October 25, 2010

Email Subscriptions

Posted in News tagged , , , , , at 6:58 am by Liliana

How to subscribe to my blog postings?

How to subscribe?

I have received a number of emails from my readers asking how they can subscribe to my blog postings.

This means that every time I write a new post, you automatically receive it in your email.

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. There is an Email Subscription box in the right column of my blog.
  2. Enter your email address there.
  3. You will then receive an email asking you if you agree to receive my blog postings.
  4. You must click on the link indicated, to confirm that you agree. Unless you click on the link, you will not receive the postings.

Your email will not be used for any purpose and is completely confidential.

I hope this helps. Best to you all.



July 29, 2010

Oil Spill in Michigan

Posted in Breast Cancer, Cancer, Health, News tagged , , , , , , , at 6:41 am by Liliana

Detail Map of Michigan

Detail Map of Southwestern Michigan

A state of emergency has been declared in southwest Michigan’s Kalamazoo County.

Last Monday, July 26th, 2010, more than 800,000 gallons of oil have leaked into a local creek when an oil pipeline sprung a leak. The pipeline is owned by Enbridge Energy Partners, of Houston.

The oil is now heading downstream the Kalamazoo River.

Kalamazoo River flows into Lake Michigan only 60 miles away in the town of Saugatuck.

The pipeline has been shut down, but the damage is already done. Officials are fearing contamination of local water supplies. Residents of the area have reported strong noxious fumes, and wildlife soaked in oil.

My daughter Nena and her fiancé Peter have been staying in our cottage near Lake Michigan, not far from the spill. They had planned to move to New Orleans in the fall, but I was trying to dissuade them.

Worried about health effects from the oil spill, I believed it would be much safer for them to stay in Michigan.

Source:  Kalamazoo Gazette

Source: The New York Times

June 27, 2010

The Oil Spill

Posted in Breast Cancer, Cancer, Children, Cleaning, Health, Money, News, Travel, Weather tagged , , , , , at 6:46 am by Liliana


"Make my hands respect the things you have"

There is a great environmental tragedy happening in the Gulf of Mexico and it affects our entire planet.

I wanted to address the issue, to acknowledge the unprecedented affliction, torment and suffering, but my words feel inadequate and shallow.

What can I say that hasn’t been said? What wisdom can I offer?

I will let this beautiful Native American Prayer speak for me. It says everything, and much more, that I wanted to express.

Native American Prayer

Oh, Great Spirit
Whose voice I hear in the winds,
And whose breath gives life to all the world,
hear me, I am small and weak,
I need your strength and wisdom.
Let me walk in beauty and make my eyes ever behold
the red and purple sunset.
Make my hands respect the things you have
made and my ears sharp to hear your voice.
Make me wise so that I may understand the things
you have taught my people.
Let me learn the lessons you have
hidden in every leaf and rock.

I seek strength, not to be greater than my brother,
but to fight my greatest enemy – myself.
Make me always ready to come to you
with clean hands and straight eyes.
So when life fades, as the fading sunset,
my Spirit may come to you without shame.

(translated by Lakota Sioux Chief Yellow Lark in 1887)

Source: http://www.sapphyr.net/natam/quotes-nativeamerican.htm


April 20, 2010

Volcanic Ash

Posted in News, Travel, Weather, Work tagged , , , , , , , , , at 7:13 am by Liliana

Volcanic Ash in Europe

Volcanic Ash Over Europe

Icelandic’s largest volcano first erupted on March 20th, spewing fire fountains of hot magma over 300 feet high, while rivers of molten lava flowed into the valleys. On April 14th, the mountain exploded again, sending a plume of ash higher than 30,000 feet into the atmosphere. Carried on a jet stream and wind currents, the ash spread across most of Europe.

Air travel in Europe came to a stop because of fear that ash would clog up the engines and cause engine failure. Thousands of people were stuck in airports and desperately searched for alternative modes of transportation.

The volcano made disruptions to life as we know it: military bases in Afghanistan couldn’t get their rations while European supermarkets remain empty of fresh meat and produce. Fresh food was rotting in warehouses. Organ transplants were disrupted and organs redistributed to those within driving distance. Concerts and sporting events were canceled and an untold number of ordinary people had their life disrupted in one way or another. Many world leaders canceled attendance at the funeral of the Polish president, the first lady and many of the country’s dignitaries.

The World Health Organization warned that ash could cause breathing problems for those with asthma and respiratory illnesses and advised people to stay indoors. Some said that the tiny particles could reach deep regions of the lungs and cause long term health problems. Other experts said that inhaling the ash was not dangerous.

As of this morning, some of the flights at the smaller airports in Europe are resuming, but most of the big hubs remain closed. The volcano is still spewing ash, although more lava is flowing and experts say that is a good sign.  How long will this last? No one knows. Stranded travelers are hoping not too much longer.


April 9, 2010

Spices for Your Mind

Posted in Cancer, Food, Health, News, Recipes, Traditions tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 7:32 am by Liliana

Healthy and Delicious Spices

Healthy and Delicious Spices

I read an interesting article in the May/June edition of the AARP magazine. It noted new scientific research that shows how certain spices help keep your brain healthy and young. Why not try to use them more frequently? If nothing else, your recipes will taste delicious!

