Thursday, February 24, 2011

Healthy Habit # 8 Protect Your Skin

Like most of us, when we think about protecting our skin, the sun comes to mind - sun burns, sun poisoning, skin cancer and other related concerns.  Some of us have first hand knowledge of these and also are aware of ‘Old Man Winter’s’ affect on our skin.  Many of the gals out there also are very much aware to the daily routine to taking care of your skin, especially your face.
While I have read and heard from many sources we need to drink lots of water every day, eight glass they recommend, to help you skin from the inside. That little bit of information for ones skin had not found the right place in my memory.
While researching this topic from one of my favorite sources, the Mayo Clinic.  The tips from there are: protect yourself from the sun; don’t smoke (1st time I remember seeing that in this context); treat your skin gently (limit bath time, avoid strong soaps,  shave carefully, pat dry, moisturize dry skin); eat a healthy diet and manage stress (another one new to me in this context).
For all your sun lovers, please remember,  water WILL wash off sun screen (my toes will attest to that). Limit your time in the sun, wear protective clothing, hat, sun screen, stay in the shade when you can and drink lots of water.
May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month!  

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Something Nice

Every once in a while, we get a nice email worth sharing.  I hope you enjoy.
The Cab Ride

I arrived at the address and honked the horn.  After waiting a few minutes I walked to the door and knocked. 'Just a minute', answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.

After a long pause, the door opened.  A small woman in her 90's stood before me.  She was wearing a print dress   and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940's movie. By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets.

There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.

'Would you carry my bag out to the car?' she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman.  She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb.

She kept thanking me for my kindness. 'It's nothing', I told her.. 'I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother to be treated.' 

'Oh, you're such a good boy, she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address and then asked, 'Could you drive through downtown?'

'It's not the shortest way,' I answered quickly.

'Oh, I don't mind,' she said.   'I'm in no hurry. I'm on my way to a hospice. '

I looked in the rear-view mirror.   Her eyes were glistening. 'I don't have any family left,' she continued in a soft voice.. 'The doctor says I don't have very long.' I quietly reached over and shut off the meter. “What route would you like me to take?' I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator.

We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.

Sometimes she'd ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing. 
As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, 'I'm tired. Let's go now'.

We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her. I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

'How much do I owe you?'  She asked, reaching into her purse. 'Nothing,' I said 'You have to make a living,' she answered.

'There are other passengers,' I responded. Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug.   She held onto me tightly.  'You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,' she said.  'Thank you.' I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light.. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life..

I didn't pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift?  What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?

On a quick review,  I don't think that I have done anything more important in my life. We're conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments.

But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

You won't get any big surprise in 10 days if you send this to ten people. But, you might help make the world a little kinder and more compassionate by sending it on and reminding us that often it is the random acts of kindness that most benefit all of us.

Thank you, my friend...

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance.


“The time is always right to do what is right.”
 ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.
  • a sound, unimpaired, or perfect condition: the integrity of a ship's hull.
  • unity; wholeness

Integrity is one of the fundamental principles of life and an important part of the rock bed foundation in helping others to help themselves and provides each of us with the correct framework for doing the right thing.
A house starts with good plans, a solid foundation that adheres to the community codes of construction and safety for the owners.  Parents set the example for their children by their actions.  Confucius said “Integrity of a nation derives from the integrity of the home.”
Spencer Johnson said, “Integrity is telling myself the truth.  And honesty is telling the truth to other people.” Strong and meaningful words to guide ourselves by in the hectic world we live in and it is not always easy to do.
One of my favorite authors, John D. MacDonald, and his series about Travis MeGee, helped me survive an otherwise boring Mediterranean deployment in the 70’s has an interesting quote regarding integrity.  “Integrity is not conditional word.  It doesn’t blow in the wind or change with the weather.  It is your inner image of yourself, and if you look in there and see a man who won’t cheat, then you know he never will.”
Oprah Winfrey is an amazing woman who has accomplished so very much in her life.  My first and most memorable exposure to her was in the movie, The Color Purple.  She has done so much good and giving to others, most folks are aware of that which is been noted on her show and other public events. she also does many good things out of the spot light and away from the cameras.  Her quote, “Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.” It should be second nature, not something one needs to think about, just simply do it.
Live so that when your children think of fairness and integrity, they think of you.” ~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
We hope you will take a few minutes to reflect and share with us your thoughts and comments.  Wishing you a wonderful day.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Golden Rule Part 2

The Golden Rule doesn’t really mean that you should treat someone else exactly as you’d want them to treat you … it means that you should try to imagine how they want to be treated, and do that.

