sparklers and other small fireworks, but especially when you also have outdoor pets.
  • Avoid the temptation to feed your pets the fixings from your holiday meals as these can sicken your
  • Are you planning to head to the lake or beach with your dog this Fourth of July? Watch them closely around the water to prevent their drowning. Even dogs who are skilled swimmers can become tired and unable to reach the shore. Also, keep suntan lotions and sunscreens, insect repellents, and other products that smell good to pets but are very dangerous to them when ingested away from your pet. Do not forget to bring a water dish along to keep pets hydrated while out in the sun and heat. Be aware that blacktops and other concrete surfaces can burn the sensitive undersides of pet paws, so avoid walking your pet over these wherever possible

I wish you, your family, your pets, and pets everywhere, a safe and glorious Fourth of July 2009.

Prayer Request

Asking readers to lift up prayers of health for my Aunt Joyce, who I just found out spent the night in the hospital due to chest pains. I know my prayers are that she is okay and can go home today or in the next few days.

FDA Recall Updates

You can get updates on new product recalls issued by the FDA and even get them sent to you via email.  The Food and Drug Administration also provides many useful resources to help consumers keep their families and pets safe.  You can visit the FDA website using this link.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Funny Powerpoint

My Uncle Joe sent me this humorous creation tale today-Thank You Very Much Uncle Joe!!!
Blogger still gives me fits every time I try to upload video, audio, MP3's, or PowerPoint files. The only one it has accepted was the 2 seconds of Hannah Lilly that I posted not too long ago. I have decided that this blogger file-upload issue is not a frustration worth working through right now when I can easily upload the files I want to my website, and link to that page from here.

Go to The Write Station website to open and view a funny creation tale.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Caring for Your Pet: Summer Time Tips

Anyone who read my ‘tweets’ this weekend knows that I ‘dog-sat” for my neighbors 3 pups on Friday and Saturday. Buddy the sheepdog, Aiden the Brittany spaniel, and Abby the beagle, were all pretty well behaved considering this was the first time I have cared for them. Thank goodness, as they would have been a handful for one person otherwise. They were very happy upon their owners return and my pooch Hannah Lilly was happy to have me all to herself again. My taking care of them must not have been too traumatizing on them as Aiden tried to get off his lead and come to my house yesterday, and all 3 greeted me enthusiastically when I passed by on my walk. Seeing how hard this heat is on Buddy brought to mind some things pet owners should be aware of for the comfort, safety, and health of their pets in summer.

• Always provide your dog, cat, or other pets with fresh water to help keep them well hydrated with the higher temperature of summer.

• If your pet spends a lot of time outdoors, make sure they have access to a shaded area so that they have a cooler spot to be in when the day’s temperature is at its highest.

• Keep an eye out for signs that your pet is experiencing heat exhaustion or heat sickness, heavy panting, excessive foaming at the mouth, pale tongue, lethargy, and trouble standing to name just a few signs that your pet has had too much heat. Move your pet to a cooler place, offer him/her cool water to drink, and seek veterinary care if your pet does not improve within a few minutes, is experiencing difficulty breathing, (making choking or gasping sounds), or has become unconscious.

• You should never of course leave a pet in your vehicle even for just a few minutes. The temperatures inside a vehicle even with windows opened for ventilation can rise to dangerous and deadly levels in less than a minute.

• Protect your pets from fleas and ticks using high quality treatments such as flea & tick shampoos, flea & tick collars, monthly repellent gels or chewable tablets, and treating their sleeping areas and your yard to repel fleas and ticks.


• Vaccinations for your pet should be up to date to help protect your pet from rabies and other serious diseases that other animals carry and can transmit to unprotected pets. This also includes placing your pet on a heartworm preventative, to help protect them from a very serious disease that kills many pets each year.


• Brush your pet’s fur often to help them shed extra hair and consider taking them to the groomers to trim their coat for the summer.


• Keep pets away from the grill when cooking and confine your pet to a safe and quiet area when fireworks are being set off.


Following the suggestions above can help to keep your pet safe, healthy, and happy this summer!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Fathers Day!!!


Happy Father's Day to All the Dads Out There!!!
Although we may not say it as often as we should. We appreciate all that you do for us.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Popular OTC Cold Spray Poses Health Threat

The Food and Drug Administration announced on June 17, 2009 that people should stop using the popular OTC product Zicam cold spray and similar products because it can cause users permanent damage to their sense of smell. Read a full AP article about this here.

Recall on Toll House Cookie Dough 6/19/09

Nestle is voluntarily recalling all of its packaged Toll House refrigerated cookie dough due to concerns of E-coli contamination in its raw dough products which has made more than 60 people sick in as many as 29 states thus far. The CDC is strongly advising consumers to throw away any packages of Toll House cookie dough they have and to not eat or permit children to eat raw cookie dough. You can return packages of Toll House refrigerated cookie dough to the store where you purchased them from for a refund. Read more about this recall here.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Gift of Serenity for Your 3-Dimensional Health

Most of us lead pretty hectic lives. It can be hard to find time for ourselves despite its importance for our overall health. Take this quick serenity break. It will only require a little over a minute of your time ...yet the positive affects on your 3-dimensional health could last all day.
After viewing, you can use your browser's back button to return here and comment on the serenemoments.wma, or use the link back to the Glad Living blog found below the video file.

Go Here- Serenity Moment and then click on the WMA file to experience some much needed rejuvination for your body, mind, and spirit.

Friday, June 12, 2009

About Missing Motivational Widget

Readers

I had to remove the "daily dose of motivation" widget from the sidebar due to technical problems with that particular widget.

It has been causing my browser to open endless streams of blank pages every time I try to close my browser after viewing the blog. I sure hope this has not been happening to anyone else and if it has, I am so sorry!

I have just been putting up with it and did not consider that it might also be acting the same way for all of you. I always assume it is just my computer and me!

Removing it should clear things up, but if you are experiencing any errors, please let me know. You can send me an email message. twsstaff@yahoo.com

Thanks and have a great day!
Adm.Julie

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Request for Your Prayers and Positive Thoughts

Please keep Karen from Pittsburgh, PA and her family in your thoughts and prayers. This wife and Mother of a young teenage daughter, is in a battle for her life against brain cancer. Lift her up in prayer in the hope that she will win this battle that she is so bravely fighting very soon!

Pause for a moment in your day to have a positive thought for Karen and her family and send that out to the universe to strengthen and comfort them as they strive to conquer this cancer beast that has come to them without warning.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Go Green in Your Kitchen

Like many cooks, you may use Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil when cooking and baking. Now you can go green in your kitchen with aluminum foil made from 100 percent recycled aluminum. You can find coupons and promotions, and a community to connect and share with on the official Reynolds Wrap website

Check out these great green tips from Reynolds for your kitchen too.

