Saturday, December 15, 2012

Last -Minute Holiday Gift Ideas

If you're like many of us, last-minute gift ideas are a godsend.  Several of our contributors have given suggestions that we might want to try.

For Children:
  • Recording a nursery rhyme or your own rendition of The Christmas Story for the child to listen to before bed is a good way for him or her to hear your voice when you can’t be there. Or check below under "For Everyone" to view the special " Best of 2012" children's books.
  • Although money done up in an origami creation isn’t usually for children, the child you’re thinking of may have had origami in an art class at school. Then it would be fun as he tries to recreate your original design after unfolding it. (See For Teens).
  • What about giving a child a gift that has long-term rewards?  Pick a gift child from the local bank or church's gift tree for underprivileged children.  Try to pick a child of the same gender and a year or two younger than your child or grandchild.  Give your child what you can afford and have him or her go with you to pick out toys or clothing for the gift child.  If you give him $20, tell him he can pick two gifts for a younger child.  Watch as he looks for items he loved receiving at that age.  In years to come, he'll do the same with his children because you taught him that the holidays are about giving.   If your little loved one can help to deliver the presents, so much the better.  Just make sure that the shopping trip does not include a gift for him or her.  Bribery for charity isn't really productive.
  • Here's a  great idea. In Kristin Bock’s “To-Do Gift Is Great Idea for Kids” from FamilyFun Magazine, she suggests an “experience gift” for children. Instead of too many toys, parents can present a card with a list of 2 or 3 experiences that each child might like. A child into clay class at school might have as one suggestion a trip to Claytopia or to the local children’s art museum. For those of us lucky enough to have university art programs or a larger city nearby, the list might include a visit to the studios or the university ceramics students. The Museum of Natural History might be a choice for a child interested in dinosaurs or Egyptian mummies. A trip to the zoo as soon as it opens for the spring season could be on the list. A child into sports might have the choice of inviting a friend to the opening-day local high school, college, or pro game. The child who’s into movies might have a movie with three friends on his list. And the child who loves horses might see a trip to a farm or the local stables for a pony ride as an exciting possibility. The aim of an experience list is to tap into a child’s main interests, to provide reasonably-priced (in some cases, free) choices, and also  togive him or her an event to anticipate once the holiday season is over. Bock comments that giving these experience gift choices has developed her children’s view of “giving and receiving” and says that “Our family is really learning the value of doing rather than having-and that’s a true gift”(Erie Times-News, Section D, 19, December 13, 2012).  See below for other suggestions for the family as 'experience gifts'.
For Teens:
  • Can you believe that teens love tye-dyed t-shirts? We remember them from the ‘60s! Money and gift cards to their favorite stores and online boutiques are a good bet as well.
  • If you’re thinking about giving money, why not give it in a way that they’ll also enjoy as they open your card? This idea is great, and really isn’t as hard as you might first imagine: Origami the bill into something fun or meaningful. Think you have no ability to do this? We know someone dear who insists that it’s easy if you just follow the step-by –step instructions on this free website:  Whatever the bill’s denomination, the origami heart, peacock, elf shoes, Christmas tree, butterfly, angel fish or even a bouquet of origami roses enclosed with your best wishes shows that you’ve spent time creating a special gift.  
  • Do the older children ask you where you grew up, what led you to pick your spouse or other information? What about writing or recording a story of family for them?
