Tag Archives: Health

The unwelcomed common cold…

Well folks, its official…all the signs point to the fact that I have contracted the common cold. It doesn’t feel all that common, common would imply that this is something familiar or an everyday occurrence.  I have never been one to catch the latest bug going around…so I was quite surprised when i began to feel like I was getting sick.


I attribute my strong immune system to several factors. I maintain a well balanced diet. I wash my hands often. I replace my toothbrush regularly. But the #1 reason for my ability to fight off infections, viruses and the common cold is my exposure to people.

For the past 35 years I have worked in sales, marketing and customer service. Until recently I interacted with over 2000 people every week.

I know what you’re thinking, all that human interaction, shaking hands and hugging necks would make someone much more susceptible to catching whats going around. That very well might be the case if it weren’t for the other factors I mentioned.

Even when my son was growing up he was only occasionally sick. He didn’t miss a day of school until high school. He got regular sleep, ate a well balanced diet which included a banana almost every day. Which I might mention is much better than an apple a day for keeping the doctor away.

But then there comes the day when your immune system is in a weakened state, brought on by too many Christmas Parties resulting in lack of sleep. A diet balanced by wine and cheese instead of fruits and veggies. Not to mention the unpredictable weather pattern we have had for the past 2 months…80 degrees one day, 50 degrees and rain the next, almost freezing 2 days later and back to rain and mid 70’s all in the span of a week.

Voila, the next thing you know your searching the internet for a quick diagnosis and a homemade remedy.

Wishing you good health and well being during the cold and flu season…



Common Cold

Usually self-diagnosable

Symptoms include a runny nose, sneezing, and congestion. High fever or severe symptoms are reasons to see a doctor, especially in children.

People may experience:

Pain areas: in the forehead, muscles, or sinuses

Cough: can be dry, with phlegm, or mild

Whole body: chills, extreme exhaustion, fatigue, fever, loss of appetite, malaise, body ache, or feeling cold

Nasal: congestion, redness, runny nose, post-nasal drip, or sneezing

Throat: congestion, dryness, irritation, or soreness

Eyes: itchiness, redness, or watery eyes

Sleep: sleep deprivation or sleepiness

Head: congestion or sinus pressure

Also common: chest discomfort, headache, loss of smell, or swollen lymph nodes


Filed under 2014 52 Week Photo Challenge, 2016, Healthy Living, Life

Suncreek Garden Chronicles…And the Bionic Arm

Suncreek Garden Chronicles…You can’t keep a good man down.  It’s been 5 weeks since Farmer Hubs ripped his bicep from the tendon.  It has been three weeks since he had surgery to reattach the bicep.  It would appear that Farmer Hubs has had his old appendage replaced with a bionic arm. 

In the past 5 weeks Farmer Hubs and His Bionic Arm have turned the fall/winter garden over to a spring garden.  With a little help from the Farmers Son and Friends of the Farmer the temporary greenhouse was disassembled.  The remaining fall vegetable plantings were harvested and removed. The garden was tilled and fresh soil added. 

Farmer Hubs, The BionicArm and the Farmers Helpers planted; 27 heirloom tomato plants, spring lettuces, cucumbers, sugar snap peas, shallots, onions, potatoes, carrots and a variety of peppers. 


Filed under gardening and other green things

the hook up…

In the last two weeks we have had one hook up after another….

the hook up...

A couple of weeks ago my husband incurred an injury.  On the way to the Hospital emergency room he decided to visit the ER Clinic where his Niece is the Physicians Assistant.  This little hook up saved hours of waiting around the Hospital emergency room.  PA Niece and her staff took good care of the hubs.  She also hooked him up with a  referral to an Orthopedic Surgeon.  The Ortho Surgeons office hooked him up with an MRI…WOW those things are expensive.  The Imaging Clinic hooked him up to the space pod for an hour-long ride filled with repetetive clicks, pops, humming and white noise…then another visit to the Doctor to discuss the findings of the MRI.  The Doctors diagnosis…Completely torn bicipital tendon and the torn tendon is retracted from radial tuberosity ….basically my husband’s arm is messed up.  