Hannah and Me Hanging Out

This is a super-shortie of Hannah on the bridge nearby my home. We were just hanging out and enjoying the nice weather together. I needed a break from my writing work and my best canine pal is always up for some exploring of the neighborhood.

video

My Aunt's Gift to Me
















I wanted to share these two pictures of a gift my Aunt Joan presented to me over a week ago when she and my Uncle Chuck came up to Indiana from Florida for a few days. I had dinner with them, my Aunt Joyce and Uncle Terry, and my Dad and his gal-pal Nila. After dinner, my aunt Joan handed me this wonderfully fragrant box. Inside I found six Mia Bella Gourmet Votive candles in as many different scents. It was such a thoughtful gift as I love scented candles and I have not found any others as good as the Mia Bella candles.

The empty spot in the first picture (of the votives) held the Honey Bee Vanilla votive that I am burning right now. It makes my whole house smell beautiful after only a few minutes!
Thank You, Aunt Joan for your very thoughtful gift to me!

If you are stuck on what kind of gift to buy for a family and friends who are fans of scented candles, you might consider giving them a Mia Bella scented candle or even a sampler pack like the gourmet pack I received, with several scents for them to enjoy. The terrific scents of the votives in my gourmet pack are back row left to right. Oriental Teakwood, Mediterraneen Spa, and Pear Pomegranate. Front row left, Spring Fever, and Wildflower. As I already stated, I am burning the Honey Bee Vanilla one.

I have helped several people this week when and where I could and that always leaves me feeling good. My family has been very generous to me with my brother giving me enough money for the camera and some extra, and my aunt bestowing these aromatic candles upon me. Overall, it has been a very glad living week for me!

I hope your week had many glad moments and experiences for you to reflect on and to be thankful for




Eco Conscious Garden Products

Clean Air Gardening is a nice web resource for finding environmentally friendly garden and lawn supplies. It is certainly worth a visit to their site of you are looking for earth conscious gardening and lawn supplies like, push mowers, garden and lawn tools, garden arbors, planter boxes, self-watering planters, compost, fertilizers, insect control, gifts and much more for your garden and yard. They even offer a free gardening news and tools newsletter.

Don't forget to bookmark this blog site before going shopping.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

I Was Blessed Times Three Today


I got a triple blessing today and I wanted to share the tale of it with all of you. The first blessing was my brother Jim stopping by my house unexpectedly today. I have not seen or talked to him for quite awhile so what a wonderful surprise it was to have him drop by for a visit.

While talking to him he handed me (2) one-hundred dollar bills. I asked him, “What’s this for?” He told me that he was sure that he had missed one or two of my birthdays, and that he was doing good financially and wanted to share a bit of it with me. Wow!

After he left, I went to Wal-Mart and bought that digital camera that has been on my wish list for so long. You see, if you put your wishes out to the universe, wishes can come true. I even have some money left to put towards a bill.

It was a very glad living day for me. It was so great to see you Jim. I have missed you. Come by more often. Thanks for helping to make my wish for a digital camera come true!

The picture is one I took with my new camera of my pooch Hannah. She was not very cooperative with having her picture taken. She is not as thrilled as I am about finally having a digital camera.

That was my glad living day. How was yours?

Saturday, May 30, 2009

I Sure Have Missed My Blogging This Week!

I wanted to apologize to readers for the lack of posts this week. I have been busy with work on client projects and creating a new professional freelance writers directory. This has left me no time for posting to my blogs. Rest assured, I am on top of everything now and will be making regular posts here again for your enjoyment and hopefully your enlightenment. I hope you will come around to read and comment on them.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happpy Memorial Day



Happy Memorial Day to You!!!

Please take a moment today to remember those brave souls who have lost their lives fighting for Freedom. Remember to give thanks for the brave hearts who continue to lay their lives on the line in the fight to keep Freedom alive here at home and around the world. My thoughts and prayers are with them all!

To All Our Armed Forces Men and Women

Thank you for all that you do so that I can enjoy the many freedoms I do as a proud citizen of The United States of America! You make America proud! Bless and Keep You Safe!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Vegetable Gardens

You want only the freshest and healthiest foods for feeding your family. More people are choosing to buy vegetables from local growers, or to grow their own today due to growing concerns over the safety of commercially grown foods. People are also choosing to grow their own vegetables these days to save money.

Buying locally grown vegetables or choosing to grow your own vegetables, are both greener choices for the environment. Commercially grown vegetables shipped great distances to grocery stores leave the biggest imprint on the environment. Vegetables grown by local farmers leave a medium-sized imprint on the environment. Locally grown vegetables leave a medium-sized imprint on the environment. Your own vegetable garden leaves the least imprint on the environment.

Help to protect your family’s health by growing your own vegetables. Choose safer pest control methods for added protection for your family’s health. Your own vegetables will be fresher and healthier for your family to eat. Not having to buy vegetables from a grocery store can help reduce your food costs.

Planting and tending to a vegetable garden is good exercise. The whole family can get involved in the planting, weeding, and harvesting of ripe vegetables. This can be a fun activity that offers an opportunity for family bonding.

How can you learn more about building a garden for growing vegetables?


^Head to your local library to find the many books, magazines, and videos on vegetable gardening that are available there. Take some of these materials home with you for further reading later by checking them out with your library card.

^Use the internet to find articles and websites with resources on how to plan the design of your vegetable garden and for vegetable planting guides.


^Visit a local store selling vegetable seeds for planting, and ask store employees for advice on how to go about building your vegetable garden.

^Ask neighbors having vegetable gardens to share their advice and tips on growing your own vegetables.

Enjoy fresher and healthier vegetables straight from the garden to your kitchen. Prepare them as side dishes to meals, or as meals themselves. Then gather the family at the dining table to share in the goodness of homegrown vegetables together.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Beauty and Value of Gardens

Did you know that a garden could enhance your home’s appearance and raise its property value too? Gardens of all sizes and designs can give homes and properties greater curb appeal. Catching glimpses of pretty gardens as you drive by them is one way to experience the beauty of gardens. Having your own lovely garden to enjoy is much better. There are plentiful design choices for you to choose from in planning your signature garden. Melt away stress in your own personalized garden and private escape.

Making a garden that is a relaxing and enjoyable outdoor environment to spend time in does not have to be hard. A simple and inexpensive layout for your garden will do nicely in helping you to produce an attractive setting that can become your escape from the stresses of everyday life. Small gardens and porch gardens are the perfect solution for homes not having much open grassy area for building a garden on, or for apartment and condominium dwellers with no grassy area available to them for making a garden.