  •  Consider a charm bracelet for preteens or other female relatives to begin a tradition of memories.
For Parents and Family:
  • Parents might like a gift of weekend phone minutes to keep in touch, or a camera to attach to their out-of-date computer for free Skyping.
  • A few years ago, one of our contributors gave her parents a hot air balloon ride! They got to chose to go at either sunrise or sunset (they chose sunrise) and they provide a glass of champagne! Sweet!
  • Are you trying to decide on a gift for those “fixed income” folks? They might appreciate the payment of their utility bill or car wash coupons for older relatives who would wash the car in the cold weather rather than spend money on the car wash in town. A real treat could be spa treatments for old bones, but make sure you don’t include ‘for old bones’ on the card! For the older set not into computers, consider a sheet of stamps so that they can send cards and letters without stepping farther than their mailboxes.
  • (Just submitted by an unnamed contributor) "I love the idea of giving experiences. Every year I take my mom to see a show for Christmas and her birthday. I love membership gifts too . An annual membership to our local aquarium is $90 per couple and $110 per family and that allows unlimited visits for a year with no blackout dates. Incredible value since a family of four could pay $80 for a single day admission. Museum memberships can be as low as $40 per year."
  • If you can swing it, consider a special trip for the entire family. The arrangements can be done quickly……..a winter ski trip, a warm-weather destination vacation, or a, shore house, or an offer to host a family picnic to be held on a special day.
  • What would your adult children appreciate? How about a coupon for a night of baby-sitting while the couple goes out or away for the weekend. What about Mommy time with an appointmentat her favorite hair salon? 
  • And for your family living far away, an iPad  can help the family keep in touch.
  • Don’t forget this important idea: Start sharing your own treasures…tools, linens, decorations, jewelry, books, china, a special poem that you frame, archives, and include a note to give background such as "Your great grandmother spent all summer 40 years ago on this embroidered Christmas tablecloth."
  •  A Christmas sweater could be an option, especially if you have a family gathering during the holidays.   
For Relatives and Friends:
  • What about an artistic gift? Do you love browsing through the offerings at art festivals or museums? Beautiful artwork, unique art glass and jewelry with a variety of prices are usually available.
  • Are you into photography? Many larger stores and drugstores have photo centers, and your loved ones may appreciate a canvas picture made from a photograph that you’ve taken. CVS, for example, will create one from your online order for under $20-and the turn-around time is amazingly quick.
For Women: 
  • Looking for something different to give to a favorite female friend?  How about gifts for women invented by women.  Just access the web address here for unique last-minute presents.
And for Everyone…..
  • What about books?  Consider the "Best Books of 2012" including illustrated children's books and picture books; history books; art; design; psychology and many other categories.They can be found by accessing the web address below.  Then grab your keys and head to your favorite bookstore for that last-minute surprise gift.
  • photo books, calendar, albums for special memories…either to trace the lineage of the family or to acknowledge a special event (wedding, anniversary, birthday, or trip).
  • Your homemade items can be the best gifts loved ones receive: A stool, blanket, jams, quill, scarves, gloves, cookbook, bookcase, and hand-crafted notecards to carry on traditions.
AND FOR ALL…TIME TOGETHER. Be well, safe and happy this holiday season and always.
Thanks to Cheryl A., Sherry,  Rachel, Jo, Karen; to Elaine, Ruth, and Lonee,  and, yes,  to Kristin Bock and our unnamed contributor as well for the great last-minute  that we can use in the last days before the holidays arrive.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Finally! Time to Read: Four Suggestions

