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Driving in the snow…..

Posted by Granny1952 Tuesday, December 15, 2009


One of the common mistakes driving in the snow: riding the brakes! Or thinking that having 4 wheel drive will let you drive anywhere, anyway you want. One time coming down a hill, I saw someone in front of me with their brakes on – sliding everywhere. I knew he could not hear me, but kept yelling – take your foot off the brake! After he sideswiped a few cars, he finally stopped. You could tell he was a ‘newbie’ to driving in the snow.

Why is it so hard to drive in the snow? Snow can be heavy and wet, light and powdery, cold and icy. Those passing you can create a “white out”, making it impossible to see. Every time it snow’s, conditions of the road and vehicle changes a little bit, just enough to keep you on your toes.

Tires make a huge difference. Winter is not the time to have bad tires. What are the laws in your state? Are you still allowed to have studded tires? Who remembers the old fashion sawdust tires? They were great. Going over mountain passes may require chains.

Another factor is the weight of your car. My pickup had to have weight put in the back end or would get stuck – especially at intersections. Front wheel drive vehicles are so much better than rear wheel. Do they still make rear wheel? Manual transmissions are easier to rock your car out of a spot than automatics.

A safety tip for winter driving: Always have emergency kit in your car -- blankets, snacks, water, flashlights. Keep the gas tank on the full side instead of empty. Take some of the worry out of winter driving. Be prepared and think – slow, easy does it, and safety first.

Personal Goals

Posted by Granny1952 Sunday, December 13, 2009



Here it is – time once again to make our New Year’s Resolution.  Oh, how many we have made and not kept.  Did you keep one?  What was different about the one you kept and the one that ended after a few weeks? 

Little tricks that help me include journaling and the simpler the better.  Here is a sample of one I use – One goal per week. I take it 12 weeks increments – choose a goal topic for the 12 weeks and then each week choose a goal to help me reach that overall goal. For example:  Exercise. Week 1 it would be to walk 10,000 steps per day.  At the end of the week I would write what I did to get those steps in and then write down my results.  Week 2 may be to make three days aerobic walking, etc….

 
While a year – 12 months – sound like such a long time, taking it one day, or one week at a time, and changing or modifying the goal every 12 weeks, seem more manageable. 
                                       
I try to make at least one day out of every week a Personal Development day.  Learn something new about my goal topic.  The internet is so full of information; the library has so many books.

So my New Year’s Resolution is to do a whole year of 12 week Personal Goals.  I am excited to get started.  Oh, and another trick – only make up one 12 week goal sheet at a time. Keep it manageable. Next year at this time I want to be able to look back and say, yes I did it!

Family Traditions

Posted by Granny1952 Saturday, December 12, 2009

Holiday, they are filled with traditions. Some are old, some are new traditions. Holiday time starts at Halloween and ends with Valentines; many events and occasions during those 3 plus months.

Our family loves Thanksgiving. We have family and friends over for dinner. Come early to snack, visit and watch football is our motto. Platters of turkey, bowls of salads, dressing, potatoes and gravy are gone through. After the meal is done, everyone sits around to visit more, eating desserts as they wish. Games are brought out. The house is filled with laughter and playing.

Our next big one is Christmas Eve. When our family grew too large for everyone to get together for Christmas day, Mom started having a “Soup and Snack” Christmas Eve. People came had a bowl of hot soup, cookies, visited and left to fit their schedule. Her Cabbage Borscht, Chicken Corn Chowder, Sweet & Sour Meatballs were always a hit. This was Mom’s way of being able to see everyone for Christmas. The grandchildren looked forward to it. Mom passed away a few years ago but we carry on the soup and snack tradition. Family and friends still come; my sisters and I make soups, cookies and meatballs. It is our way for us and our Dad to keep Mom part of our holidays.

Then there is my favorite – New Year’s Day. I love New Year’s Day. It is a beginning of a new chapter in my book of life, a day to make a resolution, and to write down goals for myself. Some I have kept, some I have not. We make it a day of relaxation and rejuvenation.

So what is your favorite tradition? Do you know who started the tradition and why? Wishing you and your family a happy and safest of holiday season; from our house to yours!

Breathing Exercise, Deep Breathing Exercises, Relaxation

Posted by Granny1952 Friday, November 20, 2009

In this day and age deep breathing exercises can help with weight loss, relaxation, and sense of well being. Most of us are not breathing properly by breathing air up into our chest. Look at yourself in the mirror. Your lungs hang all the way down toward the bottom of your rib cage. More than likely, you're not filling them up with the precious air they need. Most of us inflate just the upper portion.

