In anticipation of National Napping Day, observed annually the day following the return of daylight saving time, I’ve taken 2 hour naps every day for a week. National Napping Day is supposed to provide everyone with the opportunity to have a nap and catch up on the hour of sleep they lost due to the spring forward time change. Personally, I would prefer no time change and instead of N.N.Day we had a National No-Time-Change Day.
Mid-afternoon naps are an integral part of many cultures, and scientifically proven to be good for you.
A needed rest is supposed to make you feel better, improve your mood, be more productive and energetic. After my 2 hour naps I felt groggy, foggy, like muck.
Researching National Nap Day, I read that numerous studies have shown that short 10-20 minute naps are the most effective when midday fatigue hits. Improvements in alertness, productivity and mood have all been shown to improve with this type of snooze.
Apparently 10 – 20 minutes prevents your brain waves from going into deep sleep which is what creates the grogginess when you wake up
Now, they tell me . . .
William Anthony, Ph.D., a Boston University Professor and his wife, Camille Anthony, created National Napping Day in 1999 as an effort to spotlight the health benefits to catching up on quality sleep. “We chose this particular Monday because Americans are more ‘nap-ready’ than usual after losing an hour of sleep to daylight saving time,” Anthony said.
Our research post finding that eating grapes helps memory – Grape New for Memory Decline – was popular, as readers hoped the “liquid form” of grapes (they weren’t referring to grape juice) was as good as the whole fruit. Jessica asked if raisins contained the same benefit as grapes. We Goggled. . . and here’s what we found:
Grapes Versus Raisins
“When a fruit is dried, its components become concentrated. Whether one is better than another it apparently depends on why you are eating grapes or raisins to begin with.”
“Most vitamin C in grapes and some heat-sensitive phytochemicals are destroyed in the drying process, but clearly plenty survive, as seen in antioxidant testing. Raisins generally contain little resveratrol, a much-studied antioxidant found in red grapes and wine, either because the raisins are made from green grapes (naturally low in resveratrol) or because the compound is destroyed during drying.”
“Researchers have found that ounce for ounce as measured by standard test, raisins contain almost three times the amount of antioxidants as their original grape counterparts. Antioxidants are important in promoting and maintaining good health and optimal growth, and are essential in the treatment and prevention of certain chronic diseases, especially cancers.”
“When dried, the antioxidants found within grapes becomes concentrated–but unfortunately, so does the amount of sugar. Many people suffering from diabetes or other conditions in which sugar consumption is an issue are already often cautioned against eating large amounts of fruits due to the high sugar content.”
“Along with the concentration of antioxidants and sugar that occurs when grapes are dried to form raisins, comes a concentration in calories. In general, raisins contain significantly more calories than grapes. In fat, a half cup of raisins contains approximately 250 calories, while the same serving of grapes contains only 30 calories.”
Raisin vs Raisin
“Golden raisins are particularly high in antioxidants because the sulfites used to preserve their color while drying prevent some of these compounds from oxidizing. People allergic to sulfites need to avoid most golden raisins.”
If you are simply looking for a great source of dietary antioxidants, raisins are the best way to go. However, if you are looking for a healthy snack that is low in calories and sugar and can help you stick to a weight loss program, stick with grapes.
Thanks Jessica from Mother is a Verb for the question about raisons!
Dear Human-beings and other fans,
My human is finally feeling more normal . . . as least for her as I’ve never been completely convinced she was “normal” to begin with. The virus that took up residence in her body at end of December lasted for a month . . . and then triggered fibromyalgia symptoms.
The good news was Canines don’t catch human virus.
The bad news was nothing I could do would persuade her to let me take her for walks.
For all my fans I found this very short video that explains some disconcerting flu facts . . . for humans
Skunk Bear YouTube
The CDC says she was contagious one day before she started feeling sick and up to seven days after. If you’re a kid, elderly, or have a weak immune system, you can be contagious for even longer.
She’s no kid but she is elderly and has a weak immune system so for all I know she’s still contagious. When I take her on walks I’ll keep her on a short leash.
Freddie Parker Westerfield, CDH&WC
Canine Dog Health & Wellness Consultant
P.S. It’s National Love Your Pet Day! Take a look at my post – click here: Frankly Freddie, National Love Your Pet Day
Eating chocolate has been tied to a reduced risk of heart disease. Now scientists have uncovered how strong this link is.
To read more click here:
Turns out there’s added benefits when you add nuts and berries.
Walnuts are one of the top nuts for brain health. They have a significantly high concentration of DHA, a type of Omega-3 fatty acid. Among other things, DHA has been shown to improve cognitive performance in adults, prevent or ameliorate age-related cognitive decline and lower resting blood pressure. One study even shows that mothers who get enough DHA have smarter kids.
Just a quarter cup of walnuts provides nearly 100% of the recommended daily intake of DHA.
Strong scientific evidence also exists that eating berry fruits has beneficial effects on the brain and may help prevent age-related memory loss and other changes.*
“Berry fruits contain high levels of antioxidants, compounds that protect cells from damage by harmful free radicals. The two also report that berry fruits change the way neurons in the brain communicate. These changes in signaling can prevent inflammation in the brain that contribute to neuronal damage and improve both motor control and cognition.”
Woofer’s Bark Bark, a good for your brain’s Valentine treat
- 1 lb 70% dark chocolate, finely chopped or grated or 6 oz. bag of dark chocolate chips
- 1 ½ cups roasted walnuts or almonds, unsalted
- 1/2 cup dried raspberries (other dried berries will work)
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Melt chocolate in microwave oven or stir chocolate in a double boiler until melted.
- Add nuts & berries and stir quickly to combine. (reserve some to sprinkle on top)
- Spread chocolate-berry-nut mixture on parchment paper, keeping nuts in a single layer.
- Sprinkle top with the remaining berry-nut mixture.
- Chill until chocolate is set, about 3 hours.
- Break bark into pieces and store between layers of parchment or waxed paper.