We're very lucky that contributors give such a wide array of readings that we might not have read and want to enjoy. 


This time we have two suggestions: one non-fiction and one historical fiction given to us by UrbanNana. She writes,"So many little time. Strongly recommend Alison Weir's Eleanor of Aquitaine (queen of both France and England & Mother of Richard the Lionheart). In the film "Lion in Winter, " it was Kate Hepburn's Eleanor who said upon hearing of her son’s misdeeds....he might have just tried to kill Eleanor’s husband, King Henry……''Well, every family has their troubles.'  Her story AND more in this book

Historical Fiction
UrbanNana notes, "Just finishing (for the second time) Kaherine Neville's The Eight (1988) and completely enthralled…again. This two-tiered adventure story is historical fiction at its best. Says Susan Isaacs, 'This is a Quest with something for everyone: ancient curses from the Fertile Crescent; Russian chess masters; sexy, savvy American computer whizzes; Napoleon and Robespierre, brave nuns, valiant Jewish diamond merchants; magic numbers; secret hiding places; the music of the spheres. In other words, Ms. Neville’s big adventure novel is great fun.'  "

"Look forward to her sequel, The Fire and to her essays.   Check out her link below.
Hope you’ll take time to read her webpage/link listed below. Absolutely fascinating woman. "


Peggy recommends a fiction work.  "If you liked the first three John Hart novels, The Last Child, The King of Lies, and Down River, going back to Hart for his newest work,  Iron House (July 2011) is a must.  Hart's writing has been described by Jeffery Deaver as "masterful" and by the New York TImes as "Grisham-style intrigue and Turow-style brooding." Two children, abandoned by their mother are consigned to Iron House, a former insane asylum converted to orphanage.  They are dogged by malicious older children and have to defend themselves or hide from the terrors they face.  Lost to each other for two decades, the two grown men , one a mob figure and the other a troubled author and artist. reunite again as they cope with threats to their lives and to those of the people they love. Complicated lives, the strength of love, and the need to survive swirl through the pages, keeping the reader waiting anxiously and hoping for some good to come to these brothers."


And finally, a suggestion coming to us through the daughter of one of our favorite yoga instructors.   She suggests that we read Bossypants by Tina Fey and  describes it as 'hilarious'.  It'll be next on my list!

If you want to be notified about new posts, send and email to  You'll be added to the distribution list.  Thanks to all who recommend these great reads.
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Saving Our Skin

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 When friends are asked to identify their most trusted skin savers, the results can be surprising.  Of course, the products or life habits here are not scientifically proven nor guaranteed to work for all of us.  But, that said, here are some recommendations to consider.

Our young mothers have two suggestions for childhood skin protectors.  First, one whose children have those dry patches behind the knees and on the inside of the elbows,  says "Aquaphor healing ointment works wonders!" 

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Another uses Neutrogena  SPF products recommended by her pediatrician.  She notes, "These products are fragrance-free, oil-free." Real pluses for children with sensitive skin. This young mother has very fair skin and burns easily; she uses Neutrogena Age Shield Face Sunblock SPF 70 and SPF 45 lotion"

Those of us looking for ways to moisturize our maturing skin have a recommendation from our expert nursing professional. She shares that, "Ceptaphil that is recommended at every dermatology lecture I go to but does not work for me. I like Gold Bold Ultimate restoring with CoQ10. It contains vtamins A, C. & E and ceramides."   She adds that she uses Olay Regnerist and ROC for her face.

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  Another of our strikingly attractive friends shares her secret:  "A college friend recommended Eucerin Moisturizing Cream for her face a few years ago. She has beautiful skin! I have been using the Walmart brand for about three years now, and recommended it to my sister. We're convinced that it has kept us looking younger (How's that for modesty?). It's called Equate Therapeutic Moisturizing Cream from Walmart. It comes in a big white jar that lasts forever. It's rather greasy. At night that's O.K., but in the morning I put it on, allow it to stay on my face for a short while, then use a tissue to gently remove any excess before applying my make-up. I think you'll like it." 

Another was surprised to see Eucerin, a cream she used 20 years ago,  suggested for cancer patients. "The oncologists have been recommending Eucerin for their patients, which is something I used in the 8o's and 90's upon recommendation from a dermatologist friend."

One suggestion for puffy eyes and concealers comes from a friend who has investigated several products.  She likes Instant Age Rewind Eraser,a dark-circle and treatment concealer.  She also likes Lubriderm Advanced Therapy Lotion, advertised for its ability to "moisturize for 24 hours."  By the way, Nivea is advertising a moisturizer that works for 48 hours."  None of us have tried that one yet.

 We haven't seen any testimonials for the really pricey creams and lotions.  That's a plus!  And talk about inexpensive! 

One friend lives in a very hot, dry climate.  Her go-to treatment for dry skin?  " The best one is baby oil on your skin while it is still wet in the shower, wait a minute and then towel pat. Be careful not to spill it or slip!"     Our southwestern friend also recommends, "I like Palmers coca butter or Palmers with olive oil, neither leave your skin oily." And finally, If you are living in or vacationing in a sun-intense area, remember that sunscreen is a must-every day.

