February 28, 2010

Earthquake in Chile

Posted in Earthquakes, Good people, Money, News tagged , , at 8:59 am by Liliana

Earthquake in Chile

Earthquake in Chile

Terrible things have been happening around the world. Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; earthquakes in Haiti and Chile; tsunami warnings down the entire Pacific coast; and many other natural and man-made disasters. It is hard not to be afraid, anxious and stressed. What does one do?

My way of dealing with things that I am afraid of is not to turn away. I think that apathy and indifference help no one; compassion and everyday acts of kindness make this world a better place.

We can all do our part. Whether cleaning our neighbor’s snowy sidewalk, saying a kind word to a child, or sending a check to Chile, we all have great power to do good things.

If you are able to help the people of Haiti, Chile or those in our own country who are in need, please consider:

American Red Cross -http://www.redcross.org/

Every little bit helps!

February 27, 2010

Lake Michigan in Winter

Posted in Weather tagged , , , , at 8:10 am by Liliana

Lake Michigan in winter

Lake Michigan in winter

Dead of winter in Michigan – lots of snow, gusty winds, metallic sky, temperature in mid teens. It’s cold, the roads are treacherous, not pleasant to walk outside.

Still, I love to walk, especially along Lake Michigan. I find the lake beautiful at any time of year but in wintertime the character of the water becomes vastly different from what it is in more temperate seasons. It becomes transformed and magical, like something out of a fairy tale.

The sand and the snow embrace in tall drifts blown by fierce and unyielding wind. The tenacious wild lake grasses are holding on for dear life, and the sea gulls and sand pipers are nowhere to be seen. The water is frozen into silent, white ice sculptures for miles along the beach, but the sound of cold, angry waves beyond still make their presence preeminent.

I am wearing a sweater, a fleece jacket and a heavy winter coat. I have a woolen scarf wrapped around my neck and a warm hat on my head. My hands are hiding in heavy mittens. Still, the wind gets through all those layers and I feel it’s freezing breath on my skin. I am cold, but also energized and happy. To share this moment with the lake, the wind, the wide blue sky is a privilege and a gift.

February 26, 2010

Steps to a Healthy Diet

Posted in Breast Cancer, Cancer, Food, Health, Home tagged , , , , , , at 7:53 am by Liliana

Steps to a Healy Diet

Steps to a Healy Diet

Eat Local Food
Freshly picked food is rich in enzymes and flavor. A more local food system lessens the chance of food poisoning and ensures that food is richer in vitamins and minerals.

Eat a Variety of Foods
The wider the variety of foods in our diets, the greater the chance of getting all the nutrients we need. The more diversity, the better the chance of resistance to diseases.

Aim for Organic
More than 80 percent of commonly used pesticides today have been classified by NAS as potentially carcinogenic. Birth defects and human reproductive problems as well as many cancers have been attributed to the heavy reliance on pesticides by conventional farms.

Eat Lower on the Food Chain
Eating lower on the food chain can reduce the risk of disease. Studies from around the world confirm that the lower on the food chain a human eats, the greater the protection against heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Also, a number of chemicals created for industrial use end up in larger animals each link up the food chain. Mercury found in tuna is a classic example of this concern.

Eat Fresh Food
True fresh food resembles what it looked like in the field and is “alive.” “Living” food is rich in antioxidants and enzymes that haven’t been killed by heating. The shorter the time from field to table, the fresher the food.

Eat Whole Foods
Processed, refined food products can be stripped of fiber, enzymes, and important micronutrients, while unhealthy preservatives, sweeteners, fat, and salt are added. Whole food has the nutrient package your body needs, and is rich in nutritions such as vitamin E, which is found in whole kernel grains.

Stock Your Pantry
If you stock up on staples, cooking healthy meals is always convenient as well as nutritious. Pantry foods (such as canned tomatoes, beans, nuts, rice, flour, etc.) are great sources of fiber, complex carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, crucial minerals such as zinc, and more.

