Monthly Archives: September 2013

photo-of-the-day

farm_romance-0710

Health Care Empowerment

Have you ever felt powerless in a health-care setting?

My guess is, we all have.

Whether your visit concerned your own health or the health of a loved one, it’s likely that a combination of worry and doubt (How will I know if I’m getting the best care?) left you feeling vulnerable and defenseless.

gift_gab-doctor-dan

Doctor Dan the Bandage Man by Helen Gaspard, courtesy of Little Golden Books via Kilmer House

My gut reaction to this topic drew me to a recent article by Dr. Lissa Rankin published on the MindBodyGreen website.

Dr. Rankin offers tips to help take charge of your health care by being “empowered,” but not “difficult.”

We’ve all heard the adage, “You’ll catch more flies with honey than vinegar.” During a stressful visit to a medical facility, it can be extremely difficult to communicate with personnel without losing your cool.

But Dr. Rankin assures us that speaking up calmly and kindly is often the key to getting attention. That takes true empowerment. Believe that you have every right to know what’s going on—because you do—and voice your concerns with both conviction and compassion.

Of course, there are instances when it makes sense to pack up and take your health concerns elsewhere.

“If your doctor is an ego maniac, I don’t care how skilled your doctor is—find another doctor,” Rankin advises. “If your doctor considers you difficult any time you question an order or ask for a second opinion, your doctor cares more about being in control than doing the right thing. As a physician training other doctors to partner with patients, I guarantee there are wonderful physicians who welcome the partnership of empowered patients and their families.”

Want to learn more? I encourage you to read the full article, “Are You Fed up with Health Care?”

Remember, our bodies, and our wellness, belong to us.

 

photo-of-the-day

farm_romance-0660

Early Bird vs. Night Owl

Do you consider yourself an early bird?

gift_gab-chunkybirdgfairy008

Image courtesy of The Graphics Fairy

Or are you a night owl?

gift_gab-owl_graphic

Image courtesy of The Graphics Fairy

Sorry to break it to the owls, but if you’re waking up early, you’re reaping more than just the proverbial worm.

A new study from the University of Toronto suggests that morning people are actually happier and more satisfied with their lives.

Researchers targeted two age groups: one ranging from age 17 to 38, and the second from 59 to 79. Both groups filled out questionnaires about their emotional state, their general health, and their preferred time of day.

The results showed a gradual transition over time, from night owl to early bird. By age 60, most of us inevitably become “morning people.” Only about seven percent of the population retains night-owl status.

“We found that older adults reported greater positive emotion than younger adults, and older adults were more likely to be morning-type people than younger adults,” said graduate researcher Renee Biss in an interview with LiveScience. “The ‘morningness’ was associated with greater happiness emotions in both age groups.”

Wish you could just magically become an early bird?

It could happen …

“One way to do it is to increase your natural light exposure early in the morning, and to wake up earlier and go to bed earlier,” Biss explained. “It’s easiest if you have a consistent schedule, to make sure you are waking up at the same time every day.”

Or …

you could just get a rooster.

gift_gab-rooster_graphic

Image courtesy of Leaping Frog Designs

photo-of-the-day

farm_romance-8314

Creative Sayings

Have you seen this list buzzing around on the Web?

Image courtesy of Steampunk's Facebook Page

Image courtesy of Steampunk’s Facebook Page

The ideas are simple and straightforward, but it’s refreshing to check in once in a while to see which ones you’re engaging in—and to try a new one now and then.

You know, to keep things fresh.

I recently heard a saying that could well be added to this list:

Perfect is the enemy of done.

Whenever I find myself nitpicking at details too obsessively, I plan to remind myself of that one.

How about you?

What simple tasks or sayings fuel your creative efforts?

Secret Life of Bees Merit Badge

The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 5,518 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—7,451 total! Take it away, MBA Jane!!! MJ

Wondering who I am? I’m Merit Badge Awardee Jane (MBA Jane for short). In my former life 

For this week’s Garden Gate/The Secret Life of Bees Merit Badge, I had to rethink the way I thought about bees. Here’s the buzz:

The little guys and girls are disappearing. Vamoose. Puff. Like a magic act gone awry, our furry little pals are MIA. At first (I admit grudgingly) I was secretly like, who cares?

I know. Harsh.

But right behind their eight-legged buddies, bees were not high on my list of favorite animals. Puppies, yes. Kittens, sure thing. Chickens and horses and lions and tigers and bears? Oh my. But bees? Come on! They buzz by, making me yelp in fear and perform strange dance moves at odd times, and let’s be honest: we’ve all been stung once or twice, am I right?

But the more I learned, the more I began to be fond of the itty bitty creatures. I mean, they’re working hard for us. I happen to LIKE fruits and veggies. I don’t want to live off Doritos, people! Not to mention, I am real fond of local honey. My morning toast would be lonely without it.

You know what they say: you never know what you have until it’s gone.

Sniffle.

Sigh.

Weep.

Short of dressing up like Pooh Bear, complete with honey pot atop my head, I didn’t know what to do. So I headed over to http://www.vanishingbees.com/ and watched a short documentary, narrated by the lovely and talented Ellen Page. There ARE things we can do to entice our bees back to us, and I was determined to do my part.

Plant a bee friendly garden. Well, I can do that. Not a prob, Bob. I got out my handy dandy trowel, turned my soil, and got to work. I was surprised to learn that the bees and I enjoy the same kinds of plants, too …

wild garlic

sage

pumpkins

rosemary

fruit trees

blackberries

and tons of others. We were made for each other, me and the bees. Talk about star-crossed. Romeo and Juliet had nothing on us.

*stifles sobs*

I worked all afternoon making sure my garden was bee friendly. I thought about putting up a Vacancy sign, but decided that might make me look a little desperate. I settled for checking out Sue Monk Kid’s Secret Life of Bees and dove in. My knowledge grew, and hopefully – though it might take a little while – so will my honey pot.

But don’t get too excited. I am so NOT planting a spider friendly garden next.

Though I am quite fond of E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web.

photo-of-the-day

farm_romance-0688

Today’s Recipe: Italian Plum Jam

 

plum_jam-MG_0431

Continue reading

Eagle Flight

Do you need a little lift today?

Well, what if I were to tell you that I could lend you a pair of wings

(yes—wings!)

that would carry you right up over the breathtaking landscape of the French Alps?

Too good to be true?

Just watch:

Go ahead.

Watch it again

(and again).

Ahhhhh

Is it “real”?

I can’t say for sure, but it convinces me that flying on the back of an eagle feels fabulous.

The footage, uploaded by YouTube user Srachi, was recorded using an action camera attached to the eagle’s back (presumably placed there by a fellow versed in falconry). According to the video’s description, the flight took place near Chamonix-Mont-Blanc in southeastern France.