Simply lay down totally flat on your bed, your couch, or floor. Relax for a second or two before taking a deep breath. Now breathe in deep through your nose. Push your belly up while taking the air inside. Stick your chin on your chest and watch your belly rise. When you've got as much air as you can hold, stop and hold your breath. Try holding it for ten or twenty seconds. If you're like most people, you're dying to let it out at the end of the twenty seconds. Go ahead.

Did you feel your lungs stretching out? You don't feel that very often do you? It feels good and bad at the same time, right? That's because you're not used to it. Try it a couple of more times. It gets easier each time, right? That's the beauty of re-training yourself to breathe properly and when you implement some easy breathing exercises you will feel the difference. Don't you feel relaxed and refreshed at the same time? Your body is saying thank you, thank you! Just that very tiny bit of deep breathing and your body feels better. An immediate reaction.

Now think of this. That extra oxygen you gifted your body with is now moving through your bloodstream, slightly increasing your flow, and getting rid of excess waste and fat. All that in a matter of seconds! Keep lying on the floor, bed, or couch, and practice a little more. Get used to how deep breathing feels. Close your eyes and sense the rhythm of the deep breath you're taking. Memorize it.

Keep practicing for 5 more minutes. Now sit up. Again, try to accomplish the same deep breath while sitting up. Sit up straight. Start breathing in through your nose -then slowly stick your chin on top of your chest and watch your belly inflate with air. This may be a little harder because you might unconsciously revert back to shallow breathing. You'll know that this is true if your belly isn't inflating and you feel all the air in your lungs high in your chest. Don't give up. Concentrate on inflating your belly. Once filled as much as possible, hold it for twenty seconds and release through your mouth. You must practice this technique a few times to get used to it.

So by now, you should have a real sense of how to breathe deep. Now what? Take a day or two and just practice the technique. Learn how your body feels. Memorize the actual process of taking in, holding, and releasing all that extra oxygen. After a day or two of practice, you're ready for your daily workout.

What's all this have to do with your program? Plenty! Think about it... Oxygen is fuel for your body as is food. There are no calories in oxygen. You can breathe in all you want for as long as you want and still no calories! Not only that, but the extra oxygen you take in will cause the chemical reactions in your body to take place much faster, thus, you burn more calories than you take in. This in turn speeds up your metabolism and makes you burn more fat.

Learn everything you need to know about fitness plus get all the tools you need to accomplish your fitness goals.

TIPS FOR THE HOLIDAY’s

Posted by Granny1952

DO

DON’T

..Keep Healthy Meals Close on Hand (in fridge or freezer). Will keep you from ordering take out on busy schedule

..Try to Diet during season; focus on maintaining instead of losing.

..Drink 1 glass of water for each alcoholic beverage – will keep you from dehydration and help you not to overeat and drink less alcohol

..Drink on an empty stomach– can lead to overeating and over drinking

..Make modified treat with lower calories – modify treats instead of depriving self of favorite s

..Save calories for party – will lead to being to hungry and overeating

..Offer to bring dish to party – make it a low carb healthy dish – one way to guarantee one dish you can eat

..Stand by a party buffet. Serve self small portions and do away from table, mingle

..Keep active, take a walk after meals, create games with family and friends,

..Eat quickly – more likely to increase eating – takes 20 minutes for body to acknowledge stomach is full

..Eat healthy snack BEFORE going to a party

..Skip Meals – leads to getting over hungry

..At Buffet, put only 2 items on plate at a time… walk away, mingle, return as many times a want but only put 2 items on plate at a time



Back to School

Posted by Granny1952 Saturday, August 15, 2009

It’s time for the young to think about going back to school. Parents and children both have to adjust their time for this blessed event. Going to bed earlier to get enough sleep and eating a healthy breakfast earlier than done in the summer are part of the new regime.

Then there are the school supplies that need to be purchased. Do they need new cloths, backpacks, and P.E. clothes? Hopefully there is still the physical education in your school.

Is your child just beginning – in kindergarten, or middle school or high school, maybe college? Each new school has anticipation, wonder and possibly a little fear. The move to each grade is like a passage of time.

There are so many little details to attend too, depending on the age of the child. Booster shots, sports physicals, lunches: hot or cold? Do they need their hair trimmed? How about the dentist or eye exams before the school season?

The last 2 weeks of back to school activities can be time consuming. The family may also want to take one last camping trip before being tied down for the next 9 months.

Did your high school age teens have summer homework? Ours did. All incoming freshman and sophomore’s had to go on line and write at least one book report. The school district had a link on the high school webpage.

The start up of schools also is like a marker -- the summer coming to an end and getting ready for fall, with winter around the corner. But after the long hot fun filled summer, the start up of the school is truly looked forward to by both the parents and their children.