Now the big hook up…surgery was scheduled.  We arrived at the Hospital at our scheduled time slot and we were hooked up to one of those buzzers you get when you go to a really popular restaurant and have an extended wait.  It wasn’t long before my husband was escorted back for his next hook up…an especially nice disposable gown and matching shower cap as well as a plethora of monitoring devices.

He was hooked up to a heart monitor, blood pressure monitor as well as an antibiotic IV drip.  During our extended wait the Hospital Staff was very attentive and informative.  The next hook up came when it was getting closer to ” go time”.  He was given two medications through the IV drip; one of which was to help him relax. 

It was now time for me to take my little buzzer back to the waiting room…3 hours later…I was the last person left in the waiting room.  The Doctor came out from surgery and gave me the hook up on how things had gone down in the operating room.  Basically a big thumbs up!!! 

About an hour later I was escorted to the PACU.  The Hubs was still hooked up to the monitors and IV drip.  The PACU nurse and I waited for Hubs to wake up from the meds that were administered before and during surgery.  The nurse was very informative.  She was explaining to me that my guy was doing great!  He was still sleeping but that was a good thing.  As the Hubs began to flutter his eyes, the nurse began to access his pain level.  She administered pain meds through the IV drip in an attempt to give him immediate relief.

Another 40 minutes later, the Hubs is awake, un-hooked from the monitors and IV, dressed and wheeled out to the truck.  The hook up for pain meds was phoned into the pharmacy.  We were on our way home!

By the way…Hubs is doing great!  His surgery was Wednesday…he took Thursday off from work…this morning I helped him get dressed and by 6:15am he was out the door and on his way.  He will have minimal use of his left arm for the next two weeks.  After that we are expecting a slow but gradual rehab of his bicep that could take up to 3 months.

image found on google


Filed under family, Life..such as it is

The Starters Exercise Plan

Jumping Jacks

I wish I knew where the starters exercise plan originated.    I stumbled on this list on a post on sparkpeople.com. The post alluded to the fact that the list originated elsewhere but there was no mention of where that might have been.  At first I thought I might want to thank the person who took the time to write down this program for beginners.  Then I thought better of it.  I am not in the least way a person who enjoys exercise. I know it is important for my well-being and quality of life.  However, I have never gotten to the point of really looking forward to a day spent in the gym. 

At first glance this exercise plan looks doable…really doable.  At least until I attempted the first set of  jumping jacks. All of sudden the very doable exercise program was not going to be doable at all.  I have a knee issue, a deteriorating meniscus.  My Doctor is sure my knee can be rehabed with a regular routine of low impact exercise.   He suggested bike riding and or swimming.  I was riding my bike until the Texas summer temperatures started hanging out around 100 degrees every day.  Swimming was not an option.

I really want to  should give this exercise plan a try.  I want to need to rehab my knee and burn some calories.  So I decided to find a way around the jumping jack obstacle.  The internet is full of information if you just look for it (unfortunately you don’t have to look very hard)…I found a few suggestions for low impact “jumping” jacks.  So where you see jumping jacks in the exercise plan I have substituted a low impact version. 

Now if I can just get past this chronic case of procrastination I might find my way on the road to recovery. 