Thirty ways to care for others:

Absolutely FREE:

  1. Be friendly
  2. Be courteous in traffic
  3. Listen to others
  4. Give everyone you meet today, a smile
  5. Instead of asking "how are you?" and moving on, genuinely wait for the answer and listen with both ears
  6. Stop criticism
  7. Volunteer at a retirement home/senior center
  8. Take care of your neighbor's children for a couple of hours so that she can do something she doesn't get to do ordinarily
  9. Do something for someone anonymously
  10. Send an email to someone you haven't talked to for a long time....just because
  11. Shovel the neighbor's sidewalk
  12. Call someone
  13. Volunteer at a daycare or hospital
  14. Check on an elderly neighbor
  15. Bring groceries/dinner to a shut in
  16. Hold the door for someone
  17. Find something good to say to everyone you encounter today
  18. Say a prayer for someone who showed you his/her anger
  19. Give blood
  20. Tell someone a joke/make them smile
  21. Write a letter to a serviceman/woman
  22. Overcome prejudice
  23. Help someone else at the airport with their bags
  24. Forgive someone
  25. Praise or encourage someone
These five may cost a little but reap BIG rewards:

  1. Pay the toll for the person in the car behind you
  2. Buy lunch for someone without them knowing
  3. Put a quarter in the meter, any meter
  4. Send someone a love gift
  5. Everyone sends cards immediately when someone dies, but the grief and loss go on for a long time--send them a card, send them a note, send them a rose that says you remember their loved one

The Golden Rule also applies to you:

  1. Drink plenty of water
  2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar
  3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants
  4. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy
  5. Make time to pray
  6. Play more games
  7. Read more books than you did in 2010
  8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day
  9. Sleep for 7 hours
  10. Take a 10-30 minute walk daily. And while you walk, smile.
  1. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about
  2. Don't have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment
  3. Don't overdo. Keep your limits
  4. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does
  5. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip
  6. Dream more while you are awake
  7. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need
  8. Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner with his/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness
  9. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others
  10. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present
  11. No one is in charge of your happiness except you
  12. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn.  Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime
  13. Smile and laugh more
  14. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
  1. Do the right thing!
  2. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful
  3. GOD heals everything
  4. However good or bad a situation is, it will change
  5. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up
  6. The best is yet to come
  7. When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it
  8. Your inner most is always happy. So, be happy.
Got something to add?  Please let us know!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Golden Rule

Religious Leaders Agree on the Golden Rule

Regardless of your religious faith, almost all agree with the basic tenets of the golden rule as stated in the Declaration of 1993.   “We must treat others as we wish others to treat us.”  The Initial Declaration was signed by 143 respected leaders from all of the world’s major faiths.  This poster depicts some of the major faiths that signed the declaration.

Scarboro Missions poster (

Many argue that the Golden Rule is the primary basis for the modern concept of human rights; that each individual has a right to just treatment, as well as a responsibility to ensure justice for others.

The greatest failure of many organized religions is their inability to convince their followers that the Golden Rule applies to all humans, not merely to fellow believers, like themselves.  Religions should stress that their members also use the Golden Rule when dealing with persons of other religions, other genders, other cultures, other sexual orientations, other gender identities, etc.

Why is this important?
The survival of mankind may depend upon the Golden Rule.
In the past and now, this has generated a great deal of religiously based hatred, conflict, and violence.  Empathy is at the root of kindness, compassion, understanding and respect – qualities that we all appreciate being shown, whoever we are, whatever we think and wherever we come from. ~ Humanism principle.
Whom should I despise, since the one Lord made us all.~ p.1237, Var Sarang, Guru Granth Sahib, tr. Patwant Singh Sikhidm
"Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you." ~ Muhammad, The Farewell  Sermon


This is the most basic all human principles, we need be kind to one another, treat them like we want to be treated, and respect their rights as a person.  We are all equal in the eyes of God.