Advice from a 'northeastern ' naturalist' who is another  proven example of great skin comments, "I would say the best way to protect my skin is to minimize exposure to sun. I don't like the sunscreens with all the chemicals in the ingredients! If I am outdoors for a longer period of time, I search for shade or wear a hat. I use organic moisturizers or some organic sesame oil during the winter. And, of course, healthy skin starts from the inside out...lots of water and nutrient dense foods."

Thanks to all who contributed to "Saving Our Skin"!  We had a great response.  Now if someone would invent a magic potion to erase those dreaded dark spots!  From pregnancy to retirement, grandmotherhood, and beyond,  these splotches occur-and they stay around forever.  Help!!!
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A Free App to Help Us Navigate Our Vacation Travel or Daily Commute

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Want a free app that shows highway congestion updated 24-7, with accident sites shown, cameras on real time, slow or stopped traffic, and ramps on the interstates you travel?  Try the one promoted by This site shows the cities covered, state by state.

SigAlert is defined by the California Highway Patrol as "any unplanned event that causes the closing of one lane of traffic for 30 minutes or more".  This commercial app, called by the same name, has a treasure trove of invormation for a ton of areas.

If you're traveling north from Florida and are concerned about the   DC area, use the app to plug in that city. If you're traveling to work in Pittsburgh and know that delays are possi ble on certain routes, use this app to determine which route is the fastest for you-at the time you're actually on the road.  Traveling into Chicago and wondering if you should take that dreaded toll bridge? Check out congestion in and around it.  This app containes many areas across the US.

The SigAlert app is free at iTunes.  Connect to Everything you'll need for daily traffic is free.  If you want to set up account with SigAlert, that will cost you an account fee, but it gives you the opportunity to program favorite routes and to add more bells and whistles.

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Having used it for two weeks to navigate a major city-especially going to and from the airport at rush hour, I find it more useful that my Google Maps traffic maps.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Finally! Time to Read: Five Titles to Consider As Your Next Book Choice


Pearl writes, "I just finished reading Cokie Roberts' book, Founding Mothers: The Women who Raised our Nation(2005). It is not a fast read, but I found it interesting to learn about what women's lives were like during the revolutionary times. And ....I learned that Benjamin Franklin was not such a nice guy!

Note:   Roberts also followed up with Ladies of Liberty:  The Women Who Shaped Our Nation, 2009.

Becky also  recommends a non-fiction selection. She writes, "I have a book I would like to recommend -- Citizens of London by Lynne Olson. It begins just after Joseph Kennedy has left London as our Ambassador. The new Ambassador[John Gilbert Winant] arrives and, unlike Kennedy, he is in favor of the United States entering the war. Edward R. Murrow is also a key figure in this book. I think a book is worth my time if I learn something new and throughout this book I often thought, "I never knew that before."

Historical Fiction

Pearl also recommends The Pearl Diver by Jeff Talarigo  She comments, "I found it fascinating."  She includes the quote 'In 1948, a nineteen-year-old pearl diver's dreams of spending her life combing the waters of Japan's Inland Sea are shattered when she discovers she has leprosy.' " The Pearl Diver is historical fiction and, in 2005, won the American Academy of Arts and Letters Rosenthal Award.