CAMPING

Posted by Granny1952 Thursday, July 30, 2009


Camping is fun. I mean real camping; sleeping in tents, no electricity, campfires, if possible. But you need to be prepared. When creating your list of foods, check out the area for animals such as bears. If there is a concern, take pre cooked foods so you will not attract them with the smell from cooking. Bug sprays, first aid kits are essential. Take plenty of water. Even if you have a filtering system, taking bottle water for a back up is important. Outdoor activities require more water to stay hydrated. Take a variety of cloths for both hot and cold. Don’t forget the extra batteries for the flashlights. Put a blanket in your sleeping bag.

We just got back from camping. About 200 of us met for the week. It is such a good way to get to know your friends better and sometimes make new friends. The kids learn how to survive a week without their iPods, cell phones, computer games and television. The lack of interruptions creates a more relaxed family atmosphere. The teens help with the little ones. Campfire we sing, have skits, play games. Hiking, swimming, games are daily activities.

Our camp is a Bible Camp. So the memory verses they learn have a special meaning as they always connect it to their week at camp. The kids look at serving meals as a privilege, not a chore. We all have a few hours a day to increase our knowledge of God and his plan for us. We come home happy, dirty, tired and hopefully, a little wiser. The memories are priceless. Will we go again next year? You bet. It is our time to reconnect, enjoy the simple pleasures of life and instill in our children, while the adults strengthens, the values that God wants and expects from us.

HELP WITH THE HEAT

Posted by Granny1952 Thursday, July 16, 2009


Heat makes us perspire more which causes us to lose fluids, along with minerals, such as potassium and magnesium. Drinking liquids and eating fresh fruits and vegetable can help beat the heat. The antioxidants found in fruit and vegetables may also help protect your body against dehydration and sun damage.

Foods that help with the heat include:

Berries – they contain compounds that help with inflammation and may help with sunburns, and contain antioxidant Vitamin C

Spinach – contains water and has magnesium also the green color is from the antioxidant lutein which helps the skin and eyes from sun exposure.

Chili Peppers – The spicy peppers stimulate perspiration, which as it evaporates from the skin, it helps cool you off. It also contains Vitamin C.

Sports Drinks – Water is good but when exercising in hot weather, minerals and electrolytes need to be replaced and help maximize fluids absorption.

Cantaloupe – they have potassium and beta carotene a powerful antioxidant

Spinach – contains water and has magnesium also the green color is from the antioxidant lutein which helps the skin and eyes from sun exposure.

Tea - may help with sunburns. Make a strong cup of black tea, then either spray on the sun burn or drizzle it on with a cotton ball.

Remember to protect your skin and eyes from the sun rays. Along with the foods and water to keep hydrated, other things like clothing, shade trees, and hats can assist with your body to cope with extreme weather conditions. Furthermore, when working in the garden or flower beds, try to do it in the early morning or late evening. This gives your body some Vitamin D without getting too hot.

Eating Slowly

Posted by Granny1952 Friday, June 26, 2009 1 comments

Most of us can finish a meal in 15 minutes. That is hardly enough time for the signals from the stomach to get to the brain which let us know we are full and should stop eating.

Remember when we were told to take time chewing and make your meal last 30 minutes? Somehow, in our fast food world, we have changed that to eat for 30 minutes; doing that we can consume twice as many calories as we need.

Tips on how to eat slowly:
1. Set your fork/spoon down between each bite.
2. Chew your food slowly and completely before swallowing.
3. Sit at a dinner table; be conscious of what you are eating.
4. Don’t eat at your desk while working
5. Don’t read a book or watch TV while eating
6. Drink water with your meals, try taking a sip of water between bites
7. Eat your courses one at a time.

Try for your next dinner, using a smaller plate and fill it with the following principle: ½ fruit and veggies, ¼ low fat proteins, ¼ carbs i.e. whole grains. Half way through your plate of food, think about the taste. By being aware of what you are eating, you will enjoy the meal and the flavors of your food, plus you will eat more slowly.

How Does Your Garden Grow

Posted by Granny1952 Monday, June 22, 2009 0 comments

To have a garden is a wonderful experience. There is nothing better than a tomato fresh off the vine. But as all good things, there is work involved.

First you need to prepare your garden spot. Till the ground, weed it, add nutrients if needed.

Second, choose your plants. What will you and your family eat the most? There is such a wide variety of plants to choose from depending on your region, knowing which one will grow the best is usually on the package.

After you plant, there is the care of the garden. Watering and of course, the weeding. Keeping all the plants healthy from bugs, mites etc…. can be a chore.