There are numerous articles, books, and videos on designing gardens and gardening. From them you can find many helpful ideas and tips for planning the layout of your garden, which varieties of flowers and plants would work the best with the conditions in your garden, and how to plant and care for them, as well as suggestions on decorating your garden with different outdoor accent pieces, fountains, arbors, and much more.

The Spring/Summer season is underway. It’s the perfect time to start thinking about creating a beautiful and peaceful garden for you and your family to enjoy and that can boost your home’s property value.

Check back here often to find the new, interesting, and helpful information on gardens and gardening. Planned commentary for this series on gardening includes articles that explore the building of various types of gardens, suggestions for decorating, adding functional outdoor items to your gardens like arbors, bridges, goldfish ponds, lighting, water fountains, and how to help your garden to maintain its picturesque and inviting look and feel.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Expanding On Topics of Interest for Readers

Hi,

This is just a quick note to let everyone know about some upcoming and exciting new topics I will be covering here on the blog. These new areas for discussion will be about gardening, saving money, faith, spirituality, volunteerism, mentoring, mental health, safe and natural weight loss, exercising and fitness, natural medicines and health care, pets, and travel. Additional topics will be forthcoming as well because a truly glad life consists of many different facets and choices in living.

I hope you all will find these additions to my blog interesting. Feel free to add your personal insights on any topics presented on the Glad Living blog and to suggest other life areas we might consider exploring here.

Thanks and have yourself a truly glad living day!
Julie

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Spend Time in The Great Outdoors for Better Glad Living

Summer is almost here. It is great to be able to spend more time outside now that temperatures have warmed up for most of us. You can find many fun and healthy activities to do outdoors. The fresh air will do you good in many ways.

Fun and healthy outdoor activities

• Walking
• Hiking
• Biking
• Jogging
• Swimming
• Softball
• Basketball
• Soccer
• Tennis
• Shuffleboard
• Volleyball
• Golf
• Boating
• Fishing
• Picnicking
• Bird watching
• Butterfly and lightening bug chasing
• Gardening
• Camping
• Horseback riding
• Roasting marshmallows and weenies
• Backyard parties
• Scavenger hunts
• Attending Street fairs
• Sightseeing at State and local parks and nature preserves
• Botanical garden tours
• Taking in art, music, and culture festivals
• Family days at amusement parks
• Visiting local historical monuments and treasures
• Zoo visits
• Going to boat, car, and RV shows
• Bargain hunting at garage and yard sales, and flea markets
• Treating yourself or the whole family to a movie at a drive-in or walk-up outdoor theatre
• Dining at outdoor eateries and the occasional cone from local ice cream shops
• Stargazing

You may know of many more fun and healthy things to do outside. Physical activity is good for body health. Breathing in fresh air and drinking in the sights and sounds of nature can be good for the health of your mind and spirit. Head on outdoors and find exciting ways to have fun and to provide your body, mind, and spirit with the nourishment needed for maximum health, and more glad living.

How do you like to have fun while enjoying the 3-dimensional health benefits the outdoors offers?

Contest #1 Winner Announcement

Congratulations to Alyce W!

Your entry was selected to win the Serenity Sampler CD.

Please send your mailing details to twsstaff@yahoo.com with "Contest Winner" in the subject line within the next 48 hrs, so that your CD can be on it's way to you. Enjoy!

I want to thank all of you that entered this first contest and also for the kind and encouraging words many of you included in your contest entries. Thanks!!!

Look for other contests in the future.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Which is Better for You-Tap or Bottled Water?

A decade ago when you saw someone walking around with a plastic bottle of water in hand, you saw him or her as health conscious and perhaps even trendy because Hollywood celebrities also gravitated towards bottled water then.

Bottled water became all the rage back then because several studies had found tap water often contains unhealthy and unsafe amounts of chemicals and other substances, even after undergoing treatment at municipal water plants.

Recent studies have shown a sharp rise in drug levels from various discarded prescription drugs showing up in the drinking water flowing into people’s homes, businesses, parks and other public places.

There are still many celebs and others believing that bottled water is better for them than water straight from the tap. Neither is the best for your health and the health of your family. Current studies have shown plastic bottles to leech some of the chemicals used in their manufacture, which can pose health risks to humans and is harmful to the environment.

Placing a filter on your faucet to filter out impurities will provide you and your family with the safest drinking water. Install filters on your bathroom faucets too for cleaner water for your family to brush their teeth with and for washing face and hands.

The government itself has made many changes to become a better steward of our environment. There has also been a lot of green legislation introduced into legislation that places greater restrictions on the amount of permitted annual emissions from corporations and the cars we drive in an effort to protect the environment from further deterioration. The drafting of new legislation governing pollution and for protecting the environment occurs regularly, and so too does the debating over them by members of the house and senate.

Growing numbers of people are looking for ways to live greener lives these days. You may want to help protect the environment by using eco-friendly products in and around your home, by driving a hybrid car, or using public transit. In these difficult economic times, many families are searching for green ways to live in order to reduce their food, fuel, and other bills.

Environmentally friendly products are also safer and healthier for you and your family. There are many articles and informational resources where you can learn more about how eco-friendly products are good both for the environment and for the health of your family.

When I come across affordable green products and services that I feel would be of interest to individuals and families, looking for affordable solutions for living greener glad lives, I will place then under Green Things.

Once such affordable green product I have found and use myself is the Eco-Canteen for keeping my filtered water cool and it provides me an easy way to take water with me while on the go.
Learn more about the Eco Canteen now. Please, Bookmark this blog first, or just use your browsers back button to return here.

Note About Missing Video from an Earlier Post Today

In an earlier post today I made mention about it being the last day to enter contest #1 to win the Serenity CD. At that time I had embedded a linked YouTube video player into the page so that everyone could have a listen to the 1st track on the Serenity CD, or so I thought and had hoped. The link only worked until I published my page! I have spent the better part of my day trying correct this. Not easy at all with dinosaur dial-up like I still have, and blogger's uncooperative video uploading system.

Unfortunately, I have not had any success with uploading the video to my blog thus far. I will keep trying another day. I have removed the broken linked video from the other post, just to let those people who may have seen it earlier why it is suddenly gone.

Thanks to everyone who has entered the contest thus far. It was really exciting for me to discover that I have several readers now. If you have not yet entered the contest, you still have a couple of hours left to get your entry in by midnight EST.

Do not feel left out if you missed this contest (there will be many more contests to come.)

Last Day to Enter Contest #1

I just wanted to remind everybody that today is the last day to get your entries in for the chance to win the Serenity Sampler CD! You can listen to the first song from this CD below.