Comments are most welcome!!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Healthy Habit # 7 Take Up a Hobby

Do you have any?  What is your favorite? What makes them fun to do?

Here’s a good list to start.  Do you have a hobby that is not listed below?  If so, please let us know and we will add it.

Aircraft Spotting;  Airbrushing;  Airsofting; Acting; Aeromodeling; Amateur Astronomy; Amateur Radio; Animals/pets/dogs; Arts; Astrology; Astronomy; Backgammon; Badminton; Baseball; Basketball; Beach/Sun tanning; Beachcombing; Beadwork; Beatboxing; Becoming A Child Advocate; Bell Ringing; Belly Dancing; Bicycling; Bird watching; Birding; BMX; Blacksmithing; Blogging; BoardGames; Boating; Body Building; Bonsai Tree; Boomerangs; Bowling; Brewing Beer; Bridge Building; Bringing Food To The Disabled; Building A House For Habitat For Humanity; Building Dollhouses; Butterfly Watching; Button Collecting; Cake Decorating; Calligraphy; Camping; Candle Making; Canoeing; Car Racing; Casino Gambling; Cave Diving; Cheerleading; Chess; Church/church activities; Cigar Smoking; Cloud Watching; Coin Collecting; Collecting; Collecting Antiques; Collecting Artwork; Collecting Music Albums; Compose Music; Computer activities; Cooking; Cosplay; Crafts; Crafts (unspecified); Crochet; Crocheting; Cross-Stitch; Crossword Puzzles; Dancing; Darts; Diecast Collectibles; Digital Photography; Dolls; Dominoes; Drawing; Dumpster Diving; Eating out; Educational Courses; Electronics; Embroidery; Entertaining; Exercise (aerobics, weights); Fast cars; Fencing; Fishing; Football; Four Wheeling; Freshwater Aquariums; Frisbee Golf - Frolf; Games; Gardening; Garage Saleing; Genealogy; Geocaching; Ghost Hunting; Glowsticking; Going to movies; Golf; Go Kart Racing; Grip Strength; Guitar; Handwriting Analysis; Hang gliding; Hiking; Home Brewing; Home Repair; Home Theater; Horse riding; Hot air ballooning; Hula Hooping; Hunting; Illusion; Internet; Jet Engines; Jewelry Making; Jigsaw Puzzles; Juggling; Keep A Journal; Kayaking; Kitchen Chemistry; Kites; Kite Boarding; Knitting; Knotting; Lasers; Lawn Darts; Learn to Play Poker; Learning A Foreign Language; Learning An Instrument; Learning To Pilot A Plane; Leathercrafting; Legos; Listening to music; Macramé; Magic; Making Model Cars; Matchstick Modeling; Meditation; Microscopy; Metal Detecting; Model Rockets; Modeling Ships; Models; Motorcycles; Mountain Biking; Mountain Climbing; Musical Instruments; Needlepoint; Owning An Antique Car; Origami; Painting; Paintball; Papermaking; Papermache; Parachuting; People Watching; Photography; Piano; Pinochle; Playing music; Playing team sports; Pottery; Puppetry; Pyrotechnics; Quilting; Rafting; Railfans; R/C Boats; R/C Cars; R/C Helicopters; R/C Planes; Reading; Reading To The Elderly; Relaxing; Renting movies; Rescuing Abused Or Abandoned Animals; Robotics; Rock Collecting; Rockets; Rocking AIDS Babies; Running; Saltwater Aquariums; Scrapbooking; Scuba Diving; Sewing; Shark Fishing; Skeet Shooting; Shopping; Singing In Choir; Skateboarding; Sketching; Sky Diving; Sleeping; Smoking Pipes; Snorkeling; Soap Making; Soccer; Socializing with friends/neighbors; Spelunkering; Spending time with family/kids; Stamp Collecting; Storytelling; String Figures; Surf Fishing; Swimming; Tea Tasting; Tennis; Tesla Coils; Tetris; Texting; Textiles; Tombstone Rubbing; Tool Collecting; Toy Collecting; Train Collecting; Train Spotting; Traveling; Treasure Hunting; Trekkie; Tutoring Children; TV watching; Urban Exploration; Video Games; Volunteer; Walking; Warhammer; Watching sporting events; Windsurfing; Wine Making; Woodworking; Working In A Food Pantry; Working on cars; Writing; Writing Music; Writing Songs; Yoga;  and YoYo.