Several ways to help cut down on the work is:
 Use landscaping tarp – you can lay it down first and then poke holes for the plants or If you have already planted – lay it down in between the rows.
 Use Cardboard – flatten the cardboard down in between the rows. This will also provide some mulch as the cardboard gets wet; some of it can be worked into the ground at the end of the season.
 Watering – if you have to pay for water, use soaker hoses, or water in the late evening. By watering in the late evening, there is less evaporation and the plants won’t get burnt from the sun.
 Buy or make cages for your tomato plants. Help them stay sturdy and upright. And your beans will need poles to grow up onto; your squash may need room for the vines to stretch out lengthwise.
 Buy ladybugs for your backyard. They will help your plants stay healthy.
 Don’t scare away the bees. They are needed for pollination of your plants. If you get a lot of bees, then plant as far away from the house as possible.
 Make raised garden beds for items like strawberries.

Then the fun part begins, checking the produce to see if it is ripe enough to pick off the vine. Plus you can trading produce with friends, maybe you have extra tomatoes and they have extra cucumbers. If you like to make jam, or can or freeze your fruit and vegetables then you can enjoy them throughout the winter months as well. There are many canning books at the library to assist you in getting the most out of your harvest.

Replacements Meals

Posted by Granny1952 Thursday, June 18, 2009 0 comments

What is a ‘replacement’ meal? Fast food is a ‘replacement’ meal for a good homemade meal. Most fast foods do not contain many nutrients or good fats we need to stay healthy.

A fast homemade meal can be healthy as well as not time consuming. For example, a protein shake can be good tasting, nutritious and as fast as your blender will make it. The taste of your smoothie will depend on the quality of your protein powder.

To make a BANANA CREAM PIE SMOOTHIE: 1 serving high quality Vanilla Protein Powder, 8 ounces Skim or Soy Milk, ½ Banana, ¼ tsp Almond Extract, ¼ tsp Vanilla Extract, 1 Tbsp Instant Banana Pudding Mix and 1 cup of Ice. Place all in your blender and blend until smooth. This will make about 16 ounces of a very nutrition tasty and filling smoothie.

If you a chocolate lover make a SNICKERS ON THE ROCKS: 1 serving high quality Chocolate Protein Powder, 8 ounces Skim or Soy Milk, 1 tsp Cocoa, 1 tsp Peanut Butter, and 1 cup of Ice. Place all in your blender and blend until smooth. This will also make about 16 ounces of a great tasting nutritious smoothie.

Add strawberries, frozen cherries, just about any favorite fruit. Match the fruit up with instant pudding to make a thicker pie like smoothie. Our family has come up with about 200 recipes and yes, we have 2 blenders going almost every morning. They also make a good afternoon snack. Use your imagination and start your own fast food tradition.

1. Park at end of grocery parking lot instead of the closest parking spot
2. Hide the remote to the TV, manually turn your Channels or adjust the volume
3. Take the stairs instead of the elevator
4. Walk in place when watching television or listening to music
5. Walk down the hallway at work instead of sending an email
6. Vacuum your floors
7. Have dinner served as a buffet, keep it in the kitchen; walk back into the kitchen to replenish your plate (this will also make you choose if you want a second helping)
8. If you smoke, keep your pack of cigarettes in your coat pocket hanging in the coat closet (also will make your smoking a conscious act)
9. Take the kids for a walk, better yet, make it a family outing
10. Use a walking video or go to http://www.exercisetv.tv and check out the variety of free workout videos to use. Also http://www.realage.com has videos available.
Our bodies are made to move. Walking is easy on your joints, helps with muscle, weight loss, and your general health. Walking has been known to help with some forms of depression. Make a challenge with your self – see how many days this week you can get in your 10,000 steps.

Best Friends

Posted by Granny1952 Sunday, June 14, 2009 1 comments

Best friends are special people in our lives. They usually know everything about you. My best friend can finish my sentence for me, she knows me that well. We have helped each other through marriage, divorce, illness, raising our kids, death. No one knows me like her. No one can talk to me like she can. I can take her constructive criticism, because I know without a doubt, it is with love.

Our friendship started when we were babies. Our parents were close friends. We maintained our friendship even when she moved away with her family. We spent summers together; wrote letters to each other. In those days, telephoning each other was not an option.

As adults, we were each other’s rocks. Her strengths were my weaknesses. My strengths were her weaknesses. When we were young, we protected each other. Double dates were the norm. Together we sized up our dates.

My daughters called her “aunt” and her children called me “aunt”. They still do. Then her youngest daughter married one of my cousins. It was like making the title of “aunt” official. Yes, I realize it really made us cousins by marriage but family is not always by blood.

Did we fight? Of course. Did we get over it and continue our friendship? Of course. Did we always agree? No! But we stuck by each other through thick and thin.

I have had many close friends and acquaintances in my life. Some I have known for most of my life, or at least, a long time. But, there is something special about having a best friend who knows me better than I know myself. I hope everyone has a best friend in their life as fine as my best friend.