This is my favorite. Every time I turn it on I envision myself as an eagle flying high in the sky within reach of clouds, soaring over the mountain peaks, and gliding effortlessly over the Ocean up to touch the horizon. Perhaps I am the only one affected in this way by this song. That is okay. It is not the first time and is sure not to be the last time that happens.

Thanks to everyone who has entered the contest. If you haven't yet, send your entry in by midnight EST today, for your chance to win this wonderful CD. Good Luck! A Winner will be drawn tomorrow morning with an announcement to follow here. Stay Tuned!

I hope you enjoy listening to this as much as I do. Please share your thoughts on this musical arrangement combined with sounds of nature.

Broken Video Removed: My apologies for any inconvenience to Readers.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Nurture Your Mind and Spirit Daily

It sure can be easy for many of us to forget to take personal time for ourselves with all that we do for work and for our families and friends. Yet the truth of the matter is that when we do not take the time to recharge our batteries, we set ourselves up to ultimately run out of steam and perhaps disappoint those around us. Not to mention the damage that not taking proper care of ourselves can do to our health.

Even if you have a very hectic schedule like many of us have today, you need to make finding time to nurture the health of your mind and spirit a priority. Unquestionably providing your body with healthy nutrition, staying fit, and getting a proper amount of sleep nightly are important factors in your overall health. However, the importance of nurturing your mind and spirit, and the serious impact not doing so can have on your health is undeniable. There have been many scientific studies conducted with findings to support the many possible benefits that can result from engaging in activities that nourish the mind and spirit.

You do not need a lot of time daily for providing your mind and spirit with the nourishment needed for optimal health. Twenty minutes a day will do. Whenever you can give yourself more than 20 minutes for self-care, take advantage of it. Not only can you give your mind and spirit a recharge in less than a half hour there are many activities you can do to refresh both at the same time. Sometimes you can even get in some refreshing of body muscles as well like through soaking in a warm tub of scented oils and bath salts.

Here are some other ideas for renewing your energy and revitalizing your mind and spirit in simple ways that do not require much time when you have little of it to spare.

•Listen to soothing music.
• Light a scented candle and allow yourself to be still and quiet for however long you can be.
•Learn deep breathing techniques for relaxing and de-stressing your body, mind, and spirit.
•Meditate. There are many books and tapes to teach you how to do this.
•Pray and strengthen your faith and connection with a higher power, or make connections with nature, people, and the world around you to fortify your sense of belonging and purpose.
•Place a cool cloth over your eyes and lay back while quieting your mind.
•Purchase a sound machine so that you can relax by listening to different sounds of nature.
•Take a leisurely walk through a botanical garden, a meadow filled with flowers in bloom, or along the beach.
•Let yourself be a kid again for a few minutes without thinking about your responsibilities as an adult. Laugh and act silly. Go to the zoo. Buy yourself some cotton candy or an elephant ear. Head to the movies and watch a children’s movie or comedy.
•Read inspirational books before starting your day and listen to inspirational tapes while commuting.
•Take an afternoon nap in a backyard hammock, or stretched out on the sofa.
•Give yourself the time and permission to pursue a hobby that you have been putting off.
Do not neglect giving care and the nutriment that your mind and spirit needs for health, fulfillment, and greater glad living. Taking time for yourself daily is not selfish, it will help you to be there for others in all the ways that you want to be.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Contest #1 5/12/09-5/19/09

Contest Time!

Enter to win a Serenity Sampler CD, containing ten lovely instrumental arrangements combined with various sounds of nature, to create a truly wonderful and relaxing listening experience. Renewing your spirit and relaxing your mind is important to self-care, and we all need to take good care of ourselves for glad living.

Right from the very first track on this CD my spirit begins to soar. It has a beautiful mix of music, wind, and other sounds that help me to envision myself as an eagle soaring high in the sky, and my spirit soars equally high every time I listen to it.

Entering the contest is easy. Simply enter by using the secure form below. You must provide your first name and a valid email address, and put a few words like, enter me in the contest in the message box. Entry deadline for this contest is 5/19/09. Selecting of a winner will take place on the morning of 5/20/09. Look for an announcement of the contest winner here on May 20, 2009. The contest winner will also receive an email message to notify him or her of having won the contest and Serenity Sampler CD. If for some reason, the contest winner should fail to provide directions to me for mailing the Serenity Sampler CD to them within 48 hours, I will then choose a new winner.

Thanks for entering this contest and Good Luck!

Adm.Julie



Serenity Sampler CD Contest
Questions marked by * are required.
1.Name: *
2.Email: *
3.Message:


Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Mother's Day Poem

There are times when only a Mother's love
Can understand our tears,
Can soothe our disappoints
And calm all of our fears.



There are times when only a Mother's love
Can share the joy we feel
When something we've dreamed about
Quite suddenly is real.



There are times when only a Mother's faith
Can help us on life's way
And inspire in us the confidence
We need from day to day.



For a Mother's heart and a Mother's faith
And a Mother's steadfast love
Were fashioned by the Angels
And sent from God above.

-Author Unknown-

If you are the author of this sweet poem or know who the author is, please email me at, twsstaff@yahoo.com so that I credit the author. Thank You!

Happy Mother's Day to Moms Around the World!


Today we honor and celebrate our Mother's
In honor and celebration of Moms from around the world, I want to wish you all a very blessed and glad day!
Happy Mother's Day!!!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Safer Food Alternatives


Buying foods from Farmers Markets and growing their own foods in family gardens or in community garden projects, have become popular with many people these days. More and more people are fearful about the safety of foods sold in grocery stores, chain stores, and restaurants, with the numerous recalls that there have been on a variety of foods and food products in recent years.

Consumers feel that the foods offered for sale by local farmers are safer and certainly, farm families eat a portion of the crops they grow to provide their families with incomes. Organic foods are also hugely popular now as well. Organic farmers grow food crops without using pesticides that are dangerous to humans and the environment. Organically raised animals that people consume for food, feed on all-natural diets, and are not given hormones and other synthetic chemicals that can pose a health risk to people when they eat meats and other foods containing them.

Buying your families foods from a local farmers market can reduce your family’s grocery bills. Since smaller vehicles are used, and fewer miles driven by farmers to bring local foods to market, buying foods from your local farmers market is good for the environment too.

If you want to have more control over how the foods your family eats are grown, grow your own in a family garden. There are many books available to help you to plan a family garden, and to provide you with useful planting guides, and tips for preventing pests from damaging your food plants.

If you like the idea of community members working together towards the same goal, join with other members of your neighborhood or community to help build and oversee the care and tending of food plants in a community garden. Everyone shares in the work, and everyone shares in having the healthier fruits and vegetables grown there.