Day 1     30 jumping jacks and 10 crunches

Day 2     35 jumping jacks and 15 crunches

Day 3      40 jumping jacks and 20 crunches

Day 4     45 jumping jacks and 10 sit-ups

Day 5     BREAK

Day 6     50 jumping jacks and 15 sit-ups

Day 7     30 crunches and 10 leg lifts

Day 8     55 jumping jacks and 10 leg lifts

Day 9      60 jumping jacks

Day 10     10 lunges and

Day 11    BREAK

Day 12    15 crunches and 10 leg lifts

Day 13     20 leg lifts and 20 sit-ups

Day 14    15 minutes jogging in place

Day 15    10 lunges each leg and 60 jumping jacks

Day 16     BREAK

Day 17     20 leg lifts and 10 toe touches

Day 18     5 minute jog in place and 15 toe touches and 10 lunges each leg

Day 19    20 lunges each leg and 10 toe touches

Day 20    10 lunges each leg, 10 sit-ups and 20 jumping jacks


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Filed under Healthy Living, postaweek2011

porcupines require extra grace

My husband is always making suggestions for my next blog post.  Most of his suggestions will never make it onto the pages of nolagirl’s blog.  Just to clarify..his suggestions are hilarious and thought-provoking but hard to put into words.  However,  He sent me an email earlier this week and suggested I work it into my blog.  Thanks for the suggestion Honey!!!  This one’s for you but not because you are an EGR porcupine but because it was a great suggestion. 

Do you know that porcupines require extra grace?  I admit I didn’t know much about porcupines until I began doing research for this post.  Here are a few facts concerning this rather elusive prickly critter. 

  • Porcupines are nocturnal
  • Porcupines do not hibernate
  • Porcupines can not throw their quills
  • Porcupines are herbivores
  • Porcupines are good climbers

The porcupine uses its quills for defense. The porcupine cannot shoot its quills. When a predator approaches, the porcupine will turn its back, raise the quills and lash out at the threat with its tail. If the porcupine hits an animal with its quills, the quills become embedded in the animal. Body heat makes the barbs expand and they become even more deeply embedded in the animal’s skin. If an animal is hit in a vital place it may die. The porcupine is not an aggressive animal. It will only attack if it is threatened.”

We can all act like a porcupine from time to time.  We all have a tendency to act out; we can be ornery, prickly, fussy as well as self-centered and stubborn.  From time to time we all have required a little extra grace from those around us.  EGR = Extra Grace Required!  I am no more or less of an EGR than my sister, best friend, co-worker, son, husband or a random acquaintance.  I have my moments and sometimes I even have my days of requiring extra grace. 

If you interact with people you have encountered an EGR. An EGR is a person who requires more…more time, patience and compassion.  These particular individuals are sometimes needy, a non-stop talker, angry or emotionally troubled.  They are typically dealing with a life crisis.  They are living in their moment.  They can not see passed their own personal circumstance.  They certainly do not see how their situation is affecting others.  This is where we have to offer up a little extra grace in the moment.  Lend a listening ear, determine if there is a way to help the individual, be ready to offer them a cup of coffee or piece of candy to sooth their raw nerves.  Always know your boundaries when dealing this type of person.  An EGR can and will monopolize your time and resources.  Be kind!   Be firm!

 The baby porcupines or baby hedgehogs (this is under debate) are incredibly cute and cuddly.  But eventually they will no longer be cuddly.  They will also make you a bit nervous if you encounter one in the wild.  I can only imagine what it would be like to be on the receiving end of a porcupine in need of a little EGR…

begin forwarded email….


        Fable of the porcupine
It was the coldest winter ever.  Many animals died because of the cold. The porcupines, realizing the situation, decided to group together to keep warm.  This way they covered and protected themselves; but the quills of each one wounded their closest companions.  After awhile, they decided to distance themselves one from the other and they began to die, alone and frozen.  So they had to make a choice: either accept the quills of their companions or disappear from the Earth.  Wisely, they decided to go back to being together.  They learned to live with the little wounds caused by the close relationship with their companions in order to receive the warmth that came from the others.  This way they were able to survive.  Moral of the story: The best relationship is not the one that brings together perfect people, but when each individual learns to live with the imperfections of others and can admire the other person’s good qualities.    
The real moral of the story……


Filed under Nature

Laughter is the Best Medicine

Best Viewed Large

Image via Wikipedia

Laughter is the best medicine and its free!   Laughter is reported to reduce the blood levels of the harmful stress hormone cortisol.  Laughing is also reported to be as good for your blood vessels as aerobic exercise.  Some studies showed that after 15 minutes of laughing some subjects blood vessels relaxed  and expanded improving their flexibility and providing more protection against heart disease. 