Table Manners

Posted by Granny1952 Thursday, June 11, 2009 0 comments

As I was growing up, table manners were very important in our household. Etiquette was taught in the schools as well as at home. Everyone thought they were essential; they were evidence of good upbringing.

We were told to wash our hands, keep our elbows off the table, chew your food well, don’t talk with food in your mouth. My Mom also had a rule about wearing shirts to the table. Even when it was hot outside and my brothers came in from playing outside, clean shirts were put on as they washed their hands.

Chewing our food well turns out to be good for the health. The more you chew your food, the easier it is for your digestive system. Also it helps your weight, because as you chew the food well, the brain has a chance to tell you when you are full.

Does being casual mean we sacrifice the manners? Set a nice table, put on a tablecloth, everyone sitting around the table. Sit up straight, pass everything to the left, and enjoy a family meal. Showing class does not cost anything and gives a lot to your self esteem.

June Weddings

Posted by Granny1952 Wednesday, June 10, 2009 0 comments

Many a bride looks forward to being a June Bride. The months of preparation must begin almost a year ahead of the big day. Many details must be dealt with. After the big proposal, the place to have the wedding is chosen. Once the location has been secured, then flowers are ordered, invitation selected, food menu planned, guest list created, so much to do.

Many think that a white gown is a symbol of virginity, purity. But the original symbolism of white had to do with joy, not abstinence. In Japan, white is for mourning and the brides wore it to show that with their marriage they are “dead to their parents”. During the American Revolution, red was popular – it stood for rebellion.

There are many traditions associated with weddings. Including catching the bridal bouquet, catch it and you are to be the next one getting married. Girls used to jump and hope they would be the one to catch the array of flowers. Then the vehicle that the newlyweds leave in is decorated. The fun of decorating with shaving cream, balloon stuffed inside, and bungee cords hooked to each of the doors. The newlyweds try to sneak away, but alas the tin cans give them away and the chase begins. Everyone jumps in their cars to follow, honking the horns and letting everyone know that the bride and groom are on their way to begin the life they have dreamed of, a new beginning with a promise of things to come.

Popcorn

Posted by Granny1952 2 comments

The Indians believed that there were demons inside each kernel that made it pop. In reality it is water that makes it explode into a white puff of edible food. Each kernel is about 14 percent water. When it gets heated to 400 degrees F, the water turns to steam and the grain turns to popcorn. Kernels that don’t pop have been called “spinsters”.

What is a good movie without a container of popcorn? But watch out, a medium tub of theater style could be 900 calories! A tub of the air popped kind can be much less.

The most popular type of popcorn kernels in the USA is yellow and white. You can “pop” it in an air popper, in a skillet with oil, microwave, with our without butter; little or a lot of salt. Remember Cracker Jacks? Caramel covered popcorn and peanuts with a little hidden toy at the bottom. During the holidays the stores have decorative tins filled with popcorn: cheese, butter and caramel.

Many family gatherings have turned into games with a bowl of popcorn. Bowls of popcorn sit on the table for the kids to snack on after school. Popcorn balls are made for Halloween.

Not only can popcorn be a healthy snack, it can be tasty, make you feel full and satisfy that urge …. So go put in a movie, curl up and enjoy yourself with a bowl of your favorite popcorn.

Football Season

Posted by Granny1952 Sunday, June 7, 2009 3 comments

The football season is almost upon us again. Before we know it, the pre season games will be starting. Injury lists are watched. On-line stats are examined. Team schedules are look over. Fantasy football teams are created. Bets are placed.

Sunday mornings, rushing home after service is over to see the 4th quarter. Thank goodness there is more than one game on for the day. The stores stock up on chips, pretzel, pop and beer. Finger food is a priority on the grocery list.

Friends, they come over if they are a football fan. If not, they soon learn Sundays are not a good time to visit. There is a sign on the wall that says “This marriage is interrupted for the football season”. Don’t jump to the conclusion that it is the husband who is watching the game! When the favorite team comes out onto the field dressed in green and blue, the blood gets pumping, the kids disappear, and the husband sighs, another day as a football widower. Then he remembers tomorrow is Monday – more football!

Our Home

Posted by Granny1952 1 comments

Our home is a home. Not just a house. We have 4 generations with the age span of 77years to 10 years old.

It all started a couple of years ago. I am raising 3 grandchildren. My daughter was going to college, plus working so her daughter was often with us as well, so that made 4 grandchildren. Then my daughter and I decided to make a home together. I put my house up for sale and started looking for another home that would be large enough for the 6 of us.

The house sold in record time. My Mom said come, stay with me while your Dad is in the Philippines; give yourself more time to find the house you want. Ten days after we all temporarily moved in, my Mom past away in her sleep.