Do you buy your family’s food from a local farmers market, grow some or much of the foods your family eats in a family garden, or participate in a community garden? Please share with us the advantages you and your family have experienced as of a result. If you still buy all your foods from your local grocery store, we would like to read your thoughts on this subject as well.

Eat More Veggies For a Healthier You

The average American diet is woefully lacking in the consumption of the right amount of vegetables each day. According to the USDA’s Food Pyramid, we should be eating 3 to 5 servings of vegetables every day. How many servings of vegetables do you eat daily? Adding more vegetables into my daily eating plan is how I started on my path to regaining control over my weight and health.

You do not have to go completely vegan, unless you want to. Simply adding a side salad to your lunch menu and a large salad or steamed vegetables with your dinner should help you to get your 3 to 5 servings of vegetables daily. As an added bonus, you are likely to find that by eating a salad or a serving of vegetables before digging into the main courses of your meals will help you to feel fuller faster and to eat smaller portions without feeling deprived.

A good way to fend off the hunger between meals that might cause you to choose less healthy foods is to slice and chop up your favorite vegetables and place one serving of them into individual sandwich baggies, and put them in the refrigerator to keep them fresh. Then when you feel the first pangs of hunger, you can just go grab a healthy bag of ready-to-eat veggies from the fridge.

Making the healthier choice to eat more servings of vegetables per day does not have to be hard. Add a salad to your lunch and dinner. Steam vegetables as side dishes to your main entrées and keep some fresh ready-to-eat veggies in the fridge to grab instead of junk foods to snack on between meals.


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Say No to Diets-Yes To Choices

Like me, I am sure there are a lot of you who are familiar with the Feast and Famine notion of dieting. You know when you eat everything you can the weekend before you start your new diet on Monday, because then most of your favorite foods will be off limits? Yeah, I have been there and done that, more times than I can count over the years.

This regimen of stuffing myself to the gills prior to depriving myself for however long I could hold out (a few weeks, to six or more months sometimes,) never did result in weight loss that I could keep off for very long. It is amazing how hard it can be to lose weight, yet gaining weight can happen so easily for those of us dealing with excess weight issues.

I know there are many people who are at the opposite end of the spectrum when it comes to weight issues. They lose weight rapidly, and cannot seem to gain enough to reach a healthy weight no matter how much they eat. I am sure this can be just as much a difficult struggle for them as dealing with a weight problem is for those of us on the heavier side. I wish I could offer those of you having to deal with being underweight more than just the encouragement to keep trying every possible healthy avenue available for help in overcoming your issue. However, my experiences have been with being overweight, and that is where I am coming from.

I have dropped fifty-six pounds in the last year, and have kept that weight off while I am still working towards my ultimate weight goal. I did not go on a diet or use any diet products. I have given those up for good. They have failed me time after time, and after becoming more knowledgeable about their health risks, I do not consider them the right choice for me anymore. I simply adopted the mindset that the answer to my struggle to lose weight, become healthier, and live longer lies in the choices I make. I chose to educate myself about the real nutrition my body needs for fuel and health, and make my food choices based on that. I also made other choices such as to exercise more, not to smoke or drink alcohol, and to be mindful of the fact that my mind and spirit need as much healthy nourishment as my body does.

The weight loss that I have achieved so far did not happen overnight. I am thankful for that actually. It has given me the time to learn what real nutrition and health is and is not. I have also learned why I ate the way I did, and how I can choose to eat for the right reasons now, and choose foods that are better for me. I will share more of what I have discovered through my journey of losing weight and getting healthier this past year with you in future posts.

What did you think of this article? Share your comments.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Forget Dieting Pipedreams. Make Healthy Choices for Real Health

Diets do not work for anyone really outside of the creators of trendy new diet plans, and the makers of the zillions of diet products offered on the market. These individuals and corporations make millions of dollars annually off people’s desires to be thin and willingness to put their own health in serious jeopardy just to be the size and weight that our society unfortunately considers beautiful.

The true measure of real beauty comes from within, and we should all stop “buying” into the Hollywood, media, and diet industry fueled illusion that only size two women and enormously muscled men are beautiful. As soon as we start doing this, maybe fewer teenage girls and boys will starve themselves to death trying to achieve this ideal of perfection and beauty that our society has held onto for long enough.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight in a healthy manner if you really need to, or in wanting to improve your health and fitness levels. Scientific research has shown that people with a healthy weight and that are also fit and lead healthier lifestyles, do live longer. Your focus should be in achieving your desired weight and fitness level in healthy ways. Not through depriving yourself of certain foods, feeling hungry and tired from poor nutrition, or by overexerting your body with exercising that is too strenuous for where you are at fitness-wise right now. Popping so-called magic diet pills or drinking diet shakes and beverages whose ingredients may harm your internal organs, is not a healthy solution for you either.

I am suggesting that you eliminate the word diet from your vocabulary altogether and replace it with the word choice. It is choices, and not dieting and using diet products, you do not need and that may be harmful to you, that real overall health is all about.
You can make the choice to eat foods that are healthier and more nutritious to fuel your body with, while also allowing yourself to feast on a favorite treat occasionally. You can make the choice to become more physically active. You can make the choice to live a healthier lifestyle. We all face making various choices everyday. The ones we make concerning our health and the lives we want to live are very important choices indeed.

Please look for a continuation on this important subject of “choices” for health and greater glad living in future posts filed in the body, mind, spirit, and 3-dimensional health sections of this blog.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

My Day 5-3-09



Most of you are probably headed off to bed as I write this. Sweet Dreams!. I have a hot cup of coffee in front of me and plans to write several articles overnight. I slept too much on Saturday when I was feeling exhausted and now my sleep cycle is a bit off tonight. Not to worry, I have hair, gifts, insurance, and fitness articles I can work on tonight and maybe I will feel drowsy by 5 or 6 am.

Not much excitement in my Sunday. Washed some dishes, gathered clothes to put in the washer (hmmm...I should carry the basket down to the basement and get those going right now.) Wrote a long post about how putting some organization into your life can add more glad to your days that I posted earlier. Took Hannah Lilly out a few times for short walks. Does your dog seem to get lost in all the new scents of spring too? Hannah seems content to stand outside sniffing the air for hours!

That is about it for me right now. The coffee is staring to kick in so I think i will open my Word program and start on writing some of these articles.

I wish everyone a glad and safe week ahead!

Julie

Organization Can Make for More Glad In Your Life

When your life is more organized, you will find that you spend more days glad and much fewer days feeling stressed. You can reduce or avoid altogether these common stressors in life by getting yourself organized. Stressors like, time wasted looking for misplaced items. Regretting missed appointments. Wondering what you should cook for dinner that night and if you have all the ingredients that you will need. Trying to keep straight in your mind the different activities, the kids will need chauffeuring to in the week ahead. Hoping that you will remember to pick up your dress and his suit jacket from the dry cleaners in time for that party the both of you are attending next weekend.