Coming from Bob A.  are  2 works of fiction.  Bob writes, "I enjoy mysteries, political thrillers, and spy novels, etc. Hence, a couple of good, fast, and compelling reads--The first: One Rough Man by Brad Taylor(2011). It is especially good and is Taylor's first book. The author was in Special Forces(Delta Force) in the Army for 21 years and really knows his stuff--comparable reads to those of Lee Childs and Vince Flynn, and the main character is like those guys(Jack Reacher; Mitch Rapp)  but on steroids.  Anyway, I love the George Orwell quote appearing  in the front of the book and also posted in the main character's(Pike Logan) locker which is 'People sleep peacefully at night only because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would do them harm.'  A great line in my humble opinion. "

Bob's second recommendation is Adrenaline by Jeff Abbott (2011) and is described on the website, Rapsody in Books-a site we should check out for excellent reviews.  Adrenaline is described on the website as a novel of "terrorism, betrayal, treason, lots of deaths, and an international chase."  The entire review is posted at

Thanks to Pearl, Becky and Bob A. for giving us a heads up on these books.

Sharing the Experiences of Women

Whatever our age, we have all experienced mentoring.  We have been mentored by older professional women, our mothers, grandmothers, aunts and friends.  We have mentored younger professional women; we have tried to guide our own daughters, nieces, and granddaughters to professional success.Whether in our offices, our classrooms, or at home, we have spent a lifetime learning from our older colleagues and passing that wisdom on to younger women when they want advice.
 Learning about successful women can be a  motivator for younger women.  By our own examples, we have already helped them in small ways.  And knowing about the powerful women across the globe who are influencing the course of events worldwide can give them so many ideas for their own direction in life.

Elaine has sent us a note to check out the profiles of the 19 women who are presidents or prime ministers of their respective countries.   Compiled by Marlo Thomas, the article also mentions little known info such as Gracie Allen's 1940 presidential bid on the 'Surprise Party' ticket!  Want to encourage a young woman to professional success?  Share Thomas's blog entry about these amazing women.

You can find  Marlo's blog on the Huffington Post site. Some of us might immediately discount anything on a site that promotes political views contrary to our own.  But, no matter your political persuasion, give Marlo's blog and related links a try.  It is surprising for a first-time reader that really interesting articles are posted on Healthy Living (such as Minimalist Running: To Shoe or Not to Shoe";  "Women and Work:  This is What Real Women Working Look Like") as well as a video interview with Gloria Steinem on "The Next Goals for the Women's Movement". Access the blog at

Thanks to Elaine for pointing us to Marlo's blog entry on women who are world leaders and for giving us another way to mentor the young women who come our way.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Joys of the e-Reader

To be sure, there are many occasions for hard-copy books.  What could match a little one's delight in lifting a tab and finding Big Bird or Boots behind the flap?  Introducing children to books and reading gives them a window on the wider world.

But, for those of us who love to read, the introduction of the e-reader has been an amazing feat of technology.  According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, 29% of us own an e-reader or a tablet.  Thanks to holiday gift-giving, that number is an  11% increase over December, 2011's  18%.

Some of us are no strangers to e-readers.  Marty, Sherry, and Joan H. have exhausted their first e-readers and are enjoying their second.  Others of us are new to the e-reading scene, adding to the Pew stats just last month.  For those of us with one foot in the hard-copy world, this is a new adventure-and a welcome one.

Jo, Marty, Sherry, and Barb R. all agree that portability is wonderful.  Having lugged the hard copy of Dances with Dragons in her carry on just last fall, Peggy has to admit that an e-reader would have simplified her life. 

The new e-readers offer so much, including the addition of email and web access as well as the main perk of a treasure trove of reading material.  Jo even uses her e-reader on trips when she wants to pass some time playing games-no need for the Nintendo!Barb is happy about her trips to the beach with a chair, towel and e-reader instead of a huge bag of books for her husband and herself.  She comments that the e-reader is great because of the easy reading in sunlight and the flexibility of print size.

On her holiday vacation, Sherry found that, of 11 beachgoing  reading enthusiasts, 10 were using e-readers with only one holding a hard-copy title.

Another plus for the e-reader is that the book lover can borrow books from the library.  The only downside to that, according to Marty, is that the wait time can be a problem.  Lots of library patrons are signing up to borrow the e-versions of their  library's collection.