A day without laughter is a day wasted.
Charlie Chaplin

Laughter is good for your health!

Laughter relaxes the whole body.   I carry around a certain amount of stress everyday.  It’s not like I plan to have stress in my life, it just happens.  Let’s look at what can bring on my daily stress.  I work outside of the home so therefore I drive on the freeway.  I interact with people, enough said.  I have 2 email accounts, a Facebook account, a twitter account and a smart phone that keeps me connected 24/7. I have my blog and a new business venture on the horizon.   Can I get a prescription for a daily dose of Laughter? 

I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose.
Woody Allen

Laughter boosts your immune system.  The associated costs of autoimmune disease has become a significant portion of the rising cost of healthcare in the United States.  Autoimmune Diseases affect 50 million americans.  It is one of the top 10 causes of death in women under the age of  65.  Lupus, Scleroderma, Graves Disease, Type 1 Diabetes, MS and Rheumatoid Arthritis are just a few of the 100 autoimmune disorders.  I personally struggle with graves disease which has so many symptoms it is often misdiagnosed.  I would think after 17 years the Doctors would finally figure out my correct dosage of meds.   Can I get a prescription for a lifetime of laughter?
 Laughter is a tranquilizer with no side effects.
Arnold H. Glasow

Laughter protects the heart.  Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, England and Canada.  Cardiovascular Disease is reported to cost Americans approximately $40 Billion.   The only heart problem I have is the “matters of the heart” because I Live and Love.  Sometimes it is a heart filled with joy and sometimes it is a broken heart.  I’ll take that prescription for laughter now!

Laughter is the brush that sweeps away the cobwebs of your heart.
Mort Walker

I think every Doctor should be required to write a prescription for a daily dose of laughter for every patient they see.  What harm could it do?  Well, you might laugh yourself silly but…

Nobody ever died of laughter.  Laughter is the best medicine. 
Max Beerbohm

Medical information provided my WebMD and Prevention Magazine and my own personal experience


Filed under Healthy Living, postaweek2011

carbohydrates are not the enemy…

carbohydrates are not the enemy...google image

If carbohydrates are not the enemy why are they treated like the Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde of the food pyramid?   Carbs are the misunderstood food group.  Foods that contain carbs have eye appeal, flavor, warmth and usually a fond memory attached.  Therefore we are apt to eat more of them than we should.  But, as bad as it is for us to eat too many carbs it is just as bad for us to eat too few. 

The key to any healthy eating plan is knowledge.  When we understand what our bodies truly need to function properly and stay healthy, then its all about moderation. 

I would go as far as to say that I love carbs.  I love the foods that contain carbs.  And I am extremely happy to know that I can have them in moderation. 

 The following is an excerpt from an article I read on the Spark People website.  The entire article has a great amount of detail about the effects of eating a diet rich in carbs as well as the effects of a low carb diet over time.  It is definitely worth the read. 

I know all of the details in the article are extremely important but I am a meat and potatoes kind of girl (pun intended).  Put the cookies on the bottom shelf (I know but I couldn’t help myself).   What I am trying to say is I  just want to know what I can and can’t have.  Give it to me straight!  So here it is:

The Million Dollar Question
How do you include carbohydrates in you diet in a safe, effective, and controlled way? The “Please KISS Me” (Please Keep It So Simple for Me) plan for carbohydrate control is a wonderful tool that only contains 3 simple rules:

RULE 1: Include the following in your diet:

  • Fruits: 2-4 servings daily
  • Vegetables: 3-5 servings daily
  • Whole grain breads, muffins, bagels, rolls, pasta, noodles, crackers, cereal, and brown rice: 6-11 servings daily(the government recommends 3 other sources recommend 5-10)
  • Legumes, beans and peas: 1-2 servings daily
  • Low-fat and non-fat dairy products: 3 servings daily