The list of things that can stress you out and that are as a direct result of disorganization in your life could go on for pages. I do not think it is necessary to try to list them all anyway as I am sure you can either relate to the ones I have listed, or readily come up with a list of your own of stressors in your life that could be decreased or eliminated with a little organization. I think that we can all agree that more days filled with glad than days ruled by stress are far better for us all. I decide to make this post today because Sunday afternoons are a good time for most people to organize various things for the week ahead so that you can have more glad days and fewer days of stress.

Designate a place for keeping your car keys, checkbook, stationary and stamps, kid’s book bags, shoes and jackets, sports equipment, etc. Then remember to put things back in their designated spot after use so you will know exactly where they are the next time that you want to use them, and you will not have to spend time searching all over the house for them.

You can sit down with weekly sales ads from your local grocery store(s) and plan your meals for the week as well as build your shopping list. Do not forget to look through your Sunday paper for grocery coupons you can use to reduce your food bills. Sundays are also good for many people for cooking some meals ahead of time to freeze and then pop into the microwave or oven for quick meal fixed during the week.

You can set up a family calendar board to hang in a prominent place where everyone will see it and list important appointments like dental and doctor visits, and school and business meetings, as well as the activities that family members will be doing during the week. You can use different colored markers for each family member to help them find at a glance what they are doing that day. Give family members the responsibility of adding any new appointments and extra curricular activities that prop up throughout the week. It is a good idea for them to draw a star or another symbol in front of any new entry, so that other family members will notice it and understand it to be a newly added to the family calendar board.

Plan chores for the week and assign them to family members. You can create a chore board for this or just add them to your family calendar board. This way everyone will know what their responsibilities are in helping to keep the house tidied, and other things like making sure the trash is placed out by the curb on trash day gets done during the week. Doing a few chores every day could mean less time playing catch up on Saturdays, and more time for family fun on the weekends.

Sundays afternoons are a good time to balance your checkbook and write out checks for bills due that week. Place checks with their corresponding payment slips into envelopes and affix the appropriate postage to them. Now they will be ready for dropping off at the post office on your way to work one day this week.

Lay out a few days worth or an entire week’s worth of outfits for the kids to wear to school or to play in so that you will not have to mess with picking out clothes on a busy morning. If you are worried about wrinkles developing, hang outfits on different colored hangers for each day of the week in the closet, so that you or your child can grab the outfit for that day quickly in the morning when dressing. You might find that this works so well in eliminating arguments and hassles with getting the kids dressed every morning that you will want to do the same with your work clothes for the week.

Check your child’s school bag to ensure you have signed all papers needing your signature before your child takes them back to school to give to his or her teacher. Place extra gym clothes and other things your child will need during the week into their school bag. Do not forget to write dates of upcoming school parties and treats you are to supply for those parties on your calendar board so you will not forget them. Children should place all their schoolbooks and school supplies into their school bags and place them near the front door, or a designated spot, for fast retrieval of them on the way to the bus stop in the mornings. Do the same with your briefcase or workbag, so that you have everything you need for the office or work when you head out the door each morning.

After planning and organizing your week ahead, late Sunday afternoons are also perfect for treating yourself and your family to a special treat like an ice cream cone, or a family bike ride around the neighborhood. With more organization in your life now, you are certain to have more glad days in your life, than those stress-filled days none of us enjoys having.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Resources from the CDC on Swine Flu

Many people are still concerned about contracting the Swine Flu I mentioned in a health alert on April 29th. Seen here: http://gladliving.blogspot.com/2009/04/us-swine-flu-cases-increase.html

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has two excellent resources that the public can access to find more in-depth information about the Swine influenza disease, infection prevention, tips on caring for infected persons, and much more. to educate and help relieve people's growing fears about this serious flu virus.

1. The CDC website provides a wealth of information for the public on Swine flu (which they are now calling h1n1 Flu, due to people having unwarranted fears towards pigs, and the needless slaughtering of huge numbers of them around the world.) where you will find information on prevention and treatment. http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/guidance_homecare.htm




2. The CDC provides a toll free 24 hour hotline to the public to answer your swine flu and other health concern questions. 1-800 CDC-Info or !-800-232-4636.

Friday, May 1, 2009

My Day in Brief

I debated about whether I should just delete this section from my blog since I have not found the time to make daily journal entries to date. I decided against doing that though. I do not even know if anyone else is reading my blog journal right now anyway. For me however, I like knowing it is here when I do find the time to capture moments I want remember from my day-digitally.

I spent some time writing articles today, which of course any day that I get to write is a good one for me. I am considering writing late into the night, which I do often. Some of my most creative writing happens at around 3 am. I have trouble sleeping sometimes and instead of stressing over it or resorting to taking pills, I just write for clients or for my own personal pursuits, until I get sleepy.

I walked about 5 blocks to have dinner with my Father and his Galpal, Nila this evening and then walked back home. Dinner was good! Came back and let my poochie Hannah Lilly outside to do her business, and now I am seated in front of my laptop typing out this post.

I may watch "Wife Swap" and "Super Nanny" or at least turn the TV on for noise. It can get real quiet around here. Then again, I may just put on some Reba tunes and bop in my chair to them while I write.

Have a splendid and safe Friday night and weekend!

FDA Recalls Hydroxycut Dietary Products

The Food and Drug Administration announced today a recall on Hydroxycut products (which are dietary supplements) and warns people to stop using them because they have been linked to causing serious liver damage, and 1 reported death thus far.

I am not a big fan of diet pills and other dieting products in general anyway. They never seem to result in any real long-term weight loss, and the possible damage they can cause to your heart, liver, respiratory system and other systems in your body, is just not a health risk worth taking to me. I should say not a risk to my health worth taking anymore. As I have fallen for some of those cleverly pitched diet products, promising almost instant weight loss without changing your eating habits in the past. The real path to getting your weight under control is not through a diet pill or another diet products, it happens through actively choosing to eat a well balanced, nutritional diet, limiting consumption of fat-laden and sugary foods, and exercising regularly.

You can read more about the FDA recall and warning for users to stop taking Hydroxycut products in this CNN article: http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/05/01/hydroxycut.fda.recall/index.html?eref=rss_us

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Greener Lifestyles in Glad Living

Embracing a greener lifestyle does not have to be difficult or expensive, for the most part. Some greener choices have heftier price tags initially than others have, but most pay for themselves within 6 to 12 months, and then begin accumulating savings for you. Greener living also does not mean you have to deprive yourself or your family of the things that make your life glad. Greener glad living means finding ways for you, and your family and friends, to participate in protecting the environment while also creating comfortable and efficient living environments, and lives filled with exciting experiences for the greatest in glad living. There is an extensive list of choices available to you for consideration in adopting a greener lifestyle that you can feel good and glad about having decided to give to yourself, family, friends, and to the planet.