Are hard-copy books a thing of the past?  Amazon did sell 105 e-books for every 100 hard-back and paperback books over the holidays.  Still, even with that increase, only 14% of all fiction and non-fiction titles purchased in the past two years were e-books (Claire Cain Miller & Julie Bosman, New York Times, May 19, 2011).

There are many e-readers on the market, but the best known are the Amazon Kindle series and the Barnes & Noble Nook.  Peggy just received the Kindle Fire this past month from her generous children and loves the color, the email access, the web surfing capabilities, and the cloud storage.    So far she's going through the 5-star free library at Marty's suggestion and has not been disappointed.

No e-reader at your fingertips yet?  If you want to determine which product  is right for you, go to the site listed below.  the Configurator is free and will help you by asking questions related to your personal needs.   Questions range from screen size to weight, memory, your limit for expense, free book downloads, and other capabilities.  When you answer the questions, the various e-readers (including the i-pad tablet) appear with a sliding bar to indicate which one meets your needs. Find the Configurator at 

You can find  Brian Heater's reviews of various e-readers at    He does an extensive review of Amazon's Kindle Fire versus  Barnes & Noble's Nook Tablets as well as comparisons  of other products.  Find his reviews at

A final consideration that Barb R. mentioned is this:  The Green Factor.  That's right.  We all recycle, but this is a new way of reducing  our carbon footprint.  The carbon footprint of one book is 8.84 lbs. in carbon dioxide terms.  In 2006, the carbon footprint of the book industry in the US was 12.4 million metric tons ("2008 Environmental Trends & Climate Impacts:  Findings from the US Book Industry").

If you're sharing books with children, by all means use the beautifully illustrated, colorful hard copies so that children can touch, manipulate, and discover the world of reading.

But for our own reading enjoyment, the e-reader is a great invention..

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Helping Children By Spreading the Love of Those Who Matter to Us

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January is a perfect time to look around for ways to make our living spaces neater.  If you're like some of us, you have a nice stack of Christmas cards from people who mean something in your life.

Recycling all paper is part of our weekly routine, but putting meaningful messages in the recycling bin seems a sad way to deal with the cards from people we care about.

Clay Thompson of The Arizona Republic, January 0, 2012, B10, suggests that we might consider sending those cards to the St. Jude's Ranch for Children, "a home for kids rescued from abusive homes."   According to Thompson's web search,  St. Jude's Ranch for Children is the "biggest recycler of cards."  The children reinvent the cards, earn money for doing so, engage in positive therapy, and learn business skills all at the same time.  (See for more information).

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By boxing up our cards and sending them to St. Jude's Ranch, we can be assured that the good thoughts we felt when opening those messages will continue to do something meaningful for the children who need it most.  And what might be better? 

How about sending out an email or posting a note telling your friends or coworkers your plan.  Take a box to the next bagel- shop breakfast, to your workplace, your book club meeting, your church, or your fitness club to collect cards for you to send.  What a good, simple way to help a child by sending cards touched by the people we love.

Interested?  Here's the address:

St. Jude’s Ranch for Children
Recycled Card Program
100 St. Jude’s Street
Boulder City, NV 89005

Thursday, January 5, 2012

An Easy Way to Help Homeless Vets

We have read accounts and seen news coverage of the plight of homeless vets.  Over the holidays, various malls had collection sites to drop off clothes for women vets and their children who are homeless.

An easy way for us to help the Veterans Behavioral Health Services is to collect coupons for personal care items so that the VA can increase its supply of those items to help these servicemen and women. Wherever we happen to be, we can find coupons in the Sunday newspaper, in magazines, and online.  For those of us who are accomplished coupon clippers, more sources than those listed here are coupon goldmines.

 Coupons that you can clip for razors, shaving gel, body wash, soap, lens cleaner, shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, wipes, feminine products, deodorant, body lotion, and other personal care items make it easier for the VA to provide for the veterans who have come back to face homelessness.