Click here and on the Pinterest pictures for other chocolate recipes, and more about chocolate:
Journal Reference: Marshall G. Miller, Barbara Shukitt-Hale. Berry Fruit Enhances Beneficial Signaling in the Brain. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
Been curled up in a fetal position for 14 days (but who’s counting?) My cold has traveled south (undoubtedly looking for warmth) into my bronchials. I don’t want to talk to anyone, see anyone, do anything and my guilty pleasures are no longer pleasurable. The ever-present fibromyalgia fatigue has morphed into exhaustion and if I had the energy I’d invest in stock in Puff’s-plus-lotion-tissues stock options.
BUT Glory be! I’m not being a wimp!!!! “Those feelings are a real thing called “sickness behavior,” which is sparked by the body’s response to infection. The same chemicals that tell the immune system to rush in and fend off invading viruses also tell us to slow down; skip the eating, drinking and sex; shun social interactions; and rest.”
“Those messages are so powerful they can’t be ignored,” says Philip Chen, a rhinologist at the University of Texas, San Antonio. But that doesn’t mean we don’t try. Symptoms like a stuffy nose are obvious, Chen notes, but we’re less aware that changes in mood and behavior are also part of our bodies’ natural response to infection.”
After reading this post wash your hands, take a shower, disinfect your computer and stay away from crowds as you may have caught my cold.
I just realized it’s December 31st, having spent the last 8 days doing nothing but sleeping, watching Hallmark movies that always end in a kiss ‘n bliss while blowing, snorting, coughing and kvetching.
The good news is I don’t have the flu. (I know it’s the flu when I feel pain as the hair grows on my head and my fingernails ache.) This is a cold, albeit if there is a hell it’s from the nether regions. Every orifice in my being is clogged including my bronchial tubes which periodically go into spasm trying to clear themselves of the invading species.
The other good news: My body is working as it was meant to – surrounding the invaders with fluid and trying to expel them from my being. However, I’d think with all the technological and scientific advances Mr Dyson could have perfected a vacuum to sweep my body clean of debris.
HEALTHY 2018 to ALL!! (Happy and Wealthy are currently second choices)
For a New Year’s Pome Wish check out http://CATNIPblog.com
“If we take people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat them as if they were what they ought to be, we help them to become what they are capable of becoming”
A Baha’i Bit
Essentially a mystical Faith, the Baha’i teachings focus on the soul’s relationship with the eternal, unknowable essence of God, and recommend daily prayer and meditation to everyone.
Baha’is believe that the human spirit lives eternally, and so endeavor to illumine their souls with spiritual attributes—kindness, generosity, integrity, truthfulness, humility and selfless service to others.
Heart disease, not cancer, is the #1 killer of women. I learned that and other invaluable information on Carolyn Thomas’ My Heart Sisters blog.
Over the years I’ve “stolen” and reposted many a wonderful post from Carolyn Thomas. Her blog, Heart Sisters, has been one of the few I’ve followed for years. I have forgotten what led me to her blog but once I read both her compelling stories and the up-to-date information on women’s health, in particular heart disease, I was a Carolyn-groupie.
Apparently Johns Hopkins was a groupie too when they asked her to write a book on Living with Heart Disease. My guess is that her down-to-earth writing coupled with up-to-date research and information appealed to Johns Hopkins as much as it did to me.
Here’s just a sample of info found on Carolyn’s blog:
“Did you know: Women generally fare far worse than men after experiencing a cardiac event? One possible reason is that it can be confusing to make sense of warning symptoms when they do hit. Women are also less likely than our male counterparts to seek immediate help at the first sign of cardiac symptoms. Instead, we end up:”
- toughing them out
- waiting to see if they go away
- blaming them on stress, muscle soreness, indigestion or other less serious non-cardiac causes
I can’t say enough good things about Carolyn – you’ll have to read her book and her blog to see for yourself what fabulous advocacy and education Carolyn has provided since her own “widow-maker” heart attack. (Full disclosure: we are not related, I’ve never met her in person, and I don’t get a kick-back!)
Buy a copy and give the gift of life to a woman you love . . . maybe it’s even yourself
Save 20% when you use the code HTWN when you pre-order the book from Johns Hopkins
Order your copy click here: Johns Hopkins University Press
Johns Hopkins University Press is the publisher and here’s a fraction of what has been said about Carolyn’s Book:
“[A Woman’s Guide to Living with Heart Disease] gives women the knowledge they need to become their own advocates in a health care system that continues to be weighted against them.”
“This book brings a needed focus to a leading killer of women today and is a must-read for women and their loved ones.”
“If you are a woman, or love a woman, this is a book for you! Cardiovascular disease is the leading killer of women. Here is a book focused on women’s cardiovascular health. It is all here—prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. Read it for the people you love.”
“This work is an important contribution to the discussion about heart attack and misdiagnosis in women. Thomas’s personal story—alongside the stories of millions of other women—provides a needed reminder of recognizing one’s symptoms, avoiding denial, and seeking medical attention. This elegant book is a unique addition to women’s health books and a necessary read for women and the people who care about them.”
Thank you Carolyn for pushing through your own symptoms to write a book of this magnitude.
HEALTHY fat is good for your brain*!
The USDA recommends that healthy adults over the age of 19 consume between 20 and 35 percent of their daily calories from fat. Young children (ages 1 to 3 years) need as much as 40 percent of their daily calories to come from fat. If you eat a diet of 2,000 calories per day, ingest between 44 grams and 77 grams of total fat daily.
Posting a drawing a day on Curious to the Max with a once-a-week Sunday-7 Day Retrospective on CATNIPblog for those of you who just want to click- off the dailies!
I’ve hit a wall – the fibro has flared it’s ornery self and striped me of energy. My creative output is a bit puny.
The PROBLEM? – No one can tell and I ain’t getting no sympathy. I try not to be a whiner because I am sure others are as tired of my being tired as I am. This is the one place I can moan and grown cuz I know most of you won’t read it and are only interested in pictures of nude people . . .
