Friday, August 31, 2012

National Childhood Obesity Month

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By Terry Orr

Obesity in America has reached a catastrophic level. Almost every aspect of our lives is threatened. The first step toward ending the damage is learning how to fight back.

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September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and recently HBO broadcasted a wonderful series of four episodes regarding Obesity in America called “The Weight of the Nation and the link is listed below.  They are: 1) Consequences; 2) Choices; 3) Children in Crisis; and 4) Challenges.  It is my hope that everyone who reads this post will take time to view these highly informative and solid understanding if the epidemic.

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Childhood Obesity Facts (from CDC)
  • Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years.
  • The percentage of children aged 6–11 years in the United States who were obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 20% in 2008. Similarly, the percentage of adolescents aged 12–19 years who were obese increased from 5% to 18% over the same period.
  • In 2008, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese.
  • Overweight is defined as having excess body weight for a particular height from fat, muscle, bone, water, or a combination of these factors. Obesity is defined as having excess body fat.
  • Overweight and obesity are the result of “caloric imbalance”—too few calories expended for the amount of calories consumed—and are affected by various genetic, behavioral, and environmental factors.

The first step in solving any problem is recognizing there is a problem.

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It is going to take the entire village working together to be successful!

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The Alliance for a Healthier Generation offers five first steps parents can take to cultivate a healthier lifestyle for their family.
  1. Be a Healthy Role Model
  2. Make Healthy Schools the Norm
  3. Ask the Family Doctor Key Questions 
  4. Instill Healthy Values in Kids
  5. Make a Commitment to Health 

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How to Make a Difference (from Volunteer Guide):
  • Don't reward children with food. Candy and snacks as a reward encourage bad habits. Find other ways to celebrate good behavior.
  • Practice what you preach. If you're practicing healthy habits, it's a lot easier to convince children to do the same. Incorporate healthy activities into the time you spend with children. Take walks, ride bikes, go swimming, garden or just play hide-and-seek outside. Everyone will benefit from the exercise and the time together.
  • Limit TV, video game, and computer time.
  • Be an advocate for healthier children. Insist on good food choices at school cafeterias and vending machines.
  • Bring kid-friendly, healthy snacks to classroom parties and other school events.
  • Get kids to be active at your child’s next birthday party by bowling, roller skating, or playing picnic games.
  • Encourage school administrators to join the Healthier US Schools Challenge. This nationwide award program, created by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, challenges schools to promote good nutrition and physical activity. Schools that are doing the very best work are recognized, and high-achieving schools even receive monetary incentives.
  • Sign the national petition calling for an end to childhood obesity discrimination and bullying. Forward the link to five friends to encourage them to sign too.

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Let us all pitch in to help our young people and those of us as adults to also take the necessary actions to set the example for them.

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References and Links:

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Love Litigating Lawyer's Day - NOT

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By Diane Forrest

I love watching old Matlock and Perry Mason reruns.  Every now and then I like watching Law and Order.  Every Day I go spend an hour with my fathrer and watch Judge Judy.  You would think that I really like lawyers. Over the past 17 years I have been dealing with lawyers none stop.  And one thing I can say without a doubt, I do not love lawyers!
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It is not fair to lump them all in the same category.  In fact when I was younger, I wanted to be a lawyer.  My father would not pay for me to go to law school.  He told me that it was because he didn't want to be embarrassed when someone asked what I did for a living. There have been a couple of lawyers in my family.  I never met them, but heard stories.

Lawyers are beneficial to the protection of rights for the public.  I have been dealing with worker's compensation lawyers since my husband became injured in 1995.  Some of the attorneys he had actually helped him get the things necessary for his injury, however many did not.  Many of the lawyers we encountered were only concerned about how they would benefit if they helped him.  I guess I can understand their predicaments.  After all that is how they earn a living, and provide for their families.
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While we may make frequent lawyer jokes, the fact remains, that if you need assistance, they will help to get you out of a jam.