Hobbies that I enjoy doing now that I’m retired are surfing the internet; watching people, especially younger ones as they explore their surroundings; genealogy; watching sporting events, movies, National Geographic and Discovery channels; blogging; meeting new people; traveling; bird watching and care and feeding of them and other creatures; eating out; going to the movies; home repair projects (those that I and others do); home theater; listening to music; researching and writing.

Happy Birthday to my brother Dwight!!  His favorite hobby - fishing!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Healthy Habit # 6 Practice Good Dental Hygiene

How many of you dread your visits to the Dentist?  The pain, those long needles, drilling a tunnel in your teeth.  Or that little wedge thing to keep your mouth open, or when the dentist brings in someone to help pull out a tooth?  Egads!!!  Why on earth does one look forward to that visit?
Try spending a long weekend with an abscessed tooth, while your dentist in out of town, and forgot to leave a message who was filling in for him/her and you have no PAIN PILLS.  Now that is motivation my friends.  I’m standing at the door before they open, waiting to get into the chair - fix this NOW!!  He sent me to a specialist and pain was gone within an hour!
Like many other topics on this blog, we are learning more each passing day about so many things, our bodies, the environment, new technology, new discoveries, new ways of treating so many things.
Crowns used to take weeks to make.  Make the mold, send it off to a third party.  Today, a couple of digital pictures, some adjustment by the dentist, and a fancy machine down the hall begins making the one of a kind crown for you.  A few minutes later, a big smile and  you are walking out the door - another satisfied customer.
Remember, practicing good dental hygiene begins at home, with Mom and Dad helping, setting the example for you to follow.  Brushing your teeth, flossing and rinsing at least daily!  Eating the right foods to help you have strong healthy teeth and to last a life time.  It is important that you visit your dentist twice a year for a good cleaning and check up.
We have an excellent dentist who has been given several awards over the years in the Greater Washington DC Metro area.  We are also friends and have a good time during our visits. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Healthy Habit # 5 Exercise for Better Health

Yes folks, this is 100% true, and sorry to admit that yours truly is significantly lacking in this healthy habit and has for years.  My good doctor, of over twenty years, reminds me frequently about this and I always seem to find an excuse for not doing exercise.
Some key advantages of exercise (National Cancer Institute):
  • Help to maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints;
  • Helps control weight;
  • Reduces risk of developing high blood pressure and diabetes;
  • Reduces risk of death from heart disease; and
  • Reduces risk of premature death.
What are you going to do?
I’m going to hire a personal trainer to help me get started and attempt to say with it for at least six months.  From time to time, I’ll share with you how things are going.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Healthy Habit # 4 Make Social Connections

When I first read this one, it stopped me in my tracks a bit.  In todays cyber explosion, cell phone, chats, face-to-face, skype, and all the other means of communications, if folks are doing that, are they active in their communities? Church? 
After a few minutes of thinking about this, I got my trusty pencil and a pad of paper and started jotting things down off the top of my head.  What social connections am I making now that I am retired?
  • I spend more time talking with folks in the stores, post office, shops, etc
  • I’ve gotten to know the folks who take good care of me at the various restaurants
  • I send more emails, chat all to often, and call more folks
  • Taking more time to visit others in different cities
  • Spending more time with family and friends 
Providing information, instrumental help, emotional support, and offering a sense of belonging were the key benefits from the article on WebMD.
How do you make social connections?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Native American Paper Sculptures

Sculptures of Native American made out of paper by Allen and Patty Eckman.