The days that followed to get my Dad home and the funeral that took place were crazy. Then my Dad said he did not want to live alone and ask all 6 of us to make it a permanent stay. Plans to put an addition followed. That in itself is a story. The paperwork just to get permits etc… finally a year later, the addition was finished.

So now, almost 3 years later, we have settled into a routine. The children have benefited by the presence of always having an adult around. Dad has great grandchildren around to help him through his grief. We had each other to lean on to come to terms with our loss. And the children grew; the oldest one just graduating high school.

Most days are great. Of course, there are also rough days. Getting private time can be a challenge. Mealtimes can be hectic. Mornings are busy with everyone getting ready for work, school. Our grocery cart has raised a few eyebrows. Buy a dozen of eggs? I don’t think so…we buy in the crate of 5 dozen!

Would I change it? Not on your life. Hugs, Love, Laughter, Yelling, Crying, and more Love are elements constantly going on in these walls. There is never a dull moment at our home.

Libraries

Posted by Granny1952 Wednesday, June 3, 2009 0 comments

The knowledge contained in books is unlimited. Finding a book to read for pleasure is a given. There are mysteries, comedy, tragedy, horror, romance, sci-fi and many more types of books to choose from.

Having a library card is such a privilege and in most areas, Free. Getting lost looking through the many authors can be a wonderful adventure. Today libraries offer much more than hardcover books. Computers are available for research papers, checking your email, creating and printing your documents. Then there are the movies that can be checked out.

There is something for everyone. Take your family, sit and read while the children find a book or go to story hour. Relax and get wrapped up in a saga of how the west was won with a western. If the library does not have a specific book you are looking for, see if it can be obtained from another library. You can even order a book over the internet from the comfort of your own home.

By taking your family to the library, you also set a good example. They see you looking for a book, sitting and enjoying what is between the covers. It is such a pleasure to curl up with a book, read it out loud to your children. Give them the world of The Five Little Peppers and how they grew or Heidi. Passing on the love of reading is special. Sometimes the best thing in life is truly free.

WATER

Posted by Granny1952 0 comments

The average American does not drink enough water a day to keep the body hydrated. Approximately 75% of people in the USA have mild, chronic dehydration. Of those, 37% have such weak thirst mechanism that they often mistake hunger for thirst.

Our bodies are made up of 60-70% water. Most of our brain is water. It is necessary for digestion, absorption of food, muscle tone, supplies oxygen and nutrients to the cells. It also helps eliminate body waste and acts as a natural temperature control, and helps maintain a healthy weight. The rule of thumb is the more salt you eat, the more water you need.

Water also helps reduce risk of colon and bladder cancer and it may help with the reduction of breast cancer, and coronary heart disease. Fatigue is often triggered by dehydration.

How much water does a person need a day? Take your weight, divide it in half and that is how many ounces a day an average person needs. If you work out, you need to replace the sweat with water. For every 30 minutes of workout, drink 16 ounces of water. It is best to drink at least 2 cups of water several hours before and another cup 10-20 minutes just before you start your exercise.

Watch for signs of dehydration. Muscle cramps, feeling light headed or faint, fuzzy memory, difficulty in focusing, and nausea are a few symptoms. Try a glass of water and see if the symptoms improve, but don’t guzzle a glass all at once.

If you are having trouble drinking water, look for ways to help. Add a drink that has no caffeine, has the essential electrolytes and no sugar or sugar substitutes. Also, try herbal teas. Add a slice of lemon to your water. Have a glass of water around you all the time and just take a few sips now and again. Take a water bottle with you when you are in the car.

Bottom line, water is as important as eating right and exercising. Plain, pure water is one of the cheapest methods of helping your mental and physical health.

To Color Your Hair or Go Natural

Posted by Granny1952 Tuesday, June 2, 2009 0 comments

What do you notice first about someone when your first meet them? Hair? Eyes? Smile?. The hair is one of the easiest feature we can change easily, and relatively inexpensive.

Is it vanity or self care to color out the gray or silver? Maybe your job position is the reason for the decision. Your spouse may be a big influence. Or it could be sibling rivalry. Perhaps it is just that everyone in your family does it and you follow tradition without even thinking about the “why”.

No matter what the reason, it may make a person feel better about them self. Boost their confidence. The mirror is easier to look into. Your energy level increases. The colored hair creates the illusion that time has not marched on. You look and feel younger.

The other side of the coin is that once you start coloring the hair, you have to keep it up or you get the “gray roots”. Every 6 - 8 weeks the hair dye must be administered.

But if a person never starts covering up the gray or silver in their hair, no such routine has to be kept up. A person accepts their natural age process. The confidence comes from a different source. Instead of coloring the hair, a new haircut is done.

No matter what decision we make, to color or not to color, we like to look nice. Feel good about ourselves. New hairdo, new hair color, whatever it is, we like to impress those we meet for the first time.