Lawyers can assist you with estate issues, divorces, if you are injured, or bankrupt.  If you are wrongly accused of a crime or other injustice, they are there on your side as well.

My father always brags that he has never had to use an attorney, but he has.  You need one to file a will or even buy a house.
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Today is Love Litigating Lawyer's Day.  I couldn't find where this day originated, however it was suggested that every profession had to have a day, whether we liked it or not, and today is the day for Lawyers. While they may not be at the top of your list of favorite people, remember they are there to protect you when the chips are down.  So today, give your lawyer a call, and let him know you appreciate the work he does on your behalf.  If you don't have a lawyer, maybe you know one as a friend.  Everyone, even lawyers, deserves a pat on the back and a "Well Done!"  So...while it may just be "The luck of the Spin" that gave them this day, try to give them some thanks for the good they have done.

National Toasted Marshmallow Day

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By Diane Forrest

My mother is involved with several Women's organizations at our church.  Every year they meet at a camp about an hour away for meetings.  My mother, not known for her camping skills, attends this camp every year.  When she returned home last weekend, she told us stories about how they gathered around the campfire, sang songs and toasted marshmallow.   This brought back memories of my younger days.  We would take coat hangers. Unbend them and skewer them with marshmallow. Then hold them over the flames of the campfire until they caught on fire, then we would run around and chase people with flaming marshmallows. It is amazing that we never got burned by having a flaming marshmallow stuck to our skin!
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Today is National Toasted Marshmallow Day.  There are some views why it occurs at the end of the month.  Some think that its the end of the summer, time to get the last campfire in before starting back to school.   This tradition was invented by Earnest Patrick Finn in the late 18th century. A marshmallow is placed on the end of a stick or skewer and held carefully over the fire until it turns golden brown or is burnt. This creates a caramelized outer skin with a liquid, molten layer underneath. According to individual preference, the marshmallows are heated to various degrees — from gently toasted to a charred outer layer according to
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The history of marshmallows dates all the way back to ancient Egypt. Pharaohs used to eat the sweet extract that comes from squeezing mallow plants. It wasn't until the 19th century that marshmallows evolved to become the delicious treats we know and love today.
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So grab a bag of marshmallows and some sticks and head out to the campfire to make your own memories.  You can even sandwich the marshmallows between some graham crackers and a piece of chocolate and make some s’mores!  Just please don't chase anyone with a flaming marshmallow.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

National Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness

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By Nurse Diane

I recently saw an old rerun of a Law and Order Special Victims Unit on the TV the other day.  The case involved a woman who was pregnant, and she was an alcoholic.  She was seeking a divorce from her husband; however her husband, concerned for the life of his unborn child, filed a protective order against the mother to prevent her from consuming alcohol and risk damaging the baby.  The police officer, who was also a friend of the mother even, took the woman to the house of a child who suffered from fetal alcohol syndrome.   This didn’t have an impact on the mother and she was eventually locked up in prison, for her own wellbeing and the wellbeing of her baby.
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I don't watch any of those reality television shows, however there are a few of them that concern me.  One is 16 and Pregnant, the other is Jersey Shore, where one of the main characters, Snooki, is pregnant.  These shows influence the populations of young girls who idolize these shows. Being pregnant carries alot of responsibility, and if you are portrayed on a reality show, there is even more responsibility to display proper care for your life and that of your unborn child.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is a disorder that has no cure. There are many signs and symptoms including:
  • Abnormal facial features, such as a smooth ridge between the nose and upper lip (this ridge is called the phylum)
  • Small head size
  • Shorter-than-average height
  • Low body weight
  • Poor coordination
  • Hyperactive behavior
  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Poor memory
  • Difficulty in school (especially with math)
  • Learning disabilities
  • Speech and language delays
  • Intellectual disability or low IQ
  • Poor reasoning and judgment skills
  • Sleep and sucking problems as a baby
  • Vision or hearing problems
  • Problems with the heart, kidneys, or bones