RULE 2: Limit the following to less than 2 servings daily:

  • Fruit Juice
  • Refined and processed white flour products (bread, muffins, bagels, rolls, pasta, noodles, crackers, cereal)
  • White rice
  • French fries
  • Fried vegetables

RULE 3: Eliminate the following from your diet or eat only on occasion:

  • Sugary desserts, cookies, cakes, pies, candies
  • Doughnuts and pastries
  • Chips, cola and carbonated beverages
  • Sugar, honey, syrup, jam, jelly, molasses

Since starting on this new healthy eating plan I can say that I have eliminated all of rule #2 and #3.  With the exception of a squeeze of natural agave syrup from time to time.  But its nice to know I can have french fries if I choose. 

6-11 servings of whole grains per day seems like a lot of whole grains, especially when I think I am currently only getting 2-3/day.  I am going to have to re-think this one and figure out how to incorporate these suggested good carbs into my somewhat balanced diet.

Carbs are not the enemy when you eat a well-balanced diet.


Filed under Eat to Live, postaweek2011

Beauty Tips to Live By

I for one would love to know the beauty tips of the incredibly beautiful Audrey Hepburn.  How about you?   Although she was a glamorous actress and a fashion icon her beauty was more than skin deep.  She never considered herself to be beautiful which is what made her all the more so.

It is said that whenever Audrey Hepburn was asked about her beauty secrets she would quote her favorite poem.  She quoted it so often that over time it became synonymous with her.  Over the years she was mistakenly given credit for writing the poem. 

Here are Audrey Hepburn’s beauty tips by which we can all live a more enriched and beautiful life.

Time Tested Beauty Tips by Sam Levenson

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.

For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.

For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.

 For beautiful hair, let a child run his/her fingers through it once a 

For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.

People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone.

Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms.

 As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands; one for 
helping yourself, and the other for helping others.

Ageless, Timeless beauty tips to live by



Filed under encouragment, It's a Girl Thing, Life..such as it is, postaweek2011

Double Duty Beauty Foods…facials and hair treatments

I am still traveling down the road of healthy eating.  Therefore certain tweets and posts catch my attention quicker than others.  Recently it was a tweet by Prevention Magazine.

Prevention Magazine
PreventionMagPrevention Magazine
Coffee is a well-known pick-me-up, but a cup of joe may help you reduce cellulite. See how to apply it! http://ow.ly/61Tx4
Needless to say reading that coffee can help with that pesky problem of cellulite intrigued me.  The rest of the article was just as fascinating, 7 Double-Duty Beauty Foods.   
The 7 Super Double-Duty Beauty Foods are:
  • Avocado – Could be considered the over achiever of super foods.  Not only is it full of proactive antioxidants and essential fatty acids that help hold moisture in and keep the skin from dehydrating it is also reported to be one of the foods that will help shrink unwanted belly fat.  The article also recommends whipping up a face mask of avocado and sour cream and smearing it on your face for ten minutes. I guess if there were left-overs you could serve it with some pita chips. 
  • Tea – All teas boast skin boosting antioxidants.  Green and white tea are known for protecting the skin from exposure to the sun and pollutants.  All varieties of tea also double as hair color boosters.  Now I don’t know a single woman who wouldn’t like to refresh her  hi/lo lights in between visits to her favorite colorist. 
  • Almonds –  This super food rivals the avocado.  The Almond is a super snack that helps the body burn fat.  It is also reported that eating almonds builds up hydrogen peroxide in the hair follicle keeping the hair from turning gray.  Also finely ground almonds added to coconut oil make a great natural exfoliant.  Almonds may turn out to be a girls new best friend.
  • Cocoa –  Another food product full of skin protecting antioxidants.  According to the spa in Hershey Pennsylvania add 1/8 cup of cocoa and non fat milk to your bath water to help with dry skin.  Now this sounds like a recipe for chocolate milk and trouble.
  • Yogurt – Especially Greek Style Yogurt is full of protein which is the essential nutrient for the production of collagen a fibrous substance that keeps your skin looking young.  Yogurt can also be used as a facial scrub or hair treatment. 
  • Strawberries – These tasty treats contain a double dose of Vitamin C which is essential to the production of collagen.  A medical study reported that high intake of vitamin C was associated with lower likelihood of wrinkles and skin dryness.  Again it is suggested that strawberries be added to an at home facial treatment. 
  • Coffee – Is a very popular pick me up.  It is full of anti-oxidants that help prevent the breakdown of elastin and collagen that leads to sagging and wrinkles.  You can also enjoy the flavor of coffee by adding finely ground coffee to your spice rub for your steaks or beef dishes.  But the piece de resistance is the recommendation to use cooled coffee grounds as a scrub on areas that are affected by the appearance of cellulite.  The caffeine in coffee is a topical diuretic and removes the moisture from the skin giving it a temporary smoother appearance. 