  • Turmeric – this is the spice that gives curry its intense yellow color. People in India eat large amounts of it and the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease there is one fourth the US rate. A study at the University of California, Los Angeles, showed that turmeric broke up brain plaques and protein build-up in mice. Add it to stews, soups or sautéed vegetables.
  • Saffron – A study done at the University of Tehran in 2007 discovered that eating this delicate spice twice a day works as well as most anti-depressants in treating mild to moderate depression. Add half a teaspoon to water when cooking rice, add to stews and soups.
  • Ginger – a recent study discovered that ginger helps with migraine prevention.  Make tea by grating three teaspoons of ginger into one cup of boiling water. Steep for ten minutes, strain and drink.
  • Garlic – long known to help keep your heart healthy, a 2007 study in the journal Cancer noted  that garlic might also help with brain cancer. Add garlic to salads, soups, stews, sautées, and anything you like.
  • Cinnamon – a recent study found that cinnamon regulates blood sugar levels, which helps you stay focused and speeds up the rate at which your brain processes visual cues. Add cinnamon to oatmeal, cookies, or any baking dish.

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 6, 2010

Tips for a cancer free life

Posted in Breast Cancer, Cancer, Food, Health, Home, News tagged at 8:24 am by Liliana

Tips for a cancer free life

Tips for a cancer free life

  • Spend 15 -20 minutes a day in the sun – it’s the best way to get vitamin D.
  • Eat an orange every day – high in vitamin C.
  • Get a colonoscopy if you are over 50 years old.
  • Eat lots of greens – they help stave off ovarian, stomach, lung, bladder, and colorectal cancers.
  • Pick an experienced doctor – doctors with at least 25 years experience were more accurate at interpreting images and accurately reading mammograms.
  • Drink 1-2 cups of coffee a day – may lower the incidence of rectal cancer by 52%.
  • Drop 10 pounds – gaining just 10 pounds after the age of 30 increases your risk of developing breast, pancreatic, and cervical, among other cancers.
  • Eat carrots and bananas – four to six antioxidant-laden bananas a week cuts the risk of kidney cancer by 54%.
  • Examine your skin – for possible changes in the size or color of moles, blemishes, and freckles. These marks could mean skin cancer.
  • Stop smoking – If you give up the cigarettes today, within 15 years, your lung cancer risk will drop to almost pre-smoking lows.
  • Stop eating sugar and white flour – high glycemic load may run a higher risk of colorectal cancer.
  • Grill smarterthe grill’s high temperatures can trigger substances in muscle proteins to form cancer-causing compounds; lace your burgers with rosemary, basil, oregano, or thyme.
  • Let garlic rest – to preserve the potential cancer-fighting power of garlic, chop it up and let it sit for 5-10 minutes; this helps activate alliinase, the enzyme that helps to form a cancer-fighting compound.
  • Check your home for radon – exposure to this odorless, radioactive gas that is produced by the natural decay of uranium is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.

January 28, 2010

Story of a Haitian mother

Posted in Children, Earthquakes, Food, Haiti, News, Women tagged at 8:22 am by Liliana

Earthquake in Haiti

Earthquake in Haiti

Every day, I read stories about Haiti. I am afraid that if I turn away, the world will turn away, and the people there will be left on their own. And that to me, seems the most cruel fate of all.

I read a story about a mother who didn’t give up on finding her son for close to ten days. She was a poor street vendor and her son was 21 years old and worked as a tailor. After the earthquake, the mother went looking for her son at the building where he worked. The whole structure had collapsed and no one was found alive. Every day the mother went looking around a different area of the building and calling her son’s name. Days passed and relief workers from different countries got used to seeing this woman wonder around the collapsed building, calling and calling.

On the tenth day, somewhere deep in the bowels of collapsed cement, the boy heard his mother’s voice and he called back. She heard him. Joyously shouting, digging with her hands, she called the relief workers to come and help. But they had seen her there, day after day, and thought that she was hearing voices. They left. A team from Israel happened to be coming by, and the mother stopped them, grabbed a man by his hand and made him come with her. She shouted and the boy shouted back. The Israeli called his team and they started digging furiously. After a while they got to the boy. He was so small, so light and dehydrated, he looked like a child. The Israeli lifted the boy into his arms and carried him to his mother.

No one in the world was happier than that woman, and no one felt more fortunate than she. She had lost everything she had, which was not much to begin with; she had lost her city, her house and all her possessions. But her child was alive.


January 18, 2010

Helping Haiti

Posted in Earthquakes, Haiti, News, Organization tagged , , at 8:14 am by Liliana

Haiti earthquake victims

In the face of such great human tragedy as the one in Haiti, it is hard to know what to do. Do I look at the pictures; follow the nonstop news stories; pay attention to every detail that is reported? Do I look squarely in the face of the crying children and bear witness to what is happening?

Or do I avert my gaze out of respect and humility and give these people the privacy to grieve in peace? How do I go on with my everyday worries when the magnitude of suffering is impossible to ignore?

Today is Martin Luther King Day, a day to contemplate the fairness of our endeavors, our place in society, and our ability to help others. I stop on this day and wonder about the difference that I am making. I live a fairly ordinary, middle class life.  I have a family, I work, and I live in a small university town.  I am not a powerful or a wealthy person.

But I still believe that I can make a difference. Even if I provide one meal for one person in Haiti, I have done more than if I had just given up and not even tried. It gives me hope that President Obama has joined forces with our two former presidents, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, in setting up a fund and raising money for the cause.  Here is the link to their site: http://www.clintonbushhaitifund.org

If you can help, please do. Every dollar makes a difference.


January 13, 2010

Terrible Earthquake in Haiti

Posted in Earthquakes, News at 10:05 am by Liliana

Earthquake in Haiti

Earthquake in Haiti, January 12, 2010

Haiti has suffered a 7.0 magnitude earthquake yesterday, January 12th, 2010.  No one knows how many people are missing, injured or dead. This long suffering, impoverished country has suffered another devastating blow.

I would like to express my deepest sympathies to the people of Haiti.