Dear Subscribers human or otherwise,
I take my human out for a walk as often as I can. She’s a bit delusional . . . she thinks she’s walking me. So I constantly have to find proof that she needs to quit patting herself on the back and pat me.
“In a study published in the journal BMC Public Health, dog owners on average walked 22 minutes more per day compared to people who didn’t own a dog.”
“If you look at studies on pet ownership, people who own pets seem to live longer than those who don’t own them,” . . .
Get a life. Get a dog . . . like me
Freddie Parker Westerfield, CHT
Certified Human Trainer
If you don’t believe me read this: Dog Owners Walk 22 minutes more per day
or this: FRANKLY FREDDIE
“Get busy helping someone else and see — over time — the things you might have in common, instead of only the things that might divide you.”
“Remember what can happen when we love our neighbors as ourselves. There are storms that bring us together and storms that divide us. We have a chance now to choose. Harvey already has reminded us what we’re capable of, when we come together.”
“The recovery ahead will be long. Our neighbors need to know they can count on us. The families affected will need our help and our attention as the work of rebuilding unfolds. If we hold our focus on the important matters at hand, we can use the power of the people to create that world we all know exists — if we will simply give it life.”
Read entire article by Jimmy Carter, the 39th President of the United States.
Everything in life ministers to our development. Our lesson is to study and learn… Tests are either stumbling blocks or stepping-stones, just as we make them.
No nudes today . . . but lots of raw skin . . . around my nose. I have a “code in duh node”, can’t think, can’t breathe and stayed home from life drawing. I caught it from Freddie. Yes, you heard right . . . FREDDIE.
My husband and I got sore throats on the very same night. The next day we both had baaaaaaad colds. We were stymied, since we hadn’t been out together the previous week and the people with whom we had joint contact hadn’t gotten sick.
Freddie was groomed 3 days prior to our getting sick. After Freddie is groomed he is fluffy and soft as down – it’s even more pleasurable to pet him.
I e-mailed the groomer and asked if he, by any chance, got a cold after he was here.
Seems Freddie is the only one who didn’t get sick.
BUT those of you who care more about being “CURIOUS” than CATNIP . . . you get the first scoop.
Brain research is clear – our thoughts trigger the neurochemical flood of emotion. Think negatively and you will feel anxious or fearful. Think positively and you’ll be flooded with the neurochemistry for happiness, contentment or love.
Life need not be fraught
with negative thought
“This too shall pass
half full is my glass”
“It’s bright and sunny
all milk and honey”
“It will be ok . . .
on another day”
That’s how to think
to be in the pink
Read these for information on the research:
Several months ago my good friend Peggy Arndt, who is also a retired psychotherapist, suggested we collaborate on blogging the tips, tools and techniques for health, happiness and well-being we have accumulated over our combined 60+ years of experience.
As that was my original intent when I started this CURIOUS blog I agreed . . . on the condition that CATNIPblog also amused me.
By now, you know that I post when the mood moves me. Collaborating with Peggy, who is much more organized than I am, has made me accountable to a regular blogging schedule on Catnipblog. So I’ve been typing my little fingers to the bone and posting on CATNIP so Peggy will think I’m not as flaky as I actually am.
I’m not abandoning this blog as I started Curious to the Max over 7 years ago and have over 1,500 post (yes, you read that right . . . OVER one-thousand, five-hundred posts!). I’m just still in the process of figuring out how to do both blogs.
On CATNIPblog most of the posts emphasize current research and the neuroscience of health and happiness (with a bit of our personal experience thrown in). Once a week we post something inspirational, weird and/or whimsical on Pawsitively Tuesdays.
I’d LOVE it if you would check out CATNIPblog, see the proof that I can be disciplined . . . and subscribe.
CATNIPblog take a look !
Ai yi yiii – ever look up a word in the on-line “Urban Dictionary”?
I looked up “hatch” and was “blown away” by the uses . . . many of which I can not put in print on a G-rated blog . . . most of which I had never heard of nor heard spoken.
Why look up “hatch”, you wonder (or not)? In art class the focus was on hatching – an art technique where lines are drawn in various forms & intensities to create shapes & shadow.
These two quick sketches were done prior to Easter. Eureka! I thought: Hatching and eggs were perfect for an Easter blog post.
Then I got “hatched” – another fibromyalgia flare-up and I missed a week’s worth of art classes.
I’m still not feeling good and not pleased health issues keep hatching . . . but this chick got off her fibro-inflated rear and went to class this week.
I’ve been hatching . . .
P.S. Thanks Peggy A. for doing all the scheduled posting on CATNIPblog!
How can we find balance in the chaos that surrounds us? This was the question at the recent HeART of Spirituality workshops held at Tapestry Unitarian.
“As ye have faith so shall your powers and blessings be. This is the balance—this is the balance—this is the balance.” – Baha’i World Religion
The participants picked images that represented spiritual balance and spiritual imbalance and made collaged Contemplation Cards. Similar to tarot cards or vision boards these cards can be used in many ways.
Can you tell which cards represent BALANCE and which represent IMBALANCE? See all the cards on CATNIPblog.
To see all the Contemplation Cards, a picture of the participants and directions how to make the cards click HERE.
Ecclesiastes Chapter 3:1-8
- 1 To every [thing there is] a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
- 2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up [that which is] planted;
- 3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
- 4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
- 5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
- 6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
- 7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
- 8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
I’m baaaaaaack . . . sorta . . . missed all my art classes, missed church . . . cancelled The HeART of Spirituality workshop cuz I’ve been feeling puny. (And when I am feeling puny I eat, watch the cooking channel, download recipes and read all I can about what not to eat in the hopes that I will follow that advice.)
The only constructive thing I’ve done is work on the NEW BLOG Catnip with my good friend and colleague Peggy Arndt.
(Peggy is a retired psychotherapist too AND an artist and author. I’ve never caught Peggy feeling puny and eating since she’s within a pound or two of the same weight she was when we were in high school together. If I didn’t like her so much I’d hate her.)
Between the two of us we have amassed decades of information on neuroscience and behavior and relationships . . . and eating . . . and addictions. We’re going to share all that on a new blog called CATNIP (but I digress . . .)