After reading the article that inspired this post I have a vision of a woman standing in her bathroom in front of buffet of leftovers.  She is concocting her facial creams and hair treatments in an effort to re-capture her youthful appearance. 

google image

*Note to self do not let the kids see you do this it could be misinterpreted as permission to have a food fight. 

The best part about this list of 7 double duty foods is they are already part of my eating plan.   The fact that they have the potential to double as part of a beauty regimen just makes them more appealing.

The twitter link also referenced a book by Joy Bauer “Food Cures-Look Younger Live Longer”.  I believe that many of our current health concerns can and should be treated naturally.  Fruits and Vegetables in their natural state are very healthy, it’s when we altar and add man-made chemically induced ingredients to the foods that they become “bad” for us. 

A couple of years ago my husband and a few friends took a cultural tour into the mountains of Jamaica.  Most of the residents of Jamaica can not afford modern medicine to control high blood pressure and the sort.  They use foods and herbs to naturally control health issues.  I have even had my doctor recommend different foods to help control some of my own personal health issues instead of writing me a prescription and sending me on my way.


Filed under All Things Foodie, Eat to Live, It's a Girl Thing

snack attack…

Why do we eat?  We eat for a myriad of reasons.  We eat when we are happy, sad, bored or even due to peer pressure.  Sometimes we eat when we aren’t even hungry.  This is considered emotional eating and it will result in unwanted weight gain. 

Here’s how to tell if your body really needs food.

Real Hunger

  • Your hunger grows gradually
  • You will eat anything
  • You can wait
  • You stop when you feel full
  • You feel good after eating
  • You feel energized

Emotional Eating

  • You are hungry all of sudden
  • You typically crave foods that are high in fat
  • You need to be satisfied instantly
  • No amount of food fills you up
  • You feel guilty after eating

I use these tips to determine if I am really hungry or its a passing craving. 

Until recently I didn’t know it but I am an emotional eater.  If I do not take the time to plan what I am going to eat during the day it will end in disaster.  I will end up eating foods that are high in calories, fat and sugar.  Which will only leave me craving something else to eat in no time. 

However, Now I plan, plan and plan some more.  I start everyday with breakfast.  I eat a mid-morning snack, usually a banana.  I pack a healthy balanced lunch to take with me to work,  a salad, protein(leftovers from the previous nights dinner) and fruit.  Then I have a mid-afternoon snack, a protein bar or a hand full of almonds or trail mix. 

I have to admit that since making the changes I have not found myself craving the sugary sweet or crunchy salty snacks that were a regular part of my everyday eating habits. 

Now, I will admit that I think about consuming cookies, mocha lattes and french croissants from time to time.  However, I always stop and think what is this simple indulgence going to cost me in calories.  Then I think about what I will have to do to work it off.  By the time I process all of this information the craving has passed and I am better off for it.


Filed under Eat to Live, postaweek2011