February 25, 2010

Weekly Housecleaning Chores

Posted in Cleaning, Family, Home tagged , , at 8:08 am by Liliana

Keep your life pleasant and well ordered

Keep your life pleasant and well ordered

This is a list of recommended weekly chores – to keep your life pleasant and well ordered. I don’t follow this list obsessively, but try to stay as close to it as my household regimen requires.

  • Change the bed linens and bathroom towels
  • Vacuum rugs, floors, upholstered furniture and lampshades
  • Wash wood and tile floors
  • Dust surfaces and objects, including pictures, mirrors, light fixtures, and light bulbs
  • Wipe fingerprints or smears from doorknobs, woodwork, telephones, computer keyboards
  • Wash down entire bathroom: toilet, sink, tub, wall tiles, toothbrush holders and fixture
  • Clean entire kitchen: clean refrigerator; wipe down stove and other appliances; clean sinks, counters and tabletops; wash backsplashes

Enjoy your clean and organized  house!

February 24, 2010

Quiet Places

Posted in Family, Health, Home, Women tagged , , , at 8:04 am by Liliana

My quiet place

My husband's quiet place

A comfortable home should have a variety of well planned niches for quiet and solitary occupations. Thinking, reading, knitting, doing cross-word puzzles, etc. promote our sense of well being, knowledge and mental acuity. They are a part of the inner life of a home that reinforces and refreshes the inner life of its occupants.

A good place for inner activities starts with a quiet, secluded spot where one feels sheltered and serene in letting down one’s guard. Some people prefer a bright, sunny spot, others a shady, dreamy place. The chair or sofa should be comfortable and support your head when you lean back. The cushions should be soft so that you can sit for long periods of time without getting uncomfortable. It helps to have a table next to your chair to hold your books, glasses, pencil, a cup of tea. The surrounding area should be quiet, with moderate lighting and relaxing colors. A vase of fresh flowers on the table always brings in freshness and a sense of connection to nature.

We all need quiet moments of relaxation and inner awareness, some more than others. Our home should help fulfill this basic human longing and give us the fortitude we need to face the wider world.

February 23, 2010

Good Work Practice at RepairClinic.com

Posted in Health, RepairClinic.com, Work tagged , , , , , , , at 7:54 am by Liliana

Safe ergonomics

Safe ergonomics

  • Take regular breaks from your workstation – at least every 30 minutes.
  • Vary tasks so you are not typing for extended periods of time.
  • Change your posture as frequently as you can.
  • Avoid eye strain when using the computer:  focus on an object in the distance at least 20 feet away every 10-15 minutes.
  • Take your lunch break away from your desk.
  • Go for a walk outside for 15-20 minutes every day.
  • Make sure your chair is adjusted to support your lower back – use safe sitting posture.
  • Make sure that your chair is in good working order – do not use a chair that needs maintenance.
  • Switch the computer mouse to the other hand regularly.
  • Place frequently used items near you.

February 22, 2010

Memories From My Childhood

Posted in Children, Serbia tagged , at 6:45 am by Liliana

Memories from my childhood

Memories from my childhood

  • Skipping  to school in new, red leather shoes on a warm spring morning – the soles make most pleasant sounds against the sidewalk.
  • Sledding in winter from the hill above our house; hands frozen; running into the house and holding my hands over a warm, wood burning stove; unbelievable pain; crying.
  • No eclectic power in our house on blackout evenings; lighted candles; stories; magical shadows on the walls.
  • Pressed blue school uniform; new crochet lace collar my mother made; fist fight with my best friend; torn lace collar; face dirty from dust and tears.
  • Two dolls; one old and beat up, with a hole cut in her mouth; the other new and untouched; both named Rose.
  • Climbing the cherry tree in our yard with my sister; picking  big, red, sweet cherries; eating some; ornamenting ourselves by making earrings, necklaces, crowns with others.
  • Running very fast down the hill on a warm spring evening; two older cousins holding my hands; flying.