While I was researching for CATNIP this article caught my eye . . . here are some excerpts:
By Barbara J. King*
“The average American eats more than 33 pounds of cheese a year.” (Thirty-three pounds is about the amount of weight I’d like to lose. I need to stop eating my American share of cheese.)
“This is according to Neal Barnard, physician and president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. And that’s a problem, he says, because it’s helping to make us overweight and sick.”
“Loaded with calories, high in sodium, packing more cholesterol than steak, and sprinkled with hormones — if cheese were any worse, it would be Vaseline …”
Some foods are fattening. Others are addictive. Cheese is both — fattening and addictive.”
“Barnard explains that dairy protein — specifically a protein called casein — has opiate molecules built in. When babies nurse, he notes, they’re getting dosed with a mild drug: “Milk contains opiates that reward the baby for nursing.”‘
“It’s no different with the cow’s milk — or other mammalian milk — from which cheese is made. In fact, Barnard says, the process of cheese-making concentrates the casein”
“Call it dairy crack.”
“. . . Barnard notes that vitamin D may play an important role in protecting us against some types of cancers. Citing prostate-cancer data, he suggests that because dairy products are high in calcium and calcium intake can slow down activation of vitamin D, cancer risks may increase with cheese-eating.”
“The National Dairy Council (or cows who would rather be milked than molded into meat patties) does not endorse Barnard’s descriptions of cheese . . . and points to research from Harvard School of Public Health that shows no association between cheese and long-term weight gain.”
“However, if one’s goal is to lose weight, there is something to be said for not teasing yourself with occasional doses of the very food that caused the problem in the first place. (I might add sugar and refined carbs to the list . . . might?) Better to end that bad love affair. If a person is concerned about asthma, migraine, rheumatoid arthritis, or other sensitivities, one soon loses all desire for the food product that caused the problem.” (So far THAT argument hasn’t worked with me.)
(Maybe every time I feel puny I should picture myself eating 33 pounds of VASELINE . . . )
Read the entire article and click HERE.
*Barbara J. King is an anthropology professor emerita at the College of William and Mary. Barbara’s most recent book on animals is titled How Animals Grieve, and her forthcoming book, Personalities on the Plate: The Lives and Minds of Animals We Eat,
The Cheese Trap, How Breaking a Surprising Addiction Will Help You Lose Weight, Gain Energy, and Get Healthy by Neal D., M.d. Barnard, Dreena Burton and Marilu Henner
Had a hard time concentrating and my arms were hurting when I tried to draw. I’m blaming it on the rain . . . a convenient fall-guy (pun intended). When my drawings don’t turn out as well as I would like I usually blame it on the model.
You can see some of the structure lines & corrections in these 2 minute sketches.
The model held onto a rope in the poses. We were suppose to concentrate on the angles.
These below were 20 minute poses but I could only draw for about 10 minutes.
Usually, I use large drawing paper and stand at an easel. This session I drew on a smaller sketch pad and sat down. I figured if the model could sit
so could I . . .
Papa’s Instructions Pome
Children of ours, it’s your time to play
So listen closely to what I say
To your DNA you must stay true
Here’s exactly what you are to do:
Dump buckets of muck
up judy’s nose
Make sure you duck
before she blows
Bang on her brain
whistle in her ears
like a choo choo train
til she bursts into tears.
Pound on her head
jump on her chest
all night long in bed
so she gets no rest
Children, it’s now up to you
judy is yours to do
Cuz Mama is weary
with no app or Siri.
And your papa is tiring
of non-stop siring
It’s Mom & me off to find a new home
Hallelujah! you’re on your own
Practice what we’ve taught
drive judy crazy, make her lazy
don’t give it an afterthought
Spend all your time
making her go outa her mind
It’s the Year of the Rooster – I was born under the Chinese sign of the Rooster. Always thought it to be a curse I was born under a sign that wasn’t fertile enough to lay an egg or two.
According to my friend Sharon Bonin-Pratt (whose last post inspired this post) People born under the sign of the Rooster are hardworking, funny, trustworthy and talented.
I’m not hardworking, at times am funny, almost always trustworthy, and have latent talents that get laid but never hatched.
This Rooster year started off with a cold virus that delights roaming the cozy recesses of my sinus passages. It’s day 11 (but who’s counting). I’ve been a total slug – no energy, no resolve which gives me a perfect excuse for not making New Years’ resolutions.
(The truth be told, I never make resolutions for the New Year – learned long ago that when I inevitably fail to keep a resolution it leads to feeling badly.)
What energy I have has been directed toward resolving to be more creative this year.
In preparation I’ve been obsessively reading everything I can find on how to break my creative block and stop procrastinating.
Most everything I read about procrastination indicates that we procrastinate when we don’t want to do something that is not enjoyable. Being a master procrastinator I also procrastinate with things that bring me enjoyment.
For inspiration, I read blogs of people who write, read or draw daily – all things which bring me enjoyment. I feel badly I’m not like them which leads me to read articles on procrastination and meeting goals (I know how to set them, just not meet them).
Finally the article below has liberated me! I know what to blame:
My dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is lazy . . . not me.
“What is it exactly that helps us be creative? What fuels us when we get into an especially productive work flow? What makes the hours disappear when our brains focus on a task?”
“What, in other words, is happening in our brains when we’re being creative?”
“Cognitive neuroscientist Heather Berlin at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai says we know a little bit about what’s going on. Berlin studies the neuroscience of imagination, creativity and improvisation. And for those people who might be facing writer’s block? “There’s really no prescribed medication,” Berlin says. “There is no real magic pill.”’
Instead, she says, creativity depends on which part of the brain you might be using.
“When [people] are improvising, there tends to be a pattern of activation where they have decreased activation in a part of the brain called the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex,” Berlin says. “And that part of the brain has to do with your sense of self, your sort of inner critic, making sure that your behavior conforms to social norms.”