One address to use when you want to send an envelope of coupons, is the following:

Jamie Zewe, MA, LPC

Assistant Chief, Behavioral Health
Erie VA Medical Center
135 E. 38th Street
Erie, PA 16504

According to Sarah Gudgeon Public Affairs Specialist/My HealtheVet Coordinator, the following link also  provides information:

What could be easier for us to do?  Let's take a few minutes each month to clip coupons.  In a small way, this easy act might help someone who has served our country in dangerous countries abroad  and now finds himself or herself homeless back in the US.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Our Health: New Information on the Benefits of Shopping, Yoga, SuperFoods, and The Occasional Hangover

We've all known that we can add years of good health by staying active, following a good diet, limiting alcohol to a drink a day, and kicking the smoking habit.  But every day, new information comes out to help us to enjoy life and to stay healthy. More:  The Magazine for Women of Style and Substance gives great insight that can lead to better living.

Saving money can make you happier.  Of course!  But healthier?   What's the latest?  Plavix lost its patent protection at the end of 2011. Those of us who include the blood thinner in our 'stay healthy' arsenal will save considerable money now that the generic is available.

Most of us like to shop, but does it help our health?  The Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health says, "Absolutely!"  According to the study,  shopping can actually lower the possibility of untimely death by 23%. Wonderful!   Isn't this what we've been saying all along?  But why does it help our health?  How?

The researchers include the benefits of physical activity, socialization-either with shopping pals or with the salespeople we meet-time away from the house in the fresh air, the psychological lift of fresh veggies in the frig or new stuff to wear to work tomorrow, and to top off the health and happiness fix, the discovery of bargains to stretch our money a little.  

At least one of our group suffers from atrial fibrillation-that very serious condition causing irregular heart beats.  It's a danger because it might lead to stroke or to heart failure.   In the study by Dhanunjaya Lakkireddy, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Kansas Hospital, Kansas City,  a group of a-fib sufferers were able to reduce episodes by 50%.  How did they do it?  A new med?  No.

They were able to reduce their episodes of a-fib dramatically by following a plan that included participation in 45-minute yoga classes 3 times a week for 3 months.  According to the researcher, this treatment also avoided side effects of those drugs usually prescribed for the disorder.

Are you living with aching caused by inflammation?  Cherries have been noted as a good preventative.  More suggests that we give aloe and/or prickly pear juice a try.  Since recurring inflammation can lead to even more serious health issues such as heart disease and/or cancer,  adding one of the juices listed might reduce the inflammation.  And here's an unexpected plus! (One that we don't need, of course, but one that we can pass on to our imbibing friends.) 

The prickly pear extract could help a hangover by attacking inflammation induced by alcohol.

And how about this nutrition booster:  Sea buckthorn berries.  What?  Here's another edible that few of us have heard of.  It is also known as the havtorn berry.   These small berries are packed with Vitamins C and E, omega fatty acids, and beta-carotene.   According to Washington, DC, dermatologist Noelle Sherber,  these fruits "are powerful neutralizers of free radicals, and including them in your diet will minimize disease-causing inflammation and wrinkle-creating collagen breakdown." A berry that minimizes collagen breakdown? that's a bonus!

Wow! What a lot of information.  No wonder I'm grateful to Dawn for steering me to this worthwhile publication.  More focuses on those of us over 40.  Of course,  some of us are under that age, and many of us were 40 a few decades ago, but we can all enjoy the worthwhile info in  a journal describing itself as the publication for "Women of Style and Substance".

January: A Time for Reflection and Relaxation

Are you facing the current snowstorm?  Have you just come home after fighting the slippery road?  Is this the scene from your frosty window? Do you want to just relax and forget about that blizzard?

If not in the snow, are you looking out on sunshine and feeling warm breezes coming through your window?  Lucky you!

 Wherever you are, you will enjoy fixing a hot cup of tea or coffee or sipping a cold iced tea, sitting back and enjoying "Symphony in White" sent to us by Bob A.  

It's a perfect way to wind down after the holiday rush.

Check out this video on YouTube:

Created by Michelle Sherliza with music by Ernesto Cortazar