Wacky Cake (aka Depression Cake)

Posted by Granny1952 Sunday, May 31, 2009 0 comments

During the depression, desserts were hard to come by. Neighbors would get together, each one bringing an ingredient to make one cake. It was almost a social event. The Wacky Cake was popular because it did not have any dairy products like milk or eggs, both being rationed items. This cake can be mixed in the pan it is to be baked in. First preheat oven 350 degrees.

Sift into an ungreased 9x13 pan:
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
3 tbsp cocoa
1 tsp salt
Add:
¾ cup cooking oil
2 cups cold water
1 tsp vanilla
Then add:
2 tbsp vinegar
3 tsp baking soda

Mix with a fork, do not overbeat, it may have a few small lumps and batter will be on the thin side.

This cake is very moist. Frosting is not even necessary. For decoration, wait till it has cooled and shift powdered sugar on top. You also have the option to make cupcakes or mini cupcakes. One batch will make about 70 mini cupcakes. The kids will love the small pop in the mouth size.

What’s in a Name?

Posted by Granny1952 0 comments

When you name your baby, have you thought about the effect it has on your child? What happens when you call your child by their middle name instead of their first name? Have you looked at the initials he/she would have?

In today’s computer world, it makes a lot of difference on which name you go by. For example, you can go by your middle name. But schools, doctors, certificates, transcripts, diplomas and legal documents all will be in the birth record first name. Also in the school annuals, will their friends be able to find them when the first name is used instead of the known by, middle name. That was not always the case.

Ulysses S. Grant, our 18th President, went by his middle name. In fact, his birth record name is: Hiram Ulysses Grant. Where did the “S” come from? When he was registered at West Point Academy, he was incorrectly registered as Ulysses Simpson Grant. Simpson was his mother’s maiden name. Since Ulysses did not like his initials from his legal birth name, (HUG) he chose not to make the correction and left it as it was. Thereafter he was known as Ulysses S Grant.

Today he would have had to go to court and get permission to make the change. First you get the paperwork filed, pay the court fees and get on the docket to see the judge. Then show up on the scheduled date and time. Get “permission” from the judge. Afterwards you will need certified copies for many areas in your life. The banks, social security, schools, employers, driver’s license, doctors, dentists, to name a few, would all need certified copies to update their records and make the necessary changes. All Ulysses S Grant had to do is not correct an error in registration!

Times have changed. So, as you name your child, why not put on the birth certificate what you’re really going to call him/her?

Walking To Stay Fit

Posted by Granny1952 Friday, May 29, 2009 0 comments

It sounds so easy but many of us don’t take the time to just take a walk. The weather is too hot, too windy, to cold. We have so many excuses to not take a walk around the neighborhood.

Walking is easy on the joints and helps the body in many ways such as:
Getting Vitamin D from the sun
Increase blood circulation
Cardiovascular health (heart)
Burn a few extra calories
Muscles being used which helps increase metabolism
Mental health is improved

One way to get your walk and make it more enjoyable is to make a walk date with a buddy. Use the buddy system to keep you on track. Another way is make a Goal List. What goal do you want for the week? How many miles do you want to walk?

Make it a family outing. Little ones can go into strollers. Make sure you take plenty of water to stay hydrated. If the sun is too bright, wear a hat to protect your eyes. Remember the sun screen. Even in the winter sun screen is recommended.

In the winter, there are many DVD’s for walking at home. Aerobic walking, walking for seniors, beginners, tots, teens. It can be done in the comfort of your own home. There are websites that offer free on line videos for walking.

Make a commitment to walk 10000 steps a day; that is roughly 5 miles. Park your car at the end of the parking lot and walk into the store. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. You will be amazed at how many extra steps we can do a day by changing little things. Another good one is to hide the remote control to the TV. If you watch TV, you will have to get up, take a few steps to change the channel.

So what is your goal for today? How many steps can you do? We don’t have to be marathon runners or walkers to improve our bodies. Be creative. Make it a game. Enjoy life today.

School Concerts

Posted by Granny1952 Thursday, May 28, 2009 0 comments

Concerts put on by the young Junior High age groups, are a simple enjoyment all can enjoy. Schools like to show to the family and community the result of hard practice and growth made throughout the year. In many communities, at the Junior High level, the concerts are free and open to anyone.

The instruments are cleaned, oiled, new reeds attached to make ready to play. The black and white concert cloths are brought out for wear. Boys pick out the ties, girls check their shoes.

Is the performance perfect? Not likely. But the talent that is drawn out by the music / band teacher is amazing. At first the kids are nervous. Then the music begins. As they sing or play their instruments, the confidence from their leadership steadies the students.

The audience recognizes the songs. Toes start tapping. The parents clap loudly at the end of each segment as cameras take pictures to capture the memory.