While there may not be a cure, it is 100% preventable.  The only way to prevent this disorder is to refrain from drinking alcohol while pregnant.  Each year there are 40,000 babies born with Fetal Alcohol disorders.  You can help by letting expectant mothers know about the harm they are causing their babies when they drink.
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For more, information click on this site.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

National Sarcodosis Awareness Day

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By Nurse Diane

In 1991 President George Bush issued a Proclamation declaring today as National Sarcodosis Day, here is an excerpt from that proclamation:

Sarcodosis, a disease that affects many of our fellow citizens and people around the world, remains shrouded in mystery. Skin-related symptoms of this chronic, multi-system disease were first recognized more than 100 years ago; however, the effects of Sarcodosis on other bodily organs were not observed until the first quarter of this century. Today researchers are still trying to learn more about the cause and the nature of this affliction. Sarcodosis can strike people of all races and of all ages, but, according to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, it is most common among black Americans who are between the ages of 20 and 40. While no cause has yet been identified, it is thought that heredity predisposes some individuals to the disease. Intensive research during the past decade has not only supported this belief but also enabled physicians to diagnose and to manage Sarcodosis more effectively.
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Today researchers at both the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute are leading studies on the etiology, diagnosis, and treatment of Sarcodosis. On this occasion, we recognize their work and that of other concerned physicians and scientists throughout the United States. We also salute the victims of Sarcodosis who demonstrate great courage and determination in their efforts to cope with the disease; and we pay tribute to their family members and to other concerned Americans who are engaged in grass-roots efforts to promote awareness of Sarcodosis, as well as improved treatment and support for its victims.

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Sarcodosis is a disease in which inflammation occurs in the lymph nodes, lungs, liver, eyes, skin, or other tissues.  Some causes include:
  • Extreme immune response to infection;
  • High sensitivity to environmental factors;
  • Genetic factors;
  • age, usually between the ages of 20 to 40 years old;
  • Affects women more than men; and or
  • Can occur if you have a close relative who suffers from Sarcodosis

Symptoms include chest pains, dry cough, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, general feeling of malaise, fever, hair loss, rash, and headaches or seizures.

Sarcodosis can be diagnoses through a physical exam, chest x-rays and blood work.  Many with Sarcodosis are not seriously ill, and will get better without treatment on their own in about 3 years.  For more serious conditions, they may be treated with immunosuppressant drugs.
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Today is National Sarcodosis Awareness Day.  To learn more about it or how you can help, click on this site.

Sharing another Blog Site

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By Terry Orr

Good afternoon fellow readers and followers!  One of the fun things about running a Blog Site is looking in on other likeminded Bloggers and read what on their minds.  I have been following TheWorkingCaregiver for nearly two years now and always enjoy reading their posts.

Safeguarding Your Loved One’s Home” is one of those helpful, insightful and very useful articles written by Julie Davis, Chief Content Officer,  Please take a moment and follow this link to read this amazing post and do what I did, print it out for future reference.

Thank you and have a wonderful day

Orange and Papaya Month

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Chef Diane

I love fruit, especially exotic fruit, such as kiwi, mangos, and papayas.  Every time I see them I can just picture myself on a tropical island listening to the waves splash on the shores, sitting under a palm tree and having a waiter bring me a tray of slices exotic fruit.  However, in reality, I will usually buy a can of Delmont tropical fruit; pour it in a bowl and much on it during a television show.  But...I guess you get the same feeling when you take a bath in Calgon bath salts.  Just let Calgon take you away.