“Translation? When you’re at your most creative, “basically you lose your sense of self,” Berlin says. “You kind of release your inhibition. The second you become too self-aware that comes back online and you lose that flow state.”’
“In addition to losing inhibitions, people who are in a creative state have increased activation in a part of the brain called the medial prefrontal cortex, which has to do with the internal generation of ideas. In other words, the ideas are coming from within.”
“Some people, when they’re in the flow state … a lot of people say ‘It feels like it’s flowing through me. It’s coming from someplace else,’ you know, ‘It’s coming so naturally I don’t even have to think about it,’” Berlin says. “It’s called liberation without attention. You can only keep a certain number of variables in mind when you’re thinking about something consciously. But if you let it go, you actually can come to a greater understanding because the unconscious can do much more complex processing.”
“For those suffering from creative block, Berlin has some practical advice:”
“You have to take in all the information and then go for a walk,” Berlin says. “Go out, do something else. Because those people who sit there and just obsess over thinking about it too much, using your prefrontal cortex you’re actually limiting yourself. So letting it go can actually help you get over, let’s say a writer’s block or a creative block.”
I’d go for a walk but I have a cold. Maybe some other time . . .
I admit I’m obsessive about steering clear of people who are sick. I’ve been “known” to remove my groceries off the counter and go to another check-out if I see a clerk sniffing or coughing. With fibromyalgia everything lasts longer and is more severe so I go to great lengths to avoid people who even appear to be sick.
My husband caught a cold 2 weeks ago and I’ve assiduously washed everything down – counters, door knobs, light switches and my husband – with disinfectant.
Turns out I was disinfecting the wrong person.
I woke up yesterday with a scratchy throat, a headache and feeling even less chipper than I usually feel in the morning.
The Queen gave me a cold
How do I know, how am I told?
This cold is a dignified one
no snorting, sniffling nor dripping a ton
My makeups impeccable, not a hair undone
Despite a sore throat and my throbbing head
staying all day, aching in bed
I shan’t complain
For how often does one contract
a ROYAL pain.
“But at 90 . . . she is exercising caution as she recovers from a heavy cold which she’s had for at least 12 days, (12 DAYS!!!! ) and which is bound to have left her feeling pretty miserable. (tell me about it).”
“She hasn’t yet had an opportunity to go outside and explore her 20,000 acre private Norfolk estate. (So true, so true)”
LONG LIVE THE QUEEN . . . and me too!
P.S. Wash your hands after reading this post – I’m contagious . . .
I admit it. I’m a bit paranoid about catching a cold or the flu.
When I get sick insult is added to injury as my fibromyalgia symptoms flare for weeks after I’ve recovered from the cold.
I avoid anyone who sneezes, eyes are watery or is coughing. I’ve moved my groceries from one counter to another to avoid check-out clerks who looked like they are sick and on occasion come home and taken a shower if I THINK I might have been exposed.
Now I learn it’s possible I’m avoiding people who aren’t sick, just afraid, sad or incredibly empathetic!
Sneezing is “catching,” like a yawn.
“It is true that emotions can affect your nasal membranes. Fear makes them shrink (which can make you sneeze), and sadness makes them swell (which can also make you sneeze.) Though there is conflicting evidence, yawning has been linkedto empathy, and one study showed that psychopaths — people who lack empathy — may even be immune to contagious yawning.”
“If sneezing fits are like yawning fits, does that mean that if we are tuned into others’ emotions, we might sneeze out of sympathy? Though hard evidence is murky, there is some reason to believe that both yawning and sneezing fits may be powered by the mind.”
The article Here’s Looking achoo – debunking the sneeze covers even more:
- Sneezing is good for the soul
- Sneezing is bad for the soul
- If you say “God Bless You,” God might spare you. Or not.
- Tweezing your eyebrows can make you sneeze.
- Sneezing always comes in threes.
- Bright light can make you sneeze.
Read the entire article click HERE.
Friday: Spent all day and evening in the ER. I was EXTREMELY light-heading, threw up, missed my art class and spent 24 hours in bed thinking I’d feel fine in the morning . . . WRONG.
Saturday: In the morning the room was moving and I wasn’t. Every time I moved I threw up and there was nothing to throw-up since I hadn’t eaten anything (You have probably created a nasty picture in your mind . . . just make it even nastier).
The ER was even more fun. Throwing up, drawing blood, 2 CT scans (to make sure it wasn’t a stroke . . . it wasn’t) and finally, after 4 different anti-nausea medications and drips, I stopped throwing up.
Sunday: I’m still dizzy and have to hold on to things to walk (it’s a bit wonky to type) but the good news, the GREAT news, is I’ve not thrown up. The bad news is I’m still dizzy . . . and grey-haired.
To my friends and acquaintances who suffer with Ménière’s disease. . . I have new compassion for you!
P.S. For those of you I confused . . I don’t have Menieres just plain Ditzy.
The weather is changing
my body rearranging
Help! I’m in a fibro flare
including my hair.
Sharon Bonin Pratt is a writer, an artist and a dear friend. I think she also is psychic. I’ve been not feeling great and the subject of her last post was just what I needed. AND it’s dedicated to ME!!!! What an honor!
Shari inspired me to look for a smile (SEE THE VIDEO).
Here’s a sample from Sharon Bonin Pratt’s Ink Flare:
“Who can laugh without relaxing? Isn’t that why some of us (not me of course, and certainly not you, but other unnamed folks) pee their pants when laughing raucously? Losing all control is not a bad thing, even if you must change your whitie-dities, because when you’re having that much fun – who cares about all the rest? Oh, and it’s contagious! In a good way, not like the flu, but like having enough cup cakes for everyone in the world. So now I not only feel good inside my own world weary bod – I feel good because everyone around me also feels good. Motto for today: Spread cheer – laugh out loud.”
Read her entire post – Sharon Bonin Pratt’s Ink Flare
At Judy Formato’s Painting on the Patio (POP) art group the topic of marijuana came up.
Several of the woman, who shall remain anonymous, (we are all well over the age of 50 or 60 or 70) admitted to inhaling in their youth. It was a pertinent topic (for those of us well over the age of 50 or 60 or 70) relating to pain medication for maladies that come with maturity.