February 21, 2010

Guidelines for a Dinner Menu

Posted in Family, Food, Health, Home, Women tagged , , , , , at 8:21 am by Liliana

Guidelines for a dinner menu

Guidelines for a dinner menu

  • Appetizers should be light and small – clear soups, vegetables, fruit.
  • There should be good nutritional and aesthetic balance – no more than one or two starchy foods; don’t overdo with vegetables.
  • Don’t serve the same ingredient in more than one course – avoid soup with mushrooms and then mushrooms as a side dish.
  • Make sure you give a diverse flavor to your foods – avoid tomato soup and then marinara source.
  • Opposite tastes go well together – acidic/sweet, spicy/bland, hot/cold, crunchy/soft.
  • Avoid more than one strong flavored food in one meal – salty, acidic, smoked, etc.
  • Don’t serve foods of the same color together – for example, green vegetables with green noodles and pesto sauce.

February 20, 2010

Miso Soup

Posted in Food, Health, Recipes tagged , at 7:42 am by Liliana

5-Minute Miso Soup with Dulse (sea vegetable)

5-Minute Miso Soup with Dulse (sea vegetable)

Add this quick and easy miso soup to your healthy way of eating and give your body an extra boost of health-promoting minerals. Feel free to add other seaweed such as wakame for extra nutrition. All the ingredients can be found in most supermarkets.

Prep and Cook Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cups boiling water
  • 1 TBS miso
  • ¼ cup sliced dulse seaweed
  • 2 TBS minced scallion1
  • TBS grated ginger
  • 2 TBS diced tofu

Directions:

  1. Add miso, ginger, and dulse to 1 cup of boiling water.

Serves 1

Healthy Cooking Tips:
There are several types of miso. They can be made from soybeans, rice, buckwheat, or barley. They also come light to dark in color. The lighter varieties are less salty and more mellow in flavor, while the darker ones are saltier and have a more intense flavor. Choose the miso that best suits your personal taste for this soup, as you can use any of them.

Source: George Mateljan – The World’s Healthiest Foods

February 19, 2010

Good News About Avery!

Posted in Cancer, Children, Health, RepairClinic.com tagged , , , at 7:55 am by Liliana

Happy Birthday, little angel!

Happy Birthday, little angel!

I wrote about Avery Klemola a few weeks ago. She is a little girl who was diagnosed with non-
rhabdomyosarcoma – a rare cancer that has the characteristics of three different types of cancer, all in one. The disease had spread to her lungs (making it stage 4) and her prognosis was not promising. For close to five months now she has been undergoing chemo therapy. When she went into surgery yesterday, her doctors had no idea what to expect. They didn’t know if the surgery would last one hour or eight hours, depending on how far the cancer had spread.

Forty five minutes into the surgery, the doctors came out and called Avery’s mom Sheila in for a conference. No one knew what to think. Is this a good sign or a bad sign? Well, for once, the news couldn’t have been better. The surgery was shorter than anyone had expected – the tumor was on the very edges of the two facial nerves and was easy to remove. The chemo therapy had done its job and contained the cancer.

This has not been an easy winter for many of the people I know and care about. Yesterday’s news about Avery’s prognosis was  a ray of joyous sunshine in the life of all the people who know her or have just heard of her. There is hope now and her prognosis is good. Avery will have four more chemo sessions and then go for checkups on a regular basis. Her doctors will keep careful watch over her. But everyone is hoping that she will be cured forever and that the cancer will never come back again.

Avery has a birthday coming up. She turns one year old this coming Sunday, February 21st. Happy birthday, little angel! May you live a long and happy life.

Avery’s mom Sheila is organizing a Relay for Life team in Avery’s honor. Relay for Life is an event that celebrates cancer survivors, and raises funds for the American Cancer Society.

You can log onto Avery’s team site at:  http://main.acsevents.org/goto/BabyAvery to make a donation or to join Avery’s team.

Also, you can follow Avery’s journey by logging onto facebook – just type in Avery Klemola in the search box – she has more than 3,700 friends already!

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