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This month we celebrate Oranges and Papayas.  Oranges are a little more common than papayas, but they are still great.  They are full of vitamin C and are readily available. I took a trip for a meeting in Florida one year, and fresh squeezed orange juice was served.  Im sure I must have had a gallon of it.  It was the best tasting juice I have ever had, especially since I didn't have to squeeze it.  Vitamin C is also great when you have a scratchy feeling in your throat that may indicate the beginning of a cold.  My mother in law and my father both swear by it.  So I figure it can't hurt to drink it to help prevent any sickness

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Papayas are a little more exotic.  While they can still be found in the grocery store, they are not as accessible as oranges.  There are 2 types, one grown in Mexico, the other in Hawaii.  The Hawaiian ones are the ones you will find at the grocery store. they are pear shaped, have orange flesh and filled with black seeds down the center. Christopher Columbus once called the papaya the "fruit of the angels," and for good reason! This fruit that is slightly larger than a mango is bursting with nutritional goodness. It’s full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

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This month is Orange and Papaya month, so to celebrate I have included a recipe for a smoothie that contains these fruits.  I also read that Simon Cowell of American Idol fame also begins his day with some papaya juice. So, what have you got to lose?  Enjoy a fresh smoothie this month.

Orange and Papaya Smoothie

  • 1 cup papaya, frozen
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar

  1. Peel, cube, and freeze papaya a day in advance.
  2. Put all ingredients in a blender and blend.
  3. If desired consistency is not reached, add ice as needed and blend.

Monday, August 27, 2012

National Fresh Breath Day

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By Nurse Diane

My son's breath could actually peel paint.  It smells like he has always just eaten garlic pizza.  For Easter and Christmas I always put some gum or mints in his basket and stocking.

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This is not as uncommon as you may think.  There are several reasons for bad breath, or halitosis.  Sometime it is because of something you have just eaten, such as garlic or onions, or it can also be the cause of bad oral hygiene.  Things such as failure to brush or floss, an infected tooth, broken dentures can all harbor bacteria which can cause a malodorous smell.

Sometimes the cause of bad breath can be even more difficult to diagnose.  Some other causes can be Sinus infections, tonsil problems, GERD or acid reflux.
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Smoking can also increase changes of bad breath along with certain medications or use of alcohol.  A friend of mine who used to drink frequently would visit his dentist after tossing back a few.  He said he would feel terrible that his dentist would be subjected to his foul smelling breath, but today he no longer drinks, and he cleans and flosses his teeth regularly.
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The first way to help combat this problem is to first brush, floss and use mouthwash daily.  If this doesn't end the problem, then you may want to visit your dentist to see if there are any dental problems that should be taken care of. If that checks out then you may need to visit your regular physician to see if there are any health problems that need attention.

Some quick fixes are to:
  • Chew sugarless gum.  This will keep your mouth moist;
  • Chew parsley leaves;
  • Use mints;
  • Use a breath spray;
  • Use mouthwash after meals;
  • Brush after meals if possible; and or
  • Keep your tongue clean.

Your mouth is a warm wet dark place, the perfect environment for bacteria to grow.  

Maintaining good oral hygeine will help to keep your breath fresh and allow you to get close to your loved one instead of having them keep their distance from you.

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Today is National Fresh Breath Day, so freshen up your breath and let others around you breathe free.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Parental Controls

If it were but that simple.
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By Terry Orr

We have an awesome and challenging responsibility in providing our children with the right tools, guidance, love, respect, understanding and leadership to grow up to be the best they can be and to learn the important skills to help them raise their own children later in life.  The bad news – our challenges grow nearly every day and it is difficult to fully understand them and take the corrective measures needed. The good news – there are significant resources available to help us. We must be proactive.
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Parental controls are features which may be included in digital television services, computer and video games, mobile phones and software. Parental controls fall into roughly four categories, content filters, which limit access to age appropriate content, usage controls, which constrain the usage of these devices such as placing time-limits on usage or forbidding certain types of usage, computer usage management tools, which allow parents to enforce learning time into child computing time, and monitoring, which can track location and activity when using the devices. (Wikipedia)
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The Parent Coach Plan offers the following regarding Parent Responsibilities.

Nobody ever said that children were easy to teach your child morals and they don't come with guidelines or instructions, and they certainly don't come with a "pause" button.  What they do come with is a crucial set of physical and emotional needs that must be met. Failure of the parents to meet these specific needs can have wide-ranging and long-lasting negative effects.