Is this a coincidence, or what? . . . I came home to read this new medical marijuana “MIND” study:
Researcher Staci Gruber is “. . . trying to determine the long and short-term impact of medical marijuana on cognition, brain structure and function, quality of life, sleep, and other clinical measures.
“People drive two to three hours sometimes to get [here for] the study,” Gruber said. “They’re really committed. They really want to know what effect this will have on them.”
“As they wait for long-term results, MIND researchers have made a few interim discoveries. They have found, for example, that marijuana could possibly ease symptoms for people with bipolar disorder and that a medication for strokes and Alzheimer’s disease may reverse the cognitive effects of chronic recreational marijuana use.”
Perhaps our POP group could volunteer – we can drive and are VERY committed women.
I think we qualify.
Oh, by the way, here’s what I painted at POP.
I wonder why they don’t use rats for this study – they use them for all the others?
A lovely reminder of what our souls know but our minds forget.
Gabrielle Garcia Marquez
Considered one of the most significant authors of the 20th century and one of the best in theSpanish language, he was awarded the 1972 Neustadt International Prize for Literature and the 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature.
I woke this morning feeling like a truck hit me, threw me onto the train tracks where I was run over by a locomotive.
AND lo and behold . . .
. . . today is National Fibromyalgia Day. I’m in no mood to celebrate but the Fibro-Fiends that dwell inside me are having a ball!
I’m too tired to write an entirely new post to post on this post so I’ll just post part of a post of a post that I posted sometime ago. . . . .
“I look normal, I act normal (relatively normal). However, I feel exhausted much of the time, my body aches from head to toe and my brain sometimes has trouble remembering or concentrating. Please don’t tell me to exercise more, eat better, try acupuncture or go to a new doctor. After 20 years I’ve tried just about everything there is to try that I can afford, swallow or legally do.”
“I don’t even care anymore what you call it: Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, malingering . . . it’s just tiring being tired much of the time. I push through it otherwise I’d have no life. But the price for pushing can be days of crashing so I pick and choose my commitments.”
There’s a free on-line Fibromyalgia Summit. If you’re interested in hearing the presentations click here: http://www.healthrising.org/blog/2016/05/11/three-days-may-fibromyalgia-summit-almost/
Confidential: Send me your prayers because tomorrow I’m leaving for an Unitarian Woman’s Retreat where I’m facilitating 2 workshops. (I am not planning on taking my Fibro-Fiends with me. Please don’t tell anyone because if the Fiends get wind I want to leave them home they will be angry . . . very angrrrrrrrrry . . .)
Attended a painting workshop today at Art & Creativity for Healing a wonderful non-profit for which I helped facilitate workshops many years ago.
Laurie Zagon the founder and creator of the Art4Healing® method has created a wonderful vehicle to express feelings using color. It’s not about making “art” but about processing thoughts, feelings and experiences using paint. Today’s workshop was “Painting Hope”.
The paintings are done very rapidly so that intuition rather than artistic skill is the focus. And it’s hard to be skillful when make-up sponges and q-tips are used instead of brushes!
Please check out Art 4 Healing.org. Their mission is to support emotional healing through art & creative expression for those living in pain, grief, fear or stress.
There are on-line video workshops available to everyone, anywhere. Proceeds go towards providing free workshops to organizations such as wounded veterans, Children’s Hospital and woman’s shelters.
If you want to see my explanation of Prayer of Hope click here The HeART of Spirituality!
SoulPancake and Puppy Chow teamed up to share the #PowerofPuppies at a preschool, retirement home, and gym to transform an otherwise ordinary day. Share http://bit.ly/pwrofppys with someone who needs the power of puppies in their lives! For every video view, Puppy Chow will donate one pound of Puppy Chow Natural to Rescue Bank® (up to 500,000 pounds or until April 23, 2016).
Now back to washing the dishes and the soapy water that reminded me to water the flowers in the garden which reminded me about this video . . .
Thanks Sharon M.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Is it a good thing . . . or a sign . . . I can no longer remember when my attention deficit was activated . . .?
I tend toward the depressive end of the “depression vs anxiety” scale. There are very few things, besides snakes, heights and being suspended in the air in gondolas, that make me anxious. I rarely worry about them . . . unless I’m on a hike in the mountains, it’s rattlesnake season and the only way I can get down is a gondola ride.
After watching this video . . . I’m worried that I don’t worry enough . . .
In case you’ve not gotten a valentine card for your sweetie it’s not too late to get something that’s personal, permanent and not just from your heart but from other parts of you too.
Baby Boo, You are the lounge chair of my life. (Eames,no less)
Sweetie Pie, I could just eat you up!
My Love, Count on me to always watch your back.
Sweet Pea, I love you to the tips of my toes.
Baby, Take ALL of ME!
My dear Curious to the Max followers,
I imagine there are millions of you (I have a big imagination) who wait with bated breath and quickening heart beats for my posts – I shall call you Group Numero UNO. You are keenly aware (due to your breath and heart rhythm) I’ve been bloggingly absent. The rest of you (group 2, small “g”) are scratching your heads (or other parts) and wondering what I’m talking about because your lives, breath and hearts have gone on nicely without my posting.
For Numero UNO: I just have lost my mojo, my energy, my focus – not interested in writing, reading, gardening, e-mailing, blog posts started and abandoned . . . I’m giving credit to a fibromyalgia flare-up because fibromyalgia should be good for something.
For the second group: I am LOST, DEPLETED, SUFFERING and you probably don’t care . . .
On a serious note (not that I wasn’t serious before) fibromyalgia along with many other chronic conditions has a mind of it’s own and takes over at unexpected and unpropitious times. After over 20 years of living with this condition I’ve still not got the hang of it. When I feel decent I go, do, get overly involved and then crash for days, sometimes weeks (or months, but who’s counting).