We will be exploring a number of greener alternatives to help you make your glad life-greener. Covering topics like greener choices in foods and for family, home, fitness, health, car, yard, work, pets, shopping, travel, community, and much more.

Since May 1 is nary a day away now, this gives me the perfect opportunity to suggest a few green tips for spring cleaning your home and getting ready for the heat of summer.


☼This is a good time to change out a dirty furnace filter for a clean one. Consider furnace filters with 3M technology to help reduce the amount of allergens in the air circulated throughout your home.

☼ Install a digital thermostat in your home so that you can easily adjust to lower heating and cooling settings when you are away from home or while sleeping.


☼ Go around your home, checking door and window seals to ensure that they are still in good working order. Fix any breeches in the tight sealing of these that may have occurred over winter. You need these to be in great shape and working to keep hotter summer temperatures out, and to reduce placing strain and forcing increased energy consumption to keep your home cool, on your cooling system

☼ Next get out the screens for the windows in your home and inspect them for holes or tears, and hose them off before placing them in windows. With screens in your windows, you can take advantage of cooler evening temperatures to cool your home and use your air conditioner unit less often, which cuts your homes energy usage, and saves you money.

☼ Replace filament light bulbs with florescent light bulbs and Led technology lighting, that although costing a little more, do consume much less energy while providing sufficient lighting for inside and outside the home.*Turn off lights when you leave a room and shut off and unplug other power devices whenever they are not in use to decrease energy usage.

☼Purchase inexpensive shelves, bins, racks, storage containers, and other products for organizing and storing made from renewable, enviro-friendly materials, to help you keep your home tidy.

☼help decrease the wasting of water in your home by installing flow-control devices on showerheads, inside toilet tanks, and on all the faucets in your home to eliminate, using and wasting more water than is necessary.

☼Gat three boxes and mark them as Keep, Donate, and Trash. Then go through your home, one room at a time to simplify the organizing and cleaning of a room, and place items that you find in one of the three boxes. *Check the box marked for “trash” before tossing anything away, as the items it holds may be recyclable or better donated to someone who may be able to use them. **Your “keep” box may be holding onto electronic, battery and voltage powered things that no longer work, or are not as energy efficient as they used to be or could be. Unless they have sentimental value to you, consider donating them to worthwhile charitable organizations like Goodwill and the Salvation Army, and purchasing newer, more energy efficient models.

☼When it comes to using cleaning agents to clean your home, choose those that are less harmful to the environment and to the health of you and your family.

☼ Try buying more of the packaged foods you and your family consumes in packaging that can be recycled, or in smaller boxes and sacks packaged with materials that cannot be recycled, for less waste ending up in your garbage can.

Okay, these tips should give you a nice start on sprucing up your home in anticipation of summer, and a helpful beginning to living greener. I wish you well on your journey to a greener state of glad living.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

US Swine Flu Cases Increase

Reports about the outbreaks of the Swine Flu virus in humans that first started in Mexico, but have now also traveled to the United States has dominated the news lately. Leaders and health officials from around the world are paying close attention to this serious health threat, hoping it will not continue its spread across the globe. The swine influenza virus or swine flu typically only affects pigs; however, this is not the first time that this virus has passed from animals to humans, and then human to human, although there have never been as many cases as there have been confirmed so far.

Officials from the Centers for Disease Control are at this time still advising people NOT to panic as confirmed cases of swine flu infections have not yet reached the numbers that would point to a pandemic level. They do recommend that people take precautions to protect themselves from a swine flu infection. Washing your hands frequently and avoiding close contact with people who are coughing or showing other possible symptoms of the swine flu, can help protect you from catching this serious infection. Anyone feeling flu-like symptoms like coughing, chest congestion, fever, and nausea, fatigue, and body aches should see their doctor immediately for testing to see if they have the swine flu virus. Infected persons should stay home from work and school so that they do not pass this infection on to others.

People do need to know that swine flu is highly treatable and rarely do people with otherwise healthy and non-compromised immune systems, die from this infectious disease. You cannot catch swine flu from cooking or eating pork. High cooking temperatures kills bacteria that cause can illness present on raw foods. Use the same precautions for safety in handling pork as you do with any other raw meats.

I hope that in the next 10 days, this infectious disease will have run its course and will no longer be the large-scale threat to human health that it is right now.

Stay Healthy Everybody!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Stop for Water Presents Opportunity for Kindness

Yesterday, another opportunity to do something kind for someone else presented itself to me. I was thirsty so I stopped at one of the convenience stores in town on my way home to get myself some bottled water. In front of me at the register was an older woman asking the clerk for directions to Lowe’s (a home remodeling supplies and appliance store.) This store is located on the northwest side of our city, and several miles away from the convenience store. As the cashier began giving directions to the other store to her, the woman asked him to write them down. This man speaks English better than he writes it apparently, as he asked me to write down the directions for her instead. Actually, it sounded more like a demand than a request for my help as he said, “You do this, you can do this” to me, but lets not split hairs here.

The clerk then turned his attention elsewhere so I began writing down the names of the streets and the directional path this lady needed to take to get to Lowe’s, while explaining each to her as I wrote them. Midway through this she asks me if I am going that way and could show her where it was. In truth, I was headed in the opposite direction, but looking at her flustered face, how could I not make the choice to drive there anyways with her following behind in her vehicle? That is exactly what I did and although it was several miles out of my way, it was so worth it to see the relaxed smile on her face when we both pulled into the Lowe’s parking lot.

I asked her if she would be able to get back home from the location that we were now at after finishing her shopping. I was willing to wait and lead her back to a roadway that she was familiar with so she would not get lost. She told me that she was confident she could find her way home from this place, and thanked me for helping her to find the store. I left then, with a very good feeling inside because, even though this was certainly not a huge thing that I had done, (driving 5 miles there and then 5 miles back to my originating point, to then head on home) I had offered kindness and help to this lady that I did not know.

Yesterday was a great day for me with many blessings. The opportunity to be kind and helpful to another was one of them and I wanted to share that experience with my readers. Thank you for taking the time to read this and other posts in this blog. As always, you are encouraged to share your comments with us, on this and anything else you see posted here in this blog.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Block Walk Challenge

The Block Walk Challenge kicks your metabolism into high gear before you sit down to meals, and keeps your fat burning machine running full-throttle after meals as well. Try it and see how much it may help you to lose weight, to maintain a healthy weight once you have reached your desired weight, and help you to improve your fitness and health levels.