The following outline provides eight essential responsibilities that parents must adhere to in order to foster their child's physical and/or emotional well-being:
  1. Provide an environment that is SAFE;
  2. Provide your child with BASIC NEEDS;
  3. Provide your child with SELF-ESTEEM NEEDS;
  4. Teach your child MORALS and VALUES;
  5. Develop MUTUAL RESPECT with your child;
  6. Provide DISCIPLINE which is effective and appropriate
  7. Involve yourself in your child's EDUCATION; and
  8. Get to KNOW YOUR CHILD.

For additional information on parent responsibilities, please visit
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Parental Controls for Streaming Video (just another opportunity for us parent to over come)

Streaming video online is a wonderful and convenient way to watch all your favorite shows and movies – and it’s far less expensive than cable. Unfortunately, if you’re a parent, these services don’t often provide safeguard measures to block certain content from your children.

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Bottom line - we as parents, grandparents, caregivers and or adults must set the example for our young people.

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Presidential Proclamation--Women's Equality Day

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The 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution tore down the last formal barrier to women's enfranchisement in our Nation and empowered America's women to have their voices heard in the halls of power. This Amendment became law only after decades of work by committed trailblazers who fought to extend the right to vote to women across America. For the women who fought for this right, voting was not the end of the journey for equality, but the beginning of a new era in the advancement of our Union. These brave and tenacious women challenged our Nation to live up to its founding principles, and their legacy inspires us to reach ever higher in our pursuit of liberty and equality for all.

Before the Amendment took effect, women had been serving our Nation in the public realm since its earliest days. Even before they gained the right to vote, America's women were leaders of movements, academics, and reformers, and had even served in the Congress. Legions of brave women wrote and lectured for change. They let their feet speak when their voices alone were not enough, protesting and marching for their fundamental right to vote in the face of heckling, jail, and abuse. Their efforts led to enormous progress millions upon millions of women have since used the power of the ballot to help shape our country.

Today, our Nation's daughters reap the benefits of these courageous pioneers while paving the way for generations of women to come. But work still remains. My Administration is committed to advancing equality for all of our people. This year, the Council of Women and Girls released "Women in America: Indicators of Social and Economic Well-Being," the most comprehensive report in 50 years on the status of women in our country, shedding light on issues women face in employment, crime, health, and family life. We are working to ensure that women-owned businesses can compete in the marketplace, that women are not discriminated against in healthcare, and that we redouble our efforts to bring an end to sexual assault on college campuses.
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On the 91st anniversary of this landmark in civil rights, we continue to uphold the foundational American principles that we are all equal, and that each of us deserves a chance to pursue our dreams. We honor the heroes who have given of themselves to advance the causes of justice, opportunity, and prosperity. As we celebrate the legacy of those who made enormous strides in the last century and before, we renew our commitment to hold true to the dreams for which they fought, and we look forward to a bright future for our Nation's daughters.
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NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States do hereby proclaim August 26, 2011, as Women's Equality Day. I call upon the people of the United States to celebrate the achievements of women and recommit ourselves to the goal of gender equality in this country.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty fifth day of August, in the year of our Lord two thousand eleven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-sixth.
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August 26 of each year is designated in the United States as Women's Equality Day. Instituted by Rep. Bella Abzug and first established in 1971, the date commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment, the Woman Suffrage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which gave U.S. women full voting rights in 1920.  There were many women along the road to fight for a woman's right to vote.  Some of these women sacrificed their homes, families, children, jobs, and even lives.  I believe the best way to remember the struggles they had to give women the rights we now have is to take time this November, and exercise your right to vote by casting your ballot in this year's election.  This election as well as every election, will be an important one for our country, and every registered voter should be present to cast their vote.

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So today, on Women's Equality Day, remember these ladies who worked so hard for our rights, and cast your vote in the upcoming election