To better manage what energy I have I’ve decided to do half of the ten things I currently need or want to do:
- Complete half the alphabet for the on-line daily blogging alphabet posting challenge. (I’ve half a mind not to even do the challenge this year and repost what I wrote LAST year).
- Brush half my teeth each day (I’ll alternate halves – half in the morning and half before bed)
- Clean and dust the half of the house I can’t reach.
- Stop watching the Super Bowl at half-time.
- Eat half the pan of brownies I’m making (half today and half tomorrow).
That’s half of my plans so I’m not going to write the other five.
My New Motto (you can borrow it):
Live half my life with gusto, let the other half rest.
Don’t remember how I found Susan Wojtkowski’s blog I only remember the title of her blog irreversibly moi made me laugh, her love of rescue dogs made me smile and her online classes kept calling to me.
So I signed up for Art Journaling Through Proverbs. The price made me happy and the novelty of journaling inspired by proverbs (with which I’m not very familiar) made me interested.
My first journal page
I’ll share what we do and the Proverb we are focusing on. So stay tuned for some more of my heART!
P.S. There’s still time to join the online class. Here’s Susan’s description:
“Our first class/group course of 2016 is a journey through the Book of Proverbs! If you enjoy art journaling (or would like to start) and want to spend time in the Bible this year, this group is a great way to go. We will enjoy artsy fellowship in a private, fun and comfortable Facebook group while learning new art journaling techniques and discussing how to apply Proverbs in our daily lives. Read on below for more details about this great group class that kicks off on February 1st!”
My brother Rick told me about The Greater Good. Everyday I click on 6 of the sites. With every click I remind myself to feel grateful to be living in a free country where I have access to things much of the world does not have.
It’s free and every click counts toward making this a better world.
(plus there are some cool free-trade things to buy that help people around the world)
Click on Greater Good and subscribe to get a daily e-mail reminder to be grateful. Here are a list of the giving sites.
Research shows that feeling grateful doesn’t just make you feel good. It also helps – literally helps – the heart.
“A positive mental attitude is good for your heart. It fends off depression, stress and anxiety, which can increase the risk of heart disease, says Paul Mills, a professor of family medicine and public health at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine. Mills specializes in disease processes and has been researching behavior and heart health for decades. He wondered if the very specific feeling of gratitude made a difference, too.”
“He recruited 186 men and women, average age 66, who already had some damage to their heart, either through years of sustained high blood pressure or as a result of heart attack or even an infection of the heart itself. They each filled out a standard questionnaire to rate how grateful they felt for the people, places or things in their lives.”
“It turned out the more grateful people were, the healthier they were. “They had less depressed mood, slept better and had more energy,” says Mills.”
“And when Mills did blood tests to measure inflammation, the body’s natural response to injury or plaque buildup in the arteries, he found lower levels among those who were grateful — an indication of better heart health.”
“So Mills did a small followup study to look even more closely at gratitude. He tested 40 patients for heart disease and noted biological indications of heart disease such as inflammation and heart rhythm. Then he asked half of the patients to keep a journal most days of the week, and write about two or three things they were grateful for. People wrote about everything, from appreciating children to being grateful for spouses, friends, pets, travel, jobs and even good food.”
“After two months, Mills retested all 40 patients and found health benefits for the patients who wrote in their journals. Inflammation levels were reduced and heart rhythm improved. And when he compared their heart disease risk before and after journal writing, there was a decrease in risk after two months of writing in their journals.”
“Mills isn’t sure exactly how gratitude helps the heart, but he thinks it’s because it reduces stress, a huge factor in heart disease.”
“Taking the time to focus on what you are thankful for,” he says, “letting that sense of gratitude wash over you — this helps us manage and cope.”
“And helps keep our hearts healthy.”
Much is required from those to whom much is given. –Luke 12:48
He that give should never remember, he that receives should never forget. –The Talmud
Too pooped to pop! It was worth it! I facilitated a HeART of Spirituality workshop at the Tapestry Unitarian church. It’s my first post-retirement creative expression workshop. Not sure if it’s the last . . .
After so many years of having the luxury of giving workshops in my own office – with the set-up in place and all the materials on hand – I’d forgotten how much prep there is in doing a workshop off-site. (I’ve also forgotten lots of other things . . . like what I had for breakfast).
Here’s a small sample of what we did and a few of the INCREDIBLE prayer/contemplation cards created by the participants (Unfortunately not all the photos I took “took”.)
Take a look at a few of the Prayer/Meditation/Contemplation Cards!
After making the cards Reverend Kent Doss led participants in a Wisdom Circle discussion of what spirituality means, how we define it and experience it in everyday life.
“Artistic talent is a gift from God and whoever discovers it in himself has a certain obligation: to know that he cannot waste this talent, but must develop it.” Pope John Paul II
“If a man engages with all his power in the acquisition of a science or the perfection of an art, it is as if he has been worshiping God in the churches and temples.” Abdu’l-Baha
“Art exists for its role of permitting men to escape their human condition, not by fleeing it, but by possessing it. All art is a means of taking hold of human destiny.” Andre Malraux
A special thank you to Judy Clemmer for her help cutting out HUNDREDS of pictures and providing supplies.
Did you know you can train your brain not to wake you up at night to go to the bathroom? When you get the “full bladder” signal in the middle of the night ignore it. Trust me you won’t wet the bed. In about 2 nights your brain will stop signaling you that your bladder is full.
If you don’t trust what I’m saying, try painting your floor!
Thanks Linda B.!!!!!!!!
My Dear Human Beings and other critters,
My human has been too tired to go on walks. All she wants to do is sit around and I’m getting bored keeping her distracted by petting me. She blames Fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue but I’ve long suspected that she just needs a new career that is exciting. I found the perfect cure – FOR EVERYTHING THAT AILS HER .
There’s a woman in England who (instead of moping around like my human being) got a pair of feathered fans to do a routine in a bar that was holding a cabaret night.