Emails come and go on a wide variety of topics from spam to works of art that puts us at awe.  Recently, I received one of these works of art, this one by Allen and Patty Eckman of Rapid City, South Dakota (  Below are a few samples of their work.  Hope that you enjoy them.

These stunningly detailed sculptures may only be made from paper - but they are being snapped up by art fans for tens of thousands of pounds. The intricate creations depict Native American scenes and took up to 11 months to make using a specially formulated paper.

If you have a few minutes, visit Allen and Patty's website and please let us know what you thought.

Thank you

Healthy Habit # 3

Get Enough Sleep!

Most of us already know the importance of getting a good night’s sleep, few of us really accomplish that on regular bases. 

¨     What are your sleeping habits?
¨     Do you fall asleep just by lying down on your bed? Or do you toss and turn most of the night?
¨     How many hours sleep do you need to keep your engine running at peak performance?
¨     Have you learned the fine art of cat napping?

Please let us hear from you about your experiences, habits and how you manage your rest time.

Many thanks

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Healthy Habit # 2: Add Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acids to Your Diet

And that is just where we were.  It was a family activity, maybe only two or three of us, and at other times twenty or more, but one thing for sure, we had a good time, rain or shine, fish or none.
Eating fish was something that has always been part of my life from my earliest memories, in different cities across this great land and in ports near and far.  I’m a lucky guy who has a loving wife that enjoys fish several times a week.
Granny, Dad, brother and I loved to go fishing, sisters were not to keen on the idea, but they found other things to do while the rest of us had our poles in hand, lines in the water and someone telling a story about a good adventure, lesson in life or a plain ole whooper that seem to bring tears to your eyes.  Then, the mad scramble to set that hook, on the fish who just took the bait.
Fresh water fish cooked up for breakfast was always a special treat - blue gill, perch, bass, and others, with eggs, sliced tomatoes, some fresh fruit and toast with jam.   We really didn’t think much about healthy food back then, - it was simply good food and we had caught those fish and had a good time doing so. 
We are thankful that our children and grandchildren enjoy eating fish, though we don’t have family fish outings often these days - the memories are still crystal clear. I’m looking forward to our next fishing trip, and sitting around to stove and talking about the “big one” that got away. 

So how do you satisfy Healthy Habit # 2? 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Have a Good Breakfast Everyday

Early start for a Saturday morning, enjoying daybreak and the  sunrise, watching the chipmonks, squirrels, and birds getting their day started - eating breakfast.  They do enjoy the peanuts, day old bread, sunflower seeds and other goodies we put out for them.
      Like lots of morning in my youth on the farm on the weekends, in the Philippines taking pictures of the sunrises and sunsets, and in retirement watering the lawn and garden - taking in the wonders of life and being thankful I can enjoy them.
Anyone who knows me will tell you, Terry is a Big Supporter of Eating a Good Breakfast every morning.  But it isn’t necessarily due to all those answers one finds doing a Google search (although 9.4 million hits on the topic is impressive), the real reason was the influence from Granny Greenwell, my maternal grandmother.  Why Granny instead of Grandmother or Grandma - it was her way. Granny is the one person in my life who had the most influence in developing me, my siblings, cousins, nieces, nephews, and children.  Granny simply practiced what she preached: respect others (and nature); do the right thing, follow the golden rule; eat a good breakfast every morning.  Her youngest sister, Sarah told my sister, Beverly and I last year - “Granny had more Common Sense than anyone she had every met in her 95 years”.  And it is true.  Ask anyone who knew her, they’d tell you she had a unique insight on life.  After selling her farm just outside of Kansas City, Missouri, Granny rented a very nice two bedroom apartment that she shared with Beverly for awhile. It was on the third floor and no elevator service.  When asked why the third floor, she would reply, “Well, I need my exercise and don’t want to get lazy living in the city.”  We were all blessed by her originality, sense of humor, love, dedication to helping others -just not out of a situation, but helping them to help themselves, the importance of respecting others, doing the right thing, how to take care of ourselves in life, and how to really enjoy life.  Each day, I am thankful for her profound influence on my life and others- and when there’s a family gathering, Granny is always center stage.  Yep, breakfast is the most important meal of the day - cause Granny said it was and I know she was right, she always was.