The performance is ended. Student and family unite. Congratulations are overheard. The trip home and the instruments and special concert cloths are put away. The children go to bed glad they are done. The next day, they go off to school to hear from their mentor what is being planned for the next concert. The expectations, the new songs, the practice begins again.

The Most Important Meal of the Day

Posted by Granny1952 Friday, May 22, 2009 0 comments

Every since I was a little girl, I have heard the importance of eating breakfast. It is labeled as the most important meal of the day. As it turns out, my Mother was correct.

What does breakfast do for you? Pretend your body is like your car. We gas up our cars, and add oil and water when needed. The same goes for our bodies. We need fuel in the morning to get the most miles out of our energy. Do you want to get 18 or 32 miles per unit of energy? Do you want that donut and cup of coffee to stall you along the highway, in need of a tow?

What is the best breakfast? My grandchildren think that Protein Shakes are the best way to start off the day. Eggs, pancakes, and oatmeal are a second choice. They are very creative with their shakes. Milk, protein powder, fruits, nuts or peanut butter and then the most important ingredient, chocolate syrup are blended together, and then a straw is added to complete the meal. Their recipes have titles like: Snickers on the Rocks, Butterfinger, and Peppermint Smoothie. Sometimes they even add a spoonful of instant pudding. Yes, they are very creative. But what is so important is that they start their engines with good fuel as they walk out the door and begin a day of activities.

So… what are you having tomorrow morning to start your engine?

Summer

Posted by Granny1952 Monday, May 18, 2009 1 comments

What plans do you have for this summer? Family Reunions...BBQ's....maybe Camping.
Summer has so many activity options for the extra daylight hours we have. People are smiling. We made it through one more winter followed by those spring showers.

Summer seems to be arriving slowly this year. But at long last, the weather has turned warm and sunny. Finally the garden can be planted without the worry of frost. Lawn mowers dusted off, weed eaters out for trimming the edges. It feels so good to look at the sunset, to be outside and sit on a lawn that is freshly mowed, sprinklers on for the kids to run through. That fresh smell all of it creates.

Schools are let out and the reunions begin. Camp sites fill up with tents and RVs. The air fills up with bar-b-qued hamburgers and hot dogs. Swim lessons, can't forget the swim lessons and the city pool opening.

Fourth of July arrives all to soon, marking the summer half way point. At least it seems like it is half way over. In reality there is 2 months left but the ads for school to begin again are just around the corner.

August, the heat isn't as glamorous any more. Kids are getting antsy for school to begin. Missing their friends they only see at school. Then the ads start and the rush to get them outfitted with everything from socks to pencils.

Last of the vacation time is spent. Work places are quieter due to everyone being gone. Then Labor Day arrives. Lawn mowers, weed eaters are put up, camping gear stored away, pools emptied and dried to be ready for the next summer.

Days are shorter and the feeling of wanting to cuddle around a fireplace has that same effect as the beginning of summer. Ah, we made it through another summer.

Plans for the winter holidays begin. The smiles, the air has a different jolly feeling. Swim suits are packed and the snow suits are hanging on the coat racks. The cycle starts again; and we wait, for the summer to arrive again.

Graduation

Posted by Granny1952 Saturday, May 16, 2009 0 comments

It is that time of year again. Graduation! My granddaughter is graduating from high school this year. The memories it brings back. But times have changed. Graduation requirements have changed. Senior activities are more intense. Some changes have been good. Some changes aren't, the reasonings are hard to understand.

Her senior year has been packed with college preparation as well as finishing the course of what she started 13 years ago. In some areas of her life, she is a young adult. In others, she still has to have approval from me, her guardian.

Ceremonies have been in abundance this month of May. Sports awards, Night of Excellence for Drama and Music awards, Mother's Tea, Baucalaurete. They seem neverending.

Then the Senior Class trip, leave at 8 a.m. to return after 2 a.m. the next day, get a few hours of sleep then return to school for graduation practice, home for a few hours of sleep, then back to the graduation ceremony. Afterward receive hugs and tears from the family for a little bit, lastly back to the school to board the bus - off to the graduation party they have been planning all year long. By the time they return in the wee hours of the morning, they will be ready to crash, sleep and recoup from the month long of activies.

The following Monday will bring them into the reality of adulthood. Some will work the summer, get ready for college and enter into another school. Some will get married, go to work and take night classes or postpone any further formal education.

My granddaughter, well, she is pretty focused on what she wants. She will take a job for the summer, go to college, locally at first then on to a univerisity to get her degree majoring in English with a minor in Elementary Education.

What a difference 40 years make. Many in my class did not have such plans. Either we stayed and learned the family business, or got married and started families.
Like I said..... Some changes are good.... some aren't....

Herbalife

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