She said: “It was nerve-wracking but exciting . . . I felt alive. . . . Even though she’s not completely cured, her chronic fatigue only flares up every two or three months – lasting at most for a couple of days. “
She’s got big plans for the future . . . She said: “I have signed up with the alternative model agency Ugly, in London and hope to start appearing in magazines and adverts.” (I didn’t tell my human being about “Ugly” because I’m not sure what kind of magazines and adverts want “ugly” . . . )
My human thinks all this is just a ploy to get her to take me on walks. I told her if she didn’t believe me to read this:
A hair-raising video worth watching!
“This small planet is not worthy of division. Is it not one home, one native land? Is not all humanity one race?”
“To mark this anniversary, monuments and buildings across the world are being illuminated in UN blue. As we shine a light on this milestone anniversary, let us reaffirm our commitment to a better and brighter future for all.” – Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations
Every year the U.N. and its member nations observe October 24th as United Nations Day around the world. This year, as the U.N. marks its seventh decade,
“Consider the creation of the infinite universe. This globe of ours is one of the smallest planets. Those stupendous bodies revolving in yonder immeasurable space, the infinite blue canopy of God, are many times greater than our small earth. To our eyes this globe appears spacious; yet when we look upon it with divine eyes, it is reduced to the tiniest atom. This small planet is not worthy of division. Is it not one home, one native land? Is not all humanity one race?” – Abdu’l-Baha, Divine Philosophy
Have you missed me? Have you EVEN noticed I’ve not been blogging? Well, I’ve been mishuga, fermisht and verklempt.
In my never-ending quest to feel better . . .
The short version: Went to an endocrinologist because I thought some of my exhaustion might be due to an adrenal problem. They took a quart of my hard-earned blood and I peed in an “orange juice container” for 24 hours to be told my adrenals are fine but I have Hashimoto’s disease.
Whaaaaaaaat??? I’ve never been to Japan and don’t even speak Japanese. Seems my immune system is eating my thyroid all up. Put me on thyroid medication and said I should have about 20% more energy. With my continual state of exhaustion 20% sounded good.
Three months later . . . maybe 10% more energy. So endo doc suggested I take Topomax, a tried and true medication, that will put my brain into deep sleep (my brain stays in REM sleep and I don’t get restorative sleep – that’s the main reason I’m so exhausted all the time). I researched it and checked it out with my fibro doctor who said it was worth a try.
NOT ONLY DIDN’T THE MEDICATION PUT ME INTO deep sleep it didn’t even put me into REM sleep!!!!! I was up for 3 nights and 3 days. Couldn’t even nap. My brain thought it was a stimulant. I couldn’t think straight, walk straight or talk straight. I’m just barely beginning to feel normally exhausted.
I told my fibro doc what happened on the medication. She gave me a new diagnosis: WEIRD.
is the NUMBER ONE killer of women.
Excerpt from HEART SISTERS Most Common Heart Attack Signs:
“These cardiac symptoms often come and go – sometimes over a surprisingly long period of time. They’re not always severe. We may believe that heart attack chest pain must be described as “crushing”, but it’s often frequently described by women with words like pressure, heavy, burning, full or tight – not “crushing”.”
“Almost 40% of women experience NO CHEST PAIN at all during a heart attack.”
Read the full post here: http://myheartsisters.org/2015/09/20/most-common-heart-attack-signs/
Thanks to Carolyn Thomas and her excellent blog Heart Sisters I recognized a heart attack in progress.
In my writing class this morning the woman next to me got up unexpectedly and left. On return she said threw up in the bathroom. A few minutes later she said she didn’t feel good, hot and sweaty, and thought she should go home. Something told me to ask her if she had chest pain.
I interrupted the teacher and privately told him she had heart attack symptoms. He immediately had the facility call 911.
The woman kept repeating she was ok, in great health, played tennis 4 times a week, no history of heart disease in the family, ate well and would be fine. Even after the paramedics came she kept questioning whether she needed to go to the hospital.
Because I’ve followed Carolyn’s blog I know common symptoms for women having a heart attack:
“Women often have different symptoms of a heart attack than men and may report serious symptoms even before having a heart attack, although the signs are not ‘typical’ heart attack symptoms. These include:”
- neck, throat, shoulder, upper back, or abdominal discomfort
- shortness of breath
- nausea or vomiting
- anxiety or “a sense of impending doom”
- light-headedness or dizziness
- unusual fatigue for several days
This woman had three symptoms PLUS, by the time the paramedics arrived, pain radiated to her jaw.
I insisted she go to the hospital and she could blame me if everything was ok.
Everything was not ok.
Click & Read this: Words matter when we describe our heart attack symptoms
I have no question that some day humans will be able to be CURED from disease and illness. It probably won’t happen in my life time but research is taking huge leaps forward in replacing function, eradicating disease, recreating organs. It will happen.
I have two very dear friends – one who had a kidney transplant and the other whose husband had a transplant. The process of getting donors, having to do dialysis and the operation itself was formidable. This stem-cell research is exciting.
Stem cell research is incredibly exciting and now here’s the latest application.
Excerpt from full article:
by ROB STEIN
“For the first time, primitive human kidneys have been created in a laboratory dish, by using stem cells.”
“Although the kidneys cannot perform the functions of a fully formed adult kidney, the researchers hope the achievement will someday lead to new ways to treat people suffering from kidney failure.”
‘“It’s really exciting,” says Melissa Little, who heads the Kidney Research Laboratory at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Australia. She led the research, which was published Wednesday in the journal Nature. “I think this is a really big advance.”
“They are only able to do some of the functions that a kidney performs, such as filtering toxins from blood, Little says. The organoid is not advanced enough to do all the very complicated balancing that a completely formed kidney does.”‘
“Little’s group is hoping the organoids may eventually continue developing into more fully functioning kidneys.”
“In the meantime, the primitive organs could possibly be used to help save failing kidneys by transplanting parts of them into patients, she says. Whether that will work remains to be seen.”
“Another use may be in pharmaceutical research. Companies could use the tissues to test new drugs.”
Click on the title to read the entire article
“Fear is just excitement in need of an attitude adjustment”
~ in a very wise fortune cookie
WireTap farewell video, from CBC Radio One.