How does it work? It is simple really. Before we get to that however, a little note about beginning to exercise when you have been living a mostly sedentary lifestyle. You should get a checkup with your doctor to ensure that you do not have any underlying medical conditions that would make exercising, even on a beginner’s level, unsafe for you. Very few of us have such conditions that would prevent us from exercising safely, but checking with your doctor first, is a good idea.

For many of us it is our thinking and motivation levels, which can keep us from getting the amount of exercise we need for good health and fitness. Some may even groan at the mere thought of exercising, even just a little bit, before each meal, let alone afterwards too. The Block Walk Challenge provides you with a new way to view exercising for fitness and health. It can also help you build the motivation to continue challenging your metabolism to be the hard-working fat-eliminating machine it is supposed to be.

You may not always be in the mood for exercising when you cannot see what, if any, immediate rewards for your efforts there may be. Challenge yourself to think about it in this new way. One reward you will receive for exercising for a few minutes or more now, is a meal (hopefully one that is healthy) to sit down to and eat guilt-free, because you completed the first of the two legs involved in the Block Walk Challenge. Another reward is to know that your body is prepped to fight the fat you are about to consume, so that it has less chance of ending up being stored in your body. Most of us have more than enough fat stores already in our bodies. Extra fat that our bodies do not need, leads to weight gain and serious health issues.

The second leg of the Block Walk Challenge takes place after you have eaten your meal. It helps your body to digest meals quicker and more efficiently. This post meal-metabolism boost helps your body neutralize fat it does not need, and to send that fat to your colon for elimination from your body. People often say, “I am burning the candle at both ends,” to express how hard they are working. This usually means that a person is working himself or herself too hard, and this is not good for anyone. Burning fat at both ends of a meal is a good thing for you and everyone in your family.

Block Walk Challenge-Leg One-Before Meals
• Walk the block around your neighborhood several times before each meal. You may only make it around once or even only halfway around the block the first few times. That is okay. It is about getting yourself moving to spark the fire in your metabolism, rather than the number of times you can walk around the block initially.

• Adopt a straight posture and steady walking pace, but you do not need to make yourself breathless in order to charge up your metabolism.

•The goal is to increase your block walking before meals over time, so that your metabolism does not become complacent about burning fat at a high rate. Ideally, you should walk the block for about 15 minutes. Start with whatever feels most comfortable to you.

•Remember to keep yourself well hydrated during your block walk by drinking water.

•Drinking a glass of water before eating meals helps your body to feel fuller on smaller meals.

•Enjoy eating your meal guilt Free (unless you have chosen junk food, which only defeats the purpose of the block walk challenge and your efforts.)


Block Walk Challenge-Leg Two-After Meals

•Head outside for more block walking

•Keep your posture straight and pump your arms as you walk at a good click.

•Keep walking for 20 minutes to an hour. It is okay to walk for a shorter amount of time in the beginning, and gradually extend your walking times as your body builds strength and stamina.

• Drink water for proper hydration while walking

•Congratulations! You have just completed the Block Walk Challenge for a super fat-burning metabolism and better fitness and health.

You can walk several blocks if walking around only one seems boring to you. What if you live out in the country with no block to walk around? Walk (safely)along a stretch of road that has minimal traffic, the equivalent of a city block, however many times you can, or walk down your driveway and back several times, or back and forth across your yard.

*When inclement weather prohibits you from walking outdoors, walk around or jog in place indoors to rev up your metabolism.

Should you choose to take the Block Walk Challenge, I sure would enjoy reading about what you have gained from the experience here.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Success Formula for Better Living

The warmer temperatures of spring have definitely arrived (in most regions of the country anyway.) Have your New Years resolutions to eat healthier and work on getting in shape, stop smoking, reduce your stress level, re-connect with old friends, etc, fallen by the wayside? You are not alone. Many people traditionally make these and other resolutions for achieving better health and lives for themselves on New Years Eve, only to abandon the pursuit of them within a couple of months.

While setting a date to begin making the changes you need to for better health and a better life is important. You need much more than just a start date, if lasting changes that really do help you to be healthier and happier in your life, are to happen. Picking a date such as New Years, because so many other people do, without having a clear picture of the changes you want to make and why you want to make them, is why such resolutions so often fail.

You need to know what you would like to change in your life, why you think you need to change them, and what you hope to gain by making changes in your life. It would be a good idea to write all of this down on paper. This can help you to focus on goals you would like to achieve, and can be used as your mission statement, to reference whenever you feel your motivation waning.

Set reasonable goals that you have a better chance of achieving than unrealistic goals that almost nobody can ever reach. Decide what steps you will need to take in order to complete your goals. Break bigger or long-off goals into smaller segments. That way, you will have various points or steps to completing goals that you can check off when you get to them, and this will give you a sense of achievement even with goals that may take several years to attain. It is amazing how “little successes” within large goals, can help you in staying motivated to continue working towards meeting even the biggest of goals.

Allow yourself the time needed for fully considering any changes that you might want to make in your life. Ask yourself why you think you need to make these changes, and what you believe or hope will be the end- result of any changes that you choose to make. Set reachable goals, with the steps needed to reach them outlined in each goal. Create multiple junctures inside bigger goals in which you can arrive at and feel that you are accomplishing the reaching of your goals, even when the end goal seems so far off in the distance. Select a date for beginning that you can set your own mind to, and not one connected to the enthusiasm and hype of holidays, and the mass resolution making that rarely sticks around for more than a few weeks or months.

Now you have a formula for success in reaching whatever goals you have for better health and living. I wish you all loads of glad living in your lives!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Baked sweet potato fries are a healthy and scrumptious alternative to potato slices fried in artery-clogging unhealthy hydrogenated oils. You know those French fried potatoes so many of us like so much, even though they are not good for us. You may never want regular fries again after tasting these delicious and simple to make healthy baked fries.

What you will need

Non-stick cookie or baking sheet
2 large sweet potatoes
1 Tsp. Cumin
1 Tsp. Nutmeg
1 Tbsp. Olive or Coconut oil
Black Pepper
Salt

Prep/Bake

Pre-heat oven at 400◦
Peel sweet potatoes and slice into thin strips or wedges.
Mix cumin, nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste, and olive or coconut oil, together in a shallow dish.
Dip each sweet potato strip or wedge into this mixture making sure to coat both sides well.
Place coated strips or wedges in a single layer, not letting them touch each other, on a cookie or baking sheet.
Place cooking sheet in oven for 15-20 minutes.
* You will need to keep a close eye on these as they bake (they can burn easily) and turn potatoes over once, while baking.
Remove baked sweet potato fries from oven and allow them to cool for a few minutes before serving. Makes 2 servings